Inspecting the directories on the local PC using C# .NET

In this post we saw how to enumerate all the drives on your Windows machine. Once you have the drive name, such as C:\ you can start digging into it to see what files and folders it contains.

The DirectoryInfo object is the entry point to the exercise:

DirectoryInfo directoryInfo = new DirectoryInfo(@"c:\");

The empty GetDirectories() method will find all subfolders directly under “c:\” i.e. exclude the subfolders within the folders on c:\

DirectoryInfo[] allSubFolders = directoryInfo.GetDirectories();
foreach (DirectoryInfo subFolder in allSubFolders)
	Console.WriteLine("Sub directory name: {0}", subFolder.Name);
        Console.WriteLine("Sub directory creation time: {0}", subFolder.CreationTimeUtc);

DirectoryInfo has several other properties such as last access time that can be interesting for you.

GetDirectories has two overloads which let you search for a folder. The following will list all subdirectories whose name starts with an “a”:

DirectoryInfo[] searchedFolders = directoryInfo.GetDirectories("a*");

…and this is how you extend the search to all directories under c:\

DirectoryInfo[] searchedFolders = directoryInfo.GetDirectories("a*", SearchOption.AllDirectories);

The search is case-insensitive so this returns all folders starting with “a” and “A”.

You can search for files in much the same way. The file-equivalent class of DirectoryInfo is FileInfo. This is how to list all files available directly within a directory:

FileInfo[] filesInDir = directoryInfo.GetFiles();

GetFiles() also has overloads similar to GetDirectories that enable you to search for files.

Read all posts dedicated to file I/O here.

Inspecting the drives on the local PC using C# .NET

It’s very simple to enumerate the drives on a Windows computer. The DriveInfo object has a GetDrives static method which returns an array of DriveInfo objects. A DriveInfo describes a drive through its properties. It is similar to the FileInfo class which in turn describes a file.

There are some properties that can only be extracted if the drive is ready, e.g. a CD-Rom drive. The following method prints the available drives:

DriveInfo[] drives = DriveInfo.GetDrives();
foreach (DriveInfo drive in drives)
	Console.WriteLine("Drive name: {0}", drive.Name);
	if (drive.IsReady)
		Console.WriteLine("Total size: {0}", drive.TotalSize);
		Console.WriteLine("Total free space: {0}", drive.TotalFreeSpace);
		Console.WriteLine("Available free space: {0}", drive.AvailableFreeSpace);
		Console.WriteLine("Drive format: {0}", drive.DriveFormat);
		Console.WriteLine("Device {0} is not ready.", drive.Name);									
	Console.WriteLine("Drive type: {0}", drive.DriveType);	

I got the following output:

Drives enumerated

DriveType can have the following values:

  • CDRom: an optical drive such as a CD-ROM, DVD etc.
  • Fixed: a fixed disk, quite often labelled as “C:\”
  • Network: a mapped drive
  • NoRootDirectory: a drive with no root directory
  • Ram: a RAM drive
  • Removable: a removable drive such as a pen-drive
  • Unknown: a drive whose type could not be determined

Read all posts dedicated to file I/O here.

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