Got Small SSD As A System Drive For Windows 8? Here Are Some Tips To Free Up Some Disk Space For Your SSD!

Samsung SSD 830 Series 128Gb 2,5" SATA

Samsung SSD 830 Series 128Gb 2,5″ SATA (Photo credit: Tolbxela)

If you got a small SSD as the system drive, you know how annoying it’s to see it’s being filled up quickly right?  Nonetheless, there isn’t anything you can do about it to stop Windows from eating up SSD space, especially if you’re using Windows 7 and 8.  Still, there are several things that can keep your SSD system drive sane by doing few things as followed…

Disclaimer:  I’m not going to be responsible for your actions in case your computer caught on fire or data were smashed into the oblivion.  You have been warned, and so only trying these tips out if you’re knowledgable (and able to own up to your mistakes).

  1. Use CCleaner (only download on its official website or reputable websites to avoid fake CCleaner software which could be a malware or virus) — to clean up the cache, temporary files, and other unnecessary cluttered data.  Furthermore, you can also use CCleaner to clear up erroneous registries.  This software alone is able to help you free up a lot of space in your system drive (i.e., C:\)
  2. Use Windows’s built-in Free Up Disk Space utility.  This way if CCleaner missed anything this Windows utility will help clean out the rest.  Nonetheless, I don’t think CCleaner will miss anything unless you had specified specifics data not to be cleaned by CCleaner.  So, this step is rather redundant if you ask me.  To access Windows 8’s built-in Free Up Disk Space utility, you gotta do this:
    1. Accessing the Charm bar on the rightmost side of the monitor as you’re facing it
    2. Click on search icon to access the search box
    3. Type in the search box with Free Up Disk Space
    4. Select Settings link underneath the search box
    5. Click on Free up disk space by deleting unnecessary files link/icon on the left panel
    6. Select C: drive
    7. Follow the self explanatory steps afterward.
  3. You can also save many many Gigabytes of disk space if you turn off hibernation for Windows 7 and 8.  If I’m not wrong, Windows 7 and 8 usually reserve the same amount of hard disk space to RAM size for hiberfil.sys if you had disabled pagefile feature.  Otherwise, Windows 7 and 8 usually assign some disk space to pagefile.sys and a lot of disk space to hiberfil.sys — adding these two files together would equate the RAM size.  So, let say if your system has installed 8 GB of RAM, then it’s agreeable that Windows 7 and 8 have also reserve around 8 GB of disk space to be used for hibernation through the file known as hiberfil.sys (i.e., if pagefile.sys isn’t existed).  The best way to disable hibernation and recover this 8 GB or how many GB worth of disk space that might be, you have to do this:
    1. Accessing the Charm bar on the rightmost side of the monitor as you’re facing it
    2. Click on the search icon to access the search box
    3. Type in the search box with cmd
    4. Right click on the Command Prompt icon/link
    5. Look at the bottom Charm bar and click on Run as administrator icon/link
    6. Type into the command prompt the command:  powercfg -h off
  4. Furthermore, you can also reduce the pagefile size to free up even more disk space (i.e., for SSD which acts as system drive).  It’s not recommending to do this since Windows 7 and 8 can crash if the system runs out of memory (i.e., RAM) and cannot access large enough pagefile.sys file.  Nonetheless, I myself had reduced the pagefile.sys file size to only 1% of the SSD disk space, recovering some disk space in the process.  I figured that my system got amble amount of RAM (16 GB to be exact), therefore I went ahead and reduced the pagefile.sys file size.  I don’t think my system can ever be out of memory unless I crazily run too many RAM hungry programs at one go.  Nonetheless, I did not disable pagefile.sys completely, because to have some paging is better than not having any.  Having some paging might be able to prevent system crash when the system is out of memory.  When a system goes into paging mode, the system will be very slow.  Whatever the case, here is how you reduce your Windows 8’s pagefile size:
    1. Accessing the Charm bar on the rightmost of the monitor as you’re facing it
    2. Click on the search icon/link
    3. Type inside the search box with Advance system settings
    4. Click on View advanced system settings link on the left panel
    5. Select System Protection tab
    6. Highlight C: drive
    7. Click on Configure button
    8. Slide the Max Usage slider in the appropriate manner to reduce the pagefile size
    9. Click OK button to save everything and exit this feature.

With following the tips I just shared, you might be able to recover a lot of disk space from your SSD.  I was able to recover around 40 GB worth of disk space from my SSD (i.e., which acts as system drive).  In the process I was able to shrink my C: drive to allow me to add an additional partition for dual booting Windows 8 and Ubuntu 13.04.  Awesome isn’t it?  Of course, the extra partition on SSD isn’t capable of holding Ubuntu system’s home directory and various other directories (i.e., in long term use), but I got lucky as I also had an extra hard drive to spare.  Nonetheless, you only need 5 GB worth of disk space for installing Ubuntu 13.04.  In my case I have 5.7 GB worth of disk space of doing this, and so I assigned 700 MB for swap drive, the rest was for root directory.  The extra hard drive would be for /home and /var directories for the Ubuntu system.  Why only 5.7 GB worth of disk space to spare on SSD C: drive when I claimed that I recovered around 40 GB worth of disk space?  Well, Windows 8 didn’t allow me to shrink SSD C: drive to the point that I could use all the 40 GB data free disk space, because some of the original data might not be moveable and had sprinkled to certain supposedly data free regions of the SSD, consequently the surrounding data free regions of the SSD were not available for partitioning.  In the end, I could only partition SSD C: drive with an extra 5.7 GB partition.

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Had Ditched Spotify, Was With Xbox Music, Now I’m Back With Spotify Again But Still Using And Loving Windows 8 Ecosystem

Spotifys huvudkontor på Humlegårdsgatan

Spotifys huvudkontor på Humlegårdsgatan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A month after I quitted Spotify, now I’m back with it for my music listening pleasure.  A month ago, I ditched Spotify for Microsoft’s Xbox Music as I bought into the idea of a more coherent Windows 8 platform ecosystem.  Unfortunately, Xbox Music was a frustrated experience.  Fortunately, I like the Windows 8 ecosystem still, but my love affair with Windows 8 ecosystem just have to do without the Xbox Music experience.

Xbox Music experience was bad for me, because it was hard to have the playlist on my HTC 8X Windows 8 phone to sync correctly with the one on Windows 8 PC and creating playlist was a pain through Xbox Music app.  Furthermore, Xbox Music suddenly refused to play any music in my playlists even though I had one more day of free trial subscription before the whole free trial subscription period would end accordingly.  I would have stuck with Xbox Music by subscribing to its monthly fee payment structure, but the last straw was about how Microsoft did not train their customer support departments well on how to deal with Xbox Music errors, whether the Xbox Music errors found on the smartphone or the Windows 8 PC.  I experienced this first hand as customer supports would transfer me back and forth between the Windows 8 and Xbox customer support departments, but in the end my question and problem would not be resolved.

I thought I would have gone for weeks on end without being able to listen to awesome music on my smartphone since now I’m no longer using iPhone 5.  Instead of iPhone 5, I’m using HTC 8X Windows 8 phone.  I like HTC 8X Windows 8 phone a lot, because it got Windows 8 operating system.  I think Windows 8 operating system is way cooler than the stuffs that make up Android and iPhone operating systems.  Nonetheless, without great music experience, it was painful for me.  Luckily, Spotify came to the rescue.  Spotify app, a beta version nonetheless, is now available in Windows 8 phone app store.  Like a thirsty person that was in a desert, I was too eager to download Spotify app on HTC 8X and paid up roughly around $10 per month for premium plan with Spotify.

The great feeling of being able to listen to whatever music I want and not having to be frustrated by the creation and syncing of playlists is a wonderful thing.  Now, I’m listening to Spotify again whenever I’m in my car, at home, and elsewhere.

I think Microsoft needs to have dedicated teams within their Xbox Music department to make sure Xbox Music does well.  If I’m Microsoft, I would want to imagine that Xbox Music — a core service among core services within Microsoft complex — is a company of itself, just like Spotify, and so the teams that build Xbox Music can be dedicated enough to see things from the ground up, to make sure that Xbox Music will be just as easy and a pleasure to use as Spotify.  After all, Xbox Music does carry the substantial amount of music that form the core of the whole Xbox Music service.  Unfortunately, content fulfilling isn’t enough for some people like me, because a clunky Xbox Music user interface in terms of creating and syncing playlists and weird Xbox Music errors do push people like me away from the service.  Furthermore, bad customer supports on Xbox Music do not help to alleviate but only enhance the Xbox Music problems.

In conclusion, I think Xbox Music needs to be better, and I think Microsoft has the resource to dedicate such a task.  Windows 8 ecosystem is great, but I think people will appreciate more if Xbox Music is a part of Windows 8 ecosystem greatness.  Thanks to Spotify, I like to stick to HTC 8X smartphone a lot longer.  There is one downside with Spotify at the moment is that it doesn’t work well with Windows 8 PC.  Why?  I experience that Spotify refuse to quit or to have its process to be terminated once you launch it on Windows 8 PC.  Furthermore, Spotify tends to crash too frequently on Windows 8 PC.  Perhaps, some people have better luck with Spotify on Windows 8 PC, but I don’t.  Some people’s answer to Spotify problematic issues on Windows 8 PC by launching Spotify on a Windows 7 virtual machine (i.e., installing Windows 7 on a virtual machine that runs on Windows 8 PC).

We Need Google Fiber Sort Of Broadband Service Providers In Town To Boost Business Opportunities And Customer Experiences

Backup Backup Backup - And Test Restores

Backup Backup Backup – And Test Restores (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, broadband upload speed is nowhere near the speed that is desirable for people to backup their digital contents to third party backup service providers or I should say doing backups to the cloud.  I’m using Crashplan backup service provider, and it seems that it took me ages to backup my Windows 8 PC — containing 500 GB worth of data — to Crashplan’s cloud with AT&T U-verse 3 Megabit per second upload speed.  On the sort-of opposite spectrum of doing backups to the cloud is doing backups to a local network’s backup device or devices, and it turns out Crashplan software is doing so much better, like way better, when it backups the 500 GB worth of Windows 8 PC data to a NAS (network attached storage) and external hard drives.  Basically, at the moment, I see that Crashplan shows that it’s 97.2% done with a backup for Windows 8 PC to a NAS, 54.1% done with a backup for Windows 8 PC to an external hard drive, and 10.2% done with a backup for Windows 8 PC to Crashplan’s cloud.  So, I think you get the gist why doing backups to the cloud is super tedious and slow.  It really does take ages.

If one day Google Fiber ever comes to my town, I will definitely see doing backups to the cloud as a positive thing.  For now though, 3 Megabit per second upload speed is definitely too slow for me to do a backup from a local network to the cloud for 500 Gigabyte worths of data.  Imagine people who have like Terabytes worth of data, I wonder how would they feel if they have to do backups to the cloud.  With faster broadband such as Google Fiber, I believe the cloud with become even more popular.  If the cloud is not too expensive for people to store Terabytes worth of data and Google Fiber type of service is readily available, I don’t see how people would not find this combination a super delicious one.  Yummy bandwidth and data redundancy if we care not about the possibility of data leak from a possibility of weak computer security in the cloud.  Of course, don’t forget to encrypt whatever data when such data are to be stored in the cloud, yo?

I’m just talking about doing backups of data only, but obviously any faster broadband which is in the league with Google Fiber offers more than just the upload essential, because Google Fiber type of download speed (i.e., Gigabit per second bandwidth) can also bring more opportunities to people and businesses alike.  Just imagine the possibility of having Google Fiber type of broadband connection… more households may be able to enjoy playing games, streaming movies, listening to music, surfing the web, watching Internet TV, video chatting over the Internet, shopping online with enhance experience (e.g., interactive media shopping experience which allows people to use video chat and 3D interactive contents), and a lot more at the same time.

With such amazing possibilities — that I had mentioned — float to the surface of the pool when faster broadband gets deploy, we can definitely see modern businesses that rely on the Internet for revenues will see faster broadband a positive thing and a must thing to have.  For the people who are the consumers of all Internet and digital things, they  might be even more addicted to the Internet since they can do more all at once.  Imagine the fantastic feeling of a big size family when Google Fiber sort of broadband service provider is coming to town, the family will definitely not have to take turns to consume all Internet and digital things.

What About Weave? Can Weave Be An Alternative For Flipboard? (Video)

If I hadn’t found Weave on Windows 8 App Store, I would not have be able to enjoy reading news on my HTC 8X smartphone.  So, I’m glad I did!  Anyhow, you can check out the video right after the break in which I talk briefly about Weave and provide a brief demonstration of Weave.  Enjoy!!!

HTC 8X Locked Up, Screen Died, But Soft Reset Brought It Back To Life

By now, I’m not sure which is the main culprit that causes both Lumia 920 and HTC 8X to lock up itself.  It might be the hardware, software, or both!  Anyhow, but at least with HTC 8X, soft reset does help bringing back the smartphone to life.

The story goes, I replaced Lumia 920 twice (the second time was swapping out Lumia 920 for HTC 8X) as soft reset or hard reset could not jolt the smartphone back to life.  For no reasons at all, Lumia 920 just turned off itself even though its battery was fully charged.  The turned off part was partly true since its Bluetooth function was working still, but everything else just went off the grid.  Today, HTC 8X locked up the same way, and I was not able to bring the touchscreen to life even though I did not shy away from using the power button at the top of the smartphone to its full potential.  Luckily, the soft reset for HTC 8X does work!

How did I soft reset HTC 8X?  What I had done was holding down the volume button before holding down the power button until I see the HTC welcome screen came up, and then I released both buttons altogether (doing all of this while HTC 8X was hooked to the micro USB and being charged by the USB port from a PC).  AT&T is the mobile carrier I’m with, therefore after HTC welcome screen went away AT&T logo would show up.  I thought I had erased all the data and reseted HTC 8X back to the manufacturer settings, but I was glad that HTC 8X just rebooted itself and retained everything I had before (i.e., apps, data, etc…).  Usually, if you had done a hard reset, you would see the same HTC welcome screen and AT&T logo, but apparently soft reset is doing the same thing.  So don’t panic about your data if you have to do a soft reset on your HTC 8X, OK?  Obviously, if you haven’t allowed HTC 8X to back up your data frequently to the cloud, I’m afraid a hard reset would just wipe everything you got on the smartphone away.  It will be a hassle if this is going to happen, because you have to reinstall everything you got before.

I really do hope Microsoft and their Windows 8 phone partners get the act together.  They need to release either a software update or do a recall on the smartphones that they know are affected by this problem, because it’s a frustration for smartphone users like me to experience frequent smartphone lockup.  So far, I only experienced one lockup with HTC 8X, but it had only been three days since I got it.  If you had read about my experience with Lumia 920 on previous posts, Lumia 920 original and the replacement would lockup after two days of normal activities.  Worse, I got no luck with hard reset and soft reset when using Lumia 920.  I’m going to hang onto HTC 8X for a little longer unless soft and hard reset refuse to work when HTC 8X locks itself up again.  If you’re using HTC 8X or Lumia 920 or any other Windows 8 smartphone and experiencing the same thing as I do, please feel free to comment.  You can also share good experience about Windows 8 smartphone in the comment section, because people deserve to hear both sides of the story.

Lumia 920 Failed Me Second Time; Black Screen Problem Returned; Now I’m With HTC 8X

LR4-Retouched-D3200-Lumia920-In-LaundryRoom-1I must be one of those unluckiest Nokia Lumia 920 users out there!  After I got the replacement for Nokia Lumia 920 smartphone, the same problem that failed me the first time resurfaced with the replacement one.  The funny thing was that the replacement took just roughly the same amount of time before it failed just like the first one had, and this meant it took only two days for the replacement to go bad.  If you don’t know what on earth I’d just spewed, you can always take a quick hop to my previous post (Lumia 920 Failed To Work After 2 Days; Black Screen And More…) to catchup with my Lumia 920 bad luck.

Nonetheless, I will do a quick recap anyway.  So,it took two days before the replacement failed to turn on its screen.  I think the majority people would know that when a smartphone’s screen isn’t turning on, the smartphone which relies on touchscreen would be rendered as useless.  You would not be able to make a phone call without having a functional screen to start out with.  The funny part with Lumia 920 replacement was that its Bluetooth functionality worked just fine even though its screen was dead.  No amount of hard reset or soft reset would revive the screen as I had tried.  To make a phone call, I had to run into my car, turned the engine on to allow the entertainment system to jolt up, and then Bluetooth would kick in to pair with the Bluetooth system within my car so I could make a phone call through the car’s navigation system.  My car’s navigation system has a (touchscreen) screen — not a multitouch screen — which links to the Bluetooth function that relays the output to the smartphone.  This means I can use the navigation touchscreen as if I use a smartphone, but the smartphone itself has to do the calling.

Perhaps, there are people who find their Lumia 920 to perform just fine without the problem that I encountered twice on mine, but I had enough of Lumia 920 hassle and so I said goodbye to it and joined the HTC 8X crowd.  After all, my intention is to use Windows 8 smartphone ecosystem and stay disconnected from iOS ecosystem since iOS ecosystem was where I had come from.  With HTC 8X, I’m achieving this very objective which Nokia Lumia 920 had failed on me.  Two days had passed, and I’ve yet to experienced any black screen on HTC 8X.  I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that HTC 8X won’t face the same kind of problem.  I’m betting on HTC 8X for it to be a different brand from a different smartphone maker might just help me put away the black screen problem for good.  If HTC 8X will do this for me, it means Windows 8 OS might not be the big culprit in destroying the Lumia 920s (i.e., the first and the replacement that I had in my possession before).

To tell the truth, I like Lumia 920 better than HTC 8X, but I only like it when it works and not otherwise.  When it works, I love it!  I like the feel of Lumia 920 in the palm even though the registered weight of Lumia 920 does make one’s hand to feel so much more heavier in comparison to the weights of other smartphones.  So when it works it feels great, but when it dies it feels like a brick.  Anyhow, when Lumia 920 works, it does have several nice features that HTC 8X doesn’t possess.  What?  Let see, the Lumia 920 does have wireless charging, Nokia owned navigation software, better camera with Lumia 920 unique camera settings (allowing customizations of ISO, White Balance, etc…), better screen resolution (not by much but still — 1280 x 768 vs 1280 x 720), and you can also use glove with the touchscreen.  With about the same price, I can get more memory space with Lumia 920 since the HTC 8X only gives me 16 GB worth of memory space for the price of 32 GB worth of memory space on Lumia 920.  Unfortunately for us folks who use either Lumia 920 or HTC 8X, because we cannot expand the memory of the device since these two devices do not support microSD memory card.

In conclusion, I wish my encounter with Lumia 920 was a great smartphone experience, but it was bad to the point of rendering itself useless.  It works great when it does work, but when it does not it feels like a heavy brick.  It got all the features that I wish my current smartphone, HTC 8X, would carry.  Anyhow, the point of me writing this piece is to be honest about how I feel of Lumia 920.  Sure, this might not matter to anyone, but it matters to me since I did couple videos on Lumia 920.  I had uploaded these videos on EssayBoard YouTube channel, and I had praised about how awesome some of the features Lumia 920 is carrying.