NTFS or New Technology File System has major advantages over FAT32 file system and one of the best features is the built in compression which can save you a good amount of space on your hard drive.
NTFS file system can significantly saves more space on your hard drive by compressing all files, folders or entire drive. One of the best thing is that when you use any file it will be decompressed automatically and when you finished working and close the file it will again comes in compression mode.
How to Enable Compression on Files and Folders
To Enable the Compression on file or folder right click on any file of folder in the window explorer and choose properties ->General->Advanced
In Advanced Tab you have to check the box which says “Compress contents to save disk space”
You can also compress the whole drive in the similar manner just right click on any drive and choose properties-> General-> “Compress drive to save disk space”. Every file and folder will be compressed on that particular drive. This process can take time depending on the size of the drive and number of files and folder it contains.
You can easily make a difference between the compressed files and decompressed files. In Windows XP compressed files are shown in blue. Sometimes you can’t able to see the blue color of your compressed files. In this case just open the windows explorer then choose Tools->Folder Options->View->Select “Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color”
Please don’t ever compress any log files on your computer because these files are used by your operating system and if they are compressed then it can hamper your computer performance.
In order to use the compression you have to change your drive in NTFS file system only then you can take advantage of compression.
Converting Your Hard Disk to NTFS File System
If you are using Fat32 on your hard disk then you have to change it in NTFS in order to use the compression. Window XP has built in command to convert a Volume from Fat32 to NTFS which is called XP’s convert utility. To convert a volume to NTFS, at a command prompt, type:
convert d: /fs:ntfs
d: is the volume or drive you want to convert.
Please remember that you can always convert from a FAT32 file system to a NTFS file system but you can’t convert NTFS to FAT32 because NTFS is superior to FAT32 and there is no backward compatibility. So always think before converting the volume into NTFS.