Monday, 13 October 2014

Why Your Computer Won't Detect Your USB or Flash Drive – Fix it now

This looks quite obvious and can be easily addressed by removing and reinserting the portable or removable storage media devices from the computer system. However, if it keeps happening by performing above steps multiple times as well as the same thing happens whenever you tried to connect the device on different computer, the solution might be tricky and needs you to follow some handful steps. 

USB or flash drives are still a popular way to safely carry documents and other useful information. These devices generally have higher chances of becoming damaged, inaccessible or even unreadable by the computer system due to of lacking any inbuilt security mechanism. Therefore, you are strongly advised to carefully scan the targeted computer first before plugging your USB/ Flash chips based storage devices.

Once the device becomes inaccessible, you might lose your data permanently and use of best data recovery software can help you recover data from USB or Flash Drives. Recovery software are specially created to deal with various crucial data loss circumstances by providing relevant recovery methods to recover data from verity of storage media devices.

USB isn’t showing up on the computer’ is one of the most common problems that user may face anytime. The problem device may also not showed up under ‘Disk Management’, which usually contains all the crucial information about all the connected internal or external storage media devices such as file system type, used or total drive capacity, drive label etc. In some case, disk management may list the drive with such problems but show 0 Bytes as total drive capacity as well as consumed or free space.

Don’t get confused with various other forms of similar problems, such as:

Please insert a disk into drive X:

Whenever, you’ve decided to format drive with similar issues, you may have received the following error message on the screen:

There is no disk in drive X.
Insert a disk, and then try again.

For example, in the image below, you can see a drive with such problems that is showing 0 Bytes as drive capacity as well as unallocated or reserved space.


How to fix problem USB or Flash drive that didn’t showed up – Windows 7

Steps mentioned in this tutorial are simple, however it is advised you to be a computer proficient to carefully follow all the steps. Also, the risks are involved of losing data as some steps require you to completely format the problem storage devices (USB or Flash Drive).

Once you are done and ensured that all the stored data were accessible from somewhere else, you can proceed with troubleshooting steps below:
  1. Open the elevated command prompt by typing cmd in the search text bar, opened after clicking on start button in Windows 7. Right click on the Command Prompt from the search text bar and choose to run it as an administrator.

    Please enter the admin credentials if it was previously set and hit enter.
  2. Alternatively, you can also type diskpart.exe directly into the search text bar, opened after clicking on the start button in Windows 7. Again, you’ll need to select it to ‘Run as an administrator’ and provide required admin credentials.
  3. Once the black screen window opens, type ‘list disk’ and hit enter. This command will list all the internal or external storage media devices currently connected to your computer.
  4. You’ll need to locate the problem storage devices that stop showing in the computer previously. You can easily identify it by seeing the size of the problem drive. Note down the number of your problem storage device, located just below the Disk ### column.
  5. Type Select Disk X (Where X is the number of problem removable device) and hit enter. A confirmation message will appear that now the same numbered disk has been selected and any or all the actions you perform, will be applied to that particular disk.
  6. Perform clean command by typing Clean and hitting enter. This will erase all the stored data into the problem drive and make it very fresh exactly as you had used it for the first time. However, it’ll lose the defined file system type and needs to be assigned any one, either NTFS or FAT (Whichever you want)
  7. Type Create Partition Primary to assign a new file system/partition to that problem drive and hit enter. By default, Partition 1 will be assigned to that problem device.
  8. Type Select Partition 1 and hit enter to select the partition.
  9. Type format fs=ntfs label=USB quick in the command prompt and hit enter to format it once again and make it pretty fresh for new uses.
  10. Close the Diskpart or exit the black screen window by simply clicking on close button, located at the top right corner.
  11. Most probably, the drive will now be listed under ‘My Computer’ labeled with NTFS file format. From now on, you can use or access this drive without any problem. Moreover, follow the same procedure if the problem resurfaces in future.

Alternate options
If following the above tutorials didn’t help you, consider using the third party USB/Flash Drive formatting tool which will format the drive by using their own mechanism and repair the corrupt or damaged file system.

HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool is a great tool to format USB or flash media of almost any size and make it bootable if required. It’ll also lets you able to assign or give new file system type to your problem removable storage media.

Windows USB DVD creator is also a similar tool and can also be used to format or make bootable USB. In both ways, we’ll try to format and assign a new file system to the problem storage media as formatting any non-working or corrupt USB can do the trick and make it usable as before.

Last resort for making corrupt/damaged USB usable again

At last, if nothing works, consider following the link here and initiate the Launchpad. Follow on screen steps and U3 installer will restore the problem USB drive to its default/factory settings. Remember, this option will work only on SanDisk USB or Flash drive as the utility was specifically created for Manufacturer own modeled USB or flash drives. 

Thursday, 9 October 2014

10 tips to boost the security on Mac

Though Mac OS X is extremely secure but the truth is that no operating system is 100% impenetrable. These days certain attacks of Trojan have affected the security issues badly. These attacks usually arrive from the third party software that contaminate the Mac with its adverse effects. With the increasing number of Mac users, they are easily becoming a victim of this growing number of attacks. So, lets discuss some points, which will help to keep the Mac secure.

1) Disable 'Open safe files' and Java in the browser settings

It is better to disable these options, as it will generate the security issues. And if we talk about Flash player, so Java is the target for the exploit writers to plant malware on the Mac machine. Working in a safe environment is much better to avoid such discrepancy.

2) Open up the non- admin account for daily activities

Using administrator account may give the gateway to malware writers to infect the Mac. Our everyday task involves email, downloads etc. , so new account will prevent from the threats and malware attacks during these activities.

3) Update the software

In recent cases, it has been noticed that the attacks of virus is just because of the outdated software. Whenever 'Apple software update' prompts, the user should fix that update and reboot the Machine. So, updating of the software involves some coding effects which will solve most of the issues. It has been recommended to use latest technology and updated software to be safe at least in security cases.

4) Disable Airport, Bluetooth, IPv6 like things

While doing web browsing, disconnect all such applications, which leads to connectivity services between user and hackers. These apps will generate the entry gates for the hackers to hack the data and inject malware. Also, IPv6 is the communication protocol that is rarely used but still it is a good practice to disable it and be on a safer side.

5) Enable FileVault

Now, in previous version of Mac OS X i.e. Lion, Apple added full disk encryption option which later on known as 'FileVault2'. This is very useful as it give you the benefit of securing the entire disk.

6) Installation of good Antivirus will be an added advantage

It is a common line that 'Mac doesn't get viruses' but the statement has been completely changed drastically. From 2011 onwards, the Trojan and several other viruses badly affect the Mac machine. Due to this updating good antivirus is mandatory for security purposes.

7) Update latest version of Adobe Reader

As the latest version of Adobe Reader has engraved with certain security parameters, so upgrading it will prevent your Mac.

8) Use built in password manager i.e. Keychain

This is a facility provided in Mac systems only which helps us to subsist with the phishing attacks. With the help of the Keychain facility, you can keep your entire difficult password in it.  Also, select unique password with ASCII characters for every different account and instead of remembering it, just put it in the Keychain. Normally when sometimes your password is hacked by cybercriminals, they try that same password in every account. Due to this practice, they are sometimes successful in it. So, generating strong password will boost up the security level.

9) Enable the OS X Firewall

Now Mac has built in Firewall, which protects you from unwanted programs to access, and they are turned off by default. To enable it, just go in system preferences, then in security and there you could see the Firewall. Enabling it will allow the Mac users to control the network connections.

10) Uninstall Flash Player in settings

Now, Adobe flash player has been a common target for hackers. Update latest version of it will prevent from certain risk while browsing the Internet.

Therefore, above are the most important points to uplift the security level of Mac. Always keep updated with the latest software and attacks.

Monday, 29 September 2014

How to create the bootable USB installer for OS X Yosemite ?

Apple OS X Yosemite 10.10 is a powerful and elegant operating system with the redesigned interface and new features in it.  Now, let us create a bootable USB installer for OS X Yosemite. The steps are as follows:

At first, insert the SD card or USB flash drive in the computer. Then to launch the Disk Utility, double   click on main drive, then on 'Applications' folder and lastly click on 'Utilities' folder. Select Disk Utility app from there.

Choose the drive from the device list and click on partition tab. Then select one partition from the drop down menu and give its name, size and select 'Mac OS Extended (Journaled)' from the drop down list.

Now click on the 'Options' button and you could see the partition scheme menu available right there. Then choose the radio button which is just next to GUID partition table and click ok. Now verify the changes that have been made and then click 'Apply'. A pop up window will generate asking to partition the disk finally, just then click on 'Partition' option to reflect the changes.

After the completion of the above process, the removable drive is ready  for OS X. The next step is to launch the Terminal app to unhide the hidden files which are needed to proceed the process. For that the below command is needed i.e.

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles 1 | KillAll Finder

Then, search the location where OS X file is saved and right click the installer and then  click on Show Package Content from the menu. Now, Click on Shared support which is present there and mount the installESD.dmg file. After double clicking on installESD.dmg file, we could able to see several files, out of which 2 files are needed to create the OS X installer  to the removable drive. One file is BaseSystem.dmg and  second one is Packages folder.

Now, move on back to Disk Utility app and choose the partition that we have created in above steps. Next is to select the Restore tab, drag the partition name to the destination box and also drag the BaseSystem.dmg file from Finder to the source box. Then, Click on Restore button present in the bottom  and clicking on Erase will start the process to install the drives on to the drive. And just fill the administrative credentials requested by Disk Utility to perform the task and then click on OK command to execute the changes.

After completing the task of file transfer, the drive will automatically mount in Finder. Search the installation directory to find the alias to the packages folder and just delete that alias.

And if  you want to replace that alias, then copy that Packages folder to the installation directory as done above. In this process, again the time it will generally take to transfer the file will depend on the age of the machine.

Generally, it is not a good practice to hide the files but if you want to still proceed then type the following command mentioned below to hide the files again:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles 0 | KillAll Finder

At last the removable drive is ready to perform a clean installation of OS X Yosemite. Now, to proceed for the clean  install, power on the Mac and insert the drive. To access the boot selection menu, just hold down the option  key and choose the USB drive partition and follow the prompts to initiate the boot process.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

How to recover deleted photos from Memory cards

SD card is an electronic storage device used to store digital information. They are commonly used in MP3 players, laptops, video games, cameras etc. They come in various sizes with the popular brands. Nowadays, people are using more and more memory cards as they are small in size and also available at cheaper rates in the market. But in-spite of it so many advantages, there are certain problems with these cards such as data loss, bad quality card etc. And deleted or formatted SD card disaster can put someone in miserable condition. In case of hard drive also, if the drive crashed.  Certainly a horrible condition arrives.

Types of Disasters that can happen are:

Formatted drive or card

If this happens, then not to worry at all because the software utility can recover the data very easily. So, by chance somebody formatted their camera pics, hard drive etc. can recapture the missing files very easily.

Deleted data

Data which is erased completely from trash or recycle bin can also be gained efficiently. The actual files are not erased from the drive.

Physical damage

In case of this serious cause, the recovery of data becomes cumbersome. If the damage is quite serious due to bad sectors etc. then the chances of recovering the data is moderate to low. But still the data can be recovered due to the availability of the powerful software in the market.

Precautions to be taken to prevent data loss

Certain points are there which should be taken care of, to prevent data loss in the future are:

1) Backup of the data to the separate drive is very important. If the primary drive fails then the consumer can easily copy the data from the secondary drive where the backup of that data is available.

2) Choose and invest in reliable drives or memory card as these days most of the people are facing many problems due to these duplicate cards. Buying cheap things from unknown manufacturers is not a good practice.

3) In case of camera usage, memory cards need to be formatted properly after taking the backup of the data. And do not format it somewhere, do it in camera itself as sometimes the files could not be written to the camera just because of this issue.

4) Most of the digital camera users use same card many times which usually corrupts the file system and makes all the data inaccessible. If still you intend to do, then always take the backup of your card.

How to recapture deleted/formatted/lost images??

Now, there are ample of software which can recapture the lost or deleted images. Choose the software which support all media files and can be initiated from logical drive, physical drive, attached media storage etc. Just select the best software and follow these steps to recover it.

1) Launch the Photo recovery software. Then click on recover photos button.

2) Next step is to select the appropriate volume or any other attached storage media. Click on scan button to start the scanning process.

3) You could able to see all your files in that software which you have formatted or lost.

4) Last step is to recover those files.

Also options like advanced scan or chose only audio files to recover are also there. So, the recovery software process is very simple to go in case of deleted images.   

How to Remove Boot Manager Pop up Messages About to Choose OS in Windows 7

Running multiple version of Windows on the same computer is thrilling. It gives user choices to test the benefit of using multiple flavors of operating system without switching to another computer. For example, you can install Windows 7 and Windows 8 on the same computer (in different drives/volumes) and can use either, depending on your choice.

Why this happens?
The theory is, boot manager stores two different boot records in your computer and asks you to choose the operating system to start with, just before the Windows booting screen. You’ll need to select your desired version of OS to start with. You’ll need to go through this step all the time you wish to start your computer.

However, the problem arises when you’ve un-installed or removed any one OS from the dual booting environment and still receiving the same boot manager pop up messages to choose OS before getting into desktop. Doesn’t matter how you’ve removed it (either by formatting the drive or deleting the volume).

Below mentioned are common boot manager pop up messages, asked recently on various Windows help community. It will help you to ensure if it exactly matches to your case so could you follow the solutions accordingly.

Upon startup, I receive a black screen with Windows Boot Manager directing me to choose an operating system to start. Windows 7 is highlighted, and I have to hit enter to continue startup

Whenever vista loads up, it brings the windows boot manager and makes me have to press enter to boot into vista. If I press tab, it gives me the option to get into windows memory diagnostic. How do I disable all of this to boot straight into vista without having to press enter? This is vista home.


Common reasons that leads to boot manager pop up notification
Boot.ini is an important hidden file reside at your boot drive/volume and have exclusive control on what happens at boot time. It can store multiple booting records including OS version, installed date and important booting records to start OS that you’ve chosen. Doesn’t matter if you’ve uninstalled or removed another version of installed OS from bootable volume, if the records still exist in the boot.ini file, it’ll continue to throw boot manager pop ups.

This can also happen if you’ve abruptly or improperly uninstalled the other copy of OS from your computer and didn’t performed startup repair. The OS will be removed from the system but its booting records will continue to exist on booting information file till you’ve manually removed it.
How you can remove or stop those annoying boot manager pop ups in Windows 7

  • Go to Start > Control Panel > System & Security > Administrative Tools > Double click on System Configuration File.

    P.S. Enter administrative credentials if asked and click on ‘OK’ to proceed.
  • Click on ‘Boot’ tab and then select the OS version you’ve deleted i.e. Windows 7 / XP / Vista
  • Click on the ‘Delete’ button and set the timeout to ‘0’.
  • Click ‘Apply’ and then ‘OK’ and then finally restart your computer.

After that, Boot to the first copy of Windows 7 that you want to keep and install EasyBCD from here:

Open ‘Disk Management’ after booting with desired Windows OS version and format the secondary operating system that you want to delete or no longer needed. Your primary partition (with which you are currently logged in) would be already marked as boot. Once the secondary partition is formatted, the drive will start showing as fresh and don’t contain any records or bootable information.

Now, you’ll need to Install EasyBCD on the system and remove the entry for secondary partition along with the bootable records.

Most probably, on the next restart, you’ll not see boot manager pop up messages and can directly boot into the desktop.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Equivalent comparison between Macs & PC

Switch over the web and search ‘How Macs & PC differ?’, or ‘Which is better Mac or PC?’ and you will be pounded by hundreds of results. Each one tries to compare both computer systems on basis of his/her experiences, word-of-mouth and knowledge.   

At times, a user switching from PC to Mac finds him in the midst of completely new technology. Since an average Mac is much richer than an average PC, user takes it like a rocket science which could only be nailed by an expert.

A question arises, how many days are sufficient to master OS X Mac? Actually, there is no definite answer to it but obliviously all can’t be learnt in a day or week.

How to start?

If you have been a PC user most of the time and going to handle Mac for the very first time then we need to learn from the basics. List of FAQs are below:

1.     Does Mac have ‘My Computer’ where I can navigate through drives & partition?

Answer 1) No Macs don’t have MY COMPUTER like PC has. Instead, all drives can be navigated through Finder Window. You can customize Finder to show all your internal drives & partitions on the desktop. Thus making simple for the user to navigate connected drives & partitions.

2.     Can Mac be run under Safe boot?

Answer 2) Quite easily, Mac can be run under safe boot using below process:
·      Turn off Mac.
·      Restart Mac by holding power button
·      When Mac boots & produces startup sounds, immediately press-hold the SHIFT key.
·      Once gray Apple logo appears on monitor, release the SHIFT key.
·      Soon Mac progresses to Safe Mode.

3.     Can Macs have dual Operating System?

Answer 3) Yes, just like PC, Macs too can install multiple OS X on to their hard drives. The Mac owner must analyze the hard drive spaces and can install more 2 OS X onto it. For Instance: My OS X currently possesses 2 OS X namely.

·      OS X Mavericks
·      OS X Mountain Lion

4.     How can I change Settings of an OS X Mac?

Answer 4) PC users are well aware of Control Panel in PC OS. I am 100% sure a new user will question on ‘How to change basic settings of Mac OS X?’ The answer to this question is as simple as eating a pie. All Macs have built-in System Preferences which can be accessed via route Apple Logo<System Preferences. Amazingly, this utility does what Control Panel does on PC. Some of the offerings of System Preference are:

·      Desktop & Screensaver
·      Language & text
·      Notifications
·      CD-DVDs
·      Display
·      Energy-Savers
·      Keyboards
·      Mouse
·      Printer
·      iCloud
·      Network
·      Bluetooth
·      Sharing
·      User & groups
·      Date & Time
·      Software update
·      Time Machine
·      Startup disk etc.

5.     What is equivalent to Task Manager in OS X?
Answer 5) Soon you will be looking for an application which is equivalent to Task Manager in OS X. Activity Monitor is the answer to monitor all running apps on OS X Mac. You can manage apps, force quit a stubborn app, find out the culprit apps that are consuming more RAM & drive spaces.

6.     Do Macs have an app like Command Prompt?
Answer 6) Yes they do have but the name is TERMINAL. Users fluent in low-level language can easily execute tasks through terminal. Like Command Prompt in PC, Terminals too in Mac are technical and command should be verified before executing. An example of Terminal command is below:

·      To unhide files & folders on Mac
·      Open Terminal and type –
defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES
·      Hit Enter.

7.     How to uninstall an application on Mac?
Answer 7) To uninstall an app from Mac, user only need to drag the app and drop it into trash folder. Unlike PC, where one has to uninstall a software using Control Panel<Add/Remove Program.