OT - USEFUL: Hard Drive Visual Map Freeware

Soniclight wrote on 12/4/2014, 9:05 PM

(Note: screenshot above here may or may not show up instantly.)

As mentioned in an other recent post, I've been using a nifty little visual drive map freeware -- WinDirStat -- for many years.
It hasn't been updated since 2005, it's 32-bit but works just fine on my Win7 64-bit.

One can customize it, including what color to use for map highlighting as mentioned in the screenshot here of my current state of 128 Gb Samsung 850 Pro SSD as well as the highlight and "pillow height" of the quilt squares. The product page shows multiple drives all at once with the default shiny-pillowy look which I toned down.

One can choose one drive or partition or multiple ones at a time. It takes a minute or so for multiple drives to be scanned for the maps to show up. The larger the drive content, the longer it takes but its all pretty fast relatively speaking. As long as the little "Pacman" is rolling back and forth in the bottom status bar, it's still scanning.

It's really helped look for the biggest "quilt" squares representing the largest files/folders and then deciding it I really, really need those on my OS. I've reduced my original OS from +/- 85 Gb to the now 52.3 Gb. Spring cleaning in winter... :)

I could and may at some point nuke the largest green colored files in far upper right side (Cubase HALion VST sounds), but those are tricky to move to another drive without re-installing Cubase. For another day.


DiDequ wrote on 12/5/2014, 1:46 AM
If you are also using linux on your computer, you can use "shake" command to defrag your ntfs partitions, just because for example you can ask shake to defragment just a single folder with all your mpeg files : they wil be physically located at the same place on your harddisk, alphabetivally sorted.

For this example, use the command
find -iname '*.mpeg' | sort | shake
under your linux terminal

This means you can process all your windows directory files, then all your program files folder and so on.
In some circumstances (if you do not use an ssd of course) this can speed up your hard disk and your boot time.
See :
for more information

Here is the man shake answer for all possibilities:

SHAKE(8) System Administration Utilities SHAKE(8)

Shake - Rewrite fragmented files, maybe improving performance.


Rewrite fragmented or misplaced files, maybe improving performance. Reads file list from standard input if there is no files in the arguments.
You have to mount your partition with the user_xattr option.

-c, --max-crumbc
max number of crumbs

-C, --max-fragc
max number of fragments

-d, --max-deviance
max distance between file start and it's ideal position

-h, --help
you're looking at me !

-L, --no-locks
don't put a lock on written files

-m, --many-fs
shake subdirectories that are on different filesystems

-n, --new
age of "new" files, which will be shak()ed

-o, --old
age of "old" files, which won't be shak()ed

-p, --pretend
don't alter files

-r, --crumbratio
ratio of the file under which a fragment is a crumb

-s, --smallsize
the size under which a file is considered small

-S, --bigsize
the size under which a file is considered big

-t, --small-tolerance multiply crumbratio and divide maxfnumber of small files

-T, --big-tolerance
multiply crumbratio and divide maxfnumber of big files

-v, --verbose
increase the verbosity level

-V, --version
show version number and copyright

-X, --no-xattr
disable usage of xattr

See fragmention of a file :
shake --pretend --verbose --verbose FILE

Shake all file in a dir, recursively :
shake --old=0 DIR

Shake all mp3 in subdirectory, puting together those close in lexical order :
find -iname '*.mp3' | sort | shake

If there is no FILES shake read from stdin.

Please refer to http://vleu.net/shake/ for detailed instructions.

Report bugs to <brice.arnould+shake@gmail.com> or at http://savannah.nongnu.org/projects/shake

Copyright (C) 2006-2009 Brice Arnould. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify documentation under the terms of the GNU Free Docu‐
mentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts,
and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the file FDL.txt .

Copyright © 2006-2011 Brice Arnould. Shake comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY. You may redistribute copies of Shake under the terms of the GNU Gen‐
eral Public License version or greater. For more information about these matters, see the file named GPL.txt.

Shake 0.999 May 2014 SHAKE(8)
cohibaman#1 wrote on 12/5/2014, 2:22 AM
Here is another Hard Drive Visual Mapper that is freeware, and It is called SpaceSniffer. It digs down to every program, folder and file on the drive that you select, and shows a picture of various sized blocks (like a quilt) with a description of the name, size, and how much space everything is taking up, along with information of Creation, Modified & Access dates. It is very customizable.

Soniclight wrote on 12/5/2014, 3:02 AM
DiDequ - Thanks for your long and informative reply, but... I have no idea what this has to do with the thread's subject but it looks interesting. And as I did state in the image itself also, I do have an SSD and one does not degrag those... :)
Soniclight wrote on 12/5/2014, 3:27 AM
cohibaman#1 -- Thanks for info. While different in certain aspects, many similarities and customizations between the two progs. I'll stick to WinDirStat mostly due to years of familiarity.
DiDequ wrote on 12/6/2014, 8:19 AM
defrag is one thing.
rearranging files is another one.

If you use the linux command, then you use your sofware, what will you see ?
Only one blue square.
Only one purple square
Only one yellow square
and so on.

It's like having the right files at the right place.
It's not intended to save place, you just know your hard drive is "bien organisé"

Your post explains how to display the content of your harddrive. My "addon" let you get a more beautiful picture of it.
I could say none of these 2 software are really useful : it's easy to kwow what the big files are, what their names are.... without your softtware, and we do not really have to know where the files are physically written with mine.
Anyway, your post is interresting for those who had never heard about that !

NB : There is one case where you could use defrag with your ssd : if you want to shrink your partition to a minimum size ... and doing this under linux is much faster than under Windows,
I agree this is another story !
Soniclight wrote on 12/7/2014, 12:18 AM
OK, I see what you mean but I don't have/use Linux so more or less moot. :) As to what files are what, I'm familiar enough with both Windows and my progs do know what they are and are used for. One can delete, Explore, etc. any file and folder in this program as well as zoom in on particular areas. Good enough for me.