Compressing Old Files

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Hello, I would like to know the option(Compressing Old Files) which comes up during disk cleanup in win XP and win 2000. Is it good or bad? I mean, If I do the compression regularly will that effect my system/files in a long run? Is it same to that option (compress drive to save space) in disk properties? If I compress drive to save disk space will that create any problem during formating in future problem? Please have your advice on this. Thanks in advance.

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Hi there,
I have been working with PC’s for a long time and I have been compressing files through disk cleanup with no problems at all. When I re-format a machine I also have no problems. I would recommend you do this on a regular basis to keep your machine operational and responsive.

Compression does have some overhead to it, so it can at times slow your system down. Especially if you compress a file that is highly used by either a read or write process— for example IIS log files, SQL MDF/LDF datafiles, or Exchange database files.

Also keep in mind, once it’s compressed— it’s compressed, so you can’t compress it more. Additionally, compression on the disk does very little for already compressed files like zips, jpgs, etc.

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File compression is specifically designed to save disk space or free up extra space on your hard disk drive. There is nothing wrong with compressing your hard disk drive as long as you will use it just for compression purposes.

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  • Chippy088
    Compression is always something that is fleetingly touched upon at some stage of a systems life. Old file compression is used to make more disk space available by 'squashing the air out' of files that are no longer accessed on a regular basis. This is a good thing, because it frees-up space for saving more files, and also temp files like those created by the user application swapping out memory to disk when working on data files bigger than available memory etc. (This action of swapping-out is used by apps like wordprocessing etc.) BTW Checking for last change/usage is done by the prog, by comparing the file time/date stamp attached to a file each time it is saved, against system date which gives the time elapsed since last file change. This means it is possible to open, read and close a file without saving, daily for months, and the system will think that the last time it was used was the actual day it was last saved. i.e. lookup files saved at the beginning of the month which holds, perhaps, currency exchange rates used by accounts, is only updated when the exchange rate changes, but is referenced by apps daily. If you need to keep these files available, compressing is not a bad idea, if they are only referenced occassionally, if they are used frequently, they are decompressed 'on the fly' each time they are opened, so depending on the file size, compressiondecompresion could take up valuable CPU time if the file is read frequently. Not so good sometimes. Hope this helps you to decide whether the disk space saved is worth it.
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  • BinooDas1234
    Thanks all for their replies. I really appreciate. Actually I am bit confused with another option which is there in disk properties. i.e. compress drive to save disk space. Is there any problem with this in a long run? Compressing old files also compresses some of the system files in REPAIR and REGBACK folder. Will those files create any problem during registry back up and repair? Thanks for your valuable times.
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