Belarc Advisor & WinDirStat: Detailed View of Your Computer Files

by JL Beeken on 5-25-2007

This is fascinating if you’re in a geeky mood or want to impress your friends.

Belarc Advisor

Belarc Advisor will scan your computer in about 30 seconds and open a list in your browser of all the hardware and software on your computer. If you have a PDF printer by now you can print it with that, (switch to “landscape” in the Page Setup so it doesn’t truncate the right side of the page) or print it to paper. I have a (usually out-of-date) home-made list for my bi-annual OS re-installations, but this is much better. It also makes note of Windows updates that have failed and need to be reinstalled. For some reason Microsoft doesn’t tell you.

Belarc Advisor

Belarc Advisor

WinDirStat is useful and gobs of fun. It will scan your hard-drive(s) and show you what all your files are and where.

WinDirStat

WinDirStat

You can click on a colored part and it will tell you what file type and where it is. Or you can click on a file type, or specific file in the folder tree, and it will highlight the corresponding colored portions.

For instance, the yellow with the white square around it is my Ditto clipboard contents, taking up over half a Gigabyte of space on my overcrowded hard-drive. That’s insane. As soon as I’m finished here I’ll go delete it. This program once helped me discover a strange thing going on with some temp files that were bogging down my computer to the tune of 6 GBs for absolutely no good reason.

If you have one of those new-fangled 250 GB hard-drives and wasted space is not a raging concern, this is still a fun place to hang out and have a look around.

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