Blocking Facebook, et al. #
Cold Turkey blocks access to undesirable sites and applications based on a schedule you set. Here is a list of what it adds to the hosts file by default:
I dimly recall an issue from long ago with the hosts file not filtering https sites (my memory may be faulty), but the above list blocked access to both the http and https versions of Facebook, etc under Windows 7 even without installing Cold Turkey.
/windows | Jun 30, 2014
Command line backup tool with versioning #
VBackup is a free (for personal or commercial use) command line backup program similar to XCOPY or Robocopy, but with support for file versioning. Versions are stored within a hidden directory (.VBackups) on the destination. While VBackup does not natively support shadow copies, you can pair it with the open source ShadowSpawn (among others) to backup in-use files.
/windows | Jun 08, 2014
If you do file backups, you need to check out Bvckup 2 #
Alex Pankratov (the original developer of Hamachi) has been crafting, honing, testing, and polishing Bvckup for years. The latest version, Bvckup 2, was beta tested for 12 months on over 10,000 installations. Here's what makes it exceptional:
- Crazy-simple UI hiding powerful features seldom seen in one package
- The entire installer (not some stub à la Mozilla Firefox or Adobe Flash Player), which includes both 32 and 64 bit versions, is just over 1.44MB
- Real-time, scheduled, or manual backups
- Delta copying (if your backup solution is still copying that entire PST or VMDK file every time a few bits change, you desperately need this)
- Many more performance boosts: asynchronous I/O, multi-core processing, destination snapshots, move/rename detection
- Archiving of deleted files forever or for x minutes, hours, days, weeks
- Much more: device tracking, run as service, shadow copies (backup in-use files), etc.
Full disclosure: Along with around 120 other beta testers, I received a surprise gift from Alex when beta testing completed: a 5-install professional license.
UPDATE: Promo code for 15% off personal licenses: TINYAPPS-2958.
/windows | May 31, 2014
MUCH faster access to Dell drivers #
UPDATE: John Rothlisberger kindly informs us that the FTP archive appears to have been abandoned:
I suspect the Dell FTP driver repository you linked to may no longer be maintained. I checked a couple of models that I own, and for example, for a Precision T3600 there are no 2014 drivers at all on the FTP site, but plenty on the normal (bloated) support site. The latest BIOS from the normal site is A12 from 12-Nov-2013, but on the FTP site only A08 from 22-Feb-2013.
/windows | May 11, 2014
Freeware reboot-to-restore apps #
have been covered before; here's another from Horizon Data Sys:
- Reboot Restore Rx
- Restore on reboot - reset to baseline on PC startup or hard reset
- One-click instant updates - update baseline without restarting PC
- VMWare support - virtual environment or as host
- Protects the MBR - works below Windows
- Mini OS access - restore from unbootable Windows OS
/windows | Mar 10, 2014
If Deep Freeze and Drive SnapShot had a love-child, #
it might look a lot like:
Reuschtools 3.07 [973k] $ Reboot-to-restore + bare-metal recovery (via WinPE disc that is created using base system - no need for WAIK or Windows install media) + adaptive restore to dissimilar hardware (including UEFI systems to BIOS and vice versa) + insanely fast, system image backup and restore (even to/from single system partition) + multiple, simultaneous destinations + 32 and 64 bit versions in a single installer under 1MB + support for Windows XP through 8.1 (including Server 2003, 2008, and 2012) + a slew of other features (encryption, compression, folder backups, scheduling, single click restores, etc) - activation scheme tied to hardware - incomplete English documentation
Don't miss CopyCd by the same author, a tiny app for copying and burning CDs, DVDs, BDs, and ISO files.
/windows | Mar 10, 2014
Optiplex 755: SM Bus Controller and PCI Serial Port not recognized #
To resolve, chipset drivers need to be installed. But you won't find them if you enter your Service Tag into Dell's support page. Drill down to your model beginning with "Select a product" instead to unearth the necessary drivers (Intel AMT HECI, Intel AMT SOL/LMS, and Intel Chipset Driver).
/windows | Mar 06, 2014
"Your forms were not sent because QuickBooks could not create the necessary PDF files" #
The above error may appear in QuickBooks 2011 or 2012 under Windows 8 x64 when attempting to email or print to PDF. According to Intuit, "Only QuickBooks 2013 R4 and later is supported on Windows 8. Do you use Windows 8 64-bit and QuickBooks 2011 or 2012? They weren't designed for Windows 8..." However, they kindly link to Arvind's instructions on how to resolve the issue. Here's a condensed version:
- Download Microsoft-XPS-Document-Writer.zip (local cache)
- Unzip and copy "Microsoft XPS Document Writer" directory to %windir%\System32\
- Open Devices and Printers
- Remove "Microsoft XPS Document Writer" if present
- Click "Add a printer" > "The printer that I want isn't listed"
- Click "Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings" > Next
- Select "Create a new port:" > set "Type of port:" to "Local Port" > Next
- For "Enter a port name:" enter "XPS" > OK
- Click "Have Disk..." > "Browse..." > double click %windir%\System32\Microsoft XPS Document Writer\prnms001.inf > OK
- Click Next > Next > Yes to UAC prompt > Do not share this printer > Next > uncheck "Set as the default printer" > Finish
/windows | Feb 21, 2014
Resolving BSOD (STOP: 0x0000007B) after a motherboard swap #
or hard drive migration:
- Download cdob's fix_7hdc.vbs (local cache) and save to removable media
- Boot to the Recovery Console (F8 > Repair Your Computer) or from a system repair/Windows 7 disc
- Insert media containing fix_7hdc.vbs
- Run cscript fix_7hdc.vbs /enable /search from the Command Prompt
- The above method was discovered only after:
- Other possible (but untried) fixes:
- UBCD4Win's Fix HDC ("Fix the Hard Drive Controller when replacing your motherboard on an XP system") & Fix IDE ("Fix the IDE Controller when replacing your motherboard on an XP system"). Despite the XP references, Fix HDC reportedly works for Windows 7 as well.
- FixIDE, "a utility to force-install standard IDE controller drivers on a foreign Windows XP installation. Purpose: To save you from a repair-install of Windows after a motherboard swap!"
/windows | Feb 17, 2014
The shortcut to open Command Prompt (cmd.exe) during Windows install #
is Shift+F10. Handy for erasing an HFS+ GPT drive when the Windows install routine chokes with "Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk of of the GPT partition style." among other things. (Speaking of which, if you receive "This computer's hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure that the disk's controller is enabled in the computer's BIOS menu." following such a procedure, simply reboot to resolve.)
/windows | Feb 17, 2014
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