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Probe System Restore Points With Free System Restore Explorer

imageHave you ever wanted to access a file, or an application, within a System Restore Point? You can do just that with a neat little freebie – System Restore Explorer.

Running System Restore Explorer will allow you to “Mount” a System Restore Point and you’ll then have the “go ahead” to browse and copy files or, launch an application from within the selected System Restore Point. As well, System Restore Explorer provides an option to delete selected restore points.

A brief walkthrough:

I have chosen to mount a restore point created on November 29, as illustrated below. Note that System Restore Explorer displays the date and time of the restore point creation, as well as a brief description.

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Mounting a restore point automatically runs Windows Explorer, and as the following screen capture illustrates (click the graphic to expand), I now have access to (in this case), HarddiskVolumeShadowCopy3.

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Expanding HarddiskVolumeShadowCopy3 provides access to the applications in the restore point, and for this test, I have chosen to execute the graphic application, IrfanView.

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Clicking on the IrfanView executable (i_view32.exe), promptly launched the application, as illustrated below.

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System requirements: Windows Vista, Win 7 – 32-bit and 64-bit.

Download at: Developer’s site

You may not often need to dig inside a System Restore Point, but if you do, having this freebie in your toolkit will make the job that much easier.

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7 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, downloads, Freeware, System Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

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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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

Sandbox Firefox With Secure Browser Version 5.1

imageI first reported on Secure Browser, a virtualized version of Firefox back in July of this year, and since then there have been a number of upgrades to the application, including 64 bit compatibility.

This is not 1985 when the only thing you had to worry about was what might be on the floppy disks you exchanged with your friends. Today, your Browser is the conduit into your computer – that’s the route by which the majority of malware spreads.

So, controlling malware intrusion, while surfing the Net, through the use of a ‘”virtual” environment rather than operating in a “real” environment, continues to make sense given the level of cyber criminal activity on the Internet.

In the last few months we’ve looked primarily at operating system virtualization – Shadow Defender, Returnil Virtual System, Wondershare Time Freeze, and a number of other similar applications. But, there are alternatives to OS virtualization – specific application virtualization running in a sandbox.

KACE Networks, Secure Browser (last updated Oct 20, 2010), is a virtualized version of Firefox which according to KACE –

Changes or malicious files inadvertently downloaded from the Internet are contained within the secure browser, keeping the underlying OS and computer secure from hostile changes.

Any changes resulting from browser activity may be quickly and easily reset to effectively “undo” such changes and return it to its initially installed state.

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Graphic courtesy of Kace.

Fast facts:

Provides a virtualized and contained Firefox v3.6 Browser with Adobe Reader and Flash plug-ins.

Rapidly reset any changes made during normal use back to their initial state, enabling easy recovery from infections or attacks.

View statistics related to the number of processes detected and blocked.

Set white and black lists to limit access to known good sites, or prevent access to known bad sites to further limit the risk of attack and infection.

Contrary to my usual practice, I have not tested this application. Instead, I’m reporting on it’s availability only. I tend to stick with Ubuntu when surfing the Internet.

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

Download at: KACE

Note: Registration required.

Alternative solutions:

Sandbox your current Browser in Sandboxie.

Run the Chrome Browser which includes a form of sandboxing.

Run Comodo Dragon a variation on Chrome with additional privacy controls.

Run Ubuntu while surfing the Web.

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 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Browsers, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Firefox, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety Tools, Malware Protection, Online Safety, Software, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Secure Browser – A Sandboxed Firefox 3.6

image Controlling malware intrusion, while surfing the Net, through the use of a ‘”virtual” environment, rather than operating in a “real” environment, continues to make sense given the level of cyber criminal activity on the Internet.

In the last few months we’ve looked primarily at operating system virtualization – Shadow Defender, Returnil Virtual System, Wondershare Time Freeze, and a number of other similar applications. But, there are alternatives to OS virtualization – specific application virtualization running in a sandbox.

Dell, not generally noted for their free software, recently released (through their subsidiary, KACE Networks), Secure Browser, a virtualized version of Firefox 3.6, which according to KACE –

Changes or malicious files inadvertently downloaded from the Internet are contained within the secure browser, keeping the underlying OS and computer secure from hostile changes.

Any changes resulting from browser activity may be quickly and easily reset to effectively “undo” such changes and return it to its initially installed state.

Fast facts:

Provides a virtualized and contained Firefox v3.6 Browser with Adobe Reader and Flash plug-ins.

Rapidly reset any changes made during normal use back to their initial state, enabling easy recovery from infections or attacks.

View statistics related to the number of processes detected and blocked.

Set white and black lists to limit access to known good sites, or prevent access to known bad sites to further limit the risk of attack and infection.

Contrary to my usual practice, I have not tested this application. Instead, I’m reporting on it’s availability only.

System requirements: Windows 32 bit only.

Download at: KACE

Note: Registration required.

Alternative solutions:

Sandbox your current Browser in Sandboxie.

Run the Chrome Browser which includes a form of sandboxing.

Run Comodo Dragon a variation on Chrome with additional privacy controls.

Run Ubuntu while surfing the Web.

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.

16 Comments

Filed under Browsers, Chrome, Comodo, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Firefox, Free Anti-malware Software, Freeware, Google, Internet Safety Tools, Software, System Security, Ubuntu, Virtualization, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP