Do People Spring Clean Their Hard Drives?

Irish Gnomie Barry (aka Basement) writes:

Hey Chris,

I’ve been following your videos for a while and have only thought of mailing just now; wasn’t sure if you had a video on this topic.

I’m very busy with college and do most of my work on my MacBook, which I purchased in September. It has developed a little crack, but that’s another story and seemingly a common problem.

My desktop at home is XP Pro SP2, and at this point is more of a machine for chilling out than anything else. I do keep it relatively up to date, but as I’m so busy I don’t always get to mess around with it. The other day I started going through some folders and deleting things — junk, mostly downloaded bits of crap, old versions of updates, anti-spyware, etc. I deleted quite a few items. Fortunately I tend to download all of this to one or two main folders, so it’s easy to dump. I’m a bit less naive with things now, so I don’t download as much free software as before, but sometimes it’s amusing to find old versions of setups, etc. I did have a silly phase of hunting for things like mp3 converters, but I’m hardly bothered with that any more.

In terms of organisation, I think I’m OK at this. I tend to keep all my music in proper order. Same goes for college stuff; see below for an example:

C:\Barry\College\Psych\20072008\Admin Stuff
C:\Barry\College\Psych\20072008\Term II \Cognitive Science

I can imagine some people would think I’ve a ridiculous amount of folders and sub-folders, but I like the structure.

In writing this email I thought I was going to have a point — perhaps I don’t! However, do people spring clean their hard drives or simply do a periodic wipe and reinstall? What helps them organise things? Categories, or something else? I don’t have to worry too much about keeping the work on my MacBook in sync with my PC, so that’s not really a problem and I make regular backups of the former.

All the best and keep up the good work!

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Chris has consistently expressed his convictions and visions outright, supplying practical information to targeted audiences: media agencies, business owners, technology consumers, software and hardware professionals, et al. He remains a passionate personality in the tech community-at-large. He's a geek.

  • David

    I do all the above.

    I have my Start Menu Programs(XP), set into “groups” (aka… all graphic programs in a “grouping” called …. Graphics, etc..). I also have “one directory” just for my graphics, songs, docs, downloads..etc.(and within it, I have groups formed).

    In “short term”, I “get rid of” all unused programs, clean junk folders, transfer songs, etc onto my “backup” drive. Then I “check for errors” and “defrag.

    Once or Twice a year, I do a complete “clean and install” (using DBAN or the HD software (West.Dig. has bootable software)) to “totally” wipe the drive, then using my CDs to “reinstall”.