Suction

Suction

Download Suction 1.3.8
287 KB, .exe – Requires .NET 3.5

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Suction is a small application that allows you to consolidate files from any number of directories into a single parent directory.

A perfect replacement for the “Unify” function found in the now defunct Dir Utils, Suction will search through your directories, moving all of the files from those directories up to the root  folder of your choosing.

Suction is a great tool for people who download or organize a lot of content located in disparate folders – I’m talking to you Usenet and BitTorrent users!

Suction offers the following features:

  • Drag and Drop with multiple folder support
  • Context-menu integration with support for multiple folders
  • Duplicate file renaming
  • Ability to prepend or append custom naming to duplicate files
  • Duplicate file deletion, a deep scan for files with identical names to eliminate duplicate content
  • Deletion of empty folders
  • Ability to delete files to Recycle Bin
  • Ability to undo last Suction
  • Ability to sort files by type after Suctioning
  • Auto exit when finished
  • Thorough logging options
  • Small executable size
  • Automatic update notification – Suction will automatically check for application updates so you always have the latest version at your fingertips

The application itself is pretty self-explanatory – simply drag and drop any number of folders onto the program’s interface, or select any number of directories and launch Suction via the context (right-click) menu.  Suction will then work through the chosen folders “suctioning” all of the files it finds to the top.  It’s that easy!

Updates to the software can always be found on this page.  I can usually be found in the Team Hack-a-Day Chat Room, but feel free to leave comments.

Changelog

Suction 1.3.8 – 2010.04.29

  • Internal optimizations and tweaks
  • Removed UAC compatability – causes more issues than it resolves

Suction 1.3.5 – 2010.01.29

  • Added option to keep the Suction window on top of all other applications (See Configuration pane)

Suction 1.3.4 – 2010.01.27

  • Fixed a null reference bug that would cause the application to crash under certain configurations

Suction 1.3.3 – 2010.01.25

  • Fixed bug where Suctioned files and sorting folders would be deleted in certain situations when sorting was enabled when sorting folders already exist

Suction 1.3.2 – 2009.12.08

  • Added Windows UAC compatability to allow for elevated credentials at runtime

Suction 1.3.1 – 2009.09.28

  • Fixed a minor file path issue

Suction 1.3.0 – 2009.09.24

  • Added an “Undo” feature allowing you to reverse your last Suction action
  • Added a sorting feature allowing you to sort files into folders after Suctioning
  • Fixed “Suctioned” count to reflect actual file movements rather than all files seen

Suction 1.2.2 – 2009.09.14

  • Fixed update check bug that would cause a NullReference error exclusively affecting Windows XP

Suction 1.2.1 – 2009.09.10

  • Changed update system to check for updates once every 24 hours at most

Suction 1.2.0 – 2009.09.02

  • Added web-based update notification system
  • Added ability to rename duplicate files using custom text
  • Added ability to choose between prepending and appending text/numbers when renaming duplicate files

Suction 1.1.4 – 2009.08.24

  • Added ability to delete files/folders to the Recycle Bin – this is enabled by default
  • New About screen including software license

Suction 1.1.3 – 2009.08.13 – Thanks to Gary M. for the bug reports and testing

  • Fixed auto-exit bug that would cause the application to remain open when initiated from the context menu
  • Fixed logging location bug (Suction would log its actions in folder being suctioned)
  • Fixed logging bug that would leave logging enabled when all logging was disabled
  • Tweaked context menu code to better handle registry entries (No more random errors when removing the context menu entry)

Suction 1.1.2 – 2009.08.06

  • Non-public testing release

Suction 1.1.1 – 2009.07.15

  • Fixed the “Could not remove Suction from registry” bug

Suction 1.1.0 – 2009.07.08

  • New configuration pane
  • New logging options (log program errors, file moves, or both)
  • Ability to toggle empty folder deletion on or off
  • Auto exit when finished

Suction 1.0.7 – 2009.07.06

  • Fixed bug where data would be lost if a folder contained a file with the same name (including the extension)

Suction 1.0.6 – 2009.05.26

  • New “Remove Duplicate Files” option – Scans the first 512 bytes of files having the same name, comparing them for content, and deleting duplicates.  There is increased disk I/O and thus slower performance when this option is enabled and a large amount of duplicate files exist.  This option can be enabled via the “About Suction” page.
  • Minor gui issue resolved

Suction 1.0.5 – 2009.05.22

  • Added a post-job indicator that indicates how many files were moved
  • Fixed a bug that would cause Suction to try moving files already located in the root folder

Suction 1.0.4 – 2009.05.11

  • Suction will now check the registry upon launch and update the context menu command path if you have installed Suction to your context menu.  This ensures that your menu is not broken if your relocate the executable.
  • New application icon

Suction 1.0.3 – 2009.05.08

  • Improved duplicate detection using hashtables, improving performance by over 1200% on average when a large amount of name collisions occur.  Example benchmark – 2,448 files in 1,008 folders with 2,441 file name collisions  – From 54 seconds to 4 seconds processing time

Suction 1.0.2 – 2009.05.07

  • Fixed duplicate bug that caused dupe files to be deleted rather than renamed in the root directory
  • Fixed unresponsive GUI issues

Suction 1.0.0 – 2009.05.06

  • Initial testing release

125 Responses to “Suction”

  • S:

    For some reason I cannot get this to work, I start up suction and drag the folders in to the box, but after it finishes processing them it just stops, no completion message or anything. I’m thought at first maybe it’s putting the folder somewhere and I just can’t find it, but when I looked into the folders I was trying to merge I saw that the filenames had just been changed (“-1″ was just added to the end of every file)

  • DrNathan:

    That is a pretty interesting result you had with the program. Let me ask a few questions, and maybe we can sort out what exactly is happening.

    To start, the program does not really offer any feedback when it is finished with what it is doing. I did not create any dialog boxes or the like at the end of the job to keep the amount of clicks needed to run the program to a minimum. If people really clamor for some sort of feedback after a completed job, I would consider changing this behavior.

    As for your weird file renaming experience:

    1) What OS are you using? 32-bit? 64-bit?

    2) What version of .Net is installed on your PC?

    3) Is every single file renamed with a “-1 ” at the end? Suction typically does not do any file renaming at all unless there is a name collision – that is to say, Suction should not alter a file’s name at all unless there is already a file in the top directory with the same name as the file Suction is trying to move. If you have a lot of files with duplicate names, you will end up with a lot of “-1″ files.

    If however you have no duplicate names and this happens, something else is going on.

    If you can answer those questions, I can work on fixing the issues you are having.

  • S:

    My computer is running WinXP Media Center edition. I’m not sure how to check if it’s 32 or 64 bits. I’ve never installed or dealt with .net but I have heard of it before. Basically what happens is I have multiple rar files with pictures. The pictures are are chapters of a book and they are named so that they can be read in order. (ex. gto pg1, gto pg2, gto pg3, and so on) When I extract, lets say 5 rar’s, Each one makes a folder with the pictures inside. [1-30 folder, 31-60 folder, 61-90 folder and so on]
    Normally I just drag and drop everything in each folder into one folder to make it easier, but I was trying to use suction for that. I start up suction, select the folders all at one time, and drag them into the suction box. After it finishes is when the files in the folder became renamed (gto pg1-1, gto pg2-1, etc.). If I try it again after that it does it again (gto pg1-1-1, gto pg2-1-1, etc.)

    Also, when I try to do it from the context menu nothing happens, I have to go to the 180kb suction application file and start it up that way. Not sure if this changes anything though.

    Sorry if that was a bit long-winded

  • S:

    Forgot to mention, when the files are renamed they are still in their original folders. Pictures 1-30 will still be in the 1-30 folder for example.

  • DrNathan:

    Which version of Suction are you using by chance? Have you been using the latest 1.0.4 version?

    As for .Net, you can try this app to determine the version you have installed:
    http://drnathan.teamhackaday.com/misc/What.NET.exe

  • S:

    The .Net is v2.0, and suction v1.0.4 was downloaded from this page.

  • DrNathan:

    Your description was really helpful, I think I know what’s going on now. It’s a two-fold problem, partially on my end, partially on yours (but still probably my fault!)

    1) Suction brings files to the root of the folder which you drag into Suction. For the sake of argument, lets say you have a folder named “Book 1″, and underneath that folder you have 5 folders, each containing 30 images.

    What Suction was designed to do was to have the folder named “Book 1″ dragged on to its interface – at this point, it would take the files from each of the 5 sub folders and move them up under the “Book 1″ folder. In the end, your path should look like “Book 1\image 1.jpg”, “Book 1\image 2.jpg” and so on.

    So technically Suction is doing “what it should” when you drag those 5 folders onto its interface. It is ensuring that within each of those 5 subfolders, all of the files are moved to the folder which you dragged onto Suction. Make sense? I know it’s a confusing concept, which is why I said it’s still probably my fault for not making the process clear enough. I think I will write up an example or add some images detailing the process for this page.

    That being said, Suction is kind of doing what it is supposed to, as there is nowhere for Suction to move the files to. Had you dragged the “Book 1″ folder to Suction’s interface, it would have moved all the files up.

    2) The real problem here is that although I swear I made sure that Suction ignores all files in the root folder you drag onto the interface and only pays attention to the actual sub folders, it is messing with the files as well.

    Specifically, it is looking at the folder you dragged, say “Book 1\Images 1-30\” and it sees 30 files there. Since it wants to move the files to the same folder (because there is nowhere for them to go), Suction goes about its business, checking to see if the destination file exists before it moves the file.

    Suction now sees that “Book 1\Images 1-30\Image 1.jpg” exists, so before it “moves” the file, I have instructed Suction to rename the file in the event that duplicate file names exist for different files. So, suction names it “Book 1\Images 1-30\Image 1-1.jpg” and so on. Each time you run Suction, it appends another “-1″ to the file name because it thinks the file still exists, which it technically does.

    Anyway, long explanation short:

    I need to fix part of Suction and add a clearer description with pics on this page. I will try and get it patched and uploaded today.

    Thanks a ton for your feedback and your explanation as to what was going on, it is incredibly helpful!

  • S:

    Ah, I understand now! I should have been trying to use suction on the parent folder (book 1) instead of the subfolders (folder 1-30, folder 31-60, etc.) that contained the pictures. Everything works perfectly when I try it like that. Thanks for all the help!

  • DrNathan:

    I have updated the application to both ignore files that exist in the root directory you have dragged into Suction as well as to show you how many files it has moved as an indicator that the Suctioning process is finished.

    Thanks again for your help in nailing down the bug. Enjoy the app!

  • [...] Suction (180Kb) – One great way to keep mess to a minimum on your system is to consolidate similar directories – that’s exactly what Suction does. It’s portable, too! [...]

  • [...] Suction is a portable software program for the Windows operating system that supports drag and drop and context menu operations. It will automatically move all files that are located in subfolders into the main folder. The subfolders will be removed in the process so that the root folder will only contain all files that have been located in subfolders. [...]

  • [...] One of the new features of the soon to be released Windows 7 operating system is the ability to consolidate folders into so called libraries. This can be used for example to create a library for all music or videos that are located in various folders on the computer’s hard drive. Suction on the other hand provides the means to consolidate files that are located in subfolders in one root folder. There are several applications for a tool like Suction. [...]

  • Billy M:

    Excellent little tool. Thanks!

    I’d like to use this in some batch files.

    A few friendly suggestions:

    - Document the command line switches/inputs
    (I did figure out that adding the desired paths to the command line works just fine)

    - Maybe use a local Ini/XML file instead of the registry (completely portable and no footprint left behind)

    - Add a command line switches for (Override stored settings)
    * Checking for and deleting dupe files
    * Optionally Deleting empty sub dirs
    * Run silent (no GUI) or minimized
    * Auto terminate when done (very handy for batch jobs)
    * Output a log of the file operations and errors if any

    Again, thanks for sharing this tool. :-)

    • DrNathan:

      Billy,

      Those are all great suggestions. The program was really meant to be run as a GUI application, but a command line version would be nice too.

      The fact that submitting a path to the application via the command line works is a side-effect of having worked in the ability to launch the application from the context-menu. The registry data is required for this function alone.

      I think running this a command line only app is a cool idea since people want to use it as a supplement to existing scripts. I will work on it and update the page when I have finished coding it.

  • [...] Suction [via Freeware Genuis] Tagged:file managementfilesfolderswindows [...]

  • Just a quick point for ya – Running it under Windows 7 will do what its supposed to – however when its complete the program crashes. Windows pops up with “Suction.exe has encountered an error”.

    I’m not running it in compatability mode, nor as an administrator. Just straight downloaded, and let it loose on My Pictures.

    Like I said, it works great, just at the end windows seems to freak out at it.

    =)

    Thanks for the amazing tool!

    Nick

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  • DrNathan:

    Nick,

    Glad it (somewhat) works for you. I use Suction on Win XP, Vista x64, and Win 7 x86 without any issues – can you give me a little more information about your setup?

    What version of .Net do you have installed? Can you provide any details from the Windows Event Log if any?

    I have not tried running Suction in restricted mode (ie non-administrator), so that might be part of the problem. I will double-check the code to see if there is any chance of an unhandled exception and I will work from there.

    Thanks for the feedback!

  • [...] I’ve been saying it for years to anyone that will listen: Folders are an archaic concept. Sure, most of us (and by us, I mean you), still organize files in an array of subfolders, but that artificial segregation often makes it harder to find stuff, not easier. In Windows Vista, desktop search and file tagging is good enough that you can simply store all your files in one main folder — like Documents — and rely on searches and filtering to locate files fast. If you buy into this 21st Century file storage concept, then you might want to use a tool like Suction to move all your files out of subfolders into central location. [...]

  • Gendal:

    Just got bit by this little bug: “File could not be moved – Cannot create a file when that file already exists.”

    What ever you do, don’t run suction on a directory that has a file with the same name, including extension. You end up losing the file and getting a nice error log with the above.

    So for instance “Folder\file.txt\file.txt” will end up with an empty “Folder”, instead of the expected behavior of having “file.txt” in side it.

    • DrNathan:

      Grendal,

      The bug you ran into is an interesting one. The problem really rests in the fact that Windows does not allow two files with the same name in the same directory. This along with the fact that Suction only checks files for name collisions rather than checking directories as well, which is an oversight on my part.

      With your file structure, the following occurs:

      1) Suction locates Folder\file.txt\file.txt
      2) Suction tries moving file.txt – it sees that there are no files with the same name (ignoring the folder) and while moving the file, generates a Windows file error stating that the file cannot be written since a folder and a file with the same name cannot exist in the same directory.
      3) Following normal procedures, Suction removes all subfolders from the root folder, deleting the unmoved file.txt as well.

      I can see your frustration in this situation. I had not previously considered parent folders with identical names down to the file extension. I had also not previously considered the amount of asshatery involved in placing files within folders having the same exact name, including the file extension.

      Seriously, who does that.

      Regardless, I will update Suction to take that into consideration and post and updated build as soon as I can.

      Thanks for the feedback.

  • morehpperliter:

    Great program! Works exactly as advertised. I feel bad for people that have bizarre folder types. Whats the point in putting a file in a folder with it’s specific name? Seems like you’re asking for trouble.

  • Check this.

    I drag on these folders on the applet, it has found 0 files. WEIRD.

  • DrNathan:

    That doesn’t give me a whole heck of a lot of information Jeroen…

  • JeremyS:

    DrNathan,

    First great app. I used it a few times on some NAS folder structures with image files.

    I now have the same issue as Jeroen – drag folder on either NAS or local drive to GUI and it ends with 0 files and logs it as an error log.

    I have tried running as Administrator, but it actually doesn’t work at all. I’m running Windows 7 64bit. My best guess it is related to another error – which previously didn’t affect performance; after configuring options and clicking OK, I get the following error “Could not remove Suction from registry: Requested registry access is not allowed.” Note this was after configuration – not trying to remove anything.

    Happy to help more over email if needed.

    Cheers

    • DrNathan:

      Jeremy,

      Have you run the application as Administrator with UAC turned off? If you can give it a shot and let me know what happens, that would be great. I’m trying to get to the bottom of the issue, as I have none under Win7.

  • JeremyS:

    One more thing which might help – running in Administrator mode in Win7 x64 does not allow folder dragged. When trying to drop folders on GUI it shows not allowed circle. Trying to config in Administrator mode shows the following: “Could not remove Suction from registry: Cannot delete a subkey tree because the subtree does not exist.”

  • Jeremy:

    Works correctly with UAC off/lowest setting. Appears to run correctly either as Administrator or typical double click. Also no registry errors with changes to config.

    Note this is working in Win7 Build 7100. Pervious issues were on the earlier build so I need to check that yet.

    Thanks!

  • Jeremy:

    Update. Turning off UAC and running as Administrator worked in Win7 Build 7000 also.

    Thanks for the help! Love this app.

    I did have an error message but related to folder structure I believe. I had gathered a lot of random picture folders to consolidate and probably had dup structures.

  • DrNathan:

    Jeremy,

    Glad turning off UAC helped you out. The fact that you need to do so is a bit of a problem, but it could just be the nature of the beast since you are changing file structures as well as touching the registry. I will look into the issue and see if I can tweak things to work better with UAC permissions.

    Any chances of posting that error message?

  • Is there an undo?

    Please say that there is an undo

    • DrNathan:

      Sorry, there is no “undo” feature.

      The program gives you control over deleting suctioned directories, so you can leave your file structure intact while moving files, but that is it.

      What incredibly important directory did you just wipe out?

  • Ran it on my user profile under documents and settings. I can do it manually or whip up a bat file hopefully.

  • Gary M. Mugford:

    Kudos on a job well-done. I am running 32bit XP on an admin account and started with v1.04. It worked perfectly. I used it from the right-click menu. It balked when you were currently in one of the folders due to be suctioned out of existence and right clicked on one of its parents.

    And, that version left the results dialog on-screen afterwords. So, I was fairly happy when I found out about version 1.1.1 and the fact that it would autoexit. Seemed the solution to the only issue I had.

    ‘Upgrading’ was accomplished by deleting the original Suction.exe and then copying the newer one from the download archival folder to the utility apps folder. I have had intermittent results since.

    It initially disappeared from the context menu. Running it interactively a few times and checking and unchecking and checking the top item seemed to return it to the context menu, but the change doesn’t stick. And I have no idea why. Also, it ignores the autoexit box and the two log settings, which I have unchecked. So, what happens … when the suction choice appears on the context menu, which is about three-quarters of the time, I get suction operating successfully, but the dialog remains on screen and I have a log file in the parent folder where all the files are now located. This is a bother, but clicking away the dialog and then click-deleting the log file hardly qualifies as arduous. A little price to pay for a valuable service.

    I think my problem is directly related to ‘how’ I upgraded. On the other hand, I can’t imagine how else I would have done it.

    Continued thanks for your work. Hope it improves that last little bit. GM

  • [...] Suction is a free Windows app that will get rid of your unwanted folder trees and leave you with your files all in the root folder. Just drag the directory with all subfolders into the program and it will get rid of the folder tree while bringing your files to the root directory. Think of your images folder or videos folder. [...]

  • Just an Idea / setting to move photos to a folder, music to a music folder and video to a video folder. 2.5tb not shure I want to Suction some folders lol with out some file system I dont need a Single TB Folder lol.

    Note: Just like the app it’s self this could spread out an app so it could not work but the suction could just pool it all back to gether again.. i guess..

  • Morg:

    I would like to inform you your tool doesnt install at Windows XP 64 bit..it crashes right away after executing the .exe

    Suction has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

    Could you please fix this?

  • DrNathan:

    Linux_x,

    Sounds like an interesting option, though I’m not sure how it feeds into the idea of unifying all of your files in one directory. Regardless, I do like the idea and will take a look into it sometime soon.

    Morg,

    Thanks for pointing out that there was a bug, I found it and fixed it. Next time, leave a bit more info though – it’s hard to troubleshoot when told simply, “it’s broken”.

  • scott:

    +1 for an undo function. I haven’t install this yet, but on more than one occasion, I’ve gotten into big trouble with unify. If not an undo feature, then maybe a depth setting (0 for everything, 1 through whatever to specify how deep in the directory structure one wants to combine). Or maybe both features :)

  • DrNathan:

    Scott,

    I have considered an undo feature, though it may be pretty complicated to implement. I will take a look at it again, but at the end of the day, there is only so much you can do with the recycle bin. Once a user overruns its capacity, the recycle bin starts purging data so no solution will be perfect, but it can be workable.

  • Mark:

    Hello,
    firstly, thank you for a superb programme.
    I have, however, noticed one tiny ‘bug’: If I untick the ‘check for updates’ box, the next time the application starts up then the box is ticked.

    Windows XP(with all updates)
    Suction 1.3.1
    Other Ticked Boxes: add to context menu
    remove empty directories

  • Mark:

    ..other ticked boxes continued…:Delete using recycle bin.

    Also, does the program only check for updates when it is used (either through the context menu or when the program itself is executed)?

    Thanks again for a fantastic program.

    (Apologies for posting in two halves – I accidentally hit the submit button.)

    • DrNathan:

      Mark,

      I am glad that you find Suction to be a useful application – it’s always nice to hear from someone that finds it helpful.

      As for the bug, I recall that I had some issue with that tick box at one point before but I thought I had quashed the issue. I will take a closer look at it and see if I can replicate the issue you are having.

      I do have one question for you that might point me in the right direction. Did you by chance move the application itself to a different folder between runs? If so, the way in which Windows keeps track of application data causes the OS to create a brand new configuration file if the program is relocated. If that is the case, the auto-update tick box will be ticked by default when the program is run again. If you didn’t move it, no worries – I will look into the issue regardless.

      As for the auto-update feature itself, the program will check for updates whenever it is run, provided that it has not checked for updates in the last 24 hours. So at most, it will check for updates once daily. The check consists of downloading a file approximately 400 bytes in size to check for a version number change, so the overhead is extremely low.

  • Mark:

    Thank you for the speedy reply.

    You’re quite correct, Mr Holmes, it was moved to a different folder between runs. It was on my desktop initially, but was then relocated to a folder on the desktop.

    Only after I had executed the program a few times did I then decide to add it to the context menu.

    All the best,
    Mark

    • DrNathan:

      Mark,

      I’m happy to hear that the issue was just related to moving the executable. I haven’t really looked into attempting to make the settings file static even if the executable is moved, but I think I will soon.

      Thanks again for the feedback!

  • Josh:

    After reading all these comments along with DrNathan’s responses I am psyched to start using this utility! Thanks for all your hard work.

    -Josh

  • DrNathan:

    Thanks, and good luck!

  • the_observer:

    Although i find suction very very useful ,i cannot make it run under windows 7 x64 version.

    But it doesnt write somewhere around that it supports x64.
    If it does i could use some help in order to run it.

    I tried to run it as admin and in win XP compatibility mode.It failed too :(

  • DrNathan:

    Have you tried it with UAC turned off? Do you have the latest version of .NET installed?

    I can run it at home on Windows 7 x64 without issue, but then again, I have UAC disabled.

    If that does indeed solve your problem, I will take another look at the code to make Suction UAC-friendly. It is something I have been meaning to do anyways.

  • Stephan:

    I just switched to Windows 7 64bit and I was a bit worried when read DirUtils doesn’t support 64bit. But this program does exactly what I need (didn’t use the other DirUtils function at all anyway).

    Awesome tool! Keep up the good work!

  • Pablo Calderón Recalde:

    Hi DrNathan I’m very interested on your work, your app seems to be really cool except by the fact that it doesn’t work for me, let me explain you the steps I had followed.
    First of all my OS is: Windows 7 x64 bit ver6.1.7100. I had downloaded the software and the first time i ran it when I was dragging the folders over the app, the cursor turned into a Prohibition icon, then I tried activating the compatibility mode for your app and later I tried starting the app as an administrator, but it neither worked this time . So I have read these last comments and after disable my UAC and reboot my system I tried to use the soft again, and it have started normally, without my OS asking for my consent for over9000 times… and this time the program have let me to drag the folder to the top of the app but when it was processing my files, it suddenly crashed and reported that :

    Description:
    Stopped working
    Problem’s sign:
    Name of the event’s problem: CLR20r3
    Problem’s sign 01: suction.exe
    Problem’s sign 02: 1.3.2.0
    Problem’s sign 03: 4b1e37a0
    Problem’s sign 04: mscorlib
    Problem’s sign 05: 2.0.0.0
    Problem’s sign 06: 4a27471d
    Problem’s sign 07: 182d
    Problem’s sign 08: 76
    Problem’s sign 09: System.ArgumentException
    OS Version: 6.1.7100.2.0.0.256.1
    regional configuration’s ID: 3082

  • DrNathan:

    Pablo,

    Sorry to hear that you are experiencing problems with the application.

    At first glance, I can see that part of your issue is that you are using .NET 2.0 – the line in the error report stating “CLR20r3″ signifies that you are using .NET 2.0.

    Suction requires you to be using .NET 3.5 to ensure proper functionality, so I recommend upgrading your version from Microsoft’s site and giving the program another try. If that does not fix your issues, let me know.

  • [...] Suction (180Kb) – One great way to keep mess to a minimum on your system is to consolidate similar directories – that’s exactly what Suction does. It’s portable, too! [...]

  • Matt:

    Am I going to run into problems with my tens-of-thousands of photos all in one directory? Is there a practical limit to how flat my file system >should< be?

    These are family photos, so I don't want to risk them! Of course I will back up my 'tree' before I flatten it out, my concern is mainly for system/drive performance or reliability issues after applying suction.

    I'm running 32 bit Windows 7 on a getting-old (3+ years) pc.

    Thanks for the app- it's exactly what I was looking for.

  • DrNathan:

    Matt,

    Offhand, I do not know of a hard limit for the number of files in one single directory in Windows. If I had to guess, I would think it is the magic “65535″ limit that has affected most 32-bit MS applications in the past.

    That said, I would think you could flatten out your image directories by year, under your main photos folder without much issues. You would be hard pressed to take over 65k pictures in a year.

    Suction, using its default settings, will never delete any files it attempts to move – it will simply rename files that have name collisions, so you should be safe. Using some of the advanced options, Suction can check for duplicate files and delete copies based on a hash of the file contents. This comparison only occurs when file names collide, so it will not be a likely situation unless you have many files named the same way.

    If you are still worried that your files might get damaged, back up the images like you mentioned, and enable the “Undo” feature of Suction. This way, Suction will remember it’s last action and you will be able to roll back your directory consolidation.

    With Windows 7′s indexing features, I think you will be fine putting all your images in one, or several directories, if you happen to sort them by year.

    Good luck, and thanks for using Suction!

  • Ben:

    Hi,

    Thanks for the great app.

    I found a problem in the app after I turn on the sorting feature while the suction target already contains folder named ‘Music’, ‘Movies’, etc.

    To reproduce:
    1. Create folder named ‘Movies’
    2. create another folder named ‘new folder’
    3. drop a avi file into ‘new folder’
    4. suction these folders parent
    5. Movies folder and the avi gone to recycle bin.

    Thanks!

    • DrNathan:

      Ben,

      Thanks for the feedback – I am going to do some testing to see if I can reproduce the issue, and then I will release a fix as soon as I can.

  • Anthony:

    Hi Mike,

    Suction kicks butt.

    Just wanted to let you know that an update alert notified me to download Suction 1.3.3, but the download you have up now is still 1.3.2.

    Thanks!

    Best,

    Anthony

    • DrNathan:

      Anthony,

      Thanks for the praise and the heads up! I completely forgot to update the version info when I compiled and uploaded Suction, but it should be all set now.

      -DrNathan

  • Anthony:

    Perfect! All is good.

    Thanks, DrNathan.

  • Andy:

    Suction is great. But I have a problem since 1.3.3 version. If the ‘Remove empty directories’ option is enable Suction crash without removing the directories. Is there a place to download the previous version? Thanks

    • DrNathan:

      Andy,

      Thanks for the catch! There was a small null reference bug that popped up in the last version that I have corrected. Feel free to try 1.3.4, which should resolve your issues.

  • Robin:

    Hi, great tool. I have a feature request, can you preserve the non empty folders, while removing the empty ones.

    e.g

    folder1
    emptyfolder
    emptyfolder
    folderWithContent
    folderWithContent

    to become

    folder1
    folderWithContent
    folderWithContent

  • Robin:

    Hi, I tested Vanity Remover, it wasn’t able to remove the folder. My earlier post had a folder structure but the blog removed the spaces. The empty folder containts only 1 folder like this

    folder1
    +emptyfolder
    ++emptyfolder
    +++folderWithContent
    ++++folderWithContent

    So it becomes

    folder1
    +folderWithContent
    ++folderWithContent

    The emptyFolder menas it only contains 1 folder, so to suction it upwards.

  • DrNathan:

    That’s really beyond the functionality of Suction. With your folder structure, Suction does the following:

    folder1
    +emptyfolder
    ++emptyfolder
    +++folderwithcontent1
    ++++folderwithcontent2

    Becomes:

    folder1
    +files from folderwithcontent1
    +files from folderwithcontent2

    Yes, Suction removes empty directories, but only after pulling ALL files from ALL sub-directories to the top. It does not selectively save folders that contain files – that would be counter intuitive to what Suction is made to do.

  • Robin:

    Yes I know. Currently Suction destroys the folder hierarchy. Which is why I hope to ask for this feature, to preserve the hierarchy but removing the empty folders within

  • john:

    This has been a very useful tool in keeping the clutter down on my computer and helping with organising, but one major thing I have noticed is that files that you want will get deleted after a suction if the pathway is really long. I usually need to resolve this by first renaming the folders to something smaller before I try a suction again.

    I don’t know if this has been mentioned, apologies if it has – i have not been able to find it in the comments or history.

  • Luke H:

    win7 x64 suction v1.3.5 cant drag any folders……. get the “NO” symbol. tried running as admin & also non-admin. neither works. help?

  • DrNathan:

    Luke,

    I am running Win7 x64 at home and have no issues with Suction. Do you have UAC enabled? Are you ever prompted for elevation when running the app? Personally, I have UAC disabled at home and it works fine. I would be interested in hearing more about your configuration.

    John,

    Glad the tool has been helpful, and I am sorry to hear you are having issues with it. By chance, can you elaborate a bit more on the problem? Are files disappearing when you have a very long folder path, or when one folder name in that path is particularly long? Either? Both?

    I would love to see what the log looks like after a Suction where this occurs.

  • john:

    Hi sorry for the delay in getting back to you, i was just waiting for the files I normally get that this happpens on so I can try and recreate it again.

    Here are the logs you requested. I thought the problem might have been the long pathway issue that Windows has (260 characters IIRC) but the files furthest in the sub-folder didn’t get renamed liked during some other tests I did probably suggesting it didn’t reach the limit but it still got deleted. Whilst those that were truncated to short filenames worked fine. I still think the issue is connected to the length of characters involved but that one that got deleted may have been because I somehow bypassed the character limit without realising it.

    http://rapidshare.com/files/354183415/SuctionLogs.rar

    Here are some test and results i got:
    Main root folder is moved to:
    X:\Americas.Best.Dance.Crew\New Folder

    Avi file is now located at:
    X:\Americas.Best.Dance.Crew\New Folder\Randy Jackson Presents Americas Best Dance Crew S05E04 WS DSR XviD

    DVSKY\randy_jackson_presents_americas_best_dance_crew_s05e04_ws_dsr_xvid-dvsky_par2\

    and renamed to RANDYJ~1.AVI
    Suction is done on “New folder”

    Suction = FINE. 7 Files Present, 0 Folders (albeit files still retain the short name).

    X:\Americas.Best.Dance.Crew\New Folder\Randy Jackson Presents Americas Best Dance Crew S05E04 WS DSR XviD

    DVSKY\randy_jackson_presents_americas_best_dance_crew_s05e04_ws_dsr_xvid-dvsky_par2\
    contains:
    randy.jackson.presents.americas.best.dance.crew.s05e04.ws.dsr.xvid-dvsky.avi

    Suction deletes

  • German:

    I’m trying to install suction in a XP professional, without .net or any programing soft, and doesn’t works. Give me a message “Application can’t be inicializating corretly (0xc0000135)………….
    What is necessary to run Suction?
    obligatorily needs .net 3.5? because before format my computer I hadn’t .net 3.5 and It works fine.

    Thanks,……….
    And sorry for my english, because I’m spanish.

    • DrNathan:

      German,

      At a minimum, I .Net 2.0 is required for Suction, but some newer features rely on v3.5. You should install v2.0 if you want basic functionality. Suction is only fully supported with v3.5.

  • Sergio Ramos:

    I first run Suction in windows vista without any problems.

    I’m trying to used in Windows 7 and it doesn´t work. I try with different folders.

    I downloa version 1.3.5.

  • DrNathan:

    Sergio,

    You need to ensure that you have .Net installed, preferably .Net 3.5. I use Suction on Windows 7 (x86 and x64) all the time, so you should be able to as well.

    Check the status of your .Net install and let me know what happens.

  • jujdred:

    I have a situation where Suction is diving into my archives such as rar, zip, 7z, etc and pulling EVERYTHING out. It’s not pretty. I had over 36,000 files show up in my folder. Is there some way to prevent that? Is a compressed file treated as a folder? How about if I created a new FOLDER in which to place my zippable files into and then zipping it? Would that stop it?

    Thanks,

  • DrNathan:

    jujdred,

    Your issue must be somehow related to how Windows itself is handling archives for you. What applications do you use for managing archives on your machine?

    Suction simply uses the Windows File.Move() function to relocate the files, so it is highly unlikely that Suction itself is the reason for this behavior.

    I have tried replicating your situation by placing large numbers of archives (rar, zip, 7z, tar, bz) in a tree of folders and using Suction to pull them all to the top. As expected, the archives are moved, but no extraction takes place.

  • Natalie:

    hello suction looks great and i just downloaded it but i can’t drag and drop my picture folder into it. It gives me the circle with the slash through it when I do. Am i missing something? please help me I would like to use this program ( I have windows 7 on a PC) Thanks

  • DrNathan:

    Natalie,

    I have not experienced the problem you are reporting, so can you give me a few more details on your setup?

    Are you an administrator on the machine?

    Do you have UAC enabled or disabled?

    What folder are you trying to use Suction on? Is it your “My Pictures” folder, a drive root (Like C:\) or something else?

    What version of .Net are you using?

    Thanks for the feedback,
    DrNathan

  • John Doe:

    Just wanted to say thank you so much for developing an awesome application! Saves me so much time .

  • Jake:

    Just downloaded 1.3.5 but isn’t working. I have .Netframe 3.5 SP1, it should work right? But it isn’t. Any ideas?

    Thx,
    Jake

  • DrNathan:

    Jake,

    Are you running the application as Administrator?

    Is UAC Enabled?

    If UAC is enabled, are you prompted for permission to run the application when you start it?

  • Jake:

    DrNathan,

    Yes I’m running the application as Administrator.
    UAC is enabled, yes I am prompted for permission to run the application when I start it.

    I am having similar problems like Natalie.

    I can’t drag into the application, I get a circle and a slash.
    When I use the context menu option it crashes, no matter the size of the folder.

    Jake.
    Vista -32 Home Premium
    I have .Netframe 3.5 SP1

    • DrNathan:

      Let me play with Suction a bit on my computer, also Vista 32-bit, and I will get back to you soon.

    • DrNathan:

      Here’s the funny thing about UAC on Vista, which may or may not apply to Windows 7 as well.

      When you launch an application and grant it a higher set of privileges by clicking the “Allow” dialog, you are giving that application whatever set of rights it is asking for. This can be one of three levels:

      1) “asInvoker”, which basically means you right now, and the set of permissions/level of access you currently hold under UAC. This means that even though you might be an administrator on the local machine, you have not elevated your privileges, and you are restricted in the things you can do.

      2) “requireAdministrator”, which requires that the application be granted administrator rights to do its job – you click allow and/or provide the system with administrator credentials to proceed, and the application runs as if you were running as Administrator.

      3) “highestAvailable”, which basically grants the program the highest privileges available to you. So, if you are an administrator on the machine, it grants the program administrator rights, and so on.

      Now, this setup becomes problematic due to Vista’s implementation of UAC. The system dictates that an application running with lesser privileges cannot copy data/interact with an application that has higher privileges.

      Windows Explorer is not run as Administrator by default. Therefore, when you grant Suction Administrator rights, you are unable to drag files from Explorer to Suction.

      There are several workarounds that I can think of offhand:

      1) Turn off UAC. I do and I’m fine. If that’s not your cup of tea, you can try…

      2) Changing the properties of Windows Explorer so that it runs as Administrator (right-click> Properties> Compatibility

      3) Only run Suction from the context menu

      4) I could change Suction to not be compliant with UAC.

      I tweaked Suction to request “HighestAvailable” privileges, and will be uploading it soon. I did this because using it with the “asInvoker” privileges would render it unable to tweak the registry and add a context menu entry. However, running it as Administrator all the time isn’t required either. However, when running with “HighestAvailable” privileges, one can still use the context menu to launch the program without any issues.

      I am reluctant to remove the UAC compatibility because it simply breaks Suction for anyone trying to use it with UAC enabled. However, UAC is a less than accommodating solution in itself.

      Hopefully that helps. Stay tuned for the slightly tweaked version, likely to be uploaded first thing tomorrow.

  • Jake:

    DrNathan,

    I’ll try running it without UAC on. But the context menu instantly crashes when I use it on Vista.

    Thanks,
    Jake

    • DrNathan:

      Jake,

      I removed UAC completely from the latest release up on the site, so give it a try. As far as crashing when using the context menu shortcut, I have not been able to replicate this problem on any of my machines. Can you give me a little more info?

      Are you selecting one folder? Multiple?

      Have you tried unregistering and re-registering Suction in the context menu via the Configuration pane?

      Are you getting any specific errors or messages from Windows or Suction when it crashes?

  • Jake:

    DrNathan,

    I just gave it a try, the context menu gives error: Could not write to registry: Acess to registry key ‘KHEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\command’ is denied.

    Thats prob registry error due to not having admin privileges.

    When I use it without running as admin as you said on a single folder, it doesn’t work but now I can drag folders into it. Suctioned 0 files is the result it gives. Even tho there are 5 .docs and 5 .jpegs inside the folder.

    Still not working.

    Thanks,
    Jake

  • Jake:

    DrNathan,

    Where does the files go to after they get suctioned by the program?
    It hasn’t actually worked for me yet, I’d like to set the output location of the files that have been sorted if possible and perhaps a status bar would be nice and how much time it takes to finish suctioning.
    Can this program handle 500GB or 1TB worth of data?

    Thanks,
    Jake

  • DrNathan:

    Jake,

    As far as the registry error is concerned, yes that is a permissions issue. Suction adds data to the registry, which requires administrator-level access.

    As for the functionality of Suction, I don’t believe you have quite the right idea as to how the program works.

    Suction is made to be run on a folder that contains other folders and files. When run, Suction will pull all of the files up from those sub folders into the folder on which you ran Suction.

    For instance, imagine you have a folder called “Jake” with several sub folders, perhaps named “Documents”, “Pictures”, etc.

    If you run Suction on your folder named Jake, all of the files in the Documents and Pictures folders will be moved to Jake. This includes any sub folders located within the Documents and Pictures folders.

    There is no output folder to select, or anything like that. Suction simply collapses a folder tree, moving all of the files contained there into the top folder you selected to Suction. After that, Suction deletes all of those sub folders which are now empty.

    As far as a status bar is concerned, I may consider that in the future. I have built something similar into another application I am releasing soon, so it should not be too tough to add to Suction. As far as a time estimate goes, that is hard to say. I’m sure it is possible, but most Suction activities take less than a minute on average, so I am not sure how useful that would be. Suction should have no problem managing many files, so 500 GB or 1 TB worth of data is reasonable. I have run Suction on a directory tree of over 5,000 files without issue.

    Hopefully this clears up some of the questions you had regarding Suction’s functionality.

  • [...] de archivos. Tiene un aspecto menos minimalista y con algunas otras opciones que no vienen mal. 5.- Suction (180 KB) no dará muchos rodeos y absorberá en el directorio raíz a todas las carpetas rebeldes [...]

  • [...] de archivos. Tiene un aspecto menos minimalista y con algunas otras opciones que no vienen mal. 5.- Suction (180 KB) no dará muchos rodeos y absorberá en el directorio raíz a todas las carpetas rebeldes [...]

  • Jake:

    DrNathan,

    I am now using Windows 7
    I am trying to separate music and photos in one folder.
    It doesn’t work, it creates the four folders and doesn’t “suction”.
    Running as Admin doesn’t let me drag anything into it.

  • DrNathan:

    Jake,

    The problem is likely due to UAC.

    If Suction is elevated to Admin status, you cannot drag files from Explorer into Suction because Microsoft does not allow a non-elevated application (Explorer) to interact with an elevated application (Suction).

    You could try using Suction from the context menu instead, or you could possibly disable UAC.

    I am looking into getting things to work with UAC, but it may take a bit.

  • DrNathan:

    Jake,

    I looked into it further.

    Where do you have the Suction executable located? There are certain directories in Windows Vista and Windows 7 that are considered “Secured” directories. Any applications stored there will be automatically elevated when run, and thus block you from dragging files onto the interface due to the reasons I mentioned in my last reply.

    Your desktop is one of these locations. If you were to move Suction to say, the root of your C:\ drive, or your Downloads folder, you should see that you are able to drag files into the application without issue.

    Let me know if that works for you.

  • herak:

    The download link is broken.

  • Angel:

    Hello. Thanks for the program, only I’ve a problem.
    When I’m traying to instal it, appears this message:
    COULD NOT CHECK FOR UPDATES:
    NO SE PUEDE RESOLVER EL NOMBRE REMOTO: “DRNATHAN.TEAMHACADAY.COM”
    What can I do?
    Regards,

  • Suzanne F.:

    Is it possible to use Suction to move files out of folders (and delete the folders) if and only if there is a single file in a folder? Basically, I am trying to organize font files, and I want to keep them with their read me file if there is one, or with their other family members if they exist, but I don’t want just one font in a folder by itself.

    If Suction can’t do this, can you recommend some method. I’m using 64-bit Windows 7.

  • [...] inside a parent folder for your convenience. The same happens when using torrents clients as well, Suction is a freeware tool which allows you to consolidate files from any number of directories into a [...]

  • Xantes:

    It must do ANYTHING ELSE than it’s been designed for!!! It doesn’t work no matter what!

  • Shawn:

    Is there an updated version? The link is for 1.3.8, and I am running 1.3.10, I have no idea where I got it from, but the about page points here. Thanks.

  • Tyler:

    link broken, please fix.

    thanks in advance!

  • Robert:

    Hi,

    im not able to use this program, when i drag folders into the program i get this error all the time!

    —————————
    Suction Log Error
    —————————
    Could not generate Suction log – The process cannot access the file ‘J:\TV\Suction_Log.txt’ because it is being used by another process.
    —————————
    OK
    —————————

  • Weekendmedic:

    Excellent tool!

    Is it possible to call Suction from a command line? I’m automating some functions on a remote PC, and would love to be able to Suction the contents of a folder before acting on them with a different app.

    THANK YOU for an exceptional app!

  • Michele:

    Hi,
    I can’t use the program. When I drag the folders I get the same problem of Robert: The process cannot access the file Suction_Log.txt’ because it is being used by another process. What can I do? Can you helm me?
    Thank you very much
    —————————

  • Peggy:

    I desperately need help. I ran suction, and it took every folder apart that I had in my dropbox file. I have nothing that even resembles what I had in there. How can I get back the hundreds of folders and photos I had?

    • Mike:

      Unfortunately no, unless you had the “Undo” option toggled.

      It can rebuild things from there, but if you did not select to log the program’s actions, you are unfortunately out of luck.

  • dglp:

    I haven’t tried Suction – because it sounds like something other than what I read in the initial description at AlternativeTo.

    I am trying to identify the locations of identical folders on several drives (laptops, PCs, USB memory) – each of which may have copies of whole folders, though not necessarily in the same directory structures.

    So I’d like to catalog evey folder on every drive, then list them by name (size, date, etc) before deciding what to do with the files in any given folder.

    Any suggestions about what might do the job?

  • Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist
    with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog
    to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good
    gains. If you know of any please share. Kudos!

  • […] user mentioned that I should probably list a little utility called Suction you can […]

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