Should I Uncompress my Hard Drive to Increase Efficiency?

Question

While trying to clean up the hard drive of my compuuter, a file was added as "backup of C:(D:)". I think that it might have been added from the

"Programs>system tools>accessories>compression agent".

It appears that this may be affecting the efficency of the computer. I have tried installing several programs and they wil give me an error stating not enough memory, but I have checked the requirements and it should install.

Any ideas how to corrrect this problem?

Answer

This question was answered on November 26, 2002. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

At some point in time, the hard drive compression agent was invoked under Windows 98, and compressed the entire hard drive This, in itself, is not a bad thing I have used the Windows 98 compression agent when I had a 2 gigabyte hard drive, too many files, and not enough money to buy a bigger drive.

However, once a drive is compressed, Windows must go through a decompression process each time a file is opened or a process needing a file from the compressed drive is set in motion This takes time and machine memory to accomplish

Installation routines for new programs already use a lot of memory and disk space During such a process, a computer such as yours can easily become taxed to the limit.

Chances are, if you try and decompress the drive, you will probably run out of disk space Should that not be the case, Windows 98 does have the ability to decompress drives.

Here's how to determine if decompression is an option:

First, right-click Start, and click "explore." Right-click the entry for your "D:" drive, then click "properties." Check out the pie chart showing available disk space You are looking at the properties of a virtual drive which was created when the "C:" drive was compressed If the drive shows more than half full, you'll have to delete files before decompressing, or, better yet, add a second, or larger hard drive to your system

Try running the disk cleanup program under your System Tools heading, and as always, defragment the hard drive regularly Delete temporary internet files This might buy you a good deal of space Uninstall any unnecessary programs, preferably by using uninstall options which came with the programs, or else using the "add/delete programs" option under Control Panel.

If you decide to upgrade, hard drives these days are a steal You will get untold disk space at a bargain price.

Suggestion is, install Windows on the new hard drive, then work from there If you decide you only want one hard drive on your PC, get valuable data off that compressed drive now, before you go any further

Either way, it's best to do regular backups, and have more than one copy of your data.

As for the efficiency problem, it would be advisable to add more memory to your PC Memory has also become quite a bargain One can buy 128 meg sets for as little as twenty dollars Check the website or the manual for your PC or motherboard for memory type requirements

Installing more memory will help, but until you stop running programs from a compressed drive, your PC will still take somewhat of an (albeit minor) hit in the efficiency department while it decompresses information.

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Author

Posted by Robert of Mesa Community College on November 26, 2002