December 10, 2007
Sometimes, It Is the Small Things In Life That Count
Has this ever happened to you? It happens to me a minimum of once a week, but NOT ANY MORE! Most often it happens when I am copying a directory (yes, I am “old school” and refuse to say “folder”) full of files from a hard drive to a thumb drive. I know that the process will take a few minutes so I begin the copying and go get a drink refill. Adding fresh ice, topping off the glass, and meandering back to the computer, I notice a message on the screen. Have you seen one similar to this before?!?!
While not completely wasted, the time getting my refill wasn’t as productive as I thought it would be because the copying process did not complete, but, instead, paused waiting for my input. I said “Yes”, but then had to wait for the process to complete. What a pain. Oooh, thank you Microsoft. I certainly wouldn’t want to overwrite a file that I can recreate any time I want to (usually whether or not I actually want to). The fact that it is referred to as a “system file” makes it seem that much more important, too. Well, in MY opinion, (I use the phrase, “in MY opinion” so that if I am wrong in anything I say, I can just say that “MY opinion” was based on MY experience) there is very little upside by even having these Thumbs.db files hanging around all over the place. If there was only a way to prevent them from propagating like tribbles in heat. Hey, there is!
I ASSume that the main purpose for these files is to have a way to easily (and quickly) see thumbnail images of any graphics files. Nice concept, no problem. It does take some amount of overhead to create the file, but to me, the time is insignificant unless you had a couple thousand .jpgs in a directory (and then, I would question THAT behavior). At any rate, you can prevent the OS from automatically creating (AND THUS, ELIMINATING THIS ANNOYING “FEATURE”) as follows:
Open up Windows Explorer, go to the menu Tools|Folder Options| click on the “View” tab, and under the “Files and Folders” section, look for the checkbox with the caption, “Do Not Cache Thumbnails”. Stick a big, old, fat check in that box and from now on the Thumbs.db file will not be written to your hard drive. Yes, you WILL still be able to select Thumbnails as a format to view the directory’s files, but since it is not written to disk, it is never copied, and you will never see the above message again. As I mentioned, there is a very minor, minor, minor performance hit each time you request a thumbnail view, but it is a small price to pay (again) in MY opinion. Ah, life is good. Sometimes it’s the small things in life that count.
Posted by Dave Aring on December 10, 2007 | Permalink
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Great tip, I hate those Thumbs.db files, especially when they are sitting on my desktop!
I went one step further...After turning off the cache as you described, I did a full search of my computer on "Thumbs.db" files. There were 117 such files scattered on my disk. They are all gone!
Posted by: Dantv | Dec 10, 2007 2:12:42 PM
You make an excellent point. Clear off ALL of the Thumbs.db files from your harddrive. That gives me the opportunity to also mention something that got me a couple of times. ALSO delete the Thumbs.db files from your jump/thumb drives. On several occassions, I copied files FROM my jump drive onto my hard drive and the Thumbs.dbs that were on the jump drive got copied also and then I got the message the next time I tried to copy files from the hard drive. Bottom line... get rid of all those wascally wabbits.
Posted by: Dave | Dec 11, 2007 1:08:42 PM
Lots of "small" things soon add up - great tip to stop a feature that is often annoying
Posted by: Joan Harrison | Dec 11, 2007 1:58:50 PM
Thanks for the kind words. That was a compliment to YOU. Consider it a "small" thing that you can ADD to the good things that happened to you today. Hope there were LOTs of good things.
Posted by: Dave | Dec 11, 2007 4:39:39 PM