Tech Tools Spotlight: WinDirStat

A helpful resource for when you’re running low on server storage space…

The Issue

Often you will find that files, documents, logs, system files and much more will consume your storage over time. This is not only an issue that affects servers, but workstations as well. When you begin to run out of storage space, you will see problems with applications running, Server Roles failing, the inability to save anything and possible issues logging into the machine.

Logged in with a temporary profile

Yeah, this happens…

And when this happens, you are more than likely completely out of free space. Before you can even install WinDirStat, you will need to clear about 3 MB of space to complete the download and installation.

This tool is extremely useful when you need to quickly clear out old files. I have used it many times to get a server back up and running, if only to be able to add additional Virtual Storage.

Be Prepared

One of the most useful tools I carry is a flash drive.

Being the only IT literate member of my family causes many visits to be support related. WinDirStat is also available as a PortableApp (PA). PortableApps require no installation, no license and no costs. You can find many essential tools or apps on their website. You can learn more about this and even download the WinDirStat PA.

How to use WinDirStat to Reclaim Storage

WinDirStat is a free tool that shows storage usage in a Graphical Interface with visual representations to what is using the most space. You can download WinDirStat for free as well.

You can choose to view individual drives or all Local Drives. For a workstation, you will likely only be worried about your Windows Directory Drive, normally the C: Drive by default.

WinDirStat Select Drives

When you select a drive, it will begin analyzing the structure and will report the directories with the most used storage in descending order.

Report WinDirStat Directories

On the right side of the program is a breakdown of the types of files that are consuming the most space. In some instances I have seen upwards of 10 gigs in .log files. I generally find it safe to delete anything more than a year old as long as it is a non-crucial file. By default, the files that take up the most space are colored blue, the second heftiest are red, and the third largest green…

Breakdown of Files Using Most Space WinDirStat

On the bottom half of the program, WinDirStat displays the same usage stats in a Visual Representation. This clearly shows where my space went. Windows System Files consume most of the storage on my C: Drive. If you saw in the first screenshot, I have a second Drive. This is where I save all of my critical documents and files. The C: Drive is only serving a purpose for windows and my Desktop.

WinDirStat Visual Representation

As a recent trend, we would like to demonstrate the functionality of this tool in a quick “Joe Knows Support” Video.

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2014-02-10T08:35:23+00:00 February 10th, 2014|

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