FolderSizes 7 introduced an powerful feature called Snapshots, which allow you to capture the metadata state of an entire file system for further analysis at a later date and time. Snapshots are useful for a wide variety of purposes, but today we’ll focus on the ability to search a file system even after it’s no longer online.
We’ll start by first using the Snapshot feature within FolderSizes 7 to capture the state of a file system point. Please note that Snapshots can be generated from any available file system node – a drive, folder, network share, or even multiples of any of the above. For this example, we’ll capture the entirety of the host system’s D drive.
Start by selecting Snapshot | Create New Snapshot from the main window within FolderSizes.
The Snapshot Generator window will appear. As mentioned above, we’re capturing the state of the local data drive (with a drive letter of “D”) in this example, and writing the resulting Snapshot (.fssx) file to a temporary folder on the local C drive.
Clicking the Create Snapshot button will begin the capture process. The amount of time required and the size of the resulting Snapshot (.fssx) file will depend upon the amount of data stored on the D drive (in addition to other variables such as disk speed, etc.). In the case of our example, the FolderSizes Snapshot feature captured the state of 11,238 folders and 1,516,277 files within an elapsed time of 3 minutes and 26 seconds.
I would like to point out that FolderSizes has built-in support for scheduling the generation of Snapshots. This not only allows the capture to take place during non-business hours (if desired), but also easily enables the accumulation of regular Snapshot (.fssx) files for later use (e.g. trend analysis, data archival, etc.).
Now that we have a Snapshot (.fssx) data file, it can be used in place of the equivalent live file system within FolderSizes. You can generate folder reports, file reports, and searches against the Snapshot data file, but in this case we’re going to try a search.
We start the FolderSizes Search tool and use the New Path button to browse for our newly created Snapshot file.
As you can see above, we’ve designated the Snapshot file as a search path. In fact, you can easily search multiple Snapshot files using this method just by adding them to the list. You can even search a combination of Snapshot files and live search paths at once.
Now we’ll switch to the Search Rules tab and define a simple file-based search rule that will find any image files within our Snapshot.
With that done, we can close the File Rule Editor and Start the search. Since the Search itself is reading from a single, consolidated Snapshot, it will generally execute very quickly. In the example scenario above, the search found 1,345,085 image files for a total of 10 GB of disk space within 1 mins and 55 seconds.
And so there you have a simple, step-by-step example of how to capture the state of a file system node as an offline Snapshot (.fssx) file, and later search it at will even when the target file system node is no longer available.
Benefits of this technique include:
- Provide reporting and analysis capabilities to other users that lack access to the target file
- Create a history of file system state that can be used for historical review or investigation
- Generate reports even when the target file system(s) are offline or otherwise unavilable
In future articles, we’ll discuss additional capabilities exposed by this amazingly powerful and unique capability of FolderSizes.
Key Metric Software is proud to announce the public availability of FolderSizes 7.5.
This release continues to build on our position as a world leader in disk space analysis software by adding a number of compelling new features and enhancing existing ones.
New features and improvements:
- New disk usage history tracking capabilities
- Percentage growth indicator now available for disk-based reports and views
- Disk reports can now be scheduled for periodic execution
- The trend analyzer can now consume Snapshot (.fssx) files directly
- Improved column sizing for reports exported in Excel file format
- New ability to apply NTFS compression to text-based report export files
- Added a new “Files (Immediate)” column to the folder report detail view
- Scheduling assistance integrated into Disk Reporter, File Report, and Search tools
- File report ranges can now be reset to their default values
- Numerous user interface enhancements
- Minor bug fixes
To better introduce the new disk history tracking capabilities of FolderSizes 7.5, we have written a technical overview that may be of interest to you.
FolderSizes v7.5 is a free upgrade for all v7 license holders. Version 7 license owners can simply download the new release and install it.
If you’re still running an older release of FolderSizes, you’re missing out on some amazing new capabilities. Please consider upgrading your FolderSizes license today:
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions, comments, or suggestions. We love hearing from our customers. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll get back to you quickly.
We’ve published a white paper on one of the most useful new features introduced in FolderSizes 7 – the ability to take file system snapshots, from which any report (or even search) can be executed in the future.
Key Metric Software is proud to announce the release of FolderSizes 7, the latest version of our world-class disk space analysis, reporting, and visualization software.
FolderSizes 7 has a wide range of new capabilities, including:
- File system snapshot capability (Pro edition only)
- Extensive support for exporting reports to MS Excel
- New Disk Reporter tool for custom local and network drive reports
- Drag and drop (plus cut, copy, & paste) support within the folder report view
- New ability to export all File Reports at once (as a single report)
- Numerous enhancements to scheduling and command line interfaces
- Improved, smarter Trend Analyzer capabilities
- Significant performance enhancements in Search, File Reports, etc.
- New, domain-level network share discovery features
- Many powerful user interface improvements
- Much, much more (over 50 new features and enhancements)!
Please feel free to download FolderSizes 7 today:
Note: Installing FolderSizes 7 will not automatically remove previous major version installations. This is done to allow users an opportunity to evaluate FolderSizes prior to switching to it. Please feel free to un-install previous releases of FolderSizes before or after installing v7 (if you wish).
If you own a licensed copy of VMware Workstation, you can easily use FolderSizes to analyze, query, and report against offline virtual disks (VMDK files).
To begin, start VMware Workstation and select File | Map Virtual Disks.
Next, click the Map button. The Map Virtual Disk window will appear.
Use the Browse button to locate the offline virtual disk (.VMDK file) that you wish to map, then select the Volume. Then configure the drive mapping (in the example above, we’re mapping the VMDK to the drive letter X) and click OK.
Once you’ve established the drive mapping, you can start FolderSizes and select the corresponding drive letter from within the Folder Browser pane. FolderSizes will analyze the offline VMware virtual disk just as it would any other file system. The drive mapping can also be to generate file reports, run searches, etc.