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organising ideas for hard drive

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  • organising ideas for hard drive


    I'm planning to reformat my hard drive as it is such a mess and the frequency of the crashes that are happening recently.

    So I'll have a nice clean machine. Does anyone have any hints or tips how I should organise this nice clean drive with all my files.



  • #2
    Organizing Hard Drive.

    The first step to organizing your hard drive would have to be getting rid of software that you do not need and files that you no longer use. Many times crashes occur because we have overflooded our hard drive with documents, pics and programs that we knowingly or unknowingly download.

    1. Run a scan with FREE Lavasoft's Ad-aware and then FREE Spybot to detect any strange worms, malware or spyware that may be causing the crashes. Delete any bad bugs found.

    2. Co to your control panel and then to add or remove programs and remove any programs that you don't use, etc.

    3. Delete files in Word, Works, Excel, etc. that you may not need.

    4. Delete Pics that use up too much space or just save them on to a cd or disk.

    5. Then create main organized folders in My Documents: Home, Office, Fun, Kids, etc. and then subfolders within them to place your documents.

    6. Also organzie your favorite places on your internet browser.

    You could probably get this done in a few hours. Hope I've been of some help.


    • #3
      Nia's suggestions are good ones, but only if you're not planning to do a reformat. You are, so there's no need to heed those suggestions.

      In My Documents, maybe you could have one folder per Project. That way, anything digital could be stored there and you would know where to find it.

      Obviously, Music folders and Picture phots (which are placed by default if you're using Windows) would be helpful, but not necessary.


      • #4
        Since you are planning to reformat your hard drive, I would suggest that any programs you install are placed in a single folder (the "Program Files" folder is the default for most versions of Windows.

        Similarly, I would keep all documents in a single location, like the "My Documents" folder. I have sub-categories under here that make sense for me, based on the general categories of information.

        I also have a folder called "Projects", which has sub-folders for each project with electronic files. This works like the physical project support folder. Even if there is another logical place for a file to go, I still use the project folder. Once the project is completed, I review the files and re-sort or archive them as necessary.


        • #5
          A Scheme and its Underlying Rationale

          My laptop's 30gig hard drive's org scheme was devised PRIMARILY with 4 things in mind: 1) automated defragging chores; 2) automated backups, using HandyBackup(.com << creates individual zip files rather than employing a proprietary scheme); 3) searchability and 4) "months later" access helpful to my (periodically AWOL) memory. I do NOT use the default "C:\Program Files" for installation purposes, b/c it's too much of a PIA **for me**, on the continuum, to deal with that structure within the stated contexts. Nor do I ever use My Documents-- that thing just encourages (**for me**) a long-term mess. In other words, since I had been so poor at consistently conducting PC maintenance chores in particular, with resulting frequent PC hiccups, I elected to create an organizational scheme to better accommodate regularly scheduled maintenance. Turns out it was time well spent, as my laptop continues to run like day 1, despite close to 2 years of near daily use, which includes experimenting with all sorts of trial programs.

          _______ The overview structure ________
          Used instead of C:\Program Files ("C" is named "CoolApps"):
          C:\Apps-MM (multimedia)
          C:\Apps-WP (all text-focused apps)
          D = "DLs-PDA"
          . . . . . (only 2 lead/parent directories)
          . . . . . . . . \DLs (downloads)
          . . . . . . . . \Palm
          . . . . . . . . \Palm\Apps_Mine
          . . . . . . . . . . . (all 3rd party Palm apps I installed via an exe installer)
          (E = CD/DVD)
          F = "Files-Data" (see below)
          G = "GoofyWinVM"
          . . . . . (WinXP's virtual memory cache)
          H = "Handy-Dupes"
          . . . . . (exclusively for HandyBackUp's zip files, which
          . . . . . mirror the source, per the directory structure
          . . . . . it creates during the backup process)

          Because of this lay-out, it is unnecessary to defrag areas just holding programs, since the file layout doesn't change dramatically with usage. Instead, the weekly automated defrag covers only the D and F drives, which I am convinced is the #1 reason behind my system's overall continued stability.

          _________ Keeping a Handle on DownLoads _______
          Freebie NetTransport handles all my pdf, exe, zip, etc downloads. It's auto-generated logs tell me the source and precise hard drive location of each download. Therefore, I don't need to daily back up that (sizeable) D:\DLs area. Web Pages are saved/converted as pdf, iSilo or Repligo, depending on subject matter and what I plan to do with it. More frequently than not, I elect instead to just grab snippets of web pages, via freebie Cogitum CoCiter (, which includes searchability and always retains the source URL. Bottom-line: I do not print out anything from the web.

          _________ The Main Data Drive "F" _________
          The main directories under F:\ =
          . . . . . (most pdf files are searchable, via Adobe Acrobat's "import"/"print to pdf" + "Capture" features)
          . . . . . (temp holding area for scanned receipts, etc; I kill paper whenever possible)
          . . . . . .(customized settings for various apps; if the app didn't allow me to pinpoint
          . . . . . . where to save the settings, I forced it via manual registry tweaks -- rationale:
          . . . . . . backup settings daily; NetTransport logs; CoCiter Notes)
          . . . . (receipts, monthly creditor/bank statements, software reg codes in pdf files, completed tax forms, etc--)
          . . . . . main directories here:
          . . . . . . . F:\Accounts\Codes_Reg
          . . . . . . . F:\Accounts\Correspondence
          . . . . . . . F:\Accounts\Creditors
          . . . . . . . F:\Accounts\Receipts
          . . . . . . . F:\Accounts\Taxes
          . . . . . . . F:\Accounts\Warranties
          . . . . . . all = plain text files, typically in the form of
          . . . . . . . . . LastName-First_2004-03.txt.gz OR
          . . . . . . . . . (category)_2004-03.txt.gz
          . . . . . . auto-named + created/updated at server, immediately upon send/receipt, per sender/recipient
          . . . . . . .or category. (Text files are ftp'd to this area at end of month, for searchability with free
          . . .. . . . txt searching apps.) Mail itself is simultaneously pushed to my portable device immediately.
          . . . . . . Entire scheme created with freebie procmail.
          . . . . . (work-related client files, including research)
          . . . . (notes taken with my Logitech pen, so I can toss paper & FIND stuff later via the built-in search component)

          __________ The BackUp Scheme ____________
          Since the only data likely to substantially change frequently, which I consider crucial, = stuff under
          . . . C:\Apps-Fin
          . . . D:\Palm
          . . . F:\
          . . . the registry files (<< via a HandyBackUp plug-in)
          that's all I've arranged to auto backup daily. Everything else gets a fresh back-up quarterly, since I can always just reinstall apps if hassles emerge during the interim.

          Start to finish, it took a couple of weekends to devise and implement (PartitionMagic-- too lazy to reformat) the scheme. A $20 app, File-Ex (, makes it kid's play to ALWAYS store files in an organizationally consistent manner. Finally, as for GTD matters, that lives in my PalmOS device, exclusively in one app, which has a desktop component. (Note Studio)


          • #6

            PamG, that's INCREDIBLE!!

            I read your post with a mounting feeling of the supernatural. I can't believe how similar we are!

            My setup differs from yours in details, but all of the following are things I have already done myself:

            * NOT using C:\Program Files - YES! I hate it when all my apps are mixed up with the huge mysterious edifice of the Windows O/S.

            * NOT using "My Documents" (which I think should be called "Your Documents" anyway - I actually renamed "My Computer" to "This Computer". I think Microsoft's version of grammar is deplorable).

            * Using an entire drive for data, to simplify backups

            * Using an entire drive for the VM swap area (I have mine on a secondary hard drive whose only other role is for backups, on the assumption that the VM will function more efficiently if it is using an otherwise idle device)

            * Only defragging the data, not the static stuff like apps.

            * Scanning receipts - and also official forms before I send them in.

            * Keeping app settings in the data area so they are backed up - but I still have one or two that I couldn't tweak, so I have to back up some of the System or App drives - a real pain. App developers take note - make EVERYTHING configurable please!

            Things that made me think again:

            * Acrobat's indexing - what a fantastic idea that is for indexing everything. I'll look into it - thanks!

            * ZIPped backups - I tried this before and gave up on it because there was a 2Gb limit (I have large files sometimes that need backing up, as I collect raw audio from old tapes etc.). I might reconsider it - I'll be checking out HandyBackup right away.

            I'll also take a look at those little apps you mentioned, they sound useful.

            Every time I get a new PC I start fresh and come up with some new wonderful system that's going to work this time. I only read GTD a month ago, so now I have a chance to find the single scheme that works. You've given me some good ideas. Thank you!