Posts Tagged ‘windows explorer’

Upgrade old crappy Windows 7 32 bit to Windows 10 32 bit, post install fixes and impressions / How to enter Safe Mode in Windows 10

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Upgrade-Windows-7-Vista-XP-to-Windows-10-upgrade-howto-observations-post-fixes

However as I've been upgrading my sister's computer previously running Windows 7 to Windows 10 (the process of upgrading is really simple you just download Windows-Media-Creation-tool from Microsoft website and the rest comes to few clicks (Accept Windows 10 User Agreement, Create current install  restore point (backup) etc.) and waiting some 30 minutes or so for the upgrade to complete.

windows-7-to-10-windows-setup-upgrade-this-pc-prompt

Then it was up to downloading some other updates on a few times and restarting the computer, each time the upgrades were made and all the computer was ready. I've installed Avira (AntiVirus) as I usually do on new PCs and downloaded a bunch of anti-malware (MalwareBytes / Rfkill  / Zemanta)  to make sure that the old upgraded  WIndows was not already infected before the upgrade and I've found a bunch of malware, that got quickly cleared up.

Anyways I've tried also another tool called ReimagePlus – Online Computer Repair in order to check whether there are no some broken WIndows system files after the upgrade

Reimage_Repair-Windows-fix-windows-failing-services-and-broken-windows-installations-clear-up-malware
(here I have to say I've done that besides running in an Administrator command prompt (cmd.exe) and running
 

sfc /scannow


command to check base system files integrity, which luckily showed no problems with the Win base system files.

ReimagePlus however showed some failed services and some failed programs that were previously installed from Windows 7 before the upgrade and even it showed indication for Trojan present on computer but since ReImagePlus is a payed software and I didn't have the money to spend on it, I just proceeded to clean up what was found manually.

After that the computer ran fine, with the only strange thing that some data was from hard drive was red a bit too frequently, after a short call with a close friend (Nomen) – thx man, he suggested that the frequenty hdd usage might be related to Windows Search Indexing service database rebuilt and he adviced me to disable it which I did following this article How to speed up Windows by disabling Search Index Service.

One issue worthy to mention  stumbled upon after the upgrade was problems with Windows Explorer which was frequently crashing and "restarting the Desktop", but once, I've enabled all upgrades from Microsoft and Applied them after some update failures and restarts, once all was up2date to all latest from Microsoft, Explorer started working normally.

In the mean time while Windows Explorer was crashing in order to browse my file system I used the good old Win Total Command or Norton Commander for Windows – WinNC (with its most cool bizzarre own File Explorer tool).

Windows-Total-commander-tool-running-on-MS-Windows-10

As I wanted to run a MalwareBytes scan and Antivirus under Windows Safe-Mode, I tried entering it by restarting the Computer and pressing F8 a number of times before the Windows boot screen but this didn't work as Safe-Mode boot was changed in Windows 10 to be callable in another way because of some extra Windows Boot speed up optimizations, in short the easiest way I found to enter Windows 10 Safe Mode was to Hit Start Button -> Choose Restart PC and keep pressed SHIFT button simultaneously
that calls a menu that gives you some restore options, along with safe mode options for those who want to read more on How to Enter Safe mode (Command Prompt) on Windows 10 – please read this article.

Windows-10-enable-Safe-Mode-options-screen

Once the upgrade was over and all below done unfortunately I've realized her previously installed WIndows 7 is x86 (32 bit) version and the Acer notebook 5736Z where it is being installed is actually X64 (64 bit), hence I've decided to upgrade my dear sis computer to a 64 Bit Windows 10 and researched online whether, there is some tool that is capable to upgrade WIndows 10 from 32 bit to Windows 10 64 bit just to find out the only option is to either use some program to creaty a backup of files on the PC or to manually copy files to external hard drive and reinstall with a Windows 10 64 bit bootable USB Flash or CD / DVD image, so I took my USB flash and used again Windows Media Creation Tool to burn Windows and re-install with the 64 bit iso.

If you're wonder about why I choose to re-install finally Win 10 32 bit with Win 64 bit, because you might think performance difference might be not really so dramatic, then I have to say the Acer notebook is equipped with 4 Gigabytes of RAM Memory and Windows 10 32bit  (Pro) could recognize a maximum of 3 Gigabytes (2.9 GB if I have to be precise) and 1 Gigabyte of memory stays totally unusued all the time with  Winblows 10 32 bit.

Windows-10-4gb-memory-present-only-3gb-usable-why-reason-and-solution

I've tried my best actually to not loose time to fully upgrade Windows 7 (32 bit) -> Windows 10 (64 bit) but to make Windows 7 32 bit Windows to use more than the default Limitation of 3GB of memory by using this thirt party PAE Externsion Kernel Patch
which is patching the Windows Kernel to extend the Windows support for PCs with up to 128 GB of memory however it turned out that this Patch file is not compatible with my Windows Kernel version once I followed readme instructions.

It seems the PAE (Physical Address Extension) is supported by default  by Microsoft only on 32 bit Windows Server 10 to read more on the PAE if interested give a look here.

Well that's all folks, the rest I did was to just boot from the USB drive just burned and re-install WIndows and copy my files from User profile / Downloads / Pictures / Music etc. to the same locations on the new installed Windows 10 professional 64 bit and enjoy the better performance.

Mount remote Linux SSHFS Filesystem harddisk on Windows Explorer SWISH SSHFS file mounter and a short evaluation on what is available to copy files to SSHFS from Windows PC

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

swish-mount-and-copy-files-from-windows-to-linux-via-sshfs-mount

I'm forced to use Windows on my workbook and I found it really irritating, that I can't easily share files in a DropBox, Google Drive, MS OneDrive, Amazon Storage or other cloud-storage free remote service. etc.
I don't want to use DropBox like non self-hosted Data storage because I want to keep my data private and therefore the only and best option for me was to make possible share my Linux harddisk storage
dir remotely to the Windows notebook.

I didn't wanted to setup some complex environment such as Samba Share Server (which used to be often a common option to share file from Linux server to Windows), neither wanted to bother with  installing FTP service and bother with FTP clients, or configuring some other complex stuff such as WebDav – which BTW is an accepted and heavily used solution across corporate clients to access read / write files on a remote Linux servers.
Hence, I made a quick research what else besides could be used to easily share files and data from Windows PC / notebook to a home brew or professional hosting Linux server.

It turned out, there are few of softwares that gives a similar possibility for a home lan small network Linux / Windows hybrid network users such, here is few of the many:

  • SyncThingSyncthing is an open-source file synchronization client/server application, written in Go, implementing its own, equally free Block Exchange Protocol. The source code's content-management repository is hosted on GitHub

    syncthing-logo

  • OwnCloud – ownCloud provides universal access to your files via the web, your computer or your mobile devices

    owncloud-logo

  • Seafile – Seafile is a file hosting software system. Files are stored on a central server and can be synchronized with personal computers and mobile devices via the Seafile client. Files can also be accessed via the server's web interface


seafile-client-in-browser

I've checked all of them and give a quick try of Syncthing which is really easy to start, just download the binary launch it and configure it under https://Localhost:8385 URL from a browser on the Linux server.
Syncthing seemed to be nice and easy to configure solution to be able to Sync files between Server A (Windows) and Server B(Linux) and guess many would enjoy it, if you want to give it a try you can follow this short install syncthing article.
However what I didsliked in both SyncThing and OwnCloud and Seafile and all of the other Sync file solutions was, they only supported synchronization via web and didn't seemed to have a Windows Explorer integration and did required
the server to run more services, posing another security hole in the system as such third party softwares are not easily to update and maintain.

Because of that finally after rethinking about some other ways to copy files to a locally mounted Sync directory from the Linux server, I've decided to give SSHFS a try. Mounting SSHFS between two Linux / UNIX hosts is
quite easy task with SSHFS tool

In Windows however the only way I know to transfer files to Linux via SSHFS was with WinSCP client and other SCP clients as well as the experimental:

As well as few others such as ExpandDrive, Netdrive, Dokan SSHFS (mirrored for download here)
I should say that I first decided to try copying few dozen of Gigabyte movies, text, books etc. using WinSCP direct connection, but after getting a couple of timeouts I was tired of WinSCP and decided to look for better way to copy to remote Linux SSHFS.
However the best solution I found after a bit of extensive turned to be:

SWISH – Easy SFTP for Windows

Swish is very straight forward to configure compared to all of them you download the .exe which as of time of writting is at version 0.8.0 install on the PC and right in My Computer you will get a New Device called Swish next to your local and remote drives C:/ D:/ , USBs etc.

swish-new-device-to-appear-in-my-computer-to-mount-sshfs

As you see in below screenshot two new non-standard buttons will Appear in Windows Explorer that lets you configure SWISH

windows-mount-sshfs-swish-add-sftp-connection-button-screenshot

Next and final step before you have the SSHFS remote Linux filesystem visible on Windows Xp / 7 / 8 / 10 is to fill in remote Linux hostname address (or even better fill in IP to get rid of possible DNS issues), UserName (UserID) and Direcory to mount.

swish-new-fill-in-dialog-to-make-new-linux-sshfs-mount-directory-possible-on-windows

Then you will see the SSHFS moutned:

swish-sshfs-mounted-on-windows

You will be asked to accept the SSH host-key as it used to be unknown so far

swish-mount-sshfs-partition-on-windows-from-remote-linux-accept-key

That's it now you will see straight into Windows Explorer the remote Linux SSHFS mounted:

remote-sshfs-linux-filesystem-mounted-in-windows-explorer-with-swish

Once setupped a Swish connection to copy files directly to it you can use the Send to Embedded Windows dialog, as in below screenshot

swish-send-to-files-windows-screenshot

The only 3 problem with SWISH are:

1. It doesn't support Save password, so on every Windows PC reboot when you want to connect to remote Linux SSHFS, you will have to retype remote login user pass.
Fron security stand point this is not such a bad thing, but it is a bit irritating to everytime type the password without an option to save permanently.
The good thing here is you can use Launch Key Agent
as visible in above screenshot and set in Putty Key Agent your remote host SSH key so the passwordless login will work without any authentication at
all however, this might open a security hole if your Win PC gets infected by virus, which might delete something on remote mounted SSHFS filesystem so I personally prefer to retype password on every boot.

2. it is a bit slow so if you're planning to Transfer large amounts of Data as hundreds of megabytes, expect a very slow transfer rate, even in a Local  10Mbit Network to transfer 20 – 30 GB of data, it took me about 2-3 hours or so.
SWISH is not actively supported and it doesn't have new release since 20th of June 2013, but for the general work I need it is just perfect, as I don't tent to be Synchronizing Dozens of Gigabytes all the time between my notebook PC and the Linux server.

3. If you don't use the established mounted connection for a while or your computer goes to sleep mode after recovering your connection to remote Linux HDD if opened in Windows File Explorer will probably be dead and you will have to re-enable it.

For Mac OS X users who want to mount / attach remote directory from a Linux partitions should look in fuguA Mac OS X SFTP, SCP and SSH Frontend

I'll be glad to hear from people on other good ways to achieve same results as with SWISH but have a better copy speed while using SSHFS.

How to check Windows server installed Tomcat and Java version

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

how-to-check-get-java_and-tomcat-version-on-windows-java-and-tomcat-logo
I'm filling up a TOP (Turn to Production) form for a project where my part as Web and Middleware Engineer included install of Tomcat 7 and Java 1.7 on Windows server 2008 R2 standard. TOP is required Excel sheet standard document used by many large companies to fill in together with Project Manager before the server is to be launched into Production mode.

Therefore I needed to find out previously installed Tomcat and Java version, here is how:

1. Go to Tomcat install directory and (click twice) run twice Tomcat7w

As tomcat is installed in Custom location in D:webdienste in this case I had to run:
 
D:webdiensteapplication-jsptomcatapplication-namecurrentbinTomcat7w.exe

I run it using command line (cmd.exe), however you can run it via Windows Explorer, if you're lazy typing.
You will get a window pop up like on below screenshot:

In this case Installed Tomcat version was 7.0.55

If you need to check the version on older Tomcat application server install you can run instead Tomcat6w – whether its Tomcat version 6 or Tomcat5w – for Tomcat ver. 5

In order to Check the java version the quickest way is via command line, again run cmd.exe from

Start -> Run -> cmd.exe

how-to-see-find-get-check-tomcat-version-on-windows-server-install-screenshot

Then cd to whenever is Java VM installed the usual location where it gets installed for Java 1.7 on Windows is:

C:Program FilesJavajre7bin

Java 8 common location is:

C:Program FilesJavajre8bin

Java would automatically add PATH to Windows default PATH definitions during install, hence to find out exactly where java is installed on Windows server, type in cmd:

where java

Then to check the exact installed Java version on Win host is by invoking java (jre) cli with -version parameter:

java -version

how-to-check-get-java-version-info-on-windows-server-screenshot

If you're lazy to type in commands, you can also check Java version in Windows from GUI by using:

Java Control Panel

To launch it in:

Start -> (Search Program and Files)

field type:

Java Conf and click on Java Control Panel

Then click on

General (tab) -> About

java-control-panel-gui-about-version-windows-server-screenshot

Cannot Delete file on Desktop on Windows XP – The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

delete-locked-file-in-windows-xp-7-cannot-delete-file-on-desktop-windows-xp-file-used-by-another-process-solution-fix
I had to fix recently another Windows XP infected with plenty of malicious malware. I've used tips from http://malwaretips.com/blogs/ and launch all suggested tools to cleanup the PC. Some few thousands of infections were cleaned and the PC started working much better than earlier, however still there was one weird issue on the Windows XP desktop there was an .exe file hanging with 0 bytes size and whenever I tried to delete the file either from GUI or command line with (del command) it refused to delete with error:
 

The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.


Well the message clearly shows, the file can't be deleted because some program was using it however I couldn't see any program that has locked the .exe file. I've checked that in (Windows Task Manager) run from

Start -> Run:

taskmgr


I've done a quick search online to see, whether someone has fixed the issues, and saw many threads talking about the issue suggesting that the issue got solved Windows XP OS re-install, as this was not an option for me because the PC's reinstall would be at least a 2 day time work, plus it contains some programs which will probably be hard to freshly install, because they're no longed supported.

Finally I've seen in this thread suggestion to try to kill Windows Explorer after you have opened windows with windows cmd.exe because this will prevent the .exe file being locked by Windows Explorer and will allow it to be deleted with del command. This actually worked. I've launched

Start -> Run

taskmgr

windows-kill-explorer-process-to-delete-explorer-locked-file-on-windows-xp-desktop

and

cmd.exe

Found explorer.exe process and killed it, this makes the whole desktop (icons, start menu etc. disappear) – as Windows Explorer is main managing Windows app. Then using Alt+Tab to switch to Command Prompt window deleted it with:
 

del  Process_that_cannot_be_killed.exe


And finally succesfully deleted it 🙂

Windows Explorer (Open directory in command prompt preserving dir PATH) – Add Dos Prompt Here feature via tiny registry tweak

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Windows explorer dos prompt here open directory in windows command line

If you have to use Windows on system administration level, you had to use command prompt daily, thus its useful to be able to be able to open Command Line starting from desired directory with no need to copy directory Path by hand and CD to it manually.

By default Command Prompt, cmd.exe always opens itself setting a path to user home directory, reading what is defined by win system variable %USERPROFILE% or %HOMEPATH% – MS Windows equivalent of UNIX's $HOME shell variable.

To add open in  DOS Prompt Here Command Prompt option to Windows Explorer menus its necessary to apply few rules to Windows registry DB
Use above Download link and launch it and from there on clicking with right Mouse button to any directory will enable you to open directory in CMD.EXE.

Here is content of little registry tweak adding the new menu Dos Prompt Here button
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\DosHere]
@="Dos &Prompt Here"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\DosHere\Command]
@="cmd.exe /k cd %1"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\DosHere]
@="Dos &Prompt Here"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\DosHere\Command]
@="cmd.exe /k cd %1"

Windows explorer open program files or any specific directory in windows command line

windows opening directory in command line program files screenshot win 7

This little registry code is originally for Windows 2000, anyways it is compatible with all NT technology based Windowses, Add DOS Prompt Here tweak works fine on Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8 (Home, Pro and Business editions).

By Mentioning $HOME its interesting to say Windows equivalent of Linux's as it might be useful to know:

linux:~# echo $HOME
/home/hipo

is

C:\\> echo %USERPROFILE%
C:\\Users\\georgi

To list all Windows Command Prompt environment variable equivalent to Linux's bash shell env / setenv is SET command), here is example output from my Winblows;

C:\Users\georgi> SET
ALLUSERSPROFILE=C:\\ProgramData
APPDATA=C:\\Users\georgi\AppData\Roaming
CLASSPATH=.;C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Java\\jre6\\lib\\ext\\QTJava.zip
CommonProgramFiles=C:\\Program Files\Common Files
CommonProgramFiles(x86)=C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Common Files
CommonProgramW6432=C:\\Program Files\\Common Files
COMPUTERNAME=GEORGI
ComSpec=C:\\Windows\\system32\\cmd.exe
DEFLOGDIR=C:\\ProgramData\\McAfee\\DesktopProtection
FP_NO_HOST_CHECK=NO
HOMEDRIVE=C:
HOMEPATH=\\Users\\georgi
LOCALAPPDATA=C:\\Users\\georgi\\AppData\\Local
NUMBER_OF_PROCESSORS=4
OS=Windows_NT
Path=C:\\Program Files\\RA2HP\\;C:\\Windows\\system32;C:\\Windows;C:\\Windows\\S
Wbem;C:\\Windows\\System32\\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\;C:\\Program Files\\WIDCOM
oth Software\\;C:\\Program Files\\WIDCOMM\\Bluetooth Software\\syswow64;C:\\Pr
les (x86)\\Hewlett-Packard\\HP ProtectTools Security Manager\\Bin\\;C:\\Progr
\\ActivIdentity\\ActivClient\\;C:\\Program Files (x86)\\ActivIdentity\\ActivCl
\\Program Files (x86)\\QuickTime\\QTSystem\\
PATHEXT=.COM;.EXE;.BAT;.CMD;.VBS;.VBE;.JS;.JSE;.WSF;.WSH;.MSC
PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE=AMD64
PROCESSOR_IDENTIFIER=Intel64 Family 6 Model 58 Stepping 9, GenuineIntel
PROCESSOR_LEVEL=6
PROCESSOR_REVISION=3a09
ProgramData=C:\\ProgramData
ProgramFiles=C:\\Program Files
ProgramFiles(x86)=C:\\Program Files (x86)
ProgramW6432=C:\\Program Files
PROMPT=$P$G
PSModulePath=C:\\Windows\\system32\\WindowsPowerShell\\v1.0\Modules\\
PTSMInstallPath_X86=C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Hewlett-Packard\\HP ProtectToo
ity Manager\\
PUBLIC=C:\\Users\\Public
QTJAVA=C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Java\\jre6\\lib\\ext\\QTJava.zip
SESSIONNAME=Console
SystemDrive=C:
SystemRoot=C:\\Windows
TEMP=C:\\Users\\georgi\\AppData\\Local\\Temp
TMP=C:\\Users\\georgi\\AppData\\Local\\Temp
USERDNSDOMAIN=EMEA.CPQCORP.NET
USERDOMAIN=EMEA
USERNAME=georgi
USERPROFILE=C:\\Users\\georgi
VSEDEFLOGDIR=C:\\ProgramData\\McAfee\\DesktopProtection
windir=C:\\Windows
windows_tracing_flags=3
windows_tracing_logfile=C:\\BVTBin\\Tests\\installpackage\\csilogfile.log

Hope this little trick hopes someone out there.
I will be glad to hear of other cool useful windows registry tweaks?

Total Commander or Free Commander a must have Windows file Explorer alternatives

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Total Commander must have windows file explorer alternative logo

Whether coming from Linux background and you're forced to work with MS Windows or even if you're born as a Windows user  and you hold a strong dislike for Windows File Explorer. You will certainly appreacite some Windows Explorer alternative like Total Commander.
 

1. Total Commander –  Windows Advanced File Manager

Total Commander was widely spread and still is mostly used by advanced Windows users since the distant 1996 when it came to exist.
Total Commander is highly spread among programmers and computer professionals. It is well known in Russia and the ex-Soviet Union block countries Total Commander is strongly preferred over Windows Explorer by anyone who ever had to work in Old command line MS-DOS, Unix consoles / Midnight Commander etc. Total Commander has just one downside it is not free as in freedom but shareware, so you either have to find a crack for it or everytime you run it press a number before you can proceed with it, this however is not such a big issue as usually you work with computer whole day and even if you should press a number once to continue run as Shareware, you have to do it just once or twice a day.

Total Commander windows internet explorer hackers alternative not registered screenshot

So why use Total Commander or Free Commander preferred choice over Windows Explorer and why it is better for one to use it:

1. Security

Big part of viruses have hidden attribute. Of course we can’t see it’s presence in Windows Explorer, this is so common with USB Drive Viruses. While MS Explorer has limited capability in showing system file, Total Commander is different, once it is specified to show hidden files, all kind of hidden files are to be shown.

2. Support for multiple upload protocols like FTP and SFTP

Through Total Commander plugins you can enjoy simplified way to do every operation from one interface. Once plugin for SFTP / Webdav … plugins you will not have to install separate clients like WinSCP / CarotWebDav etc.

3. Play multimedia mp3 / Zip / Unzip, watch pictures

You can play your mp3s with no need for WinAmp, Unzip or IrfanView. As this is done internally in Total Commander through plugins. So using Total Commander saves you from multiple applications also gives you unified interface something which saves time and annoyance of separate applications pop-up windows.

Total commander directory Cdrive listing the hacker choice for file explorer

4. Better file copying internal program

Total Commander's copier is much better than Windows Explorer default one. Lets say you have a power outage during copying a large file. What Windows Explorer will offer is overwrite the file loosing you time, whether Total Commander will continue copying from file byte size it stopped due to outage. Another advantage is it will be able to copy damaged files much better than Windows default copier program. TT's internal copy is not so quick as TerraCopy but faster than Windows Explorer default one..

5. More powerful search than Explorer's

TT has capabilities to search inside archives, set search encoding type. Search only by directories or files, set a range of dates from which files has to be found, search only hidden directories, search by directory file attribute, file size, look for duplicate files etc. etc.

total commander more powerful windows search window screenshot

Here is a complete list of Basic features embedded in Total Commander latest version which of time of writting is 8.01;
 

  • Two file windows side by side
  • Multiple language and Unicode support
  • Enhanced search function
  • Compare files (now with editor) / synchronize directories
  • Quick View panel with bitmap display
  • ZIP, ARJ, LZH, RAR, UC2, TAR, GZ, CAB, ACE archive handling + plugins
  • Built-in FTP client with FXP (server to server) and HTTP proxy support
  • Parallel port link, multi-rename tool
  • Tabbed interface, regular expressions, history+favorites buttons
  • Thumbnails view, custom columns, enhanced search
  • Compare editor, cursor in lister, separate trees, logging, enhanced overwrite dialog etc.
  • Unicode names almost everywhere, long names (>259 characters), password manager for ftp and plugins, synchronize empty dirs, 64 bit context menu, quick file filter (Ctrl+S)
  • USB port connection via special, many improvements to ftp, synchronizing and other functions

Total Commander has a portable version for those who travel a lot and like to use it on multiple computers from a USB Stick.

2. Free Commander – A Total Commander Free for personal use Alternative

Freecommander FC / Free Commander hackers free windows explorer alternative

Free Commander is not open source but it is free to use for non-commercial use and not Shareware, so it is perfect alternative for those who like Total Commander but dislike fact you have to press a number on each TT start up and you have to see in Total Commander Title (NOT REGISTERED)

List of basic supported functions by Free Commander are;

  •     Dual-panel technology – horizontal and vertical
  •     Tabbed interface
  •     Optional tree view for each panel
  •     Built in file viewer to view files in hex, binary, text or image format
  •     File viewer inside archives too
  •     Built in archive handling: ZIP (read, write), CAB (read, write), RAR (read)
  •     Nested archive handling
  •     Built in FTP client
  •     Easy access to system folders, control panel, desktop and start menu
  •     Copy, move, delete, rename files and folders
  •     Multi rename tool
  •     Wipe files
  •     Create and verify MD5 checksums
  •     File splitting
  •     File properties and context menu
  •     Calculation of folder size
  •     Folder comparison / synchronization
  •     Modification of file date and attributes
  •     Folder / program favorites
  •     File searching (inside archive too)
  •     File filters for display
  •     User defined columns for detailed view
  •     DOS command line
  •     Multiple language  support

Just like Total Command, Free Commander has a portable version for those who want run it on Windows machines with no admin permissions to install.
 

How to Block Facebook access on Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / 7 and 8

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Disable facebook on Windows computers using windows hosts fileIn Office home network, there is a Windows XP computer which is spending all his official work time in facebook.
Hanging in facebook makes this social network freak work quite inefficient so something had to be done immediately … and guess who had to do it …

 Usually I do facebook filtering via iptables rules directly from Linux NAT router, but filtering facebook https (port 443 traffic) is real pain in the ass and moreover facebook has a bunch of hosts so filtering from Linux i-net router is not always best solution. In this specific case the Linux router deliving internet to the Win host was also having complete routing so filtering with iptables wasn't so easy.
To save myself from loosing few hours trying to discover why I can't manage to filter facebook from Linux router, checked online if it possible to filter facebook using standard Windows method.
It turns out on Windows computer it is possible filter facebook by simply mapping all Facebook main hosts to localhost (127.0.0.1) using hosts map file. In my case Win computer was running Windows XP, however on All Windows XP / Vista / 7 and 8, default location of hosts file is in: 

  
C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

Microsoft Windows c:\system32\drivers\etc\hosts file Windows explorer screenshot

Therefore I used  Windows Explorer, navigated to C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\ copied hosts file to Desktop, edited with Notepad and placed at the end of it following lines:

# Block Facebook
127.0.0.1 api.facebook.com 
127.0.0.1 connect.facebook.net
127.0.0.1 facebook.com
127.0.0.1 www.facebook.com
127.0.0.1 graph.facebook.com
127.0.0.1 profile-b.xx.fbcdn.net
127.0.0.1 s-static.ak.facebook.com
127.0.0.1 static.ak.connect.facebook.com
127.0.0.1 static.ak.facebook.com
127.0.0.1 static.ak.fbcdn.net
127.0.0.1 www.fbcdn.com
127.0.0.1 static.facebook.com
127.0.0.1 www.static.ak.connect.facebook.com
127.0.0.1 www.login.facebook.com
127.0.0.1 login.facebook.com

how to block facebook Windows hosts file opened in Notepad

Then copied the new modified hosts files from Desktop back to C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc
Following same logic, its possible to disable access to any host on the Internet. There are even some software like SpyBot which does by default change Windows default hosts file with pre-mapped well known spammer / spyware / malware hosts to prevent viruses and spyware to download more of themselves.

 Finally to make Windows re-read new hosts file I had to restart the PC, and Voila! Facebook access was cut 🙂

Teracopy faster Windows copy or Save files from Windows PC with dying hard drive

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

TeraCopy logo copy files faster and prevent windows hangs up on broken hard disks
My sysadmin colleague mentioned today about TeraCopy. An application for Microsoft Windows designed to be used to Move or Copy  files. So why would one want to use Teracopy instead of normal Windows Explorer copy integrated soft? Reason is Teracopy is faster than MS Windows Copy / Move and uses dynamically adjusted buffers to reduce seek times. This asynchronous copying speeds up file transfers between physical HDDs.

More precious feature of TeraCopy is whether you have to Save data from hard disks with Bad Sectors, it can skip faulty files (stored on bad sectors) without triggering Windows to hang up or halt with the Blue Screen of Death.TeraCopy even can be setup to replace Windows Explorer (i.e. Shell Integration copy and move functions). Beside that it works well with Unicode encoded file names (Cyrillic, Chineese) etc.

Teracopy copying files on Microsoft windows 7 substitutes default windows copy and move opeartions

As of time of writting article, TeraCopy has support for all Windows NT (Windows XP / 2000) as well as for Windows 7 and 8. Whether a failure to copy file occurs it tries to recopy file several times in order to achieve copy success. After each file is copied a CRC check up value of file is calculated and matched. It also provides a way more verbose information on copied files than Windows default Copy. It is very useful in copying large files from system to system as file transfers complete time is significantly lower

teracopy with more information on copying files screenshot MS Windows

Once TeraCopy is installed it automatically does replace Explorer Copy and Move functions, hence after install every next Move or Copy operation is auto handled by it. In preferences the user could still revert back Copy / Move functions to Explorer original.

TeraCopy copy faster files and save files from broken win hdd preferences screenshot

Unfortunately TeraCopy is not-free software but freeware and can only be used to non-commercial use, for commercial use you have to purchase TeraCopy Pro version.

Fixing picture non display in Windows Explorer Thumbnails preview

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

I've been called to one of secretary PCs running Windows 7 with complain that pictures are no longer visible with Thumbnail preview.
The problem is pretty trivial but with today''s Viruses boom, my first logical reaction was it is caused by some Virus or Spyware. After scanning thoroughfully the PC and finding nothing suspicious in msconfig I remembered to check in Windows Explorer Folder Options and this was it. Problem can be fixed by tuning Windows Explorer Folder Options settings. By default Folder Options menu is not visible in Windows 7 so to display menu first  had to press Alt+F.

After pressing Alt+F navigate to:

Tools -> Folder Options -> View (tab) -> Untick (Always show icons, never thumbnails)

Windows explorer Folder Options Show View always show icons never thumbnails ticked screenshot

Windows explorer Folder options View always show icons unticked solve thumbnails preview problem screenshot

That's all Apply new settings and its resolved, pictures will be visible in Explorer and Desktop again 🙂