Hard Drive Full ? Read This Before you pull out the Wallet
I can’t tell you how many clients I have had ask me the same thing, “my hard drive is full, I need to buy a new computer, right ?” Err … right here I can be a jerk, take advantage and charge you to set a new computer, but fortunately for my clients I don’t operate like that. There happens to be alot of very good reasons you should purchase new hardware, however, this is not one of them. Matter of fact, most of the time you don’t have to buy anything to rectify this problem. There are some very good free utilities to help you clean up your drives. The realilty of the situation is that over time, PC’s accumulate junk and most people don’t know how to go about cleaning it up. I generally can find 20-30 gigs of junk in a single pass, and even in those situations where there is generally too much valuable data the price of cheap SATA drives makes this a quick fix as well.
While there are several free tools available on the market I stick with WinDirStat (did I say its free !). This tool allows you to visually see whats taking up the space on your disks and then reference the corresponding file. Here is an example of what you’ll see:
Don’t get scared! All this represents is a visual depiction of the size of the files on your drive. The bigger the square the more room it is taking up on your drive, the different colors correspond to different types of files. This is a great time saver and it allows you to quickly trim the fat and get rid of large files you don’t need. One important thing to keep in mind when you start looking through the larger files is that, if you don’t know what it is don’t mess with it. As a general rule of thumb, files with the extensions .dll and .exe are not good to delete without uninstalling.
There is also an alternative for mac users called Grand Persective available here.
Hopefully this will help get you on your way to getting cleaned up.