What’s using all of my Hard Drive space?

I was working with a client yesterday who was telling me how her computer was slow and doing weird things.  I clicked on “Computer” and saw her C: drive (her main hard drive) was Red and just about full!  She had a 500GB drive, said she had a bunch of digital photos, but not too much else she knew of.  Windows needs a small percentage of your hard drive to remain free for temporary use.  Many functions may not work properly if your hard drive is completely full (printing, for example, needs some free space to work) and your computer may slow down significantly with a traditional hard drive when it’s full.

To easily ‘see’ what was taking up all of her hard drive space, I could go through all of her folders, right-click, then Properties – which would give me the size of the folder, then add them all up…(eyes glazing over…people losing interest now… WAIT!  There IS a better way!)   OR, I could just use a cool program like SpaceSniffer!  It’s a free, portable program (meaning you don’t have to install anything – just download and run the program).  What SpaceSniffer does is give you a ‘Treemap’ – a Visual/Graphical layout of your hard drive folders and files.  Just run the program, tell it which drive to map and a few minutes (or seconds, depending on the size and speed of your drive and # of files) later you have a cool layout of your drive.  When you see a ‘big’ box or area, you’ll know this is where a lot of your disk space is being used.  It could be just pictures, but maybe it’s junk or some large temp files you don’t need.

You can find out more about SpaceSniffer and a download link on their website:  SpaceSniffer

Extra notes:

There are some viruses we have seen recently that create thousands of temp files in your temp folder (and keep creating them!).  If you are experiencing something like this, you may want to have your computer checked out by one of our technicians.  When this virus first came out, most of the anti-virus/anti-spyware tools did NOT detect this virus (until we found one that did and were able to remove this pesky virus!)


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