TechTips Vol III Software – Disk Space

Have you ever run out of disk space? Do you know what is taking up that precious real estate? Is it your music, your movies, a basic collaboration of your computing life?

Just because the 40 or 60 or even 100 gig hard drive, on your computer, filled up does not mean you need a new machine. There is a good chance you can free up some space if you know where to look. There are two great programs, one for Mac and one for a PC, that can help. They both analyze your Hard Drive and let you know where your space is being utilized in the file system, from the largest directories to smallest, and then from largest files within those directories to smallest. The purpose of these applications is to give you an insight into your computer’s disk usage. Maybe your forgot about that large download or didn’t realize you had duplicate home movies or pictures, etc. If you don’t know what you are looking at, best to leave it and ask someone who can help, even better Google it.

With this knowledge and a little more training, that I am happy to provide below, you can intelligently free up this space.

Disk Space Programs

Jdisk Report – This is a free program for Windows, Linux, or Mac.

  • Make sure you have Java installed click here
  • Now download jdisk for windows
  • Install it, leaving all the defaults checked when installing
  • Now run the application jdisk report, and choose which disk to scan, C: or D:. (if this is your first time, scan one and then scan the other)

OmniDisk – This is a free program for Mac

  • Download OmniDisk
  • Install it by double clicking on omnidisk.dmg, which you just downloaded
  • Drag the omnidisk icon shown to your Applications folder
  • Open your Applications folder and double click on omnidisk

What you need to know

  • Before deleting anything, make sure you have a proper backup
  • Unless you are an expert in Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7
    • Stay away from doing anything in the Program Files, Windows, or System32 folders. These folders contain files pertinent to the functioning of your computer. One wrong deletion and your PC will stop functioning properly
    • Feel free to remove any files in your My Documents folder that you know longer want.
    • Use programs like ccleaner to clear internet cache, log files (.log) , and temporary files (.tmp)
  • Unless you are an expert in the Mac Operating System
    • Stay away from any folder called Library or System

If you use a Lenovo (used to be IBM) Thinkpad or any Lenovo Laptop

  • Sometimes your C: drive might report that it only has 5 gigs available of a 60 gig drive (55 gigs used), but jdisk report says you are only using 20 gigs.
  • If there is a discrepancy of what is used and what jdisk thinks is used, and you use an Lenovo model laptop
  • Go to start – programs – thinkpad – rescue and recovery
    • Sometimes the Lenovo laptops install an application that backs up your laptop to a hidden drive on itself (somewhat futile if the hard drive dies, but..)
    • You can not delete those backups via the usual methods
    • You have to remove the backups using the rescue and recovery program
    • If you see restore points listed, delete them.
    • Now see this article on how to properly backup

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