How to Fix a Low Disk Space Warning

You have probably found yourself wondering at some point how, even though you have a 500 GB hard drive, you have no space left on it. Where did all that space go? SpaceSniffer is a portable freeware program that can answer that question. It shows you a graphical representation of how folders and files are structured on your hard disk and their respective sizes.

SpaceSniffer does not need any installation. Download the program to a folder on your hard drive and then unzip the file. It does not matter from where you run SpaceSniffer.

Double-click the executable (SpaceSniffer.exe) to run the program.

The program opens displaying the Choose a drive or type a path dialog box.

Choosing a drive or folder to scan

Say, for example, we want to find out how much space all those downloaded programs are taking up and which are ones are the biggest space hogs.

Click the Path button. The Browse For Folder dialog box displays.

Selecting a folder to scan

Select a folder to scan and click OK.

Selected path displays

Click Start to begin scanning the selected folder. A graphical representation of the folders and files in the selected folder displays.

SpaceSniffer scanning results

If you are looking for all the files of one or more specific types, you can use the Filter feature. For example, you may want to find all the executables and PDF manuals within the Programs folder.

Type the following into the Filter edit box and press the Filter button:

*.exe;*.pdf

The dialog box changes display only the files of the types specified.

SpaceSniffer filtered scanning results

To return to a display of all folders and files, delete the text from the Filter edit box and click the Filter button again.

SpaceSniffer allows you to export the results of the scan as text. To do this, select Export from the File menu.

Selecting Export option from File menu

The Export current view focus dialog box displays.

Exporting results as text

To save the results, click the gear button in the upper left corner of the dialog box. Use the Save As dialog box to specify a name and location for your file and save it.

Saving your results

You can configure the default settings for exporting your results and specify a header and footer for insertion into the text file. Click the button that looks like a wrench.

Configuring the export settings

Four tabs display below the Configuration drop-down list allowing you to specify settings. You can import your settings as a file, so you can transfer the settings to another computer or store them on a USB drive.

There are too many features to go into here. SpaceSniffer comes with a Quick Start Guide, explaining how to use its many features, and an Export Customization Guide, providing more detail about configuring the export settings.

My favorite app, however, is TreeSize, a small utility to analyze disk space usage.

by Lori Kaufman

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Comments [2]

  1. Mike Smith says:

    I have a low disk space warning and I discovered this post. You've been very helpful. Thanks a lot. Those low disk pop up were really driving me nuts.

  2. James Miller says:

    Actually, it is a headache to encounter a "low disk space" warning. However, we can solve this problem with some partition utilities.

    For example, Partition Magic which made by PQ is a computer program for partitioning hard disk for Windows 7/Vista/XP.

    As a Partition Magic alternative, Partition Assistant also is good choice. It is available for both Home and Server users. You can download it for free via extend-partition.com/download.html and check how it works!

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