Missing Drive Space? Check IntelliTrace Files

My laptop has a relatively old SSD, so it only has about 128 GB of space.  This works out nicely because I like to keep projects and extraneous files on an external drive.  However, when you’ve got Visual Studio 2005-2010 installed, 2 instances of SQL Server installed, and god knows what else installed, space gets a little tight with 128 GB.  As a result I tend to keep an eye on space.  It came as a surprise to find out I lost 20 GB over the course of a week or two without downloading or installing anything substantial.

To find out where my space went, I turned to a simple little tool called Disk Space Finder by IntelliConcepts.  There are probably a million applications like this, but this is the one I always seems to remember.  It scans through your hard drive checking file sizes and breaks down usage as necessary.

I was able to dig into the ProgramData folder, and then further into the data folder for Visual Studio IntelliTrace:


If you leave IntelliTrace enabled for all debugging you could potentially end up with a couple hundred *.itrace files like I did (not actually pictured).  It looks like an itrace file is created every time the debugger is attached to a process, so effectively every time you hit F5 a file is created.  Doubly so if you are debugging multiple launchable projects at once.

You can find the folder containing these files at C:\ProgramData\Microsoft Visual Studio\10.0\TraceDebugging.

The quick fix is to just delete the files and/or stop using IntelliTrace.  I recommend just deleting the files because I think IntelliTrace is an amazing—if not a little undercooked – tool.  It’s a v1 product.  Considering what it’s capable of, this is a minor blemish.

The long term fix is to install Visual Studio 2010 SP1, as there is apparently a fix for this issue.  The downside of course is that SP1 is still in beta.  Hence long term.