Stop Windows Media Center from hogging your hard drive

Windows' DVR features can eat up your entire hard drive. But there's a simple way to limit storage availability.

As I've mentioned in the past, I'm a big fan of the Windows Media Center software that comes baked into most versions of Vista and Windows 7.

Specifically, I use it in conjunction with a TV tuner (four of them, actually) to turn my PC into a DVR--one that rivals TiVo, in my humble opinion.

Just one problem: If you use Windows Media Center to record TV shows, it can consume almost your entire hard drive.

For example, suppose you configure it to record 30 Rock, The Office, Mad Men, and your other favorite shows. By default, WMC records an unlimited number of episodes, and if a few weeks go before you're able to sit down and watch (that's what a DVR is for, right?), you may end up with a hard drive that's filled to the brim with TV--leaving you little or no room for anything else.

The solution is to limit the amount of space WMC can claim for TV recording. Here's how:

1. Start Windows Media Center.

2. Scroll down to Tasks, then over to Settings and click it (or press Enter).

3. Choose Recorder, and then Recorder Storage. (Note that these options appear only if you have a TV tuner installed and configured.)

4. Use the "minus" arrow next to Maximum TV limit to decrease the storage (in 25GB increments) to the amount you want to allow WMC.

5. Click Save to finish the operation.

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Rick Broida

PC World (US online)
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