The Windows 7 Disk Management tool provides a simple interface for managing partitions and volumes. Here’s an easy way to shrink a volume to free up space so you can create a new partition on your disk.

To shrink a basic volume, simple volume, or a spanned volume:

1. Open the Disk Management console by typing diskmgmt.msc at an elevated command prompt.

2. In Disk Management, right-click the volume that you want to shrink, and then click Shrink Volume.

3. In the field provided in the Shrink dialog box, enter the amount of space by which to shrink the disk.

The Shrink dialog box provides the following information: More »

The Windows 7 Disk Management tool provides a simple interface for managing partitions and volumes.

Here’s an easy way to create a new partition on your disk.

1. Open the Disk Management console by typing diskmgmt.msc at an elevated command prompt.

2. In Disk Management’s Graphical view, right-click an unallocated or free area, and then click New Simple Volume. This starts the New Simple Volume Wizard. (Note: If you need to create unallocated space, see the Tip Easily Shrink a Volume on a Windows 7 Disk for information on how to do this.)

3. Read the Welcome page and then click Next.

4. The Specify Volume Size page specifies the minimum and maximum size for the volume in megabytes and lets you size the volume within these limits. Size the partition in megabytes using the Simple Volume Size field and then click Next. More »

Have you ever run out of battery power on your mobile PC during a meeting or a class? Have you worried about running out of power while waiting to meet with a client? Have you asked yourself how much longer your battery will last? Sufficient battery life is a persistent challenge for mobile PC users. But Windows offers several ways to help maximize the battery life of your mobile computer.

In this article, I’ll discuss how to take advantage of Windows settings to manage power more efficiently. I’ll also introduce some non-software related tips that you can use to extend battery life.

Optimize your power settings

Windows 7

Windows 7 has two default power plans:

  • Balanced: Automatically balances performance with energy consumption on capable hardware.
  • Power saver: Saves energy by reducing your computer’s performance where possible.

Change your power plan

1. Click the battery meter icon, located in the notification area on the Windows taskbar.

The display and hard disk on your mobile PC are the two biggest consumers of battery power. By choosing a power plan (called a power scheme in Windows XP) you can extend your battery life. A power plan is a collection of hardware and system settings that control how your mobile PC manages power.

2. Select either the Balanced or Power saver power plan.

Windows Vista

Windows Vista has three default power plans:

  • Balanced. Offers full performance when you need it, but conserves power when the computer is idle.
  • Power saver. The best choice for extending battery life. The cost? Slower performance.
  • High performance. Maximizes system performance at the expense of battery life.

Change your power plan

1. Click the battery meter icon, located in the notification area on the Windows taskbar.
2. Select the Balanced, Power saver, or High performance power plan.

Windows XP users

Windows XP includes two power schemes that were created specifically for mobile PCs.

  • The Portable/Laptop power scheme minimizes the use of power to conserve your battery, but adjusts to your processing needs so that the system speed is not sacrificed.
  • The Max Battery power scheme minimizes power use but does not adjust as your processing demands change. You should use Max Battery only in situations that require minimal processing, such as reading documents and taking notes in a meeting.

Use a power scheme designed to maximize battery life:

1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.

2. In Control Panel, verify that you’re in Category view, and then click Performance and Maintenance.

3. In the Performance and Maintenance window, click Power Options.

4. On the Power Schemes tab of the Power Options Properties dialog box, click the arrow under Power schemes, and then click Max Battery.

5. Click OK.

You can also create a custom power scheme to suit your specific needs. You can create as many custom power schemes as you want.

Take advantage of low-power states

The different versions of Windows provide the following battery-saving states:

  • Windows 7: sleep and hibernation (which is like deep sleep)
  • Windows Vista sleep and hybrid sleep (which is a combination of sleep and hibernation)
  • Windows XP standby (which is like snoozing) and hibernation (which is like deep sleep)

Sleep (Standby)

In a sleep state (standby), your display and hard disk turn off, and all open programs and files are saved in random access memory (RAM) your computer’s temporary memory rather than to the hard disk. Information stored in RAM is cleared when the computer turns off, so it’s a good idea to save your work before placing your system in standby mode. Otherwise, you may lose data if you lose power, you swap batteries, or your system crashes.

Sleep (standby) is particularly useful when you’re using your mobile PC intermittently during the day. For example, when driving between clients’ offices during the day, put your computer to sleep or on standby to maximize the life of your battery and maintain quick access to open programs, files, and documents. When you want to use your computer again, it wakes up quickly, and your desktop is restored exactly as you left it.

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By following a few simple guidelines, you can maintain your computer and keep it running smoothly. This article discusses how to use the tools available in Windows 7, Vista, and XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) to more efficiently maintain your computer and safeguard your privacy when you’re online.

1. Free up disk space

The Disk Cleanup tool helps you free up space on your hard disk to improve the performance of your computer. The tool identifies files that you can safely delete, and then enables you to choose whether you want to delete some or all of the identified files.

Use Disk Cleanup to:

* Remove temporary Internet files.
* Remove downloaded program files (such as Microsoft ActiveX controls and Java applets).
* Empty the Recycle Bin.
* Remove Windows temporary files such as error reports.
* Remove optional Windows components that you don’t use.
* Remove installed programs that you no longer use.
* Remove unused restore points and shadow copies from System Restore. More »

Microsoft has confirmed an issue for customers running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 in which the platforms can corrupt disk volumes and lead to data loss on computers with HDDs larger than 2 terabytes (TB).

According to the Redmond company, in addition to running either Windows 7 or Windows server 2008 R2 on a machine equipped with hard disk drive with more than 2 terabytes of disk space, users also need to have the operating systems configured to save dump files to a volume on the HDD.

In this context, the results might end up upsetting customers, the software giant warned.

“Some data of the dump file is offset at a disk offset greater than the 2 terabyte address of the hard disk drive,” Microsoft informed. More »