Vol. 20, #16 - April 20, 2015 - Issue #1026
What's filling up your disk?
- Editor's Corner
- From the Mailbag
- What's filling up your disk?
- AWS and EU data protection laws
- Belgian bacon pudding??
- Send us your feedback
- Recommended for Learning
- Microsoft Virtual Academy
- Quote of the Week
- Admin Toolbox
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- This Week's Tips
- How to get the ADK for Windows 10 TP
- How to enable IE enterprise mode in Windows 10 TP
- How to bulk rename files using PowerShell
- Events Calendar
- Webcast Calendar
- MSExchange.org Webinar: Exchange and Office 365 Archiving and eDiscovery in the Cloud
- Register for Webcasts
- Tech Briefing
- Amazon AWS
- Cloud computing
- Microsoft Azure
- Security and Privacy
- Recommended TechGenix Articles
- Recommended articles from websites in TechGenix Network
- Windows Server News
- Avoid unwanted surprises on your next cloud provider bill
- Managing virtualization infrastructure using SCVMM
- Biggest complaints about VDI
- VMware vs. Citrix: Who wins the EUC fight?
- WServerNews FAVE Links
- Victor And The Balloon - The World's Greatest Cabaret
- Fastest And Easiest Way To Peel An Orange
- Wendy The Dog Talks, Meows And Even Sings
- Card Magic With A Twist - Lennart Green
- WServerNews - Product of the Week
- Deep Packet Inspection for Quality of Experience Monitoring
- SAVE THIS NEWSLETTER so you can refer back to it later for helpful tips, tools and resources!
- SEND YOUR FEEDBACK to [email protected] if you have any comments or suggestions!
If you've got a PC or laptop running Windows 8 or later and your system has a solid state disk (SSD) drive in it, you've probably discovered that you're running out of disk space. But before you start deleting large files or moving data off of your system, you should first get an accurate assessment of who the main culprits are that are eating up all the space on your disk. For various reasons the in-box tools in Windows are of limited usefulness for this purpose, so in this week's newsletter we'll look at a few tools you can download that can help you get a more accurate picture of disk usage on Windows-based systems. We also have other news, some great tips, and links to lots of other fun and useful stuff, so read on!
Speaking (at least tangentially) of taking up space, did you know that studies suggest you can increase your Alpha Male dominance by spreading out your arms and legs so you take up more space? Well, I can top that--check out this Dilbert comic strip:
Sorry girls, but we know you're already the dominant species anyways.
Ask Our Readers: WServerNews has almost 100,000 subscribers worldwide. That's a lot of expertise to tap into. Do you need help with some issue or need advice on something IT-related? Got a question you'd like us to toss out to our readers to try and answer? Email us at [email protected]
From the Mailbag
We received a ton of feedback on our last Issue #1025 Eyestrain solutions for IT pros, and we'll present some of our reader's comments and recommendations in the next issue of WServerNews, so stay tuned!
What's filling up your disk?
In the old days if you wanted to find out how much disk space was used by a folder, you basically had two ways you could do this in Windows:
- Open Windows Explorer, right-click on the folder and select Properties
- Open a command prompt, CD to the folder and type DIR
Both methods worked and the results were always accurate. And since users were almost always local Administrators on legacy versions of Windows, they could easily use either of these tools to poke around on their systems to find out what file or folders were occupying the most space.
But then Windows Vista came along and introduced some new NTFS file system features like hard links, junction points and symbolic links. These new features complicated things because the in-box file system tools (Windows Explorer and the DIR command) were now no longer accurate in certain circumstances. A good example of this is the Windows Component Store, which is the folder C:\Windows\winsxs on Windows Vista and later. This folder stores old versions of operating system components that have been updated so you can rollback in case an update causes problems with your Windows installation. So while you might think that it's your bloated winsxs folder that's eating up all the free space on the SSD in your Windows 8.1 laptop, it's probably something else causing the problem.
But if poking around the file system using Windows Explorer or DIR will no longer help you find the space-eating culprit on your system, what can help you diagnose the root cause of your problem? There are several free tools out there you can try to use for this purpose, so let's look at them briefly.
Disk Usage v1.5
Disk Usage (du.exe) is a simple command-line tool that can report on the disk space usage for a volume or directory you specify. By default it also recurses directories and shows the size of the directory and all its subdirectories as well. The tool is one of the Windows Sysinternals tools created by Mark Russinovich, and you can download it for free from here:
For example, when I run du.exe against the winsxs folder on my system I get this:
Du v1.5 - report directory disk usage
Copyright (C) 2005-2013 Mark Russinovich
Sysinternals - www.sysinternals.com
Size: 11,514,221,662 bytes
Size on disk: 11,698,106,368 bytes
If I run this with the -u parameter to count each instance of a hardlinked file in the folder, I get this instead:
c:\tools>du -u c:\windows\winsxs
Du v1.5 - report directory disk usage
Copyright (C) 2005-2013 Mark Russinovich
Sysinternals - www.sysinternals.com
Size: 11,815,059,415 bytes
Size on disk: 12,004,462,592 bytes
By the way, check out the Recommended For Learning section of this newsletter for some resources that can help you learn how to use the various Windows Sysinternals utilities.
While du.exe is an accurate tool for analyzing your file system, it's not very user-friendly. For example, if you want to analyze your whole C: drive you could do this:
du -u -v > output.txt
When you open the text file in Notepad however, you'll have a ton of information to plow through. Wouldn't it be nice to have something smarter than du.exe?
Of course, and that's exactly what WinDirStat is: a free, open-source disk usage analyzer that has been around since the days of Windows 95 and which can be downloaded from here:
When I run WinDirStat against the C: drive of the Windows 7 desktop PC that I do most of my writing work on (yes we're still running Windows 7 in our offices though do I have a laptop running Windows 8.1 for working offsite) I can see immediately that most of my disk space is being occupied by user profile folders:
Figure 1: User profiles make up 40 percent of disk usage on this system.
What's really helpful in my case however is the top right pane of WinDirStat which when expanded looks like this:
Figure 2: There are 16 gigs of FSD files on my hard drive.
What the heck are FSD files? These are files in the Office Document Cache and they're used by the Microsoft Office Upload Center to allow you to see the state of files you're uploading to SharePoint. The files are saved in the Local subtree of the AppData folder in your user profile:
Figure 3: Where the Office Document Cache files are stored in your profile.
Now I'm thinking these files can probably be purged since they date back to a project last summer when I was accessing a customer's SharePoint site over VPN. To purge the cache, I start by launching the Microsoft Office Upload Center on my computer and opening Settings:
Figure 4: Configuring the Office Document Cache.
I then click Delete Cached Files to purge the Office Document Cache on my system. I should probably also select the "Delete files from the Office Document Cache when they are closed" option because I really shouldn't be keeping local copies of customer files on my computer anyways. Note that your cache might not be purged immediately as this thread on the TechNet Forums explains:
For more information about Office Document Cache settings, see here:
The third utility I want to mention here is one that one of my colleagues recently recommended and which I hadn't been aware of until recently. This tool is SpaceSniffer, which presents disk usage in the form of a visual treemap that enables you to quickly see the biggest folders and files are on your volumes. You can download SpaceSniffer for free here:
I've only started to play with SpaceSniffer and I must say it's awesome. You can double-click on each box in the treemap to drill down and see what the folder contains. For example, here's what the Office Document Cache folder looks like on my system:
Figure 5: The Office Document Cache displayed in SpaceSniffer.
Be sure to run SpaceSniffer and these other tools as Administrator (right-click and select Run As Administrator) in order to get an accurate count of all the files and folders on your system volume. And by the way, if any of you readers have any tips or gotchas you'd like to share concerning Du.exe, WinDirStat, SpaceSniffer, or any other disk usage analysis tools you want to recommend, feel free to email us at [email protected]
AWS and EU data protection laws
Computer Business Review reports that Amazon's Data Processing Agreement has been approved by the EU data protection authorities as compliant with Article 29:
Replicating VMware virtual machines to Azure
CIO has a good article about the new business continuity features of Microsoft Azure that enable you to replicate VMware virtual machines and also physical systems to Azure:
There's also good coverage of this on V3.co.uk, a popular site for UK technology, reviews and analysis:
Belgian bacon pudding??
As if computers don't already control enough of our life. Quartz reports that IBM's Watson, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) system designed to be capable of answering questions posed in natural language, has been thinking up some tasty new recipes you might want to try out if you're bold enough:
I don't like fancy food however so personally I'll just snack on somer Soylent:
Send us your feedback
Got feedback about anything in this newsletter? Let us know at [email protected]
Windows Sysinternals Administrator's Reference (Microsoft Press, 2011) provides in-depth guidance for using the Windows Sysinternals tools available from Microsoft TechNet. You can buy this book from the Microsoft Press Store here:
There is also a Microsoft Virtual Academy course called Utilizing SysInternals Tools for IT Pros where a Microsoft Premier Field Engineers steps you through a technical deep dive on utilizing SysInternals tools:
And to keep abreast of news about updates to Sysinternals tools, you can follow the Sysinternals Site Discussion blog on TechNet:
Always lots to learn in the IT profession, isn't there? Well, you *could* have been a plumber.
Microsoft Virtual Academy
Some announcements from the Microsoft Virtual Academy:
Microsoft Intune Core Skills Jump Start
April 23, 2015 9am–1pm (or watch from 11pm–3am PDT)
If you're balancing flexibility and security in your enterprise mobility solutions, explore the latest mobility features in Microsoft Intune, a born-in-the-cloud device management solution, including how you can integrate with the existing market leader in endpoint management, Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), and manage mobile devices with Office 365. Look at BYOD, mobile device management (MDM), and mobile app management (MAM).
Adding Microsoft Azure Search to Your Websites and Apps
April 23, 2015 9am–2pm PDT
Find out how to add an amazing search experience to your apps and websites, and give your users the level of availability and efficiency they expect, with Microsoft Azure Search. Reduce the complexity of search management and scale, see how customers can naturally and effectively find data, and take a look at full-text search, multilanguage functionality, geospatial search, tuning, scoring, and much more.
Quote of the Week
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment." --Jason Statham in The Mechanic
Until next week,
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LepideAuditor for File Server audits Windows File Server and NetApp Filers to ensure security and compliance to regulatory standards like SOX, HIPAA, PCI DSS, and GLBA.
Browse, search and export items directly from Veeam backups of your Exchange 2010 and 2013 VMs with new Veeam Explorer for Exchange. FREE download!
Read this free eBook and find out how to calculate the true return on investment (ROI) involved in maintaining traditional storage solutions for email archiving and Exchange management.
Droid Explorer lets you manage your rooted android device with the simplicity of Windows Explorer.
HP Scripting Tools for Windows PowerShell is a powerful set of utilities that can be used to perform various configuration tasks on HP Servers.
How to get the ADK for Windows 10 TP
If you're planning on deploying Windows 10 once it comes out, you'll want to start getting familiar with the deployment tools like the Windows Assessment and Deployment Toolkit (Windows ADK or just ADK) a set of tools you can use for building and delivering standard images together with other tools like the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). Finding the ADK for Windows 10 Technical Preview is a bit tricky however, so here's a summary of the steps you'll need to follow:
Start by visiting the Windows 10 Hardware Development site found here:
Click the link "Download Windows 10 Kits, Tools, and Code Samples" near the bottom right. Sign in as a Windows Insider (or click Get Started if you're not one yet) and under the heading Build Great Hardware click the link "Install the Hardware Development Kits". Then under the heading Customize, Assess, and Deploy Windows, click the link "Download the Windows ADK for Windows 10 Technical Preview" to run adksetup.exe and begin the download. Note that the ADK is about 6 GB in size so it may take a while to download.
How to enable IE enterprise mode in Windows 10 TP
Canadian IT Pro Connection (CanITPro) has a tip on how you can enable enterprise mode for Internet Explorer running on Windows 10 Technical Preview. Enterprise mode allows IE to work with your legacy apps and sites by providing an IE8 type experience. Read more here:
How to bulk rename files using PowerShell
Renaming files can be a pain if you have a lot of them that need renaming. Fortunately, Fabien Dibot tweeted a link to a short article on PowerShell.com which shows how you can write a simple PowerShell script to perform a bulk rename:
Fabien is a PowerShell MVP and he's someone worth following on Twitter si vous parlez français:
Though fortunately for me his blog Pwrshell.net is in English:
And don't forget, you can follow me too on Twitter:[email protected]
AmericasMicrosoft Build on April 29 - May 1 in San Francisco, California USA
Microsoft Ignite on May 4-8, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois USA
Microsoft TechDays 2015 on May 28-29 in the Hague, Netherlands
Add Your Event
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MSExchange.org Webinar: Exchange and Office 365 Archiving & eDiscovery in the Cloud
According to IDC, email archiving makes up 66% of the archiving market, and many organizations are currently benefiting from a third-party solution with MS Exchange. But as organizations consider upgrading MS Exchange and moving to hybrid environments or Office 365, they have an opportunity to take advantage of the promise of centralized cloud archiving to enhance eDiscovery capabilities, add newer data types like social media, and lower overall archiving risks and costs.
Join Eric Young, VP of Enterprise Information Archiving for Actiance, for a 30-minute educational overview of archiving in a cloud environment and the challenges most organizations face when using the built-in or legacy archive, and a demonstration of the Alcatraz cloud archive. This live webinar takes place on Thursday, April 22, 2015, at 1PM EDT, 12N CDT, 10AM PDT, 6PM GMT and will answer questions like:
- Why should archiving go beyond simply capturing and storing email?
- What are the key legal and compliance risks with weak or non-existent eDiscovery or social media solutions?
- What challenges can you expect with legacy or built-in archiving as you update your messaging platform?
- What are the advantages of cloud-based archiving with MS Exchange Enterprise, Hybrid, and Office 365 environments?
- How can a centralized archive lower compliance risks and eDiscovery costs?
- What should you look for in your next archiving solution and what does Alcatraz do?
You will also have the chance to ask your top MS Exchange and Office 365 archiving questions.
Register for Webcasts
Add your Webcast
PLANNING A WEBCAST you'd like to tell our subscribers about? Contact [email protected]
Security Best Practices for AWS (IaaS) EC2 (Part 1) (InsideAWS.com)
Microsoft + AWS: A Winning Combo (Part 3) (InsideAWS.com)
Key IaaS Fundamentals for Enterprises (CloudComputingAdmin.com)
When Good Clouds Go Bad: All about Cloud Services Outages (Part 3) (CloudComputingAdmin.com)
Step-By-Step: Enrolling iOS Devices Via Apple Configurator In Microsoft Intune (CanITPro)
How to Obtain the Prerequisites for the Intune App Wrapping Tool for iOS (Microsoft Intune blog)
Controlling Network Traffic Distribution with Microsoft Azure Traffic Manager (CloudComputingAdmin.com)
Azure Networking and Security (Part 2) (WindowsNetworking.com)
Security and Privacy
Learning from 2014 Threats to Better Equip Enterprise for the Security Challenges of 2015 (WindowSecurity.com)
Product Review: GFI WebMonitor 2015 (WindowSecurity.com)
Revisiting Compliance in the Cloud: Is it Risky Business? (Part 2)
Importing a Virtual Machine into Amazon EC2 (Part 2)
Cisco ACI - Switch Profiles and Interface Policies
Securing Your Network in an Internet of Things (Part 1)
Network troubleshooting using PowerShell
Avoid unwanted surprises on your next cloud provider bill
Cost-efficiency is a major reason why today’s businesses move to the cloud. Still, if you are not armed with the proper monitoring tools, your cloud bill could easily be much higher than you anticipated. Learn how you can prevent cloud billing shock by making use of these cost monitoring tools today.
Managing virtualization infrastructure using SCVMM
In order to successfully manage your virtualization infrastructure with SCVMM 2012 R2, there are key guidelines you need to follow. Learn how you can use SCVMM 2012 R2 to gain greater flexibility and control in your virtualization environment, today, by following the steps outlined in this helpful guide.
Biggest complaints about VDI
While VDI and desktop virtualization have proven to be immensely beneficial, users often find them to be too complex and expensive, among many other short comings. Find out about the top 7 VDI challenges that your peers are facing, and get some ideas for how to avoid some of these issues yourself.
VMware vs. Citrix: Who wins the EUC fight?
VMware Horizon 6 and Citrix Workspace Suite are healthy competitors in the end-user computing arena, but is one definitively better than the other? Discover which one has the advantage in areas such as VDI, file sync and share, mobile management, and other crucial areas, and pick the winner of the EUC fight.
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]
Victor And The Balloon - The World's Greatest Cabaret
The amazing balloon man Victor Minasov peforms at the French television show The World's Greatest Cabaret hosted by Patrick Sebastien:
Fastest And Easiest Way To Peel An Orange
Learn how to quickly and easily peel an orange - it only involves three cuts of a knife:
Wendy The Dog Talks, Meows And Even Sings
Wendy the 'talking, meowing and singing dog' and her human, Marc Métral, amazed the audience and judges of Britain's Got Talent 2015:
Card Magic With A Twist - Lennart Green
Welcome to the chaotic and flabbergasting magical world of Lennart Green - grand master of close-up card trickery:
WServerNews - Editors
Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit and has been author or series editor for almost fifty books mostly published by Microsoft Press. Mitch is also a ten-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com.
Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also manages research and marketing for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.