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Should I have the "Compress Disk To Save Space"option selectedd? I have Windows 7. alt text

asked Sep 15 '10 at 19:47

Madison%20Tries's gravatar image

Madison Tries

edited Sep 15 '10 at 19:49

I'm not sure what it does (specifically) but it doesn't affect computer the performance of your computer. (I tried it on my xp machine)

answered Sep 15 '10 at 19:51

FilipinoPower's gravatar image


That's not true. It's hit and miss. In some places it improves the performance, in others it degrades the performance.

(Sep 16 '10 at 08:43) Seb Seb's gravatar image

If you think you need more HDD space then it wouldn't hurt.

answered Sep 15 '10 at 20:05

matt31894's gravatar image


I have heard that turning that on on the hard drive that you have windows installed on causes it to not be bootable because the boot folders are also compressed.

answered Sep 15 '10 at 20:27

TheTechDude's gravatar image


though I have not tried it so in no sure but I won't be testing it. I will try it on a virtual machine later.

(Sep 15 '10 at 20:28) TheTechDude TheTechDude's gravatar image

That's not possible. Windows won't compress the files that are required to boot. You can kill some services and force it to compress some files, but there's only so many things your computer will allow you to kill gracefully.

(Sep 16 '10 at 08:45) Seb Seb's gravatar image

NO, what ever you do dont turn that on!!

i did once and it was the biggest mistake i ever made.

it compresses the boot file, and then you cant start your PC because you will get an errer saying 'boot file compressed'

the only way to sort it out is to put it in a diffrent PC as a slave drive, and decompress the drive.

If you want to compress stuff to save space, the safe way to do it is to right click or highlight the folders you want to compress and then right click, proporties and compress them like that, dont compress the drive.

i have compressed the whole drive like this, and it doesnt seem to compress the Boot file beause it's hidden. you can compress the windows and program files folder too.

make sure that you keep an eye on it for a few minutes as you get a message 'files locked' and you just select 'ignore all' and then you can pretty much let it do it's thing.

other ways to save space.

disable the Hibernate feature.

answered Sep 16 '10 at 07:55

roguekiller23231's gravatar image


edited Sep 16 '10 at 07:56

That's not true. From past experience, Windows won't compress the files that are in use.

(Sep 16 '10 at 08:46) Seb Seb's gravatar image

perhaps you two used different versions of windows...

(Sep 16 '10 at 09:56) trueb trueb's gravatar image

I've enabled compression on one of my laptops, when it was crammed full of junk. It took days to complete and I ended up with a highly fragmented drive running everything like a slug. After defragging the performance wasn't notably faster or slower.

The theory: You have a hard disk which is the slowest common component in your system (even if it's an SSD). By compressing files you reduce the amount of data required to transfer from the drive to the CPU. This works best when the files in question are highly compressable (eg. IRC log files which tend to get huge and have a low compression ratio typically between 12-15%) and the overhead of decompression is less than the processing required. If neither of these are true, of course the overhead may cause you to tear hair out wondering why things are going 2-3x slower than they should. That's my experience when copying large files, particularly from one compressed drive to another.

My advice: Don't compress your entire drive. It takes too long. Select files or folders to compress based on the filetypes. mp3, jpg, gif, mpeg, movgenerally, flac, avi (using divx or some other compression/decompression codec) and other media files don't have a low compression ratio because they're already compressed, so don't compress them. Compress txt, doc, log, avi (raw, uncompressed), wav (again raw, uncompressed), and other uncompressed files are suitable for compression. Exe, dll, scr files are hit and miss. They're usually relatively compressable to roughly 60% of their uncompressed size, but they're probably best compressed using UPX if you're going to bother with that. I don't recommend compressing the Windows, because most people are impatient and don't like to wait 5 minutes for their OS to boot. You most likely won't break anything if you do, because the odds are Windows won't let you compress anything that's precious. Same thing with program files, to an extent. Anything you compress in program files should be accompanied by high "WOW!" factor due to large size, and if the compression ratio isn't low enough for your satisfaction then decompress it. A good example is an Ubuntu installation I had running in VirtualBox that I rarely ever use. Size: 3.23GB, Size on Disk: 1.11GB. A bad example would be the paging file, which I don't think Windows will compress (and I keep on a separate, dedicated disk for performance sake).

answered Sep 16 '10 at 09:16

Seb's gravatar image


buy a separate HD (external or not) and place files u want but dont access frequently on it... that's what i do, and the price of hard disk space has dropped significantly.

if you compress files they will have to be uncompressed to read, which takes up memory and processor speed.

answered Sep 16 '10 at 10:01

trueb's gravatar image


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Asked: Sep 15 '10 at 19:47

Seen: 14,908 times

Last updated: Sep 16 '10 at 10:01