Create Your Own Bootable Tech Toolbox With AOMEI PE Builder

October 8, 2014

I am going to start off this blog post with this statement, “If you are someone who is often called upon to troubleshoot a Windows Based PC, then AOMEI PE Builder FREE is the first step in creating your very own bootable tech toolbox.”.

AOMEI PE Builder FREE will walk you through the process of creating a bootable (and customizable) disk, based on the WindowsPE environment, that will allow you to perform system maintenance, troubleshooting and fast recovery tasks when the computer is corrupted (i.e. by malware) or cannot be used.

 AOMEI PE Builder

What is WindowsPE? Windows Preinstallation Environment (also known as Windows PE and WinPE) is a lightweight version of Windows used for the deployment of PCs, workstations, and servers, or troubleshooting an operating system while it is offline – Wikipedia

AOMEI PE Builder FREE in a nutshell:

  • FREE Must Have Software for computer techs and home based users
  • Creates recovery media on a CD/DVD disc, USB Flash Drive, or ISO Image File (If you are planning to use this on multiple PCs, it is recommended that you use a 32 bit system to create the recovery disk and add-on tools. This way the tool will work on 32 bit systems and 64 bit systems.)
  • Works only on the Windows 8/7 and Server 2008 R2/2012 platforms
  • No Need to Install AIK/WAIK (Typically when creating WindowsPE media, AIK or WAIK need to be installed. Not required with AOMEI PE Builder)
  • Comes integrated with Windows system recovery & repair and Windows Disk Management
  • Comes integrated with AOMEI’s Disk Partition Assistant and AOMEI’s Backup, Imaging and Restoration Software (called AOMEI Backupper Standard) – which I featured HERE on the blog and currently use as my “go to” backup and imaging software
  • Comes integrated with various (commonly known) tech tools and maintenance utilities, such as:

7-Zip
Everything
IrfanView
Notepad++
SumatraPDF
Q-Dir
Recuva
PENetwork
Filezilla
QTWeb
OSFMount
BOOTICE
NTPWEdit

  • Can easily add other portable tools to WindowsPE (I do not know of any other WindowsPE builders out there that offers the ability to selectively add “your own” portable troubleshooting tools during the build process)

In closing: I can remember the days where we could make a DOS boot disk to get a system up and running for troubleshooting and repair purposes. With the complexities of today’s computers and operating systems it is not that simple anymore; however, AOMEI’s PE Builder gives you an EASY option to create a Windows 7/8 boot disk that will definitely help you navigate around those complexities and help get your computer (or someone elses) up and running.

To show my endorsement of AOMEI: As I mentioned earlier, I currently use AOMEI Backupper Standard and have been very pleased with the software. I just recently, without no problem, used this backup software (and imaging software) to image a drive in a computer so that I could seamlessly move the contents of the drive to a new solid state drive that I installed.  I also use it to perform daily backups of my personal files to external drives.


Today’s Geek Squeaks – September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1 – (How To Restore, Refresh or Reset Your Windows 8 PC) – Get “how to” instructions, straight from the horses mouth, to restore, refresh or reset Windows 8. Hopefully, this never becomes an option, but there are those rare occasion where knowing how to do this may be your best option (SEE BELOW);

Squeak #2 – (Why fixing computers for FREE is not a good idea?) – TechRepublic posted an article citing ten reasons you should not fix computers for free. What timing? I have been working my way out of assisting people for FREE with their computers. The reasons that they reflect are right on. Trust me, I know (SEE BELOW);

Squeak #3 – (Remember The Old Windows Media Player): Check out Media Player Classic Home Cinema. It looks identical to the old Windows Media Player from years gone by; however, this replica supports all common video, audio and image file formats available as well as video playback (SEE BELOW); AND,

Squeak #4 – (Dual Monitor Stand): If you have a multi-monitor setup, you should consider looking for a stand to mount those monitors. There are numerous configurations to choose from. Featured today is the most economical stand I could find for a dual monitor setup (SEE BELOW)…

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Geek Squeaks’, featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it;  from my favorite tech web sites… I just plain love tech!

See An Endless Stream Of Geek Squeaks’ [ HERE ]


How to restore, refresh, or reset your PC

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Applies to Windows 8 and Windows RT – If you’re having problems with your PC, you can try to restore, refresh, or reset it. Restoring your PC is a way to undo recent system changes you’ve made. Refreshing your PC reinstalls Windows and keeps your personal files, settings, and the apps that came with your PC and apps that you installed from Windows Store. Resetting your PC reinstalls Windows but deletes your files, settings, and apps—except for the apps that came with your PC… SEE HOW HERE


Ten reasons not to fix computers for free

@ TechRepublic

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Don’t get the wrong idea. There are some people that I truly don’t mind helping. I would never refuse to help my wife with a computer problem, nor would I cut off my mother. Unfortunately though, the majority of those that I have helped have abused the situation. As such, this article is a list of ten reasons why I don’t recommend fixing PCs for free… READ MORE


Media Player Classic Home Cinema

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Media Player Classic Home Cinema is a lightweight, open source media player that supports all common video, audio and image file formats available as well as video playback… GET IT HERE


Dual Freestanding Monitor Stand

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Support 2 screens in a horizontal position. The two arms are easily adjustable. Arms will swing into a comfortable position. Pole Height is 19.5″ Weight capacity: 13lbs Each. Up To 24″ wide-screen monitors Meets VESA 75*75 or 100*100mm. With a weighted metal base… CHECK IT OUT HERE


Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com


Today’s Geek Squeaks – September 1, 2013

September 1, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1: One of my favorite software review sites is “I Love Free Software”. Recently they posted an article that was very well written that explains the difference from POP and IMAP email settings (see below);

Squeak #2: I am always looking for ways to make my browsing experience more efficient and productive. If you use Google Chrome, I strongly encourage you to install the NiftySplit extension. NiftySplit, when activated, will split Chrome into two browser windows. Any link you click on in the left window will open in the right window (see below);

Squeak #3: There is much information out there that you can read informing you of the changes from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. If you want a good visual depiction of these changes, check out the video below; AND,

Squeak #4: Into computer or electronic repair? Take a look at today’s featured tech repair toolkit from Belkin (see below)…

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Plan on seeing  a lot more of Geek Squeaks’, featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it;  from my favorite tech web sites… I just plain love tech!

See An Endless Stream Of Geek Squeaks’ [ HERE ]


POP vs. IMAP: What Do They Mean and
Which One Should You Use?

@ I Love Free Software

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Here is a quick explanation about what does POP and IMAP mean and when should you use POP and when to use IMAPREAD MORE


Use NiftySplit To Split Chrome Into Two Windows

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Any link you click in the left window will open in the left window. Very efficient and productive extension to Chrome… GET IT HERE


A Video of What’s New In Windows 8.1

This video covers all the changes that have been made between the Preview and RTM… ORIGINAL VIDEO HERE


Belkin 55-Piece Computer Tool Kit

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The F8E062 55-piece tool kit from Belkin features the company’s most popular tools for repairing or upgrading common electronic devices. All tools are fully demagnetized to protect your computer’s hard drive or magnetic media from damage and each tool is conveniently stored in a custom-designed case… CHECK IT OUR HERE


Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com

[SUPER BLOGROLL][GE GEEK][DOWNLOADS][TECH NEWS]

A PC Tech’s Quick Reference Web Site

December 28, 2012

Just when I think I have found most of the golden nuggets on the internet, I come across another. While performing an update to the Bookmarks4Techs listing, a visitor to the site contacted me and suggested that I add the tech site GEGeek – PC Tech Quick Reference to the listing.

GEGeek

What I expected to find was a tech blog, but what I came across is a Geek’s paradise for anyone who is into computers; and especially,  computer repair & troubleshooting. While you are there, pay special attention to the GEGeek Tech Toolkit.  This toolkit should be called a Tech Tool Shop…  It is a 1.0 gig download and contains everything, as a tech, you would ever need.

An excerpt about the author of GEGeek:

This site is the culmination of years of CAREFULLY selecting a handful of links to assist me on my current job, personal consulting work and of course my own PCs. Not every site has all useful links ⁄ articles, but there were always one or two gems to be found on every site I visited. Keeping them readily available and manageable became quite a chore, so i created this site just to help me organize them and provide a quick reference . The “How To” is assumed knowledge, I just provide the quick reference.

——————————————-

GEEK BONUS AREA

Listing of All Articles Ever Posted at What’s On My PC

Studies Proved Laptop Radiation and Other Forms of Low Level Radiation Pose Risk to Users

Beware Of Professional Website Designers

Microsoft Security Essentials Review

FEATURED TECH PRODUCT

Bose® SoundLink® Bluetooth Mobile Speaker II

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Bookmarks4Techs

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[GEEK SQUEAKS’] – Clock and Weather App, Les Paul Google Doodle, WordPress Plugins and Understanding Computer Repairs

June 12, 2011

Geek Squeaks'

HTC Home 3.0 Apis
A Great Clock and Weather App for Windows

Scoroncocolo
The Les Paul Google Doodle, the Best Google Doodle Ever

DailyBlogScoop
What Are Your Favourite Free WordPress Plugins?

Computer Tips
The gentle art of trying to understand computer repairs

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Symptoms of a Failing Computer Power Supply

October 8, 2010

I have been doing IT for many years, working with hundreds of PCs, and I cannot remember having to replace the power supply in any of the computers I managed. Probably was just a stroke of luck on my part.

Power Supply

Recently that stroke of luck changed.  Have you ever heard that things happen in threes?  In this case, three was the magic number.

The following computer power supply failures occurred within a period of 3 days on 3 different computers that were around the 3 year mark in age.

First, my niece… Her PC would not boot.  Power was present to the monitor and other peripherals; however, no power to the computer. Suspected and later confirmed it was the power supply.

Second, my brother… His PC would not boot.  Power was present to the monitor and other peripherals; however, no power to the computer. Suspected and later confirmed it was the power supply.

Third, my PC… The domino affect. First symptom that I noticed began about a month ago. On occasions I would walk away from my computer, returning  an hour or two later to discover that my computer had shutdown and booted on its’ own. Second symptom was more recent. Following a boot of the computer I would go online and suddenly a lockup would occur to the point that nothing worked other than manually powering down the PC. When these two symptoms occurred, I often rebooted and worked with no problems and would not experience these symptoms again for days. Third symptom that occurred was that the computer would suddenly shut down. Then came symptom number four… Power was present to the monitor and other peripherals; however, no power to the computer.

Here are some symptoms you may experience that could indicate that your power supply is failing. Diagnosing power supply problems can be difficult; however, once you start seeing more than one of these symptoms, put the power supply on your troubleshooting checklist.

  • Circuit breakers popping when the PC is turned on
  • System startup failures or lockups
  • Noticeable change in how long it takes for your PC to boot and shutdown
  • Spontaneous rebooting or intermittent lockups during normal operation (small brownouts)
  • Memory Errors
  • HDD and fan simultaneously failing to spin
  • HDD file system corruption
  • USB devices power issues
  • Overheating due to fan failure
  • Electric shocks that are felt when the case is touched
  • Smoke
  • BIOS beeping codes detected

During the course of all that I was experiencing, I was leaning toward the power supply being the culprit and had prepared myself early on. As soon as I started experiencing the first round of hiccups, I made sure I had a backup of all of my data (which I religiously perform on a regular basis anyway). I also went to the computer manufacturer’s website to explore power supply problems and to determine if there were any specs on the power supply in my computer, and if there was any information available on how to remove and install the power supply.

The computer I own is a Hewlett Packard multimedia PC with a 300 watt power supply. What I found on the HP site for my PC was awesome. It showed, step-by-step, the removal process (with pics) and even a video on how to remove the front and side panels of the computer, where the power and drive leads for the power supply were located and what to be cautious of (such as static electricity).

Power Supply

I have been inside of computers many times and knew pretty much the rundown to remove and replace the power supply; however, something as simple as removing the case panels was a major help. When it came time to remove the power supply in my computer, the homework paid off. I had the panels off of the PC, the power leads to the motherboard and drives disconnected, the drives pushed forward to create working room, and the power supply removed within 10 minutes. All together, in my case, removal of (6)-six screws were involved. Note: While I was inside the case of the computer I performed a thorough cleaning, as well.

To replace the power supply, I ended up going from a 300 watt power supply to a 400 watt power supply made by Dynex (through Best Buy). The form factor of the Dynex matched my system perfectly. There are numerous power supply options available on the market (see here for an example)

Dynex Power Supply

Following the replacement of the power supply in my computer I noticed (2)-two remarkable improvements. My computer starts up noticeably faster and shuts down noticeably faster. For example, it took me 1.5 to 3 minutes to boot up prior to the replacement.  Following the replacement of the power supply, my computer now boots to the Windows 7 desktop in less than 1 minute.

In the end, diagnosing a failing power supply can be a challenge, but eventually the symptoms of things to come will rear its’ ugly head. Just be prepared, have your data backed up, and do some research.

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What’s On My PC – Top Ten All Time Articles

June 11, 2010

It is has been almost 2 years that I first started blogging and was spoon fed, from afar, by the likes of Bill Mullins’ at Tech Thoughts and TechPaul at Tech-for Everyone. I can honestly attest, as a rookie blogger, it has been a challenge; however, today I can further attest it has been both rewarding and a daily exercise of the mind.

What is amazing about blogging is that it is unpredictable. Articles or information that you think will never amount to anything ends up being popular; AND, others you feel are great, just don’t quite hit the mark. To qualify that statement, I have posted links to the top ten all time articles at What’s On My PC…

The one article that really amazes me (that is #3 on the list), is the article where people are still looking for that America Online (AOL) CD. The article, in summary, explains steps (actually a trick) to make your own CD, since it is very difficult to get your hands on an actual CD. As of the date of this article, according to my statistics, nearly 10,000 people cannot live without the AOL CD. I’m guessing, from all of those years where AOL spammed our postal mailboxes with the AOL CD’s, the brainwashing affects continue to live on.

What’s On My PC – Top Ten All Time


  1. If you experience Windows Vista Service Pack 2 installation issues…
  2. Creating a personalized font from your own handwriting…
  3. Creating an AOL Install CD… (if you must:)
  4. How to use a Blackberry Smartphone with a cheap “Pay As You Go” mobile phone plan…
  5. When Vista will not boot…
  6. bing – Microsoft’s New Search Engine
  7. Review of the Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player
  8. Technibble’s (portable and FREE) Computer Repair Utility Kit
  9. Adding a “Watermark” in Microsoft Word 2003
  10. “WOT” is NEW…

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