Find Long Paths with FolderSizes

FolderSizes provides robust support for long NTFS file system paths. In this article, I’ll discuss how to you can search for long NTFS paths using FolderSizes. Spoiler alert – it’s incredibly easy.

First, start FolderSizes and click the Search button in the main window ribbon bar. The Search window will appear.

Click the Search Paths tab and enter as many paths as you wish to search. This can be any combination of local and network paths.

Once you’ve defined the paths that you’d like to search, click the Samples button in the Search window toolbar. Here you’ll be able to choose from a number of built-in search samples that FolderSizes provides out of the box. In this case, select the one named “Find Long File and Folder Paths.xml”.

After the sample is loaded, the Search Rules tab will automatically be selected so you can review the associated rules. In this case, you’ll see two predefined rules – one for files, and one for folders (since we’re interested in finding both). Let’s double-click the file rule to review its criteria:

As you can see from the screenshot above, the Name Len tab of the file rule editor specifies is configured to match paths with more than 255 characters in them. Also note that the Count the full path length option is selected (without this, only the length of the file name would be considered when evaluating the rule).

Close the File Rule Editor window and click Start in the Search window to execute the search. Upon completion, you’ll be presented with a full list of files and folders with paths exceeding a length of 255 characters. This allows you to review the size, allocated size (e.g. “size on disk”), and much more (right-click the search result listing column header to customize the report).

So there you have it, a quick and easy-to-use means of finding long NTFS file system paths. Very handy considering that a number of programs and systems are unable to process long file system paths correctly.

Posted: July 2, 2016 6:49 pm

FolderSizes 8.2 Now Available

Just a quick note to let you know that FolderSizes 8.2 is now available.

This minor version release introduces a handful of new features. Most notably, FolderSizes 8.2 now includes summary footers for all file reports – including full support for most export file types (the ones that make sense), printing, etc. This is a feature that users have been requesting for a while now, so we’re happy to get it into your hands.

FolderSizes 8.2 also includes another popular feature request – the ability to move or copy files (via the File Operations dialog) while retaining the existing folder structure.

We’ve also improved support for Windows Server Data Deduplication in the duplicate files report, updated default file report column layouts, improved the zip compression progress dialog, updated the task scheduler listing to support sorting, updated the help file, and fixed a number of bugs.

Feel free to download FolderSizes 8.2 whenever you’re ready – it’s a free update for all existing FolderSizes 8 license holders. And if you’re still running an older major version of FolderSizes, we recommend upgrading today – you’re missing all the good new stuff!

Posted: April 29, 2016 7:06 pm

How does FolderSizes handle offline files?

Windows Server and some third-party hierarchical storage management (HSM) systems provide offline file management capabilities, allowing policies to be established which cause old or infrequently used files to be moved to cheaper and slower storage systems. In such cases, the original file is replaced with a small “stub” file that resolves to the new location.

So how does FolderSizes report on such files? Typically an offline stub file will occupy a single cluster on the file system – and that’s exactly what FolderSizes (correctly) reports in the vast majority of cases.

However, we have seen rare instances where the size of offline stub files was reported incorrectly. In order to understand this scenario, it’s important to know that (by default) FolderSizes assigns itself  backup and restore privileges whenever possible. It does this in order to decrease the likelihood of permissions issues, thereby improving visibility into the target file system.

However, occasionally we’ve run across HSM appliances that report the size of stub files in terms of their original values (before the file was moved offline) when queried by an application with backup/restore privileges assigned, assumedly because this would be the size occupied by a backup. This can be a problem for FolderSizes, since we want to know actual disk space usage for files on the storage device (not their offline file sizes).

FolderSizes offers a couple potential workarounds for this problem. First, in Options | Scanning, users can elect to disable the assignment of backup/restore privileges to FolderSizes, which will usually fix the problem at its source. The same option screen also allows users to explicitly set the allocated size of offline files according to some predefined value (a single cluster, 4Kb, 8Kb, or 16Kb), which can be used to work around the problem.

Finally, it might be worth noting that FolderSizes will never trigger the retrieval of offline files during the course of any analysis or reporting process (generally a process must read from or write to an offline file in order to trigger a recall).

Posted: April 15, 2016 7:39 pm

FolderSizes & Windows Data Deduplication

Today we published a new article on using FolderSizes to analyze Windows Server file system that have data deduplication services enabled. Please find a link to the article below:

Windows Data Deduplication : Disk Space Reporting & Visualization Implications

Posted: April 15, 2016 5:27 pm

FolderSizes 8.1 Now Available

Just a quick note to let our users know that FolderSizes v8.1 has been released.

FolderSizes v8.1 contains over a dozen feature improvements and a handful of bug fixes. Please see the full release notes here:

Posted: February 2, 2016 10:03 pm