Tag Archives: files

How to force delete files in Windows

Sometimes with Windows, I come across issues where I can’t delete files on my hard drive because I “don’t have permission” to delete them. I typically tend to come across the issue after Windows has installed Windows updates – I end up with garbled folders that I can’t modify or remove.

Thankfully, there is a solution. I’ve come across a program called Unlocker – which is a Windows extension that forces files to delete even if your user can’t.

It’s free and can be downloaded here. Use it with care (don’t remove any files by mistake), but it can be a great tool for removing temporary files.

Encrypt Your Hard Drive for Free with Truecrypt

Article first published as Encrypt Your Hard Drive for Free with Truecrypt on Technorati.

It’s worrying to think that the computer you’re using right now could be holding all of your personal documents, photos and videos. If your computer was stolen tomorrow, would any of the data on your hard drive be safe?

Backing up all of your data is one thing – and thankfully more and more of us are getting into the habit of doing so. However, have you ever thought about the personal data on your machine that someone else might find?

This is where Truecrypt comes in. It’s a free, open source utility designed to help protect you and your data in the event of someone getting hold of your hard drive. It works by encrypting your entire hard drive and then requiring a password (or encryption key) on boot up to access the data. As soon as the correct password is entered, your machine is fully functional. Without the correct password, the data is meaningless to anyone – even the most intelligent of hackers.

Getting hold of Truecrypt is very easy. Simply head to the download page on their website (here) and grab your copy.

Once you’ve got it up and running, simply follow the clear on screen instructions for getting your drive encrypted. The program will need about 20 minutes of your time to configure all of the relevant options, and then it will do the rest in 1-10 hours (depending on the hard disk size and computer speed).

There are many other paid solutions available, but if you’d rather not spend money this should be more than sufficient. Whilst expensive versions of Windows do include encryption as standard, you do have have a hard drive that supports it. If you don’t have a supported drive, you have to use a memory stick to boot your computer – which certainly isn’t ideal.

However, if you’re using a low powered machine such as a netbook,you might want to think twice before encrypting your drive. Bear in mind that your computer will have to decrypt your data constantly when it is in use – and this may have adverse effects on your computer’s performance and battery life. If you still want to encrypt data with a low powered machine, you might want to consider placing it on a memory stick and encrypting that instead (Truecrypt can encrypt portable storage too).

On the other hand, if you store vast amounts of data on your machine and need to keep it safe from unauthorized access – this is the ideal solution.

Allway Sync – sync files from drive to drive with ease!

A couple of days ago, I was looking for a quick easy way to sync my files to and from my network drive. It’s a pain usually, because I end up manually copying and moving files every couple of weeks, and after a while it just becomes a hassle.

So, I went browsing around the internet to find a good, free piece of software to sync all my files. And I found one.

It’s called Allway Sync. It’s a free application that will sync all my files to and from my internet and external hard drives. Not only that, but it will also sync my files from my FTP server or USB drive.

It works really well, and since it’s free it can’t be beaten! It’s received many reviews from various download sites saying exactly what I do – that it’s a brilliant program.

If you don’t like manually syncing files via copy and paste, this is the program for you!

Update 4.10.09 – I liked this program so much I actually went online and bought the software. The only reason I bought it was because the free version only gives you a certain amount of usage per month. If you use the software excessively it will warn you before locking you out of the software’s features. You then have to pay for the software. I found a website that would sell me the software for £11.00 and it worked fine. Just click buy from regnow.com and all should be fine. The purchase gives you access to all updates in the future.

Find the biggest files on your hard drive

Today I was quite shocked when I looked at my hard drive’s free space to find that over 70% was full, and I couldn’t work out why the hell it was so full.

So I thought I’d better check out where my biggest files were on the computer – but sadly Windows has no real way of sorting your whole hard drive into file size (at least not Vista, anyway) which is a bit of a bummer.

So I did a quick Google, and found a very useful free application which will search your computer for the 100 biggest files on your hard drive. It’s really easy to use and setup as there is no installation – you just download the 258kb file and run it. You can then navigate to the folders with the files you don’t want and delete them.

You just need to go to this site and download file with the ‘free download’ link. Then just run it and let it search your hard drive.

It helped me free up just over 12GB on my hard drive which was really handy since I need some space for the upcoming Windows 7 RC release.

Anyway, there you have it. A really handy application which I’ll place on the GEEK! Recommends page.

Is defragmenting really worth it?

I’ve been defragmenting my hard disks once every 3 months ago for about the last 3 years, and it hasn’t ever caused me a problem. It does take quite a few hours, but I just leave it to do its job and that’s that.

But it is really something to worry about? Well it’s never seem to have made a lot of difference to me. Once every so often it does really help – if you are getting very slow boot times, defragmenting is an idea.

But generally, if your computer is up to speed and you aren’t having any slow file issues, I don’t really see the point.

Do you defragment regularly?