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Author Topic: BBC (Befuddled By Computer)  (Read 320 times)

Curelom

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BBC (Befuddled By Computer)
« on: April 14, 2017, 05:24:19 pm »
I have a general computer question that Iíd bet a bundle of other Nauvoodles could answer. It probably sounds dumb, but it has me baffled. ::)

On all versions of Windows, you can check your hard drive (or solid state drive, now) capacity by right-clicking the drive & selecting Properties. A box opens up showing Used Space, Free Space, & a Disk Cleanup button. When you select that button, the HD is scanned for temporary files, delivery optimization files, thumbnails, & other unneeded stuff that you can choose to delete to clear more HD space. I do this now & then, I guess the same way we sweep the floor now & then. My current laptop is a cheapie that I bought when I needed a quick replacement & it has only 30 GB, & much of that is occupied by programs & apps, so I try to be conscious of how much space I have.

My question is: Over time, I notice significant variation in the amount of free space on the HD, even if I am not doing anything that would seem to need much space. I may go for days without creating & saving anything big, but the free space can vary a half to even a whole GB, maybe more. More than once Iíve seen a sudden rise or drop of up to 25-30% from one boot to the next. Also, after I do a disk cleanup, I may end up with less free space than before. :-\

So Iím wondering if the very act of just using the computer, starting a draft that I never save, accessing the internet, etc. eats up that much HD space, & is there a remedy? (No, I donít want to reformat if I donít need to).
 

Roper

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Re: BBC (Befuddled By Computer)
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2017, 05:53:54 pm »
It's probably the page file.  Windows uses virtual memory in order to run applications in their own memory "space," which gives a lot of advantages to operating stability.  Commonly-used functions operate in RAM, which is super fast.  Windows moves lesser-used functions to the page file, which is space on your hard drive.  Unless you set a specific size and partition for the page file, Windows manages it dynamically.  If you have a limited amount of RAM, Windows shuffles more functions to the page file, where it reads and writes to the hard drive.  As your computing activities change, so does the size of the page file.

I hope that helps.  You can also google "page file."
 
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N3uroTypical

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Re: BBC (Befuddled By Computer)
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2017, 06:36:47 pm »
So Iím wondering if the very act of just using the computer, starting a draft that I never save, accessing the internet, etc. eats up that much HD space, & is there a remedy? (No, I donít want to reformat if I donít need to).
The answer is yes, countless things can eat up that much space, and yes, there is a remedy.

The remedy is to get over it and move on with life.  Disk space is no longer a premium, and hasn't been for a decade or more.

Look - a one Terabyte hard drive for fifty bucks: https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Cache-Desktop-Drive-WD10EZEX/dp/B0088PUEPK/ref=sr_1_3?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1492209142&sr=1-3&keywords=hard+drive

That's, what, five cents a gig?  Yep - it's time to move on and join the current century and just let windows eat it's gig here and there.  It's not the '90's any more, and life is good, computer-wise.
"Somebody should have set a match to this place long ago."
 
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Roper

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Re: BBC (Befuddled By Computer)
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2017, 07:02:22 pm »
My perspective is a bit different.  If I have something (like a cell phone, a computer, a TV, or even a pick 'em up truck) that does what I want, then I don't need to replace it.  My wife doesn't like it when I use that approach to clothes, specifically with garments.  She's been "prompting" me to order new ones for a few months, now.  I should probably do that.
 
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Curelom

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Re: BBC (Befuddled By Computer)
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2017, 12:23:49 am »
I tried adjusting the page file size, thinking to gain more HD space, but I found that I would run low on RAM too quickly. So I reset it back to the default. I think I need a new computer, or maybe start by plugging in my external HD. But that still doesn't solve the limited RAM, & it's a pain to take along if I want to take the computer someplace. This is a cheapie that I bought when I had to replace my previous one.

Meanwhile, I think I'll go have some ice cream.
 

dyany

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Re: BBC (Befuddled By Computer)
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2017, 09:57:55 am »
Curelom, have you tried doing a disk cleanup?  You'd be surprised at how much gunk builds up on your computer over time.

However, if you do decide to get a new computer, here is some advice:
1) my guess is that you don't do many video games or graphics editing programs, so most computers you can buy today would have enough RAM to do just fine for you.  I would shoot for 4GB or more.
2) Chromebooks and netbooks are popular and cheap.  But if you do ANYTHING beyond the internet, that requires any kind of software to be installed, you should avoid Chromebooks and netbooks.  Neither uses Windows or Mac OS, as they are all basically internet browser based.  If the software is basically a web app, you can use it on a Chromebook.  Otherwise, no. 
3) When it comes to operating systems, I recommend Windows over Mac for the simple fact that it is TONS cheaper, more versatile, and more software works with it.  Windows 7 is still good, but won't be supported for too many more years.  Windows 8 is BAD.  Windows 10 is fine.  Don't go with anything older than Windows 7, as all older operating systems are no longer supported.
4) You might just be surprised at how much faster and easy to use a new computer will be. :)
5) Used computers are okay, but I tend to avoid them most of the time, because either the person is getting rid of it because it is having problems, or it is old enough that its longevity is compromised.  Because technology advances so quickly and software demands more power all the time, companies don't have the financial incentive to make components that last for years and years; they are obsolete long before they wear out. 
6) The most reliable computer brands have varied over the years.  In general, right now the ones to avoid with your life are Compaq and HP (as well as the super cheap off-brands), and ones that tend to be more reliable are Asus and Lenovo.  Acer and Toshiba can often be good, but are erratic, and I've heard Lenovo is starting to slip in reliability.  To tell the truth, I often go to places like computer shops or Best Buy to 'talk shop' with the computer sales guys, just to get a feel for which brands tend to be more reliable currently.  I don't buy from Best Buy, though.  That is not something I recommend.

Hope this helps. :)
 
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JLM

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Re: BBC (Befuddled By Computer)
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2017, 12:11:59 pm »
C cleaner (formerly Crap Cleaner) does a pretty good job at cleaning up you drive.  Freeware version is good enough for most.

N3T is right that HD space is rarely an issue these days, but a clean HD does help a PC run a little faster.

Easiest remedy is to clear out all your web cache, run C Cleaner, then defrag the drive. 
 

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Re: BBC (Befuddled By Computer)
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2017, 04:21:53 pm »
If you do decide to get a new computer, Costco sells decent desktops and laptops at reasonable prices.
 
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