Windows

Retrieve information for multiple Windows XP disk drives

If you're working with multiple Windows XP disk drives, you can easily create a pie chart to show the amount of free and used space on each drive at the same time -- including removable and floppy drives.

You can obtain detailed information about the amount of available and used space on your Windows XP disk by right-clicking any drive icon in My Computer and selecting Properties. You also get a nice pie chart display that depicts this information graphically, which makes it very easy to quickly analyze your hard disk usage.

If you have multiple drives, performing this operation on each one can be time consuming. Fortunately, Windows XP can provide the same type of pie chart display for all your drives in one tabbed dialog box. Here's how:

  1. Open My Computer.
  2. Hold down [Ctrl] and select each one of the drive icons (Figure A).
  3. Right-click the last one and select Properties.

Figure A

Hold down [Ctrl] and select each drive you want to display.
The resulting dialog box will have a tab containing a pie chart for each drive (Figure B). You can use this technique with removable as well as floppy disk drives.

Figure B

A pie chart appears for each drive.
Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Professional editions.

Stay on top of the latest XP tips and tricks with TechRepublic's Windows XP newsletter, delivered every Thursday. Automatically sign up today!

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

45 comments
MeadowsPV
MeadowsPV

This also works in Windows 2000.

plenneke
plenneke

Use Defragment will tell you where the free space is on all your drives with a drive letter. I have used all letters on my 60 Gig HD, but the last three are reserved for the DVD, CD and Zippy drives. (X,Y and Z) That way these drives are not interfered with when you add a new driveletter.

ehk
ehk

This technique works only for drives that have been assigned a drive letter. Drives that are mounted at a reparse point do not show up in the explorer view. You need to start diskmgmt.msc. It shows all drives, not just those with drive letters. EHK

Joy Phillip
Joy Phillip

I used to use TreeSize, and it is a really good program. But in looking to consolidate a lot of my programs into one suite, I found Glary Utilities. It has not only a registry cleaner, shredder, encrypter, and many more tools, but it also has a disk analysis like TreeSize, almost to the same GUI interface. http://www.glaryutilities.com/gu.html I sprung for the PRO edition, but the Free does everything most people want.

Photogenic Memory
Photogenic Memory

I did this on my windows system and it'll work for your without all that GUI nonsense. Here goes: dir c: | find "free" & dir f: | find "free" It'll return the amount of free space for the drives. You can substitute "whateverdrive" letter you wish. I learned it from another similar TR post.

asifsol
asifsol

i think most of user allready know about it.

Senior Program Analyst
Senior Program Analyst

KEEP UP WITH THE GREAT WORK GUYS! Maybe one of you would replace the original writer. I got so much more usefull information from that thread than the article itself. Why tell us that we can find the start button in the bottom lefthand corner of the screen (If you didnt already know this by the time you read this article then its probably something you didnt need to know. - Better to tell us how we can hide it, move it, change it, etc.

lee.laird
lee.laird

Been wanting this capability

Desktop Veteran
Desktop Veteran

Geez, tough crowd. Well, while I have never taken the time to discover this, it is handy in monitoring the drives on a particular server I manage. It would be more useful if a shortcut could be created to bring up the same information repeatedly. So this may not change anyones life or anything, but it's still useful.

reisen55
reisen55

I have seen many useful tips here, but this one is below par. What I really would love is a utility that scans a drive and tells me where the big folders and file size eaters are instead of having to use intuition and sheer guesswork. I want to know where the drive is being eaten alive in detail, not in summary. Partition Magic gives me more info to.

stuartfidler
stuartfidler

An easier way to select all drives is to left click on the first drive and then Hold down [Shift] to select the last drive in the range. Hold down [Ctrl] and left click to deselected unwanted drives in the range.

info
info

Vista Drive Icon is a tiny (resident) util that does about the same trick, but without any clicking.... You'll get a graphical display of the usage amount. See http://drvicon.sourceforge.net/

pctyson
pctyson

Treesize is the most simple and useful program that I have found for displaying disk usage. It simply uses a bar graph. It is very easy to see how the disk space is being used. I have tried most of the others mentioned and found them to be pretty to look at but difficult to interpret.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

While the technical level of this post may not be high, it certainly is valid. The Windows Blog is designed to be useful to a wide range of readers. If you want to write an article on how to hide, move, and/or change the Start button, I'll be glad to pay you the going rate to publish it. As it stands, this little simple blog post has generated about a dozen suggestions from members on other utilities and tools one can use to get even more drive information from their PCs. Taken as a whole, blog post plus discussion, I think this has been very productive.

deepsand
deepsand

TR is not for the cogniscienti alone.

ozboing
ozboing

I use foldersreport. You can get it at www.nirsoft.net

wileycoyotee
wileycoyotee

Does anybody know how to quickly find the free space on an unmapped network drive on a windows workgroup?

deepsand
deepsand

TR does not cater solely to the cogniscienti, but to the rank amateurs as well.

Senior Program Analyst
Senior Program Analyst

Its standard XP Maybe if you can tell me how to have all my drives continuely display the pie chart on the backgroup of my servers so i can easily keep an eye on it - that might be good to know. Sort of a Dashboard - maybe include other measurements as well.

ehk
ehk

I tried Treesize. I have eight drives mounted on a reparse point on my system drive. These drives do not have drive letters but can be accessed by c:/mount/drive-name. Treesize found the junctions but reported these junctions as having size 0 rather than returning the stats for the mounted drives. Since Windows 2000 and subsequent have supported mounted drives for more than a decade and the system calls to get drive information are well documented, I can only presume that whoever wrote the programme does not know much about NTFS. EHK

Lovs2look
Lovs2look

I use Overdisk regularly, looking for big files/folder that users try and store on our server. It would have saved me days in searching manually. Nice pretty colors and free. It's the best.

godzillex
godzillex

This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for your recommendation.

Joy Phillip
Joy Phillip

and it is slightly more useful than the clicking on and finding properties of each, I was hoping that this tip contained information on how to toggle on the pie chart view display for the left hand task panes like is in other versions of Windows. That's the one thing about XP I can't stand. Anyhow, if you find out how to do that, to force the pie chart to display in the task pane on the left with the Drive Details, I'd really REALLY be grateful.

mmcanosa
mmcanosa

I just have read the info on the link, downloaded the diruse, and tested with the batch file they gave as example. It worked perfectly, after a few changes. if yiu want a GUI for the same task, the TreeSize is a great tool, but it is a trial.

dennis
dennis

You could use Computer Management, and in the Action Menu choose Connect to another computer. There in Disk Management you can see all disk drives on the machine and their free space, and in System Tools > Shares you can see the shared drives and folders on the system.

deepsand
deepsand

Bear in mind that these columns are not for the sole benefit of the "experts."

RPip
RPip

If you want a nice graphical interface, try SpaceMonger. Ver 1.40 is free, ver 2.xx is trial. I've been using it for years (the free version of course!). Best feature IMO is the ability to expand folders and delete right from the GUI. http://www.werkema.com/software/spacemonger.html

dennis
dennis

..and TCP port 135. I remember using this approach quite easily in Win2000 and before XP SP1 & the Windows firewall. I just played with it and discovered that an XP workstation returns the error that the RPC Server is unavailable. I don't know of another tool or utility, but I'd be interested to find out too.

wileycoyotee
wileycoyotee

I tried this and it failed because disk management remoting service has to be in the windows firewall exceptions list. I was really hoping for a tip or utility that would enable a right click on the network drive to return free space available for example.

godzillex
godzillex

Very cool! Tons of options in there. Thanks.

Editor's Picks