hard disk

Cleaning up the system with Fiplab Smart Folder Cleaner

On my work machine as well as home machine, I have a lot of “work” directories that gather a ton of files that I never go back and delete. This can be screenshots that I’ve already attached to tickets, or documents I’ve already stored in DevonThink, DMG files I forgot to delete, or temp documents I don’t need to keep long term.

I’ve now added Fiplab Smart Folder Cleaner to monitor several folders on my machine, and over time, delete out files that aren’t being used anymore. In my case, this monitors my Download directory and my SnagIt directory. It could monitor anything I want, but this is where a ton of stuff accumulates.

Obviously Downloads is where everything from the Internet collects. Over time, that becomes a massive pile of steaming @#$%. But with Folder Cleaner, if something hasn’t been touched in 30 days, it gets deleted. That gives me plenty of time to work with files, store what I need and delete them when I’m done. But, when I let things linger, Folder Cleaner will come along and get rid of the rest.

And to be honest, using the Download folder is not a way to organize file. So this instills order and gets me in the habit of keeping what I need and tossing what I don’t.

As noted, I use this for SnagIt, since I accumulate a lot of screenshots over time. But I clearly don’t need to keep them all. Some are for before and after comparisons. Some are to show an issue. But after a few days they should either be attached to a ticket or removed.

My SnagIt directory had hundreds of old screenshots going back many months. I didn’t need to keep all that. There are better ways to archive that info if it’s important. Otherwise it’s just wasting space.

Folder Cleaner only takes a few seconds to set up, you can add as many folders as you like, you can exclude folders, set different time periods, then let it work in the background.

I have saved a lot of hard drive space and been more diligent in my organization since I added it to my list of tools.

Smart Folder Cleaner – Keep Folders Tidy & Organized by Automatically Removing Unused Files

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Seagate 4 TB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive $139 Today Only

For Today Only, Amazon has put the Seagate 4TB External USB Drive on sale for $139. Just to make note, this is the same price as the 3TB drives by both Seagate and Western Digital. If you need more space, and who doesn’t, this is one hell of a deal!

I just grabbed one since this drive is obviously going to go back up in price. And I need more space for my DVD collection. I’m still converting DVDs to MP4 so I can play them all from my machine. Looks like this will be my new media drive.

It’s also on the Prime list so shipping is free.

How can you say no to this?

Seagate Backup Plus 4 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive

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Converting A Physical Hard Drive To A Virtual Hard Disk

At first glance the project seemed easy – clone the physical hard drive inside a server and restore it into VirtualBox so as to use the virtual copy. Turns out, it doesn’t work the way I envisioned it in my head. All the latest software made promises of one-click cloning and on the fly conversion to VHD. But in the end, after three days of trying, I’m scrapping this project. I just can’t seem to get it to work.

I tried using the latest software like O&O DiskImage 6, which listed VHD as one of the output formats. Well, it outputs to VHD alright, but that image doesn’t load. I cloned the drive without incident, but for the life of me I can’t that server to boot in a virtual environment. I created a VHD, I restored to a new VDI, I installed a new OS and tried the restore from there, I used a boot CD and restored from there. Not one of these methods would actually produce a working system. I can lay down the data to a data drive and see all the content with no problem, but no matter which process I use I can’t seem to get a bootable clone of my server. I admit, I’m not the sharpest knife in the things that holds knives, but I can’t for the life of me see what I’m doing wrong. I’ve been trying for three days and have called it quits.

This was supposed to be a simple task, a 3-4 hour job that would transport the server from the physical realm to the virtual one. With the amount of time I’ve wasted I could have installed a new server, installed all the frameworks and rebuilt everything from scratch, which is exactly what I’m going to do. I wanted a clone so I could perform maintenance with minimal downtime. If I had to rebuild the damn thing, I might as well start over and do a full blown upgrade.It’s not what I had in mine, but when all else fails, reinstalled is the best option.

If anyone knows the right process, the right software, the right way to hold your fingers to clone a drive and get it to load in VirtualBox, please let me know. I’m dying to know how it’s done. It’s sort of like a magic trick, I want to know how the cool kids do it.

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