Using WinDirStat to Identify Large Files and Directories on Clients

SUMMARY

Using WinDirStat to Identify Large Files and Directories on Clients

ISSUE

Purpose

This article provides information on how the third-party utility, WinDirStat can be used to identify large directories and files.

The information provided by WinDirStat can be helpful in determining directories for inclusion and exculsion, and the information is also helpful in cleaning up unnecessary/old data which would otherwise take up space on backups.

Disclaimer: Unitrends does NOT directly support WinDirStat.  WinDirStat is Open Source software. You can redistribute and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Public License, version 2 (GPLv2).

Applies To

Windows Server 2000, 2003, and 2008

Windows XP, 7

Using WinDirStat

Download

WinDirStat can be download from the community site or from the attachment at the bottom of this article.

Select Drive(s)

When you launch WinDirStat, you will be prompted to select a drive to scan.  You may select multiple drives or all local drives.

Click OK and the drive scanning will begin.  A hard drive containing a large amount of small files will take longer to scan than a hard drive containing fewer but larger files.

 

Output

When the scanning is complete, you will have a three-pane window. 

The top-left pane will contain a listing of directories sorted from the largest at the top to the smallest at the bottom.  When you expand the directories, the sub-directories will also be sorted similarly.  This is helpful when hunting down large directories.

The bottom pane is a graphical representation of files shown as colored sqaures on the drive(s) scanned, and the squares are sized proportionally to the file size.  This is helpful because extremely large files will be very conspicuous.

The top-right pane is listing of file types found on the drive(s) scanned, and the colors next to the file types serve as a legend/key for the colors in the bottom pane.  The list of file types is sorted by greatest percentage of disk used to lowest percentage of disk used.  This is helpful to identify file types such as movies or pictures which you may not want backed up by your appliance.

 

 

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