Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Free as in Freeware Only Today - Giveaway of the Day - Paragon Backup and Recovery 14 Compact

"Paragon Backup & Recovery 14 Compact is a simple and powerful backup & recovery solution to secure standalone Windows desktops and laptops. It quickly backs up your files and folders, operating system or even your entire hard disk to any storage you choose. The compact edition ensures that your system and valuable data are protected – and can be restored in case of any disaster!
Supports Windows 8, 8.1 and the latest HDD standards!
Key Features:
  • Smart Backup Wizard. Easily secure valuable data without additional configurations.
  • New Backup to Virtual Drive (VD). Back up separate partitions or entire hard disks to the VHD, VMDK and new pVHD formats.
  • New pVHD Backup Format. pVHD (Paragon Virtual Hard Drive) is a special VHD format, optimized for storing backups of virtual and physical machines. It combines the advantages of classic backup archives (e.g. size) with the flexibility of virtual hard drives (access capabilities).
  • New Incremental Backup to VD. Back up changes since the full, or the latest incremental image.
  • New Windows Storage Spaces Support. Copy, back up, restore Windows Storage Spaces directly in our program.
  • Complete UEFI Support. Full 64-bit UEFI support and support for 32-bit EFI with Legacy boot.
  • Support for the latest HDD standards. Enjoy support for AFD (Advanced Format Drive), 2TB+ and non-512B sector size drives.
  • Boot Corrector. Powerful utility that recovers the operating system’s startup ability.
  • Selective Restore. Extract individual files and folders from an archive without restoring an entire image. Use the Restore Wizard and simply check the files that you’d like to restore.
  • New Restore from VD Wizard. Restore entire hard disks, separate partitions, or certain files and folders from pVHD (available under Windows and Linux).
  • Partition alignment for bare metal restore. Partition alignment during restoring to new hard drives ensures that there will be no performance loss due to incorrect partition alignment.
  • Encrypted Backup. To avoid unauthorized access to your backup files, you can easily encrypt them within our backup wizards.
Technical Support: During the Giveaway period Paragon Software provides technical support at www.giveawayoftheday.com. Please, post your questions if you have any troubles while downloading, registering and using the software. Paragon Software’s support team will reply you as soon as possible.
Note: If you have a previous version of Paragon Backup & Recovery you should first uninstall it via Control Panel >> Add or Remove Programs. After that launch the installation wizard, register Paragon Backup & Recovery 14 Compact and enjoy using it!"
74% give this a thumbs up, so it is highly rated. Paragon is a well known company. This, may not strictly be a data recovery piece of software, but we might as well talk about prevention as well as cure here... 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Get Tenorshare Music Cleanup From BitsDuJour - Only Today (and Maybe Tomorrow)

"How many songs do you have in your iTunes library? If you’ve been with iTunes since the early days of the iPod, your collection of tunes can run into the thousands, but it also means you probably have tons of things that need fixing. Better get it done the fast and easy way with today’s discount software promotion, Tenorshare Music Cleanup!
Tenorshare Music Cleanup lets you remove duplicates and automatically populate missing information in your iTunes library. With Tenorshare Music Cleanup, you’ll be able to quickly scan and remove duplicate songs, clearing a massive amount of disk space to replace with new music. And if any of your songs are missing information for Artist, Album Art, Genre, or lyrics, Tenorshare Music Cleanup can go fetch that data and fill it in for you!
Imagine waking up to an iTunes library that’s not littered with annoying terms like “unknown artist” or “Track 01”! This glorious reality can be your tomorrow if you grab a copy of Tenorshare Music Cleanup today!
Don't have Facebook? That's ok, we haven't forgotten about you. When the promotion is live, just click the 'Get it for Free' button and fill out a quick survey to claim your 100% discount!"

Monday, April 21, 2014

Kingsoft Office Suite Professional 2013 (One Year) - Is Freeware Again for One Day (and Maybe Two) From BitsDuJour

The idea about discussing Office suites in the context of data recovery is sometimes corrupt Microsoft Office or Open Office files while not opening in their originator programs, will open in other office suites.
"If you’ve been brainwashed into thinking that Microsoft Office is the only game in town when it comes to getting your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations done, think again! Today’s discount software promotion gets you all of the power you need in an office suite, but at a fraction of the price – it’s Kingsoft Office Suite Professional 2013!
Kingsoft Office Suite Professional 2013 is a collection of three applications that will serve your document, spreadsheet, and presentation needs, with compatibility with Microsoft Office. With Kingsoft Office Suite Professional 2013, you’ll be able to save money while still maintaining the ability to trade files with everyone else in the world."

3 Ways to Recover Data From an iPhone - 2 Free

Two free methods sandwich the company shilling for their software...Not bad.
"You may have read reports claiming that Samsung is taking over in the smart phone wars, but according to a new report, the iPhone 5 is still the most popular smart phone. Based on vast amount of iPhone 5 users, no wonder that online community is flooded with the questions like "how to recover lost iPhone 5 files". Losing data from your iPhone 5 can happen for lots of reasons, including inadvertently delete, reset to factory settings, or failure to upgrade or jailbreak.
Here we list several methods on how to recover data from iPhone 5 on Mac. So, no matter for what reason you lost your data, you can find the corresponding solution here..."

"iPhone Water Damage: How to Fix?" - Looks Like Good Article from Tenorshare

"If you carry your iPhone with you every day, it’s quite likely that your iPhone just drops to the swimming pool, sink and gets water damaged unpredictably. Then what should you do to minimize the iPhone water damage and rescue important data on iPhone?
Apple support might be the first thing comes to your mind. However, even Apple won’t help this time as iPhone and iPod: Liquid damage is not covered by warranty. It seems that it’s high time we learn some tips to fix water damaged iPhone by ourselves..."
This is a substantial article, not just shilling for their software. 

Tenor Share ReiBoot - "The Easiest Way to Enter & Exit iOS Recovery Mode"

http://www.tenorshare.com/products/reiboot.html - for Windows
http://www.tenorshare.com/products/reiboot-mac.html - for Mac
"Easiest Way to Enter & Exit iOS Recovery Mode - One Click
Tenorshare ReiBoot can help put iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch into and out of Recovery Mode with a single click, when you can’t boot your iPhone properly. It allows you to reboot iOS devices stuck in Recovery Mode/iTunes logo, with Apple logo, or in a loop of rebooting, etc. It is especially usefully when iOS device Home or Sleep/Wake buttons are broken.
  • It’s totally free.
  • One click to enter/exit Recovery Mode without iTunes Restore
  • No data loss or damage during the process.
  • No Need Power or Home Button
  • Support all iOS devices including the newest iPhone 5S/5C/5 and iPad Air."

Tenorshare Free WhatsApp Recovery - Recovering WhatsApp Chat History from Your iOS Device

http://www.tenorshare.com/products/free-whatsapp-recovery.html - for Windows
http://www.tenorshare.com/products/free-whatsapp-recovery-mac.html - for Mac
"Instantly and Easily Retrieve Lost WhatsApp Messages, Photos, Videos
Inadvertently deleted iPhone WhatsApp messages? iOS 7.1 ate all your WhatsApp chats after update? All WhatsApp chat history was wiped during jailbreak? Well fear not. Use Tenorshare Free WhatsApp Recovery. It can free recover and extract WhatsApp chat history (including photos, videos and other message attachments) on iPhone, iPad and iPod that were lost due to deletion, failed iOS update or jailbreak, and etc.
  • It’s 100% free of charge.
  • Retrieve WhatsApp messages either from iTunes backup or directly from device.
  • Manage WhatsApp chats by extracting, exporting and backing up from device to computer
  • Recover both individual conversions and group conversions
  • Support all iOS devices: iPhone 5s/5c/5/4s, iPad Air/mini 2/4/mini, iPod Touch 5/4"

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Summary of Advice Regarding Heartbleed

Happy Easter everybody. This might be my last or penultimate article on the Heartbleed bug. I have personally taken my own advice and done all the suggestions on my own computer and with my own accounts and am still implementing the steps on computers  and with users I'm responsible for supporting.

Because of the Hearbleed Bug as I have been saying, do a spring cleaning of your internet security when you get a chance. Cancel your credit cards that you used online and get new numbers for them. Do this in a staggered fashion so you always have a live card if you have to, while you wait for the new cards to arrive.

Also I'm now suggesting that you export your passwords from your password keeper software and then reinstall it while telling it to wipe out your personal information. If you are not using a password keeper like Roboform, LastPass or Dashlane, start doing so as they lessen the temptation to use a password in more than one place and encourage generating and using random passwords.

If you don't have a password keeper and you passwords are stored in your Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox or Safari, use this program to see what they are http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/web_browser_password.html. Note the ones that are not necessary to change, which I list in the next paragraph, then erase all the passwords from your browsers following the steps in this article: http://www.bu.edu/tech/support/desktop/software/troubleshooting/removing-password-from-browsers-saved-password-list/. You can also selectively erase the passwords from your browser's list also using the instructions in the link just mentioned, just keep the ones mentioned next.

According to a CNET article on Heartbleed and/or the LastPass Heartbleed Server checker, you don't have to reset the passwords for these sites: About, Amazon, Amazon Web Services, Answers, AOL, Apple, Ask, AWeber, Bank of America, Capital One, CBSSports, Chase, Classmates, CNET, CNN, Comcast, Constant Contact, Dillard's, eBay, FedEx, Forbes, Fox News, Groupon, HootSuite, Hulu, IMDb, Intuit, LinkedIn, Live, ManageWP, Microsoft, MSN, MyPoints, NetZero, Orbitz, Pandora, PayPal, PayScale, PornHub, Reference.com, Salesforce, Target, TripAdvisor, Trulia, Twitter, UPS, USA Today, Walmart, Wells Fargo, wikiHow, Zedo and Zillow.

According to the same sites, you do have to reset the passwords for these and it is now safe to do so: AT&T, Best Buy, Bing, Bleacher Report, Blogger, Blogspot, BuzzFeed, Conduit, Craigslist, Daily Mail, Dropbox, Espn.go.com, Etsy, Facebook, Feedbin, Flickr, GetPocket, GoDaddy, Google, Home Depot, IFTTT, Imgur, Indeed, Instagram, NBC News, Netflix, OKCupid, Outbrain, Pinboard, Pinterest, Publishers Clearing House, Reddit, Stack Overflow, The Pirate Bay, The Wall Street Journal, Tumblr, USPS, Vimeo, Washington Post, Weather.com, Wikia, Wikipedia, Wordpress, Yahoo!, Yelp and YouTube.

Again according to CNET and/or LastPass you should be cautious with these sites still: Adobe, Drudge Report, NYTimes, and TMZ. If you have accounts on them personally I would change the passwords for these sites now too, just in case they are really clean after all. I would then subsequently check them in this Heartbleed site checker, again at https://lastpass.com/heartbleed/, in few days but in the meantime hold off making any purchases and if possible remove your credit card numbers from the sites, if there is a way to do that.

For all other sites, check with LastPass to see if they are unaffected, patched or still vulnerable. Change passwords for the latter two categories (patched or supposedly still vulnerable). After changing the password don't make any new purchases from a site that LastPass says is still dodgy/vulnerable. The sites mentioned are most of the top 100 most heavily trafficked sites as ranked by Alexa (except for sex sites which I removed from my lists).

Finally, I would go into your App and Website permission settings for Facebook (here: https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=applications&edited=opt_out), Twitter (here: https://twitter.com/settings/applications), Google accounts (here: https://security.google.com/settings/security/permissions) and LinkedIn (here: https://www.linkedin.com/secure/settings?userAgree) and remove the permission for websites and apps to use your social networks to vouch for your identity. Security experts generically tell you to have a different password for each website account you use, but using a social network to log into a site is almost like having the same password for multiple sites. It is a single point of failure. Facebook for instance was vulnerable and if someone were to have hacked into knowledge of your Facebook username and password, they then could also log in and possibly make purchases using your Facebook vouched for identity on those "satellite" sites.

One last suggestion to do for a security spring cleaning is to remotely log out of any session of social networks you may have forgotten about and left open on friends, relatives, or public computers. You can shut most of these down remotely as explained here: This article describes how to remotely end all of those sessions: http://www.addictivetips.com/web/remotely-end-gmail-facebook-linkedin-and-twitter-web-app-sessions/.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

HDDScan – Freeware for Scanning for Bad Hard Drive Sectors and Predicting Drive Failure

"HDDScan is a freeware utility for hard drive diagnostics (RAID arrays, Flash USB and SSD drives are also supported). The program can test storage device for errors (Bad-blocks and bad sectors), show S.M.A.R.T. attributes and change some HDD parameters such as AAM, APM, etc.
HDDScan can be useful for performing the regular "health test" for your drive and predicting its degradation, so you will be able to prevent data loss and backup your files before you will have to contact the data recovery service.
Additionally, software can be used as the hard disk temperature monitor and reading/writing benchmark – performance graph is displayed for every test..."
Doesn't actually repair anything but diagnoses is the first step toward data recovery.

- Via Technibble - where there is a nice review.

How to Geek Article - Although You Apparently Can't Recover Deleted Files from SSD Drives, You Can from Memory Sticks

"It’s common wisdom that deleted files can’t be recovered from solid-state media, only from traditional mechanical hard drives. But this only applies to internal drives — USB flash drives and external solid-state drives are vulnerable to file-recovery attacks.
On the one hand, this can be good news — you can recover files you accidentally deleted from such drives. On the other hand, other people can recover your sensitive deleted data if they get access to these drives."
I've sort of known this for a long time since there is a lot of freeware which will recover images from camera memory. I never really put two and two together that files deleted from SSD drives are unrecoverable.

Updates to Sites That Hadn't Reported to CNET About Heartbleed Vulnerability When the April 9th Article Was Written

Here finally are my updates regarding the sites that hadn't reported to CNET when the article was written back on the 9th and possibly updated more recently: 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Last Post for Awhile May Be On Heartbleed - My Recommendation is to Cancel Credit Cards You Used on the Internet in the Past

Just to make my self much more likely to be immune, I have canceled my two credit/debit cards that I used for transactions on the Internet and requested new numbers. My suggestion is for you to do the same. You might also change the payment type that you use for major accounts like Amazon, to one where they debit your bank account directly.

I have noticed recently that many companies are notifying me that they are erasing my credit card information when I request to reset my password. THat is a great step forward in security. If there is a subsequent Heartbleed breakin, your card number then will no longer be vulnerable. However if there was a break-in before the reset request, you may still be in a pickle.

These Sites Reported by CNET as Being Possibly Vulnerable So Do Not Change Password Yet or Do It Twice, Now and Later


CNET may not have updated their list in a few days which is shame on them if so. However these three sites among the top 100 sites as ranked by alexa.com, do not pass a Heartbleed Server test or it is unclear, as in Huffington Post's case, whether they pass the server test or not. They are or possibly were vulnerable. You should not change your passwords on them now or if you do, check with them in a few days and change the password again.
  • Daily Mail - [Update https://lastpass.com/heartbleed/ reports HuffPost was last vulnerable 5 days ago. You should change the passwords now].
  • Drudge Report - [Reports it's unable to tell about whether the site is vulnerable as the site does not use https.]
  • Huffington Post - [Update https://lastpass.com/heartbleed/ reports HuffPost was last vulnerable 5 days ago.  You should change the passwords now].

These Sites Apparently Have Not Yet Reported to CNET Whether or not They are Patched but Server Test Show They May Not Be


These sites have apparently not reported whether or not they have patched themselves but server tests show they are probably not vulnerable. However it may be prudent to wait a few days before changing passwords just to be sure. Another strategy is to change the passwords now, because they may have been vulnerable before, then come back later and re-change the ones on this list when CNET reports the sites have checked in with an official all clear. Personally I recommend canceling any credit cards and requesting new numbers for any cards that you use on the internet. That's what I did. I also changed my passwords for these sites as well.
  • Adobe
  • Amazon Web Services
  • AOL
  • AT&T
  • Best Buy
  • Bleacher Report
  • BuzzFeed
  • Comcast
  • Conduit
  • Craigslist
  • Home Depot
  • Imgur
  • Indeed
  • Intuit
  • NBC News
  • NYTimes
  • Publishers Clearing House
  • The Pirate Bay
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • TMZ
  • Wordpress
  • xHamster

CNET Reports These Sites Were Never Vulnerable - No Action is Needed


CNET Lists these sites as reporting they never were vulnerable. No action is needed.
  • About
  • Amazon
  • Answers
  • Apple
  • Ask
  • AWeber
  • Bank of America
  • Capital One
  • CBSSports
  • Chase
  • Classmates
  • CNET
  • CNN
  • Constant Contact
  • Dillard's
  • eBay
  • FedEx
  • Forbes
  • Fox News
  • Groupon
  • HootSuite
  • Hulu
  • IMDb
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • ManageWP
  • Microsoft
  • MSN
  • MyPoints
  • NetZero
  • Orbitz
  • Pandora
  • PayPal
  • PayScale
  • PornHub
  • Reference.com
  • Salesforce
  • Target
  • TripAdvisor
  • Trulia
  • Twitter
  • UPS
  • USA Today
  • Walmart
  • Wells Fargo
  • wikiHow
  • Zedo
  • Zillow

List of Formerly Vulnerable Sites That Are Now Patched From the Heartbleed Bug According to CNET


CNET Lists these sites as formerly vulnerable and now patched. They recommend you change your passwords on your accounts in them now:
  • Bing
  • Blogger
  • Blogspot
  • Dropbox
  • Espn.go.com
  • Etsy
  • Facebook
  • Feedbin
  • Flickr
  • GetPocket
  • GoDaddy
  • Google
  • Googleusercontent.com
  • Instagram
  • LiveJasmin
  • Netflix
  • OKCupid
  • Outbrain
  • Pinboard
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • Stack Overflow
  • Tumblr
  • USPS
  • Vimeo
  • Washington Post
  • Weather.com
  • Wikia
  • Wikipedia
  • XVideos
  • Yahoo!
  • Yelp
  • YouTube

Heartbleed Chrome Extension - Free - May not Work That Well, but Maybe Worth Trying

"Displays a warning if the site you are browsing is affected by the Heartbleed bug. Also displays warnings on Google search results
NEW in version 2: the Heartbleed icon is added to Google search results where the site is still affected by the Heartbleed bug.
Many HTTPS-secured sites on the internet use OpenSSL. Unfortunately, a major vulnerability in OpenSSL was disclosed - known as the Heartbleed bug - yesterday that put hundreds of thousands of servers at risk of compromise.
Whilst some servers have been patched already, many remain that have not been patched. Chromebleed uses a web service developed by Filippo Valsorda and checks the URL of the page you have just loaded. If it is affected by Heartbleed, then a Chrome notification will be displayed. It's as simple as that!
Please note that, in some jurisdictions, site testing can only be carried out with the express permission of the site owner. Please check what the law says in your local area before proceeding to download this extension."
It has 4.0 stars and reading the review it may be OK but annoyingly pops up too many with warnings. There is a Firefox one too and another unrated Chrome extension. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cisco Password Decryptor - Freeware in Windows 8 App Store

If you have forgotten them Cisco Password Decryptor is a Windows 8 app which decrypts Cisco network passwords. It has a 3.4 star rating out of 5 in Windows 8 store.

Pixel Fixer - Freeware in Microsoft Windows 8 App Store - Fix Stuck Screen Pixels

Pixel Fixer - Click anywhere on screen to change the background color (red, green, blue, black and white) in order to identify the precise location of the pixel asleep, then drag the square from the center of the screen towards the area of the defective pixel and press it to start the flashing that will attempt to awake the pixel: it needs no more than 20 minutes to recover dead pixels, otherwise hardly be able to fix it.

Go into the Windows 8 App Store and search for "Pixel Fixer" or "recover". It gets 

CompuClever ITHMB Viewer - recovers photos stored in ITHMB format generated by iOS devices, including iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

Instantly view, print, convert, and share ITHMB files on your Windows PC. CompuClever ITHMB Viewer recovers photos stored in ITHMB format generated by iOS devices, including iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. With CompuClever ITHMB Viewer you can view ITHMB photos, convert them to popular JPEG or PNG file formats, and make beautiful photo prints. CompuClever ITHMB Viewer also supports BMP, GIF, JPEG, JPG, PNG, and TIFF image file formats. Plus, share your photos and images via Microsoft SkyDrive directly from CompuClever ITHMB Viewer.
  • Instantly open & view ITHMB photos generated by iOS products
  • Support BMP, GIF, JPEG, JPG, PNG and TIFF image formats
  • Zoom into photos using pinch-and-zoom
  • 1-Click toggle between Fit-Size and Fit-Page view
  • Rotate photos to left or right
  • Convert ITHMB photos to JPEG or PNG formats
  • Print ITHMB photos using pre-defined templates
  • Upload photos to Microsoft SkyDrive for sharing"
Looks good. Available as freeware in Windows 8 store where it gets 3 stars out of 5 so far. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Free as in Freeware - Only Today - Photo Recovery - Recover Photos Video or Music FIle - From Giveaway of the Day Only Today

"Lost your precious photos? No panic. Let uFlysoft Photo Recovery help you. It is a pretty simple-to-use photo recovery tool to recover lost, deleted or formatted photos, videos and music files from computer hard drive, external hard drive, USB drives, SD card, SDHC, MicroSD card, CF card, xD picture card, digital camera, and more storage devices.
The software supports all types of image, video and audio formats, such as, JPG, PNG, BMP, GIF, AVI, MP4, MOV, 3GP, MP3, WAV, etc."
The program gets a 73% thumbs up from users, so far, which is excellent for a recovery program. I installed it on my PC, which is a Windows 8.1 machine, but it kept crashing whenever I started it.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Kingsoft Office Suite Pro 2013 - Free as in Freeware Only Today from Giveaway of the Day

"Kingsoft Office Suite Pro 2013, composed of Writer, Spreadsheets and Presentation, provides users with effective and productive office experience . In a word, pro version not only satisfies daily need for document processing, but also meets professional demand from enterprises.
Moreover, you don’t need a powerful computer to run it, it takes up little RAM of your computer. There are more features for you to experience. Don’t hesitate to try Kingsoft Office Professional 2013.
What’s new:
built-in spell check for US/UK English.
multi-language dictionaries for spell check.
Note: This offer includes one year license!"
The idea here is to try to open your corrupt Word, Excel or PowerPoint file in this office suites corresponding program. This sometimes works. Other free alternatives are Libre and Open Office, Abiword, Softmaker Free Office Suite, Window's WordPad, and even Kingsoft has a free version of their office suite that works well. This is actually quite a sophisticated office suite. It gets 65% thumbs up from the Giveaway of the Day crowd, which is quite good. 

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Top Ten Reviews - 2014 Best RAID Recovery Reviews and Comparisons

"Secure Data Recovery can recover data from RAID arrays that have experienced everything from fires and floods to corrosion and accidental reformatting...provides continual customer service and openly shares its clean room certifications and testimonials on  its website."
Another in my series of links to commercial data recovery solution reviews. 

Top Ten Reviews Reviews the 10 Best Hard Drive Recovery Services

"No hard drive recovery service is 100-percent effective, but Secure Anywhere comes close with its average success rate of 96 percent. That statistic stems from the 50,000 successful cases of data recovery the service has performed in the past three years alone. Its high rate of successful recovery is largely because the service has its own research and development team and uses advanced, proprietary technology to restore data..."
I'm breaking the rules of this blog a bit, but you all might as well have easy access links to reviews of the best data recovery services and software. More of this to follow, but not a lot of them. 

Freeware from DataNumen for Recovering AutoCad DWG Files

"DataNumen DWG Recovery(DDWGR) is the best tool to repair and recover corrupt AutoCAD dwg files. It can scan the dwg files and recover your data in them as much as possible, so to minimize the loss in file corruption."
Apparently available permanently as freeware, not just for today. 

Hasleo Data Recovery FreeV3.2 - Free as in Freeware - Permanently from Hasleo Software

https://www.hasleo.com/win-data-recovery/free-data-recovery.html "Hasleo Data Recovery FreeV3.2 100% Free Data Recovery Software...