I use DriveImage XML as a fallback in case I forget to restore a document in situations where i am upgrading a system or doing a complete reinstall. The really nice thing about DriveImage XML is that not only can I restore the windows partition, but I can restore individual files. Once the application starts I simply click the browse link on the opening window.
I simply go to where the XML file is located, and I can choose what files or folders I want to restore, and where I want to put them, and Voila!
I’ve only had to do this a couple of times, but it its handy when I needed to be able to retrieve a file. I think it will be a good tool in your toolbox.
In the past I has tried join.me with limited success. Since then I have found join.me to be another useful tool I can use to access remote machines on the fly. Somehow it seems lots easier to get family and friends connected in order to work on their computers. One thing I may try is if it will survive a ComboFix scan. In the past I’ve tried to set up Teamviewer on a remote machine, but when I tried to run ComboFix on it, I got disconnected. I didn’t have that problem using LogMeIn, so I am going to try to run ComboFix on a machine through join.me to see…
Looks like it doesn’t. So I guess I’ll be using LogMeIn still for remote removals. Previously I’ve logged in with TeamViewer, set up LogMeIn, then ran my malware tools. It appears I’m still doing that.
I’m liking crashplan and how I am able to keep backups on multiple computers. I even had to restore sone files, which I was able to do fairly well when I had to restore to the same machine. Just recently I had to restore my music files on another computer, and I found it to be really simple. I connected the external drive I had my CrashPlan backup to the computer where I wanted the files restored, attached the drive, and went to the restore tab to restore the files. The actual process is outlined in this link: http://support.crashplan.com/doku.php/how_to/local_restore. One thing that I was confused about is the backup location. I had tried to import the encryption key, thinking that was how I restored the files. I tried to select a remote computer to restore from, getting a message that it was offline. Once I changed the backup location, I was able to restore the files.
Being able to restore files from backup is very comforting to me, as I almost never have to worry about retaining precious data.
At my current job we’ve migrated our email to Microsoft Exchange, and a few of our users who had already been using Microsoft Outlook were shocked and upset to find that their autocomplete function had been taken away. I’ve learned of a file outlook has called the .nk2 file that keeps all the emails you enter. I downloaded a tool called nk2view that I used to backup and restore the .nk2 files that were lost.
My most recent use of nk2view was when an administrator had lost his autocomplete function when we switched email servers. We had set up people with different Outlook profiles when we set up outlook accounts. nk2view allowed me to import his address book into the .nk2 file, getting him back most of his autocomplete functionality.
I found that to be a really useful tool in my tool kit. If you use Microsoft Outlook, give it a try.
Is there anything that you want me to talk about? A technical question you would like discussed? Leave a comment….
In a personal productivity blog, I want to highlight a tool that I have found extremely useful when I want to make quick notes on the fly when I have no paper. It is a service called Reqall.
If you haven’t done so already, head over to www.reqall.com and sign up for a free account. The free account allows you to call a phone number and speak your notes, todo lists, or dates that get converted to text and are stored for you. There are also apps for blackberry, iOS, and android operating systems that also allow you to speak into the apps and have the voice converted into text. Personally I find the android app to be superior in its voice recognition.
Anything stored in Reqall may also be emailed (available even with the free account) or sent to a phone via text message (only available with
the paid version.). Using this option I am able to send notes to my favorite note system, Evernote. I also get reminders of things via email, another cool feature I want to exploit more fully.
If you have anything you want to jot down quickly and have no means to do it right then, set up Reqall and give it a try.
Sometimes I run into situations where a person hands me a flash drive, wondering if he/she can get his/her data off the drive. It worked on one machine, and all of a sudden it doesn’t work anymore. Sometimes the information is so corrupt that the computer may not recognize it actually has information, and some computers may ask you to format it. Sometimes in situations like this I an use a tool called Testdisk to recover information from the flash drive.
Testdisk works by scanning the disk and attempting to determine whether or not a filesystem existed on the disk in the first place. Testdisk also has the ability to recover any files it finds once it finds a filesystem. Definitely a good tool to have, if you need it and if your disk isn’t too badly corrupted.
In situations like this, the best thing is to have a backup of whatever you had on that disk, but give Testdisk a try if you did not back up your system. If you haven’t done so, sign up for my newsletter, and you will receive a document that highlights options you can use to keep your system and your data backed up. Please note that Testdisk is not a panacea for situations like this, and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.
I got a tip for a remote access service called join.me, so I decided to try it.
I used this tool to remotely troubleshoot a machine. The remote user clicks a link to download an application that connects to join.me and provides the remote user with a number. I then can just type in the number and be logged in to the remote system. And that’s where the ease of use ends.
I had to ask for control of the mouse, which wasnt a real problem, but after about 30 seconds of clicking, I couldn’t click on anything. At first I released control and asked for it again, but the same problem occurred 30 seconds later. After that I just requested to have teamviewer fired up, and went on about my business.
I’d like to give join.me another try, as it is a simple connection process. Maybe later on when the bugs are out of it.
As hinted in my previous blog posts my ideal backup set up has computers backing up to a central computer at home using crashplan, and then using Carbonite to back up the data offsite.
I signed up for a free account (only a 2GB limit) downloaded and installed the setup program and tried setting up a backup job. The folders I tried to back up backed up okay, but upon inspecting the backed up files it appeared that only the text files were backed up. So I had to make sure that the entire folder I wanted and it’s contents we’re chosen. I also wanted to see if I was able to back anything up from an external drive. I plugged in an external drive, created a new folder, dragged a file into it, and tried to add it to the backup set, to no avail. I thought that I was able to use external devices, but I guess I was mistaken.
I will probably not use the service, as the pricing model for the amount of data I have to back up makes their option more expensive than the Carbonite service I currently use. I haven’t had any major issues with Carbonite that I would consider deal breakers, so for now I will stick with Carbonite.