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Q: I sent a letter to the recycle bin and then emptied the bin. Can I retrieve this letter? I am currently struggling with Windows XP.
A. When a file is deleted it is not physically removed from the disk but its name is changed so that the space occupied by the file is then available for overwriting. However, it may be possible to retrieve it by buying specialised software if this space has not been reused.
Many programs claim to be able to recover deleted files but I have tested only a couple of them. I suggest that you consider O & O UnErase. See: http://www.oo-software.com/en/products/oounerase/index.html for details.
A. I feel that 11 GB of disk space is far too high as you are not likely to be rolling back vast numbers of upgrades.
The size of these changes varies greatly from less than 1 MB to a few hundred but I feel that if you allocate about 1 GB you should be able to roll back most installation problems.
The only other area where you can very safely save disk space is with the Temporary Internet Files. The default space allocated can be enormous and I have seen more than 3 GB allocated on new installations with a large hard disk.
Lowering the setting does not result in any performance improvement as 20 MB size is adequate to hold many thousands of these small files that are stored in this area. Typical files are a logo or banner GIF file and will be read from the hard disk rather then downloading from the web if you re-visit the same site.
This cache made sense when users were connected by a slow modem but, especially with ADSL or cable, it does not make sense to fill your hard disk with junk files.