Mar 13, 2008

Looking To Save Hard Drive Space? Clean Out Your Duplicates!

My wife, God love her, is a photographing dynamo. I think it all started when I bought her a new digital camera for Christmas two years ago. I really created a monster. Since then, I can't seem to keep my hard drive from filling up. When I look to see what is taking up all of the space it is her photos! But it isn't just that, sometimes she will make copies of her photos and put them in other directories so she can doctor them up in Photoshop, or Picasa. Often times, she will create more than just one copy.

Now lets skip to my work, each office has a shared network drive, and each user has their own "home" drives. Often times, people will save both to their home directories and the shared directory. The users think they are separate drives, but in reality both directories take up the same storage space on the server.

TriplettsSo what is the common thread with both of these stories? Duplicate files! That's right, storage wasting duplicates! My man Karl over at Ask The Admin touched on a cool command line utility to check for duplicates called FindDupe. That program is pretty cool if you like the command line (Who doesn't right?). What about for the average Joe? Average Joe doesn't want to learn command line switches. They want to run a program, check some boxes and click some buttons right? This is the 21st century, we can use GUI now and again right?

That is where Duplicate Files Finder comes in. It is a free, open source GUI utility for finding duplicate files (There are command line functions with this too for you die hard types, and scripters). It is available for Windows and Linux. Here is the description from Source Forge:

Duplicate Files Finder searches for duplicate files by comparison of the file contents. Other features: fast search, many search options, support for symbolic links and hardlinks, interactive graphical and command line user interface.

Use of this application couldn't be easier to use. Just select the directory you want to search. Check a couple of boxes, and away you go!

What do you use to look for duplicate files? What do you do to help free up drive space? Let me know in the comments!

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