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Windows 10 reclaims wasted disk space through system file compression, elimination of recovery image

By Shawn Knight
Mar 17, 2015
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  1. windows microsoft storage compression disk space windows 10 system files recovery image file compression system file compression

    One of the chief complains about Windows 7 was how much space an installation required. Microsoft notes that a 32-bit installation needs at least 16GB of storage while the 64-bit variant commands 20GB. While not a massive amount of space in today’s world of 6TB hard drives, the impact is certainly more pronounced when using solid state drives and overall, it just feels a bit excessive.

    With Windows 10, Microsoft is implementing some nifty space-saving techniques that’ll free up valuable storage space (especially on mobile devices).

    windows microsoft storage compression disk space windows 10 system files recovery image file compression system file compression

    For starters, Microsoft has built an efficient compression algorithm to compress system files into current builds of its new OS. This frees up an additional 1.5GB for 32-bit installations and 2.6GB in 64-bit Windows.

    Before enabling compression of system files, Windows will consider several factors to determine if it’ll be worthwhile. Things taken into consideration include the amount of memory a device has and how quickly the CPU will be able to run the decompression algorithm. If the hardware can’t use compression without slowing the system down enough that the user will notice, then it won’t be used.

    Elsewhere, a revised Refresh and Reset function means that Windows no longer requires a separate recovery image. Depending on the make and model, a recovery image can range anywhere in size from 4GB to 12GB. Unlike the compression algorithm, however, this enhancement only applies to tablets, notebooks and desktops as phones already have a recovery solution in place.

    Image via ZDNet

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  2. Nima304

    Nima304 TS Guru Posts: 365   +81

    I like it! It's astounding how quickly storage space goes by when using an SSD. I upgraded to 120GB after red-lining my old 60GB SSD, and am upgrading to a 240GB SSD since I red-lined my current drive. Every little bit counts.
     
  3. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,167   +573

    You really don't want to be using system file compression with an SSD. It slows down reads and write as the OS has to un-compress and compress each file.
     
  4. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,505   +498

    I think that the complication runs when it has to rewrite compressed data, depending on how it works it could stress the SSD more than it could slow it, shortening the lifespan of the drive. Of course depending on how it works, so far it's only speculations.
     
  5. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    Not useful for me as I have Windows on my SSD and selected programs but data is saved to another drive.
     
  6. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,630   +431

  7. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,897   +940

    People are installing games that are 60GB+ on their SSD's and they're complaining that Windows takes 16gb?

    Sounds like it might be time to move back to an HDD. I rarely install or put anything on C so I only ever allocate 50GB to it. I have a 150GB raptor that I've been running for close to 10 years now that I only install games on and for long term storage I have 2 X 1TB WD black drives.

    What is everyone doing on their SSD's that 16GB for windows is becoming a problem? It seems like not accounting for that in the purchase is a little short sighted and not the fault of the operating system.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,664   +1,870

    They might not re-targeting all the BS that Windows drops on C:/...."My Documents", "My Pictures", "My Blah, Blah", "My Etc.", etc.,
     
    MonsterZero likes this.
  9. You can free space on your ssd by disabling hibernate, moving page file, moving your documents downloads etc folders and media. Moving your cache folders for your browser and other programs, moving your windows temp folders etc etc. 128GB is fine for an SSD imo 128-256 are the best capacities for average users.
     
    nickc likes this.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,664   +1,870

    We understand most of that but, are wondering how many people actually take the time and trouble to do it...:confused:

    I have a really ugly habit of downloading everything smack onto the desktop....:eek:.... (wait for it)....and then forgetting about it.....:oops:
     
    Timonius likes this.
  11. TekGun

    TekGun TS Booster Posts: 156   +17

    Why would you do that? the pagefile should be on the fastest drive for performance..
     
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,664   +1,870

    OTOH, for short read and write operations, the drive head may have to jump all over the entire radius of the disc. Those are usually the slowest operations in a HDD's specs.

    Although granted, those seek/write numbers would be much lower with an SSD.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
  13. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,704   +397

    Assuming you are talking about traditional HDDs, it makes a lot of sense to put your pagefile on a DIFFERENT physical drive than your OS drive. That way the HDD read heads aren't flying all over the place trying to access stuff for the OS and program files while also trying to write things into a pagefile. You'd have to have a much faster OS drive than your secondary (or further) drive to justify keeping the pagefile on the OS drive.
     
    nickc likes this.
  14. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Addict Posts: 227   +88

    Moving your pagefile on a system with 8GB or more of ram is useless if you have an SSD, besides you would actually be slowing your system down by putting it on non flash storage.
     

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