Track disk space usage on your system

Users often use up available disk space on a system as quickly as you add it. If you want to track your disk space usage, try Micro Logic's DiskMapper.

Unlike other utilization reporting tools, DiskMapper creates a color-coded map of your disk to illustrate where users are consuming the most space. This information helps you determine which files to delete (i.e., files that are consuming a lot of space) and which files to copy to offline storage (i.e., files your users don't use).

Starting the Program
To install DiskMapper, insert the 3.5" installation disk and run the setup program. The installation completes in minutes, and you don't have to reboot.

When you select the area you want to view, the software analyzes your hard disk and creates a graphic display (or map) that illustrates how its space is used. DiskMapper color-codes your map so that you can easily identify directory levels or determine a file's age, type, size, or extension. If you use the software to map a disk according to directory level, DiskMapper assigns colors to directories. For example, root directories might be red, and subdirectories might be green. You can use the software to map the age of files and identify the files that you haven't used in a while. Screen 1 shows a disk mapped according to size.

If you identify an item you want to take action against, click the item and select an action from the toolbar. You can delete the directory files or compress them to use less space. DiskMapper creates a Zip file for files or directories you choose to compress. However, the software can't turn Windows NT's disk compression on or off for certain files or directories.

User-Friendly Features
DiskMapper contains several user-friendly features. The wildcard mapping feature lets you map files with certain extensions (e.g., .bmp, .avi). The Duplicate File Finder helps you locate copies of a particular file. The File Advisor helps you determine whether you can safely delete a file from the system. The software's drag-and-drop feature lets you move files or directories easily. You click the file or directory and drag it to a new location.

DiskMapper has an intuitive GUI. Two windows below the toolbar let you view usage information. In the window on the left, you can view and scroll through an Explorer-like directory and file listing. In the window on the right, you can see a graphical breakdown of a directory's file utilization. When you select a directory or file in the left window, the right window automatically updates to display your selection.

DiskMapper performs best with monitors that have high resolution. Monitors with low resolution yield maps that look small and crowded. I recommend using the software in a 1024 * 768 resolution or higher environment.

Mapping My Disk
I installed the software on my home-built, Micronics-based, dual-Pentium II NT server. I have thousands of files and directories on my server, so creating the DiskMapper display map was time consuming. I waited 15 minutes for DiskMapper to analyze one of my hard disks and display the information graphically. In my test environment, this time delay was understandable (i.e., the software had to scan the entire disk's contents to build the map). However, this type of delay might make the software inefficient for companies that have many files and directories on their systems. The manual that accompanies the software provides several suggestions for increasing DiskMapper's speed (e.g., decreasing the number of other jobs on the system); however, none of these suggestions worked in my environment.

After DiskMapper created my display map, I determined which files and directories consumed the most disk space. When I double-clicked a directory name, the view of the files in that directory expanded. A drill-down menu appeared, which I used to examine directory layers.

Try It
DiskMapper is a good buy. The GUI helps you identify directories (or users) that are consuming too much disk space. DiskMapper might not be an efficient choice for large environments because of the time the software takes to scan your disk and build its display. To try DiskMapper, download a trial version from Micro Logic's Web site.

DiskMapper
Contact: Micro Logic * 201-342-6518
Web: http://www.miclog.com
Price: $99.95
System Requirements: Windows NT 3.51 or 4.0, 486MHz processor or better, 3.5" drive, 500KB of hard disk space