Compressing files, folders, and programs decreases their size and reduces the amount of space they use on your drives or removable storage devices Drive compression decreases the amount of space used by all of the files and folders stored on that drive. Windows supports two types of compression: NTFS compression and compression using the Compressed (zipped) Folders feature.
NTFS compression versus Compressed (zipped) Folders
If you do not have an NTFS drive, this option is not available. To determine whether your drive is formatted with NTFS, open My Computer, right-click a drive, and then click Properties. The file system is indicated on the General tab.
You can compress individual files and folders using NTFS compression, as well as entire NTFS drives.
You can compress a folder without compressing its contents.
You can work with NTFS-compressed files without decompressing them.
You can display NTFS-compressed file and folder names in a different color to make them easier to identify.
You may notice a decrease in performance when working with NTFS-compressed files. When you open a compressed file, Windows automatically decompresses it for you, and when you close the file, Windows compresses it again. This process may decrease your computers performance.
NTFS-compressed files and folders only remain compressed while they are stored on an NTFS drive.
You cannot encrypt an NTFS-compressed file.
NTFS file encryption is not available on Windows XP Home Edition.
Compressed (zipped) Folders
Files and folders that are compressed using the Compressed (zipped) Folders feature remain compressed on both FAT and NTFS drives.
You can run some programs directly from these compressed folders without decompressing them. You can also open files directly from compressed folders.
Zipped compressed files and folders can be moved to any drive or folder on your computer, the Internet, or your network, and they are compatible with other file compression programs.
Folders compressed using this feature are identified by a zipper icon.
You can protect files in a zipped compressed folder with a password.
Compressing folders using Compressed (zipped) Folders will not decrease your computer's performance.
To compress individual files using Compressed (zipped) Folders, create a compressed folder and then move or copy the files to that folder.
This step-by-step article describes how to create and use compressed (or "zipped") folders in Windows XP. You can use compressed folders to store files in a compressed format that uses less space than normal, and if needed, you can protect those files with a password.
"In classic Microsoft fashion, a third-party feature—file compression in this case—has become so useful and widely utilized that Microsoft has decided to include it in the operating system. Also in classic fashion, Microsoft implements this new feature with limited functionality—just enough to tantalize you, but if you want full functionality, you still need to get the third-party product. The new compressed folders feature in Windows Server 2003 provides similar capabilities as third-party add-ons such as PKZip and WinZip. But can it be used as a replacement? If you just want to be able to compress files, yes. However, the Zip programs (particularly WinZip) provide additional features that might make it worth the cost."
"Much like Linus Torvalds, father of the Linux operating system, the name Phil Katz isn't familiar to most home computer users of today. Mention his name to anyone who's been involved with the hobby since the very beginning, however, and you'll likely get a nod of recognition and a grin. Phil's story is fascinating but cut short by tragedy.
On April 14, 2000, Phil Katz was found dead in a Milwaukee motel room. An empty bottle of peppermint schnapps was still clutched in his hand, and five more empties were scattered about the room. It was a miserable, lonely end for a man who had created a product now in use by millions of people; a product that revolutionized computer data storage and made file transfers less complicated and more efficient. He was only 37 years old when he died."