Wednesday, March 28, 2007

10 Steps to a bigger hard drive!

You may have wondered where all that hard drive space has disappeared to. Right out of the box, hard drive space is not what it appears to be. Computers measure space (hard drive and memory space) in binary values, but the operating system converts them to a more friendly decimal value. The difference means that a binary value for a megabyte is 1024, but the decimal value is 1000. Multiply this by several thousand, and you end up losing hard drive space. Add in the fact that the operating system has to format the drive and use some of the space for indexing and file tables, and you lose even more.

This is unavoidable; however as consumers we can get some of that space back. Through a few simple steps:

1) Look in the control panel for Add remove programs, scroll through the list and uninstall programs that you don’t need.

2) Disable hibernation – control panel, display, screensaver tab, power button, hibernate tab

3) Reduce your recycle bin size – right mouse click on recycle bin, select properties – change the maximum size to 3% to 5%. Also, empty it once in a while – make sure you don’t need anything in it first!

4) Reduce Internet explorer cache – tools, internet options, temporary Internet Files – reduce the cache size to 250Mb.

5) System restore – reduce the size Windows XP reserves for System restoration – right mouse click on My Computer, properties, system restore tab, move the slider to 5%, or for advanced users (that run routine system backups) , disable system restore completely.

6) Delete your internet explorer cache – Tools, internet options, temporary internet files – delete

7) Delete unused profiles – if there are profiles stored on your compiter that you don’t need, or use. You can delete them – right click my computer, p[roperties, advanced, user profiles, settings – delete profiles at your own risk!

8) Clean out temp files – Every user on your pc has a profile, and that profile keeps their internet explorer cache, and temp files stored. Browse to: documents and settings\the user’s name\Local Settings\Temp\ - delete these files, and repeat for each username your find. – be careful with administrator and all users profiles.

If you can’t see these folders, you have to change the view – tools\folder options\view\show hidden files and folders. Change this back after you are done, or leave it be to see all the hidden files and folders.

9) If you use the native Windows XP CD writing software, make sure to select “delete these files after writing” and look in your cdrom drive letter folder for “delete files waiting to be written to disk”

10) Search google or other websites for software that looks for duplicate files, or zero byte files, or backup files. These should be used with caution, as they may delete files that appear to he useless. Your operating system may need them, so check for things like the last time they were used – in which case if they are not used in several months, they most likely are safe to delete.