Top 10 Ways to Clean Up, Organize & Save Space On Your Hard Drive

If your computer is running slower these days, or freezes up when you have too many programs running, you might need to reorganize your hard drive. Even if your computer runs smoothly right now, it is still beneficial to know all of the space saving techniques that you can use to make sure your computer is clean, easy to navigate and in it’s best possible condition. Before you begin, take a look at the current disk space you are utilizing and how much free disk space you have available.

Go to “My Computer”

(PC Users) Right click on “C Drive”

Go to “Properties”

In the General tab, it should give you pie chart and information regarding the amount of free space currently available on your hard drive. If your free space is less than your used space, it is important that you make sure you are maximizing your computer’s performance by cleaning up your disk. Here is a list of ten ways to clean up, organize and save space on your computer’s hard drive.

1. Save space on your hard drive: Disk Clean Up

In the “Properties” dialogue box that you checked out by right clicking your “C Drive” folder, again, go to the “General Tab.” Click on “Disk Cleanup.” After this function has scanned your computer for available space, it will present you with another dialogue box. Here, you can view the files that are currently available to be deleted without causing problems on your system. These types of files include: Temporary Internet Files, Recycle Bin and can even compress your older files. You can click on each item, and view a brief description of what their purpose and reason is for being on your system. If it says, “You can safely delete these files” definitely check mark these items. The other items you will have to use severe discretion, as once they are deleted they will not be available again. After check marking the files you want to delete, click on “Clean up.”

2. Save space and organize your hard drive: Defrag your Computer

In the “Properties” dialogue box that you checked out by right clicking your “C Drive” folder, go to the “Tools” tab. Click on the “Defrag Now” button and your computer will analyze the space and information on your hard drive. After this, it will let you know if you need to defrag. If it recommends that you defrag, go ahead and do this. Nothing will be deleted, but your computer will maximize all the information it has on it by reorganizing the files.

3. Save space on your hard drive: Delete old or unused Program Files

Go to your control panel; Open up the folder entitled, “Add or Remove Programs.” Your computer might take a couple minutes to list your currently installed program files. Once it compiles the list, look through it and observe carefully the amount of space each program is taking up, how often you use each program, what company the program was downloaded from, and the name of the program. Do not delete any program that you aren’t aware of its use. It could possibly be a very important windows program that you aren’t aware is running to ensure proper computer functionality. But, if there are old, unused programs that you do not plan to use any longer, or do not need, go ahead and remove these programs.

4. Save space on your hard drive: Invest in an external hard drive

External hard drives are a great resource for anyone and everyone. They provide a great way of saving space on your computer by allowing you to transfer old, rarely used files that you may want to access later, onto another hard drive that will store them safely. Another great use for a hard drive is for back up purposes. An external hard drive will not get a virus, so by transferring important files onto it; you are guaranteeing a safe back up of all your documents.

5. Save Space on your hard drive: Zip it up!

Zipping up your files is basically a way of compressing your files into very, very small files, while keeping them easily accessible if you ever need them. There are many ways to do this, but the most common and easy way is to use a program like “WinZip.” You can get a free version of this program at:

Winzip Archive Utility

It advertises as a free trial, but, between you and me, you never really have to purchase the full version. The evaluation version will work fine.

Good files to zip up are documents and files that are important, but you do not need to access very often. If you need these files at least once a month, don’t archive them, because it will become a hassle trying to open them back up all the time. Take the files you don’t need to use all the time, zip them up into pertinent folders, and delete the originals. Anytime you need to use the files, simply unzip the contents of the folders and enjoy!

6. Save Space on your hard drive: Save onto Data Disks

Saving files onto data disks is not the ideal scenario, as you can’t really fit all that much onto them, and they cost money. But, if you first zip the files up that you’re going to transfer onto the data disks, then you will be able to fit more information onto them. After that, you can go back and delete all the files from your computer. Personally, if you’re going to purchase data disks, and go through the trouble of transferring files onto them, it would be better to invest into an external hard drive. They will hold more information and be easier to work with.

7. Save Space on your hard drive: Music Files

Music files take up a ridiculous amount of space on your computer. By transferring these files onto an external drive, zipping them up, or burning them all onto data disks you will free up an exorbitant amount of space.

8. Organize your Hard Drive: Delete Files from your Desk Top

Having too many files on the desk top of your computer can feel cluttered and obtrusive. If you work on the computer, or use it for any time at all, you will feel all warm and fuzzy inside by deleting or moving the files from your desktop and putting them into files within your “My Documents” “Pictures” or other directories within your computer. It will also help you to access the files more intuitively and stay organized.

9. Organize your Hard Drive: Book Marks

This isn’t necessarily related to your hard drive, but it is refreshing to have a nice set of organized, well titled and descriptive bookmarks in the browser that you prefer. Open up your book marks, and properly title, organize in folders, delete unused links and view all your book marks. This will also take some time, but will probably save you time in the long run, by finding the sites you need right away and with ease.

10. Organize your Hard Drive: Delete, Rename and Organize your Folders

On your computer, the top tier of folder should be: My Documents, My Pictures, My Music, Program Files, Temp, and Windows (or whatever operating system name or designation is here.) There may be some others depending upon what you have downloaded onto your system, like PHP, APACHE or others. Under these folders, you should do your best to organize, delete, rename and prioritize your files so that you can access them as easily as possible, and as intuitively as possible. It may take some time, but it end up saving you time in the long run; instead of searching through your whole computer for a file or folder, you’ll know exactly where it’s at. Also, by doing this, you might find folders and/or files that you can safely delete. DO NOT delete any files or folders within your windows or other operating system directory. In fact, don’t even go in that folder unless you are an experienced operating system professional.

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Fast Charging Battery Research: Hot, Super High-Tech & Wowing!

Ever since mobile phones became popular, the importance of rechargeable electric batteries has been growing steadily worldwide. According to Wikipedia, in 2013, there were an estimated 6.8 billion mobile phones in use globally (including smartphones) and 97 out of every 100 people in the world owned at least one mobile phone. These figures include some of the poorest among us. While a large number of users do not go beyond making mere voice calls (and infrequent text messaging), the availability of free, excellent, easy-to-use ‘apps’ (or applications), that grow in variety and number by the day, is gradually drawing many in this category to become ‘core’ mobile phone users. Many people that use PCs as their primary computing device today, aware that PCs will cede their position of preeminence in the computing world soon, are also beginning to switch to smartphones. These factors are expected to lead to a 35% increase in the number of smartphone users by 2020 (or 9.2 billion users, globally).

As smartphones become thinner, lighter, smarter, use larger displays and so on, they are also turning more power hungry. Thus, the critical need for high-capacity, super-fast charging batteries that may be recharged a large number of times before being trashed, for the success of future smartphones.

There are other important applications as well, that depend on fast charging batteries for their well-being. One is the much-feted electric vehicle (EV) industry. Users expect battery recharge time to be comparable to the time it would take to fill fuel at a gas station today i.e. of the order of about 4-5 minutes. Another highly important application is in smart grids – those intelligent electric power management stations, where inputs of electricity and outflows to users are managed. Large-capacity, fast charging/ draining batteries are required to store surplus energy (whenever input exceeds demand) and release it whenever there is a deficit. Somewhat less critical, nonetheless important, are fast charging batteries used in smart watches, smart homes and personal health devices (PHDs).

A couple of years ago, it had become unmistakably clear that Lithium-ion batteries (the best battery technology in use presently) would be grossly inadequate for future requirements. There is such a wide gap between Li-ion technology and the projected battery of the future, that it became quite obvious that nothing short of a “quantum leap” (or revolution) in battery technology would suffice. That is why, while it hadn’t yet come out in the news, feverish and frenzied research had been launched in many leading University & Corporate R&D centres to find that exalted battery technology of the future with features such as: charge time in the order of a few minutes or even seconds (wow!), lower weight (going all the way down to half in the case of EV batteries), greater capacity, safety (no electric fires and explosions reminiscent of the 2013 Boeing 787 mishaps to expect!), significantly lower cost, easy handling and cycle times in thousands and ten-thousands!

To think of achieving a “quantum leap” in technology in 1-2 years’ time would have left many in the scientific community, dumbfounded in the recent past. But now, things have changed! Man, having advanced the frontiers of scientific knowledge by unprecedented leaps&bounds in recent times, today’s researchers, sitting at the very pinnacles of scientific knowledge, seem to offer highly promising solutions at the mere drop of a hat!

So here’s a line-up of the most promising technologies that are undergoing research at the time of writing this article. (Note: Fast charging battery research is currently flooded with many alternate technologies competing for the No.1 spot. Being so numerous, the author has not attempted to present an exhaustive list. Instead, the list below represents the best of the whole lot, in his opinion.)

ALUMINIUM-GRAPHITE TECHNOLOGY (view Reference Nos. 2 & 4 for more details):

At the top of the list is Aluminium-graphite technology that is being developed at Stanford University, USA. It is wowing due its 1 minute (yes, 60 seconds!) charge time. While its capacity is about half of Li-ion, it more than makes up for this shortcoming by its unbelievable charge time. Compared to Li-ion’s life of about 1000 charge cycles, Aluminium-graphite lasts at least 7,500 cycles. It is much safer than Li-ion too – researchers say that even if you drill through it, it will not catch fire!

ALUMINIUM-AIR TECHNOLOGY (FOR EVs) (Reference Nos.1&2):

In the Aluminium-air (Al-air) battery, oxygen from the air is used in the cathode and consequently, a separate oxidizer is unnecessary. This type of battery has energy densities that could supply an EV with as much of power as to put it on par with its gasoline-powered counterparts. The range on a single, full charge is about 1000 miles! A couple of recharges may be all that you need if you drive up to 2000 miles a month!

What is wowing about this battery is that it is just half the weight of the current Lithium battery. With half the weight of the battery gone, you get much more payload to carry passengers & goods (Note: The battery is by far, the heaviest component of an EV. In the Tesla Roadster, for example, the battery contributes to about a third of the total weight, so that the weight saved i.e. one-sixth of the total, is considerable).

ALUMINIUM-AIR TECHNOLOGY (FOR EVs) (Reference No.2):

This is a different type to the Al-air technology discussed above. Wows because it runs on water (ordinary as well as sea water) and has 40 times the capacity of Li-ion!

NANOTECHNOLOGY-BASED FAST CHARGING (Reference No.5):

StoreDot Ltd., an Israeli high-tech company into fast charging batteries will soon be coming out with “FlashBattery for SmartPhones”, a universal smartphone charger. The company uses proprietary organic compounds created/manipulated using nanotechnology.

What makes it wowing? It can recharge any phone, regardless of make or model, in one minute’s time (max)!

Apart from phones, the charger can be used to charge wearables, PHDs, tablets and the like. However, there’s a catch – although proven, it isn’t commercially available yet! It may take a year from now before it becomes available in retail stores.

StoreDot will also be offering “FlashBattery for EV”, a fast charger for electric cars soon. This product is slated to charge a car battery in just five minutes!

FAST CHARGING OVER RADIO WAVES (Reference No.2):

In this technology, electrical power used for charging is transmitted over radio waves.

Not very wowing, except that it’s wireless and charges from a distance up to 20 feet. And there is a catch too – it isn’t immediately available in the market.

ORGANIC FLOW TECHNOLOGY (Reference No.2 & Wikipedia):

Developed by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), organic flow technology generates electricity using an organic substance, AQDS (9,10-anthraquinone-2,7-disulphonic acid) as the charge carrier.

It wows us by cutting 97% of (battery sourced) electricity production cost – while metal batteries provide 1 KWh of power at $700, organic flow batteries give you that much power for just $27!

NANOBATTERIES (Reference Nos.2, 6 & Wikipedia):

Nanobatteries are fabricated from “nano” sized batteries (i.e. of sizes in the range of 10 raised to -9 metres). “Nano” batteries are created by placing two electrodes in a tiny hole (or “nanopore”) in an electrically insulating membrane or metallic compound (like aluminium oxide) separated by a thin insulating film. A large number of “nanopores” are fused together to form a full battery.

Anything superlative about them? Yes! Nanopores are so tiny in size that they are not visible individually. They can hold up to four times the energy of Li-ion and charge to full in 10 minutes. Besides, they have a lifespan of about 1,000 charge cycles.

NTU’s LITHIUM-TITANIUM DIOXIDE TECHNOLOGY (FOR EVs) (Reference No.7&Wikipedia):

This is a technology breakthrough from Singapore-based Nanyang Technological University (NTU). By changing the graphite cathode found in Li-ion batteries to a low-cost gel made from titanium dioxide, NTU claims to have developed an ultra-fast charging battery that charges to 70% of its capacity in two minutes! Apart from the two minute charge time, what is wowing is its extraordinary lifespan of 20 years.

Primarily targeted at electric vehicles, the lifespan factor of the battery is expected to considerably reduce costs that would otherwise have arisen on account of frequent battery replacements.

NOTE: As mentioned earlier, fast charging battery research is an evolving field presently crammed with several alternate technologies that are promising. Technologies based on metallic foam substrate, silicon, sodium-ion, urine-powered microbial fuel cells, solar, hydrogen, candle soot and several others that are under R&D were bypassed while making the above list, which the author believes are the best of the lot. One notable omission is Meredith Perry’s “over the air charging” technology, that uses electricity transmitted via ultrasound for charging. A much-awaited, highly-feted technology till a short while ago, it apparently failed to pass recent evaluation tests so that it had to be dropped from being considered.

References: (Cut+paste of link into your browser is required to access Reference Nos. 3 through 7)

1. Jeffrey Marlow, “The 10 Hottest Fields of Science Research,” The 10 Hottest Fields of Science Research | Wired, http://www.wired.com/2013/08/the-10-hottest-fields-of-science-research/

2. Pocket-lint, “Future batteries, coming soon: charge in seconds, last months, and charge over the air,” Future batteries, coming soon: charge in seconds, last months, and charge over the air – Pocket-lint, http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/130380-future-batteries-coming-soon-charge-in-seconds-last-months-and-power-over-the-air

3. ScienceDaily,”Batteries Research,” Batteries News — Science Daily, sciencedaily.com/news/matter_energy/batteries/

4. Stanford University, “Aluminum battery from Stanford offers safe alternative to conventional batteries,” news.stanford.edu/news/2015/march/aluminum-ion-battery-033115.HTML

5. StoreDot Ltd.,”FlashBattery for Smartphones,” StoreDot What We Do, store-dot.com/#!smartphones/c1u5l

6. Ars Technica,”New battery composed of lots of nanobatteries,” | Ars Technica, arstechnica.com/science/2014/11/new-battery-composed-of-lots-of-nanobatteries/

7.Nanyang Technological University, “NTU develops ultra-fast charging batteries that last 20 years,” News Detail, media.ntu.edu.sg/NewsReleases/Pages/newsdetail.aspx?news=809fbb2f-95f0-4995-b5c0-10ae4c50c934