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How to free up disk space on Windows XP

idlewis
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Registered: ‎20-01-2010

How to free up disk space on Windows XP

Hi
I am keep getting the message "Outlook Expess is going to compress to free up disk space .  It will take a few minutes" when I put the computer on.  How will I solve this this problem.
Thanks
12 REPLIES
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Re: How to free up disk space on Windows XP

How much free space do you have on your hard drive?
Have a read here http://www.thundercloud.net/infoave/tips/compacting/ for example.

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Re: How to free up disk space on Windows XP

With Outlook Express you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.  If you elect to compress your folders then you run the risk of the process going wrong and your stored emails being lost.  This is a particular risk if your computer is doing other things at the same time.  If you don't compress your folders from time to time they may become large and unwieldy with the risk that they become corrupt and you lose all your stored emails.
So wait five minutes until your computer is fully up and running then say yes, okay or whatever and wait the 10 minutes plus compression is likely to take.   
pierre_pierre
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: How to free up disk space on Windows XP

this is because it is again a place where info is stored, if you look at the Binary of the OE data file you will find a copy of all the deleted messages since your last compress
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Re: How to free up disk space on Windows XP

[quote=Strat]How much free space do you have on your hard drive?
This message has nothing to do with limited hard drive resources.

Some time ago I looked into the causes of this annoying message, and it turned out to be a hideous Microsoft bodge to overcome some extremely poor coding of the way Outlook Express indexes files.
From memory, if a long period of time elapses, or a large number of emails are received, then Outlook Express can lose track of it's messages.  So this annoying message was introduced so that the user would initiate a procedure that validates and re-indexes the Outlook Express environment.
It is recommended that you allow it to run (when prompted) to maintain reliability, and once run the message should not reappear for something like six months.
If you ignore the prompt, then it will frequently keep asking you until you eventually give in and just let it do it.
I don't recall ever seeing a registry patch (or similar) to shut it up, and as I said earlier, it was added to increase reliability of a poor piece of software.
Of course the real answer is to download a free and infinitely superior email client such as Pegasus Mail http://www.pmail.com/, or Thunderbird http://www.mozillamessaging.com/en-GB/thunderbird/, and ditch Outlook Express completely !
idlewis
Grafter
Posts: 245
Registered: ‎20-01-2010

Re: How to free up disk space on Windows XP

Quote from: idlewis
Hi
I am keep getting the message "Outlook Expess is going to compress to free up disk space .  It will take a few minutes" when I put the computer on.  How will I solve this this problem.
Thanks

Sorry it did not say compress it said "To free up disk space, Outlook Express can compact messages"  What does this mean?
[Moderator's note by Thomas (Be3G): fixed quote.]
pierre_pierre
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Re: How to free up disk space on Windows XP

whats the difference between compress and compact?
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Re: How to free up disk space on Windows XP

Generally -
"compress" means doing something to make the size of each individual file smaller.
"compact" means fitting a number of files into a smaller space than they would have taken individually.
idlewis
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Re: How to free up disk space on Windows XP

Is there anything to worry about?
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Re: How to free up disk space on Windows XP

[quote=idlewis]anything to worry about?
Probably not !
If you wanted to be ultra cautious then you might want to run Windows "Check Disk" first.
On Windows XP -
    Open the file manager by right mouse button click on the <start> button, and select "Explore" from the list that pops up.
    Again right mouse click on the line that has "(CSmiley" at the end, and select "Properties" from the bottom of the list that appears.
    At this point you should see a pie chart of disk usage, and as long as you have more than 2GB of "Free space" then you are OK.
    Along the top of the Properties window, select the "Tools" tab.
    In the "Error-checking" section, select the "Check Now..." button.
    Select both the "Automatically fix file system errors" and "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" boxes.
    Click the "Start" button in this window.
    When you get the message "The disk check could not be performed.....", click the <Yes> button, and this windows will close.
    Back at the "Properties" window, close it either with <Cancel> or the <X> button.
    If you have any other hard drive partitions  "(DSmiley", "(ESmiley", etc, - BUT NOT USB drives or CD/DVD drives, then repeat the above process until all the drives are done.
    Now restart you PC.
    It should now boot to a blue screen and proceed with the disk check.
    Now go and make a cup of coffee and go and do something else, just leave it alone, and after a while the machine will complete the checks and reboot to your normal Windows desktop.
Then answer YES when Outlook Express prompts you again, and hopefully it won't bother you again for a while.
idlewis
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Registered: ‎20-01-2010

Re: How to free up disk space on Windows XP

Thank you very much Purleigh
I pressed OK when asked about compact messages last night.
If your last reply still applies, I don't think need to worry.
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Re: How to free up disk space on Windows XP

I would be doing the disk check once a month anyway, or after ANY program crash or unclean PC shutdown.
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Re: How to free up disk space on Windows XP

Quote from: purleigh
...it turned out to be a hideous Microsoft bodge to overcome some extremely poor coding of the way Outlook Express indexes files....

That was a very nice and complete explanation, Purleigh.  The one thing you didn't mention is that you would be well-advised you not to ask your computer to take on other tasks whilst the compaction is going on.  Because the "bodge" doesn't function that reliably in itself and may not like being interrupted if other programs are running!