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Windows NTFS Compression Before & After

Windows’ NTFS file system is getting a bit long in the tooth.  Developed jointly with IBM until they parted ways with MS to create their OS/2 operating system back in the late 1980s, it was used for even early versions of Windows, though I don’t recall being aware of it until Windows XP.  A useful feature of NTFS, though, is its ability to compress files, folders, and even your entire hard drive to free up disk space when you’re running low.  Back in the days of 20GB hard drives (and smaller) it proved quite useful, and I can honestly say that when I recently purchased a 3TB backup hard drive, I never thought I’d need to compress it.  But when it started filling up with backup data I decided to see just how far NTFS compression would go.

The Seagate Barracuda 3TB 7200 rpm drive on a USB 3.0 connection required around 1 1/2 days to complete the operation and you can see the results for yourself: 7GB saved and 72GB freed up.  Not sure how that works, but there it is.  I’m inclined to ignore the”used space” figure and go with the other 🙂

Before Compression

After Compression

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Mike | February 6, 2013 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    I’m a *HUGE* fan of NTFS compression! I’m very cheap with my harddrive space. My first DOS machine came with a 10 meg harddrive. Long live that Tandy 1000 EX! 😀 My next machine had a whole 102meg drive, and I was in heaven!

    I’ve just recently bought a 3TB external, and am amazed it supports NTFS file system since NTFS has the 2.2g size limit.

    To squeeze EVERY last byte out of my drives, I also format down to the 512byte size limit. Those people who claim that drive space is so cheap it’s not worth worrying about never had to use floppies to backup!

    If I didn’t want to store 3tb of space on my drive, I wouldn’t have bought one that size!

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