GEEK SQUEAKS – Featuring A Windows 8.1 Update Install Marathon On A HP Computer (following a hard drive failure).

April 20, 2014

[FEATURED GEEK SQUEAK] A Windows 8.1 Update Install Marathon On An HP Computer (following a hard drive failure) – This squeak is from a personal experience that I will keep short; therefore, a chopped up description.

Windows 8.1 Update

Have you ever ran a marathon and you thought there was no end? To me the experience below was unbelievable and was like running a marathon.

My Father’s All-In-One HP computer, running Windows 8.1, still under warranty, had a hard drive failure. Called HP, patched to India, on the phone for an over an hour to run the diagnostics and listen to them trying to scare me into buying the extended warranty. Hard drive failure confirmed, patched to another person in India who kept telling me how wonderful I was. Hard drive shipped (within 3 days), and installed (in less than 15 minutes); then, the real fun began.

The drive shipped with HP’s Windows 8 recovery software.  My objective was to get the machine up and running, then upgrade to Windows 8.1…

Long story short, started at 6 pm and finished after 1 am.  Over 7 hours to run the recovery, download all of the Windows updates, and download/install Windows 8.1.  The time involved did not include the other tweaking required to get my Father’s PC back to the point he originally was at (i.e. printer install, third party software installs, cosmetic changes, etc…).

I am definitely, at my next visit, going to image the disk…  Has anyone else experienced this?



[MICROSOFT OFFICE] Microsoft Launches Cheaper Office 365 Personal – First unveiled last month, Office 365 Personal lets you run Microsoft’s cloud-based document creation and editing suite on one PC or Mac and one tablet for $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year. Office 365 Personal is available online, at Microsoft stores, and through online and retail partners… @PCMag

[REMOTE PC ANDROID APP] Chrome Remote Desktop – Securely access your computers from your Android device. On each of your computers, set up remote access using the Chrome Remote Desktop app from Chrome Web Store. On your Android device, open the app and tap on any of your online computers to connect… @Google Play

[COMPUTER ACCESSORIES] Vantec CB-ISATAU2 SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 Adapter Supports 2.5-Inch, 3.5-Inch, 5.25-Inch Hard Disk Drives – The SATA/IDE-USB Adapter gives you the flexibility of connecting almost any type of drive to your computer via USB.  SATA, 3.5-inch IDE, 5.25-inch IDE, and 2.5-inch IDE drives are all supported and can be easily hot-swapped to your system.


Vantec CB-ISATAU2 SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 Adapter

The included external power adapter will allow you to power your drives outside your system giving you the ability to quickly add or swap between drives without opening your case.  The SATA/IDE-USB adapter incorporates 3 interfaces to one USB adapters… @Amazon

[COMPUTER BACKUP SOFTWARE] FREE Backup Software Protects System & Data of Your PC – Back up your most important files and folders on a regular basis. Create a system image to keep Windows and applications safe. Back up entire hard disk or specified partitions, or just cloning them. Save time and effort with automatic, incremental, and differential backups… @AOMEI

[WEB APP] Zenpen - A minimalist writing zone by Tim Holman, to get you into that zone, where you can focus on the writing – with none of the distractions… @ZenPen

[HOW TO] Windows 8.1 Update tip: Clean up that disk space nowNow that you’ve had about a week to play around with the update—which brings the taskbar to the modern UI, among other welcome additions—the next few days present a good time to clear up extra space on your hard drive by getting rid of some Windows Update files.How much space you’ll recover depends on whether you’ve ever run the Disk Clean-up utility, and the number of different Windows versions you’ve ever run on your PC… @PCWorld

Learn a byte at a time with Geek Squeaks’ — featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it… I just plain love tech!

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Today’s Geek Squeaks – November 5, 2013

November 5, 2013

Summary: Update Microsoft Windows and Office without an Internet connection; A computer-generated digital decoy named “Sweetie” snares sex predators; An all-in-one toolbox for your Android smartphone or tablet; and, A 650 lumen tactical flashlight…

Geek Squeaks’ features 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!



Update Any Computer Running Microsoft Windows Without An Internet Connection

WSUS Offline Update @

Believe it or not, there are still many people with dial-up connections, due to limited broadband availability. Performing Windows updates on a dial-up connection can be a very frustrating experience that ends up bogging down the computer. This is an example where WSUS Offline Update can help…



Virtual Girl Dubbed ‘Sweetie’ Snares Thousands
Of Would-be Sex Predators

@ NBCNews

A charity created a virtual 10 year old girl named Sweetie to snare sex predators…


In little more than two months, more than 1,000 people were identified by children’s rights group Terre des Hommes after they offered money to the fake profile for a variety of sex acts. They included 254 Americans… READ MORE

All-In-One Toolbox For Android

We have seen all-in-one utility suites for the desktop computer; but, this is the first (comprehensive) all-in-one package I have seen for our Android OS based devices (such as smartphones and tablets).


All-In-One Toolbox provides comprehensive system optimizing techniques, including real-time memory info, one click memory quick boosting, task killer, cache cleaner, history cleaner, and SD file manager etc. It embraces all factors that matter to device performance, and helps to optimize your device to run at optimum speed… GET IT HERE

TerraLUX TT-5 Dual Button Tail Switch Tactical Flashlight

If you are into police or security work, I highly recommend one of these tactical flashlights. I use one, not only to light things up, but as a form of protection. The technology with these things continue to get better and better.


3 lighting modes (high, medium, low) and strobe mode

CREE XM-L (U2) LED with max 650 lumens

Max run time 295hrs

Requires (2) CR123A or (2) CR123 or (1)18650 batteries

Detachable stainless steel strike bezel


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Today’s Geek Squeaks – September 9, 2013

September 9, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1: Are you the techie type that is called upon to assist others?  If so, download the NirLauncher which is the launching point for over 150 utilities that are useful in managing the operation of Windows based computers (see below);

Squeak #2: Windows updates occur on a regular basis and the number of these updates over the course of the life of the operating system is insurmountable; but, what do you do when you see the “optional” windows updates?  Should you are shouldn’t you?  USA Today has a good response to that (see below);

Squeak #3: Barry’s Best Windows, Android and iPhone iPad Apps blog has an Android utility that I could have used the other day with my Android phone. The utility he is featuring gives you the ability to use your smartphone’s camera to take a pic of a document and convert it, on the fly, to a PDF file (see below); AND

Squeak #4: If you are into mass quantity document scanning or quality level document scanning, then today’s featured tech product is for you (see below);


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 ]

A Package Of More Than 150 Portable Freeware Utilities For Windows



NirLauncher package includes variety of tools that you may need for your daily computer use, including utilities to recover lost passwords, to monitor your network, to view and extract cookies, cache, and other information stored by your Web browser, to search files in your system, and more… GET IT HERE

Are optional Windows updates necessary?

@ USA Today


Question: What’s the deal with the “optional” updates Windows suggests I install? Are they equally unnecessary?

Answer: As a general rule, you should install the optional updates that you won’t see afterward and skip the ones that you would notice.… READ MORE

Quick PDF Scanner FREE (Android) – Scan, Organize, Share, PDF Docs From Your Phone

@ Barry’s Best Windows, Android and iPhone iPad Apps


Quick PDF Scan allows you to scan, export and share multipage documents in PDF format. The software uses the camera of your Android device to help you scan and digitize your paper documents so you can easily manage and store them… READ MORE

Easily Digitize Paper-Based Data
with the Touch of One Button

Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Scanner for PC and Mac


The ScanSnap iX500 is the scanner that intuitively guides you through every step of the scanning process, and lets you access your documents anywhere and anytime. Scan to and view across a range of popular cloud services, or wirelessly scan to your iPad/iPhone and Android devices… CHECK IT OUT HERE

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#78)

July 12, 2013

Microsoft dropping the price of the Surface  RT tablet; an update to one of the best FREE image editing software packages out there; how to setup Prey to track a lost or stolen laptop; download and save Microsoft updates using Microsoft’s Update Catalog; and, protect yourself from power surges…

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

Microsoft drops price of Surface RT 32GB to $349, 64GB to $449


The price cut means the base model of the Surface RT will be $349, a $150 price cut from the original price. Microsoft recently teased new Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets, which means this price drop for the current models could be an attempt to get rid of current stock in place for the new models later this year – READ MORE…

PhotoFiltre by Antonio Da Cruz


PhotoFiltre 7 is a complete image retouching program. It allows you to do simple or advanced adjustments to an image and apply a vast range of filters on it. It is simple and intuitive to use, and has an easy learning curve. The toolbar, giving you access to the standard filters with just a few clicks, gives PhotoFiltre 7 a robust look. PhotoFiltre 7 also has layer manager (with Alpha channel), advanced brushes, batch module and lot of other powerful tools.

How to Setup Your Laptop with Tracking
Software in Case You Ever Lose It


Prey offers tracking software for Windows, Mac, and even Linux PCs. Prey also offers tracking apps for Android and iOS, so you could use this one service to track all of your devices – READ MORE…

Microsoft Update Catalog website lets you download & save Microsoft Updates


Microsoft Update Catalog is a service from Microsoft that provides a listing of software updates that can be distributed over a corporate network. – READ MORE…

Belkin Pivot-Plug Surge Protector


As the demand for electricity to feed our hi-tech appetite increases, the likelihood of power interruptions and problems are also increasing. In addition to problems caused by the increasing severity of storms across the country, power experts are predicting that increasing power demand will soon put most major population centers at risk for severe power problems. As you know, power lulls and surges can severely damage your electronic equipment and even destroy your invaluable data – READ MORE…

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Tech Product of the Week: Kindle Fire HD 7 Inch Tablet Computer

January 23, 2013

Looking for a tablet computer reminds me of the day when desktops started to flourish and everyone wanted one. It is like shopping for a car and by the end of the day you are more confused than you were at the beginning of the day.

Here is my take on Tablet Computers…  For the home based computer user, buy a reasonably priced Android OS based tablet, such as the Kindle Fire HD (7 inch). I cannot see putting out large amounts of money for a tablet; especially, when the next latest and greatest is just around the corner. We are only seeing the beginning of this type of technology.

I recently got my hands on the Kindle Fire HD and was very impressed. With the Kindle Fire you are really getting a great tablet that features a high definition display, great sound (Dolby Audio), dual-antenna Wi-Fi, a massive selection of Android Apps and much, much more for under $200…  I especially liked that the Fire has a Micro USB 2.0 port (for connection of a PC) and a Micro-HDMI port for high definition video output to a television. Many of the other 7 inch tablets lack these external connectivity options.  All-In-All, for the home based computer user, the Kindle Fire HD is a tablet to consider.

Get the specs from the manufacturer - [ HERE ]

Kindle Fire HD

Customer Reviews: See what other people are saying about the Kindle Fire HD Tablet Computer – [ CLICK HERE ]

Readers: To keep the blog interesting, I plan to feature a tech product of the week that will feature a direct link to the manufacturer for specifications and a link to Amazon to see the customer reviews (and how the product is being rated).



You’ve started your IT career. Now what?

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Who’s Who In Power Supplies, 2013: Brands Vs. Manufacturers


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Links To All Articles Ever Posted At What’s On My PC


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Update Microsoft Windows Without An Internet Connection

December 8, 2011

There are still folks out there that I know personally that are on a dialup internet connection and not by choice. Broadband service just is not there and any mention of using a 3G, 4G or satellite connection is too expensive and besides those services can be sketchy at best, depending on the location and the environment.

What these folks run into, and I’m working with someone on this now, is that due to the dialup speeds in these remote locations not even being up to standard (due to poor telephone lines), downloading the Windows updates that they need for their PC’s ends up being nothing but pure process of drudgery. Think about it, if you are already on a slow dialup connection and you have your updates set to auto update, when those weekly auto updates kick in,  the connection speed slows down that much further. Couple that with other security software updates and general software updates and I think you can see what I mean about a pure process of drudgery.

To workaround this problem and get the Windows updates, I use a program called WSUS Offline Update. You will need to find someone with a broadband connection who is willing to use WSUS Offline Update software on their PC and willing to download the updates for you. You will also need to know what operating system you are using (i.e. Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7).

With WSUS Offline Update there are two components to the software. One is the “Generator” interface that you use to select the what language and Operating system you need the updates for.  You can even tell the “Generator” to copy the updates to a flash drive; which, you can then use to update the target computer.


When downloading the updates, a command console window (see below) will appear and you will see the software going to work to pull down the updates. Do not be alarmed if the first time you perform this process that it takes a long time (even on a broadband connection).  A long time can be an hour to several hours, but you have to do what you have to do.

WSUS Windows Update - Console Window

The second component built into WSUS Offline Update is the “Installer” that you use on the target computer.  To start up the installer look for the file “Updateinstaller.exe”, double click on it and the “Installer” interface will initiate with various selections to help you through the update process.

WSUS Windows Update - Installer

There are other options out there to download the Windows Updates; however, I have found the WSUS Offline Update utility to be the winner.



Hot Tech Site of the Day – File Forum

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Rii Mini Wireless Keyboard (Built-in TouchPad/Laser Pointer)


Gold Box: New Deals. Every Day.


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Get Rid of Windows Update and Service Installation Pack Issues

June 8, 2011

imageTroubleshooting failed Windows Update and Service Pack issues can be a trying and frustrating experience. Guest Writer Tibor Schiemann, President and Managing Partner of TuneUp, provides several solutions that just may help you resolve these problems

Windows Update is a critical part of Microsoft’s operating systems. However, it’s also one of the more fragile Windows components, with update issues among the most common problems that plague users. This can be dangerous because without some updates, PC users may find themselves vulnerable to security threats. These problems can’t just be ignored, so here are several troubleshooting tips to help get this feature functioning properly.

Why Windows Update Fails and How Users Solve These Issues

Windows Update involves replacing hundreds of files and depends on dozens of built-in components, such as System Restore, cryptography features, digital signatures, the Windows Update service, Windows installers, drivers and group policy settings. And Windows Update will fail if one of these components is defective, disabled or not set up properly.

· Solution #1: Microsoft is aware of this and designed a tool to help fix multiple component issues at once. Microsoft’s Fix It Solutionis compatible with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, and once installed, it correctly sets up the cryptographic service, re-registers broken file associations, cleans up the catalog folder and repairs important files related to Windows Update.

· Solution #2: If this solution above doesn’t work, the next step is installing the latest System Update Readiness Toolfor Windows Vista and Windows 7. This solution was released by Microsoft because, often, a bug in Windows, specifically the servicing store, has prevented users from installing future Windows Updates or Service Packs. But using this tool will allow users to immediately repair these issues—even if Microsoft’s Fix It Solution has failed.

· Solution #3: If the System Update Readiness Tool does not solve the Windows Update issues, try running TuneUp Utilities 2011’s troubleshooting wizard. Just install the product or its 15-day trial, go to the “Fix Problems” category and launch the “Fix common problems” wizard. Check “Windows Update does not work, since a previous restart is required” and hit “Next”.

If all else fails, Microsoft has a huge knowledge base of topics covering 11 methods for repairing Windows Update—the first five discuss the company’s Fix It Solution, while the others require some nifty workarounds that are explained in detail. It is also advised to temporarily disable any antivirus solution or firewall in order to proceed with the update, but don’t forget to re-enable them after the update is complete!

For more information about TuneUp, please visit, and for detailed Windows tips and tricks, please visit

About the Author:

Tibor Schiemann is president and managing partner of TuneUp, developer of the award-winning Windows optimization software suite TuneUp Utilities. Tibor has been developing software for a variety of computers and operating systems for 20 years, and oversees technical product management and executive management at TuneUp. He is also a contributor to the TuneUp Blog about Windows.


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