WinDirStat is a “disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool for various versions of Microsoft Windows.” Its main advantage is that it produces nice looking visualizations of exactly what is taking up all that space on hard drives.
There is a very similar app for Android called DiskUsage that will do the same thing for phone/microSD card storage.
Ian Haken makes a fascinating presentation of his research on bypassing Bitlocker on a Windows machine if you have physical access to the machine you’re trying to crack into. Especially interesting is the point Haken makes at the end that this particular attack worked (Microsoft has since fixed this particular issue) because of assumptions about the security model that Microsoft made years ago that are no longer true–but those assumptions are instantiated in the way that various parts of Windows authentication works.
So I’m a dumbass and in the process of attempting to make a 1:1 copy of every file on a full 2 TB hard drive, actually managed to delete them all before I realized what I was doing (did I mention I’m a dumbass sometime). Fortunately once I realized there were no longer any files on my drive, I did stop everything immediately so no data would overwrite the actual file data. Then I started looking for recovery options.
I finally settled on Piriform’s Recuva recovery software which had a number of things going for it.
First, it’s free. And not free as in “it’s free for the first 50 gb of files and after that you’ll need to pay us” but free as in I was able to recover every single deleted file on my hard drive without paying free. Even the Professional version is dirt cheap at just $24.95. That compares well to the $80 its nearest competitor wanted.
Second, it worked very well. When I realized my files had been deleted I did a few Google searches on reviews of data recovery software and quite a few roundups of such software rated Recuva as the best for recovering deleted files. A quick test showed why that was the case. Recuva quickly analyzed my hard drive and gave me an exhaustive list of all the deleted files on the drive, whether they were recoverable, etc.
It took me just a few minutes using some advanced filters to tell Recuva exactly what I wanted recovered, where I wanted the files to be written to, and I was on my way. Many hours later I had recovered all of the deleted files in their original directory structure, after which I made a Success Kid fist and cheered.
Fences is a Desktop-organizing tool for Windows whose main drawback is that is published by Stardock (yes, that Stardock).
But if you can get past that, Fences adds a couple of helpful additions to the Windows desktop for just $9.99.
Fences adds a multi-page Desktop setup to Windows. Grab the edge of the screen with your mouse and drag to the left or right, and you’re onto the next screen.
Lots of utilities do similar things, but Fences lets you define scrolling windows on top of the desktop that hold icons for programs and documents. So you can have a window called “Video Editing” and put shortcuts to all of your video editing software, or create a “Super Secret Project” window and put shortcuts to all the relevant documents in there.
All interesting and helpful stuff, but I never would have paid the $9.99 for Fences if it weren’t for the final feature which, after I used it, I couldn’t believe wasn’t already a feature in Windows.
With Fences running, and the option selected, you can double-click on any blank space on the Desktop and all the icons disappear. Double-click again and they reappear.
I know it’s a fairly minor feature, but I can’t help it–I absolutely love it. It just has that “this is how the Desktop should have always worked” feel to it.