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Thread: Disk Compression. Need Information.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Madison, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,052

    Question Disk Compression. Need Information.

    Hey Gang,

    As some of you know, I resurrected a POS (piece of sh__) 486 for the kid recently. Don't know quite what he did, (he's new to 'puters) but the harddrive with the system on it went belly up. Oivay! I originally had two small drives in it, because of the old bios, etc.. Don't really want to upgrade the bios at this point.

    Anyhoo, the only harddrive I can get my hands on right now is the remaining good drive, a 341mb WD Caviar. I plan to upgrade the bios and throw a larger drive in it someday, but for right now this drive will have to suffice. All he needs at this point is an OS, ISP and a few older games.

    BTW, anyone know where I can get at least a 2mb or more, ISA video card? It has a 1mb Speedstar 64 in it right now and even with the latest driver, webpages are hard to read. Yep, have messed with the fonts, etc.. Anyway, since this POS is older than dirt, alas, I have no PCI slots. But, I digress.

    Was wondering about the advantages/disadvantages of disk compression. I plan to first install WIN95, AOL (hey, don't laugh so damn hard) and a few games. Then, I was tossing around the idea of compressing the remaining free space so as to gain some.

    I am new to disk compression so any insight would be appreciated. Is it easy to un-compress a drive? Will I be able to install software on it once the drive is compressed without any hassles? If need be, will I be able to re-format in the future?

    All these and a few I haven't thought of yet, are questions I have for the disk compression educated among you.

    So let me have it. Will I regret it? Will I jump up and down with delight?

    Tanks a rot.

    Cheers,

    Big Blue 66
    This space reserved for highly intelligent observations and witty remarks.


    Effort & Courage are not enough without Purpose and Direction.

    ---- Auther Unknown

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    B'more Md- usa
    Posts
    3,560

    Smile

    Hey BB_66 !!

    to be honest.. the only thing I know.........is when I got my 1st pc (an old 486dx) the one thing he (my local computer 'guru') was 'adamant' about was no disk compression. He never said why..

    great luck to u on it tho

    ------------------
    "Remember u r 'unique'... just like everyone else!"

    [This message has been edited by sea69 (edited 02-07-2001).]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
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    Without having the book handy I can only give sketchy info, but disk compression is not highly recommended. It does basically work, creating extra drive space with a small drive, but is prone to errors, and actually creates corrupt files.

    What disk compression does is create a virtual host drive that contains all the data on yur hard drive in one compressed file. As I'm sure you're aware, the occasional corrupt file does sneak in despite our best efforts. When that happens, the one corrupt file is also stored in the compressed volume, which is everything on the hard drive in one file. So to et rid of or replace the one corrupt file, you often have to start over from scratch.

    If you happen to delete a file on a compressed drive and have to undelete it, the first few lines of the file will often end up corrupted, written over by garbage characters. That might not be a serious problem with a non essential text file, but how about that video driver?

    Windows also warns that you should not create a permanent swap file on a compressed drive, in reality it's not a good idea to have a temprary swap file there either.

    I've seen compressed drives that work fairly well, my GRiD 386 has a 40MB Seagate that was compressed, with DOS on it, and seemed to work fine. I formatted it and started over, just in case. It's waiting for a larger drive, which will happen if I ever get my van fixed and manage to find gainful employment...

    Check CSO, they often have drives under 540MB, normally used, and a bit expensive for drives that old and small, but where else can you find one? For example right now 300-400MB drives are listed for $19 plus shipping. Fujitsu 4.3GB drives are $79...so the smaller drives aren't really a great deal.

    You might also check around at local resale shops, auctions, etc. No telling what might turn up.

    ------------------
    Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines!
    Note: Please post your questions on the forums, not in my email.

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    Why do I drive way out here to see the wildlife when all the animals live in town?

    Note: Please post your questions on the forums, not in my email. Otherwise I may sic my armed bear on you!

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Madison, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,052

    Thumbs up

    Hey thanks, guys. You have successfully talked me out of it. I wasn't too keen on the idea in the first place. Glad I asked about it.

    Update: I did manage to rat around the 'puter graveyard at work and found a 848mb Quantum Trailblazer. Installed it last night and I am now good to go. That should be plenty of space for what software the kid needs and still have room for a swap file.

    Hey Pete, seems your van has been broken down for quite some time now. Maybe I should come down, with a case of beer of course, and we could fix it up quick. I thought I saw in a prior post somewhere that you have the parts for it now. And, that it has been cold down there. Don't blame you a bit for waiting for warm weather. Nothing worse than having to work on a car wearing so many clothes that you can't move. Oh, and I can't do a damn thing with gloves on. Anyhoo, sure hope you get up and running soon Pete. Sure appreciate your input on this forum, but I have read inbetween the lines of your last couple of months' posts and it seems you are going a little stir-crazy? Or is it just my imagination? Well anyway, good luck with that project.

    Cheers,

    Big Blue 66
    This space reserved for highly intelligent observations and witty remarks.


    Effort & Courage are not enough without Purpose and Direction.

    ---- Auther Unknown

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Yeah, stir crazy would describe it pretty well...Van has been down quite a while mainly due to lack of funds, it broke downn while I was looking for a job, transmission chewed up 2 gears, and about $800 in parts isn't easy to come by when unemployed, or actually partially employed, with an income of $200/month max, normally closer to half that. My sister sprung for the rebuild parts, now I have to pay the charge card off when I get back to work...

    Everything's done but the pressure plate, which has to wait till I get my next check, got tranny in, bolted up, tried it to find the old pressure plate is too weak to disengage the new clutch plate. The rest is done, only thing I can do now is wait...

    Funny you should mention going stir crazy, I was thinking this morning as I logged on I need to get OUTTA here...Only time I've left the house in about 2 months was to do a short job, and pick up parts...I have taken a few long walks...weather has been great the past few days, been cleaning up the yard and getting the garden ready, staying outside as much as possible, and of course soon as I can pick up the pressure plate it will turn cold and nasty, and I'll have to install it in a drizzle at about 37...

    Thanks for the offer, but all I can do at this point is wait about another week, and all anyone else could do is hand me tools anyway...

    Glad you got the old thing running again, sounds like the drive you got should do fine, just remember to set cache and Temp Internet files to minimums, and watch the free space, keep it at least 50MB, I try to go for 100MB if possible. Win95 will run on 50MB, I kept about that on my 486 for ages and had no trouble. I was running a 340MB C drive and a 85MB for storage. Needless to say I didn't download much...But with 50MB free space it never had any trouble at all.

    ------------------
    Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines!
    Note: Please post your questions on the forums, not in my email.

    Computer Information Links
    Why do I drive way out here to see the wildlife when all the animals live in town?

    Note: Please post your questions on the forums, not in my email. Otherwise I may sic my armed bear on you!

    My Photography

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