Silly progress bars with almost comical user feedback seem synonymous with Microsoft Windows, but this has to be the craziest estimation I’ve ever seen. 16 months to apply compression to a 250GB hard disk drive on a fairly powerful Vista Ultimate SP1 machine:
The drive has 221GB of ISO DVD images (mostly MSDN / Operating Systems / Linux Images) and software code backups. The images are already compressed but I figure that I could be economical by squeezing every last drop out of this drive using Vista’s own drive compression technology. In order to compress a disk drive you need to select the drive’s properties (right clicking the drive does the trick) and select the option “Compress this drive to save space”. Leave your machine on for a couple of years and if your drive hasn’t melted, you’ll probably save a few Gigabytes. Note: I do NOT recommend compressing your main system boot drive as the contents must be decompressed on the fly before they can be read; this can make your entire system perform badly.
Assuming the compression has been completed by August 2010, I’ll let you know how much space I saved 🙂