WinDirStat

WinDirStat is a great tool to discover what is taking up most of the space on your disks. The treemap is an excellent feature. It shows all the content by visualizing it as colored rectangles. The larger the rectangle, the larger the file. This is a big boon to hunt down large files that you may want to remove to reclaim lots of disk space in one go. The classic tree view is also present, with details about the files. Next to that there is an extension list. Another boon for file management. It allows you to explore files by extension. For example, you could select an extension that matches video files and it will show where they are and how much space they are using. All the fields interact. Click on a large rectangle in the treemap and the tree view will mark the same file or folder. In this way you can hunt down the specific file on the disk through the folder structure.

WinDirStat

Installing WinDirStat

Go to the download page on the website: https://windirstat.net/download.html The installer file is available on FossHub. Click on the word “FossHub” to go to their page.

WinDirStat Home

Click on the words “Windows Installer” to start downloading the install file.

FossHub

Go to your download location and double click on the file to start the installation. It looks like this on the desktop.

Icon

Give administrator permissions when prompted. You should get prompted. This is more secure. Read and accept the license agreement by checking the box. Then click the Next button.

License Agreement

Select the type of install you want. The recommended settings are usually fine but if you need extra languages, select them. Then click the Next button.

Install type

Specify the destination folder for the program files. The default is fine. Change it by typing in the right path or browse for a new location by clicking on the Browse button. Let’s go with the default. Then click the Install button.

Destination

Once the installation completes, click the Next button.

Complete

Leave the box checked if you want to run WinDirStat right away. Uncheck if not. Then click the Close button.

Finish

WinDirStat is now installed.

Lessons From The Past: 10 Immutable Laws Of Security (Version 2.0)

We looked at the 10 Immutable Laws of Security before. Then Microsoft security researcher Scott Culp posted a list of principles to keep in mind when considering computer security. Whether you are a novice user or an advanced user, it is sound advice to continue to use. In 2011 Microsoft decided to update the laws. As technology and the threat landscape keep evolving, so must our thinking and mental models. Below is the updated list. The differences with the old laws are bolded.

10 Immutable Laws Of Security (Version 2.0)

  1. If a bad guy can persuade you to run his program on your computer, it’s not solely your computer anymore.
  2. If a bad guy can alter the operating system on your computer, it’s not your computer anymore.
  3. If a bad guy has unrestricted physical access to your computer, it’s not your computer anymore.
  4. If you allow a bad guy to run active content in your website, it’s not your website any more.
  5. Weak passwords trump strong security.
  6. A computer is only as secure as the administrator is trustworthy.
  7. Encrypted data is only as secure as the decryption key.
  8. An out-of-date antimalware scanner is only marginally better than no virus scanner at all.
  9. Absolute anonymity isn’t practically achievable, online or offline.
  10. Technology is not a panacea.

The old list of laws can be found here: https://www.modernsamurai.info/laws-of-security/

Windows 10 Disk Cleanup

Windows has a built-in tool to facilitate cleaning out the drives. It can reduce several unnecessary files such as temporary files or system files. It can empty the Recycle Bin or remove other items that you might not need. If you clean up updates then it also helps reduce the size of the component store. The possibility to clean up system files might be a feature you haven’t used before. Removing large update files can recover lots of disk space. Who doesn’t want extra disk space? You can actually use the disk space you’ve payed for instead of having it hijacked by your operating system. Free disk space is also necessary for the operating system to run smoothly. So you shouldn’t fill the hard drive completely anyway. Again we lose out on the space we payed for. Here’s how to use the built-in Disk Cleanup tool.

Disk Cleanup

Press the Windows key to open the start menu. Type “cleanmgr”. Click on “cleanmgr” and Disk Cleanup will open.

cleanmgr

Select the drive you wish to clean. Usually Windows is installed on the C: drive. Select it and click the OK button.

Drive Selection

Disk Cleanup will open with the options for drive C:. Click the Clean up system files button. The shield on the button means that you’ll need administrator privileges to run this feature. You may get prompted for the password to grant permission.

Disk Cleanup C

Once again, select the drive you wish to clean. We still want to clean the C: drive. Select it and click the OK button.

Drive Selection

Now there are more options in the “Files to delete:” list. Select everything, unless you have a good reason not to. Selecting the type of file will display a description below it. This can help you decide what to keep or remove. I never have a reason to keep any of the files so I always select everything. Then click the OK button at the bottom.

Disk Cleanup C System

Disk Cleanup will ask for confirmation. Click the Delete Files button to confirm. Disk Cleanup will start the cleaning process. If you haven’t run it before or it has been a while since it ran last, this could take a moment to complete.

Confirmation

Once the cleaning process is complete, the program will automatically close. All done.