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low disk space utility

  1. #1

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    low disk space utility

    Does anyone know of a utility (for windows and mac, or two separate ones) that will give warnings of low disk space that one can configure? I understand windows does this "automatically"... but clearly it doesn't work properly because my windows-using staff member managed to spend 2 days editing a document without realising it was not actually saving because of low disk space.

    We use dropbox in our firm, which means its incredibly easy to run out of disk space if someone else does something and it syncs in the background.... so a warning that pops up and tells you to take note of this would be really handy.

    I tried googling, but only found one for servers, and all the rest was about disk cleaning which is fine, but not what I am looking for. I know there are IT geeks out there - any suggestions?


  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by HK_Katherine
    Does anyone know of a utility (for windows and mac, or two separate ones) that will give warnings of low disk space that one can configure? I understand windows does this "automatically"... but clearly it doesn't work properly because my windows-using staff member managed to spend 2 days editing a document without realising it was not actually saving because of low disk space.
    Been a Windows guy all my life, and honestly can say that I have never, ever needed something like this on a desktop PC- not defending Windows here, but if your staff managed to work on a doc for 2 days without realising that something it was saving, I would strongly suspect some kind of underlying user problem to be at fault. Word does autosaves, and should have flagged a disk space issue as soon as, well, there was an issue. Off memory the more recent versions of Word are default configured to autosave every ten minutes... or maybe fifteen. And the more experienced Word user should be doing manual saves on a regular basis (out of paranoia or some people like to do manual version control).

    A couple of other ideas spring to mind:

    Use Windirstat to see why they are running out of space locally. It'll give a graphical representation of how space is being used... unless you are running unreasonably small drives (e.g. 120G SSDs for system and data) or do some seriously huge data manipulation (you've mentioned in the past this could be possible), that'll probably identify the issue. Usually it's crazy downloads, giant Windows Update directories (not so bad these days it seems) or programs that don't clean up after themselves.

    The second one is split off the Dropbox cache to another drive or partition. This one might not be terribly practical if you're on laptops or don't want to mess around with extra drives.

    A third idea is.... storage is cheap. Get massive drives installed if your staff really do have good reasons to be chewing through space. Laptop drives come out at 1 or 2TB these days. Desktop drives go up to 4TB quite inexpensively.

    Sorry, that's all I can think of. I have really never seen this as much of an issue, and I've spent a lot of time in an earlier life as a PC support guy. It's a serious issue with servers, which you've identified by your own searching. Otherwise, keep Googling for utilities?
    Last edited by jgl; 24-08-2015 at 09:21 AM.
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  3. #3

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    What type of staff is running out of space? Design will need a lot more storage and important to have locally.

    As far as the rest, external hard disk could help or consider using a server. Dropbox can be problematic because it still uses your storage space but how much Dropbox storage do you have.


  4. #4

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    Get a NAS for your office. Just got a Synology DS215J with 2 x 4Tb HDD inside. That setup is about <HK$3500

    Nice thing is, you can map NAS directories as folder on your Windows desktop.

    It's extremely easy to setup too. And since you run 2 HDD inside you have data security too.

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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by flameproof
    Get a NAS for your office. Just got a Synology DS215J with 2 x 4Tb HDD inside. That setup is about <HK$3500

    Nice thing is, you can map NAS directories as folder on your Windows desktop.

    It's extremely easy to setup too. And since you run 2 HDD inside you have data security too.
    I second this. For a small business it's plenty of space and the data security options are nice to have. I got the DS415Play a few months ago for personal use, love it.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrkob
    I second this. For a small business it's plenty of space and the data security options are nice to have. I got the DS415Play a few months ago for personal use, love it.
    AND, you can also back up to dropbox... best of both worlds

  7. #7

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    Off memory, Katherine's computing environment involves laptops that go offsite and out of country, then have to do some fairly serious number crunching/modelling, on a regular basis, hence the reliance on Dropbox.

    Not sure that "get a NAS" is necessarily the right answer here (and would kind of guess that most smaller business already have one anyway).

    Last edited by jgl; 24-08-2015 at 11:11 AM.
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  8. #8

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    jgl is spot on. My user is a very senior, technologically challenge, laptop using, remote guy who is never in the office. We don't need a NAS because we use Dropbox. Dropbox is fine for storage, we never need all of our stuff all of the time, but if you use dropbox you will know that other people can add folders and they sync without you realising it.... hence I'm looking for a WARNING utility ... something that's always running and pops up with a message so people can deal with it before it crashes the system.

    As to how you can work on a doc for 2 days without saving... no point in going there. It won't help me. I couldn't figure that one out myself.


  9. #9

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    DropBox is not a cloud drive, it is a file synchronisation tool. So whomever is using the dropbox folder, needs to have at least that much space available locally to match the DropBox folder.

    One thing you can do to free up local space is to clear the dropbox cache from time to time.
    How Do I Clear My Dropbox Cache? - The Unofficial Dropbox Wiki

    Here is a script to run on Mac OSX to warn of low disk levels.
    http://www.macmanager.com.au/softwar...ce_script.html


    Windows should have this built in, not sure if it can be customised. I am a Mac guy :P

    Last edited by emx; 24-08-2015 at 04:19 PM.

  10. #10

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    DropBox is a cloud drive...you have the option to sync to your computer....

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