You’ve accidentally deleted some irreplaceable images. There are no backups; file recovery tools can’t find anything; it seems like they’ve gone forever. But wait: there may still be just a little hope.
Browse a folder in thumbnail view and Explorer generates thumbnails for every supported file, saving them in a local cache. These can live on for a long time, even if the source files are deleted, corrupted or otherwise trashed. And you can recover any or all of them with just a couple of tiny free tools.
Window Sysinternals has announced a brand new tool, Sysmon, a Windows service and driver which logs process creations, network connections, and changes to a file’s creation time.
The service is designed to help users identify malware, but can also be helpful when troubleshooting, or whenever you need to know more about what’s happening on a PC.
If Windows won’t start then there are plenty of standard options you can try: Safe Mode, system restore, "last known good", and now Windows 8′s refresh options.
These technologies have their limits, though, and so it’s wise to prepare a few other bootable environments of your own. An antivirus rescue disc, a partition manager, maybe a backup tool or system recovery suite.
At first glance, DAYU Disk Master Free looks like many other simple image backup tools. Select a target drive, a destination, choose a few options (compression, splitting, priority, speed) and you can run a backup at a click. Restoration is possible from the program or a rescue disk, and there’s a disk clone feature thrown in.
Browse the program’s menus, though, and some relatively unusual bonus features help it stand out from the low-end competition.
You’ve been online for hours, Chrome windows and tabs scattered everywhere, and now you need to revisit a particular page. Which would be fine, except you can’t remember which one it was, and the standard web history -- just titles and URLs -- doesn’t help at all.
Maybe you should have installed All Seeing Eye, a Chrome extension which takes a snapshot of every page you visit, indexes its text, and makes this freely searchable whenever you like.
Setting up a new email or FTP client can take a while, especially if you’ve lots of accounts. Not only will you have to look up server names, ports, security and other details, but you’ll also have to try and remember all your various passwords.
If you didn’t make a note of yours originally (and you don’t use exactly the same password for everything), there are a few tools which might be able to help. NirSoft’s Mail PassView is one of the best known.
Both programs, which offer file-based backup and extended functionality via plug-ins, come with the promise of improved backup performance and more detailed statistics view, along with other minor improvements and bug fixes.
When we tried it last year, TEncoder impressed us as a powerful video conversion tool with a stack of features: file, folder and folder tree import, video trimming, 800+ output profiles, excellent subtitling support, deinterlace and crop tools, full control over output codec settings, and a whole lot more.
It was an outstanding package, but the developer had only just got started, and major updates have taken the program into whole new areas.
Microsoft has unveiled Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit 5.0 (EMET), a free security tool which uses a variety of techniques to block common software exploits.
The update adds a new mitigation, Attack Surface Reduction (ASR), which prevents an application from running specific modules or plug-ins.
Auslogics has unveiled BoostSpeed 7, a major update for its PC cleanup, maintenance and optimization suite.
The Live Speedup module gains a Disk Priority Manager to optimize applications in real-time. Your hard drive is now monitored to reduce file fragmentation, while disk and Registry cleanups can be scheduled to run automatically.
After almost 20 years developing multimedia software, it’s no surprise that CyberLink has some impressive products. But they can seem expensive. PowerDVD is definitely a versatile and feature-packed media player, but if you’re used to freeware then its $99.95 list price might send you elsewhere.
Fortunately CyberLink’s Media Suite 12 Ultimate offers a more value-for-money option, providing a big chunk of the CyberLink range -- a total of fifteen products -- for as little as $139.95.
Support.com has updated its popular malware hunter SUPERAntiSpyware to version 6.0.
The major new feature is System Investigator, a tool which highlights files of interest in the most common infection points: startup programs, browser extensions, installed applications, Windows services, drivers, temporary and system folders, scheduled tasks, and more.