Gather folder data in Windows 2000 with Visual File Information

If you need more information about the data in folders than Windows Explorer and the command console can provide, then you may want to turn to a tool in the Windows Resource Kit called Visual File Information. Discover how Visual File Information can make data analysis much easier.

Windows Explorer and the command console both enable you to view the contents of folders, along with file and folder attributes. In most situations, these two tools give you all the information you need. Sometimes, however, you could probably use more information and more options for sorting the folder and file information. For example, you might be researching file changes between two otherwise identical computers and need to save the output to an Excel spreadsheet for comparison.

The Windows Resource Kit includes a tool called Visual File Information that can give you more expansive information about files. You can also use Visual File Information to store the resulting file listing to a tab-delimited file or a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The program enables you to add multiple folder paths to the view so you can evaluate non-contiguous folders as needed.

To open Visual File Information on a computer where the Windows Resource Kit is installed, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Tools link in the Resource Kit menu (on the Start menu).
  2. Click the File And Disk Tools link, and double-click Visual File Information.

If you want to add folders to the view, you need to go through a few more steps:

  1. Click the Add Folder button on the toolbar and click the path you want to add.
  2. Repeat the process to add other folder paths as necessary.
  3. When you're ready to save the information, go to File | Save specify a file name and location, choose between text and Excel format, and click Save.

Now you can open the file in Excel or other applications for analysis, or you can export it to applications such as Microsoft Access.

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