Recent Comments Posted


This is a list of the most recently posted comments on the site sorted so that the most recent comments appear first. 

You can however sort the list on Article title by clicking on the column heading. To see actual comments click the + sign.


Article title Time posted Postersort descending Comment Link
The Easy Way to Check If Your Computer Is Connected to the Internet 3 years 1 week ago sathyaraj

How to check whether internet connectivity is there on PC without using ping command in command prompt and windows power shell too

kindly do the needful

Best Free Antivirus Software 5 years 11 months ago satrow

For those where the original fix fails, esp. with comctl32.dll errors, there's a command line version:

Best Free Antivirus Software 5 years 10 months ago satrow

You could have tried shutting Panda down while installing or move the new PF installer to a folder that you can exclude from Panda.

Have you reported this issue to Panda so that they can investigate and fix it?

Best Free Antivirus Software 5 years 10 months ago satrow

The differences between them might alter every time a new program update is issued.

It also depends on whether you use all of the offered components, I don't.

Last time I checked, BitDefender Free had the lowest usage but it was also the least configurable. My choice is a custom install of Avast Free, I just select the parts I need and then configure it to my needs.

Best Free Antivirus Software 5 years 10 months ago satrow

Odd, the AV comp. report stated: "As part of the investigation into Qihoo 360, counter‐accusations were levelled by the company against
two fellow Chinese security firms, Baidu and Tencent.".

"Investigations by the three labs found that all products submitted for testing by Qihoo had one of the
product’s four available engines, provided by Bitdefender, enabled by default, while a second, Qihoo’s
own QVM engine, was never enabled."

Default public AV engine is Qihoo's own, version submitted used BitDefender's = apples vs. oranges. In my book, that's cheating - entering a tweaked version of 'their' AV to be compared to stock versions of other AVs.

Best Free Antivirus Software 5 years 10 months ago satrow

I hope AV Comparatives check only for those keygens and cracks that are malicious - as in having a unwanted effect on the OS and user software/connections - many keygens/cracks are actually clean.

Best Free Antivirus Software 5 years 2 months ago satrow

Dates for the current Bitdefender Free filters/drivers:
avchv.sys System Driver BitDefender AntiVirus Active Virus Control Hypervisor driver BitDefender AVC 02/11/2012 13:17:46
avc3.sys System Driver Active Virus Control filter driver BitDefender AVC 17/04/2013 14:59:56
avckf.sys System Driver Active Virus Control Kernel Filtering driver BitDefender AVC 17/04/2013 14:59:58
gzflt.sys System Driver BitDefender Gonzales FileSystem Driver BitDefender Gonzales 22/04/2013 13:21:00
trufos.sys Dynamic Link Library Trufos Kernel Module BitDefender Antivirus 28/05/2013 12:12:19

I'd be very surprised if the Bitdefender paid versions used drivers as old as those.

Best Free Firewall Protection 7 years 8 months ago satrow

I sometimes get to debug crashes that turn out to be triggered by incomplete uninstalls of older security software clashing with the networking subsystem and the current security software (Norton, McAfee and ZA are the most frequent culprits), so it's worth checking that you have fully uninstalled all old security programs by using the appropriate removal tool(s). I use the list here: but I'm sure there's a link to other lists here at Gizmo's too.

Best Free Windows 64-bit Software 7 years 1 month ago satrow

Perhaps you should create and use a new profile for Pale Moon then?

Cyberfox and Waterfox are both billed as being built for speed, whereas Pale Moon has a different priority, yet there are times when Pale Moon is the fastest.

Get Adobe Flash Without GetPlus in Firefox 5 years 8 months ago satrow

Thanks Rhi but I check Corrine's Security Garden blog for direct links to the various latest Flash versions and their uninstaller, saves messing around:

Get Adobe Flash Without GetPlus in Firefox 5 years 8 months ago satrow

It's 'only' a blog, no files hosted, just direct links to clean downloads and details of updates for browsers, MS/Windows updates, etc.

Security is Corrine's speciality, it's worth checking whenever an update is due, bookmark it :)

Best Free Technical Support Sites 5 years 11 months ago satrow

Of the list above, is probably the best place to get your PC cleaned up.

Alt. the forum here ( should be able to give you some great pointers.

Best Free Technical Support Sites 5 years 9 months ago satrow

For complex Microsoft Windows problems, like the dreaded Blue Screens of Death (BSOD), Windows Update failures, SFC scans failing to fix, malware problems and a lot more, the folks at Sysnative go out of their way to dig deep and get things straightened out - that's if they haven't already built a tool to do the job for you!

Highly recommended and probably the most professional team out there.

[Disclosure] I'm listed as a Staff member there.

I know that the active Staff there blow me into the weeds, I leave it to them, they're simply in a different league.

" provides free professional Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) crash analysis and debugging support, expert malware analysis and removal advice, Windows Update help plus hardware and networking support for Windows OS."

How to Ask a Question When You Want Technical Help 1 year 8 months ago satrow

There's a place for that question:

This Antivirus is the Number-One contender on the block 5 years 10 months ago satrow

That looks like an opinion piece by some 3rd party rather than a response from Qihoo.

Security Attack Called Logjam makes Browsers Vulnerable 5 years 9 months ago satrow

Pale Moon Commander enables you to change these settings:

Several other threads on this topic in the forums there:

Security Attack Called Logjam makes Browsers Vulnerable 5 years 9 months ago satrow

That reads like your browser has been tweaked (by an Add-on or manually) to block the vulnerability, whereas most/vanilla versions of FF38.01 are vulnerable.

Security Attack Called Logjam makes Browsers Vulnerable 5 years 9 months ago satrow

I don't think it would be AdBlock, the other 3 look much more likely, esp NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere.

How Much Privacy Is Your Browser Providing? 5 years 1 month ago satrow

My browser (setting) gives me a different unique fingerprint on each refresh/test of that page.

Compare your PC performance scores with Gizmo's Freeware readers 5 years 2 months ago satrow

Score: [b]1282[/b] (i3-3320/8GB/R9 270 - all at stock)

Compare your PC performance scores with Gizmo's Freeware readers 5 years 2 months ago satrow

Desktop, George.

Generally, I assume that any mobile CPU/GPU will have approximately half the performance of the Desktop parts that use the same/similar number+M. Intel HD graphics on notebooks are often better than their desktop equivalents though.

Desktop CPU:
Approximate Notebook equivalent (both 3rd gen i3's):

It's broadly similar to the GPU differences between desktop and M versions from nVidia and AMD/ATI.

High performance doesn't sit too well with battery life and notebooks but sometimes you can boost a mains connected notebook a little by ensuring you have the UEFI/BIOS and Windows Power settings to enable best performance, rather than power saving (which should be default when running on battery power only).

If your notebook has dual mode switchable graphics (eg. Intel HD + nVidia or AMD), it might be that only the Intel was used but the benchmark logged it as the better adapter...

Compare your PC performance scores with Gizmo's Freeware readers 5 years 2 months ago satrow

Score 172:

7 year old Atom Netbook.

Compare your PC performance scores with Gizmo's Freeware readers 3 years 4 months ago satrow

Verified Novabench Score: 2040
Tested on Nov 1, 2017 at 11:21

Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2 running at 3.3GHz
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional

CPU Score
Floating Ops: 197388353
Integer Ops: 1094566472
Hash Ops: 1371704

RAM Score - 16GB
RAM Speed: 20275 MB/s

GPU Score
Direct3D 11: 129 FPS
OpenCL: 4509 GFLOPS

Disk Score
Write Speed: 526 MB/s
Read Speed: 469 MB/s

Self-built/upgraded general purpose IvyBridge/DDR3 mini ITX, hardware at stock speeds, GPU blower type.
Seasonic 360W Gold PSU.
Windows tweaked.

Test Your Hearing With Just A PC And Headphones 4 years 4 months ago satrow

The HTTPS version of the page shows a certificate problem:

" uses an invalid security certificate. The certificate is only valid for the following names: *, (Error code: ssl_error_bad_cert_domain)"

HTTP works fine.

Pale Moon. This New Web Browser Is Far From New! 3 years 1 week ago satrow

5 minutes searching the Pale Moon forum should find a method to 'fix' that, if an 'easy' (Alt > Tools >Preferences > Advanced > General tab > Compatibility) UA change and page refresh doesn't. Reverting on the fly is as easy as reversing it and refreshing.

I use mostly Pale Moon in 'Native' UA mode and it's rare that I need to change compatibility. There might be 1-2 sites per month that require an about:config change to their specific UA to enable a site. Most of those are patched in for the following release.

Basically, PM works securely and efficiently for the vast majority of sites, if some don't work, it's mostly the fault of the site design itself.

Pale Moon. This New Web Browser Is Far From New! 3 years 1 week ago satrow

I use native mode by default. Solving website browser capability sniffing can't come from the browser, eg, some sites detect the 'Goa' of Goanna as a little-known mobile browser and then feed Pale Moon with a mobile web page: "Generally, a web designer using browser sniffing to determine what kind of page to present will test for the three or four most popular browsers, and provide content tailored to each of these. If a user is employing a user agent not tested for, there is no guarantee that a usable page will be served; thus, the user may be forced either to change browsers or to avoid the page."

I'm sure there are several reasons for Firefox compatibility mode to be the default currently, increasing the number of AMO Add-ons offered being one, so that new users can readily find versions that are suited to Pale Moon, rather than digging through GitHub and a huge number of Add-on homepages before testing out their new browser.

Goanna is a fork of Gecko, built to support features necessary for feature rich browsing without the 'fluff' and archaic code from the Gecko versions it's based on.

Plenty more info readily available on the Pale Moon/Basilisk sites, as well as the Pale Moon forum.

Pale Moon. This New Web Browser Is Far From New! 3 years 1 week ago satrow

You're deliberately ignoring what I've pointed out and linked you to, you need to stop writing and get reading.

Pale Moon is secure, stable and able to be worked hard for weeks and is compatible with the vast majority of sensible modern web standards.

Normal users can always use one of their alt. browsers if they hit a site that doesn't like it, I've been using four over the last couple of hours (no big deal if you have enough RAM).

Just because it doesn't fit your needs means nothing to those who use it all the time, full-time.

Please, just use another browser, no one's forcing you to use anything you're not happy with.

View and Save Fonts In Color With This Free Font Viewer 2 years 7 months ago satrow

Confirmed as being free:
"With our free FontLab Pad app, all these fonts work everywhere — on all versions of Mac OS X and Windows! FontLab Pad is our typesetter helper for color fonts." <--

DaVinci Resolve 2 years 6 months ago satrow

DaVinci Resolve 15 is free, DaVinci Resolve Studio isn't. The download links for both are almost at the foot of this page: or on BlackMagicDesign's main support page for Resolve/Fusion:

"DaVinci Resolve 15

Revolutionary tools for editing, visual effects, motion graphics, color correction and audio post production, all in a single application!

Download Now

DaVinci Resolve 15 Studio

Includes everything found in the free version plus multi user collaboration features that let editors, colorists, effects artists and sound engineers all work together on the same project at the same time, plus 3D tools, dozens of Resolve FX and more.

Download Now"

Best Free Antivirus App for Android 6 years 9 months ago saurabh singh

It is good

I Still Rate This Excellent Free Youtube Downloader 7 years 8 months ago SavageSS

I use PWN You tube

Has the added benefit of being able to have a favourite / bookmark.
See a youtube video you like, select the favourite / bookmark.
Then presented with numerous options of different quality video files to download.

Best Free Tune-up Program For Computer 5 years 7 months ago sayeed

it was good to read

Best Free Voicemail Service 7 years 4 hours ago Saykat Jong

It so very good

An End-of-year Thank-you from Gizmo 6 years 2 months ago SayLor77

Thank you for the many, many years of helpful hints and tips. I help other "older" computer users and often guide them to your site. You've made many hesitant users into confident, safe "surfers" here in Canada. Please continue to provide the excellent information we all need. I'm looking forward to learning more "new" things in my seventh decade.

Easily Send Files From Your Dropbox Via Gmail 5 years 9 months ago SayLor77

For those of us who wish to remain within the Google/Chrome environment - Is there an app/extension to directly send to a specific folder on G-

Forgot Your WiFi Password? How to Find It in Windows 4 years 10 months ago SayLor77

Bob - That works well, and I've kept a "brain book" of my customers and the information on the systems I've built or installed for them. Saved me many a Sunday trip to 'East Out Back' to recover or reset passwords.

Is Your Hard Disk Failing? Find Out Instantly. 4 years 7 months ago SayLor77

You may see a longer load/start time or you may hear the disk re-seeking. That is an indication that you need to buy a replacement drive NOW. Hopefully ,you have a "Bare Metal Backup" and a recent Incremental or Differential backup to go with your last Full backup. If not you face reinstallation of all the software - then slave your failing drive and recover as much as you can before it quits entirely.

Do You Want to Continue Receiving Information from Gizmo's Freeware? 2 years 9 months ago SayLor77

Long time user and pass along informationto others

Best Free Antivirus Software 4 years 11 months ago sb1023

I ran 360 for about a year but got tired of the same annoying issues all the time. It'd get warning pop up about stuff that I'd already white-listed and despite continually saying "yes" over and over again I'd still get the pop-ups. Not to mention that the false positives are just excessive. They are all from the 360 engine, which is always on. It can't be disabled even if you have the other two engines enabled. If you could run it with just the Avast and Bitdefender engines it would be great.

I switched to something that only gets a nod in the honorable mentions here - Sophos. You essentially get their corporate product, complete with cloud-based management, for free for up to 10 computers.

Best Free Windows 8 Start Menu Replacement 7 years 10 months ago sb1023

I've tried a bunch of these and the one I ended up using, because I found it to be the most like the Windows 7 start menu, was IObit Start Menu 8:

LogMeIn No Longer Offering A Free Service [Updated] 7 years 1 month ago sb1023

It is my understanding that with the last update of TeamViewer that the free version now imposes a time limit on a remote sessions. Additionally, it doesn't something with your TeamViewer account so that you are no longer able to use the prior version.

If You're Using Windows XP You Need To Read This 6 years 12 months ago sb1023

This article is partially incorrect. Its states that MS will no longer "provide updates for its Security Essentials product running on XP." This is incorrect. Microsoft announced in mid-January that it would continue to provide Security Essentials updates on XP through July 14, 2015:

Do I think that is reason enough to stay with XP? No. But the article needs to accurately reflect the current state of affairs.

See Who Your PC's Talking To 6 years 6 months ago sb1023

Looks like it is just a GUI for Netstat.

Six Quick and Simple Tricks for Fixing Windows Problems 5 years 8 months ago sb1023

"2. You get a message that your copy of Windows is not genuine"

This is typically caused by the Software Protection service not starting as it should. Usually just going into services and starting the service is enough. No need to reboot.

How to Convert CSV to TSV files by Batch 4 years 2 months ago sbalbhadre

Hi Jojo Yee,

What if there are double quote characters in the field that are not enclosed within " " character. This field is free text so we can not control the formatting.

please suggest.

PDFsam Basic 2 years 2 months ago sbalzer

Downloaded and installed 'pdfsam-3.3.7.msi'. As far as I could see, there is no feature to permit visual re-ordering of pages.

How to Use Disposable Email Addresses and Avoid Spam 1 year 3 weeks ago sbouniol

it might be worth updating this page as many services have surfaced which bring additional options.
in particular:
the option to create unique email aliases which are not temporary, allowing real subscriptions/accounts without exposing your private email...

1) gmail allows to simply create unique emails by adding a unique string after + on your own email address...
ie: = , =
note:a spammer can still calculate very simply your real email from this string but it is useful for sorting etc...

2) sites like allow you to hide your real email address by proxying requests on your behalf.

Sync Your Files Without The Cloud 5 years 11 months ago sbouniol

+ best all-around freeware solution for personal use.
+ free for "moderate" personal use (not just 30 days trial) Heavy personal users need to purchase the pro version.
= same features as goodsync (except for p2p)
= same interface as goodsync
= same portable option
+ provide ability to combine more than 2 sides to each job
in particular, you can use it in conjunction with freessh and freesftp to securely transfer over internet (with some dyndns and using different ports for each machine behind the same firewall...)

Sync Your Files Without The Cloud 5 years 11 months ago sbouniol

1) if you cancel a synch job in progress, GoodSync should be fine as it keeps a state file of the progress. You have multiple options to pick from for the comparisons, if time stamps is not enough you can have it perform a hash of the files.

2) you have 2 places to define ignore options, one global and one per job:
- right click on the job name
- select options
- select filter
- put your names and patterns in the exclude filter

Make 2016 The Year You Start Doing Cloud Backups 5 years 1 month ago sbouniol

2 Free suggestions:
1) use crashplan free client to backup files for you for free to your google drive/box/dropbox partitions
2) or even better, you can use their software to backup files across multiple computers, avoiding the cloud completely.
for instance, in a household with 3 desktops and 2 laptops computers, you can buy a single 2TB hard drive on sale for $40-$80 and stick in any one of the 3 desktops and let it run... it will backup all the files, (tune it to run at night during idle time, etc...)

windows/Linux/Mac [pick the free option]

This Dedicated Gmail Client Is Fantastic 3 years 6 months ago sbouniol

FYI, it got blocked by kaspersky when I tried to access it.

An Open Source and Secure Messenger App Supporting Multiple Platforms 1 year 1 month ago sbouniol

2 major points of Signal to add to your description IMHO:

1) it is not tied to any DataLoss Leaders with proven track records of privacy violations

2) you can use it including with VoIP phone numbers unlike whatsapp/viber etc... This is especially important for preserving proper big data cross references against metadata.

Thank You for Donating 4 months 1 week ago sbouniol

gladly contributed and removed ad-blocker from the domain, keep it up!

Logmein vs Team Viewer. Some First Hand Experience. 7 years 2 months ago sbruce45

It's been a long time since this discussion took place, but I'll add my comments anyway. I use logmein but I tried team viewer a year or so ago. I didn't like team viewer because it required the program to be running on the host system. That meant it was in the taskbar and someone using that system could easily close it. With logmein, it is just a service, so no one on the host system is aware it is there, and so it will always be available.

LogMeIn No Longer Offering A Free Service [Updated] 7 years 1 month ago sbruce45

I've been a LogMeIn user in order to occasionally help my wife at home when I am at work. I've tried TeamViewer but did not like that I have a different code to enter from every time I start the program. Also, since it runs as a program, not a service, it sits on the taskbar and gets in the way if it was always running. For now, I am trying RemotePC. It also runs on the host as a service. The viewer is supposed to run in a browser (like LogMeIn) or a Viewer program, but it downloaded and installed the program when I accessed the Viewer from a browser. But at least it worked well.

My Favoured Youtube Downloader Of The Moment 6 years 7 months ago sbruce45

As catester stated, an install is required. Why isn't this mentioned in the review of keepvid. I am not familiar with iLivid, but no way to I blindly accept an installer when one is led to believe you just download the file. They provide a regular method and a faster method. I assumed the faster method was with the install. Also no description of the difference between the methods. Why is keepvid recommended, and without any description of this install. I'm disappointed in this recommendation being on Gizmo's site.

Jovial Notepad Gets An Update 6 years 5 months ago sbruce45

Someone should mention the version of .NET framework required: the reviewer or the sourceforge website. I didn't see either mentioned it.

Best Free Antivirus Software 4 years 11 months ago sbwhiteman

Many people would never consider Qihoo for fear of a Chinese government-mandated backdoor. True, this is speculation, but it does seem worth mentioning.

Best Free Adware-Spyware-Scumware Remover 7 years 3 months ago sbwhiteman

As far as I've seen, independent testing of Spybot has been abysmal. As just one example, PC Magazine concluded, "In testing, it proved almost 100 percent ineffective.",2817,2412372,00.asp

Reclaim Some Of The Disk Space Which Windows Stole 6 years 5 months ago sbwhiteman

Is there any downside to this procedure?

Best VPN Services for 2021 5 years 6 months ago sbwhiteman

May I suggest you consider VPNBook, which is a PC Magazine Editor's Choice?

Best Free VPN 5 years 5 months ago sbwhiteman

VPNBook is an Editor's Choice at PC Magazine. Does anyone have further information on it?

Best Free VPN 5 years 5 months ago sbwhiteman

Thanks for your reply. However, I'd like to follow up with a question which I intend to be respectful, not argumentative.

My interest in VPNs is to protect myself or my wife when connecting to the internet at a coffee shop, which you note as an appropriate use of a free VPN. For this use, how would it be a problem that a VPN is willing and able to turn over privately-identifiable information in a legal case?

You point out that a free VPN is inappropriate for journalists and whistle-blowers because of a lower level of anonymity. So why would VPNBook not be appropriate for the Free VPN category -- able to protect normal users at coffee shops, but not others who require absolute anonymity?

Vuze Meta Search: Adding Search Sites 6 years 11 months ago sca

Hi :)

I have installed a few new templates into vuze and some of them open another interface inside of vuze with another search engine, for example the Torrent Downloads.vuze template does this, which when finding and selecting what I want, brings me to a webpage in the browser. If I then download I get an executable file, exampleMovie.exe and I'm not sure what to do with this. I'm also not sure if I can trust it because I haven't experienced this up till now.

I'd appreciate if someone could let me know. Do I double click the .exe file, or drop it into vuze somehow? I tried opening the file from vuze open menu but it seems to only see .vuze files.



Vuze Meta Search: Adding Search Sites 6 years 11 months ago sca

Hi Steve,
Thanks for the warning and tips. That template was very overactive, finding everything that other templates couldn't find so I was quite suspicious.
I've been googling how to remove this dodgy template but instructions so far have been over complicated. Can you pease demystify?
I'll gladly report the rest to you. Si far I think another one could be Internet Archive.vuze
Thanks again,

Vuze Meta Search: Adding Search Sites 6 years 10 months ago sca

Thank you :)

Would I need to register with all those sites to use them?

You asked me to report more templates within vuze that seem dodgey to me.
What about TorrentProject?

Right now it's the only one that's come up with a lot of hits for something that's just been released. The hits all look okay but I'm not sure if I can trust it.

Greets and thanks again,


Best Free PDF Tools - General 6 years 5 days ago Scallionboy

I downloaded AbleWord to do some work on a bunch of PDFs. Now, all my Word docs are Able Word docs. Is there a way to convert them back to Word. Preferably one that doesn't involve opening them one at a time and saving them in Word? Please?

qBittorrent Help: Using the qBittorrent Torrent Search Engine 6 years 3 months ago Scallionboy

I followed the instructions carefully. When I installed Python, qbittorrent told me it was an outdated version, and referred me to the Python website where I downloaded the newest version.

It worked like a charm. Except that the next morning the hard drive was fried. Kaput. Can't get into safe mode. Two IT guys at work have been fiddling with it for hours, but they're about to bail.

I don't blame anyone, but there's obviously a problem out there.

Important Information If You Use TrueCrypt 6 years 9 months ago sceptic

That's a nuisance. I've stored all of my data in numerous Truecrypt volumes for years (before that PGPDisk). In view of these developments I can't help wondering if the developers have been reading it all along. I suppose we should be wary of software provided free by people who remain anonymous. Thank you for the information. What would we do without TechSupportAlert?

Important Information If You Use TrueCrypt 6 years 9 months ago sceptic

This initially worried me about what I would use as an alternative for Truecrypt virtual drives, given that my applications use them. However, VirtualBox creates virtual drives from the source drive (or folder) outside the virtual machine, and defines them within the VM as virtual drives.

The answer, then, could be to create ordinary virtual drives, and encrypt them. Within VB it is possible to give the virtual drives the required drive letter by creating empty drives (within the VM).

How to Replace Windows XP with Linux for Free 4 years 3 months ago sceptic

Another option is to simply install Linux Mint (or another distro). Then install VirtualBox and create an XP virtual machine. I had this setup on my old machine (kept as a back-up) until it failed recently.

Firefox Extension Improves Web Page Readability 5 years 4 months ago sceptic

I use Instapaper. There is a problem with both this and Readitlater, however, which is that where the website is subscription only (such as The Times, London), only the truncated (public) version is converted. The reason is obviously that the conversion is done online, Instapaper accessing the page. I have long wanted an add-on that did the conversion locally, to avoid that problem. Reader evidently does just that. However, it does not always render the article (in the case of The Times), but the readers' comments instead. Also, as someone else has noted, it freezes on returning to the original page.

Firefox Extension Improves Web Page Readability 5 years 4 months ago sceptic

This is a correction to my previous comment. My reference to Readitlater should have been to Readability, and I was wrong to say that articles in paid-for websites are truncated. This is, however, true of Instapaper Text, which comes with Instapaper.

Selecting an Encryption Method for Cloud Storage 4 years 9 months ago sceptic

This is a really good attempt to set out the various combinational options that might be considered for cloud encryption. Having made a lot of use of this site, I thought that I would give something back by setting out my own experience.

First of all, I use Lotus 1-2-3 for almost everything. I mention that because some will wish to stop reading right there. However, the reason that I do so (I'm retired) is legacy scripts, and there is nothing to stop Excel users doing something similar.

Also, I am still using Truecrypt, despite the recent warnings. No-one is likely to get their hands on my virtual drives, so I am not too worried about the weaknesses that have been found. I will change to Vercrypt in due course, when I have reconciled myself to the extra time taken to open the virtual drives.

For cloud storage I use Dropbox, with the folder in a Truecrypt virtual drive. I tried Sync, but the problem was that anybody with access to the computer can access the website, even if the virtual drive containing the folder is not open. With Dropbox, however, this appears not to be the case.

I used to use Cloudfogger for the local encrypton, but found that it stopped working, and that unencrypted files were being uploaded. I can't, in fairness, rule out that there was an error on my part, but it caused me to look at other options. The one that I chose was Viivo. I am not sure why Viivo is described as using a virtual drive, because the method is essentially the same as for Cloudfogger.

To guard against unecrypted files being uploaded, I first copy them to a non-Dropbox (but Viivo-encrypted) folder, and then to the Dropbox folder when the .viivo extension appears. This is automatic with 1-2-3. I have a script which saves the file to this intermediate folder, loops until it finds the file with the .viivo extension, and then moves it to the Dropbox folder (which is also covered by Viivo, just in case).

So, I am covered against the risk of an unencrypted file being uploaded, and it is all automatic.

The only downside to this set-up is that the Truecrypt virtual drive must be opened before Dropbox is run, and this must be done before Viivo is run, which means that they cannot start automatically at start-up. However, that also introduces an extra element of security.

I enjoyed writing that, and hope that it helps someone.

All About the Windows 10 Upgrade App Including How to Get Rid of it 5 years 8 months ago scericson

MS has apparently disabled the 'Uninstall' button for the Win10 update.

Are Recent Patches to Windows 7/8 Letting Microsoft Spy on You? 5 years 5 months ago scericson

Several of these appear to be resisting removal. KB2990214, KB3021917 & KB3022345 do not offer the uninstall button that the others do. KB2952664 appears to be uninstalling but remains on the list when the process is complete. Is there another way to remove these intrusions?

Personal Software Inspector 2 years 11 months ago scericson

PSI is being discontinued. Is file Hippo your reco?

Best Free Windows 8 Start Menu Replacement 7 years 1 month ago SChase

This product should now be included in your review. You don't claim it's NOT a better product. There are so very many other products recommended by this web site that will install extra software, if you're not careful. Not sure why you might be adding new restrictions, that don't apply to other reviewers. If the IObit product is better, and free, and a user CAN be careful during the install and not install the extra crapware, then it should win the top award. Now, I am faced with looking elsewhere for a review on this product, to see for myself that if it's better or not. I'm smart enough to dodge crapware. The fact that this person here has said that they tried many free products, and settled on this, now warrants MY further investigation.

How to Stop Google from Keeping a Record of Every Search You Make 7 years 7 months ago Schitti

or you can use instead of google for internet search ;)

Use the Search Engine Called StartPage to Protect Your Privacy 7 years 7 months ago Schitti

+1 to DuckDuckGo - I'm used to search with it as my standard engine

YouCam 5 for Free: CyberLink in association with Gizmo's Freeware 5 years 11 months ago Schitti

thank you Cyberlink & gizmo's!

How to Find Out How Fast Your USB Flash Drives Are 7 years 7 months ago SchmanneC

Have you tried plugging a usb 3.0 drive into a 2.0 receptor? I am wondering if that could be an alternative to buying a high speed 2.0. And I would be ready for the future :)

Time To Review Who You've Granted Access To 6 years 4 months ago Schmum

Great article. I checked mine and found I had a whole lot of things I had completely forgotten about. Deleted a bunch. Thanks!

The New Look Gizmo's Freeware Website is now Online 5 years 10 months ago Schmum

Love the new look! Thank you, also, for all the work you do putting together a web site like this. This is the first (and usually only) place I go for the latest and best freeware.

Six Quick and Simple Tricks for Fixing Windows Problems 5 years 8 months ago Schmum

I was told by a tech that if you are going to do the shut down and restart, after you shut your computer down, unplug it and hit the power switch a few times to discharge it. Then you can plug it back in and do the restart.

How to Defer Installing Updates in Windows 10 5 years 6 months ago Schmum

I haven't even gotten the prompt (or whatever) that the Windows 10 is or will be downloaded...and yes I reserved it. On one hand I'd like to see what the update brings but on the other hand, with all the problems I've been reading about, I'm pretty apprehensive about letting it download. In fact I don't think I've seen a positive experience yet. Any opinions??

This Privacy-Oriented Browser Blocks Ads Too 5 years 5 months ago Schmum

I have Win 7 and installed Epic earlier today. I had no problem installing it and I do like it a lot. I will be using this for most of my browsing now. Thanks!!

The Program That Finally Made Me Love Mind Maps. And It's Free. 6 years 2 months ago Schyther2001

I love VUE, unfortunately it is not clear whether it is still supported: do you know?....i would love to stick on it.....i love its flexibility....anyway i will try XMind6

Stress-Test Your Web Site. This $250 Tool Is Free From Today. 6 years 2 months ago Schyther2001

HI, got a warning message from Comodo Internet Security, while trying to download the setup file of the webserver stress tool: CloudScanner.Trojan.gen@2@1....not being an expert in this field i did not dare to proceed (to ignore the warning). Is it save to download it and install? thanks for the support, Giorgio

Stress-Test Your Web Site. This $250 Tool Is Free From Today. 6 years 2 months ago Schyther2001

Thanks a lot. best wishes from Asunción Paraguay.

Microsoft's Clip Layer Lets You Copy Text From Any Screen On Android 4 years 2 months ago Schyther2001

Not compatible with my device Galaxy Note II, android 4.4.2.........thanks for all the interesting notifications you gave us in 2016.

Best Free Drive Cloning Software 7 years 3 months ago Scoop

Hi all, new here and a basic "Cloner" for a couple of years. I've recently begun to use Macrium Free to learn the "imaging" part of the scene.

[Commercial reference removed]

Most of my HDD's are Seagate "Barracuda" product-line drives. I'm running Windows 7 x64 with a 1 Tb HDD on my Desktop PC.

I don't custom-partition. Both of my PC's, Desktop & Laptop are the standard 2-partition Windows install HDD, "Sys Reserved" and main partitions.

I recently downloaded Macrium Free 5.2.6433 and attempted to burn a bootable WinPE 3.1 CD. After a few attempts, I created a bootable CD. During the ISO build, the program queried me for drivers missing, need to add, etc. After seeking advice from some veteran Macrium users at the Win 7 forum, I chose the "continue without loading drivers" option. The missing driver was 1 USB driver but after booting up, that driver wasn't required for offline backup operations.

I processed a couple of full-disk images and tested the Recovery process on my Desktop PC without problems. My spare HDD accepted the image Restore and booted into Windows ok.

I've run an image on my Laptop but haven't tested the Restore process yet.

I tried to clone with Macrium by following a method in several YouTube tutorials by dragging/dropping both partitions into the "Destination" HDD. Since the MBR partition was included ("Sys Reserved"), I'd expected the resulting Target HDD to be bootable upon testing it after the cloning process completed.

The Target HDD didn't boot. I got the usual "System error, hardware change detected", etc, messages when booting. I checked the usual things, BIOS boot priority, HDD detection, etc.

I tried the cloning process again, this time ticking the "Entire Disk" box in the Macrium setup screen, instead of ticking the 2 partitions' boxes.

For the "Destination" HDD, I ticked the HDD icon located on the left-hand side of the setup screen.

After the cloning process completed, I tested my Target HDD and this time, success. It booted up Windows and I exercised it a little, launching apps, etc.

The confusing part of the Macrium cloning setup screen, for me, was that when I ticked the "Entire Disk" box, that automatically ticks the 2 partitions selection boxes.

That would seem to be identical as what I originally attempted, but apparently there's something in the Macrium program that requires the user (or in my case) to tick the "Entire Disk" box and let the program auto-select the partitions.

Bottom line is that I've successfully booted from the WinPE Rescue CD on both of my PC's and processed an image recovery and a cloning process with my Desktop PC.

I found the Macrium Gui screens to be user-friendly and a little easier, for me, to navigate vs Acronis with the exception of the cloning setup as I mentioned previously.

As with anything, once one successfully navigates a product's setup steps, future setup's will be no problem to process and complete successful results.

Best Free Drive Cloning Software 7 years 3 months ago Scoop


That's a bummer to hear about your experience with Macrium Free recovery CD. When I read your post it reminded me of what I've read elsewhere about these Macrium (Free ver) WinPE Rescue builds. According to some experienced Macrium users, that part is the weak link of the recovery methodology.

I had to burn a couple of ISO builds before I was successful in creating a CD that would boot to my Laptop. The Linux version wouldn't boot and my first attempt with the WinPE version also had problems when I burned to a DVD. When I burned the same ISO build to a CD, it booted up on my Laptop. According to some experienced Macrium users, DVD burns can result in intermittent results regarding bootable media. I usually try to use CD media for Rescue and bootable requirements.

Whenever I install an Image/Cloning tool, I test the Rescue media and the imaging and cloning processes on my spare HDD. I'll process the image recovery or clone, then I boot up on the newly-imaged or cloned HDD and test it for a few minutes, browser, e-mail client, launch some apps, etc. Then I re-install my everyday "C" HDD and shelf the spare HDD for emergency or troubleshooting use. This way, I know that the process works if needed in the future.

I use one of 2 spare HDD's, for my Desktop and Laptop PC,s to maintain a shelf-ready clone in the event of any HDD failure or intrusion (malware, etc) where I don't want to spend time cleaning/recovering the affected HDD.

I use the 2nd spare HDD as a "test" platform HDD, to test imaging and cloning using freeware such as Macrium.

I installed Paragon Free on my Desktop but haven't tested it yet.

Basically, I like to have 2 known/verified with successful bootup's PC recovery tools for flexibility and as a safety net in the event my primary tool encounters problems.

I've only recently begun to image using the full-disc method. I'm storing a few of my Desktop and Laptop PC images as well as a family member's PC image on an external 4 tb HDD.

Best Free Drive Cloning Software 7 years 3 months ago Scoop


No problem :) Hope the info helped.

I probably overkill the full-HDD backup scene but the cloning in particular has paid off a couple of times over the last 2-3 years with a couple of malware hits that got past my frontline AV walls.

Macrium: I got interested in it from reading over at the Windows 7 forum. There's a thread over there where Macrium users discuss that tool.

I've run into another minor detour with Macrium but this issue isn't limited to this tool. I bought a SATA/USB Adapter Cable to try and clone/image using the cable in conjunction with the Macrium boot CD. The CD (WinPE 3.1) won't recognize the SATA HDD when plugged into the USB port. This issue is also present when another cloning/imaging tool.

Macrium will recognize my external HDD when I use my Laptop 2.5 HDD SATA/USB Enclosure which I've been using it to clone for a couple of years.

There's a lot of discussion and diverse opinions on the "cloning vs Imaging" threads around the 'net. It depends on what one's goal is with both.

The main advantage that I like with maintaining a cloned HDD is that I can test it faster than recovering a full-HDD image file.

It's also faster (unless one is running scheduled incremental/differential images daily) to recover from a HDD failure or infection or a user error (making a mistake in the Registry or downloading something that's causing problems).

The advantage of imaging to me is that one can store multiple snapshots of the HDD on another device.

I have images of my Desktop PC, Laptop, and another family member's PC on my external HDD. The only downside is that full-disk images are not compressed that much, or not as much as I had expected when selecting the "medium" compression mode in the Macrium setup.

Since the free version doesn't include incremental or differential imaging options, I have to use the full-disk imaging method.

That's not too bad though, in my opinion, since I can test the full-disk image and not be concerned about an incremental chain image being corrupt or missing.

I'm not sure how valid the corruption probability is though, since I've not tried the Macrium Pro version.

When I was researching various imaging freeware's, I did read some posts elsewhere about that occurring, ie, running a long-standing image chain and then trying to restore to a HDD. If one of the chain images (incremental/differential) is corrupt, then the entire chain is rendered useless.

That's what I've read but I can't confirm it.

This is one reason I prefer staying with the Macrium free version since, for my needs, I'm only interested in storing a few snapshots of full-disk images.

Best Free Drive Cloning Software 7 years 3 months ago Scoop


I agree. I had to use my 2nd DVD/CD Burner to get a working bootable WinPE (3.1) CD with the Free version.

I also burn with Imgburn and I use Verbatim media. I also burn dedicated CD's for each PC so I have one for my Desktop PC and another on for my Laptop in addition to one for a family member.

All of mine are WinPE 3.1 CD's and I have verified 2 of the 3 PC's with a full-disk image and recovery to my spare HDD's.

My first attempt with the Linux CD didn't work out, wouldn't boot on either of my PC's but I tabled that for now since my WinPE CD's all boot up ok and have been tested.

The only issue that I'm having is that neither WinPE boot will recognize my SATA/USB Adapter Cable's HDD. I think that's due to the Adapter Cable being USB 3.0, even though USB is backward-compatible.

Since my USB 2.0 Enclosure does work with the Macrium WinPE CD on my Laptop, I'm wondering if that's the issue with that Adapter Cable.

I have version 5.2.6433 (x64) loaded on my PC at present. That's the version I used to create the WinPE 3.1 CD's on both PC's.

The thing I have noticed, on both PC',s is that the free version doesn't seem to load all of the drivers when building the ISO for the burn.

I asked some experienced Macrium Free users and they said that this isn't a problem and they have seen this as well when creating the WinPE Rescue media. As long as the ISO build contains the drivers necessary to communicate with the required interface items on the PC, then it should work, according to what I've read elsewhere about using the Free version's Rescue media.

Best Free Drive Cloning Software 7 years 3 months ago Scoop


Thanks for the info about the SATA/USB Adapter Cables. I ordered a 3.5 SATA Enclosure to use for my Desktop PC when testing and backing up with Macrium.

Best Free Drive Cloning Software 7 years 2 months ago Scoop


I recall having a little difficulty with the ISO build with Macruim Free, when creating the Rescue CD.

Once I got it to work, I created a dedicated CD for my 2 PC's and a family member's PC.

I've created, booted up on all 3 CD's, and restored full-disk images and have cloned via the boot CD's without problems.

I'm only guessing but it may be that the ISO builder with the Free version may not be robust across different PC's.

That's a bummer, what happened with your experience. It's hard to say what happened there but since these Rescue CD's boots to memory, you should be able to restore an image or process a clone to the Target HDD.

I ran a Macrium clone process on a family member's PC this morning and tested the cloned HDD. All worked ok.

I downloaded another freeware "Redo Backup" and booted the CD. It looks like a very simple tool with basic cloning and imaging options. I'll try that one the next time I clone.

Best Free Drive Cloning Software 7 years 2 months ago Scoop


Good point about the burners. I recall now that I had problems burning the ISO with my external DVD Burner and when I tried the same ISO burn with my internal Desktop Tower burner (different product brand), all worked ok.

I also use ImgBurn for all my media burns.

Best Free Drive Cloning Software 7 years 2 months ago Scoop

Hey Thomas :) Bummer about Macrium not working for you. Wish it had gone better but the good part is that there's more options, W7's backup option as well as the other freeware cloning/imaging tools.

Glad your PC is back to normal.

I'll be trying "Redo Backup" for my next clone and will post back about how that goes. That one looks appealing to me since it's an ISO download and no installation on the HDD.

I read your earlier post and it's my understanding that you're right, a Recover (ie, cloning/imaging tool's bootable media) should load to your RAM and should boot up without issues but I'm not an experienced user with this as much as other readers here.

Regarding Macrium, I have read posts elsewhere that mention some difficulties in creating their bootable media. From what I read, once the issues are resolved, the software/tool itself is reliable.

I tested Macrium on a family member's PC a few days ago with a full-disk image and recover, and also tested the cloning option and both worked ok but after encountering difficulties with creating my own PC's bootable CD, I understand your decision to go with another tool.

Best for your imaging/cloning activity and have a great holiday season :)

Best Free Drive Cloning Software 7 years 2 months ago Scoop


Thanks for the AHCI info. I'm running Win 7 x64. My HDD BIOS is set to IDE from the install. I was running a Raid 1 array and that was one reason I hadn't changed my BIOS to AHCI among other reasons.

I've read some articles about issues when the BIOS is changed, after the initial Windows install, from IDE to AHCI, that it can cause some issues with programs, etc. That's one reason I hadn't tried it yet.

That said, thanks again for this info as it explains why my bootable media works well.