In the wake of the Gmail temporary loss of accounts a lot of tech sites are highlighting ways to back up your account. I like the suggestion of Hotmail accessing your Gmail through POP but that’s another cloud solution to maintain. Using Thunderbird and POP access is another good idea but you need to have it running to pick up your mail. The best solution I’ve found is MailStore Home. It will backup and restore your email from basically any email client native or online and it’s free for personal…read more
All-In-One Tray is a great free Windows 7 utility that sits in your system tray and provides access to pretty well all the operating system’s built in utilities plus a lot more like purging DNS cache and rebuilding icons. As well there are four custom spots for whatever you’d like. Very slick and a 7 MB footprint make All-In-One Tray a must have.
A decent utility that in its free form give two great pieces of information: that TRIM is enabled and the relative life of your SSD drive. Unfortunately it didn’t matter how long I left SSDLife running it never showed my drive’s estimated life. I’ll leave it in my System Tray for a while and see what develops.
While on my recent trip I picked up the June 2010 issue of PC Plus; in it they glowingly recommended a product called DriverEasy. I was on vacation and although PC Plus is the most expensive British tech mag import I was in Paris and splurged, but that’s an aside; back to DriverEasy. It is a tool that scans, downloads and installs device drivers for your Windows system, all for free. You can upgrade to the paid version that provides device driver backups and faster downloads. I took the free…read more
Setting up a PC for a friend and they needed some sort of backup. My first thought is always Windows Home Server but this was a single PC and the extra cost couldn’t be justified. I turned again to Macrium Reflect Free Edition: the user had an older 200 GB Maxtor external USB hard drive that would hold the backup files. To be fair I first tried Paragon Backup & Recovery 10 Free Edition and ToDo Backup but neither one did exactly what I wanted: a backup that could be…read more
Eventually every PC user comes to the point when they try to save something on their PC and there isn’t enough space. We all react the same way: what’s filled my hard drive? It seemed for a while gargantuan hard drives with 1 to 2 TB were the norm and we could never fill that space, but now SSDs are the hot item and most of us can only afford something 40 to 120 GB. Or you store everything on a server and only run the operating system and applications…read more
AVG produces a great anti-virus product and makes a free version available; it’s highly recommended. Recently they released AVG Rescue CD and it’s just as it sounds: a bootable CD with AVG on it, ready to fix those virus issues on your FAT32 or NTFS formatted hard drives. System requirements indicate it will only work with Windows 2000 and up but that includes server versions as well; nicely done AVG. Like all great fixes available you need a second working computer or need to download and burn a copy every…read more
Update 16-Mar-10. Forfiles command line updated to show @file instead of @path; testing and working. Update 02-Aug-10. Download location for ForFiles changed since Microsoft CodePlex page has been removed. I needed a simple and free backup program for a single purpose PC that chugged along day in day out. It ran Windows XP Professional and had a total used space of 8 GB on a 40 GB hard drive. For convenience I installed a second 40 GB hard drive that would hold the backup files. Since it was always running…read more
After working with FreeNAS as a free storage solution for small businesses I came across Lime Technologies unRAID, which takes a completely different approach to storage. It’s a software RAID type solution that uses your largest disk as a parity drive that isn’t used for storage, and then all other drives of any size as storage. You can lose the parity drive or one of the data drives and not crash the system, but two drive loss is bad. unRAID splits data across your drives in a variety of ways,…read more