Size Matters, when it's taking up disk space

 On the Road again, this is Ron Barrett, Reporting from Raleigh - Durham N.C.

Here for some family stuff, not to visit the Research Triangle (unfortunately).

I was thinking on the drive down, how things have changed in terms of storage for the PC. I remember my first introduction to the PC; it was an IBM PS/2. I was not even in Technology then, my cousins and I had a company that delivered freight in the 5 boroughs of NYC. We needed a powerhouse, so the 80286 model with 8MB of RAM and a 30MB hard drive was a fantastic system. The fact that we bought three and needed to take a loan to do so speaks to the cost.

In contrast we load end users desktops with 4GB's of RAM and between a half and three quarters of a terabyte of hard drive space. So, as an IT Admin we have no worries about space right???

Think again, in my last position (before I took to writing and training), I worked as IT Director for an Accounting firm. We used paperless software for audits that scanned and saved Word files, Excel files and PDF's.  On a typical laptop with 250GB of hard drive space within 6 months we would need to run cleanup or even re-image a machine. Typically we would be left with 30 - 35 % of drive space available.

While tools like Hyena are great for reporting on available drive space. How do we find the culprit?  Re-imaging and spending hours trying to find what was eating up space is tedious to say the least. Then, I found a neat little tool called Size Explorer. Size Explorer is currently in version 3.8.7 and is offered in lite, pro and gold versions.

Again here we have a tool that is not extravagant and is capable of doing a deep-dive into users systems. This is great to find out which folders are bulking up quickly. We all know that in today's environments we have those users who download their MP3's, videos and god know whatever else. I know users are blocked from doing this right. I'm talking about the managers and partners. You know the "Power User", Microsoft created that term for users who needed to have more access to their systems for the sake of working efficiently. Corporate America has turned it into the excuse bosses use to keep you from putting restrictions on them.

That is where Size Explorer comes in, I was able to quickly identify the files that were growing out of control on users systems and even on Network shares. Then, it was easy to take appropriate action on the files. Legitimate files were moved or archived, Un-authorized files were deleted "What your MP3 collection is missing from your laptop, curious?"

The graphical charts show the percentage of usage by directory. You can also chart file size by extension types. It's great to be able to see that there are 50 GBs of data in JPG format and to just simply call the user and ask them to deal with it without being subjected to vacation photo's or sometimes something worse.

Prices start at $19.99 for the lite version, up to $44.00 for the Gold version. Not a lot of money to invest for a tool that will save time and work.

Have you used this tool, Love it hate it, don't care?? Please post a comment.

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