Finding out what’s filling up my hard drive using JDiskReport

I’ve been running very low on disk space on my Windows XP Pro OS drive recently and apart from ad-hoc removal of arbitrary temporary files when a “you are running very low…” warning appeared, I haven’t previously spent much time investigating just what is filling up my disk. Until now…

After Googling I found some useful information and tips, including the fact that it’s safe to remove the various C:\WINDOWS\$NtUninstall… directories as these contain only files required in the event that the service pack, hotfix etc. needs to be uninstalled. Assuming your system is stable following the installation of an update, the corresponding uninstall files can be removed.

But probably the most enlightening tip was to use JDiskReport from JGoodies to visualise what is on your disk. The tool is quite simple in concept, showing a hierarchical breakdown and graphical representation of the various directories and files on your disk, but the way it allows you to sort the data and click and drill-down into lower levels makes it so much easier to see exactly who the culprits are for taking up excessive disk space.

Using this I was quickly able to reclaim about 2GB of disk space by deleting loads of temporary files, old install files, orphaned files etc. and that’s without going into too much detail. 2GB might not sound like a lot, but when I’ve been running as low as 0 bytes free at times, it makes a huge difference to my PC performance!

PHP 5.3.3 and MySQL 5.1.44 problems on Windows 7

I’ve only recently returned to PHP and MySQL development on my new(ish) Windows 7 64-bit laptop after having done mostly Java development and static HTML sites over the last few months. Having gone through the development environment setup for Apache / PHP / MySQL etc. a million times before I just went through the motions and installed the latest versions of each component – namely Apache 2.2.16, PHP 5.3.3 and MySQL 5.1.44 at the time of writing. Assuming everything would just work as expected, I dived into development, but quickly noticed things weren’t quite right…

The first problem I encountered was with the guided setup for a new Drupal 7 alpha installation. As soon as it got to the MySQL database configuration step, it seemed to fail with a blank web page. No errors or hints as to what was wrong. Then I noticed a similar problem trying to login to a new PHPMyAdmin install. I double checked all the configuration files, re-installed both PHP and MySQL, but the problem was still happening.

At this point I did some Googling and found a post stating that it was a problem with an authentication incompatibility between PHP 5.3 and MySQL 5 and recommended rolling back to PHP 5.2.14. I tried this as suggested and both Drupal and PHPMyAdmin sprung back to life. So I’m sticking with PHP 5.2.14 for the time being…

[UPDATE] I’ve since done a bit more Googling and found this post which suggests it could in fact be an IPv6 related issue. I’ll do some more investigation when I get time.