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Windows Home Server is an awesome way to share and store files on a home or small office network. However, if you’re constantly moving files between different machines on your network to WHS, after time you’ll undoubtedly end up with duplicates. After time, this can waste valuable server space. This is where the Duplicate File Finder for Windows Home Server Add-In may come in handy.
You install it like you would most other Add-Ins for WHS. Browse to the Software Shared folder on your server and place it in Add-Ins. Open the WHS Console >> Settings >> Add-Ins >> Available and install it.
You’ll need to disconnect the Console session and when you reconnect, you’ll find it at the top. They offer a free 30 day trial and is $14.95 for a license.
To enter your license open Settings select Duplicate File Finder and enter your key.
Using Duplicate File Finder
After you have the Add-In installed, open WHS Console, select the Duplicate File Finder, and click on Start scan.
Or if you want more control over the search operation, go into settings and choose between specific filenames, wildcards, and have the dupes compared by file size and / or MD5 checksum to make sure they are indeed exact copies. Here you can also set the amount of results per page and have the ability to send the dupes to the Recycle Bin. Having the files go into the Recycle Bin allows you to retrieve files as a failsafe and get them quickly via Remote Access.
Then in the left pane select the shares you want to be scanned. Just right-click the share and select Include in Scan.
For our example we ran through searching for *.mp3 files and it took around 5 minutes with our test system.
Then you’re shown the results of what it found as duplicates.
In the results pane you can right-click a result and open the File Properties dialog box.
Or open them in Windows Explorer…
Then to delete files just select them individually or you can do a select all…then click Delete Selected Files from the toolbar.
Overall this Add-In is easy to use and I actually intentionally created duplicate files for it to find and it found the ones I created. If you already keep a tight file system on your server though, you might find the $14.95 price a bit much for what it does. They do offer a 30 day free trial so you try before you buy which is always good. If you have a large amount of data on your server you might want to try it out first to see if it’s right for you. Duplicate File Finder for WHS has the potential to help you regain a lot of space back if you have a messy server.
If you’ve tried out this Add-In leave a comment or head over to the WHS Add-In’s section of the HSS Forums for more discussion.