Use TreeSize to stay on top of disk space issues

System engineer Jerry Smith shares one of his favorite free tools for keeping track of disk space issues.

As a System Engineer responsible for over 60 servers both virtual and physical, I am always juggling disk space issues. My company is a SaaS provider; if our IIS logs fill up our disks, the application goes down. And that is not good for anyone. Enter TreeSize Free, a lightweight application that quickly and efficiently provides a graphical view of a hard disk in a hierarchical (hence the name tree) format. While TreeSize isn't a new product, I wanted to take this opportunity to be sure all network admins are aware of its usefulness.

There is ample competition as one might expect. Offerings from WinDirStat and FreeCommander offer similar results, however, I like the interface of TreeSize and the lack of invasiveness to my systems of the application itself.

If you crave more information in the form of reporting, TreeSize Pro is available with prices starting around $50.

TreeSize Free can be found with a quick web search.

The download is less than 3MB and, for this example, is being installed on Windows 2003 SP2. TreeSize Free supports Windows products from XP to Server 2008, and I'm sure support for Windows 8 is in the pipeline.

Installation is a snap; just launch the executable, accept the defaults, and choose where you want shortcuts placed.

TreeSize wizard
When the application is launched you simply click Open and then select which drive you want analyzed. TreeSize quickly displays the analysis with the largest collection of files at the top in descending order.

Click to enlarge directory view.

If you hover over any particular folder you'll get the yellow box you see above. While providing necessary and important data, it can be a bit irritating if you're simply trying to review the results. Just remind yourself that it is free software. TreeSize is very minimal and doesn't take up much space when installed. I have it listed in my documentation for all new server installations.

If you are an IT Admin this application saves you valuable time sorting through directories looking for rogue log files or ripped DVD's in user home folders.


Jerry Smith is an IT Pro with over 15 years experience. He currently is a Systems Engineer for a leading SaaS firm in Birmingham, AL.

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