File storage on hard drives, external drives, flash drives, etc. are like closets… Without organization and routine maintenance, you can get into a “hidden”world of clutter in the matter of no time.
The hard drives and other storage media that we use are definitely on the list of the “most neglected” when it comes to routine maintenance of our computers. One tip that I can offer when it comes to file storage is to keep everything organized. Windows actually presents by default an organized folder structure for you (i.e. Documents, Pictures, Videos, etc…) that is in place to encourage you to maintain organization. It is important to routinely examine the files you are saving and delete (or backup) those that are no longer of importance. Like a closet, it can get out of hand in no time. As always, know what files you are removing; so as to not corrupt the operation of the PC.
If you need an utility to determine where the clutter may visually be located and the amount of space it is consuming, I just came across an utility, that is new to me, called “Space Sniffer”.
This little app uses a Treemap visualization layout which gives you the perception that you are looking at an image representation of the disk (in the form of rectangles and nodes). Each branch of the treemap is rectangular, with smaller rectangles that represent sub-branches with leaf node rectangles proportional to the dimension of data. If you do not get anything out of this app, it is pretty cool to watch this app build the blocks of data. After launching “SpaceSniffer”, give it a minute to populate the tree and scan the disk that you select.
“SpaceSniffer” is small in file size and appears to write to a “XML” config file in the folder from which it is launched from. As a result this applicaton is considered a portable app in my book. This app appears to be ongoing in development and will only get better.
Fast and easy to use
Intuitive structure layout, multiple views for different media
Zoomable elements, navigate like web browser
Smart cached scanning engine, multiple views, single scan
You can navigate the structure even during the scan
You can refine a structure zoomed area by a secondary scan process, even with main scan executing
The Windows folders and file popup menu is accessible by right mouse click
It’s possible to restrict the view content by typing simple yet powerful filtering criteria
Different views of the same media can show differently filtered elements
Reacts to the file system events, keeps always in synch, warns you by blinking elements
Customizable in geometry, colors, behaviors