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Tom AZ

Hard Drive Compression

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In Windows XP there is a little utility to compress your HDD ("Compress drive to save disk space"). If you've ever done this, what were your results? And, if you compress, is there also a way to "uncompress" should that ever be desired?

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Guest Shane0500

I have used this tool, it only made my HDD 1% smaller (87 to 86), yes you can untick the box, and it uncompresses everything, and fragments your drive to heck! I have tested the fragmentation with defraggler, my dive got 40% fragmented (only 9GB total on drive)

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Most files like mp3s jpegs and movie clips are compressed anyway, disk compression is only useful if there's something worth to compress.

 

Richard S.

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1. NEVER EVER USE IT OR EVEN ALLOW DEFAULT DISC CLEANUP OPERATION UNLESS YOU HAVE WINDOWS INSTALLATION DISCS.

My Acer Laptop had XP pre-installed and no installation discs were supplied.

 

There are many vital *.cpl files which are monitored and under the protection of Windows File Protection.

Many of these vital files I never need or use, and their "Last Accessed" date recedes into history.

Every time I ran Disc Cleanup it looked for old infrequently used files to compress,

and the act of looking updated "Last Accessed".

For 2 months I never ran the normal Windows Disc Cleanup,

and when I did these *.cpl files were overdue for compression and it happened.

 

BANG W.F.P. STRIKES AGAIN.

W.F.P. does NOT trust the integrity of Windows file compression,

and found that the compressed file did not match the installation manifest/digest/whatever,

and it insisted upon restoring from the unavailable Installation Discs.

 

I had to restore the system from the previous week's Acronis image.

 

2. Any "important" file that is compressed and under W.F.P. either fall into the above Installation Disc GOTCHA,

or will be ADDED IN UNCOMPRESSED ORIGINAL SIZE to dllcache (unless it has already been copied there),

Definitely a "Win Some - Lose Some" situation for Disc Free Space.

 

3. It increases the amount of INFORMATION in the files when compressed,

because the compressed files not only hold the original information,

but also new information on how to recreate the original uncompressed version.

As a result if you ZIP a folder which holds files the *.ZIP is larger,

as it has to hold more information if the files were compressed.

ALSO AS A RESULT if you use HDD/Partition Image backups (e.g. Macrium) the image files will be larger.

 

N.B. A tremendous benefit of my original disaster was that after research I applied a Registry fix.

This not only disabled Disc Cleanup from compressing files based on date,

IT STOPPED THE ETERNAL WAITING BEFORE I could remove old Restore Points,

because Disc Cleanup no longer wasted time searching for old files before I could tell it what to do.

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My Acer Laptop had XP pre-installed and no installation discs were supplied.

Doesn't your Acer have a recovery partition??

 

My Asus netbook didn't come with discs either but I can restore XP anytime because my hard drive has a backup copy.

 

Richard S.

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Yes, but I think W.F.P. was committed to Installation Discs and was not prepared to look there,

and/or recovery was restricted to a working restoration of Windows with original pre-installed bloat-ware,

but without the packages and manifests etc. that are required for registering system files.

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I'm glad my curiosity never got the better of me back in the days when I wondered if I could save space by compressing files.

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Tom it's really a huge waste of time relying upon it to save any significant about of space, and like others have stated using it will drastically fragment your hard disk.

 

It's also a complete waste of time to have the Disk Cleanup box "Compress old files" enabled.

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I did it on my drive and I have no problem with it. As for the Defrag, what WON'T fragment your files? Really... Nothing that a quick defrag couldn't fix in 15minutes... I have been using my Desktop computer with the main drive and secondary drive compressed, with no problem at all... When it asked to "ignore" or "try again" for certain files that couldn't be compressed, I just hit "ignore all"...

 

 

Also, for some reason my Windows' form of compression was different then the WinZip Compression Tool; it allowed me to save disk space WHILE still allowing all the files to be "uncompressed" sort of.. Like, I could still use every single file if I needed or wanted to. But it still saved me space, I love it. Saved me about 3.5GB with about 47GB on my 250GB Primary Drive. My Secondary Drive has little on it (a few system files) but I compressed it, anyways.

 

I only compressed it for more space (what's wrong with having more space?) not that I needed it... But what I like most about it, is it allows sort of a "Future fail-safe," basically, by doing this to the drive. What I mean by this is, anything and everything you put onto the drive after you compress it, is automatically compressed; thus saving you more space every time you install new software or add new photos, etc.

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