What's that Filling up Your System Drive? Why I Still Love SpaceMonger 1.4.0

As for all posts on this blog, this post provides no guarantees for the tools described: use at your own risk, and make sure to test all functionality. This came to mind recently just because I wondered– is there any other free tool that does this better?

Times change, but some things stay the same.

Just about anyone who’s ever carried a pager has had to deal with a drive filling up for mysterious reasons. When this happens, you get to figure out what’s using all that space. Sometimes it’s a large file, sometimes it’s a lot of little files.

Often on SQL Servers, this issue is really bothersome when it occurs on your system drive where you really don’t want to be waving and clicking your mouse around too much in the folder structure in a hurry. (Oops! Where’d that file just go?)

That’s where SpaceMonger 1.4.0 Comes In

Developed as freeware for Windows 95, SpaceMonger 1.4.0 can scan a drive and quickly give you a quick, no frills, brightly colored birds-eye view of what’s taking up space on your drive. SpaceMonger.exe runs without any installation, and doesn’t modify your registry or any of your file structure. It also only works on the local machine.

It’s a classic. It’ll show you if log files from a third party application are piling up in a directory, or if maybe one of those tempdb files isn’t actually where you thought it was.

Note: SpaceMonger 1.4.0 will occasionally crash. (See above disclaimer.)

I haven’t been using SpaceMonger since 1995 exactly, but I realized the other day that it’s hard for me to think of another issue where the best solution I know of was developed for Win 95. Not that it’s a bad solution. It solves the problem quickly and simply (and for free) in a way that’s hard to beat.

Isn’t There a Better Way to Do this Now?

Well, is there? I haven’t found a better way, particularly not a better freeware option. However, this isn’t something I’ve been actively looking for, as I haven’t personally hit this issue for a long time.

If you know of a better way, please let me know in the comments.

Personally, I’d love to have a PowerShell script that took care of this for me (although it wouldn’t attempt the same kind of graphical display). I may work that into my to-do list.