Vue users will know how annoying it is to encounter apparent content that has the file name ~~. These were not real content, just thumbnails with links that led to the now brutally-closed Cornucopia online store.
How to mass delete these now-defunct spam link in your Vue content folders? Thankfully they all have the extension ~~. For instance:
So we need to delete everything with a ~~ in the name. What the Vue user can’t do here is have Windows Explorer just search for ~~. or *~~. and then delete the lot. Explorer doesn’t play nicely with symbols, for some unknown reason. All it will do, with a search like that, is to find everything.
Of course, it’s possible to do this with arcane command lines or wrestle with PowerShell, but that’s total overkill and requires skills unknown to ordinary mortals.
The solution is a handy little Windows freeware utility, of course. Alternate Directory is a finder-deleter for Windows that can do the job. It’s a little mis-named, and should probably have been called ‘Search and Delete Files by Mask’ or something like that.
1. Download and install.
2. Make sure you’re going to ‘Recycle’ rather than ‘Clean’. Then go: View | Options | Edit.
3. Paste in *~~.* at the top of the list. Then select and delete all the other file name-types on the list, and save. Congratulations, you’ve just configured Alternate Directory to only find files with ~~. in the filename. (The * here, for those who don’t know, is a wildcard — it tells the software to find ‘anything’ in the search string).
All the other file-types were just the sort of cruft that system administrators encounter on their servers and need to bulk delete.
4. Now use Alternate Directory to navigate to C:\ProgramData\e-onsoftware\Vue xStream 2016 (or whatever top folder your Vue version indicates for its content files)
5. Making absolutely sure you have ‘Recycle’ selected run “Diagnosis” on the folder. All sub-folders are also looked into.
6. Look at all that crap it found, nearly 5,000 bits of defunct system junk. Pressing “Clean” deletes it all to the Recycle Bin.
Alternate Directory will then take a while to delete that many found files, in this case about five minutes. Once it’s finished you empty the Recycle Bin, and enjoy an extra chunk of disk space.
Now re-index your Vue folder in any 3D content indexing software you have, such as PzDB.
Alternate Directory is a useful bit of freeware that does the job simply and effectively. You may also find it handy in future for similar bulk deletion jobs, where there’s a filetype you want removed or where there’s a repeating filename for it to hook onto. It could, conceivably, also be carefully used for cleaning massive Poser runtimes of certain unwanted old filetypes.
It can also be useful for cleaning junk that comes across when you copy parts of a hard-drive. Such as _Zone.Identifier files. In which case the mask *Zone.Identifier does the trick.
You can also have Windows Explorer become a partial Content Library with pictures for Vue:
1. Open Windows Explorer and go to your content folders at C:\ProgramData\e-onsoftware|Vue xStream 2016 or wherever you have your content stored. Set it to something sensible like View: Large Icons.
2. Over on the left panel, select the topmost folder for your content library, right-click it, Properties, Customize.
3. Choose “Optimize this folder for Pictures”, and tick “Apply to all subfolders”. OK.
You now get thumbnails and previews in folders, and can easily search by keyword.