The Old Drivers Files Are Still There!

excellent
key review info
application features
  • Multiple cleaning filters.
  • (2 more, see all...)

As time passes by, your Windows operating system gets cluttered with more and more garbage. Some of the files remaining lost somewhere in the System folder belong to drivers that are no longer used, but they also have traces into your system's registry and initialization files, in most cases.

This kind of problem goes deep into your system's internals, and I could write about this subject until tomorrow morning and still find myself far from the end of it, but that's not my goal. My target now is a program designed to clean remaining driver files from your system. Let's take a closer look now...

The full name of the subject is Driver Cleaner Professional, its version number is 1.5, and the installation kit has 2.6MB in size, being extremely easy to download and setup. To end the introduction, I must place the cherry on the top and say that this program is completely free, no matter if you're a poor individual sitting in front of a hamster-powered, 10 year old computer that runs Windows ‘95, or a company with thousands of employees!

The interface of this program is extremely easy to use, since you have only one main task to do with this program: cleaning. There is a menu bar with three menus, and a small work area. Let's find out everything about them!

The Cleaning Selection area has a drop down menu which allows you to select the cleaning filter you want to use. After this step, you can click the Start button; use the Start command from the File menu or press Ctrl+S on your keyboard. Impressive, but I must also say that the File menu is useless, in my opinion.

If you want to clean more items, you can check the Select multiple cleaning filters radio button, then use the Add button together with the drop down menu to accomplish the selection task. Look carefully over your selected items, remove the ones added by mistake if any, and then let the cleaning begin...but not before a backup!

When working with programs like this, backup should be on your mind all the time. Computers gave a new meaning to the words "better safe than sorry", and I would better comply and lose one minute now, instead of losing much more later.

Managing backups is very easy, all you have to do is go to the second menu, called Tools, and choose the Backup/Log command or use the Ctrl+B keyboard shortcut. The Backup/Log screen lets you delete backups and logs, while restoration is done using the next option from the menu, called Restore, obviously. I know there's a question without an answer here yet...how do you backup your files, directories and registry entries that will be deleted?

The answer to the previous question lies in the Settings area, in the Backup window. All you have to do there is to check the items you want to backup before performing a cleaning operation. Apart from the files, directories and registry entries that will be deleted, you can also choose to perform a full registry backup before any changes.

The last feature I will tell you about now is the Cab Cleaner. With it, you can prevent your operating system from restoring the files you removed, although they are no longer needed. What it does is to remove the files from the driver.cab file and from the service pack cab file, if you installed a service pack. More details about every aspect of this program can be found in the excellent documentation that comes with it, and my time spent with Driver Cleaner ends here, but not before drawing the conclusions.

The Good

Driver Cleaner Professional is one of those small, easy to use and extremely useful programs that also dare to be free. There aren't many like that around, I can tell you that for sure! You have cleaning, backup, restore and logging, everything you need to clean old Windows drivers without additional problems.

The Bad

This program can be risky to use for beginners, so caution and backups each time you remove files from your system are not advised, but compulsory. In order to get support for Windows 2003, .NET and Vista, you have to buy the Platinum version, but its price is pretty low, so that shouldn't be much of a problem. Other than that, I can't find anything really bad about it.

The Truth

You don't have to be a driver’s tester or one who updates his hardware each month to need this program, and most system cleaners are not the answer to this problem. Driver Cleaner Professional is an excellent freeware tool, and I advise all of you to get it as soon as possible, it may help you evade a lot of problems. Since now you know all that you need in order to start cleaning old drivers remains, all I can say is "good luck"!

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:


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user interface 3
features 5
ease of use 5
pricing / value 5


final rating 5
Editor's review
excellent
 
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