Sunday, 3 September 2017

How to know my gmail account creation date

Hello Friends. If your Google account ever gets hacked or if you are unable to get into your Gmail account because you are no longer have access to your mobile phone number or alternate email address, Google will require you to answer a few security questions before restoring your account.
Today we learn that "How to know my gmail account creation date"

How to know my gmail account creation date

It is therefore recommended that you make a note of Google account creation date at a safe place but where you do get this information from? One option is that you open your Gmail mailbox, switch to All messages and note the timestamp of the welcome message from Gmail. By this simple method you can wasily know that the creation date of your Gmail ID.

How to know my gmail account creation date

Steps:-

1.) Open Gmail.com
2.) LOG IN to your Gmail account.
3.) Clicks on setting.
4.) Click on Forwarding and POP/IMAP

Check the
1. Status: POP is enabled for all mail that has arrived since #/#/10



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Friday, 1 September 2017

How to make a pendrive bootable in Windows XP using cmd

If you have an old Flash drive lying around that you don't use anymore, you can turn it into an operating install disk for Windows, Linux or Mac, or turn it into a diagnostic tool for your PC. To make a flash drive/USB bootable, you'll likely need to tweak and format the flash drive in a manner according to the specific operating system or purpose you have in mind.
How to make a pendrive bootable in Windows XP using cmd

How to make a pendrive bootable in Windows XP using cmd

1.) Gather your software and hardware. You will need USB_Prep8 and bootsect.exe. These are developer tools both freely available online. You will also need a flash drive at least 1GB in size, and a Windows XP installation CD or DVD.

  1. Insert the USB drive and the Windows XP disc. Close any Autoplay windows that open.
2.) Extract and run USB_Prep8. Once you extract the USB_Prep8 .zip file, open the folder it creates and run usb_prep8.cmd. This will open a command prompt. Press any key to format the USB drive with PeToUSB. Note: In Windows 7, you will need to open a cmd as administrator and run usb_prop8.cmd from prompt. Otherwise, nothing works.

3.) Start the format. Do not change any of the settings in the PeToUSB window. Once the format is complete, leave both windows open and start a new command prompt by pressing Windows key + R and typing “cmd” into the field.

4.) Extract boots. Once it is extracted, navigate to the boots folder using the new command window. Once you are in the boots directory on your computer, type “bootsect.exe /nt52 Z:”. Change the “Z” to the drive letter of your USB drive.

  • You cannot have any windows open showing the contents of the USB drive at this point, or the operation will fail, and you will need to restart
  • Bootsect copies the files necessary to allow your computer to boot from the flash drive. When it is complete, you will see the message “Bootcode was successfully updated on all targeted volumes.” You can close this window and PeToUSB now, but keep the usb_prep8 command window open.

5.) Adjust the Prep8 settings. Once the boots are done copying, the usb_prep8 command window will display a numbered menu allowing you to change some settings. You will need to change the first 3 settings:

  • Press 1 and then Enter. A Browse for Folder window will open. Select the drive that contains your Windows XP disc and press OK.
  • Press 2 and then Enter. If you have a drive on your computer that is already assigned to the letter T:, then change this option to a free letter. Otherwise, you can leave this as is.
  • Press 3 and then Enter. Enter the drive letter for your USB flash drive.


6.) Start the copy process. To do this, press 4 and then Enter. You will be notified that proceeding will format the virtual disk from the earlier menu. Press Y to continue. Once the format is complete, press any key to continue.

  • Files will scroll up the screen as the copy process progresses. You will be prompted to press any key to continue again. After a few moments, a window will open confirming that you want to copy TempDrive Files. Press Yes, and wait around 15 minutes, then press Yes for the next two windows that open.
7.) Begin Windows XP setup. At this point, the USB drive is complete. Insert it into the computer that you want to install Windows XP on. You will need to set the BIOS to boot from a USB drive. Check out our guide on setting your BIOS correctly.

  • When the startup menu opens, select Option 1 for a text mode installation. The Windows XP installation will now begin as normal.
  • After the computer reboots after the text mode portion, select Option 2 to start the GUI (Graphical User Interface) portion of the installation.
  • Keep your USB drive plugged in during the entire installation process.


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How to make a flash drive bootable on Windows 7 or Vista

If you have an old USB drive lying around that you don't use anymore, you can turn it into an operating install disk for Windows, Linux or Mac, or turn it into a diagnostic tool for your PC. To make a USB bootable, you'll likely need to tweak and format the USB drive in a manner according to the specific operating system or purpose you have in mind.
How to make a flash drive bootable on Windows 7 or Vista

How to make a flash drive bootable on Windows 7 or Vista

1.) Create or Obtain A Windows Vista/7 ISO. Install a free burning program. There are some free burning utilities available online. You need one that can create ISO files. If you received your Windows 7 as a downloadable ISO file from Microsoft, you could skip to Step 2.
  1. Insert your Windows 7 DVD. Open your new burning program. Look for an option such as “Copy to Image” or “Create Image.” If prompted, select your DVD drive as the source.
  2. Save your ISO file. Choose an easy to remember name and location for the file. The ISO you make will be equal in size to the disc you are copying. This means it can take up several gigabytes of space on your hard drive. Be sure you have enough storage available.
  3. Creating the ISO can take a long time, depending on the speed of your computer and DVD drive.
2.) Download Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool. This is available for free from Microsoft. Despite its name, this tool works with Windows Vista ISOs as well. You can run this tool on virtually any version of Windows.


3.) Select the Source file. This is the ISO that you created or downloaded in the first section. Click Next.


4.) Select USB device. You are given the option to either burn to a DVD or create a USB device. For this guide, click USB Device.

5.) Choose your USB device. Make sure that your flash drive is connected correctly. You will need at least 4GB space on your flash drive to copy over the Windows installation.

6.) Wait while the program works. The program will format the USB drive to boot correctly, then copy the ISO file onto the drive. The copying process can take up to 15 minutes to complete, depending on the speed of your machine.

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How to make a pendrive bootable in any PC

Hello Friends., If you have an old USB drive lying around that you don't use anymore, you can turn it into an operating install disk for Windows, Linux or Mac, or turn it into a diagnostic tool for your PC. To make a USB bootable, you'll likely need to tweak and format the USB drive in a manner according to the specific operating system or purpose you have in mind.

How to make a pendrive bootable in any PC

How to make a pendrive bootable in any PC

1.) Open the Command Prompt. You will need to run Command Prompt as an Administrator. Right-click on it and select Run as Administrator. You may need to enter the Administrator password.
This method will create a USB drive that is bootable. You can then copy the contents of an operating installation disc onto the drive to create a portable installation drive.
This method only works in Windows Vista, 7, and 8.

2.) Open the disk management utility. This can be opened by entering the command "diskpart" (without the quotes).

3.) Display the connected disks. Type the command list disk to show a list of all the drives connected to your computer. Your USB drive should be listed here as well. Make note of the number next to your USB drive.

4.) Select the USB drive. Enter the command select disk #, replace “#” with the number from the previous step.

5.) Clean the flash drive. Enter the command clean to have the disk management utility verify the integrity of the USB drive, and erase all data.

6.) Create a bootable partition. Once the USB drive is clean, type in create partition primary. You will see a message saying that the operation was successful.

7.) Select the new partition. Enter the command select partition 1 and press Enter. Once you receive a confirmation message, type active and press Enter. This will activate the partition.

8.) Format the USB drive. Input the command format fs=fat32 or format fs=ntfs quick . When you press Enter, the program will work for a few minutes (if it is a small USB, e.g. 4Gb could take hours to slow format), and the progress will be displayed as a percentage.

9.) Assign the USB a drive letter. Enter the command assign to give the thumb drive a letter designation. Type exit to end the disk management program.

10.) Copy the operating system. Once the USB drive has been made bootable, you can copy over the installation files for the operating system you want to install. You can do this by dragging and dropping using your preferred file manager/explorer.
Copy over any drivers you might need during the operating system installation to make the process much smoother.




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Saturday, 26 August 2017

How to Install and Test Windows 10 S

How to Install and Test Windows 10 S

Microsoft’s stripped-down Windows 10 S is now shipping on PCs like the Surface Laptop. If you want to try it before you buy, you can install it yourself in a virtual machine or a PC you have lying around.

MSDN Subscribers: Install Windows 10 S From an ISO

Microsoft has released ISO files of Windows 10 S, but only through MSDN (because Windows 10 S is meant for “education”, even though Microsoft is inexplicably shipping it on a flagship laptop). If you have an MSDN subscription, you can download Windows 10 S from Microsoft. The ISO files can be used to install Windows 10 S in a virtual machine or on actual PC hardware, just like you’d install any other version of Windows.

Most people don’t have MSDN subscriptions, though, so hopefully Microsoft will make Windows 10 S ISO files more broadly available in the future. However, there is an alternative for Windows 10 users—see the last section of this article.

Surface Laptop Users: Reinstall Windows 10 S from a Recovery Image

How to Install and Test Windows 10 S

If you have a Surface Laptop that shipped with Windows 10 S and you want to reinstall its Windows 10 S operating system, you can download a recovery image for your Surface device from Microsoft’s Surface website. Just sign in with the Microsoft account your Surface Laptop is registered to or enter its serial number. You’ll get a recovery image you can use to reinstall Windows 10 S on this device.

Follow the instructions in Step 3 on the Surface recovery page. You’ll be asked to use the Create a recovery drive tool on an existing Windows PC and then copy the files from the recovery image .zip file to the USB recovery drive you created.

Everyone Else: Convert a Windows 10 PC to Windows 10 S

Microsoft has released a Windows 10 S installer implemented as an .exe file. You can run this on Windows 10 Professional, Education, or Enterprise to convert your existing Windows 10 installation to Windows 10 S.

This won’t work on Windows 10 Home, which makes some sense. Windows 10 S is actually based on Windows 10 Professional, according to Microsoft.

You could use this to install Windows 10 S in a roundabout way. First, install Windows 10 Professional in a virtual machine or on a PC. Second, run the tool to convert your Windows 10 installation into a Windows 10 S one. (And you don’t need a product key to install Windows 10, so anyone can do this to set up a quick and dirty virtual machine to test Windows 10 S.)

If you’re installing Windows 10 S on a PC, be aware that you won’t be able to run non-Store applications afterwards, some features may not work, and that some of your personal files will be deleted during the installation process. We recommend not installing Windows 10 S on your primary PC. If you are installing Windows 10 S on an important PC, be sure to back up your files and create a system recovery drive ahead of time, just in case.


When you’re ready, visit Microsoft’s website and download the Windows 10 S installer. Launch it and click through the wizard. It will download and install Windows 10 S on your PC for you. When the download is complete, the tool will restart your PC and finish the process.

How to Install and Test Windows 10 S

You’ll be able to use Windows 10 S with all its limitations after the installation completes. All your desktop applications will be removed. You’ll only be able to install applications from the Store, and some hardware devices won’t work if they require drivers that aren’t available through Microsoft.

You can test whether your peripherals work on Windows 10 S, whether Project Centennial desktop apps from the Windows Store work properly, or just see how you can live with Windows 10 S’s limitations.

How to Install and Test Windows 10 S

If you decide you want to ditch Windows 10 S and roll back to your previous version of Windows 10, you can do so. This only works within the first 10 days, and only if you haven’t deleted your windows.old and $windows.~bt folders.

To do so, head to Settings > Update & security > Recovery. Click the “Get started” button under Go back to the previous version of Windows 10. If you don’t see that option here, it’s either been over ten days or you deleted the windows.old or $windows.~bt folders.

If this option isn’t available, you may need to use the Settings > Update & security > Recovery > Reset this PC > Get Started > Restore factory settings option, or reinstall Windows 10 from installation media.

How to Use Virtual Desktops in Windows 10

How to Use Virtual Desktops in Windows 10

Windows 10 finally added virtual desktops as a built-in feature. If you keep a lot of apps open at once—or use your PC for very different types of tasks—virtual desktops offer a convenient way to stay organized.

With virtual desktops, Windows 10 lets you create multiple, separate desktops that each can display different open windows and apps. A simple use for this might be keeping work separate from personal stuff. You could also put all the items that relate to a specific task on one desktop, so that you can better focus on that task. While macOS and Linux have featured virtual desktops for a while—and there have been third-party apps that provided them for Windows—virtual desktops are now built into Windows 10.

Add a New Virtual Desktop

Adding a new virtual desktop is easy. On the taskbar, click the “Task View” button. If you don’t see that button, you might have switched it off. Right-click any open space on the taskbar and choose the “Show task view button” option to turn it back on. You can also open the Task View by hitting Windows+Tab on your keyboard.

How to Use Virtual Desktops in Windows 10


The Task View is a full screen app switcher that shows all the apps running on your PC. You can switch to any app by just clicking on it. If you’ve never set up an additional virtual desktop before, that’s all that Task View shows. To add a new desktop, click the “New Desktop” button at the bottom right of the screen.

How to Use Virtual Desktops in Windows 10

Windows 10 allows you to create as many desktops as you need. We created 200 desktops on our test system just to see if we could, and Windows had no problem with it. That said, we highly recommend you keep virtual desktops to a minimum. After all, you’re creating them to help organize your activities. Having tons of them kind of defeats that purpose.

Switch Between Virtual Desktops

When you have more than one desktop, the Task View shows all your desktops at the bottom of the screen. Hovering over a desktop with your mouse shows you the windows currently open on that desktop.

You can click a desktop to jump there, or click a specific window to jump to that desktop and bring that window into focus. It’s much like switching between apps on a single desktop—you just have them organized into separate virtual workspaces.

You can also switch between virtual desktops just using your keyboard. Press Windows+Tab to bring up Task View and then release the keys. Now, hit Tab again to move the selection to the desktop row. You can then use your arrow keys to move between desktops, and then hit the Enter key to jump to the selected desktop.

Even better, you can switch between virtual desktops without using the Task View at all by just hitting Windows+Ctrl+Left or Right arrow keys. And if you’re using a touch screen device or a precision touchpad, you can move between desktops with a four-fingered swipe.

Work with Windows and Apps on Virtual Desktops

So, now you’ve created a new desktop, and you know how to switch between them. It’s time to populate those desktops with the stuff you need.

First things first: if you switch to a desktop and then open an app or other window there, the window opens—and stays—on that desktop. So, for example, if you switch to “Desktop 3” and open a Chrome window there, that Chrome window remains on Desktop 3 until you close it or move it to another desktop.

How to Use Virtual Desktops in Windows 10

This is where things get a little tricky. With apps that let you open multiple windows—like, say, Chrome or Microsoft Word—you can open different windows for those apps on different desktops. Say, for example, you had a desktop devoted to a specific project. You could have Chrome windows, Word docs, and so on open on that desktop, and still have other Chrome windows and Word docs open on other desktops.

But, some apps only allow you to have a single window open at a time. The Windows Store app is a good example of this. Say you opened the Store app on Desktop 3. If you then try to open the Store app on a different desktop, instead of opening there, you’ll jump to the desktop where that app is open.

And unfortunately, Windows doesn’t give you a good way—other than opening up Task View and poking around—to see if an app is open on another desktop. Back to that example where the Store is open on Desktop 3: if I look at the taskbar on Desktop 3, I can see that the Store app is open (it has a line under the icon).

How to Use Virtual Desktops in Windows 10

But look at the taskbar on any other desktop, and it looks like the app isn’t running.

You can also move apps and windows between virtual desktops. Hit Windows+Tab to open Task View. Hover your mouse over the virtual desktop containing the window you want to move. You can now drag that window to another virtual desktop.

If you prefer, you can also right-click a window, point to the “Move To” menu, and then select a specific desktop to which you want to move the window—or even create a new desktop and move the window there in one action. This method is handy if know exactly where you want to move the window.

How to Use Virtual Desktops in Windows 10

Delete a Virtual Desktop

To delete a virtual desktop, first hit Windows+Tab to open Task View. Click the “Close” button above the desktop you want to remove.

If there are any open apps or windows on the desktop when you close it, they are moved to the desktop immediately to the left of the one you’re closing. Close Desktop 3, for example, and open apps and windows are moved to Desktop 2.

Treat Virtual Desktop as Temporary Workspaces for the Best Experience

Unfortunately, the built-in virtual desktop feature in Windows 10 is still pretty limited compared to that found in other operating systems. You can’t set different wallpapers for different desktops. You can’t set different color schemes, or apply any other types of personalization. Different desktops cannot have different taskbars, or even different icons on the desktop.

There’s also no way to quickly jump to a specific desktop, either—you have to cycle through them with the keyboard commands or use Task View to navigate.

Virtual desktops are maintained after restarting your PC, but that doesn’t really do you too much good. Even if you have apps and windows set to automatically load with Windows, they’ll just open on your main desktop: Desktop 1. You’ll then have to move them to their respective desktops again after each restart. And that’s the part that takes time. Creating the virtual desktops in the first place is quick and easy.

With that in mind, we’ve found that virtual desktops—at least, as they exist in Windows 10—are best treated as temporary workspaces to help you organize your activities while you’re working on them.

What Is an “N” or “KN” Edition of Windows?

What Is an “N” or “KN” Edition of Windows?

Microsoft distributes special “N” editions of Windows in Europe and “KN” editions of Windows in Korea. These are the same as the standard editions of Windows, except they don’t include Windows Media Player and other multimedia playback features.

How Are “N” and “KN” Editions Different?

“N” editions of Windows are available in Europe, and are missing a few media-related features. On Windows 7, you’ll find that Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center are missing. On Windows 10, they don’t include Windows Media Player, Groove Music, Movies & TV, Voice Recorder, or Skype.

“KN” editions of Windows are available in Korea. They remove Windows Media Player and related multimedia features, just like Windows N. When the KN versions of Windows were created, they also removed Windows Messenger. However, Microsoft has since discontinued this application.

You don’t have to buy an N or KN edition of Windows, even if you like in these areas. Standard editions of Windows are also available for purchase.


What Is an “N” or “KN” Edition of Windows?

There isn’t just one “N” edition of Windows, either. Instead, there are “N” versions of most Windows editions. For example, if you want to buy Windows 10, you can get Windows 10 Home N or Windows 10 Professional N. These are identical to the standard Home and Professional editions of Windows with all the same features, except they exclude the multimedia features mentioned above.

These editions of Windows exist entirely for legal reasons. In 2004, the European Commission found Microsoft had violated European antitrust law, abusing its monopoly in the market to hurt competing video and audio applications. The EU fined Microsoft €500 million and required Microsoft to offer a version of Windows without Windows Media Player. Consumers and PC manufacturers can choose this version of Windows and install their preferred multimedia applications without Windows Media Player also being present. It’s not the only version of Windows offered in the European Union—it’s just an option that has to be available. This is why the “N” editions are only available in Europe.

Similarly, in 2005, the Korea Fair Trade Commission found Microsoft was abusing its monopoly position to hurt competing multimedia and messaging apps. It fined Microsoft $32 million and required Microsoft to offer a version of Windows without Windows Media Player and MSN Messenger. This is why those “KN” editions of Windows are available in Korea.

Quite a Few Things Will Break

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just removing Windows Media Player. The removal of underlying multimedia codecs and playback features means quite a few applications won’t work properly.

Many apps, from Microsoft Office to some PC games, rely on the built-in Windows video playback features. These features may not function properly in such applications, or the applications may crash completely.

On Windows 10, Cortana, Windows Hello, and PDF viewing in Edge won’t work. Multimedia features in Store apps may not work. Microsoft’s website offers a detailed (but not complete) list of disabled features.

Microsoft’s Free Media Feature Pack Restores These Applications

What Is an “N” or “KN” Edition of Windows?

“N” and “KN” editions of Windows aren’t prevented from using these media playback features. Instead, they’re just not installed by default.

If you want to enable these disabled multimedia features on a N or KN edition of Windows, download the free Media Feature Pack from Microsoft. There are different download links depending on whether you need it for Windows 10, Windows 8, or Windows 7. This will re-enable all those disabled features.

Should I Buy Them?

Let’s be honest: These editions of Windows have largely been a flop. In theory, they were created to increase choice for consumers and PC manufacturers. Rather than being forced to use Windows Media Player, users could avoid it entirely and install their own proffered applications. PC manufacturers could choose the media player software they preferred, and media player companies could better compete without Microsoft getting in the way.

But these versions of Windows haven’t been very popular. They’re still not that common, so some third-party applications may not work properly if they assume these multimedia features are always present and rely on them. And Microsoft keeps adding new features to Windows 10 that won’t work properly on these editions of Windows unless you install the missing multimedia features.

RealPlayer creator RealNetworks cheered the EU decision, but RealPlayer didn’t become popular in response. It’s even hard to argue Microsoft is benefiting from these preinstalled apps—today, Microsoft is far behind competing services like Spotify and iTunes when it comes to music, and Skype is getting a run for its money from the many competing messaging services out there, from Facebook Messenger to iMessage and FaceTime.

If you have a choice, we recommend you avoid these editions of Windows. Of course, if you have an N or KN edition, it’s not a big problem—you can just download the free Media Feature Pack.

How to Use a Physical Keyboard With Your iPad or iPhone

How to Use a Physical Keyboard With Your iPad or iPhone

Your iPad and iPhone come with on-screen touch keyboards, but there’s nothing stopping you from connecting a good old fashioned physical keyboard and typing on that. Here’s how to get started.

What You’ll Need

Fortunately, you don’t need a whole lot to make this happen—just a Bluetooth keyboard. Pretty much any Bluetooth keyboard will work. Personally, I’m a big fan of Anker’s various compact keyboards, including this one ($18), which works with any computer and mobile device, but also has keys that are designed to work for iOS devices. The Logitech K380 ($30) is similar as well, but it also has easy-switch buttons that let you switch on the fly between devices that are all paired to the keyboard.

Of course, you can also buy Bluetooth keyboards that are designed specifically for iPads, often as part of “cases” that attempt to turn the iPad into a sort of ersatz laptop. However, they’re usually way more expensive than just regular Bluetooth keyboards. Apple’s own Smart Keyboard is $169, but it’s probably the closest you’ll get to native keyboard support if you have an iPad Pro.

If you don’t have an iPad Pro, or you just want something a little cheaper, you can get some keyboard cases for a decent price, like Zagg’s Slim Book ($55) and Anker’s Folio ($33), to name a couple.

If you want to use your MacBook’s keyboard, you can download software, like Type2Phone or 1Keyboard for $10, but for this guide we’ll be focusing on using a standard Bluetooth keyboard.

Pairing a Bluetooth Keyboard

The pairing process is the same as it is for other Bluetooth peripherals. Start by opening the Settings app on your iPad or iPhone and select “Bluetooth”.

Enable Bluetooth if it’s turned off.

Next, turn on your Bluetooth keyboard and make it discoverable. There’s often a dedicated button on the keyboard for this—usually it’s the Bluetooth symbol. (Some keyboards may require you to press the Fn key if the Bluetooth symbol is on a regular key.)

Once your keyboard is in pairing mode, it will appear in the list of connectable Bluetooth devices on your iPad or iPhone under “Other Devices”. Tap on it to connect it.

How to Use a Physical Keyboard With Your iPad or iPhone


Next, enter in the sequence of numbers followed by the “Enter” key on your keyboard.

That’s all there is to it! Your Bluetooth keyboard will now be connected to your iPad or iPhone and you can begin to type away without having to use the on-screen virtual keyboard. Both your keyboard and your iPad or iPhone will remember that they’re paired. So the next time you want to use your keyboard, just power it on—you won’t have to go through the pairing process again.

Basic Typing

How to Use a Physical Keyboard With Your iPad or iPhone

When you open up a document or note on your iOS device, just tap on a text field with your finger to put the cursor there and start typing. Since there’s no mouse support, you’ll still have to mostly navigate the interface with your finger like you normally would.


While you type, the on-screen keyboard won’t appear as long the Bluetooth keyboard is paired, so this gives you more screen real estate while working. As soon as you power off your Bluetooth keyboard and tap in another text field, the on-screen keyboard will come right back.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

What’s the Best Way to Back Up My Computer?

What’s the Best Way to Back Up My Computer?

Everyone loses data at some point in their lives. Your computer’s hard drive could fail tomorrow, ransomware could hold your files hostage, or a software bug could delete your important files. If you’re not regularly backing up your computer, you could lose those files forever.

Backups don’t have to be hard or confusing, though. You’ve probably heard about countless different backup methods, but which one is right for you? And what files do you really need to back up?

It’s All About Your Personal Data

Let’s start with the obvious: what do you need back up? Well, first and foremost, you need to back up your personal files. You can always reinstall your operating system and redownload your programs if your hard drive fails, but your own personal data is irreplaceable.

Any personal documents, photos, home videos, and any other data on your computer should be backed up regularly. Those can never be replaced. If you’ve spent hours painstakingly ripping audio CDs or video DVDs, you may want to back those files up, too, so you don’t have to do all that work over again.

Your operating system, programs, and other settings can also be backed up. You don’t have to back them up, necessarily, but it can make your life easier if your entire hard drive fails. If you’re the type of person that likes to play around with system files, edit the registry, and regularly update your hardware, having a full system backup may save you time when things go wrong.

The Many Ways to Back Up Your Files

There are many ways to back up your data, from using an external drive to backing up those files on a remote server over the Internet. Here are the strengths and weaknesses of each:

* Back Up to an External Drive: If you have an external USB hard drive, you can just back up to that drive using your computer’s built-in backup features. On Windows 10 and 8, use File History. On Windows 7, use Windows Backup. On Macs, use Time Machine. Occasionally connect the drive to the computer and use the backup tool, or leave it plugged in whenever your home and it’ll back up automatically. 

Pros: Backing up is cheap and fast.

Cons: If your house gets robbed or catches on fire, your backup can be lost along with your computer, which is very bad.

What’s the Best Way to Back Up My Computer?

* Back Up Over the Internet: If you want to ensure your files stay safe, you can back them up to the internet with a service like BackBlaze. BackBlaze is the well-known online backup service we like and recommend since CrashPlan no longer serves home users, but there are also competitors like Carbonite and MozyHome. For a low monthly fee (about $5 a month), these programs run in the background on your PC or Mac, automatically backing up your files to the service’s web storage. If you ever lose those files and need them again, you can restore them. 

Pros: Online backup protects you against any type of data loss–hard drive failure, theft, natural disasters, and everything in between. 

Cons: These services usually cost money (see the next section for more details), and the initial backup can take much longer than it would on an external drive–especially if you have a lot of files.

What’s the Best Way to Back Up My Computer?

* Use a Cloud Storage Service: Backup purists will say this isn’t technically a backup method, but for most people, it serves a similar enough purpose. Rather than just storing your files on your computer’s hard drive, you can store them on a service like Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or a similar cloud storage service. They’ll then automatically sync to your online account and to your other PCs. If your hard drive dies, you’ll still have the copies of the files stored online and on your other computers. 

Pros: This method is easy, fast, and in many cases, free, and since it’s online, it protects you against all types of data loss. 

Cons: Most cloud services only offer a few gigabytes of space for free, so this only works if you have a small number of files you want to back up, or if you’re willing to pay for extra storage. Depending on the files you want to back up, this method can either be simpler or more complicated than a straight-up backup program.

What’s the Best Way to Back Up My Computer?

While backup programs like BackBlaze and cloud storage services like Dropbox are both online backups, they work in fundamentally different ways. Dropbox is designed to sync your files between PCs, while BackBlaze and similar services are designed to backup large amounts of files. BackBlaze will keep multiple copies of different versions of your files, so you can restore the file exactly as it was from many points in its history. And, while services like Dropbox are free for small amounts of space, BackBlaze’s low price is for as big a backup as you want. Depending on how much data you have, one could be cheaper than the other.

BackBlaze and Carbonite do have one big limitation you should keep in mind. If you delete a file on your computer, it will be deleted from your online backups after 30 days. You can’t go back and recover a deleted file or the previous version of a file after this 30 day period. So be careful when deleting those files if you might want them back!

One Backup Isn’t Enough: Use Multiple Methods

So which should you use? Ideally, you’d use at least two of them. Why? Because you want both offsite and onsite backups.

“Onsite” literally means backups stored at the same physical location as you. So, if you back up to an external hard drive and store that at home with your home PC, that’s an onsite backup.

Offsite backups are stored at a different location. So, if you back up to an online server, like BackBlaze or Dropbox, that’s an offsite backup.

Onsite backups are faster and easier, and should be your first line of defense against data loss. If you lose files, you can quickly restore them from an external drive. But you shouldn’t rely on onsite backups alone. If your home burns down or all the hardware in it is stolen by thieves, you’d lose all your files.

Offsite backups don’t have to be a server on the Internet, either, and you don’t have to pay a monthly subscription for one. You could back up your files to a hard drive and store it at your office, at a friend’s house, or in a bank vault, for example. It’d be a bit more inconvenient, but that’s technically an offsite backup.

Similarly, you could also store your files in Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive and performing regular backups to an external drive. Or you could use BackBlaze to back up online and Windows File History to create a local backup. There are a lot of ways to use these services in tandem, and it’s up to you how to do it. Just make sure you have a solid backup strategy, with onsite and offsite backups, so you have a wide safety net against ever losing your files.

Automate It!

All that may sound complicated, but the more you automate your backup system, the more frequently you’ll be able to back up and the greater the odds you’ll stick with it. That’s why you should use an automated tool instead of copying files to an external drive by hand. You can just set it up once, and forget it.

That’s one reason we really like online services like BackBlaze. If it’s backing up to the internet, it can automatically do that every single day. If you have to plug in an external drive, you have to put in more effort, which means you’ll back up less often and you may eventually stop doing it. Keeping everything automatic is well worth the price.

If you don’t want to pay anything and want to primarily rely on local backups, consider using a file-syncing service like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive to synchronize your important files online. That way, if you ever lose your local backup, you’ll at least have an online copy.

Ultimately, you just need to think about where your files are and ensure you have multiple copies at all times. Ideally, those copies should be in more than one physical location. As long as you’re actually thinking about what you’ll do if your computer dies, you should be way ahead of most people.

How to Load DRM-Free eBooks Onto Your Kindle

How to Load DRM-Free eBooks Onto Your Kindle

The Kindle is a fantastic reading device, but it’s almost entirely reliant upon Amazon’s closed retail system for buying books. That’s by design, of course—it’s an Amazon gadget, they want you to spend money on their store. But if you have a collection of eBooks obtained somewhere else, designed for cross-platform reading in another format without the typical DRM, it’s possible to get them loaded onto your Kindle fairly easily.

Kindle-Compatible File Formats

Before we start, make sure your books are in the right format. the Kindle supports Amazon’s Kindle Package Format, as well as .mobi, .azw3, plain text .txt and rich text .rtf, Adobe PDF, and Word’s standard .doc and .docx files. If your DRM-free ebook doesn’t fit into one of those categories, you can use a tool like Calibre to convert it into something more compatible (more on that in a bit).

Load Books Directly Over USB

How to Load DRM-Free eBooks Onto Your Kindle

The Kindle is mostly designed for Wi-Fi management of its files, but you can also load them directly onto it like any USB drive. Plug your Kindle into your PC with a compatible USB cable (most use microUSB), then copy and paste your DRM-free files into the “Documents” folder on the device. If they’re in the correct format, they’ll appear in on your Kindle’s library when you unplug it.

Transfer Books Over the Air with Amazon’s “Send to Kindle” Desktop App

Amazon allows users to send compatible ebook and document files from Windows and macOS desktops to their Kindle devices over Wi-Fi or the “Whispernet” 3G setting in some premium Kindle models. Head to this page and download the application, then install it on your desktop.

Once the program runs, you’ll be prompted to sign in with your Amazon account—use whichever one is connected to your Kindle.

There are three different ways to send files to your Kindle once the installation is setup: you can open the program manually, then drag and drop one or more files into the interface. You’ll then be able to send the files to specific Kindle devices (eReaders, mobile phones with the Kindle App installed, et cetera). The books will download to your selected devices the next time they’re synced to the network.

How to Load DRM-Free eBooks Onto Your Kindle


You can achieve the same thing by right-clicking the files and selecting “Send to Kindle…”

…or by choosing “Send to Kindle” from the Print command of compatible apps.

Selecting the “Archive documents in your Kindle Library” will save a copy to Amazon’s servers, allowing you to download the book or file from any Kindle device or app.

Send Books Using Your Email Client

Every Kindle device and app has a custom email address assigned to it by Amazon. It isn’t designed for conventional email management, but you can send compatible files to that email address, and Amazon will automatically download the files to the relevant Kindle.

To find the email address you’re looking for, head to the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Click the “Devices” tab, find the device you want to use, and then click the “…” button to the left of the entry.

The email address for this specific device or app is shown. You can click the “edit” button to change the @kindle.com address to something more memorable.

How to Load DRM-Free eBooks Onto Your Kindle

Now switch over to your preferred email client. I’m using Gmail on the web, but any standard email system on any device should work, so long as it allows you to attach files. Create a new email, pop in the address, and attach your documents or files.

You don’t even have to put in a subject or text, just send the email and Amazon’s servers will deliver the files to your Kindle the next time it syncs.

Organize, Convert, and Transfer Books Using Calibre

We’ve covered Calibre before: it’s an excellent third-party suite for creating and managing ebooks. If all you want is to get books onto a Kindle (which Calibre can do automatically with file conversion and transfer), follow these simple steps.

From the main interface, click “Add books,” then navigate to the folder and file you want to send and select it. Plug in your Kindle to your PC, then right-click the book file in Calibre and click “send to device,” then “Send to main memory.” The file will be moved to your Kindle, and if necessary, converted to a compatible file format at the same time.

How to Load DRM-Free eBooks Onto Your Kindle

The converstion, in particular, is what makes  Calibre so useful, even if you don’t use it as an organization too. A lot of DRM-free books come in EPUB format, which Kindles don’t support. Calibre allows you to convert them to the similar, but Kindle-friendly AZW3 format, allowing you to get nearly any book on your Kindle.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

How to Report a Whole Facebook Group

How to Report a Whole Facebook Group

Facebook is a great tool, but it isn’t without its issues. Anyone can create a Facebook Group for any purpose. While lots of sports teams and clubs use Groups to organize things, there are also Groups that are used to coordinate abuse, sell illegal substances, and generally just violate Facebook’s Terms of Service. If you find one, here’s how to report it to Facebook.

Head to the offending Group and click on the three dots. You don’t need to be a member to see them.

From the dropdown, select Report Group.

Select the reason you’re reporting the Group and click Continue.

Facebook will offer you a range of possible actions. To place a report, select Submit to Facebook for Review.

On mobile, the process is similar. Visit the group. If you are a member tap Info and then Report Group.

How to Report a Whole Facebook Group

If you ware not a member, tap View Group Info and then Report Group.

You should only report a Group if the whole thing is breaking Facebook’s Terms of Service. If there’s just one or two posts, you can report them individually instead.

How to Sync Your Android Notifications to Your PC or Mac

How to Sync Your Android Notifications to Your PC or Mac

If you’re working at your computer and your phone goes off, you can grab it, unlock it, and check the notification, likely throwing off your workflow. Or, you could just sync your notifications to your computer, so they show up right there—which really makes a lot more sense.

Fortunately, this is a pretty simple task thanks to a tool called Pushbullet. Now, I’ll tell you right now: Pushbullet does a lot more than just sync notifications to from your phone to your computer. for now, let’s dig into notification syncing in a bit more detail.

Step One: Install the Pushbullet App and Extension

The first thing you’ll need to do is get Pushbullet going on both your phone and your computer. It’s a free install from the Google Play Store on your phone, so go ahead and grab that now.

On the computer side of things, however, you have a couple of options. Regardless of what platform you’re using (Windows, Linux, Mac, Chrome OS, etc.) you can use the Chrome, Firefox, or Opera extensions for your browser. This should cover everything for most people.

If you’re a Windows user, you can also use the Windows app, which is a standalone application instead of a browser extension. Really, it just incorporates itself into the operating system a bit more.

Either way, it’s your decision on what you do. For this tutorial, however, I’ll be using the Chrome extension since it’s the most universal solution.

Step Two: Set up Pushbullet on the Phone

Once you have it installed, you’ll need to get everything set up. Go ahead and fire it up on your phone.

When you launch it, the first thing you’ll need to do is sign in, which you can do with either your Google or Facebook account. Regardless of which one you choose here, you’ll need to use the same login on your computer (when we get to that part).

Once you’ve signed in, you’ll need to give Pushbullet access to your notifications. Click “Enable” on this first screen, which will redirect you to the Notification Access settings page.

Here, go ahead and slide the toggle (it might be a checkbox instead) to allow Pushbullet access to all notifications. A warning will pop up, letting you know that this will give Pushbullet the ability read all of your notifications. That’s part of the deal here, so if you want to show notifications on your PC, click “Allow.”

This should toss you back into the Pushbullet setup, where you’ll allow it to mirror incoming phone call details—just tap “OK” then approve the following permissions (Phone and Contacts). Done.

The next step will not only allow you to see your text messages, but also reply to them. If you’re into that, tap “Enable,” then allow the SMS permission.

How to Sync Your Android Notifications to Your PC or Mac

Once you’re finished with the initial set up, you’ll need to actually enable full notification mirroring. To do that, open the menu by sliding in from the left or tapping the three lines in the upper left corner. From there, choose “Notification Mirroring.”

To enable mirroring, slide the first toggle to the on position. If you only want notifications to mirror when you’re on Wi-Fi, go ahead and toggle the second one too. Lastly, if you don’t want to see silent notifications on your computer, you can turn that option off.

How to Sync Your Android Notifications to Your PC or Mac

Fore more granular control, you can tap the “Choose which apps to enable” option and pick which apps you’ll actually see synced notifications from. That’s cool.

Step Two: Set Up Pushbullet on the Computer

At this point, you should already have the Pushbullet Chrome extension installed, which is what I find to be the easiest way to use the application. Again, if you’re using something different—like the Firefox extension or Windows app, for example—things may look a little bit different. But for the most part, the setup process should be the same.

The extension should show up as a little icon in Chrome’s toolbar. It’s a green circle with a whimsical little bullet in it. Click that. It will prompt you to sign in on Pushbullet.com (which you can also use to interact with Pushbullet’s various options on your phone). Just remember to log in with the same account you used on your phone!


Once that’s done, you’re in. There shouldn’t be any additional setup on the computer. Your notifications should show up as a tooltip-style notification on your computer moving forward.

Step Three: Send a Test Notification and Access Past Notifications

Just to make sure everything is working properly, go ahead and jump back into the Notification Mirroring settings on the phone. The bottom option should read “Send a test notification.” Go ahead and tap that.

A notification should show up on your computer. Boom, you’re done there.

How to Sync Your Android Notifications to Your PC or Mac

With everything up and running, you can access your non-dismissed notifications in the Pushbullet extension by clicking the “Notifications” tab.

And that’s pretty much all there is to it.

How to Disable SMBv1 and Protect Your Windows PC From Attack

How to Disable SMBv1 and Protect Your Windows PC From Attack

The WannaCry and Petya ransomware epidemics both spread using flaws in the ancient SMBv1 protocol, which Windows still enables by default (for some ridiculous reason). Whether you’re using Windows 10, 8, or 7, you should ensure SMBv1 is disabled on your PC.

What Is SMBv1, and Why Is It Enabled By Default?

SMBv1 is an old version of the Server Message Block protocol Windows uses for file sharing on a local network. It’s been replaced by SMBv2 and SMBv3. You can leave versions 2 and 3 enabled—they’re secure.

The older SMBv1 protocol is only enabled because there are some older applications that haven’t been updated to use SMBv2 or SMBv3. Microsoft maintains a list of applications that still require SMBv1 here.

If you’re not using any of these applications—and you probably aren’t—you should disable SMBv1 on your Windows PC to help protect it from any future attacks on the vulnerable SMBv1 protocol. Even Microsoft recommends disabling this protocol unless you need it.

How to Disable SMBv1 on Windows 10 or 8

Microsoft will disable SMBv1 by default beginning with Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update. Sadly, it took a huge ransomware epidemic to push Microsoft to make this change, but better late than never, right?

In the meantime, SMBv1 is easy to disable on Windows 10 or 8. Head to Control Panel > Programs > Turn Windows features on or off. You can also just open the Start menu, type “Features” into the search box, and click the “Turn Windows features on or off” shortcut.

How to Disable SMBv1 and Protect Your Windows PC From Attack

Scroll through the list and locate the “SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support” option. Uncheck it to disable this feature and click “OK”.

You’ll be prompted to restart your PC after making this change.

How to Disable SMBv1 and Protect Your Windows PC From Attack

How to Disable SMBv1 on Windows 7 by Editing the Registry

On Windows 7, you’ll have to edit the Windows registry to disable the SMBv1 protocol.

Standard warning: Registry Editor is a powerful tool and misusing it can render your system unstable or even inoperable. This is a pretty simple hack and as long as you stick to the instructions, you shouldn’t have any problems. 

To get started, open the Registry Editor by hitting Start and typing “regedit.” Press Enter to open Registry Editor and give it permission to make changes to your PC.

In the Registry Editor, use the left sidebar to navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters

Next, you’re going to create a new value inside the Parameters subkey. Right-click the Parameters key  and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

Name the new value SMB1 .

The DWORD will be created with a value of “0”, and that’s perfect. “0” means SMBv1 is disabled. You don’t have to edit the value after creating it.

How to Disable SMBv1 and Protect Your Windows PC From Attack


You can now close the registry editor. You will also need to restart your PC before the changes take effect. If you ever want to undo your change, return here and delete the SMB1 value.

More Information About Disabling SMBv1

The above tricks are ideal for disabling SMBv1 on a single PC, but not across an entire network. Consult Microsoft’s official documentation for more information about other scenarios. For example, Microsoft’s documentation recommends rolling out the above registry change using Group Policy if you want to disable SMB1 on a network of Windows 7 machines.

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