I used to have two hard drives on my desktop –a 60 GB, and an 80 GB. I used the 60 GB for Linux and the 80 GB for Windows. One problem I always had was utilizing all the disk space. It was much more than I need! I manage all my digital photos and music on my Apple iBook, and I do not write, nor save, many documents to my hard drive.
Several months ago, I switched to Linux (Fedora), and sold my 80 GB hard drive for petty cash. Yes, I securely “shredded” the data on the hard drive before I mailed it out, thank you very much. Life is going well on the Linux end, but there are some things that I really miss on Windows, particularly a quick fix of playing NHL 2004 and Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 for leisure.
Fortunately, I kept a 10 GB hard drive from my old PC that I disposed several years ago, as an emergency hard drive, just in case I ever needed it. I never used it for emergency purposes, and I considered using it as a doorstop on numerous occasions. Luckily, I didn’t do that, and I decided to do a fresh install of Windows XP Home Edition (with Service Pack 2) onto the drive. I also decided to install all the programs that I need in Windows onto the hard drive. To be “secure,” I decided that the system will not connect to the Internet.
Here is a list of all the important Windows applications I need:
- Windows XP
- WinXP Service Pack 2
- DVD Software
- Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Blender 3D
- Java SDK
- Microsoft Office XP
- NHL 2004
- Norton SystemWorks
- nVidia GeForce2 Driver
- RollerCoster Tycoon 2
- SSH Secure Shell (non-commercial)
It didn’t take too long to install everything listed above onto the 10 GB hard drive –considering most of applications listed are free: I downloaded and burned the latest version of them onto a CD beforehand.
Finally, I cleared out my temporary files folder(s), ran the routine spyware and virus checks just to be safe (even I am not connected to the Internet), and defraged my hard drive. All the applications were installed successfully onto the hard drive, and I had a good 4 GB left!
Now I can enjoy playing NHL 2004 and Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 again, as well as the peace of mind that I can fall-back or even resort back to Windows when I need to. What I learned: don’t waste computer products, such as an old hard drive; and you really don’t need a monster hard drive to do everything in the world that you want!