No device, no matter how modern, will ultimately do without a data memory. It does not matter whether it is a hard drive in the classical sense, a modern SSD or just one of the small memory cards: without these storage media, all data would be gone after switching off or even just a malfunction of the devices. Even behind every cloud storage, regardless of whether it's a private or a public cloud, mass storage systems in the form of hard disks of all kinds are naturally active. Just the right moment to present some tools to support, manage and protect these vital hardware resources.

We've tried to find a representative sample of the vast amount of disk monitoring, scheduling, and editing solutions on the disks. Different systems were used both under Windows 7 and under Windows 8.1.

For a quick overview our picture gallery provides:

  1. Which files take up a lot or even a lot of space on my hard drives? The free software "SpaceSniffer" can give useful information here.

  2. Fast reading even under Windows 8.1: "SpaceSniffer" also finds hidden files and displays in the console, which files can not be read during scanning.

  3. Also several hard drives directly at a glance: With the help of the tool "SpaceSniffer" several hard disks can be actively monitored as the solution also displays and logs changes immediately.

  4. Tidy interface: With "TreeSize Touch" is an application for free, which was specially developed for use on tablets under Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

  5. The directory with the largest files was identified: No wonder that "TreeSize Touch" lists the stored virtual machines here.

  6. Users who want a percentage allocation of hard disk space can also set the "TreeSize Touch": they can not edit anything with the help of this app.

  7. Once the file system driver from Paragon has been installed (here under Windows 7), the Windows user will also see the ExtFS file system of the Linux machine.

  8. No problem even as a mounted drive under Windows 8: The Linux file system is recognized by Windows and the user can access it after Paragon ExtFS has been installed.

  9. How fast is my SSD hard drive really? With the help of the freeware AS SSD benchmark, a user can check that and then get the value displayed on the screen.

  10. Another test for the SSD: The compression test under AS SSD Benchmark measures both the read and write speeds depending on the compressibility of the data.

  11. And finally, the more practice-oriented solid-state disk performance test: The free benchmark software uses typical file sizes and splits to simulate speed in daily operations.

  12. Unfavorable feature of many freeware programs: Also "CrystalDiskInfo" tries to bring the user with the installation software on the system, which he most likely neither needs nor want to have.

  13. Can hardly deny the Japanese origin: The freeware "CrystalDiskInfo" can read and display much of the SMART data from both conventional hard drives and SSDs.

  14. Raid configurations and SSDs are also detected by "CrystalDiskInfo" and displayed accordingly with their SMART data.

  15. Exemplary when it comes to language support: The free version of the program "Defraggler" can be installed in many languages.

  16. Even if the Google browser is a good software: There is no reason that he automatically comes with the installation of "Defraggler" on the system of the user!

  17. Offers some possibilities but no dedicated support of SSD mass storage: The free version of the software "Defraggler" is well located and easy to use.

  18. The free version of the software "Disk Defrag" is little more than an "appetizer" for the full version: Various entries only lead to advertising on the website of the provider (here the entries in the "System Health" section).

  19. Also, the specialists of O & O offer a free version of their software for defragmentation: However, this solution can not deal with SSDs, which remains the purchase version.

  20. In the full version then all options are available: The software O & O Defrag then offers a lot of optimization and analysis options and can for example also deal with virtual disks.

  21. Important for an automatic defragmentation: The tools have to be able to deal properly with SSDs - as with the O & O solution, this almost always requires the commercial version of the respective tool.

Which files need (too) a lot of space? - SpaceSniffer

No matter how big the mass storage may be, at some point, the space is no longer sufficient or at least getting faster and faster. For this reason, there are a number of different tools that help users identify and, if necessary, delete the large "memory eaters" on the disks. We have chosen SpaceSniffer as an example of this type of program.

What can the SpaceSniffer do?

  • Free software that can be installed and used on all current Windows systems including Windows 8.1. The software consists only of an executable EXE file, which can be used without further installation.

  • The solution scans the drives and shows graphically well-prepared which files really take up much space on the hard drive. It always stays up to date: changes in the file system are immediately displayed because the software responds to file system events.

  • Even hidden files and NTFS alternate data streams (NTFS data streams) are reliably displayed.

Conclusion: A useful little software that, unlike many similar solutions, really shows all the files that can be found in a file system: Especially with the "hidden files", there are often enough very large files that can block the system and thus be found, With a right-click, the user can immediately access the context menu of the Windows Explorer, for example to delete a file. Unfortunately, the software is only available in English - but who has no problems with this, gets here a handy and reliable reporting tool for its hard drives.