Saturday, 13 June 2015

exploring my hard drive

Why oh why doesn’t the Windows file explorer show the size of directories?  It’s a real pain when the drive is filling up, and you need to find out where all the space has gone.  Today I noticed my 1TB hard drive was nearly full.  That’s just ridiculous.  My very first hard drive, way back in the day, was 28MB.  Yes, megabytes.  1TB is essentially infinite!

Rather than trying to walk up and down the explorer tree, looking for big files, I had a google to see what other people are doing.  I discovered WinDirStat.  Easy to install, easy to run.

My hard drive usage now look like:

Pretty!  And informative.  The rectangles are colour coded by file type.  The big grey rectangle is free space: it was invisibly small when I started.  Freeing up space was easy once I found where all the space was going.  I deleted several very large zip files I had been keeping “just in case”.  Then I deleted them from the recycle bin.  Sigh.

It’s very easy to explore what all the space is being used for, both from this graphical view, and through a more conventional file listing view.  Clicking on a rectangle highlights the relevant directory or file in the listing view, and vice versa.  I spent rather more time wandering around the drive than I needed to, even after I’d deleted some files.  A very nice tool.  And now I have room for it, and a lot lot more, on my drive.

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