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Chapter 10. Organizing Your Files > Compressing Files to Save Space

Compressing Files to Save Space

Big files pose special storage problems. If you have a large collection of high-resolution digital pictures, music files, or video clips, you already know that they can take up huge amounts of storage space. If you’re not careful, in fact, these collections can completely use up that hard disk that once seemed so big. In addition, these oversize files are difficult to copy to floppy disks and pose special problems with e-mail. Many ISPs set limits on the size of file attachments, and a digital snapshot can easily exceed those limits. Not to mention the havoc that file attachments create on the recipient’s end: Sending even one or two digital pictures as file attachments can fill up the other person’s Inbox and prevent them from seeing any further messages. And if they’re using a dial-up Internet connection, they won’t be too pleased to find that it takes an hour to download your message!

Windows XP includes two built-in features that allow you to compress individual files, groups of files, and even entire folders so that they occupy less disk space. On a drive formatted with the NTFS file system, you can use NTFS compression to make more efficient use of your disk drive space. You can also use the Compressed Folders feature to store files more efficiently using the popular Zip format.


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