Karbosguide.com. Software Tip 16

Running out of space on my hard disk...

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  • People often think they lack space on their hard disk. But just as often the real problem is that their data and programs are terribly disorganized. The most common errors are:

    Wrong partitioning of the hard disk.

    In Windows 98 you should only have one partition, a C drive, where all data are located. The subdivision in D- and E- drives will in most cases add to wasted space and mess.


    If program packages like Netscape Communicator, Internet Explorer, not to speak of Microsoft Office are present in different versions - no wonder you run out of space. I see that in many places.

    General mess

    Lack of structure and disk cleaning. People install all kinds of programs retrieved from the Internet and borrow from each other - of course that is fun. But if you do not have a firm division of the hard disk for different kinds of data, it might be impossible to clean up when you need to.

    A model for hard disk space utilization

    Your hard disk should be one big partition (a C drive), which in Windows 98 and 2000 often is formatted with FAT32. Then all installation and other data storage is done according to these guide lines:

    Program folders

    The folder C:\Windows contains what the name implies.

  • C:\Program Files contains all program packages.

  • C:\Utils contains all small programs (fax, cookie killers etc.), which do not install in C:\Program Files.

  • C:\Temp contains all the temporary stuff, whatever is in for review and testing etc.

  • C:\My Documents\Download\Program1 is temporary and contains the downloaded and extracted files for Program1.

    When programs are "accepted" as being of lasting value, they are moved to C:\Utils\Program1 etc. And the temporary folders are deleted.

    Program files from CD-ROM

    The folder C:\Disks contains installation diskettes/CD-ROM's for important programs. Though you should keep the CD-ROMs coming with the programs, it is much more convenient to have a copy on the hardisk.

    Your documents

    A folder like C:\Texts contain all user documents set up in a dynamic structure of multiple sub folders. You continually need to create new sub folders and move and delete among the older ones, so your document structure fits your work needs.

    I prefer not to use C:\My documents for storage of documents. This folder is involved in many operations from within Windows and other programs; hence it often gets cluttered with a lot of files which are of temporary character. Use a folder like C:\Texts for all your documents, images etc. having a permanent character.

  • D:\Backup contains all backups.

    You should backup your documents daily/weekly on another harddisk than where the originals are kept.

    The point is to maintain the system one hundred and ten percent!!! And that is really not hard - it just requires some presence of mind and careful thought during download/installation.

    About creating folders

    Always remember to create new folders - you can do that directly from the download dialog box as well as from the Save As dialog box. Use this button:

    Is it worth the effort?

    All this boring trouble - like having to plan ahead every time. It pays off ten fold in stability and surplus in daily work. The alternative is repeated reinstallation of the whole shebang, data loss and wasted time. That is just the way it is . I speak from more than 12 years experience.

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    Copyright (c) 1996-2001 by Michael B. Karbo.