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Approx. 924 words xp disk Maintenance Tools

(Approx. 924 words)

XP Disk Maintenance Tools


By Dick Maybach, Member of the Brookdale Computer User Group, New Jersey

http://www.bcug.com/

N2nd(at)att.net

Windows disk operations have improved greatly over the years to the extent that we seldom have problems with XP. However, XP does include tools to inform you about your disks, to improve their operation, and, if needed, to repair the data on them.

For general information on your drives, use the Disk Management tool – right-click on My Computer; select Manage; and select Disk Management (under Storage). You will see a table showing the properties of all your partitions as well as a graphical summary. Select a volume in the table or on the graphic, click on the Action menu item, and then click on All Tasks to see a list of the actions you can perform. Be careful, as some of these are drastic and irreversible, e.g., format and delete the volume.

If you suspect that a hard disk is corrupted, double-click on My Computer, right-click on the desired drive, select Properties, select the Tools tab, click the Check Now… button in the Error-checking section, and click the Start button. This will run an updated version of the old chkdsk. Don’t select either of the options. If you do find problems, run the program again, but before you click Start, select Automatically fix file system errors. You may have to reboot for the operation to complete. Also, be aware that this may result in the loss of some files. If there still errors, run the program again, but select both options. (You can also run this program from the command line; type “chkdsk /?” in a Command Prompt window to see the options. I prefer the command-line version, because it’s more informative.)

With time, Windows collects many unneeded temporary files. To clean these up, double-click on My Computer, right click on the desired disk, select Properties, and click the Disk Cleanup button under the General tab. Windows will take a few minutes to analyze your disk, and then will display a list of actions and how much space each will recover. You can single-click on each name to see its description. I select everything except the last two (Compress old files and Catalog files for the Content Indexer). Clicking the More Options tab shows other ways to recover space by removing Windows components, removing installed programs, or deleting old system restore points. Under the General tab, you will see two check boxes, Compress drive to save space and Allow Indexing Service to index this drive for fast file searching. By default, the first is not checked and the second is; don’t change these. Large disks are very cheap, and if you are running low on space, a much better solution is to install a second disk and keep you user data on it. Compression adds complexity, and I’ve seen it cause serious problems.

With use, a disk gradually becomes fragmented. That is; long files are broken into parts and scattered over the disk. You can correct much (but usually not all) of this with XP’s disk defragmenter. Double-click on My Computer; right-click on the desired drive; select Properties; select the Tools tab; click on the Defragment now… button in the Defragmentation area; and click the Analyze button. Usually, you will be told that there is no need to defragment the volume. If so, take the advice. If you do decide to defragment the disk, bear in mind that there is a small risk of destroying its contents, since many files will be deleted and rewritten – a power failure could be catastrophic. Before you defrag a disk, run chkdsk or, even better, back it up.

A little-known command-line utility is fsutil. To run this first open a Command Prompt window (found in the Accessories group), then type “fsutil” to produce a list of fsutil commands. Usually, you will have to stack up several fsutil commands to do anything useful. For example, typing “fsutil dirty query c:” will show you whether you need to run chkdsk on C:. It can be worthwhile to explore the other features this command, being careful of course that you don’t make any changes to your file system.

The recover command will make undamaged portions of a damaged file readable. For example, to recover the damaged file c:\n2nd\junk, open a Command Prompt window and type “recover c:\n2nd\junk”. Like most command-line programs, you should be careful when using recover.

A very powerful command-line program is debug, but you can do a lot of damage with it if you are not an expert; I recommend that you avoid it. If you are curious, type “debug /?” in a Command Prompt window to find out more about what it can do.

The NTFS file system is superior to the older FAT32 one. If you are still using FAT32, seriously consider converting it to the NTFS format. For example, to convert your C: drive to NTFS, open a Command Prompt window and type “convert c: /fs:ntfs”. There are two caveats: (1) the conversion is not reversible unless you buy third-party software, and (2) if you dual-boot both XP and an earlier version Windows on the same PC, the old version can’t read NTFS volumes.

There is no restriction against any non-profit group using this article as long as it is kept in context with proper credit given the author. The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups (APCUG), an international organization of which this group is a member, brings this article to you.Дадаць дакумент у свой блог ці на сайт 2014-07-19 18:44
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