Laptop prices are slashed significantly. You can buy a low cost laptop in $150-250 price range for your school. Most of these Windows Tablet or Budget Laptops are built with 32GB or 64GB storage space. Ideally a 32GB or 64 GB hard disk is enough to deal with your school assignments.
Unfortunately most of these budget priced laptop users will endup with low memory warning with in a few months.
There are a few reasons for these low memory space issues with your laptop. The first reason is these laptops are coming with “eMMC” or SSD for storage space. These drives will not provide exact 32GB or 64GB storage space. In reality, the available space will be 2-4GB less than these specified numbers.
The second reason is Windows Installation Size. These 32 – 64 GB storage space is again divided for OS files and User files. The OS installation will consume 2- 6GB of space based on the OS version and build. In addition to this, Windows update file will steal another 6 – 12GB space from your hard disk (hard to believe!). In Windows, you can disable Auto update feature for Windows 10 Store Apps to save 1-2GB on your Hard disk.
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If you have a Windows Recovery Partition, that will swallow another 4 – 6GB space for system recovery file. In a nutshell, for a 32GB laptop or Hard disk with Windows 10 OS, you can hardly get 10GB of free space if you are lucky enough!
Related: How to Change Default App Settings for Windows10
There are couple of solutions we mentioned before to extend storage space of your laptop and tablets. These techniques were cloud based solutions that need a live internet connection. Here we are going to discuss a hardware solution that you can use to expand storage space of the PC, that does not need any internet connection to work.
Microsoft did a good job to improve their new OS Windows10 with amazing features, and Windows 10 let you to use your SD card as a new hard drive to save your files directly.
Setup the SD card to use as Secondary Drive
To begin with, first insert a SDHC card into the slot and wait few seconds until your system detects the card. You need check the card is formatted into NTFS to save more than 4GB files just in case.
Check SD Card File System
When you explore to your PC / My Computer drivers, you can see the new SD card there, and make sure the SD card formatted NTFS format.
Explore to computer > Right Click on SD Drive > Properties > General > File System > make sure NTFS.
Format SD Card to NTFS
Incase, the card is not NTFS, please right click on the SD card from Windows explore and Click on Format. Select the format to NTFS and provide a appropriate Volume Label before clicking on Start button to format the card.
Set Default Save Locations
Once your PC start to detect and display SDHC card as a new drive in your laptop, the next step is to set the default saving locations for your documents, music, video and Cloud Drives.
Set Local Windows Save Locations
To change the default savings location, click on Start > Settings > System > Storage. This window, you can choose the drive as default location for documents, music, pictures, videos etc. Change all these drives from C drive to SDHC Card drive.
If you couldn’t see the second or SDHC drive on pull down menu, please make sure SD card detects on Windows OS and restart again to show up on this list.
Set SkyDrive Save Locations
The local copy of the cloud drives is the the next space consuming factor. You can change the default saving location of Skydrive to this extended new drive by following article How to Change Default Skydrive Location in Windows 8.1
Alternative registry Change Method
Instead of this manual procedure there is an easy solution with Windows Registry Edit, but bit more technical workaround. Please open Windows Registry and find out the Key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows NT > CurrentVersion > ProfileList and find the entry “ProfilesDirectory (%SystemDrive%Users)”. Now replace the “(%SystemDrive%Users” with D:Users (use your SD Card Drive letter to replace D here).
Now from windows control panel > users, create another user and login back with new user. This time Windows will create this new user file on SD card drive. All the desktop files, internet cache, user profiles and other user related files will save in SD card instead of System drive (C:)
Related: How to Sync Windows Desktop and My Documents with Dropbox to Get A Realtime Backup
There is one another advantage for storing user files on SD card. If just incase something happen to your Computer of OS, user files will be safein SD Card. Only thing you have to do is simply take out the SD card and insert into another PC and start using your personal files. In this workaround your valuable data is always portable and safe in SD card. Since you are depending on SD card to save data, it is recommending to backup on external drive and also don’t forget to buy a good quality SD Card.