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Do You Have Enough Disk Space?

Most new computers sport a four-plus gigabyte hard drive that has enough free space to last you well into the 21st century. However, you should make sure that your new program will fit on the disk before you start the installation. If you try to stuff a program on a hard disk that's nearly full, you'll have some serious warning messages to deal with.

Checking the available disk space is easy. Right-click the icon for your hard disk drive in My Computer or Windows Explorer and click Properties. The Properties dialog box displays the total disk space, the amount in use, and the amount that's free, as shown in Figure 10.2.

Figure 10.2 Windows displays the available space remaining on the disk.

If your hard disk does not have sufficient free space for installing the program, you can free up some disk space by taking the following steps:

  • Display the disk's Properties dialog box. On the General tab, click the Disk Cleanup button (see the previous figure) and follow the onscreen instructions to clear unnecessary files from the disk. If you have an older version of Windows (Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 without the Internet Explorer upgrade), the Disk Cleanup button is unavailable.

  • Uninstall any programs you no longer use, as explained later in this chapter.

  • Make sure the Recycle Bin does not contain any files you might need by double-clicking the Recycle Bin icon. To empty the Recycle Bin, open the File menu and click Empty Recycle Bin.

  • Run Windows Setup again, as explained in Chapter 4, "Warming Up with Some Computer Games," and remove any Windows components you no longer use.

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