Solved: Question about compressing drives

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RhinoCan

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Jun 23, 2011
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I have two 750 GB hard drives and both are filling up, primarily with large AVI files (downloaded TV programs and movies). Windows XP with SP2 is telling me that I can get additional data on my drives by compressing them and that is tempting. However, I want to be sure I understand the implications before I try to do this.

What are the consequences, positive and negative, if I compress one or both drives?

If your reply could touch on any or all of the following specific issues, I'd be very grateful:

  1. Is there any benefit to compressing AVI files? Aren't they already heavily compressed? If so, will compressing them further really result in any significant increase in space?
  2. Are there any files (such as files that make up the Windows OS) or file types that shouldn't be compresssed?
  3. Once the drives are compressed, how much overhead will there be if I try to access one of the files? In other words, will I have to wait longer to open various files (not just the AVI files)? How much longer?
  4. Can drives be compressed "in place" when they are nearly full? How much free space does the drive need to have for compression to be successful?
  5. Roughly how long would it take to compress a nearly full 750 GB drive?
  6. Are there any other 'gotchas' or consequences of compressing a drive that I may regret if I go ahead?
 

flavallee

Frank
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May 12, 2002
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83,113
Do NOT compress the hard drives!

Why are you still using XP SP2 and haven't upgraded to SP3(which was released over 3 years ago)?

If you have 2 - 750 GB hard drives full of personal data in that computer, you stand to lose it if one or both hard drives dies. Do you have it backed up in an external hard drive(s)?

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RhinoCan

Thread Starter
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
27
Do NOT compress the hard drives!

Why are you still using XP SP2 and haven't upgraded to SP3(which was released over 3 years ago)?

If you have 2 - 750 GB hard drives full of personal data in that computer, you stand to lose it if one or both hard drives dies. Do you have it backed up in an external hard drive(s)?

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WHY should I not compress the hard drives? What are the negative consequences if I do?

I initially stayed away from SP3 because I used to do tech support and we saw various customers run into problems with SP3. I don't even recall what the problems were at this point. Are you telling me that SP3 is safe?

Yes, I realize that I stand to lose important data if either drive dies. No I do not have anything backed up to an external hard drive. I simply can't afford that at the moment. That's why I'm thinking about compressing the data.
 

DoubleHelix

Banned
Joined
Dec 9, 2004
Messages
24,388
Television shows cannot be legally downloaded in AVI format, so whatever you have is probably an illegal torrent. That combined with a Windows OS that hasn't been patched in years means it's almost certainly infected. Upgrading to SP3 would likely cause major system problems.

Your most economic choice right now is to delete the illegal content taking up space. And start saving money for a backup drive. Any other change could cause data loss.
 

flavallee

Frank
Trusted Advisor
Joined
May 12, 2002
Messages
83,113
WHY should I not compress the hard drives? What are the negative consequences if I do?
Why NOT to compress the hard drive:

It is not safe to compress your hard drive. Hard drive compression was done with drive compression utilities in the very early days of computers because hard drives were so small and so expensive. It didn't work well then and it would work even worse now. The probability of corrupting your data is extremely high.

Compressing files on your hard drive will result in slower performance since they must be decompressed when accessed.

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