Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Best Free Disk Space Analyzer

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Best Free Disk Space Analyzer

When your hard drive fills up, one way to find out which files are hogging the space is to use a specialist utility that displays your disk space usage visually. There are a number of excellent free contenders that differ mainly in the way the disk space usage is portrayed.

SpaceSnifferSpaceSniffer remains #1 for three simple reasons first, and foremost it's free, and second it seems to be far and away the best free space disk analyzer, and it is standalone, (i.e.no install). Took about a minute to do the whole drive.

Can display, or not, free space, and unknown space. The program reported the space as: Free 160.1 GB, Used 119.0 GB. The "levels of detail" is button selected (8 levels). The "Go home" button takes you back to master display. You can drill down by double clicking on an area. The default colours are: drive (orange), free space (green), folders (skin tone), unknown space (gray), file (blue). All are changeable. Can change contrast, border contrast, and a hi-light halo level (when a file is selected or mouse is hovered). There is an export function that will give you either the file list in the selected directory or stats about that directory.

SpaceSniffer Rating 9 of 10 Gizmo's Top Pick

Pros Treemapping Technology, filters enabled, changeable color configuration. Standalone program with no install
Cons No Scroll Zoom or stats tab
Developer Home Page http://www.uderzo.it/main_products/space_sniffer/index.html
Download link http://www.uderzo.it/main_products/space_sniffer/download.html
File Size 1196 KB Version License Type Unrestricted Freeware Installation Requirements Win98 - Windows7
Info Requires Java runtime engine


WinDirStat is another outstanding program. Different languages can be installed (Czech, German, Spanish, Finnish, French, Hungarian, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Russian, Estonian)

It reported 279.5 GB total, 158.2 GB Free. Took about about 20 sec to scan the drive. Shows files types and the size they consume. The lower half of the windows shows a coloured picture of files types (tree map - can be turned off). Click in this area and the file is highlighted above. Each file's relative size is also displayed in the lower window. A click on the file type windows highlights all the locations on the disk in the lower window. Once the amount of space consumed by the file type drops, all other file types a lumped together. Clicking in the file list, say on a directory, highlights the location in the lower window. Options include open explorer at the selected location, cmd prompt at the selected location, delete, and erase, properties, empty the recycle bin. You can zoom in and out of the tree map, select the parent directory, and there is a good help feature that is built in.

WinDirStat Rating 8 of 10

Pros sequoia view and other visual presentation
Cons rectangular treemaps not squarified
Developer Home Page http://windirstat.sourceforge.net/
Download link http://downloads.sourceforge.net/windirstat
File Size 645 KB Version 1.1.2 License Type Unrestricted Freeware Installation Requirements Windows 95/98/ME/NT4/2000/XP/2003/Vista

Folder Size Scan Window

Folder Size from MindGems Software installed fine, then tried to go to the website. Problematic if you're not connected. It took a few minutes or so the scan the drive. Has different units (B, KB, MB, or GB). Displayed drive size as 122.62 GB (131,659,620,315). Tried to download a flash player for the chart display (again problematic if you're not connected). Can scan a folder. Shows size, percent, number of files, number of sub-folders, dates, attribvutes, and owner. Can drill down by double clicking on a folder name. Clearly shows the page.sys file when "home".

View window in lower right summarises all the drive. C reported as 279.45 GB, 121.25 Gb free, and 158.20 Gb used.

Folder Size Rating 8 of 10

Pros Highly versatile with comprehensive reports and pie chart mapping
Cons Please let us know if anything should be included here
Developer Home Page http://www.mindgems.com/products/Folder-Size/Folder-Size.html
Download link http://www.mindgems.com/products/Folder-Size/Folder-Size-Download.htm
File Size

1888 KB Version License Type Unrestricted Freeware Installation Requirements Windows 95/98/ME/NT4/2000/XP/2003/Vista/Windows 7

DiskSpaceFan. This needs needs Microsoft .Net frame work. It also asks if you want to use premium features that search and delete duplicate files, integrate windows explorer, and have the capability to filter an exclude files. These were not tested. The initial scan took about a minute. Shows major directories and pagefile.sys as different colours. You can click on the graph and drill down. Home button takes back to usage screen. It counts files and folders in each directory and you can drill down to individual file to get size. Image files give a thumbnail, which is a nice feature. You can also double click on the list on the left pane to drill down. Help goes online. On the PC that was connected to the internet this utility reported 52.1 GB total, 28.9 GB used, and 23.1 GB free. (explorer reported 52.1 GB total, 28.9 GB used, and 23.1 GB free).

DiskSpaceFan Rating 8 of 10

Pros Lovely visuals
Cons Please let us know if anything should be included here
Developer Home Page http://www.diskspacefan.com/
Download link http://www.diskspacefan.com/download.html
File Size

2.27 MB Version 2.3.0 License Type Unrestricted Freeware Installation Requirements Windows XP/Vista/7

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1 comment:

binaryman said...

Try Directory Report
It looks just the MS-Explorer but always shows the folder size
Finds duplicate files too