CyberNotes: Removing Some of Vista’s UAC Headaches

This article was written on May 17, 2007 by CyberNet.

Tutorial Thursday

There was a topic in our forum started a few months back regarding the User Account Control (UAC) in Windows Vista. The question asked whether there was a way to prevent the UAC prompt on applications you know are safe, and at the time the question was specifically directed towards Joost.

Unfortunately there is no way to tell the UAC to “remember my decision,” but there really should be. The UAC should be smart enough to watch for changes in the file, and if something does get modified it should notify the user.

One of my own peeves is in regards to modifying items in the Start Menu. The Start Menu Programs folder is where a lot of applications install their shortcuts. After I install something I like to cleanup the Start Menu so that there aren’t a ton of folders, and also delete shortcuts that I’ll never need. Vista already lets me modify my own Start Menu items, but modifying items that were installed for all users forces a UAC prompt each time.

The method that I’m about to demonstrate is a workaround I found, and works great for disabling the UAC on specific files or folders. It is important to know that the UAC will be completely disabled for the files or folders you choose to apply this to, so be careful how you use it. 

  1. Open Windows Explorer and find the file/folder that you would like to remove the UAC prompt from. In this example I am going to do it for the Programs folder for All Users so that it is easier to manage my items in the Start Menu. This folder is found at:
    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
    Windows Vista UAC Prompt
  2. Right click on the file/folder and select the Properties option.
    Windows Vista UAC Prompt
  3. Go the the Security tab and and click the Edit button. You’ll receive a UAC prompt that you need to confirm before being able to continue.
    Windows Vista UAC Prompt
  4. Click the Add button, and then in the Enter the object names to select field, type your Vista username that is used when you login. My username is Ryan J. Wagner so that is what I entered in.
    Windows Vista UAC Prompt
  5. Press OK on the Select Users or Groups window, and then check the Full Control box on the Permissions for Programs window before pressing OK.
    Windows Vista UAC Prompt

That’s all there is to it! Now in that example I won’t receive a UAC prompt every time I move or delete an item in my Start Menu, which I do quite often. Being able to do this has saved me a lot of headaches, but I just wish I thought to try it sooner.

This can also be done for applications that you’re having problems with running in Vista. You can just go into the corresponding folder for your program (which is normally located in the Program Files) and add your username to the permissions. That way you’ll never need to run an application as an administrator because it already has full access to its own folder.

You do want to be careful for with what you choose to do this with, because it is essentially disabling the UAC for that specific file or directory. That means a virus or spyware would be able to access those files as easy as if you disabled UAC system-wide, so think twice about what you apply this technique to.

This solution isn’t the type of fix that I would have liked to do, and as stated earlier I would like to see Microsoft address an easier way to prevent files, folders, and applications from constantly displaying a UAC prompt. I’ll cross my fingers and hope that Vista Service Pack 1 brings some welcomed updates to the User Account Control!

Copyright © 2011

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CyberNotes: How to Rotate Background Wallpapers

This article was written on May 29, 2008 by CyberNet.

Tutorial Thursday

arrow Windows Windows only arrow
One of the things that I thought was pretty cool with my Mac was that it lets you rotate your desktop backgrounds at set intervals using images on your computer. That got me wondering what kind of solutions are available for Windows users that do something similar, and what I happened to stumble upon is a real gem.

John’s Background Switcher is a free application that does exactly what you would expect it to, but likely goes a step further than anything you’ve seen before. It’s not only capable of grabbing images directly from your computer, but it can also interact with multiple online services including Flickr, Phanfare, SmugMug, Picasa, and Yahoo. What’s really nice is that it even supports retrieval of your private images for nearly all of the online services either through authorization or by providing your username/password. Heck, you can even mix and match the sources you want to pull images from. Neato!

Need a calendar on your desktop? No problem! Background Switcher has an option to display a monthly calendar directly on your wallpaper, and it will highlight the current day. Now how convenient is that?

Oh, right, but you use multiple monitors. Yeah, it supports that, too. You can have it show the same picture on each monitor, one picture for the entire desktop, different pictures on each monitor, or only show one picture on the main monitor. I think you get the point… this is a very full-featured background rotation utility.

background switcher.jpg
(Click to Enlarge)

One thing that I do want to point out is that you can obviously specify the interval that the backgrounds will rotate, but it can also be done manually. To do that just double-click on the System Tray icon, and it will immediately begin processing a new background to use.

–Very Impressive Layouts–

Not only can this flip through your images, but it can also take multiple photos and lay them out in a way that is sure to make your friends go “wow.” Take the “Snapshot Scrapbook” mode for example, which takes a handful of your photos and lays them out in a polaroid fashion. It also takes one image and converts it to black and white to be used as the background. The number of images shown on the screen at any given time are dependent on your monitor’s resolution, and here’s what it looks like using images tagged as “flowers” from Flickr:

Note: The application does place some text in the upper-right corner of the background with the program’s name. I didn’t see any option to eliminate this.

snapshot scrapbook-2.jpg

If you want to see more images at a time just switch over to the mosaic mode where it will grab a lot of thumbnails, and then tile them on your desktop. Here’s what that looks like once again using images tagged as “flowers” from Flickr:

mosiac background.jpg


One of the questions that I frequently get asked when writing about apps like this is what kind of performance hit a PC will take for running this. As you can see above there are a handful of multi-image layouts that you can choose from, and Background Switcher has to generate the background each time the wallpaper is switched out.

On my Vista machine the memory usage for the app sat around 13MB when idle, and 21MB when hard at work. The processor usage obviously spiked while putting together the background, but the highest I saw it go was 65% (it only did that for a split second, too). That’s not all bad for what the program accomplishes.

The nice thing is that Background Switcher is actually a performance-conscious app, and offers several different settings to make sure it doesn’t interrupt your work. Here are some of the things you customize:

  • On start up don’t switch the wallpaper for a specified number of seconds. This gives the rest of your apps a chance to finish loading before it starts working on the background.
  • Stop switching the background when the screensaver is running.
  • Stop switching when running over terminal services (ex. remote desktop).
  • Only switch when the system has been idle for at least 15 seconds.
  • Stop switching if any programs you specify are running. Great for games or applications that require extensive use of your computers resources.


To be honest I haven’t gotten this excited about an application in a long time. The interface is very intuitive and simple, but at the same time there are tons of things you can customize. And the fact that it supports so many online photos services is astounding. Plus it’s free! The developer is even very active in the support forum in case you need help using it, or just have a feature request. It’s not often that you see an application and developer of this caliber that doesn’t charge a dime.

Get John’s Background Switcher

Copyright © 2011

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CyberNotes: Use Windows DVD Maker to Create your own Photo Album

This article was written on June 11, 2007 by CyberNet.

Microsoft Monday

The popularity of digital cameras has meant that people take more pictures because they’re not held back by limited amounts of film.  I love taking pictures with my digital camera, and I also love to share them whether it be through email, social networks, or my Flickr account.  Another way to share photos that I recently experimented with is by using the new Windows DVD Maker. If you have Windows Vista Home Premium, or Ultimate, this feature is available to you. It’s simple to use, and filled with customization options that will allow you to put your own personal touch on the DVD to show to family and friends.

There are two different ways to access Windows DVD Maker. The first option is to go to the Start Menu and select Windows DVD Maker. Another option is to open up a photo from the photo gallery and click burn up at the top, then “Video DVD.” This is the option I chose, and the one I’ll be walking you through today.

Step 1: Select Your Photos

The first thing that you’ll want to do is select the photos that you’d like to be a part of your DVD. All you have to do is highlight (just like you’d highlight multiple files) the photos that you’d like to be included. Remember, you’re creating a DVD so there will be plenty of room for all of your pictures. If you’re taking your photos at 3 megapixels, you should have room for about 3,000 photos!


If you’ve used the tagging system that the Windows Photo Gallery offers, you can select pictures that you’d like to be included by selecting the tag. For example, if you have a tag labeled “pets” you can click on it. Only the pictures that have been tagged “pets” would be selected.

Once all of your pictures are highlighted, you’ll go up to “Burn” then click “Video DVD.”


Another option would be to select just one picture, then go to “Burn,” then “Video DVD” and from there you can add additional items to the video by clicking “Add items.”


Step 2: Menu Options

You’ll have options for deciding how the menu will look on your DVD. There are several customization options including appearance of scenes, button styles, and you can also include foreground and background video along with audio.


Step 3: DVD Settings

Want to add music to your movie? No problem! Add the songs that you’d like.  What to change the slide show length to match the music length? No problem! Want to select your transition between slides or use pan and zoom effects for pictures? No problem! I was especially happy to find that they include the pan and zoom effects because that really makes a difference between a boring and interesting video.


Step 4: Finish and Burn

The last step is to burn your disc! Make sure you have a DVD in your DVD drive, and then click burn. My DVD turned out great, and hopefully yours will too. It’s such a simple, easy process that anyone can do. And it’ll be great to send out to family and friends.


Video of the process:

I’ve included a video of all the different menu options, and I removed all of the loading times associated with previewing the menu animations. Even if you have Windows DVD Maker, it’ll still be easier to watch the video if you want to see the different animations before trying it for yourself.

Copyright © 2011

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Helpful Tip: Drag and Drop Using Exposé

This article was written on October 21, 2008 by CyberNet.

arrow Mac Mac only arrow
mac expose.pngSeeing that Ashley and I are still relatively new to the Mac world we are still finding some little gems that demonstrate Apple’s eye for detail. A fine example of this is something I saw on the help page Apple developed to explain what Exposé is. It was there that I found out you can drag and drop files from one window to another using Exposé:

If you need to drag a file from one window to another, start dragging the item, press F9 to see all windows, drag the item over the target window until the window becomes active, or press F9 again, and drop in your item.

If you need to copy elements between two windows in the same application, start dragging the item you wish to copy, press F10 to display all open windows for that application, drag the item over the target window until it becomes active or press F10 again, and drop it.

I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it’s come in handy for me on numerous occasions. Having the ability to drag and drop using Exposé means that I no longer have to think about placing the two windows side-by-side before performing this operation. Plus you can make it a little more useful by putting these tips to use:

  • Setup a hotcorner that will launch Exposé. That way you don’t have to worry about pressing the Exposé shortcut on the keyboard.
  • Instead of hovering over a program in Exposé and waiting for it to become active you can press the Spacebar to immediately be taken to that application.
  • This trick also works with the shortcut that shows your desktop (F11). It makes dragging items to/from your desktop a breeze.

When I first started using a Mac getting accustomed to using Exposé felt like more of a chore than anything. I have to admit that it has really grown on me though, and I now use it all the time.

Copyright © 2011

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CyberNotes: Add/Remove Programs in the “Open With” Menu

This article was written on March 27, 2008 by CyberNet.

Tutorial Thursday

In Windows when you right-click on a file there will likely be an “Open With” menu that lists the various applications that can be used to open that specific file. I use it all of the time because there’s never really just one application that I want to open a file. For example, with HTML files the operating system naturally want to open them in a browser by default, but you may need to open them in Dreamweaver or Notepad to make some changes. The Open With menu makes that possible.

Today we’re going to show you how you can add or remove programs in the Open With menu. In the end you’ll truly appreciate how much easier it is to open files in several different applications that are installed on your Windows computer.

vista open with 

–Add Programs from Open With Menu–

Adding an application to the Open With menu is a pretty easy task, and can actually be done in a few different ways. The easiest way is probably to right-click on the type of file that you want to alter, go to the Open With menu, and click the Choose Default Program option pictured above. You should now see a window similar to this one:

vista open with browse
(Click to Enlarge)

The applications listed underneath the Recommended Programs section are the ones that already appear in the Open With menu, and then underneath those are some of the other apps installed on your computer. If the program you want to add to the menu is listed just select it and hit the OK button. Otherwise you can use the Browse button to hunt down the program on your computer.

One thing that you may want to think about before hitting the OK button is whether you want to make the new application the default for that specific type of file. If you don’t you’ll want to uncheck the Always use the selected program to open this kind of file box.

Any programs that you select from this window will be added to the Open With menu until you decide to remove them.

–Remove Programs from Open With Menu–

Unfortunately there is no fancy interface for removing programs from the Open With menu like there is for adding items. To do this you’ll need to fire up the Registry Editor by opening the Run command (Windows Key + R), and then typing regedit into the box. Messing with the Registry Editor is not for the faint of heart, and I recommend that you understand how it works before diving into it.

The programs listed in the Open With menu should be located in one of two locations in the Registry:

  1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ FileExts \ .FileExtension \ OpenWithList
  2. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ .FileExtension \ OpenWithList

Note: Replace “.FileExtension” with the extension of the file for which you’re looking to modify the Open With menu.

You should find the applications listed according to their executable name, and all you have to do is right click on the entry and have it deleted:

vista open with registry

Tip: If you’re having troubles finding the application listed in the Registry Editor it might be easier to perform a search for the name of the executable. Just make sure that the entry you are deleting is located underneath an OpenWithList entry.

After you’ve successfully deleted the OpenWithList entries related to an extension you’ll want to restart your computer to see the changes take place.


So that’s how the Open With menu works! If you’ve got any suggestions as to easier ways to manage the Open With menu we would love to hear them.

Copyright © 2011

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CyberNotes: Highlight Cells Based on Value in Excel

This article was written on November 22, 2007 by CyberNet.

Tutorial Thursday

For some weird reason, I’ve been a Microsoft Excel addict for as long as I can remember. When I was younger I remember being told by one of my teachers that Excel is one of the most powerful applications available, but most people will never touch it with a ten foot pole.

For over 7 years I’ve been programming Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) in Excel, which is essentially a way to extend Excel to do everything your heart desires. With it you can add more formulas, and create buttons that will execute queries on the data located in your spreadsheet. VBA is one of Excel’s best features in my opinion.

What I’m going to cover today is how to highlight cells based on their values in Excel 2007. This method is extremely simple and doesn’t use an ounce of VBA, despite an abundance of sites out there saying that VBA is required to do such a task. It’s all about Conditional Formatting!

Tip: This tutorial was created for Excel 2007, but the general principles will also work in older versions of Excel. The free Suite even has a Conditional Formatting option located under the Format menu, but it’s pretty basic compared to the one in Excel 2007.


Cell Highlighting Starter

The values in column “C” and “D” are both formulas that I created to calculate the age of the person, and then how many days are left until their next birthday. That way I can prepare gifts or cards for any upcoming birthdays well in advance. The only problem is that when the list gets large it can be hard to see what birthdays are coming up.

I’m not going to walk through what all of the formulas mean, but to make it easier to follow along with our example, here’s what the content of the second row looks like:

  • A2: John
  • B2: 11/19/1984
  • D2: =DAYS360(TODAY(),DATE(YEAR(B2)+C2+1,MONTH(B2),DAY(B2)))

What I want to do with the data is highlight anyone with a birthday that is coming up within two weeks. To do cell highlighting, a lot of sites talk about how to use the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), but that’s way more work than needed. It’s actually really easy to do …


Note: Most of the screenshots below are thumbnails, so click on them for a fullsize version.

  1. The first thing that you need to do is fill in a spreadsheet with some data to apply the conditional formatting. I’m using the data that I provided above for keeping track of birthdays, but you can use whatever you want.
    Cell Highlighting Step 1
  2. I want to have the birthdays highlighted that are coming up in the next two weeks, so I need to highlight the cells in column “D” for that:
    Cell Highlighting Step 2
  3. On the Home Ribbon is the Conditional Formatting option. Click on that and select the option for a New Rule.
    Cell Highlighting Step 3
  4. There are several different types of data that you can look for in the cells that you’ve highlighted. For example, you can have duplicate entries or max/min values highlighted. For us we want to choose the Format only cells that contain option, and we want to check for a cell value that is less than 14. After that is entered in press the Format button.
    Cell Highlighting Step 4
  5. Now we need to pick what the cells should look like that match the criteria, which in our case is all birthdays that occur in less than 14 days. I chose to make the background orange and also made the text bold.
    Cell Highlighting Step 5
  6. You should see a preview of what matching cells will look like. Just hit the OK button to complete the conditional formatting.
    Cell Highlighting Step 6
  7. Yay, it worked! Looks like John has a birthday coming up in 4 days!
    Cell Highlighting Step 7
  8. Anytime the values in these cells change, Excel will automatically reanalyze them to see if they meet any of the conditional formatting rules. That means that once John’s birthday passes in 4 days it will no longer be highlighted.

This is just one of the nearly unlimited uses for conditional formatting. I use this all of the time in my spreadsheets because it helps recognize when an item needs attention. Some things I’ve used this for in the past is attendance lists for parties to highlight who’s coming and who’s not, budgets to see when money is getting low, gift lists to pinpoint who I still have to buy for, and a countdown fir events (similar to the birthday example I did in this article), and much more. Get creative!

Copyright © 2011

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Helpful Tip: Restore Firefox Tabs & Windows

This article was written on December 27, 2007 by CyberNet.

Firefox Show Windows Tabs

In the Firefox settings there is an option to show the “windows and tabs from last time” when starting up the browser. This is handy for anyone who wants to close their browser, but retain any windows and tabs that were previously open for the next session.

Previously I never understood how this feature could be used to restore windows without the help of an extension. When I close Firefox I always use the red “X” in the upper-right corner of the window. Doing that, as expected, would only make Firefox remember the last window that I had open.

In a comment on a previous post DKong and netster007x were able to make an intelligent observation that never even crossed my mind. If you use the File -> Exit command when closing Firefox all of the open Firefox windows will be closed at the same time. The next time you go to restart Firefox all of your previously opened windows will be restored.

I never really thought that there was a purpose to the File -> Exit command, and I figured it was just there because that’s standard practice. As it turns out there is a surprisingly useful reason for it to exist! The next time you want Firefox to remember your windows and your tabs just use File -> Exit.

Copyright © 2011

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CyberNotes: Custom Deal Finder

This article was written on November 15, 2007 by CyberNet.

Tutorial Thursday

There are all kinds of websites available for finding great deals, but a lot of times it takes some extra work to find the items that you’re looking for. With the holiday season coming up I’m sure you’ll be trying to hunt down all kinds of stuff for friends and family, but you don’t have to go out of your way to save some money.

We have already laid out several tools that can help you along the way, such as price drop notifiers and Black Friday savings, but we’re going to take it one step further. We turned once again to Yahoo! Pipes because of the sheer power it harnesses. Unlike with our custom software updater there will be little work for you to do this time around.

What do you have to do? Pull up the CyberNet Deal Finder that I’ve already taken the liberty of creating. You should see a screen similar to this, but without the coloring or numbering:

CyberNet Deal Finder 

Using the diagram above here is what you have to do:

  1. You can enter in up to five different items that you want to track.

    Tip: Put spaces before and after each item for more accurate searching. For example, if you’re looking for a “table” you’ll want to put a space before and after the name, like this: ” table ” (ignore the quotes, but note the space before and after the word). If you don’t do this it will match any words containing “table” such as “tablet”.

  2. By default I fill in the form with 5 of the most popular deal sites. I decided to let users customize the sites because most of the deals available in the feeds I supply are for the United States only.
  3. Run the pipe and examine the preview at the bottom of the page to make sure it is what you expected. You may not see any results initially, it all depends on how common your search words are.
  4. If everything looks good go ahead and subscribe to the feed. All of the settings that you configured in the first two steps will automatically be stored in the feed’s URL.

If you have more than 5 items that you want to track that’s not a problem. Just create more than one feed, or you can clone the pipe that I’ve created and edit it accordingly.

So now it is time to prepare for the holidays and watch for the falling prices!

Copyright © 2011

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CyberNotes: Shortcut to Change Resolutions

This article was written on February 07, 2008 by CyberNet.

Tutorial Thursday

Have you ever wanted to change the resolution of your computer in a single click? There are various reasons that you may want to do that, such as playing a game that requires a certain resolution or developing a program that needs to be tested in various conditions. Today we’re going to show you how to create a simple shortcut that can be used to switch between multiple resolutions.

This trick is going to require a third-party application called Resolution Changer, but it requires absolutely no installation and will eat up a mere 150KB of your hard drive. With it you’ll be able to adjust the resolution, color depth, and refresh rate with the shortcuts you create. It even has support for multiple monitors!


Setting up a shortcut to use Resolution Changer is a quick process, but there are a ton of different options that you can configure. Be sure to checkout a list of some other options available at the end of this article.

  1. Download Resolution Changer (the console version), and put it in a location you’ll know how to access from the command line. The easiest spot for it would probably be at the root of the C:\ drive, which is where I’ve placed it on my system.
  2. Now we need to create the shortcut to the application. Right-click on your Desktop and choose New -> Shortcut. You’ll need to enter in the location of the shortcut followed by the width and height that you want the resolution set to. Here’s my example where I’m changing the resolution of the screen to 800×600:

    C:\reschangecon.exe -width=800 -height=600

    In Vista it should look something like this (Click to Enlarge):
    Resolution Changer Shortcut

  3. Now specify a name for the shortcut, and finish the wizard. Double-clicking on the new shortcut will set the resolution to whatever value you specified.

–Other Options Available–

There is a lot more that you can do with Resolution Changer, and if you’re feeling ambitious you might want to tinker with some of the other settings:

  • Multiple Monitor Support
    This does support multiple monitors, and more information on that can be found here. To sum it up you can change the resolution of a specific monitor by providing the monitor number in this format:

    reschangecon.exe -monitor="\\.\DISPLAY1" -width=800 -height=600

  • Launch an Application
    After the resolution has been changed you can have an application or document opened immediately afterwards:

    reschangecon.exe -width=800 -height=600 "c:\test.exe"

    What’s cool about that is after the program or document is closed the resolution will revert back to what it was like before it was executed.

  • Adjust the Color Depth and Refresh Rate
    There are two other options that can be used to adjust the color depth and refresh rate of the monitor. Accepted values for the color depth are: “4″ = 16 colors, “8″ = 8-bit, “16″ = 16-bit, “24″ = 24-bit, and “32″ = 32-bit. Here’s how you can adjust the depth and/or refresh rate:

    reschangecon.exe -width=640 -height=480 -depth=8 -refresh=72

–Extra Credit–

You can also assign an icon to the shortcut that you just created and/or establish a keyboard hotkey for quickly switching between resolutions. Just right-click on the shortcut and choose the Properties option. From there you can configure the shortcut key or change the icon:

Resolution Changer Shortcut Icon

I’m sure this is going to spark some discussion about alternative ways to changing resolutions on your computer, and there are all kinds of apps that run in the System Tray doing the same kind of thing. The reason why I prefer this shortcut method is that the program only runs when I need it to, which saves on both processing and memory. It’s just my personal preference, but I like to minimize the number of applications I have running at a time.

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CyberNotes: WinDirStat Shows What’s Hoggin’ Your Drive

This article was written on July 17, 2007 by CyberNet.

Time Saving Tuesday

WinDirStat TreemapHard drives are absolutely enormous these days with capacities reaching the terabyte mark, but with all of this storage we often forget to go cleanup unused files. Why’s that a big deal if you have virtually “unlimited” storage? The more files you have on your computer, the longer it will take to do a lot of things. It means more items that your antivirus software will have to scan, and it can even slow down your entire computer.

Here’s a good analogy as to why you should keep your computer clean. You inevitably have a path to get from your couch to the bathroom, and hopefully that path is free from obstacles. What if you started to buy all kinds of stuff and out of disparity for space you place it in that path. By placing the items there you managed to keep the patch from the couch to the kitchen squeaky clean. That’s great, but now it takes you longer to get to the bathroom since you have to go around a bunch of stuff. Even if you try to move things around to optimize all the paths, which is equivalent to defragmenting your computer, you would still have to find a place for all of that junk.

That’s how I explain the point behind defragmenting a hard drive, and I think it serves as a good learning tool here as well. The moral of the story is that you can try and optimize your hard drive all you want, but if you have a lot of unnecessary junk on it, there will be side affects.

So how can you remove the junk? First you have to find it, and MetaMan over in our forum found a great tool for doing just that. It’s called WinDirStat and it is open source (free) software that will point out where all of your space-hogging files are at. It works on almost every version of Windows (even Vista although it’s not stated) and takes just a second to install.


After you get it up and running you should see a screen similar to the one above. It shows horizontal “progress” bars that represent how much storage each area on your hard drive is taking up. The little Pacman characters will continue to go back and forth until WinDirStat is completely finished scanning your drive for information. When it’s all done this is what you should see:


Now the real fun begins. There are a bunch of color-coded blocks at the bottom of the screen, and I want to explain how those work. That is referred to as a treemap which is a common tool used for graphing data. It almost looks like some freaky piece of art, but in reality it is a graphical map of your hard drive where each block represents a single file. The key in the upper-right corner of the screen details what filetype each block represents.

There is a reason behind the ordering of the blocks on the treemap even though it may seem random. They are actually grouped by folders, and if I click on the Program Files folder WinDirStat will outline the block of files on the treemap with a white border:


As you can see, the Program Files area on my computer only takes up a small portion of the room. Now I’ll go ahead and click on a sub-folder in the Program Files…let’s do Microsoft Games:


As you can see WinDirStat continues to maintain my drive’s folder structure even on the treemap. I can go all the way down and select a file which will still be highlighted accordingly:


This process also works in reverse, which makes the treemap even more useful. If you see a big block on the map, such as the big red ones on the right side of my drive, you can actually hover you mouse over the block and in the Status Bar it will tell you the corresponding file:


As you can see, one of the big red blocks is my computer’s hibernation file, which is always equal to the amount of RAM that is installed. Therefore it makes sense that it is one of the largest things on my drive. If I wanted to see more information I could just click on the block, and it would immediately navigate to that file in the folder list located above the treemap.

MetaMan mentioned in his post that he was able to cut 25GB of temporary and log files from his computer using this tool. I’m sure that combining this with CCleaner (our review) you can trim a lot of fat from your hard drive, and you may even see a boost in performance as a direct result.

Copyright © 2011

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