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Best Windows Vista Sidebar Gadgets to Monitor Hard Drive Usage and Activity

written by: Lamar Stonecypher•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 1/22/2010

Windows Vista sidebars not only add to the appearance of your desktop but also provide you with quick access to various tools and information. Here’s a list of some best Vista sidebar gadgets that will help you monitor your hard drive usages and activities.

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    The sidebar gadgets introduced with Windows Vista helps you view and access important information without even clicking. These sidebar gadgets fill various purposes from displaying information like current news updates, stock updates, sports scorecard etc., to even providing quick and easy access to various utilities and tools like alarm clock, locking the workstation, drive activity, etc.

    In this article I am going to list some gadgets that you can use to monitor your hard drives usage and other details. There are many gadgets that serve this purpose and of course every one of them has a different set of features. These gadgets are very useful when you want to monitor your hard disk usage statistics and don’t want click to see the property page every time. What’s more, these gadgets even add to the cool look of your Vista desktop. So, here we go.

    Drives Meter

    A tiny Windows Vista sidebar gadget that displays your hard drive spaces, used space and free space and a bar display of used space. You can also configure some aspects of the gadgets like background color, bar scaling properties, etc. from the options button.

    Imp's Drive Info

    A minimal Windows Vista Sidebar gadget that displays the hard drive usage in a bar display. You can choose from the option menu the drive to monitor, and also customize the look of the gadget.

    System Monitor 2

    System Monitor 2 is an extremely useful Vista Sidebar gadget that helps you monitor various system statistics like system information, battery status, wireless connection status, etc. It also has a module that displays usage statistics of both your hard drives and removable drives.

    Drive Activity

    Unlike most of the hard drive monitor gadgets that just display the usage statistics of the hard drive, this nifty sidebar gadget lets you monitor the workload of your hard drives. This gadget actually monitors the time your hard drive is busy responding to a read or write request and displays this information in a graph.

    Sushi's DriveInfo

    Sushi's DriveInfo is a Vista sidebar gadget that displays usage statistics for all your drives in separate bars for each drive. The drive icons on the gadget also work as a shortcut that you can click on to open the respective drive in Windows Explorer. Also, you can configure the type of drives you want to monitor (local drives, removable drives, network drives, media drives) and change the appearance of the gadget by selecting different background and icon themes

    Presto's Hard Drive Monitor

    This gadget monitors the free space of hard drives in your system or network connected hard drives and displays the usage statistics in both text and graphical forms. You can also configure the drives that you want to monitor and change the appearance of the graphical display.

    Drive Meter

    This sidebar gadget provides a visualization of the physical disk activity. It displays % active time and bytes read and written per physical disk in a graphic display. It groups the logical partitions on the same disk together and can automatically reconfigure if disks are added or removed at any time. You can also configure it to exclude any drive that you don’t want to monitor.

    HDD Monitor

    Another gadget that monitors your hard disk's activity and displays it in a graphical form.

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    Drive MeterDrives MeterHDD MonitorPresto's Hard Drive MonitorSushi's DriveInfo