Tag Archives: disk

Advanced Uninstaller PRO Version 10.6 – Now Free For Everyone!

imageI’m a big fan of Revo Uninstaller but, I’ve had some problems getting it to behave in Windows 8 Consumer Preview. The screen shot below illustrates Revo attempting to round up surplus Registry entries following an uninstall – and, not succeeding (21,132 entries and still counting – uh, no).

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A robust uninstaller – one which thoroughly cleans out the Registry is a must have application for a software reviewer like myself – so, on the hunt I went for a free replacement. The timing couldn’t have been better since, as it turns out, Advanced Uninstaller PRO is now free.

Advanced Uninstaller PRO is no lightweight, and this latest release features full support for Windows 8 – both 32 bit and 64 bit platforms.

Advanced Uninstaller PRO includes additional handy tools (all in a conveniently laid out GUI), to help you clean your system, and keep it running at top speed – as shown in the following selected screen shots. Clicking on any screen shot will expand it to the original size.

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Uninstalling a selected application is a simple process as indicated.

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If you’re into controlling Windows services – you’ll find that it’s a breeze with the Windows Services module.

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The Installation Monitor module provides granular control over application installation.

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The Internet Browser Tools module includes a robust set of tools all neatly packaged for easy access.

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When you need help – it’s just a click away. Press the F1 key and an advanced help system is readily available – as shown in the following screen capture.

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Fast facts:

Uninstall programs quickly and completely, with full disk and registry clean-up to remove leftovers. Way better than the standard Windows uninstaller!

Installation monitor. Examine all the items an application has installed on your PC, and makes sure all of them were removed.

Startup Manager – manages all Windows startup areas. Fully control what gets started when you turn on your PC.

Windows Services – control the services (background processes) that are run by Windows.

Quick Cleaner – erase the web browsing history and the history traces of over 200 programs.

Start Menu Cleaner – fully clean-up your Start Menu, eliminate all the shortcuts that don’t work anymore.

Start Menu Items Manager – show and hide start menu items, sort them alphabetically, etc.

Font Manager – manage the fonts on your computer, disable or uninstall the fonts you don’t need.

Control Panel Manager – full control over the items in your Control Panel. Disable broken items, etc.

Duplicate Files – find and delete all your duplicate files, saving a lot of disk space!

Live File Compression – harness the powerful and safe file compression built into Windows. Compress rarely used files in such a way that you can still use them normally, but you save disk space.

File Shredder – completely overwrites and destroys the files you want to be destroyed, so nobody can recover them.

Windows Temporary Files – recover lots of disk space by finding and deleting garbage files.

Full web browser management of cookies, history, add-ons, extensions, plugins, temporary cache files for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome – up to date for the latest versions!

Registry Cleaner – to remove errors and to make Windows lighter.

Registry Optimizer – help Windows and the programs run faster by speeding up registry accesses.

Registry Backup and Restore – to avoid disaster where the Windows Registry gets hosed.

System requirements: XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8 (32 and 64 bit).

Download at: Download.com (this file does not contain the usual CNET wrapper).

If you’re looking for a freeware application that not only gets in there and cleans out the deep dirt, but offers a range of additional functionality, then Advanced Uninstaller PRO should definitely make your short list.

31 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, downloads, Freeware, Hard Drive Tools, Registry Cleaners, Software, Utilities

Delete Data Permanently With Free Free File Shredder 2

This article is a companion piece to – Staples Resells Storage Devices Without Wiping Customers’ Personal Information – published earlier today.

File Shredder 3Many of us now own, and use a paper file shredder to destroy documents, and personal and financial papers that we don’t want to fall into the hands of identity thieves, or anyone else not entitled to have access.

So now, consider those files on your computer that you’ve deleted, sent to the recycle bin, and then flushed as you emptied the recycle bin. When you go through this process the deleted files are gone forever, right?

Well if you’re a typical computer user, you quite likely do believe that they’re gone forever, since the deleted files can’t be seen in Windows Explorer. In fact, you can’t find these files anywhere on your Hard Drive.

It may surprise you to learn that not only can I find those files but I can recover them as well. Oh, it’s not because I’m a super- duper tech wizard – although I will say, with some modesty, that I am. LOL.

Here’s the lowdown: when a file is deleted from your Hard Drive, what really gets deleted is the system link pointing towards the file, but not the file itself. Surprisingly, it is relatively easy to retrieve the deleted file using specialized file recovery software (often available as a free download), which takes advantage of shortcomings in the Windows operating systems.

Let me give you an example. Recently, I agreed to rebuild 30+ computers (at no cost – my way of giving back), being donated to a local charity for distribution to less fortunate families.

While working on these machines I noticed immediately that although the Hard Drives had undergone file deletion, they had not been wiped. Since these machine had been donated by a government agency; that struck me as being negligent in the extreme.

In order to bring this situation to the attention of those who had committed this serious breach in security, I recovered a number of these files. Not unexpectedly, the recovered files did in fact did contain confidential information. In this case – confidential information on families on public assistance.

As part of the process, I saved the recovered files to disk and presented the disk to the appropriate authorities. Shock, surprise, embarrassment, were just some of the reactions. It’s easy to see from this example, that deleted files (or a good portion of a file) can easily be recovered.

In order to delete or shred files permanently, to protect your privacy and potentially your security, or for any other reason for that matter, you need a program such as File Shredder 2 that is capable of overwriting the file with a random series of binary data multiple times.

This process is often called shredding. That way, the actual content of the file has been overwritten and the possibilities of recovering such a shredded file becomes mainly theoretical.

File Shredder 2, is a simple but powerful program, with a straightforward interface, that many users judge to be better than some commercial file shredders. With File Shredder 2 you can remove files from your hard drive permanently, and feel confident that the file can’t be recovered.

File Shredder 4

Running the program allows you to choose between 5 different shredding algorithms, each one gradually stronger than the previous one. As well, it has an integrated Disk Wiper which uses a shredding algorithm to wipe unused disk space. I use this feature frequently, to clean up my drives (after running test applications), and to destroy any leftover fragments of previously deleted/uninstalled files.

If you’re looking for a great free file shredder application that does what it says it does, in an easy to understand manner, I highly recommend File Shredder 2.

System requirements: Windows 2000,  XP, Vista, Win 7.

Download at: Download.com

If you’re looking for a more robust portable application – checkout Disk Wipe.

Disk Wipe is a free, portable Windows application for permanent volume data destruction. With Disk Wipe you can erase all disk data and prevent recovery of that data.

Disk Wipe uses powerful algorithms which fill the volume with useless rubbish binary data, multiple times. The possibility of recovering information from drives formatted with Disk Wipe, is virtually non existent.

System requirements: Windows 2000,  XP, Vista, Win 7.

Download at: the developer’s site (Disk Wipe)

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

5 Comments

Filed under Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Hard Drive Tools, Portable Applications, Privacy, Secure File Deletion, Software, USB, Windows Tips and Tools

Bad CD or DVD? Recover the Data with Free CD Recovery Toolbox

image How many coasters do you have that started life as critical backup CD/DVD’s, or the CD/DVD’s that you entrusted to store a lifetime of photo memories? Well if you’re like most of us, you may have more than one.

As a long term file storage medium, CD/DVD’s are, in effect, all-purpose, durable and, generally inexpensive. The difficulty in relying on this storage medium however is; they aren’t always as reliable as we sometimes seem to think. Hint: Check your backups from time to time, to ensure they can still be read.

Recently, I experienced CD failure when testing a system using a special boot CD called, “The Ultimate Boot CD”, which ironically failed to boot despite the decisiveness of its name.

There I was stuck with an unreadable CD; but being the “geeky” kind of guy that I am, and having been through similar situations in the past, I’ve learned to double up on all my diagnostic tools. Later, I confirmed that the unreadable CD had not been burned correctly – the deadly “bad burn”. So you’re not alone in turning what you may consider to be, unusable/unreadable CD/DVD’s into expensive coasters.

But there is a solution that can help you to recover damaged data that you may have considered unrecoverable. Stepping into the picture is CD Recovery Toolbox (last updated May 12, 2010), a free CD/DVD file recovery tool.

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This small, free application was designed to recover damaged files on CD, DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-Ray disks. It can recover files that have been lost as a result of physical damage to the disk, (scratches, chips, and so on), or as a result of a bad or, inaccurate recording.

The program scans damaged CD and DVD disks and produces a listing of files and folders on the media, which it can recover. Be aware however, that depending on the degree of damage, there may be files that the application cannot recover.

cdrecovery_page03normal

In testing this product’s file recovery ability on a severely scratched and chipped disk, I’m happy to say, that it recovered 934 files out of a total of 936, that Windows could not read, and it did this in less than 2 minutes

Data recovery is generally a complex process, but even beginners will have an easy time with this application based on it’s step-by step wizard, which makes the use of the tool very simple and convenient.

Quick facts:

Recovers files/folders from CD and DVD’s

Recovers files larger than 4 GB

Detects lack of free space on the designated storage hard drive

System Requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista.

Download at: Download.com

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

11 Comments

Filed under CD/DVD Recovery Tools, CD/DVD Tools, downloads, Freeware, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Fix Disk Errors And More With Free Disk Heal

image So you’ve finally managed to get rid of that nasty piece of malware that’s been causing you all sorts of grief – your anti-malware application has come to the rescue.

But now you’re left with another problem; a problem which can be equally as aggravating.

We’ve all heard the horror stories where the user was left to deal with the following problems after successfully removing an infection.

Drive inaccessibility

Task Manager inaccessibility

Folder Options inaccessibility

Registry Editor inaccessibility

Scary stuff to be sure, but you don’t have to be a Techno Geek to deal with these types of problems. Even though, for the casual or new user, a manual solution may be outside their technical abilities, there is a great newbie tool which offers a free solution.

Disk Heal is a free Windows NT, 2000, XP and Vista utility that may be able to restore the condition of your Hard Drive, or a USB Flash Drive, after it has been being infected by a virus.

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Disk Heal is a great free tool that has a host of additional capabilities, including recovering hidden files and performing system tweaks, The simple interface makes it easy to access these additional functions, with with just one click.

Quick facts:

Fixes disk problems

Fixes task manager inaccessibility

Fixes folder options inaccessibility

Fixes registry editor inaccessibility

Recovers hidden files and folders

Changes the default icon of any drive, external, internal, or a partition

Security and system tweaks

As you’re building your toolbox of system utilities, this is a good application to add. None of us are immune to a virus infection, and at some point you’ll be glad you had this little tool ready to go.

System requirements: Windows NT, 2000, XP and Vista

Download at: Download.com

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

1 Comment

Filed under computer repair, Freeware, Hard Drive Problems, New Computer User Software Tools, Software, System Tweaks, System Utilities, USB, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

CD Recovery Toolbox – Recover Damaged CD/DVD Data

CD Recovery Toolbox, a free CD/DVD file recovery solution that can help you recover damaged data that you may have considered unrecoverable.

damaged_cd So how many coasters do you have that started life as critical backup CD/DVD’s, or the CD/DVD’s that you entrusted to store a lifetime of photo memories? Well if you’re like most of us, you may have more than one.

As a long term file storage medium, CD/DVD’s are, in effect, all-purpose, durable and, generally inexpensive. The difficulty in relying on this storage medium however is; they aren’t always as reliable as we sometimes seem to think.

Recently, I experienced CD failure when testing a system using a special boot CD called, “The Ultimate Boot CD”, which ironically failed to boot despite the decisiveness of its name.

There I was stuck with an unreadable CD; but being the “geeky” kind of guy that I am, and having been through similar situations in the past, I’ve learned to double up on all my diagnostic tools. Later, I confirmed that the unreadable CD had not been burned correctly – the deadly “bad burn”.

So you’re not alone in turning what you may consider to be, unusable/unreadable CD/DVD’s into expensive coasters. But there is a solution that can help you to recover damaged data that you may have considered unrecoverable. Stepping into the picture is CD Recovery Toolbox, a free CD/DVD file recovery tool.

cdrecovery_page03normal

This small, free application was designed to recover damaged files on CD, DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-Ray disks. It can recover files that have been lost as a result of physical damage to the disk, (scratches, chips, and so on), or as a result of a bad or inaccurate recording.

The program scans damaged CD and DVD disks and produces a listing of files and folders on the media, which it can recover. Be aware however, that depending on the degree of damage, there may be files that the application cannot recover.

In testing this product’s file recovery ability on a severely scratched and chipped disk, I’m happy to say that it recovered 934 files out of a total of 936, that Windows could not read, and it did this in less than 2 minutes

Data recovery is generally a complex process, but even beginners will have an easy time with this application based on it’s step-by step wizard, which makes the use of the tool very simple and convenient.

Quick facts:

Recovers files/folders from CD and DVD’s

Recovers files larger than 4 GB

Detects lack of free space on the designated storage hard drive

System Requirements: Windows 98/ME/2K/XP/2K3/Vista

Download at: Download.com

1 Comment

Filed under CD/DVD Recovery Tools, CD/DVD Tools, Free File Recovery Applications, Freeware, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Free File Shredder 2 – Delete Files Permanently!

Scissors Many of us now own, and use a paper file shredder to destroy documents, and personal and financial papers that we don’t want to fall into the hands of identity thieves, or anyone else not entitled to have access.

So now, consider those files on your computer that you’ve deleted, sent to the recycle bin, and then flushed as you emptied the recycle bin. When you go through this process the deleted files are gone forever, right?

Well if you’re a typical computer user, you quite likely do believe that they’re gone forever, since the deleted files can’t be seen in Windows Explorer. In fact, you can’t find these files anywhere on your Hard Drive.

It may surprise you to learn that not only can I find those files but I can recover them as well. Oh, it’s not because I’m a super- duper tech wizard – although I will say, with some modesty, that I am. LOL.

Here’s the lowdown: when a file is deleted from your Hard Drive, what really gets deleted is the system link pointing towards the file, but not the file itself. Surprisingly, it is relatively easy to retrieve the deleted file using specialized file recovery software (often available as a free download), which takes advantage of shortcomings in the Windows operating systems.

Let me give you an example. Recently, I agreed to rebuild 30+ computers (at no cost), being donated to a local charity for distribution to less fortunate families.

While working on these machines I noticed immediately that although the Hard Drives had undergone deletion, they had not been wiped. Since these machine had been donated by a government agency; that struck me as being negligent in the extreme.

In order to bring this situation to the attention of those who had committed this serious breach in security, I recovered a number of these files. Not unexpectedly, the recovered files did in fact did contain confidential information. In this case – confidential information on families on public assistance. As part of the process, I saved the recovered files to a floppy disk and presented the disk to the appropriate authorities. Shock, surprise, embarrassment, were just some of the reactions.

It’s easy to see from this example, that deleted files (or a good portion of a file) can easily be recovered.

File Shredder 3

In order to delete or shred files permanently, to protect your privacy and potentially your security, or for any other reason for that matter, you need a program such as File Shredder 2 that is capable of overwriting the file with a random series of binary data multiple times.

This process is often called shredding. That way, the actual content of the file has been overwritten and the possibilities of recovering such a shredded file becomes mainly theoretical.

File Shredder 2 (rated by CNET’s editors as a 5 Star utility), is a simple but powerful program, with a straightforward interface, that many users judge to be better than some commercial file shredders. With File Shredder 2 you can remove files from your hard drive permanently, and feel confident that the file can’t be recovered.

File Shredder 4

Running the program allows you to choose between 5 different shredding algorithms, each one gradually stronger than the previous one. As well, it has an integrated Disk Wiper which uses a shredding algorithm to wipe unused disk space. I use this feature frequently, to clean up my drives (after running test applications), and to destroy any leftover fragments of previously deleted/uninstalled files.

If you’re looking for a great free file shredder application that does what it says it does, in an easy to understand manner, I highly recommend File Shredder 2.

Operating System: Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista

Download at: Download.com

2 Comments

Filed under Computer Maintenance, Disk Cleaners, Freeware, Privacy, Secure File Deletion, Software, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Recover Damaged CD/DVD Data – Free CD Recovery Toolbox

damaged_cd So how many coasters do you have that started life as critical backup CD/DVD’s, or the CD/DVD’s that you entrusted to store a lifetime of photo memories? Well if you’re like most of us, you may have more than one.

As a long term file storage medium, CD/DVD’s are, in effect, all-purpose, durable and, generally inexpensive. The difficulty in relying on this storage medium however is; they aren’t always as reliable as we sometimes seem to think.

Recently, I experienced CD failure when testing a system using a special boot CD called, “The Ultimate Boot CD”, which ironically failed to boot despite the decisiveness of its name.

There I was stuck with an unreadable CD; but being the “geeky” kind of guy that I am, and having been through similar situations in the past, I’ve learned to double up on all my diagnostic tools. Later, I confirmed that the unreadable CD had not been burned correctly – the deadly “bad burn”.

So you’re not alone in turning what you may consider to be, unusable/unreadable CD/DVD’s into expensive coasters. But there is a solution that can help you to recover damaged data that you may have considered unrecoverable. Stepping into the picture is CD Recovery Toolbox, a free CD/DVD file recovery tool.

cdrecovery_page03normal

(Click pic for larger)

This small, free application was designed to recover damaged files on CD, DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-Ray disks. It can recover files that have been lost as a result of physical damage to the disk, (scratches, chips, and so on), or as a result of a bad or inaccurate recording.

The program scans damaged CD and DVD disks and produces a listing of files and folders on the media, which it can recover. Be aware however, that depending on the degree of damage, there may be files that the application cannot recover.

In testing this product’s file recovery ability on a severely scratched and chipped disk, I’m happy to say that it recovered 934 files out of a total of 936, that Windows could not read, and it did this in less than 2 minutes

Data recovery is generally a complex process, but even beginners will have an easy time with this application based on it’s step-by step wizard, which makes the use of the tool very simple and convenient.

I have read a number of unrealistic complaints from some users, who have noted this application is “slow” at recovery. Instead of being thankful that a free application such as this can in fact recover what would normally be unrecoverable, and perhaps irreplaceable data, they whine and complain. Here’s some advice for those users – give your head a shake, and learn to be thankful!

Quick facts:

Recovers files/folders from CD and DVD’s

Recovers files larger than 4 GB

Detects lack of free space on the designated storage hard drive

System Requirements: Windows 98/ME/2K/XP/2K3/Vista

Download at: Download.com

6 Comments

Filed under CD/DVD Recovery Tools, CD/DVD Tools, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools