DoubleClicks.info About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

November 17, 2015

What Happens to My Files – backup?

Hard Drive graphic from online - Google.com

I had a reader give me upsetting news last week.  They said that their computer failed to boot when they started it a few days before and they had a lot of personal and semi-business files there.  What could they do to get them backup?

They had taken it to a computer repair shop in the area who said the hard drive was shot.  Drives usually fail in one of two ways.  The first is that the drive will still be recognized by the computer but cannot be read or written to.  In many cases you may be able to recover data on your own.  The other is if there is actual mechanical damage to the drive which means your only choice is to send it to the pros to retrieve your files or toss it and start over.

I will not get into the ways that you may be able to get your data back as there are a million articles on the internet with almost as many software applications available to help you.  If you want to try it yourself the first thing I would do is to figure out who produced your drive, go to their site and see what they recommend. 

Keep in mind to try and recover the data yourself you must have a working computer and attach the failed drive to that computer.  You will need to purchase an external hard drive enclosed case for around $25 or more to access the drive.  However, that is much less than the possibly many hundreds of dollars you will spend sending it to the drive recovery companies to get your information. 

I will give you Ron’s inexpensive to free way to safeguard your files.  I checked today and I have 32 GB of data which I backup regularly.  This includes columns for the past 15 years, tax returns, songs, a few videos and other types of files.  I have over 70,000 of these files in my collection.  This is a significant number of files when compared to the average user. I back it all up in a couple of locations. 

My two favorite places online to back up my files, with the exception to financial files are Dropbox and Copy.com.  Using those two links to sign up will earn you extra storage space.  The standard space of Dropbox is 2 GB and with Copy.com you get 15 GB.  They are both similar.  I believe Dropbox is slightly easier to use but Copy provides much more space and offers more options. 

The next place I back up my 32 GB is on a thumb drive.  I found 16 GB USB thumb drives on sale in town the other day for $9.99 and up to 128 GB drive for $35 online.  So the expense is minimal for what it could save you if you lost your files. 

Karenware Replicator main screen

How to back them up comes next and again there are a million ways. I use one very simple backup app called Karenware Replicator.  Karen Kenworthy was a developer who I met online years ago.  She made all of her software available free to all and simple to use.  Karen passed away in 2011 due to complications of diabetes.   I highly recommend Replicator as one of the simplest and effective backup utilities online today.  Download it and try it out.

Here is your warning – backup your files since ALL hard drives will fail at some point, maybe in years, maybe in minutes!

August 17, 2015

2015-08-17 Show Notes

Had several callers and lots of talk.  I hope you didn’t miss it.  WSVA has changed ownership and the new podcast format is not ready for prime time, so it is not currently available.  Hopefully next month. 

Enjoy the notes from today.

Ron’s Android App Recommendation
(This app can be found on Google Play from your Android phone,
tablet or viewed on your PC from the link below.)
Aldiko Reader

This is, in my opinion, currently the best eBook reader for Android. Sorry only available for Android devices at this time.

It has many features that the biggies do not, go to the main website, aldiko.zendesk.com for the FAQ.

The one that I like most is that you can save and access the books you are reading via Dropbox. This allows you to start and stop on the same place in the book no matter which device you are reading from.

Also, it has many, many settings you can adjust to your liking.

One of the only Apps I say are worth paying the $3-$4 to have a premium license for extra features. That being said the freebie is excellent.


BookBub.com
How it works

Book Bub alerts you to limited-time free & discounted eBooks matching your interests. It’s free to join, you can read on any device, and the books are yours to own.

I got my email today and there were 9 books listed.  Two free and the rest from $2.99 to $0.99.  From Amazon, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble, etc.


A caller asked today if it is possible to change the default search engine from Bing.com to Google.com.  It depends on several things but first is which browser you are using. 

If you are using the new W10 browser, “Edge”, go here, http://rd.dblclx.com/1UOyAbK.

If you are using another browser, say Chrome or Firefox, search for something similar to:

[change default search engine in “Windows 10” for Chrome browser] – do not include the square brackets.

You can also change your search engine for Cortana if you like speaking to your computer. Note: you must use the Chrome browser as your default browser for this to work. http://rd.dblclx.com/1IYEnnI


School Shopping is here and you always need something.  Use, “Retail Me Not” and save some big $$$, http://www.retailmenot.com/.

Basically, you can find discounts and coupons from all the major retailers around the country.  For instance, Kohl’s, Sears, JC Penney, GoDaddy, Wine.com, Disney are on there right now.


Invisible Hand is a browser add in that  discreetly notifies you if the product or flights you’re shopping for is available more cheaply from another retailer or travel site.

The notification provides a convenient button which links you straight through to the relevant page on the competing website. It also provides a drop-down menu, so that you can see the prices at the other sites which sell that product or flight.

http://www.getinvisiblehand.com/


Binder – The New Break Up App
telegraph.co.uk
Too scared to dump your significant other? Now there’s an app for that.

Tinder has helped many a lonely soul find love via their smartphone.

Now there’s an app that does the complete opposite.

"Binder" allows relationship-weary men and women to enter a partner’s gender, name and number and then, like the app that inspired it, swipe right to "bin" them.

The heartbreaker chooses a reason for binning their significant other, such as "It’s like I’m living in some sort of unwakeable nightmare", and they’re away. Within seconds, the unlucky soon-to-be ex then receives a rather indelicate text message and short pre-recorded phone call with one of a number of "hilarious" reasons for breaking up.


That is all from today’s show.  Please take a look at the suggestions above and see what you can find useful.

Join us next month on WSVA Radio (WSVAonline.com) for more.

Thanks,

Ron

September 2, 2014

Piriform Tools, Part 2

Last week I talked about two of Piriform’s excellent tools for keeping your computer in good shape. CCleaner and Defraggler. Today we will look at two others.

imageSpeccy is a very good application from Piriform; however, it is one I rarely use. You should download it and run it anyway just so you can have a list of exactly what your computer is made of. It will give you what you may need to know and way more. Say you want to buy some more RAM for your computer but you are not sure what type to get. If you run Speccy it will show you then name, the type, the size, etc. about the RAM that is currently running so you can accurately match it up. It gives you the temperature your computer’s motherboard is running. Do not panic if you check the temps and they are above 150ºF but less than 200 ºF which is pretty normal. Check out what you have under the hood with Speccy.

imageRecuva is the last Piriform app that we will take a look at again. I mentioned it several weeks ago but I have received many questions regarding this great app. Recuva actually stands for Recover, of course thanks to the Web our youth can no longer spell. What Recuva does is pretty much what its name stands for. It will recover deleted files.

Pretend for instance, that you have just gotten back from your vacation to Gondwanaland. While there you took over 2,000 pictures on your digital camera. You are now back home and put your SD card in your computer to move them to your computer and print a few. Oops, you accidentally delete all the files on the card. Your wife yells at you, you feel bad, there is no way you can go back and take all of the pictures over again.

In steps Recuva to save you from this predicament. Once you install and start it up you will be asked what file types are you trying to recover. All Files is the default but you can specify pictures, music and others. Next it will get you to input where the files are located. Here the default is “I’m not sure,” which is fine; however, it will take much longer if you cannot narrow it down some. You are now ready to begin your search, which depending on the parameters you set up, could take a few seconds to an hour or so.

It is quite good at finding those missing files. Once it is finished you can restore all or some to your computer. It will usually rename to files so you may have to restore them before you can determine which file is which.

As I always mention when using this program, the longer you wait to search for the deleted file the less likely you are to be successful in is recovery. The file can be partially or fully destroyed if the space it occupies is written over by another file. Recuva will “rate” the files found as how successful you may be in recovering it. If you recover a partially recoverable photo you may be missing part of the picture or it could be scrambled.

I hope this detailed look at Recuva helped those of you who wrote.

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