Suppose you share a Windows XP computer with other members of the family. Suppose further that these other members like to play the latest disk-hogging games or are intent on storing entire feature films on the hard disk. You'd like to restrict the amount of disk space these family members can use. Is this possible?
If you're using Windows XP Professional, the answer is yes. Disk quotas allow you to manage storage on a per-user basis. The only requirement is that you use NTFS on the partitions or volumes where you want to limit disk usage. (The other requirement, I suppose, is that you're using XP Pro.)
There are two specifics to keep in mind. One is that you enable quotas on the partition or volume level, not on the disk level. That is, you set limits on how much data a user stores on the C:\ drive or the D:\ drive, but not for hard disk. The other issue is that you can't set up quotas for a specific folder. The quota feature will be tracked for the entire logical drive.
To configure a disk quota, log on as a user with administrative privileges, and follow these steps:
Click Apply to commit your changes, and then XP presents a dialog box informing you that the drive will be rescanned to determine current disk usage statistics.
You then use the Quota Entries button to see disk usage statistics. You also can use these disk quota entries to make changes to the defaults set on the Quota tab. For example, you could set things up in the Quota Entries dialog box so that some users were allowed 10GB of storage, whereas other users were only allowed 5GB. To change a current quota setting, just double-click the quota entry and make any desired changes from the ensuing dialog box. To make new quota settings for an individual user, choose Quotas | New Quota Entry, select the user, and then configure disk limits.