Friday, July 20, 2007

WinDirStat Disk Utilization Program

I discovered a (free) disk utilization program called WinDirStat that can replace or supplement TreeSize Professional (not free). WinDirStat produces a graphical representation of a drive or folder, showing all the types of files.


The utility can be downloaded from http://windirstat.info/wds_current_unicode.zip. Here's how to use it:
  • Login to the machine you want to run it on with an Admin account. You can login locally or via RDP.
  • Run WinDirStat
  • Select the drive or folder you want to scan and click OK
  • WinDirStat will begin scanning the drive and display cute little PacMan style icons showing it's working:
  • It may take a while to complete (280GB took about 32 minutes). Running it locally has very little impact on performance, but it does increase disk utilization a bit, but users will probably not notice it (similar to TreeSize).
  • Once the scan is complete, you will see a graphical representation of the data on the drive(s) or folder selected (called a Treemap):


  • To use this tool, you can do any of the following:

    • Click a large colored area to find out what file(s) are represented (for example, click the large purple areas reveals the files are .TXT files)
    • Click an extension in the upper right area will highlight all the files of that type in the Treemap
    • Drill down through the folders and files on the upper left area will highlight the folders or files selected in the Treemap
    • Double-click part of the map or a file in the upper left area will open the selected file
    • You can zoom in and zoom out of the Treemap
    • You can delete files directly from WinDirStat
    • You can select a file and click Report > Send Mail to Owner to send an email to the owner of the file asking them to clean it up. Note that this requires a working email profile and Outlook on the machine you are running it from.
Unlike TreeSize, you cannot save reports and email them to others. This makes WinDirStat an ad-hoc utility for working on a file server immediately when a free space problem arises. Use TreeSize when you need to create reports or want to save the results for historical reasons.

1:17 PM