Need More PC Hard Drive Space


Q. My laptop has a two-gigabyte (Gb) hard disk, which I used to think was ample for my needs. But now I’m discovering I probably can use twice, and maybe even quadruple, that size. Short of buying a new laptop, what are my options?

A. You’ve got several options. Let’s begin with the no-new-hardware one. You can zip, that is, compress, files which you don’t use often. Pick up a copy of WinZip; it’s one of the best file-compressing applications you can find. It crunches a file to between 25% and 50% of its original size. You can download an evaluation copy at www.winzip.com . However, if you want more than file compression, consider ZipMagic. Not only does it zip and unzip (compress and uncompress), it does so on the fly, which means if you click on a file that has been compressed by ZipMagic, it will unzip automatically; you don’t have to stop and “uncompress” it before viewing it. For an evaluation copy, go to www.zipmagic.com .

Your other option is to buy an auxiliary hard drive that can plug into your laptop and any desktop. One of the most popular is from Iomega ( www.iomega.com ). The company produces several such drives. But the one I think is the most practical (because of its capacity) is the Zip drive. It’s about the size of a portable CD player. The model that’s been around for a few years can hold 100 megabytes (Mb) on a cartridge about the size of a floppy disk. Iomega just came out with a new slimmed-down Zip drive that can hold 250 Mb. Don’t worry about compatibility because the new 250 Mb Zip can read and write to the older Zip cartridges.

SPONSORED QUIZ

How well do you know small business?

There are over 30 million small businesses in the U.S., and many of them are optimistic in their outlook. Are you familiar with the obstacles and opportunities they are facing? Test your small business acumen with this quiz sponsored by Chase Ink®.

SPONSORED REPORT

In focus: Payroll

Providing payroll services that comply with ever-changing regulations and meet evolving employee and employer demands is no easy task. Paychex's Tom Hammond discusses common payroll considerations for CPA firms.