Easeus Partition Manager Free can be downloaded from here at CNET and installed on your computer.
It's a partition manager which are used to size your partitions.
Usually there is only one partition and we see it in windows as the C:\ drive.
Using a partition manager (only after a check disk and a defrag in my opinion) you can take one hard drive and split it into 2 or more partitions which would then appear as C: as well as the new partition you just split it into as D:\,E:\,F:\,G:\ or maybe Z:\ drive if you prefer.
Easeus Partition Manager Free will tell you how much used and free space you have. I use a partition for on-sight backup my self (which is not recommended). Its my L:\ drive however, in the IT world it is well known that you not only should have a backup on hand but also an off sight backup. Why? Back up failures, fire, theft, floods, drive failures, etc. Drives fail. Too many of my external drives have failed. I don't/won't use them anymore. You should use both the cloud as well as an onsite back-up. yep, TWO ! Drag huh? <shrug> sorry.
I may get flamed for this but I have never found MS backup utility to work. EVER. And there are many more that have the same position. They say they completed successfully yet, when you go to restore the data... None of the backups work FOR ME.
Keep a list of your installed programs and their CD/DVD or download locations
Backup your data. (copy it to your external and the cloud)
Google Drive gives you many gigs and MS SkyDrive gives you a decent amount as well. Either of these might work for you depending on how much you have to backup. Remember; you only have to back up -your- data. If your computer fails, a backup wont help you with the OS. It has to be reinstalled or replaced before you can get to your data. Your pics, videos, documents, spreadsheets, data-bases (DATA) is the thing to copy to the external drive, AND the cloud.
Two backups takes too much time? There are backups programs you can buy that will do this for you but, I am unaware of any free ones but believe they exist.
Remember the cloud is nothing but the internet and don't put anything out there you don't want others to see. I don't put anything 'private/personal' on my computer and recommend you don't either. 1984
I compacted disks years ago but found it to be quirky and am not familiar with the current drive compression methodology or failure/success rate. I like my data and keep it on the drive normally. 3 terabyte internal/external drives are around monthly for sure and probably weekly for less than $99.99USD - drives are cheap today. I shop-well know online retailers.
If you are talking about compressing the files and folders and not the drive, there are a few common file zippers or compressors that are very common. 1) WinRar 2) 7-zip. and yes, these are good compressors. You'll need a lesson how what to do with them but, they really are easy once you get the concept of what its doing. Don't worry, you wont need a college course.
NTFS vs FAT - They are File (filing) system names or disk format names. NTFS is more secure and is the latest of the microsoft flavors. This question is asked a ton easier than it is answered. May I suggest you do a google or wikipedia search for that HUGE explanation. Here is a wikiP link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_system for the real answer. I use NTFS for my windows installations as it is commonly preferred do to its reliability and speed over the previous file systems.
Now, pardon me please, I have to repeat:
Off -site backup
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