The VBScript Network and Systems Administrator's Cafe

Aug 18 2008   5:48PM GMT

Essential Tools: Determining disk usage graphically with free tools

Jerry Lees Jerry Lees Profile: Jerry Lees

The next essential tool is one that I have used for quite some time now, and one I searched to find for some time. As a systems administrator, its an ever ending battle for you to keep space clear on the servers. It’s a battle that puts you smack in the middle of the users who are using all the space and the management who refuses to buy more space. Additionally, management all to often refuses to place a mandate on how old data is before it is free to delete.

 This tool won’t help you delete files, but it will tell you really quickly where exactly the space is being used for any particular volume… even if it is a UNC path on your network mapped to a network drive!

This tool, spacemonger, is a tool that will show you this in a visual representation by size where space is being used. It allows you to drill down into directories to see more detail and gives you shortcuts via a context menu to common tasks you would preform on a directory.

SpaceMonger truly is an essential tool. The 1.x version I’ve linked to is older, but free and it gets the job done. Additionally, a newer version is available that has more features and is relatively cheap. Go ahead, check it out… I’m sure you’ll add it to your essential tools!

Know of a tool that you think is essential? Post a comment here and if I don’t already have it in my tool belt, I’ll add it and give it a shot. If it makes the grade– I’ll add it to the list of tools to review. The only criteria are:

  1. The tool must be free, or inexpensive with a “Per User” or “site” type license. (No pay per installation licenses, please)
  2. The tool (or it’s installation file) must be small enough to fit on a 256Mb flash drive for portability.
  3. Command line run time options are beneficial, but not required.
  4. If it has ads… it needs be truly INVALUABLE.
  5. It should make the user’s job easier by gathering information or preforming a task that a typical Network or Systems Administrator would preform.


2  Comments on this Post

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  • Eva007
    Sorry but I think TreeSize is a much better tool. I find space monger rather confusing to look at. TreeSize has lots of good aspects like give you the oldest file, the largest etc... Eva
    0 pointsBadges:
  • Jerry Lees
    Eva007, Thanks for the comment! Good point, I could see that... at first glance it looks very busy. In all fairness, I'll try to add treeview to the list of tools to blog about because you're right that some people may want something with numbers. However, I've found that after time it's really helpful to me (and possibly others who are visual folks) to actaully see a visual representation of the drives usage. For me, I don't like the needing to drill into the directory structure to see why program files is 5Gb of a 12Gb disk. It just seems easier to me to be able to look at the biggest box in the program files section and ask-- "do I need that program" or simply see that there is a huge log file in a folder some number of folders deep into the4 structure without clicking.
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