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  4. Low Disk Space? Time for a Spring Clean!

Your hard drive is full. You’re running low on disk space. You need more room on your computer.

Whilst they may sound different, they are in fact all the same issue. You’ve been putting it off, working around it and just generally avoiding dealing with the issue. It’s time to clean up your hard drive.

There are a number of solutions for this problem, both technical and non-technical. The first thing that we would recommend is to give us a call. We can run a quick disk audit, finding and removing unneeded programs and files, freeing up some of your precious hard drive space. Additionally, we can help you in finding the perfect solution for your storage problems. From purchasing an external hard drive, to setting up a network based storage solution and everything in between.

As always, please feel free to contact us for any assistance or to request our services. We’re always happy to help.

Running a Disk Audit

A disk audit is the first step in cleaning up your hard drive. During a disk audit, we will take a look through all of the programs installed on your computer. Typically, the programs installed were put there by the operating system, or are ones that you have put there and use. Occasionally though, there are things that you installed years ago and have long since forgotten about or have been installed by a third, typically as part of another installation. Additionally, we can expertly hunt down and remove any additional files that these programs may have left behind.

Next, we can clean up your computer’s temp files. This includes things such as old auto-saves, copies of email attachments and other files which are no longer needed. When done regularly, this clean-up recovers around 1 to 3GB of space. Whilst this may not seem like much, these files can build up over time, slowly filling up your drive. As an example, we once had a client for whom a clean-up managed to recover a whopping 360GB of space.

Finally, we will do one last look at how all of your data is being stored, most of the time, the majority of data is stored in your personal folders. Using this information, we can determine if and further action is necessary. We will then work with you to create an ideal solution for you.

Creating More Space

Even after a disk audit and cleanup, you may still find that you’re low on space. There are a number of different solutions available, each one with its own benefits and drawback. Regardless of which one is best for you, we can help you make it a reality.

External Hard Drive

This is probably the simplest solution to set up, purely in terms of time spent to space recovered. That said, what you gain in simplicity and ease of setup, you may lose in ease of access.

To implement this solution, simply purchase an external hard drive, plug it in, and copy all of your data across. Once the data has been copied successfully, you can safely delete it from your hard drive. This is a very simple solution and only presents a single issue. You can only access the data when the external drive is plugged into your computer.

This solution is best for storing data that isn’t used every day. By using an external hard drive for archiving data, you can maintain your old files without cluttering up your computer.

Network Attached Storage

Similar to an external hard drive, a Network Attached Storage device, or NAS, allows you to store your data externally. The only difference is, a NAS is connected to a network, rather than to a single computer by a cable.

Like an external hard drive, data can be transferred onto a NAS and then deleted from your computer. Unlike an external hard drive, you can access your data whenever you are connected to the network. Additionally, anyone on the network can be given access to the NAS and to the files it contains.

This is a great solution for when you want multiple users to access your archived data. By storing your data on the network, you, and other users who have been given access, can conveniently access it at any time. Additionally, a NAS could be set up with multiple folders. This allows for multiple users to clean up their hard drives and store their extra data in the one, easy to access location.

Setting up a NAS can be a bit tricky if you haven’t done it before, but we are more than happy to do it for you. Once we’ve set up the appropriate user permissions and folder structure, we can come in and connect it to your network. In this way, we can achieve the best result for you, while causing the least disruption possible.

Upgrading Your Hard Drive

If you don’t like the idea of external storage, the other option is upgrading your internal storage. Depending the computer, this can be done in one of two ways.

Firstly, in a desktop computer, you can install an additional hard drive. This simple, yet effective method works in a very similar method as an external hard drive. The difference is that, as an internal drive, it is always plugged in.

Secondly, in both laptops and desktop computers, you can upgrade your original hard drive. This involves a process known as cloning, where we effectively migrate everything from your old hard drive onto a new, larger one. In the case of desktop computers, we can then put the old hard drive back into the computer as an additional internal drive.

The best part about this method is that the only difference you’ll see is a whole lot more space. Depending on the size of the original drive, the cloning process can be a time-consuming operation. As such, not only do we offer onsite hard drive upgrades, but we can also collect your computer and drop it off again after completing the upgrade.

So, what now?

Well, now that you’ve read through this article, you may have some questions. Primarily, should you be purchasing additional storage or not and if so, which option is best for me?

We always recommend giving us a call, so that we can develop a tailor-made solution for you. The best starting place is almost always doing a disk audit. Following on from that, we can look at the various storage solutions and figure out which one is right for you.

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