Tag Archives: flash drive

FlashToMyPC – Access Your PC Remotely

Carrying computer files with you while you’re on the go is a breeze – USB devices, for example, are perfect for the job. File portability doesn’t stop there though. With a little planning, you can access your files through a Cloud based storage solution – SkyDrive, DropBox, Box.net – readily come to mind.

Here’s the kicker though – both of the above require that you plan ahead so that the required files are stored either on the USB device, or resident in the Cloud. Despite this plan ahead strategy, you may still run into one of those “uh, oh” moments. Robert Burns hit the nail on the head when he wrote (pardon the misquote) – “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray”.

If the file/s you need – then and there – are not on your USB device, or stored on a Cloud server, you’re probably looking at one of those “uh, oh” moments. Luckily, there are solutions to those almost inevitable – what am I going to do now times – that we’ve all experienced.

FlashToMyPC, developed by the folks at GigaTribe, which utilizes a good deal of the latter product’s technology, is a USB application which will allow you to access your entire hard drive from any Internet connected computer.

Here’s the lowdown:

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Graphic courtesy of FlashToMyPC. Click on graphic to expand to original size.

Step by Step installation

Select the USB device to which you will install the application.

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Once I had installed the application I took a quick look, using Windows Explorer, to ensure the executable installed correctly. Click on graphic to expand to original size.

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Launching the executable (from the USB device), will bring up the following screen so that the second part of the install can be completed ……

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the installation of FlashToMyPC on the selected machine.

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Setup continues with the usual user name and password input requirements.

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That’s it!

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From now on, just insert your Flash drive into an Internet connected machine to access your own Hard Drive.

For the security conscious user (and, who isn’t theses days), the developer has built-in a number of hardcore security features, including

Only your USB Flash Drive can access your computer.

Your Flash drive is identified via a unique combination of hardware ID, software ID, username and password.

All data exchanged between your flash drive and your computer is encrypted (AES 256).

Transferred files are downloaded directly onto your USB Flash Drive, leaving no trace on the computer.

After 3 failed password attempts, your computer access is suspended for 24 hours.

If you’ve lost your USB flash drive, you can delete your computer’s access to it.

Deleting a Flash drive’s access link is easy.

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System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7. According to the developer a Mac version

FlashToMyPC is not freeware but, you can download a 30 day free trial at the developer’s site. You may continue past the trial date, at an annual fee of $9.95 USD.

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6 Comments

Filed under Cloud Computing, Connected Devices, downloads, Encryption, File Sharing, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Networking, Portable Applications, Software, Software Trial Versions, USB, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Lock Your Computer’s Folders With Free BuduLock

imageIf you’re on the hunt for a free privacy application designed to password protect folders on your drives, including USB drives, then you’ll be interested in BuduLock.

As a bonus, BuduLock will protect your PC from unauthorized USB flash drive access by implementing password protection – password protection which effectively disables USB operations on your system. Considering that malware infection by Flash Drives, is the second leading cause of system infection ….

This small application is driven by a self explanatory tabbed interface, which even less experienced users will find easy to follow. Simply choose the folder to be locked – enter a password – and you’re done.

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Browsing to the selected folder in Windows Explorer reveals that the folder has been successfully locked, as indicated by the “lock” icon – shown in the following screen capture.

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Unlocking the folder is the process in reverse. Launch the application – highlight the selected folder – enter your password – done.

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Flash Drive Blocker:

When you disable the USB port, unauthorized users (those without the password), will be denied access.

Flash Drive Blocker Requirements:

UAC setting (User Account Control) feature must be disabled to use this feature. (Go to Control Panel > User Account > Turn UAC On or Off)

No password is required during the initial setup – (blank password). To setup and change your password, go to “Change Password”.

BuduLock will only disable the USB port for flash drive for that particular computer. It does not disable your flash drive.

System requirements: Windows Vista, Win 7.

Download at: Developer’s site.

The application is slightly more cumbersome to use than it needs to be – no access is available by way of the context menu. The addition of context menu access to the lock/unlock function is an improvement the developer should consider.

Other than this convenience issue, I found BuduLock very easy to use and perfect for locking folders on shared machines.

Last in a series:

Additional articles in this series on encryption and privacy:

Free AxCrypt – Encrypt, Compress, Decrypt in Windows Explorer

TrueCrypt – Free Encryption To The Max

EncryptOnClick – Encrypt and Decrypt Files and Folders With A Few Clicks

Free Secret Disk – Keep Your Secret Computer Files “Secret”

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 Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Encryption Software Alternatives, flash drive, Freeware, Privacy, Software, USB, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

EncryptOnClick – Encrypt and Decrypt Files and Folders With A Few Clicks

The article I posted a few days ago – Free Secret Disk – Keep Your Secret Computer Files “Secret”, led to a more than a few reader questions on additional free encryption applications.

So, I’ve retested the updated versions of a number of free encryption applications I’ve recommended in the past few years, and I’ll post on these in the coming days – starting today with EncryptOnClick

EncryptOnClick ( last updated March 08, 2011), is a free program that lets you securely encrypt and decrypt files/folders. The program is very simple to use, and features military grade 256-bit AES encryption.

After you have launched the application, simply select the target file/folder you want to encrypt.

Following the easy interface, type a password for that file/folder which will then be encrypted. To open the encrypted file/folder at a later date, you must type the correct password.

In the following example I’ve chosen to encrypt a folder by clicking on the Folder button…

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which prompted me to browse and select the target folder.

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The application took approximately one minute to encrypt this 220 MB folder and its sub folders.

In the following graphic you can see that the file I’ve highlighted, within the encrypted folder, can only be accessed through EncryptOnClick.

Click on graphic to expand to original size.

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Decrypting the selected folder is just as simple and straightforward.

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In the following graphic  you can see that the file I’ve highlighted within the folder (following  decrypting), can now be accessed normally.

Click on graphic to expand to original size.

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Fast facts:

A very secure encryption and decryption method is used (256-bit AES encryption)

Files are both compressed & encrypted, which results in a smaller file

Password protected

Will encrypt single files or all files in a folder

Very simple to use interface

Can be used on a USB key

Fully Unicode enabled so filenames in any language can be encrypted

Will encrypt, decrypt, compress, and uncompress files which can also be opened and decrypted using third party programs like WinZip 9 – provided the correct password is used

Will detect if you’re decrypting a file that is in a temporary folder, and if so, will prompt you to see if you would like to decrypt it into a different folder

Command line parameters can be used

Complete help file

Tip: Run on a Flash Drive by copying the files EncryptOnClick.exe, EncryptOnClick.exe manifest, ExceedZip.dll to a named folder on the Flash Drive.

System Requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 and NT.

Download at: Download.com

Tomorrow: Free Encrypt Stick reviewed.

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7 Comments

Filed under Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Encryption, Encryption Software, Freeware, Privacy, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Fix Up To 50 Windows 7, And Vista Problems, With Free FixWin

image You just have to love Windows as an operating system – it makes it so easy to DO so many things. Often however, Windows does not make it easy to UNDO, or “fix” things. It’s not uncommon that attempting to undo things, does nothing more than create additional problems.

If you are familiar with working with Registry entries, you can fix virtually anything, but…..

So, if you’ve been looking for an easy way to fix issues such as, Win Explorer not starting at boot up, CD drive or DVD drive is missing or not being recognized by Windows, or other programs, or the Device Manager is not functioning correctly (not as uncommon as you might think), then the recently released FixWin freeware application, could be the perfect solution.

It’s important to note however, FixWin does NOT scan for problems. YOU, have to recognize that you have the problem – the application will then correct the problem, provided of course it is one of the 50 very common problems the application is designed to deal with.

The FixWin interface consists of 5 easy to work with tabs:

Windows Explorer

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Internet & Connectivity

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Windows Media

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System Tools

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Misc. Additional Fixes

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How to use this application (from the developers):

We first suggest that you run the System File Checker Utility. The button provided on the Welcome page, will ‘run sfc /scannow‘ and will check for and replace any corrupted Windows system files. It is expected to take anywhere from 5-10 minutes. If asked to, do reboot.

Next we insist that you create a System Restore Point. The provided button will create one, called Safe Point. We always recommend that you create one before making any changes to your system. Should you wish or need too, you can always go back to this Safe Point.

Having done that, apply at most one fix at a time and restart your computer. Please check if things are to your satisfaction; and if not, you have the option of restoring back immediately.

Since this application does not require installation, it’s a perfect portable application to carry on your “tech tools” flash drive, for the times you get those inevitable calls from family, or friends – “Uh, I don’t know what I did, but….”

System requirements: Windows 7, Vista, (32-bit and 64-bit)

Download at: The Windows Club

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.

1 Comment

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Maintenance, Computer Tools, downloads, Freeware, Portable Applications, Software, USB, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Vista

Password Protect Folders (And More) With Free BuduLock

imageIf you’re on the hunt for a free security application designed to password protect folders on your drives, including USB drives, then you’ll be interested in BuduLock.

As a bonus, BuduLock will protect your PC from unauthorized USB flash drive access by implementing password protection – password protection which effectively disables USB operations on your system. Considering that malware infection by Flash Drives, is the second leading cause of system infection ….

This small application is driven by a self explanatory tabbed interface, which even less experienced users will find easy to follow. Simply choose the folder to be locked – enter a password – and you’re done.

image

Browsing to the selected folder in Windows Explorer reveals that the folder has been successfully locked, as indicated by the “lock” icon – shown in the following screen capture.

image

Unlocking the folder is the process in reverse. Launch the application – highlight the selected folder – enter your password – done.

image

Flash Drive Blocker:

When you disable the USB port, unauthorized users (those without the password), will be denied access.

Requirements:

UAC setting (User Account Control) feature must be disabled to use this feature. (Go to Control Panel > User Account > Turn UAC On or Off)

No password is required during the initial setup – (blank password). To setup and change your password, go to “Change Password”.

BuduLock will only disable the USB port for flash drive for that particular computer. It does not disable your flash drive.

Personal note:

Disabling UAC, under any circumstances, is not something I would recommend. Based on this, I have not tested the Flash Drive Block feature.

System requirements: Windows Vista, Win 7.

Download at: Developer’s site.

The application is slightly more cumbersome to use than it needs to be – no access is available by way of the context menu. The addition of context menu access to the lock/unlock function is an improvement the developer should consider.

Other than this convenience issue, I found BuduLock very easy to use and perfect for locking folders on shared machines.

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.

3 Comments

Filed under Freeware, Malware Protection, Privacy, Software, USB, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista

Download Free FixWin v 1.2 – 50 Built-in Windows Repairs

image You just have to love Windows as an operating system – it makes it so easy to DO so many things. Often however, Windows does not make it easy to UNDO, or “fix” things. It’s not uncommon that attempting to undo things, does nothing more than create additional problems.

If you are familiar with working with Registry entries, you can fix virtually anything, but…..

So, if you’ve been looking for an easy way to fix issues such as, Win Explorer not starting at boot up, CD drive or DVD drive is missing or not being recognized by Windows, or other programs, or the Device Manager is not functioning correctly (not as uncommon as you might think), then the recently released FixWin freeware application, could be the perfect solution.

It’s important to note however, FixWin does NOT scan for problems. YOU, have to recognize that you have the problem – the application will then correct the problem, provided of course it is one of the 50 very common problems the application is designed to deal with.

The FixWin interface consists of 5 easy to work with tabs:

Windows Explorer

clip_image001

Internet & Connectivity

clip_image002

Windows Media

clip_image003

System Tools

clip_image004

Misc. Additional Fixes

clip_image005

How to use this application (from the developers):

We first suggest that you run the System File Checker Utility. The button provided on the Welcome page, will ‘run sfc /scannow‘ and will check for and replace any corrupted Windows system files. It is expected to take anywhere from 5-10 minutes. If asked to, do reboot.

Next we insist that you create a System Restore Point. The provided button will create one, called Safe Point. We always recommend that you create one before making any changes to your system. Should you wish or need too, you can always go back to this Safe Point.

Having done that, apply at most one fix at a time and restart your computer. Please check if things are to your satisfaction; and if not, you have the option of restoring back immediately.

Since this application does not require installation, it’s a perfect portable application to carry on your “tech tools” flash drive, for the times you get those inevitable calls from family, or friends – “Uh, I don’t know what I did, but….”

System requirements: Windows 7, Vista, (32-bit and 64-bit)

Download at: The Windows Club

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.

2 Comments

Filed under Computer Maintenance, computer repair, downloads, Freeware, Portable Applications, Software, System Utilities, USB, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista

PortableApps.com – Free Portable Apps To The Max

image“Summer time, and the living is easy” – I’ve always liked the sound of that. That much deserved vacation is finally on the horizon!

But wait – today’s reality is such, that many of us (including me), can never really cut the umbilical cord that attaches us to the office. If you fall into that category, you’ll need software designed for people on the go.

With Portable Apps Suite, (free to use, free to copy, and free to share), you can carry your favorite portable computer programs with you on your USB flash drive, iPod, or portable hard drive, while you’re taking that much deserved vacation.

Portable Apps Suite allows you to play your media files, browse the net, compose documents, or check your email on the road. The applications can be used on any Windows computer, and on shut down, to insure your privacy, will  not leave any traces on the host computer.

PAS is a collection of portable applications which includes, ClamWin Portable (antivirus), Mozilla Firefox Portable Edition (web browser), Gaim Portable (instant messaging), OpenOffice.org Portable (office suite) compatible with Microsoft Word files,

Sudoku Portable (puzzle game), Mozilla Sunbird Portable Edition (calendar/task manager) and Mozilla Thunderbird Portable Edition (email client), all preconfigured to work portably.

portable-apps

You can install any of three variations of Portable Apps Suite based on your preferences, or your USB drive’s capacity.

Standard Suite – All applications as noted above

Lite Suite – AbiWord Portable substituted for Open Office

Base Suite – Basic Menu Program – add only the applications you choose

All versions of the Portable Apps Suite include the integrated Portable Apps Menu and the Portable Apps Backup utility, along with a set of custom icons, auto play configuration, folders, and a quick start shortcut.

System Requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Wine under Linux/UNIX/BSD/Mac OS X

Download at: PortableApps.com

Additional free portable applications, at PortableApps.com.

clip_image001Accessibility

clip_image005Development

clip_image012Education

clip_image016Games

clip_image030Graphics & Pictures

clip_image038Internet

clip_image055Music & Video

clip_image064Office

clip_image075Operating Systems

clip_image077Utilities

If you’re a techie, then take a look at “Run 57 Free PC Repair Apps From Your Flash Drive”, on this site. You’re sure to find an application you can’t be without.

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.

8 Comments

Filed under downloads, flash drive, Freeware, Open Source, Portable Applications, Software, USB, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP