Windows makes extensive use of disk drives during startup and normal operations. You can often dramatically improve operating system and application performance by optimizing a computer's disk drives. You should focus on disk space usage, disk errors, and disk fragmentation. You might also want to compress data to reduce the space used by data files, freeing up space for additional files.
Data security is also an important aspect to consider when optimizing disk drives. The organization's data should be protected and stored in the most secure form possible.
With this in mind, you might want to consider converting (for Windows XP and Vista) file allocation table (FAT16 or FAT32) drives to NTFS file system (NTFS). Such a conversion enables you to take advantage of the Windows Vista user and group security features and then encrypt drive data once you do this. Data encryption prevents unauthorized users from accessing important files.
Disk maintenance tools, such as Disk Cleanup, Check Disk, and Disk Defragmenter, take advantage of new resource prioritization features in Windows. These changes enable these tools to run in the background and to take advantage of system idle time while running. As a result, users get a consistently good performance level even when background maintenance tasks are running.
Reducing Disk Space Usage
You should closely monitor disk space usage on all system drives. As drives begin to fill up, their performance and the performance of the operating system as a whole can be reduced, particularly if the system runs low on space for storing virtual memory or temporary files.
One way to reduce disk space usage is to use the Disk Cleanup tool to remove unnecessary files and compress old files. To eliminate the need to remind users to run Disk Cleanup, you can schedule Disk Cleanup to run regularly.