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HP Media Center Desktop PCs - Managing Hard Disk Space

This document pertains to an HP Media Center PC with Microsoft Windows XP, Media Center Edition.
Recording TV programs on the Media Center PC can use a lot of hard drive space. This document provides helpful steps to free up hard drive space for your TV recordings and to help prevent Out of Disk Space error messages.
Use the following sections, in order, to prepare and clean up the hard drives.
Step 1: Fixing broken files
Recorded TV programs and movie files take up a lot of space. They also take a relatively long time to create. If the computer loses power or fatal errors occur while a TV program is being created, large broken files are made. Use this step to make sure that these files are fixed or removed before using the rest of the steps in this document.
  1. Click Start, My Computer, and right-click the main hard drive (C:).
  2. Select Properties, and then click Tools.
  3. Click the Check Now button under Error-checking.
  4. Select Automatically fix file system errors, and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.
  5. Click the Start button on the Check Disk window and restart the computer when prompted.
    Disk checking can take a long time to finish. Let it finish before continuing to the next step.
    If broken files and errors are found after the disk check, it probably happened because the computer lost power while Windows was still open. This can happen if the a power button on a surge protection is used to turn off the power to the computer. Prevent this from happening again by turning off the computer correctly. This is done by clicking Start, Turn-off Computer, and then Turn off.
Step 2: Using the Disk Cleanup Utility
Use the Windows Disk Cleanup Utility to remove unnecessary files from the hard drive:
  1. Close all open software applications including virus-scanning software.
  2. Click Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then Disk Cleanup.
  3. Select HP Pavilion (C:), and click OK.
  4. Wait for disk cleanup to calculate how much disk space it can save.
  5. Select the types of files that you want to delete. HP recommends selecting Downloaded Program Files, Temporary Internet Files, and Temporary Files.
  6. Click OK. It may take a while for the Disk Cleanup utility to remove the files.
Figure : Disc Cleanup window
Step 3: Adjusting System Restore settings
System Restore is a feature of Windows XP that can bring the system software and settings back to a particular date. System Restore does this by saving the changes made to system files in a restore point. These restore points can use a lot of hard drive space. If left unadjusted, System Restore creates as many restore points as it can fit into twelve percent of the hard drive, regardless of the size of the hard drive. Roughly, three Gigabytes equals about ten restore points. The size of Restore points varies greatly depending on the amount of software installed on the system. To save hard drive space, use the following steps to limit the amount of restore points that system restore creates:
  1. Click Start, and right-click My Computer.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Click the System Restore tab.
  4. Select HP Pavilion(C:) and click the Settings button.
  5. Adjust the Disk space to use slider to a lower setting. A lower setting will save disk space but will reduce how many restore points you can select from when restoring in the future. On a 120 gigabyte hard drive, a setting of one percent will save over eleven gigabytes of disk space, and will still provide enough room for several restore points.
  6. Click OK to save the settings.
Figure : Disk space to use
Step 4: Removing saved TV programs from the hard drive
Use the following steps to delete TV Programs that you no longer want:
  1. Double-click the Media Center icon on the Windows desktop or press the green Start button on the remote control.
  2. Click My TV.
  3. Wait for the TV image to appear and then click Recorded TV.
  4. Select a recording that you want to delete from the list of recordings.
  5. Click Delete to permanently remove the recorded TV program.
Step 5: Adjusting TV recording settings
TV recordings are saved as files on the hard drive. The size of the recorded TV file can change depending on the TV recording quality setting that you choose. Use the following steps to adjust how the Media Center software records TV programs and how long it keeps them in storage:
  1. Double-click the Media Center icon on the Windows desktop or press the green Start button on the remote control.
  2. Click My TV.
  3. Wait for the TV image to appear and then click Settings.
  4. Click Recorder, and then Storage.
    Figure : Storage screen
  5. Adjust the recording quality setting lower to make recorded TV files smaller. A half-hour TV program uses roughly one-and-a-half gigabytes of hard drive space at Best quality. If the quality setting is adjusted down to Good, the same half-hour recording uses only one gigabyte of disk space.
  6. Click OK and record a few minutes of TV program to test the quality setting.
  7. View the recorded TV program. If the quality of the recording is acceptable to you, then keep the setting to save disk space. Otherwise, repeat these steps and choose a different quality setting.
  8. From the MyTV screen, click Settings, Recorder, and then Defaults.
  9. Under General, change the Keep setting to Until space is needed.
    Making this change causes Windows to delete the oldest recordings when the hard drive is low on disk space. After making this change you need to monitor your recordings closer and make sure to backup your favorite recordings.

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