Tag Archives: easy

Easily Recover Deleted Photos And More – Open Source TestDisk & PhotoRec

Summary: When it’s time to recover deleted files from an SD Card, Hard Drive, Flash Drive, etc., this powerful portable recovery application, (despite its command line type interface), makes deleted file recovery just about as simple as it gets.

In previous reviews, I’ve covered more than a few file recovery tools,  some of which have lived up to the developers’ claims – but, most have not. PhotoRec, part of the bundled package included in TestDisk – despite it’s name – is capable of recovering 390 types of files, according to the developer.

In the following review, I’ll describe how easy it was to recover deleted photos from my camera’s SD Card and, deleted music files from my iPod. As you’ll see, this application is not wizard driven – but, despite that, it’s still very easy to use.

First up was a recovery attempt on a camera.

On launching the application, the connected camera was immediately identified.

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Selecting the drive was a simple matter of cursoring down, and pressing the Enter key.

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In just a few minutes (under 3 minutes), PhotoRec identified and recovered 121* previously deleted photos.

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* Much to my surprise, the application actually recovered 241 previously deleted photos. I’m not complaining.   Smile   All recovered files were saved to the recovery directory (a sub-directory of the directory the application is running from) – as shown below.

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Here’s a recovered shot (August 2012), of my BlackBerry Playbook in its Bluetooth keyboard case. As an aside – Tablets are super duper consumption devices – but, for real work, a physical keyboard is a must for me.

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Next up – music file recovery from my iPod.

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In just a few moments (less than a minute), PhotoRec identified and recovered *105 previously deleted tunes.

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* The application actually recovered 106 previously deleted tunes.

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But, can they be played? You bet!

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Fast facts:

Fix partition table, recover deleted partition.

Recover FAT32 boot sector from its backup.

Rebuild FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 boot sector.

Fix FAT tables.

Rebuild NTFS boot sector.

Recover NTFS boot sector from its backup.

Fix MFT using MFT mirror.

Locate ext2/ext3/ext4 Backup SuperBlock .

Undelete files from FAT, exFAT, NTFS and ext2 filesystem.

Copy files from deleted FAT, exFAT, NTFS and ext2/ext3/ext4 partitions.

System requirements: Windows (NT4, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, Windows 7 (x86 & x64), Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, SunOS and MacOS X. (Reviewed on Win 8 x32)

Download at: Cgsecurity.org

You may only need this application a time or two – but, wouldn’t it be nice to have it sitting in your USB toolbox when you do? The answer is – YES.   Smile

5 Comments

Filed under downloads, File Recovery Software, Freeware, Open Source, Windows

Free PhotoRec – Easily Recover Deleted Photos And More

Yesterday, I posted an article on BootMed, a Ubuntu Linux driven set of recovery tools which is a worthwhile addition to any techie’s toolbox. One of the recovery tools packaged with this free Live CD is TestDisk – which includes the file recovery application PhotoRec.

In previous reviews, I’ve covered more than a few file recovery tools,  some of which have lived up to the developers’ claims – but, most have not. PhotoRec, on the other hand, (despites its name, it’s capable of recovering 390 types of files according to the developer), performed far outside my expectations.

In the following review, I’ll describe how easy it was to recover deleted photos from my camera’s SD Card and, deleted music files from my iPod. As you’ll see, this application is not wizard driven – but, despite that, it’s still very easy to use.

First up was a recovery attempt on an iPod.

On launching the application, the connected iPod was immediately identified.

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Selecting the drive was a simple matter of cursoring down, and pressing the Enter key.

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In just a few moments PhotoRec identified and recovered 13 previously deleted music files.

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All recovered files were saved to the recovery directory – as shown below.

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Each and every recovered music file was playable – as shown in the following screen capture.

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Next up – photo file recovery from my camera’s SD card.

In the following screen capture, I’ve illustrated the files Windows Explorer  identified on the SD card prior to the recovery operation.

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Again, after launching PhotoRec, the application correctly identified the attached device.

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The application “did its thing” and recovered 86 previously deleted pics.

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The following screen captures shows not only the photos that were recovered, but a number of recovered sound files and text files as well. I’ve highlighted one recovered photo file for illustrative purposes.

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The recovered photo (selected in the above screen capture), is shown below opened in IrfanView. As you can see from the Image properties box, all of the file properties have been recovered intact.

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System requirements: Windows 98 and later, Mac OS X, Linux (2.4 /2.6 kernel)

Download at: Cgsecurity.org

TestDisk – which includes PhotoRec – is in fact, a portable application and, does not require installation. Simply unzip the file and you’re good to go.

When it’s time to recover deleted files from an SD Card, Hard Drive, Flash Drive, etc., this powerful recovery application, (despite its command line interface), makes deleted file recovery just about as simple as it gets. It may even be suitable for those users who might not qualify as “expert”.

2 Comments

Filed under Computer Tools, downloads, File Recovery Software, Freeware

Download and Install Selected Software in One Pass with Free Ninite

image Microsoft has pulled the plug on Windows 7 RC and the result is, systems running Windows 7 RC now shut down every two hours. Not a problem really, (or it shouldn’t be), since Beta testers were aware this was coming.

Since I had been running Win 7 RC on a test platform though, this revolving two hour shutdown was a bit of a pain – I won’t say where. This particular machine is never turned off; it’s always running an application, of one type or another. The last re-boot on this machine was 6+ months ago.

So Win 7 RC had to go and the solution, in this case, was to make a clean install of my old standby OS – XP Pro, which was both easy and fast. Having done that, then came crunch time – a long boring reinstall of all the applications I’m use to running on that machine. But, there’s always a solution to even the most annoying problems with technology. In this case the solution lay with a small free on line application – Ninite.

Ninite 1

I simply navigated to the Ninite site, chose the applications I wanted to install (CD Burner XP, IrfanView, Opera 10.5, WinAmp Lite), from a menu of applications, clicked “Get Installer”, and since Ninite installs the latest version of each application with default settings (no annoying browser toolbars), I was good to go.

Note: The graphic shown above, represents only a small portion of available application.

Ninite 2

The process is simple and highly intuitive as the following graphics illustrate.

Ninite 5

Ninite 3

You can see from this graphic that the executable downloaded properly into my download folder.

Ninite 6

Running the install application is a very familiar step – no learning process involved here!

Ninite 7

After the install application had finished, clicking on “show details” confirmed that the individual applications had installed correctly

Ninite 8

To give you an idea of the time savings involved here; from the time I clicked on to the Ninite site, chose the applications I needed, through to the completed individual application install process – less than 6 minutes had elapsed. To tell you the truth, I found the whole experience “jaw dropping”.

I’m generally not at a loss for words, but this experience left me absolutely dumfounded. What a fabulous application! As one geek was quoted as saying, “it’s so simple even Grandma can pull it off”. I’m in total agreement.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 (x64 support).

Go to: Ninite site

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9 Comments

Filed under downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Productivity Software, Software, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Create Your Own Web Site With Free Serif WebPlus 6

Serif Box WebPlus 6_ As I’ve mentioned before on this site, SerifSoftware has an unusual way to get you to try, buy, or upgrade, to their latest software offerings. They will give you, free of charge, an older version of any of their software packages. An interesting twist on the usual “try it for free for 30 days” we are all pretty familiar with.

I have used, and tested, Serif’s free editions for 10+ years now, and I have found that even their older software is more than up to the tasks I set.

Sure, the applications may be older than the current versions, but in terms of functionality and features, generally you are not missing much. Much of today’s software tends to be overblown and bloated with features that many users have little or no need of. So, in these older free versions there are not as many tools as one might find with more recent versions of Serif’s products, but those that are there tend to be the ones that are most used by typical users.

Despite the slightly dated appearance of Serif’s WebPlus 6, this is not an “old” program that’s been revived just for give-away. WebPlus 6 is still a very functional and easy-to-use tool that will output a unique custom designed website to promote your club, hobby or business, or to put your favorite family/holiday photos online.

This application doesn’t profess to match Microsoft’s FrontPage or Adobe’s DreamWeaver in functionality; or for that matter, the price you would have to pay to purchase either of these top of the line web development tools. After all, Serif WebPlus 6 is FREE!

So what can you expect from an application that’s an older version of a current application. Well surprisingly, for novice users, Serif WebPlus 6’s easy controls, simple step-by-step wizards and colorful templates are a quick and easy route to creating fun and attractive websites.

With its easy to use Desktop Publishing style interface, automated Web Site templates, visual web page creator, wizards, drag ‘n drop functionality, WYSIWYG editing, and comprehensive help, you can create your own home page on the web in minutes. Best of all, you can do this without having to have had previous experience.

serifwebplus6screen2

Quick facts:

Website Templates

Choose from professionally-designed site schemes, provide some basic information, and then customize to suit your needs. The Layout Checker helps you fine-tune your design for most efficient web use. Then preview your site in your own web browser and publish it to the web.

Easy Editing and Special Effects

With WebPlus, it’s easy to import your own text and graphics to replace the samples in the web site templates. You’ll find integrated word processing tools, plus tools for creating text hyperlinks and hotspot graphics. The Snapping feature and Dot Grid help you achieve a crisp layout. Everything’s wrapped into a friendly desktop publishing environment with onscreen tool tips, hint line, and context-sensitive help!

Logo/Graphic Module

Produce attention-grabbing headlines, unique text effects, and powerful logos instantly using LogoPlus.

Animated Marquee Wizard

Custom-design your own varied and colorful multi-line text messages that scroll across the screen.

Spell-Checking and Thesaurus

Enhance your proofreading potential and ensure your site’s readability with these built-in support tools.

Direct Import of Digital Images

Now you can include images from your digital camera or photos and art work from your scanner, adding sophistication to your pages.

Color Schemes

By using the convenient pre-sets, or by customizing your own intelligent colors, add continuity or dramatically change the appearance of your Web publication with a single mouse click.

Studio Bar

Help your design break out of boring box formats. For a suave designer or fun and funky look take advantage of dozens of new graphic shapes.

Multiple Document Interface

Work on more than one web page at a time, even drag & drop items between them as you work.

System Requirements: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP

Download at: FreeSerifSoftware

5 Comments

Filed under Freeware, Interconnectivity, Multimedia Tools, Productivity Software, Software, Web Development, Windows Tips and Tools

Desktop Publishing Free – SerifSoft PagePlus SE

Interested in producing a family newsletter, a business newsletter, a company newsletter or an employee newsletter? Want to produce a clean, bright design that will enhance your newsletter’s message? Want to do it for FREE?

Well, if you answered “yes” to any of these questions; now you can.

SerifSoftware entices you in an unusual way to buy, or upgrade, to their latest software offerings. They will give you, free of charge, an older version of any of their software packages. An interesting twist on the usual “try it for free for 30 days”, we are all pretty familiar with.

Having used and tested, Serif’s free editions for 10+ years now, I find that even their older software is more than up to the tasks I set.

Sure, the applications may be older than the current versions, but in terms of functionality and features, generally you are not missing much. Most software today, tends to be overblown and bloated with features that many users have little or no need of. In these older free versions there are not as many tools as one might find with more recent products, but those that are there tend to be the ones that are most used by typical users.

PagePlus SE from Serif comes complete with Automated Templates for just about any Desktop Publishing project, making it easy to get professional quality results. If you’re comfortable using a word processor, then you’ll be comfortable with this application.

This neat little Desktop Publishing application includes a range of preset document layouts, automated templates, great color schemes and artistic effects, which will allow you to produce professional looking results.

I found the graphical user interface very intuitive and that combined with even basic word processing skills, makes the learning curve extremely short.

I have used Microsoft Publisher extensively in the past, and I found this application an acceptable substitute for all but the most complex tasks. Give it a try.

Quick Facts:

Multiple Document Types – wide range of preset document layouts to help you design professional-looking documents

Table Tool – stylish, high-impact tables

QuickShapes – array of fully customizable QuickShapes

Artistic Text – designer text with transparency effects, bitmap fills and graduated colors

Design Studio – drag ‘n’ drop access with fills, fonts, and line

Color Schemes – choose from a range of color schemes

Multiple Master Pages – multiple master pages – varied page styles – apply master pages to different sections of your publications

Automated Templates – free downloadable ready-made template packs

Graphics Inline With Text – graphics stay with their associated words

Page Manager – add, copy and delete pages or assign new master pages

On-Screen Spell Checker – automatic underlining of misspelled words.

Download at: FreeSerifSoftware

A real bonus offered by the software’s publisher is an additional 500+ templates and designs which can be downloaded at FreeSerifSoftware.

As well, you can join in discussions, share ideas and obtain support at the application’s support forum.

1 Comment

Filed under DeskTop Publishing, Free Full Versions, Freeware, Multimedia Tools, Productivity Software, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Free Serif WebPlus SE Web Design Software – New User Friendly

If you’re looking to create that first web site using a WYSIWYG visual web page creator and you want to do it for free, then this free application from SerifSoftware will fill the bill admirably.

With this free package you can turn out an attractive and effective web site without the need for any complex HTML or other programming skills.

Despite the slightly dated appearance of Serif’s WebPlus SE, this is not an ‘old’ program that’s been revived just for give-away. WebPlus SE is still a very functional and easy-to-use tool that will allow you to output a unique custom designed website.

This application doesn’t profess to match Microsoft’s FrontPage or Adobe’s Dreamweaver in functionality; or for that matter, the price you would have to pay to purchase either of these top of the line web development tools. After all Serif WebPlus SE is FREE!

Serif’s objective in releasing older versions of their current programs at no cost is to hopefully convince at least some users to upgrade to current versions of their popular software. An interesting twist on the usual “try it for free for 30 days” we are all pretty familiar with.

Sure, the applications may be older than the current versions, but in terms of functionality and features, generally you are not missing much. In these older free versions there are not as many tools as one might find with more recent versions of Serif’s products, but those that are there, tend to be the ones that are most used by typical users.

So what can you expect from an application that’s an older version of a current application? Well surprisingly, for novice users, Serif WebPlus SE’s easy controls, simple step-by-step wizards and colorful templates are a quick and easy way to create a fun and attractive website.

With its easy to use Desktop Publishing style interface, automated Web Site templates, visual web page creator, wizards, drag ‘n drop functionality, WYSIWYG editing, and comprehensive help, you can create your own home page on the web in minutes. Best of all, you can do this without having to have had previous experience.

One caveat: If you’re an advanced user, this application is not for you since you’ll find its limitations too restrictive for your needs.

Quick facts:

Website Templates – Choose from professionally-designed site schemes, provide some basic information, and then customize to suit your needs. The Layout Checker helps you fine-tune your design for most efficient web use. Then preview your site in your own web browser and publish it to the web.

Easy Editing and Special Effects – With WebPlus, it’s easy to import your own text and graphics to replace the samples in the web site templates. You’ll find integrated word processing tools, plus tools for creating text hyperlinks and hotspot graphics. The Snapping feature and Dot Grid help you achieve a crisp layout. Everything’s wrapped into a friendly desktop publishing environment with onscreen tool tips, hint line, and context-sensitive help!

Logo/Graphic Module – Produce attention-grabbing headlines, unique text effects, and powerful logos instantly using LogoPlus.

Animated Marquee Wizard – Custom-design your own varied and colorful multi-line text messages that scroll across the screen.

Spell-Checking and Thesaurus – Enhance your proofreading potential and ensure your site’s readability with these built-in support tools.

Direct Import of Digital Images – Now you can include images from your digital camera or photos and art work from your scanner, adding sophistication to your pages.

Color Schemes – by using the convenient pre-sets or by customizing your own intelligent colors, add continuity or dramatically change the appearance of your Web publication with a single mouse click.

Studio Bar – Help your design break out of boring box formats. For a suave designer or fun and funky look take advantage of dozens of new graphic shapes.

Multiple Document Interface – Work on more than one web page at a time, even drag & drop items between them as you work.

Download at: FreeSerifSoftware

6 Comments

Filed under Free Full Versions, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Multimedia Tools, Productivity Software, Software, Uncategorized, Web Development, Windows Tips and Tools

Free Desktop Publishing! – PagePlus SE from SerifSoftware

Have you always wanted to give Desktop Publishing a try but you found the cost of a high end program prohibitive? Interested in producing a business newsletter, company newsletter or an employee newsletter? Want to produce a clean, bright design that will enhance your newsletter’s message?

Well if you answered “yes” to any of these questions; now you can do it for free.

SerifSoftware entices you in an unusual way to buy, or upgrade, to their latest software offerings. They will give you, free of charge, an older version of any of their software packages. An interesting twist on the usual “try it for free for 30 days”, we are all pretty familiar with.

Having used and tested, Serif’s free editions for 10+ years now, I find that even their older software is more than up to the tasks I set.

Sure, the applications may be older than the current versions, but in terms of functionality and features, generally you are not missing much. Most software today, tends to be overblown and bloated with features that many users have little or no need of. In these older free versions there are not as many tools as one might find with more recent products, but those that are there tend to be the ones that are most used by typical users.

PagePlus SE from Serif comes complete with Automated Templates for just about any Desktop Publishing project, making it easy to get professional quality results. If you’re comfortable using a word processor, then you’ll be comfortable with this application.

This neat little Desktop Publishing application includes a range of preset document layouts, automated templates, great color schemes and artistic effects, which will allow you to produce professional looking results.

I found the graphical user interface very intuitive and that combined with even basic word processing skills, makes the learning curve extremely short.

I have used Microsoft Publisher extensively in the past, and I found this application an acceptable substitute for all but the most complex tasks. Give it a try.

Quick Facts:

  • Multiple Document Types – wide range of preset document layouts to help you design professional-looking documents
  • Table Tool – stylish, high-impact tables
  • QuickShapes – array of fully customizable QuickShapes
  • Artistic Text – designer text with transparency effects, bitmap fills and graduated colors
  • Design Studio – drag ‘n’ drop access with fills, fonts, and line
  • Color Schemes – choose from a range of color schemes
  • Multiple Master Pages – multiple master pages – varied page styles – apply master pages to different sections of your publications
  • Automated Templates – free downloadable ready-made template packs
  • Graphics Inline With Text – graphics stay with their associated words
  • Page Manager – add, copy and delete pages or assign new master pages
  • On-Screen Spell Checker – automatic underlining of misspelled words.

Download at: FreeSerifSoftware

A real bonus offered by the software’s publisher is an additional 500+ templates and designs which can be downloaded at FreeSerifSoftware.

As well, you can join in discussions, share ideas and obtain support at the application’s support forum.

7 Comments

Filed under DeskTop Publishing, Free Full Versions, Freeware, Multimedia Tools, Productivity Software, Software, Uncategorized, Windows Tips and Tools