One of the safest and most efficient ways to free up space on your hard disk is to look for duplicate files. Depending on what you find, and where you find them, you can then delete the duplicates or move them to a quarantine area for deletion at a later date.
Now that I have a few gigabytes of audio and video stored on my PC, I thought it about time that I took a dose of my own medicine and tried searching for duplicate files. And in my search for the best utility to track them down, it was recommended that I give Anti Twin a go.
You can get Anti Twin from http://www.joerg-rosenthal.com/en/antitwin/download.html and it's only a 0.8 MB download. It runs on Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7, and is easy to use. Just download the non-installer version, and you can run it simply by double-clicking the downloaded file. It's simple, and according to VirusTotal it's free of malware.
You can choose whether to merely search for matching filenames, or to look at every byte of each file to ensure that they really are the same. For the sake of thoroughness, I chose the latter.
To test Anti Twin I pointed it at a gigabyte of my music files. It finished running in less than half a second, and found just 1 duplicate. I assumed that the program was evidently not working correctly, as I couldn't understand how it could work so quickly. So, as you can see from the screen shot below, I created another sneaky duplicate and ran the program again. It still took less than half a second to scan the full gigabyte of data, and found my new addition just fine.
Anti Twin is a great addition to your PC utility toolkit, for tidying up your PC as well as those of friends and family who might ask for your assistance in the future. It's free for non-commercial use, so give it a try.