Tech Lolz: What To Do When Running Out of Space?

Anybody remembers the frustration that that little pop-up in the corner used to bring us when our hard drives were around 40-80 GB in size? I know you know it. It said something like "You are running out of space on drive C. Click here to clear some space". God how I hated it. I would have to uninstall a game, or clean up some pictures or whatever crappy things I used to copy from CDs. Or even worse, start writing CDs with my stuff and hope that they wouldn't scratch or would be readable in the future. But that was only if you had a CD-writer, which, most likely, in the beginning you didn't. You had a diskette God damn it. 1.44 Mb of endless fun…

Diskettes used in uni days

Nowadays Things are as Easy as Pie

I love nothing more than living in the present. For the simple fact that today, is when technology is at its best. It will be better tomorrow, but right now it's the best ever.

For today's episode, I have chosen the topic of storage. Cloud storage, external storage or whatever types of storage there are out there. Let's take a look at the discussion from here: [HELP] Can I use my external hard drive as if it was internal?.

The user Solar stated the following:

"Ok, so I have a 500GB HD, but I only have 450GB left and I need more room. The main thing I have on it is video games, would I be able to buy an external hard drive and use it as if it was an internal, what I mean is can I still play my games on my "external" without having to put it on my internal again? thx"

First of all, you have 450 GB free… what do you mean you need more room? You are using only 50 GB from your hard-drive. Damn logic… it is true, people not that "bright" are happier.

If, by chance you meant the other way around, like you only have 50 GB left on the hard, then yes, you can use an external hard drive. Let's take a look at Mike's answer:

"yes you can. you will just need the proper cable to hook it up to your mobo. external drives are mostly just SATA drives that are given adapters (bridge that would connect SATA to usb) if you take them out of their casing and separate them from that adapter you will be left with a sata drive (your internal drive) that you can connect directly to your motherboard with a sata cable.
* answering your question you can use it like it was internal so long as it retains its drive letter when you disconnect and reconnect it back. sometimes connecting flash drives or even the cd player while the external is not connected takes that drive letter. then when you reconnect your external and play a game that is installed in it thats when things get messed up. i would recommend to just keep the external on there if you plan on installing any games or programs in it.
or better yet just buy an internal drive. HA! i coulda just said that from the start"

For this case in particular, buying a larger internal hard drive would do the trick since Solar only wants to have games installed on the entire drive. Having them run from the external one could prove to be a bit more faulty as well as slower. And then we would have to deal with him again on the forums with more weird questions.

As always, there's also that user that just wants to make fun of people and not really provide any input. I like these people. They merely make me laugh, which is a good start for a comment on the Internet. The user Argus Tuft said:

"You have a 500GB HDD, with 'only' 450GB left! That's really pushing the boundaries. [...]"

Well, it is in fact pushing the boundaries… of common sense.

low disk space

How many of you have seen the pop-up above? Raise a thumb at the end of the article. Well I know I have dealt with it over and over again and it kept on harassing me every time. However, nowadays, this thing doesn't really happen that much. I don't even think that pop-up still exists… does it? I, for one, haven't seen it in years and I am really happy like that. Don't want it ruining my day at any point. Hey, this little pop-up sounds just like your ex boyfriend of girlfriend, doesn't it?

Nowadays, hard drives come starting at 500 GB and running up to a couple of TB. However, 500 GB is a lot of space. Let's put this into terms. You could fit on a 500GB hard drive, 100.000 photos or 60 hours of HD videos, 125.000 ".mp3" music files and so on. You can Call me... Mr. MT suggested:

"You have 450 GB Left on the 500 GB Hard drive? So your drive is only 10% used. You have plenty of room for your games. However if you mean to say you've used up 450 GB of the 500, then yes finding a solution is a good idea for additional space. I recommend moving EVERYTHING that is not windows, games, or programs, over to an external. Hopefully this will relieve some space. However external hard drives fail just as often as regular hard drives. So make sure you are aware of that. Wishing you luck.
Also if you did run a game off a USB drive, even USB 3.0 it's... not going to be nearly as good as being inside the PC. I would not recommend it."

Nowadays, this is the solution that almost everyone uses.

How to Choose Your Best Option in Storage

Well, as I mentioned You can Call me... Mr. MT 's suggestion is pretty decent. People get external HDDs and copy stuff they care about on them, like documents, pictures, movies and so on. This frees up a lot of space on your internal hard drive so that you can use it for programs, games and so on. This is the cheapest solution.

Another solution would be to add an SSD to your computer alongside the traditional hard disk and have Windows boot on it as well as some of your programs. SSDs are truly fast and really make a difference in gaming and general usage of computers. By doing so, you can focus on using the SSD for your important games and programs and use the internal hard drive for the personal files that crowded you a bit earlier.

If you feel that you want a reliable backup and want to be as trendy as possible, you could get a subscription for cloud storage. Many services like Dropbox and OneDrive provide you with online storage space for an annual or monthly fee. You can upload all your stuff to the cloud and have it there, accessible from anywhere, at any time. This is even more practical if you are on the move a lot. Carrying an external hard-drive with you everywhere is just tedious. And you might also increase the chance of damaging it on the road and never getting your stuff back from it. Say goodbye to Sasha Grey videos.

DropBox - firebox

A good use for external hard drives that I just started using myself is that you can record stuff from your Smart TV directly to it. Just attach the external hard drive to your Smart TV and have it record shows and so on and save them directly to the hard drive.
It is safe to assume that an external hard drive would be better put to use by storing personal stuff and freeing up space from your computer rather than use it for gaming. That's actually a bit absurd.

So my personal suggestion to you is to get an external hard drive. If you don't want to transfer stuff from the computer on it, just use it as a backup drive. I know you feel you don't need it, but believe me, you do. And you will also realise that once you buy one so I will be expecting thank yous. You're welcome!


Conclusion: if you need more storage space, get an external hard drive. They are getting larger as far as storage space is concerned and cheaper as far as price is concerned. Use them to backup or store all the files that are important to you. You should also consider a subscription for cloud storage. They are also getting larger as far as storage space is concerned and cheaper as far as selling your soul to the devil is concerned. You might even find a promotion and get half your soul back in store credit. :)
Do you own an external hard-drive or a subscription for cloud storage? How do you feel it has been beneficial for you? Let us know if the comment section below.