Sunday, December 26, 2010

Running Out of Hard Disk Space – Part 1

So your hard disk is full? Now what?

no free space hard diskAs I’ve said before, it’s useless to argue that you don’t have to worry about running out of disk space because you got the latest 2 terabyte hard disk. Wrong! I used to think I am a lucky owner of a 500 gigabyte hard disk. Soon enough I started downloading large files thanks to that feeling of comfort and reliance of having a hard disk with huge capacity. And now I am constantly mulling over on how to clear up some disk space without sacrificing the files I might need.

Soon you will be hit with the same problem too. The list below shows you some plausible solutions.

Burn Files

While a Blu-ray burner for the consumer market is not yet a viable option, many blank DVDs are very cheap these days. I can even buy at a local store 10 DVDs in under two bucks. That’s a total of 40 gigabytes of portable storage. Don’t bother buying individual cases. Instead, buy disc albums that can contain as much as a hundred discs or more. The rampant problem with optical discs though is disk scratches. Add to the challenge is the fact that at best, data stored on optical discs last at most for only a decade. And that’s when the discs are stored in optimal conditions.

Transfer Files to External Drives

A better alternate is to transfer files to external drives. With regard to cost though, this is not the choice for everyone. You wont get the most bang for your buck since you spend more for storage with less capacity. On the plus side, external drives are more durable, just as portable, and easily more rewriteable than optical discs.

Delete Files, Objectively

All those files, or maybe most of them, are material (though not exactly tangible) wants. When you think of them free of bias, you can easily decided which of which to keep, and to delete. Assess which file has the most value and reusability instead of hesitating to delete them because all those time and effort spent to download or obtain them. Those obsolete software installers can be pretty much replaced with newer versions from the Internet anyway.

Buy a Hard Disk

The internal one. With it you can have instant access to your files. Also, your computer won’t look like an octopus with legs of different components and peripheral. That USB slot can be used for something else other than a semi-permanent connection to your external hard disks.

Use Disk Cleanup

If expansion is not possible, clearing up some space will do. Windows has a native cleaner which you can use to delete unnecessary and temporary files. Or if you want, you can use a more robust third-party software like CCleaner.

Stop Using RAID

I’m not familiar with RAID configuration but basically, and as how I understand it, a second hard disk is like a mirror or redundant copy of your main drive. In the scenario where this main drive fails, the second drive comes in to duty storing and providing data. Stopping your use of RAID allows you to use those redundant hard drives as additional storage at the cost of an increased chance of data loss. But how likely are those chances, eh?