Beginner Builder series 75% done! will probably never be finished. :(

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

WinDirStat: Disk space management, tetris style.

WinDirStat (short for "Windows Directory Statistics") provides a visual representation of occupied disk space. Here's a few things that are nice, and some of them unique to WinDirStat:

-Option to scan multiple drives, or folders: This is a handy feature, it allows you to select one drive, or two drives, or three, but not all of them. Or, you can select just one folder, anywhere on any drive.

-Directory list: Nice, tree-type directory listing. Shows "Files" for files in a folder, and places "Files" in with the lists of subfolders.

-Directory selection: Selecting a directory or file in the shows it in the graph, and vise versa. This means that if you want to know how big a file is comparatively, click on it in the directory, and it will be highlighted in the graph. Or conversely, if you see a large file, click on it, and it will show you what file it is, and where.

-Colored file types: Ever wondered what file type you have the most? Or collectively takes up the most space? WinDirStat can tell you. In the graph, it shows the first 12 or so as their own colors, so that you can more easily see what is where. It also shows in the sidebar how much a filetype is collectively (like mp3s is 20.4mb), how much percentage for a filetype is (like mp3s is 34.2%), and how many files is in each (like mp3s is 40). You can click the columns, and choose to order by any of the above, but the default is the collective size.

-Zoom: Rather than having to reload to a subfolder, you can just zoom in on it. This is extremely helpful if you want to tackle one folder at a time. However, just keep in mind that the colors of the files does not change, because WinDirStat has still analyzed the whole disk or the folder you selected, not its subfolder. But you can zoom in as much as you want, even to a single file, if you so desire, and the folder you are currently zoomed in on is outlined in blue in the directory.

-"Refresh Selected": This is really helpful. Instead of having to refresh the entire thing (which is a feature, by the way), you can refresh one folder, or one file.

-Contexts: WinDirStat also has handy tools such as "Open Item," "Copy Path," "Explorer Here," "Command Prompt Here," and the ability to show the properties of the file.

-Cleanups: Because WinDirStat is all about disk space management, you are allowed 10 customizable cleanups that are command line based, so you can run programs on a certain file or a certain folder like a secure deletion program perhaps, or like I do, have CCleaner as one.

-Two delete options: If you want to delete normally, you can choose to delete to the recycle bin. If you don't want stuff to build up in your recycle bin, you have the option to delete permanently.

-Report: Has the ability to create a report.

-Choice of display: You can choose KDirStat or SequoiaView. KDirStat is actually based off something for KDE, or Linux, I believe. Really, the only difference that I can discern is this: SequoiaView aims to reduce what I call "splinters." In KDirStat, very small files are often shrunken to very thin strips rather than boxes, and these can be hard to see in the graph. SequoiaView attempts to keep that from happening, and keep everything as a box. It's really all about preference.

-Portable: Yes, that's right. How can an app as handy as this not be portable? This is really useful if someone says "I have no idea how my disk got filled up so quickly." Pull out your flash drive, and it's WinDirStat to the rescue. Visit the good people at for the download.

Over-stuffed computers can be very intimidating. Alot of times it's difficult to even know where to begin. WinDirStat is so friendly to the eye and easy to use, it helps relieve the stress, and almost makes!

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