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How to maximise the capacity of your SSD

Paul Mah | Sept. 30, 2013
Here are some low cost ways to free additional space on your SSD (or even hard disk drive) to maximise its use.


One of the easiest ways to speed up your computer is to add a solid state drive (SSD). Though expensive, an SSD quickly pays for itself by greatly improving your efficiency and productivity. But what you gain in speed, you lose in storage because the 128GB or 256GB capacities of the more affordable SSDs just don't cut it for today's storage requirements.

But don't fret. Below are some low cost ways to free additional space on your SSD (or even hard disk drive) to maximise its use.

Leverage the cloud
The most obvious method to maximise space on your SSD is taking advantage of cloud storage. Archiving old documents and files in the cloud can free precious space on your SSD, while allowing them to be easily accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection when necessary.

If you are currently reevaluating your cloud storage options, be sure to check out these excellent Dropbox alternatives for small business.

Add an SD Card or USB flash drive
One method of increasing your available storage space without adding bulk is to use an SD card or USB Flash Drive. Many laptops come with a built-in SD card slot, and it's possible to get a 64GB SD flash memory card for less than $50. (Note that SD cards larger than 32GB are based on the newer SDXC standard, so be sure to first check that your laptop's card reader supports it.) Alternatively, ultra-low profile USB flash drives such as the Cruzer Fit can be left plugged into your USB port, and can add up to 32GB of storage.

Regardless of whether you get an SD card, USB flash drive, or both, move files such as songs, archived documents or reference materials onto them to open up space on your SSD. Of course, you should always backup the data stored on the SD card or USB flash drive and consider protecting it with BitLocker encryption .

Add an external hard disk drive

If you have hundreds of gigabytes of data that you absolutely must have on hand at all times, get a portable hard disk. It will set you back by about $80 for a 1TB drive, though you will be pleasantly surprised at how slim and speedy recent models are. The Seagate Slim Portable Drive (500GB), for example, measures just 9mm thick and clocks in with an impressive 94.6MB/sec data transfer when writing a 10GB file over a USB 3.0 interface. Don't forget to encrypt your data.

Reduce your virtual memory
With most laptops and Ultrabooks offering between 4GB and 8GB of RAM, you may want to consider disabling your virtual memory entirely if you don't play demanding games or run apps that require a large amount of memory. Users who are short on storage space and have at least 2GB of RAM may even get away with reducing their virtual memory to just 1GB or 1.5GB.


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