There are many, many programs out there that serve the purpose of analyzing your hard drive usage (such as O&O DiskStat  which was recently just posted about on dotTech). So, for a analyze-hard-drive program to stand out, it needs to be able to do something *special*. Disk Space Fan is one such software that “stands out above the crowd” not necessarily by providing unique, advanced features, but rather by presenting itself with a fair dab of eye candy which seems to be lacking in many programs nowadays.
This is what the main program window of Disk Space Fan looks like:
Right off the bat, without even having to do anything more than running the program, you are presented with an eye pleasing interface with bright colors and well designed graphics. To get started you must select the partition you want to scan – or a specific folder – and click the “Scan for Details” button. Scanning is not particularly fast – took about one minute to scan my whole C:/ partition – but is not really slow either.
After the scan has finished, the results of the scan are shown to you:
Sticking true to the theme, the results also prove to be an anti-eyesore with a nice list of largest folders or files (folders are the ones that are in color; files are the ones that are in gray) and a fantastic graphical representation of used hard drive space. Both the list and graphic are interactive in the sense that you can click on items in the last/graph and explore in further detail the contents of the folder in question (you may also click on files, but you won’t get any “extra” information since a file… is just a file). The point worth noting, though, is the terrifically smooth transitions that are used to move from folder-to-folder – you have to try it out yourself to know what I mean.
Now, eye candy aside, the main purpose of Disk Space Fan is to help you manage your hard drive. So, in that regard, Disk Space Fan allows you to interact with Windows Explorer doing actions such as delete files/folders, explore them, view properties, etc.:
(“Goto root” brings you back to the root directory, such as C:/)
Furthermore, to help with user friendliness, when delving deeper into folders and subfolders, you can use the two arrows located at the top left of the program window to go “back” and “forward”, similar to how “back” and “forward” work in web browsers. There is also the “home” key that brings you back to the main program window and allows you to scan a different partition/folder altogether.
However, no program is “perfect”, right? There are two caveats to Disk Space Fan:
- When hovering your mouse over the graph, the tooltips that appear have a very small – but noticeable – lag time before they appear; this caveat is small but worth noting. (Do note that while there is a small lag associated with tooltips appearing, the graph transitions are totally lag free.)
- The program window for Disk Space Fan is not resizeable aside from maximize or not-maximize, and maximizing the program window is a bit buggy – it does funky things which I don’t have words to describe.
Last but not least, Disk Space Fan is a freeware program that has a commercial Pro version if users want to shell out $19.95 to purchase it. Disk Space Fan – the freeware one – really only does everything that I have mentioned above; there aren’t very many “bells and whistles” in terms of features. Disk Space Fan Pro, however, does provide a little bit more bang-for-the-buck:
- Scans directories and drives to find duplicate files
- Criteria for comparison of files can be easily set up (file name, size, creation date and content)
- You can exclude files based on file type, size and location
- Provides a list of identical files so you can select which ones you want to delete
- Delete, move, and replace the duplicate files by using symbolic links
- Using filters, quickly to find out the specified type files
- Using a filter, you can see the duplicate files by file types
- Diagram of a flower show in the form of free disk space
- Save scan history
- Start from Explorer directly
- Support for Unicode
- Network path support
You can grab Disk Space Fan from the following links:
Version Reviewed: v188.8.131.52 Free
Supported OS: Windows XP SP2+/Vista/Win7
Special Requirements: Need .NET framework 2.0 or higher
Download Size: 1 MB for Free version and 3.2 MB for Pro version