Sunday, 12 May 2013

Freeing Up Diskspace On Windows 7 For Your SDD

Disk space isn't really a problem anymore with cheap one terabyte hard drives commonplace. I have upgraded my computer to use a solid-state disk they are not cheap nor are they large, but a computer now loads at half the time.

Of course I also like games to load as fast as possible, so I put them all onto the solid-state drive. I filled up the 223 gigabytes in about a week. I couldn't be bothered to uninstall them and reinstall them all to my terabyte drive F.

It can be a bit of a pain to determine what is taking up space with Windows 7 so I download a program called Tree Size Free. There is a professional version that you can pay for but it is not needed.

This will scan your computer and show you what is taking up all the space. It was mostly videos and pictures. I moved all these files to my F drive, but my F drive has quite a lot of directories and it can be a pain to find the video or picture I want. Windows 7 has this library function. With documents, pictures, music and videos all having their own libraries. I thought this was a waste of time where I first saw it, but it can save you time.

Click computer, this will bring up a window to the left see libraries click videos. Where it says video library at the top, underneath you'll see a link includes 1 location, click on 1 location. This brings up the change how your library gathers its contents window. On the right you will see add and delete buttons, click add, browse to your movie folder - can be on any drive - click include folder. Now your video folder is three clicks away. All the other libraries work in a similar manner.

So now I have enough space to install Bioshock Infinite - no I don't. I see these two files taking up huge amounts of space on my C drive hiberfil.sys. This important sounding file was 6 GB. Hiberfil.sys is used by the hibernate function to take a snapshot of all the data that is in your RAM at the time your computer goes into hibernation. It is always the same size as your RAM.

If like me you never use the hibernate function it can be removed using an overcomplicated process. Click Start open the Control Panel, if your Control Panel items are categorised click System and security then click Power options, otherwise just click Power options. This has a number of preferred plans. Next to whatever plan you use is a link change plan setting – click it. There are two drop-down boxes at the bottom are two links, click the one that says Change advanced power settings. Click the plus button next to sleep, click allow hybrid sleep, click on and select off. Click apply then ok. The hiberfil.sys file should have disappeared.

You can also go to the command line and type “powercfg.exe -h off” (without quotes). The command line window can be found by clicking Start, All programs, Accessories, Command prompt or by typing cmd into the start menu search bar.

I saw that the Windows directory was also taking up a lot of space particularly one directory called winsxs. I clicked on this directory and it looked like it was full of a lot of junk. There is a way to greatly reduce the size of this directory. Winsxs stores all the backup files from when service packs are installed.

Go to the command line and type “dism /online /cleanup-image /spsuperseded /hidesp” . Running this greatly reduced the size of my winsxs directory.

This works fine on my computer, but in my experience Windows machines can be a bit flaky. Something that works fine on one machine can seriously screw with another - so follow this at your own risk.

Bioshock Infinite is a great game by the way.

Monday, 6 May 2013

TED - 10 Top Tech Tips

TED is one of my favorite websites it always has something cool / educational / funny / exciting or all of the above to watch. In top 10 time-saving the tech tips David Pogue shares with us some things that we all should know. I am ashamed to say there are some that even I didn't know - how do you learn if nobody tells you? That's my excuse anyway.

If you have never been to TED have a look around. There is lots of great stuff on the site with talks ranging from education, science, technology, design, economics and almost everything else. What you won't find are talks promoting pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, religious zealotry or “new age fluff”. TED is a way to share good ideas with potentially millions of people.