Misconception: Programs purchased on a CD, won't take up any hard drive space.
by Terry E. Mercer ©1997-1999
What Many Salespeople Tell their Customers:
After all, that's one of the reasons CD's were developed for the
FALSE! - 99% of the time.
Fact: Most CD ROM's require "some" hard drive
The space needed on your hard drive can range from 100K for the start up files to 50
MB or more. There is a new game on the market that requires 2.5 Gigabytes of space for a
A lot depends on the program, the publisher, and the purpose for the CD-ROM. Read the
program requirements listed on the packaging, and calculate the data space required. Talk
to people that use the program(s).
MicroMedia Publisher's Inc. (a company I mastered more than 600
different CD ROM titles for from 1993 to 98) endeavored to make their programs run directly from the CD
without installation being required, because I deemed that as a requirement.
Even still, a handful of their CD's have exceptions
(all but three of those I had nothing to do with). You will need to plan for new programs,
even if they are distributed on a CD ROM disc.
* Some Examples:
Windows 95 - OSR1 (Operating System Release v 1 - released initially on 7-11-95, and
still sold in many stores today) will require between 50 and 100 MB of hard drive space.
Windows 95 - OSR2 (dated 8/24/96) will need between 25 to 200 MB, with 100 MB
reasonable average. You can easily tell which version of Win95 you have. Go into Windows
Explorer, go into drive C:, then the Windows directory, and then the command directory.
Click on View, and Details so you can see the dates of the files.
Note: You want to have OSR2 or newer... (file date 8/24/96 or newer in the
c:\windows\command directory) there are many bug fixes and many HUGE advantages, which I
will get into at a later date. There are a lot of garbage files installed by Microsoft,
which you can safely delete, I will list those at a later date also.
Windows 98 - Full Version - Full Install - requires 219MB PRIOR to hitting any of
the Microsoft update information via the Internet. The Upgrade version, if it works for
you, will require more - as it leaves a lot of legacy stuff from Windows 95.
Microsoft (generally abbreviated to: "MS") Office 97 will take at least
540MB, with 90 to 120 MB average, and as much as 180 MB, all depending on what level and
type of install you select and whether you add the templates.
Corel Draw v7 requires nearly 100 MB before you even put data on your system,
depending on the selections you install.
Corel Draw v8 requires over 273 MB prior to any data hitting your
The days of small programs are long gone. Nearly all application programs and high-end
games require 50 to 100 MB of hard drive space, and 16 to 32 MB of RAM minimum. In fact,
as much as people may not like Microsoft, Gates is directly responsible for pushing the
hardware industry to improving the speed and capacity of the computer hardware... which
brought down the price so us "common folk" could afford to purchase these newer,
faster, and better computers. The 'ole supply and demand theory. When demand goes up,
supply goes up, price goes down. The big companies design their software for the future,
with more RAM and hard drive space being required, with more automation & help,
feature rich, and hardware hungry.
The big companies push you for the constant upgrade, new systems, and to spend more
money for the latest and greatest features, benefits, and fixes. In many ways, computers
are like a drug addition, an expensive habit, a growing and consuming need that drives you
to the latest upgrade and better parts and pieces, and the latest program. Sometimes these
"latest" versions are great and worth the money and time to learn them. Other
times, new bugs and problems are created, and more hardware is required to even find this
We will eventually have a software section on this site, so you can pick our brains
(and time) with silly little questions the big boys and magazines won't admit or disclose.
Email us with your questions.
This page was last updated 01 January 2000