Determining file structure on 'foreign' computer

  Charlie Babbage 17:19 28 Sep 2008

Unfortunately the full time administrator for our Church Team Ministry has accepted redundancy terms.

I have assisted in the past and from what little I have seen of the Church computer it needs a good clear out! What is the best way of printing a summary of the file structure? The computer runs Windows XP. I know that you can go to My Computer and list the files in each folder but is there an easy way of printing that out, apart from taking a screen shot? Is there any software which might assist?

Any ideas or tips from anyone who has dealt with a similar problem would be appreciated.

  Sea Urchin 17:31 28 Sep 2008

I think this might help you

click here

  beeuuem 17:35 28 Sep 2008

Karen's directory printer will do what you want click here
If there are a lot of files I'd suggest printing it using a PDF printer such as click here which will create a PDF file that you can read or print as required.

  Pineman100 17:54 28 Sep 2008

Charlie - are you sure you need to print out the whole file structure, before giving the computer a spring (well, autumn) clean?

Surely the best plan is simply to backup all of the data folders/files to another drive of some sort, and then reformat and reload Windows.

When you copy the data files back, they will still be in the structure that you originally backed up.

  Peter 19:11 28 Sep 2008


I agree with Pineman100; a full backup and a reload of Windows is the best option.

If you take a complete image, with say Acronis True Image 10 (for XP) or 11 (for Vista), to an external drive, you will be able to explore it from within Acronis if you later need to see where thing went.

If all hell breaks loose (is this really appropriate?) and thing get really messed up you can restore the image and be back exactly where you where when the image was taken.


  Charlie Babbage 20:17 28 Sep 2008

Many thanks for the helpful suggestions.

What is the point of taking a complete image? If the file structure is a mess, won't that merely put back the mess in the same state if Windows is reloaded?

I'll probably stay safe to start with and use Karen's directory printer to help me decide what files can be safely deleted.

  Peter 23:18 28 Sep 2008


The point of taking a complete backup as an image is that if (when?) the things that you think are okay to delete turn out to be not okay, you can put things back where they were before you started.

If thing go terribly wrong you can restore the complete image. If you only want to restore an individual file or a group of files or a complete folder you can explore the image and just pull back what you want.


  mgmcc 07:52 29 Sep 2008

<<<< What is the point of taking a complete image? If the file structure is a mess, won't that merely put back the mess in the same state if Windows is reloaded? >>>>

Acronis also lets you "mount" a backup image so that it appears as a separate drive in the PC. You can then 'pick & choose' which folders/files you want to copy across into your clean Windows installation.

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