A 5 Stars Windows Repair Utility

April 23, 2015

First statement I need to make here is that the Tweaking.com – Windows Repair utility, featured in this article, is for those who are computer techs and the geeks in the family. Second statement I need to make is that I cannot say enough about how good this utility is.

Tweaking.com - Windows Repair

Tweaking.com – Windows Repair has helped me personally make repairs to computers where the Windows operating system has become corrupted; whether it be from end user error, a malware infection or Windows just stopped playing nice. It has served me (just recently) in repairing a Windows Update issue (where Windows stopped playing nice), a Windows Service issue (caused by a Windows Update) and in repairing a winsock/dns issue that surfaced after removal of a malware infection from a PC. I always have an updated (portable) version of this utility available.

Word of advice – Follow the steps as exactly outlined with this utility and as always use the internet to research any clues you are seeing that may be the cause of the issue. This will ensure that you can pinpoint what option to select when attempting a repair. If not sure, run the utility in its’ entirety, but be patient as it goes to work.

Tweaking.com – Windows Repair is an all-in-one repair tool to help fix a large majority of known Windows problems including:

 Unhide Non System Files
 Repair problems with .lnk (Shortcuts)
 File Association
 WMI
 Windows Firewall
 Internet Explorer
 Windows Installer (MSI)
 Hosts File
 Policies Set By Infections
 Icons
 Winsock & DNS Cache
 Proxy Settings
 Windows Updates
 CD/DVD Missing/Not Working
 Reset Registry and File Permissions
 Register System Files
 Remove Temp Files
 and more… 

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(In My Opinion) – Best Dedicated Photo Resizer Out There

April 18, 2015

Needed to batch resize some photos this morning, so I immediately went to FastStone’s website and grabbed the portable version of FastStone Photo Resizer. I was able to resize a folder containing approximately 300MB of photo files (that were of high def) to 100MB without any noticeable loss of clarity in the pics (so that I could post them online to share with the family). I like the idea that this photo resizer is dedicated solely for the purpose of resizing photos and easy to learn (and navigate).

FastStone Photo Resizer

FastStone Photo Resizer is an image converter and renaming tool that intends to enable users to convert, rename, resize, crop, rotate, change color depth, add text and watermarks to images in a quick and easy batch mode. Drag and Drop mouse operation is well supported.

FEATURES:

  • Convert and Rename images in batch mode
  • Support JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG, TIFF and JPEG2000
  • Resize, crop, change color depth, apply color effects, add text, watermark and border effects
  • Rename images with sequential number
  • Search and replace texts in the file names
  • Preview conversion and renaming
  • Support folder/non-folder structure
  • Load and save settings

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A FREE Screen Capture Program That You Must Have

March 18, 2015

Just when I think I am running out of steam and have tried and tested all the screen capture programs out there, I find ShareX…  Really, I do not know how I missed this awesome “must have” screen capture program.

ShareX

What makes ShareX standout is that you can upload your screenshots to over 25 different file hosting services. The ShareX user interface is easy to use and understand allowing you to use hotkeys to initiate a screen grab (or capture); or you can launch the screen capture selections by right mouse clicking the ShareX icon in the system tray. ShareX can capture screenshots with different shapes such as rectangular, rectangular rounded, ellipses, triangular, diamond, polygon and freehand. There is a built in editor where you can apply different effects (such as transparency, shadowing, torn edges, text, borders, etc…).

ShareX is available as a full install and if you dig deep enough on the site you will find that there is a portable app version as well (which is what I went for)…  Really nice screen capture program that is open source and FREE.

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A FREE, Versatile and Portable Windows Multimedia Player

March 13, 2015

Anytime I can find software that meets my criteria of being multi-purpose; looks good; is available as a portable app; and, is FREE — I will grab it… The Windows multimedia player called CherryPlayer meets that criteria and more. I will definitely be following the development of this player. I threw a number of various audio and video file formats at CherryPlayer and it played them all with success.

CherryPlayer

The beauty of CherryPlayer is that the developers have combined all the features from the best media players with new modern technology. This allows you to listen directly to millions of MP3 song for free, view/download/search YouTube movies inside CherryPlayer, listen to radio or expand your music catalog by purchasing new albums and songs. I especially like the YouTube viewer where you can watch any video that is available on YouTube in a playlist format…

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Make MailStore Home Part Of Your Email Backup Strategy

March 6, 2015

Most of us never think of backing up our email and really do not have a clue to go about it. This is especially true with online email accounts where there is a false sense of security that your email will always be there, when in fact, online accounts are compromised on a daily basis.

To make backing up our email an easy task, a company called MailStore has developed a FREE Windows based software application called MailStore Home that makes backing up (and archiving) your email an easy (on-going) task with the ability to perform lightning fast searches of the archive. Another option (that I really like) is that during the install process you can select to make MailStore Home a portable app, which I personally have included in my tech toolbox (as an option to assist others with downloading and archiving their email AND as a forensic tool).

MailStore Home

In my particular case, as an example, I use the portable version of MailStore Home to backup and archive my Gmail account. The cool thing about Gmail is that I use my Gmail account to pull my email from my other online accounts such as Yahoo and Hotmail. As a result, when I perform the MailStore backup of my Gmail account I am able to capture all my email accounts in one archive session. One thing to note is that on the first go round of using MailStore, the backup (archiving) process will take some time depending on the size and number’s of email you have in your account. Typically, I start of MailStore Home, start the archiving process and then let it run while I perform other tasks on my computer.

MailStore Home Supports:

  • Internet mailboxes such as Gmail or Yahoo! Mail
  • Any POP3 and IMAP mailboxes
  • Microsoft Outlook XP, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013
  • Microsoft Outlook ExpA Central Archive for All Emailsress and Windows Mail
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013 mailboxes
  • Microsoft Office 365 (Exchange Online)
  • Mozilla Thunderbird and SeaMonkey
  • .EML and other email file formats

For home users, emails are also a valuable source of information. A large amount of data and important files is saved in the form of emails. With MailStore Home you can backup all emails in a central archive, even if they are distributed across different computers, programs or mailboxes. You can do this either on your PC or on a USB drive as a “portable” option.

This way, you will never lose emails again and can search all of your emails extremely fast. You can still reply to or forward archived emails by opening them with a single mouse click in your standard email program.

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FREE Software To Password Protect And Secure The Files You Store Online

February 17, 2015

I will be the first to admit that I am skeptical of storing sensitive files on the internet and what files I do store (or backup) online are encrypted with AES256-based encryption using a small file archive utility program called PeaZip. This added level of security gives me peace of mind knowing that my files cannot be compromised in the event my online account disappears (or the account in itself is compromised).

PeaZip

After spending a considerable amount of time looking for software to carry out the encryption of my files (that I store online), I did not go for a standalone encryption utility; instead, I ended up using the file archive utility, called PeaZip (screenshots).

What I like about PeaZip is that the focus is on security where multiple strong encryption password protected archive files standards are supported, such as the AES256-based encryption standard. If you really want to make your files secure you also have option of using PeaZip’s two factor authentication where a password and keyfile are both required in order to access the archive.

Integrated into PeaZip are utilities to create random keyfiles and passwords; AND, this I really likePeaZip has a built in utility that supports secure file deletion to erase tracks of unwanted data.

If you are looking for an easy way to secure files on your computer and/or secure files you store online, I would definitely give PeaZip a try (which is available as a Windows install and portable app):

  • PeaZip is a free cross-platform file archiver that provides an unified portable GUI for many Open Source technologies like 7-Zip, FreeArc, PAQ, UPX…
  • Create 7Z, ARC, BZ2, GZ, *PAQ, PEA, QUAD/BALZ, TAR, UPX, WIM, XZ, ZIP files
  • Open and extract over 150 archive types: ACE, ARJ, CAB, DMG, ISO, LHA, RAR, UDF, ZIPX files and more…
  • Features of PeaZip includes extract, create and convert multiple archives at once, create self-extracting archives, split/join files, strong encryption with two factor authentication, encrypted password manager, secure deletion, find duplicate files, calculate hashes, export job definition as script.

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A FREE Backup Software Solution For Computers At Home

January 29, 2015

What I have found (over the years) is that most folks, who own computers at home, do not back up their files. The reason, in most instances, is that folks feel it is beyond their level of comprehension and is a difficult task.

Today, I want to share with you a FREE backup software solution that may be helpful, called Allway Snyc that is easy to learn, yet is powerful in what it can be configured to perform. I especially like that there is not only a Windows install version; but, also a portable app version (called Allway Sync ‘n’ Go). As a matter of fact, the portable version is what I use to backup my personal files to an external drive. Simply put, you enter the source path, determine what direction to perform the sync, and then enter the destination path. There are numerous configuration options (such as real-time automatic backups or syncs when file changes occur) to customize each backup job. The FREE version of Allway Sync should be enough to serve the moderate use of the typical home based user in the backing up of personal files. If not, definitely consider buying the Pro version.

Allway Sync

In a nutshell, this is what Allway Sync is about:

Allway Sync uses innovative synchronization algorithms to synchronize your data between desktop PCs, laptops, USB drives, remote FTP/SFTP servers, different online data storages, and more. Encrypted archives are supported. Allway Sync combines bulletproof reliability with extremely easy-to-use interface. Also Allway Sync can process Apple MAC data via Sync Gateway OS X software.

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