This tiny powerful utility can sniff your network for security, DNS Resolving, Whois, and dozens of other options. Network Stuff is free.
Many times I have met people who have almost filled their C drive with a ton of programs. I personally prefer purchasing a new hard drive and cloning it to gain space. However, it often gets risky or you don’t have time to do this. Have you ever cleaned your hard drive and wanted more space? One of the things that takes so much space is your programs. By default programs go to the program files folder and often take a lot of room after you install several programs.
One thing you can do is simply put in a second drive and copy the programs over. Well, it doesn’t work exactly like that. Steam Mover allows you to move programs off of your main drive and load them on a secondary drive. Putting in a second drive for storage is easy. Pretty much you open your computer (when off of course). Insert the drive. Plug in the SATA cable (making sure the controller is on in the BIOS). Boot into Windows. Right Click my computer, go to Manage. Click on Disk Management and activate and format the new drive. Now Steam Mover seems to work with all programs I tried it on. The <2 mb file can be downloaded here. After downloading, select the programs you want to move and they will move to the D: drive (or whatever drive you have). This now frees up space on your drive and your computer will speed up. Be sure to defrag afterward.
This is a great alternate solution for freeing space. While there is no guarantee by the author of the program, it is a solution that is long overdue. (Windows 7 and Vista Only)
Over a period of time your hard drive may begin developing bad sectors or bad blocks. Roadkil has a possible solution for you if you are afraid you are going to lose the data. Unstoppable Copier copies your files to an alternate drive.
With IOBit’s Portable Free PC Repair ToolBox, this all in wonder tool can help you perform many tasks that usually takes many tools working together to thoroughly analyze and clean your computer. This tool is an excellent tool for any computer tech.
Some of the features -
More than 20 tools in a portable app that allows you
- Process viewer
- Disk viewer
- Disk Cleaner
- Registry Cleaner
- Windows Analyzer that allows you to repair minor problems
- Security Analyzer
- Optimizes Memory
- Find Duplicate Files
- System Information
- Empty Folder Scanner
- Privacy Sweeper
- Memory Optimizer
- Internet Booster
- Registry Defrag
- IE Repair
- Disk Doctor
- Shortcut Fixer
- Security Scanner
- Driver Manager (Backup and Update)
- and more!
Microsoft’s Attack Surface Analyzer will take a quick snapshot of your computer’s state before and after the installation of software. IT Professionals can asses their organization’s applications. Other IT personnel can use this to look at the risk of software installed. Be sure to read Microsoft’s overview of this software.
Once this scan is ran, a new scan can be ran to compare the newly installed product changes to your computer.
Want to calibrate your batter on your laptop? Microsoft Joulemeter (.90 mb download) does just that.
From Microsoft Research:
“Joulemeter is a software tool that estimates the power consumption of your computer. It tracks computer resources, such as CPU utilization and screen brightness, and estimates power usage.”
- Make sure your battery is above 50%
- Remember to leave your computer idle when this takes place
- Your screen brightness will change (disable Flux if you have it installed) and turn black
- Be Patient
Ready to calibrate
Phase Three (Power Model)
The Windows System Control Center is an all in one tool that offers a ton (hundreds) of features. These features are compatible with Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8.
The installation can be made to a portable drive or installed on a computer. During the installation, new software can be installed allowing features to be added or updated.
During this installation process, you may get virus alerts but the software is safe. These alerts are false positives (the software accesses key areas that control Windows).
Click Allow or Safe in your anti-virus control panel.
Initially you will have 264 software installs.
Once the features are installed (This can initially take a few minutes), The control center opens to dozens of categories and hundreds of features allowing you to tweak Windows or to correct problems.
In its Beta release, FancyCache offers a simplex program that uses unused memory to boost the speed of your hard drive. But does it work? Yes. My Dell Inspirion is already fast, but with FancyCache, programs do open quicker and the computer is even more responsive. With the ability to tweak how I wanted to cache, I used 2gb of the 6gb of RAM on board in the settings.
The default settings alone were convincing enough to show how my computer sped up after a few minutes of use. Although my computer is a 64bit laptop, the caching methods used and the read/write cache algorithms did boost performance.
FancyCache is certainly beneficial for 32 bit users who are locked in at 3gb of RAM. FancyCache can take advantage of memory above this limit to speed up your computer. And whether you do or don’t elect to install FancyCache, at least tweak your settings in a 32 bit computer to tweak your memory. (See our Link)
The only problem I had was once I downloaded the software, it said it was expired. A quick check on their website and keys can be obtained here. The latest key is valid until July 2013.
Will I buy this product? I’m not sure yet, time and use of Fancycache will tell.
Want a backup plan that will backup your data at a price that is reasonable? How about $50 per year and unlimited? Backblaze is one of the best cloud based backups available. With unlimited backup capability, security built in, easy restore capabilities and an easy to use interface, anyone can use Backblaze. (Features)
Everyone should worry about privacy and security. With Backblaze, security is protected by encrypting your files on your computer and securely transferring your files to Backblazes’ servers. Security is further enhanced by your private key (they do not store this key) so your data remains secure until you decide to restore files. (Security Q&A Roundup)
What kind of extra security do they provide besides military grade encryption? They also have a stolen pc feature that helps you to locate a stolen or lost computer.
In the event you lose data or need to restore information, you can simply sign in and instantly pick your data and download the information you want. You can also order a usb or an external drive (very reasonably priced) and have your data sent to you.
The easy to use Windows or Mac application allows for a continuous backup (it takes time to complete large backups based on your upload speeds and internet usage/bandwidth).
Backblaze also offers a very reasonable business plan allowing businesses to securely backup their critical data.
Some of their secrets -
How many devices do you pass through before surfing the web?
Detect Multiple Routers over at PCWinTech is an excellent program to find your routers.
In the scenario below, our home computers go through a wireless router and on to a router
(non-wireless) supplied by the ISP. (Two Gateways)
In our home, I have multiple routers setup and as you can see on the pic below, I am going thru three wireless routers and then the ISPs router. (Reconnected to another wireless router).
VMware Player allows for the installation of a virtual machine onto your workstation. This means of creating a second operating system within your operating system allows you to test or use an operating system of your choice. The user-friendly interface is truly the easiest virtualization software there is. Anyone wanting to try Windows 8 or any Linux distro can use this software to test operating systems. VMWare Player can be downloaded here.
VMware Player is fully customizable and the wizard provides instructions that are well written and with easy to find settings. Kudos to VMware for providing this excellent piece of software in an easy to use interface.
Remember, once you start the VM, if you click the mouse in the window, it will take focus. To release the mouse, press Ctrl-Alt.
You must also remember to protect any OS in a VM. (Antivirus information)
The first thing you will need is an .iso of your operating system of choice.
Above is the ISO for 32 bit Windows 7 with SP 1.
Next, install the VMWare Player. The installation is straight forward and easy even for a novice.
Now start the VMware Player by double clicking on the icon on your desktop. In this scenario we created a new virtual machine.
The New Virtual Machine Wizard walks you through step by step in setting up your operating system.
The wizard will ask for a location of the ISO or you can install from your DVD drive. Select the appropriate location at this time (below).
Enter your product key and information if prompted to do so. The Easy Install Information automates the installation process. You can of course customize Windows and reset passwords, enable the Administrator account and change information once the operating system is installed.
Once the wizard reaches the customization stages for your hard drive, you can adjust this to meet your needs.
You can select the Customize Hardware button to adjust memory, processors and other hardware. Remember to give your host machine plenty of memory. Do not use more resources than you have. This may cause lockups or other errors upon launching your OS.
One of the best features is the Network Adapter Advanced Settings. It allows you to bridge or NAT (Put your OS on a separate network – hidden from other computers on your network). Bridging your network allows your virtual computer to be ‘seen’ by other computers as though it is a physical computer. Because you are sharing a network card, you can limited the bandwidth (Inbound and Outbound traffic) of the virtual computer.
You can also generate a MAC address for the computer at this time.
The screenshot below (post install) shows the virtual computer when bridged (on the same network).
It is important to keep an eye on the resources of your host computer. You can do this by using the Windows Task Manager.
Once you finish, Windows will launch into setup mode. You will see a message alerting you to other devices that can be used (Webcams and other devices) if they are available.
As you can see from the screen shot below, the IP address is on the network with my other computers. This allows the computer to share out documents and to utilize any device within the network.
The VMware player tools provides drivers and other features.
Installing the tools
Once the tools are installed, a restart should be made to the operating system.
Remember the option to use other devices during the setup – items such as the Webcam? Click on Player when the VM starts and you will see the other devices.
You should also run a side by side comparison on the Task Manager’s to ‘see’ how much resources you are using. As you can see, the host (left) is maxing out the memory of the host computer. The virtual computer is not utilizing all of the allocated memory. Therefore the 2Gb of RAM allocated can be tweaked by decreasing the memory if performance is not an issue.
Once the VM is shutdown, you can adjust the settings in the console.
With dozens of tweaks and configurations, one of the best is the defragment, expansion and compact option under the hard disk in the virtual machine settings. (Compact only sorts the graintables but has no effect on size – optimizing your vm)
Overall VMware’s Player is an excellent tool that can be used (non-commercially) by anyone wanting to experiment with or run other operating systems. VMware Player is an excellent virtualization tool that allows users to install and test or run another operating system. The performance is based on shared resources of the host computer. The ease of setup is definitely a pro. Users should make every effort to ensure they have adequate resources on the host computer and the maximum amount of memory and other resources can be dedicated to the virtual machine.