Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What's taking up your free space? Easily find out using these free tools

Have you ever wondered what is taking up space on your hard drive? If you have, you'll be happy to know that free programs exist which will traverse all your files and folders and give you a hierarchical and graphical view of where your space is being taken up. I recently had a user with 2GB of free space left on an 80GB hard drive, but I could only find 27GB in use. Using one of these programs I found that almost 40GB was showing up as unknown space. That led to some more research to find that IBM's Rescue and Recovery can cause this, and that was exactly the problem. I uninstalled Rescue and Recovery (there was no need for it on the machine anyway) and that made all the unknown space usable space again.

There are many different programs that will give you a graphical representation of file space on your drive(s), but the two I'd suggest are WinDirStat and SpaceSniffer, both of which are free. I prefer the look of SpaceSniffer, and it also comes as an executable so you don't have to install it. Below you'll see a screenshot of SpaceSniffer so you can better understand what I mean when I say it gives you a graphical representation of your hard drive space. If you're wondering just what is taking up space on a drive, give one of these two tools a try and save yourself the time of manually tracking down the culprit.

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