Author Topic: NTFS Compression  (Read 796 times)

Offline Chandler

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NTFS Compression
« on: Nov 29, 2003, 05:28 AM »
Windows XP is the first consumer level operating system from Microsoft which is capable of using the NTFS file system.  Everything in this guide also refers to Windows 2000.

NTFS is a far superior file system to FAT32 used in earlier versions of Windows, both in stability, security, performance (on larger partitions) and features.

One of the features that it supports is NTFS Compression.  This is a process of compressing the files on your hard drive, commonly older files that you no longer use, to free up disk space.  If you've ever used the Disk Cleanup Wizard in Windows XP, then you've probably already got some compressed files on your hard drive.

The performance hit from NTFS compression is virtually nothing when reading, but when writing, it can slow your drive down, and also increase fragmentation.  Therefore, don't compress your entire drive, or frequently modified files/folders.  Similarly, compressing large databases is also a bad idea.

Also, compared to DriveSpace/Doublespace on FAT16 drives, you're not putting your data at risk.  All files are still treated separately, they just take up less space (if compressible).  With DriveSpace, the whole disk was one large file, and if you got a bad sector developed, or one corrupted sector from IDE Controller errors, the entire drive was lost, with virtually no chance of recovery.

On a system with a slow hard drive and a fast processor, NTFS compression can actually make your computer faster, since less data needs to be read from the disk, but on a well balanced system you should see no difference.

I did find one problem, after compressing certain files in my Windows directory, I found that I was no longer able to connect to the Internet with my USB ADSL modem, so I recommend staying away from anything in the Windows directory.
« Last Edit: Nov 29, 2003, 05:30 AM by Chandler »