Cathy, A Free, No installation media cataloger. FAST, very FAST!

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Warwagon

Active member
Sep 20, 2020
26
11
A couple years ago I was looking around for a cataloging program which let me scan external hard drives and just save a list of the contents to a catalog file.

What I found was very small and FREE program called Cathy.

Website - http://rva.mtg.sk//
http://rva.mtg.sk//Cathy2_33.zip

The speed in which it catalogs is VERY impressive. I just cataloged my entire system32 folder in 1 blink of my eye. No seriously, it was that fast. I was going to count it, but I hit go, and it was done. This is of course on a nvme drive, but still.

So then I thought well how about my entire C drive. It cataloged the entire C drive in 9.25 seconds.

Searching the database is instant.

Microsoft needs to hire this person. You can have an unlimited amount of catalogs. It can be run without installation or over a VPN without issue. Try it. It's very neat

You can create as many catalogs as you want.

1609440152803.png
 
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Ah this reminds me of a tool I used to use to search source code called Search32.exe . I think it's long gone these days, and I keep meaning to make my own tool, but never do manage to get around to it. I liked it because it searched inside the content of text files so I could find references to specific function calls. (Which was especially useful when faced with a new and unfamiliar source code base and needing to find where things are defined/located.)

EDIT: Well it turns out it might be still around, but it's from Moscow and it looks like they're stuck in a time warp: http:// www. anetsoft .com/s32 /prs32.htm

EDIT2: I have killed the link after I MSDefender reported the downloaded file from that site was backdoored malware.
Trojan:Win32/Zpevdo.B
file: R:\s32e6x.exe
 
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I've been using Cathy cataloging app off and on for about 10 years. I love the fact it is tiny and fast. Lately, Ive been going through the apps that I use to find FOSS versions. Does anyone have any recommendations of a FOSS app (Windows) for cataloging media? (HDD, SSD, CD, DVD, Bluray, etc)
 
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This looks a lot like the tool I've used called "Everything" from Void Tools. Aways got a kick out of how when I searched google for "Everything" it was the first result (at least for me). I'll check this one out too!
 
I've been using WizTree and its related program WizFile from AntiBody Software for several years and was curious how this program differs? Reading the features list it seems to be similar and I would venture to say WizTree is even faster and more featureful (that's a word, right?). My C: drive (SATA SSD) is cataloged in 2.63 seconds and I've even used it to examine a 9.5TB virtual file server using NAS backed spinning drives with just shy of 3 million files inside in under a minute.
 
Nice! I've just had a Windoze Scheduled Task (cron job) do a "dir /s /b c:\ >c:\filelist.txt" every night, then grep the file.
 
This looks a lot like the tool I've used called "Everything" from Void Tools.
Except everything keeps a live database of your active drives and Cathy is, instead, a really wonderful, FAST program for cataloguing contents of external media (CDs, DVDs, etc.) Although it's wonderful, very fast, and I use it all the time for finding files on my active drives, I haven't been able to get everything to do much for me in the way of storing a copy of offline media in an easy, fast as I can swap the disc sort of way... and it has to keep the list of files on offline drives and discs separate from the active drives, with the disc/drive listed along with the pertinent file information!

With Cathy, I do it like this: Pop a disc in the drive, let it read for a couple or few seconds while it reads filenames/dates/sizes/metadata/etc., the disc ejects, I save the file (file contains the directory listing, including metadata on media files, the volume label, directory listing, number of files and directories, volume serial number and an optional comment (that's where I identify which disc it is precisely)) using a name that identifies the disc (I think?), and swap the next disc to catalog into the drive. As soon as the drive closes, it's read and ejects and I save the new file. Repeat. It's easy and fast and lets me search for specific files/etc. among all my backup discs very easily.

I can't remember whether I have to manually start the catologing, but it seems likely since I have to type a comment for each disc/flash drive/etc.

back to everything: The more info you want to save with each file record in everything's database, the larger the database is and the more RAM everything consumes while running. I have it refresh the database at the start of each run, which takes no time (if recently updated) up to about 35 seconds or more if there have been many changes on the drives.

If you know of a similarly-easy way to do it with everything, I'm all ears! (or should I say eyes?) (figuratively, and I intend no reverence to corn or potatoes)
 
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If anyone knows whether Cathy is still in development, I'd LOVE to know where to get a copy!

The newest version I seem to have is v2.31.3 (GUI, 2013-10-29) and v2.31.4 (CLI, v2.31.4). See picture of About box from GUI version below:

Cathy2313-16c.png


GUI version: 155,648 bytes uncompressed.

CLI version: 34,816 bytes uncompressed. When run, this is shown (first line, after which it says it (CLI version) is to be used to catalog fixed disks using Task Scheduler/etc.:

*** CathyCmd V2.31.4 *** R.Vasicek, 2014-01-13

The Cathy PDF guide I have is 649,808 bytes and dated 2006, for version 2.24 of Cathy. If you have a newer version in English, please tell me! THANKS!

Whoa! There is a newer GUI version! Thanks, @Warwagon ! If anyone knows of a newer official version, please post a link. Thanks!
 
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Except everything keeps a live database of your active drives and Cathy is, instead, a really wonderful, FAST program for cataloguing contents of external media (CDs, DVDs, etc.) Although it's wonderful, very fast, and I use it all the time for finding files on my active drives, I haven't been able to get everything to do much for me in the way of storing a copy of offline media in an easy, fast as I can swap the disc sort of way... and it has to keep the list of files on offline drives and discs separate from the active drives, with the disc/drive listed along with the pertinent file information!

With Cathy, I do it like this: Pop a disc in the drive, let it read for a couple or few seconds while it reads filenames/dates/sizes/metadata/etc., the disc ejects, I save the file (file contains the directory listing, including metadata on media files, the volume label, directory listing, number of files and directories, volume serial number and an optional comment (that's where I identify which disc it is precisely)) using a name that identifies the disc (I think?), and swap the next disc to catalog into the drive. As soon as the drive closes, it's read and ejects and I save the new file. Repeat. It's easy and fast and lets me search for specific files/etc. among all my backup discs very easily.

I can't remember whether I have to manually start the catologing, but it seems likely since I have to type a comment for each disc/flash drive/etc.

back to everything: The more info you want to save with each file record in everything's database, the larger the database is and the more RAM everything consumes while running. I have it refresh the database at the start of each run, which takes no time (if recently updated) up to about 35 seconds or more if there have been many changes on the drives.

If you know of a similarly-easy way to do it with everything, I'm all ears! (or should I say eyes?) (figuratively, and I intend no reverence to corn or potatoes)

Wow, you've actually gone way beyond how I use "everything". I didn't even realize you could configure the info it saves. It serves its purpose for me, but now that I read (and comprehend better ;)) what you are doing, I don't think "everything" is the tool for that.

It does do something that amazes almost anyone who has tried to search for a file on a Windows box using the OS tools though...
 
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Very good light weight program, but there is a serious flaw with its handling of asian character sets, totally breaks it, zero length files and just a bunch of ????'s.
 
A couple years ago I was looking around for a cataloging program which let me scan external hard drives and just save a list of the contents to a catalog file.

What I found was very small and FREE program called Cathy.

Website - http://rva.mtg.sk//
http://rva.mtg.sk//Cathy2_33.zip
Those links are very suspicious per my security software.

Here is a safer link:


Version 2.33 July 08, 2020
 
Those links are very suspicious per my security software.

Here is a safer link:
Those links are the program's homepage... safe, IMO.

However, I appreciate your link to the (same, byte-identical) file on softonic.com. A LOT of users are very skeptical of sites their security software balks at and will not download files from those "suspicious" sites. If those users can use Cathy, they'll really appreciate your link.

:D
 
Those links are the program's homepage... safe, IMO.
Just for the heck of it, I uploaded the ZIP to VirusTotal, which declared that none of their 'security vendors' found any problems with it. A small handful of them were unable process the ZIP file, but those that could, stated that it's clean.
 
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Bypassing a few security warnings I downloaded Cathy and virus scans detected nothing (Defender & Malewarebytes). After playing around with it for a while I think this is going to be a pretty useful program. Way back in the DOS days a friend wrote me a similar catalog program, probably in BASIC or Turbo Pascal that would catalog multiple floppies. The find duplicate file feature will be of great help. I haven't yet cataloged multiple drives, but if it can find duplicates across more than one drive it can free up a lot of external disk space.

I've been a long time user of Easy Duplicate Finder, although I let the renewals lapse for a while. I have noticed that it does not seem to pick up duplicates of JPG files all the time. Using another duplicate finder running under Ubuntu picks them up. My guess (based on nothing) is differences in metadata are the cause.

I catalogued a 4.5TB external drive that I know to have upwards of 5 million files. It took Cathy a while, but once it had the catalog file saved it worked great doing various searches and sorts. Thank you for posting this, it will certainly come in handy, especially as I catalog more drives.
 
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The most recent stable version of Everything was released recently. I don't know if anything newer than 1.4.1.1009 has been released (checking the downloads page might help), but I know 1.5 is being worked on. It's another free utility, of course.

It was discussed above, but not since the newest final version was released... here's the page.
 
Thanks for the update. Among Cathy's recent tasks was freeing up an external 1TB drive for repurposing- without losing what was on it. I always start looking for the largest files I can delete, and Cathy found a 260+GB backup with duplicates on a different drives. It continued from there, but the speed Cathy runs once it has catalogs loaded is fantastic. I also like being able to quickly search multiple drives for finding stuff buried in years of backups. I can see lots of big duplicate files on my NAS for future cleanup. Now I can clean up existing drives before buying new larger ones. This is another free download worth supporting the author.