system protection

O&O DiskImage 11 Pro For Just US$ 10 – World Backup Day!

Well, this is one heck of a sale. If you don’t already have a backup program in place, or you need to upgrade, O&O DiskImage is a solid product and this is a fantastic price. I don’t believe they’ve ever offered it for this low.

DiskImage does more than just back up files, it’s also a tool for disk cloning including the system files, disk images to make a complete copy of the entire disk and can create a recovery disk.

About the only thing I don’t like is their new UI. They continue this trend of making an interface drawn by a child. It’s so juvenile as to distract from the power of their application. Some may like it, but I’m not a fan.

O&O DiskImage 11 lets you back up an entire computer or single files whenever you want – even while the computer is being used. In the event you should lose your personal data it can be quickly restored with just a few mouse clicks – even when Windows is no longer able to start. It also supports SSD drives and the latest UEFI System.

O&O DiskImage lets you carry out a system restore and to duplicate or clone an entire PC or hard drive. You can even restore this backup onto a computer whose hardware is different from the original machine, for instance, where you have changed a motherboard on the target machine or have bought a brand new PC and want to restore an old backup onto it.

To be safe and not sorry you can get the new O&O DiskImage 11 Pro for just US$ 10, or O&O DiskImage 11 Server Edition for just US$ 49

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Over 10 TB and 600,000 files recovered

The Great Disk Recovery of ’15 is almost complete and so far I have recovered over 10TB worth of data which accounts for over 600,000 files. It’s taken days and a couple of new drives added to the scheme, but ALL the data has been salvaged. All the movies, music, documents and pictures have been recovered and are all viewable once more.

Whether or not this was a system glitch or some user error on my part, the fact remains 5 drives had damaged partitions and weren’t recognized as readable by Windows. A simple "undelete" wasn’t possible so it was a pretty serious SNAFU.

But GetData Recover My Files has done a perfect job of getting those files back. I even saw files I deleted 6 months ago that could still be recovered. In fact, some of them were because it was easier to select the entire volumes rather than hunt and peck over a couple of folders. Good heavens this is some strong software.

I’ve learned my lesson though. I bought more drives so I have a copy of an entire drive and I’ve already backed up other items to Blu-Ray discs. Backing up the system isn’t a problem, that was taken care of months ago with O&O DiskImage. The data drives were the problem since I wasn’t making copies. That has since been corrected.

Another lesson learned is to have a large, spare hard drive sitting around. Since I was recovering 5TB of data, I needed another drive of equal size which I happened to have. When doing a partition recovery like this you can pick and choose items so it’s possible to do in stages, but it’s so much easier and more reliable to do it all at once to a sufficiently sized hard drive.

For those that want to know here’s what I have in place now.

O&O DiskImage – Clones the System drive and copies the image to D:\ for archiving. The system drive is a 3TB internal and the archive is also a 3TB internal. Backup size is less than 100GB.

Recuva – Great for recovering accidentally deleted files. Used it before with great success. Purchased as part of the CCleaner Professional Plus Suite. Very quick and efficient.

GetData Recover My Files 5.x – Much deeper level of file retrieval. Used for corrupted partitions, recover files from formatted disk, RAW disk recovering and disk cloning. Can be used when the disk is listed as "unreadable" by Windows. Does not "undelete" or "unformat" to the same volume. Files need to be copied to another volume.

SyncBackSE – Used to sync files between drives. This is an older copy but it still works. I might upgrade to the latest version at some point or I might go with O&O AutoBackup.

Ashampoo Burning Studio – I’ve had a lot of luck with this app. Easy to use and reliable. Burns files to CD/DVD/Blu-Ray without issue. You can also get it very cheaply. This is what I use to backup files to physical media and has been working pretty hard since this fiasco.

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Black Friday Deals for O&O Software Products. 50% Off Entire Catalog

The Black Friday Specials are coming in faster than I can read/delete them. A couple of good ones caught my eye like the entire O&O Software catalog on sale for 50% Off. That is a pretty sweet deal considering it covers O&O Defrag, O&O DiskImage, O&O SafeErase and others. These guys make some really good software not only to keep your system running smoothly, but to resurrect it from the dead if something goes wrong. O&O DiskImage is a personal favorite of mine to take snapshots of the entire drive so all I have to do is boot from the Recovery CD and restore the image. I’ve actually had to do this more than once and it’s incredibly easy to use and restored all my files perfectly. I currently have DiskImage cloning the drive in my main machine and putting the image file on a data disk.

Click the link below and add whatever items you want to the cart, each will get the sale price.

Save 50% on O&O Software Products

You can also still get the Autumn Bundle which includes:

O&O Defrag
O&O CleverCache
O&O AutoBackup
O&O MediaRecovery
O&O SafeErase

If you don’t need all those or already have some, go for the mix and match option.

Other articles of interest:

System Cleanup on the Cheap – System Optimization Series

We’ve gone over a slew of tools that can be used to clean up and clean out your machine. With all those terabytes of space at your disposal it’s easy to let things pile up and folders will become bloated with unused files and duplicates of the same thing you couldn’t find from the first time you downloaded it. For this final part here are some tools to help you clean up your machine, recover disk space and remove some programs. All of these programs are FREE. Not shareware, or trials, or limited time versions. They are free tools to help you get the job done.

From MindGems is FolderSize. Personally, I think this is one of the most beneficial tools you can have. This tells you how much space each file and folder on your machine is taking up. I found this to be an extremely beneficial tool in TuneUp Utilties which helped me remove over 500GB worth of files. Here is the free equivalent.

Simply run a scan of the drive and you’ll get a report of folder sizes. Drill down into each one and remove what you don’t need, make a backup or move them off to another drive. A very cool tool that’s easy to use and comes with a pricetag of $0.

Folder Size

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From the same company comes the Duplicate File Finder to help remove the same file that inevitably ends up on your machine. These can be duplicate images, the same PDF manual over and over again, video driver downloads, INI files, Zip or Rar archives or even ISO images for the same program. Duplicate File Finder is here to help locate all those files and help you get some space back. I know that I had the same download multiple times because I couldn’t find where I put the first one. Duplicate File Finder also comes with filters so you can isolate images, PDFs or archives.

Fast Duplicate File Finder

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To help clean up your system is the venerable CCleaner. With just the touch of a button it will remove Internet clutter from both IE and Firefox. It can also be used to clean the registry and keep things tidy in there. A registry cleaning is always a good idea after you remove a ton of programs to make sure all those entries actually go away. It too has a Duplicate File Finder. If you don’t have it installed, you should. It’s handy, small, quick and keeps things cleared out. For those of you worried about lingering cookies (like I am) you can run this as a scheduled task to make sure all those remnants get swept away.

CCleaner

http://www.sanspantalones.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/CCleaner01.jpg

And finally, Index Your Files. I don’t like the Windows Search or Index feature. It uses too many resources for my liking. There is a fine alternative though, Index Your Files. IYF builds a database of everything on your system. Forgot where you put a file? Want to see a list of all your ISO images? Just type those into Index Your Files and you’ll get a listing of everything that matches and the directory it’s in. this is great for finding PDF files and lost archives. Again, free to use and much lighter on resources than the stuff Microsoft anchors us with.

Index Your Files

There are a lot of excellent tools out there for getting your machine back under control after so many files and programs have been downloaded. I quite literally bloated my 1.5TB drive to have under 300BG of drive space left. Where did it all go? What could I get rid of? Using a combination of tools, I was able to literally move, backup and delete over 500GB of hard drive space as well as remove a dozen programs I hadn’t used in over 6 months. I think TuneUp Utilities is pretty excellent with Ashampoo Uninstaller and Core Tuner offering some very nice features of their own. TuneUp strikes me as the Norton Utilities of old and I like that. It has a lot, but not everything. I like Uninstaller so I can try out programs, but make sure they actually go away. Core Tuner is good for truly making low priority apps a low priority and giving more power to programs that can use it. There are lots of excellent tools out there, but there is a lot of junk as well. But you have to start somewhere and I think this list of apps is a pretty good one.

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Ashampoo Core Tuner – Manage All Your Cores – System Optimization Series

Who doesn’t want to go fast? Ok, who doesn’t want their computer to go fast? Even if you don’t have the need for speed on the highway, I’m sure you hate the idea of a sluggish machine. Wouldn’t it be great if you could tell Windows that certain programs should get more quality time with the processor than others?

Well, now it seems you can.

Ashampoo Core Tuner is a really neat idea and something that should be built into Windows itself. In a small way, it sort of is. Core Tuner takes the idea of running a process with a higher priority and gives it a whole new spin. You don’t just mess with the priority of a running process, you can build profiles that change the priority as well as the number of processors an application can use.

For example, if you have an 8-core machine, there really isn’t any reason why apps like Quicken, Dropbox, Index Your Files and other low priority background apps should be run as fast and across as many processors as AnyDVD, Xilisoft Media Converter or Rise of Nations. These are background apps and it’s ok for them to take a little longer to do their work. With Core Tuner you can lower the priority and dictate how many cores they actually use. I lowered the priority of these threads and assigned them to a single processor. It doesn’t matter if their response time is immediate. And it doesn’t matter if they take an extra minute to sync in the background. And, they shouldn’t interfere with my media encoding. I can now push these apps off to the side and onto a single processor so the others can run at full speed and handle programs that actually understand multithreading and multiple cores.

Another very cool feature of Core Tuner are "Rules". Unlike Task Manager which changes the priority for a process during that running instance, Rules allow you to change the behavior on a regular basis. You can always launch Quicken and Dropbox with a low priority. From then on, they will let other apps take priority.

Along with Rules you can make "Profiles". That means when you need all your processing power for media encoding you can shut down services, turn off programs and lower the priority of non-critical systems. You can kill off all your browsers, turn off Google Updates, turn off Defrag jobs, stop AV and malware scans, kill of that IM client so you don’t get popups in the middle of your game, kill off iTunes, disable background search, etc. You can strip Windows down to the bare minimum so you have as much memory and CPU at your disposal and get rid of any distracting programs before they cause a problem. Then when you’re done, click the button and everything starts back up again.

Core Tuner also offers the ability to make adjustment to the Core Windows Services. Nothing new here as it’s the same as what you get in the Snap-In.

There is also an AutoStart option where you can uncheck items that start when Windows starts. I found a couple of interesting Internet Explorer entries worth removing. I don’t use IE so why is this junk loading? Again, this feature is the same you see in dozens of other apps. They’ve just added it here for completeness.

Overall, this is actually a pretty neat program. Core Tuner makes it easy to control apps and build profiles so you can give higher priority to important tasks and slow down others to make them wait until it’s a more convenient time to run. It’s easy to understand, has a simple UI and has a pretty light memory footprint of it’s own.

Core Tuner has a regular price of $19.99, which isn’t too bad really. But, you can get the "upgrade" for a mere $5.99. You don’t actually have to have the previous version in order to grab the upgrade price. Let your conscience be your guide on that one.

However, here’s a bundle for you. If you think Uninstaller is pretty good and think adding Core Tuner wouldn’t be a bad idea, you can get both of these plus the Ashampoo WinOptimizer bundle for $14.99. You get all three system tools for less than cost of any single one of them actually retails for. WinOptimizer doesn’t come out on top as best in the optimization category, but at this price it’s a really good deal. If you put this hat trick together there is a lot of cleaning and application boosting you can do.

I like Uninstall and I like Core Tuner. Getting both of those is a pretty good idea. Throwing in WinOptimizer isn’t a bad little bonus.

Ashampoo Bundle System Utilities 9 – $14.99

CoreTuner01 CoreTuner02 CoreTuner03 CoreTuner04 CoreTuner05

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