heimskringla: (Default)
AKA "the stuff I use to fix other people's PC problems." So yeah, not only can I effect transubstantiation, I'm also a certifiable geek. I've had a good bit of experience as a network and system administrator (largely in a Linux and BSD environment with Windows desktops/clients). Most of these programs are for Windows (I might make a Linux and BSD utilities post if there's enough interest).

1. Mike Lin's Startup Control Panel. Stop stuff from starting up on boot from one location.

2. Brian Kato's Restoration - When you delete a file on Windows (and some other operating systems), that file isn't really deleted until it's overwritten by another file. The file is simply marked as 'deleted' and ignored by the operating system. Did you ever mistakenly delete an important file and then empty the recycle bin? It might be possible to recover it. This program is a standalone executable and is quite worth having.

3. SpinRite - It's a harddisk restoration and recovery utility with some preventative functionality. In my opinion, it's the best software-based data recovery tool on the market. At $89.00 USD, it's not a cheap program, but it's better than the alternative of not being able to do anything at all if your hard drive takes a nosedive.

4. Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) - This is a small program (bootable from floppy disk or CD) which allows for a proper format of your hard drive. It uses several methods to ensure that your data is as completely erased as possible. I like my privacy. Although I don't do anything terribly illegal (aside from the ocassional MP3 download), I don't like the idea that the data on my computer can be recovered if it should ever be siezed. The Patriot Act scares the hell out of me. Also useful if you want to sell your computer to someone and don't want to deal with the possibility that they might be able to recover personal financial documents or other stuff you'd rather they not see, like your porn collection.

5. System Rescue CD - If your computer is pretty FUBARed, but the hardware is still okay, the tools on this CD (which containsa Live CD type Linux OS) will allow you to gain access to your FUBARed system and backup any salvageable data. You can also edit partitions with QtParted (a free Partition Magic clone) without risking losing all of your data. Don't do any of these things if you don't know what you're doing.

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for any harm you do to your, or another's, computer by using any of these utilities. If you FUBAR something, that's your fault. I'm also not advocating that you use any of these utilities to do anything illegal (like hide from an investigation or snoop someone's deleted files).


heimskringla: (Default)

September 2007

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