FolderSizes provides the ability to create file system metadata snapshots, from which reports can be generated later. This amazing and unique feature can help to solve a broad range of file system reporting challenges, allowing you to:
- Generate reports (even searches) in the future very quickly (without re-scanning)
- Generate reports even when the target file system(s) are offline
- Provide reporting and analysis capabilities to users lacking direct access to the target file system(s)
- Create a history of file system state that can be used for historical review or investigation
The FolderSizes Snapshot Generator tool accepts one or more file system paths as input and produces a single file with an .fssx extension. The resulting file contains complete metadata (size, date and time, attributes, etc.) for all of the files and folders contained within the target file system path(s).
Snapshots can be created for any file system that is accessible to FolderSizes – including local and remote (network) file systems. A single Snapshot can even contain information about multiple, discrete file system paths (e.g. a combination of both local and remote file systems, for example).
Snapshots can either be created interactively, via the Snapshot Generator tool, or they can be scheduled for execution from within the FolderSizes Task Scheduler.
Creating Reports from Snapshots
Once a file system Snapshot has been produced, it can be used to create any FolderSizes report type. For example, in order to create a folder report you would click the Snapshot button within the main window ribbon bar and select the Folder Report from Snapshot option.
As shown in the screen shot above, the same technique can be used to create FolderSizes file reports and searches.
The full path to a FolderSizes Snapshot (.fssx) file can also be used in place of a normal file system path in the main window location bar.
When FolderSizes detects the presence of a Snapshot file in the location bar input, it will automatically load the data that it contains. In fact, you can even generate reports from a combination of live and Snapshot file system data. To do this, simply separate multiple file system paths using a pipe symbol. For example, entering "C:\temp\Snapshot-D-Drive.fssx | C:\temp | \\myserver\myshare" will cause it to load the contents of the “Snapshot-D-Drive.fssx” Snapshot file and then immediately begin analyzing the live “C:\temp” and “\\myserver\myshare” file system nodes. The resulting folder report will contain information about all of these paths.
Note that the FolderSizes location bar is incredibly flexible – we could just as easily have specified multiple Snapshot file paths along with multiple live file system paths. To make path entry more user friendly, start the Path Manager by clicking the Paths button next to the main window location bar.
The Path Manager makes it easy to add, edit, and remove file system paths. Note that FolderSizes will scan the paths in the order you enter them, so you can use the Up and Down buttons to control the analysis priority.
The same techniques described here can also be used within the File Report Generator window.
The FolderSizes Search tool can be thought of as a highly customizable file system report generation tool. With it, you can build a report of files, folders, or a combination thereof.
The screenshot below shows how FolderSizes can search any combination of live and Snapshot file system paths at the same time. In this case, we’ve added a single rule that matches on PNG images, and we’re searching for those images across two discrete Snapshots, two local drives, and one remote (network) share.
You can just as easily search for file system objects by name, owner, date and time, attributes, etc.
FolderSizes Snapshots are an incredibly powerful tool, capable of transforming the way you create file system analysis reports. And this introduction just scratches the surface – you can also schedule the generation of report types against Snapshot files, feed directly them into the FolderSizes Trend Analyzer, and much more.