Chapter 17. The Disk Chapter

To make life easier for you, the terminology of objects on your computer screen precisely mirrors the terminology of the real world. You use the computer to create files, just as in the real world. You put those files into folders, just as in the real world. And you put those folders into filing cabinets

Well, OK. The metaphor goes only so far.

There is a term for the larger storage entity that holds all those files and folders, though: disks.

Nobody uses floppy disks anymore, and even CDs and DVDs are rapidly disappearing. But spinning hard drives are still cheap, big, reliable, and common, and SSDs (solid-state drives) are popular in laptops, despite their relatively high cost and small capacity.

In any case, this chapter is all about storage and disks: cleanups, defragmentation, compression, encryption, analysis, and management.


Some of the features mentioned in this chapter—dynamic disks, disk compression, and EFS (encrypting file system)—all require the NTFS file system on your computer’s disk drives. That’s probably what you’re using on your main hard drive, because Windows 10 requires it.

But many other kinds of disks—memory cards, flash drives, and so on—use the older FAT32 file system instead. You won’t be able to use NTFS tricks on them.

Storage Sense: More Gigs, Yours Free

Your PC sits at the unhappy pinch point between two opposing trends: the growing size of today’s files (videos, photos, music) and the shrunken size of our available ...

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