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What is the first thing you do if a user tells you that he reached the quota on the file server?
A. Assign more space.
B. Tell the user to delete all his games and movies.
C. Find duplicate files in his home folder.
If your answer is A or B, you can now head to your well-deserved Easter weekend and search for eggs instead of files. If your answer is C, you need to stay a little longer.
I have seen user folders with several copies of the whole user profile. When questioned, the user answered that he heard that backups are important. So before you buy a new hard disk for your file server, you might want to check how many duplicate files are wasting your disk space.
A duplicate file finder is also useful if you need some arguments for introducing a collaboration software tool such as SharePoint in your network. If it turns out that the company newsletter has been stored a few thousand times on your file server, it is time to explain to management that internal circular e-mails are a somewhat outdated form of communication.
I didn't test if Fast Duplicate File Finder is really fast, but it is quite good at finding duplicate files. Actually, it is better than good because it can also find similar files. The lower the configured similarity level is, the longer the scanning process will take.
Fast Duplicate File Finder uses different colors to highlight the similarity level. The preview pane allows you to look at at contents of duplicate files. Unfortunately, Microsoft Office formats are not supported.
Fast Duplicate File Finder enables you to auto-select duplicate files. You can either choose to check the older or the newer file. In the free version, auto-selecting isn't supported for similar files. Check out the comparison table for differences between the pro and the free versions.
You can delete duplicate files, permanently remove, or move them to a configurable folder. It is nice that Fast Duplicate File Finder preserves the folder structure. So if a rebellious user complains that you deleted some of his favorite songs, you can easily find them again.
I tested Fast Duplicate File Finder 126.96.36.199 on Windows 7.