Tree Size Free

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If you’ve ever found yourself out of or low on disk space, you’ve probably wasted time hovering over folders or checking the properties of each folder, waiting for it to tally the total size. Sometimes it’s not so obvious what happened to your disk space, but there’s a free tool called Tree Size Free makes it quite simple.

This was another work find where we run the Tree Size Professional version, but for simply finding disk space hogs on your local computer, the free version is ideal. There are a number of other features the professional version includes over the free one, but the one thing we use it for is for running disk space reports remotely. I can open Tree Size on one server and type in a path (\remoteserverC$) to run a disk space report for another server which is extremely handy for a system admin.

Tree Size Free will scan whatever local directory you select and provide the results of the folder sizes in the root of the directory by default. You can change this view from one to six levels deep into folders, or you can choose to expand every folder providing a view of every folder in the directory with how much disk space its using. This seems a bit overkill to me as the default view is usually sufficient, but still a nice option. You also have the ability to manually drill down into (expand) individual folders yourself to find the space thief. Below is the result of a typical system scan.

Tree Size Free Results

As you can see, a lot of my space is taken up by the Documents and Settings folder where my user profile is located. I have a bad habit of saving things on my desktop and if you expanded further into this folder and into my profile folder, you’d see my Desktop folder bogarting most of that 20 gigabytes of space Tree Size Free is reporting.

If you need a bit more information on your files, the professional version does have the pretty pie graph option which is a nice touch for reports. You can also get information on folder and file owners, last access and last change dates, percentage of space it’s using of the parent folder, and file extensions to name a few.

There was one incident a Tree Size Professional feature did come in handy for us outside of our normal everyday use, and that was the last access and change fields under the Details tab. Our NAS was growing out of control (quotas were never implemented from the beginning) and people were complaining about needing more space. We ran Tree Size on the entire NAS and realized that nearly 80% of the files were not touched in over 2 years.

Users were archiving data to the NAS that they shouldn’t have been, so not only was the NAS growing quickly, but this data had been backed up hundreds of times over and sent offsite on tape, so much of it was unnecessary. This report came in handy with higher management to show that it was a fix that was more about user education instead of having to spend a few hundred thousand dollars on more disk for the NAS.

Tree Size Free Details

While these pro features can definitely come in handy in larger environments, you just can’t beat the price of Tree Size Free for scanning your own system to help find those pesky disk space abberations.

Bulk Rename Utility

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The Bulk Rename Utility is a neat little tool I found while searching for how to rename a bunch of files at once. I run a family gallery website on a four bay Synology NAS at home and it’s not a very powerful unit. I bought it primarily for the disk redundancy, but the memory is somewhat lacking. This isn’t an issue for viewing pictures, but I do run into problems when I’m uploading dozens of photos at once. I often get that dreaded fatal memory error and when this happens the NextGen Gallery plugin doesn’t always generate the thumbnails for each image.

I use a two pronged approach to creating and renaming these thumbnails in bulk. Since I need to resize the images first, I use Snagit to create the new thumbnails all at once. The problem I now face is that the thumbnails have the same exact name as the original file, whereas if the plugin had been able to do its job correctly, it would have created and renamed them appropriately. Snagit also capitalizes the extension too, so to manually update the name would be quite an arduous task. That’s where the Bulk Rename Utility comes to the rescue.

With this software I can remove or alter the filename, change the extension and case, add a prefix or suffix to existing filenames, and add numbers to files starting at whatever number I want. I can also preview what the end result will look like before making any actual changes. For my predicament, I need two things. First I need to add the “thumbs_” prefix to the files like NextGen, and then I need to change the case from upper to lower on all of the extensions.

The first time you open the Bulk Rename Utility, it looks like a lot to take in and a bit confusing, but it’s not that bad after taking a few minutes to read and figure out what each section does. I’ll include a sample of the changes I had to make accompanied by a screenshot to give you an example of how easy it can be to make bulk edits.


  1. Add the same prefix to all files in folder.
  2. Change case on all file extensions from upper to lower.


  1. Browse for the folder containing the files you want to change and click to highlight it.
  2. You should see the files show up in the large pane to the right. Highlight the files you want to change in this pane.
  3. Add the prefix “thumbs_” in the Add (7) section. You should now see the Add (7) title turn red.
  4. In the Extensions (11) section, select lower from the drop-down. The Extensions (11) title will also turn red.
  5. When you’re sure you’ve set all of your changes correctly, click Rename.

**You’ll notice after every setting you change, you’ll automatically get a preview of your new file name in the large top pane where your files are highlighted under the New Name heading.

SlySoft Virtual CloneDrive

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At one time I burned all ISO image files to a CD or DVD, and then I realized there is disk image emulators that would mount my images as a separate drive. I’ve used a few different ones over the years but I seem to have settled into using Slysoft’s free Virtual CloneDrive as my “go to” program for these kind of tasks.

Virtual CloneDrive is a simple to use program that’s small in size and doesn’t need a lot of resources to run. The install is super fast too. I keep this software available in various locations at work for when I need to pull some files out of an image file or install something saved in ISO format.

In addition to ISO’s, it also supports the CCD and BIN image formats too. The website mentions you can connect up to eight devices at the same time, but if you open the tray icon settings, you have the option to select up to fifteen drives. I don’t know which one is accurate, but I don’t think that matters as for most people I would think a few devices is more than enough.

A number of other operating systems have included native support for this feature (Disk Image Mounter in OSX, Archive Mounter in Ubuntu, etc.), but it will be interesting to see what happens to these disk mounting utilities once Microsoft finally gets on board. The answer to that probably won’t be too far off in the future as Windows 8 now includes the ability to access ISO date, and Windows 8 just launched.

Could this make such products as Virtual CloneDrive, Daemon Tools Lite, and Alcohol 52%, etc. obselete?

CCleaner Free Registry Cleaner

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CCleaner is a system optimization and cleaning tool for your computer. At under four megabytes, it’s a small download and the program runs extremely fast once installed. It’s one of those apps that I’ve had installed for quite some time, but often forget about it until I need it.

So why would you need it? Well, for one it’s a great way to clear your browsers cache of temporary internet files, cookies, download and form history, and the list of websites you’ve visited. It works on the most popular browsers too. (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera) It will also take care of your Windows temp files and empties your recycle bin.

I don’t really use it for this function because I don’t save my history in my browsers and I also have a number of add-ons and/or extensions that purge most of these things on exit. What I do use it for is the registry cleaner aspect. If you download and test as many programs as I do, then uninstall most of them after you’re done evaluating, you’re going to be left with some lingering files, shared dll’s, and incorrect paths or shortcuts.

The software was originally named Crap Cleaner, but it was apparently shortened as to not offend anyone and make it more corporate friendly. It’s been around since 2003, but in more recent versions you can also uninstall programs, disable start up programs and tasks, and delete system restore points right from the Tools menu.

Here’s what you’ll see when you first launch CCleaner. After you select Cleaner on the left, you can flip between the Windows and Applications tabs to select/deselect what you want removed when you run the cleaner.

Once you’ve selected what you want removed in both tabs, just hit the Analyze button to see what will be deleted. If you see anything you don’t want removed, you still have the opportunity to change your selections and analyze again.

Once your happy with the results, click the Run Cleaner button in the bottom right and you’re done.

If you select the Registry option on the left, this is the view you’ll see where you can select/deselect what you’d like CCleaner to scan. Once you’re ready, click Scan for Issues to see all of the issues it finds.

When you click Fix Selected Issues, you’ll be prompted to back up your registry which is always a good idea if you’ll be deleting things. Then you’ll get a pop of each issue to be deleted. You can go through each one individually, or if you’re like most of us and don’t have that kind of time, you can click Fix All Selected Issues and be done with it.

And that’s all she wrote folks. If you’re interested in giving it a try, you can find it on the Piriform website or right here in the Downloads sections of OSH. Enjoy!

Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder

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The Magical Jelly Bean Key Finder is a nice little freeware utility for when you need to extract software keys from your registry. There’s actually two versions of the software, a free version and an advanced premium product, but for my needs I’ve never needed anything more than the free one.

The free version offers support for over three hundred different software products, although I couldn’t find a list of them anywhere. The most important thing for most of us is that it will work on Windows operating systems from Windows 95 through Windows 7 and every version in between. It also works on any version of Microsoft Office I’ve ever had installed too.

I’ve typically used the key finder for retrieving Windows keys at work if I’ve temporarily misplaced our volume license key or want to install Office on a server without going through the standard process (shhhh) of requesting an SCCM push from the Assets department. I figure when they need to run reports to find out how many software installations there are of a specific product, they can just use SCCM again anyways, duh!

The Magical Jelly Bean installs quick, but be sure to select the Custom Installation and make sure all the available options are unchecked, otherwise you’ll be installing the AVG tool bar and may end up changing your search and browser settings. I have nothing against monetizing your products with sponsors, but this is one of them I don’t really like. Ever wonder why your parents have seven different tool bars installed? It’s because of this kind of advertising trickery that prays on our inattentiveness when installing new software.

Once it’s installed, simply launch the Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder and a box will pop up listing all of the supported software and the corresponding product keys.