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Issue #141: April 4, 2010

Q: I have a simple system; Dell, 2.39GHz, 256MB of RAM and I run widows XP.  Everything runs great for my use, except Kodak Software for my pictures.  I download the pic’s, cut and paste them to the external hard-drive, delete the pics on the “C” drive if any, then go into Kodak Easyshare and delete the pictures there.  I am trying to get as much space on the “C” drive as possible.  But, everytime I download pics, it takes a little more room.  It seems everything is connected to the “C” drive; the smaller amount of space I have the slower everything becomes.  I currently have used 36.2GB of space on the “C” drive with 980MB of free space remaining.  I am at the point I can not download any more pictures, which I love to do.  I also have itunes on the “C” drive, but keep all music on the external hard-drive.  I do keep all pictures and music on the external drive with no problem. 

– Scotty L.
Fort Walton Beach, Fla

A: Scotty, you are correct that 980 megs is pushing the envelope of required hard drive space.  Your system needs to maintain some available drive space for internal housekeeping work, file swapping, and other stuff, and that is probably not enough.  However, I don’t understand what all your other drive space is being used for.  You said you delete downloaded pictures off the hard drive, and that you keep “all pictures and music” on an external drive, but you’re still using over 36 gigabytes on drive C?  That’s a pretty big chunk of hard disk storage!  Is it possible that all those files that you deleted are still sitting in the system Recycle Bin using up disk space?   Double-Click the Recycle Bin icon to see its contents, and it they’re still there, empty it.  That may take a while if you have 36 gigs of stuff in it.  If that’s not the problem, you’ll need to look elsewhere on the drive.  Navigate through the directories, and take note of the size and number of the various files.  It shouldn’t be difficult to track down what is using that much space.  Don’t delete anything if you don’t know what you’re doing though.  You could accidentally cripple your system.

By the way, one thing that jumped off the screen at me in your system configuration is your RAM size.  256 MB is pretty puny for a computer these days.  You should consider doubling it, or more.  If your system supports it, up your RAM to 1 or 2 GB.  Also consider replacing that old hard drive with one that has a larger capacity.  You can buy one in the 750 to 1000 Gigabyte range for under $100.  You’ll need to re-install Windows on the new drive, which is a bit of a chore, but will benefit you tremendously in the form of a nice clean registry.  You’ll also need to re-install any application software you use.  Again, this is a pain, but will tend to rid your system of any old software you no longer use, which means less drive space used.

TIP OF THE WEEK – Top Notch Local Entertainment:  This is a bit off-topic for my column, but I wanted to mention a fantastic show I saw last week at the closing night banquet of the National Association of Insurance Women’s Region III Conference, held at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.  The Soundsations Show Choir from Northwest Florida State College just blew us all away.  Don’t let the word “Choir” in their name fool you – this is a hard-charging, high-energy group of dynamic singers, dancers, live musicians, and stage techs, all from NWFSC.  You can see the Soundsations Show Choir for yourself in their Season Finale performance on April 29th at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center.  Visit for details and ticket prices.

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