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Copy or Move Multiple Files using TeraCopy, without Worrying about Errors

April 8th, 2012 No comments

 

  • Do you have to copy or move many files on your computer or from one disk to the other or between your computer and the network?
  • Are you bothered by the Windows copy error dialog box telling you that one of your files has a problem or the file copy stopped due to one or the other error?
  • Do you wish that the Windows file copying should have been better?
  • Do you wish that Windows should have been able to resume copying/moving the other files even when one or a few files couldn’t be copied?
  • Do you wish that when you’re copying lots of data or large files, you should be able to pause the copying, complete the other important task and then resume the copy process?

If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, then you definitely need TeraCopy. But you may ask what is TeraCopy and what other features does it have? Read on to know some of the features of the free version. (There’s also a paid version which has even more features.)

  1. Pause and resume file transfers. Pause the copy process at any time to free up system resources and resume with a single click.
  2. Error recovery. In case of any copy error, TeraCopy tries several times and in the worst case, just skips the problematic file –  it won’t abort the whole copy process like Windows does.
  3. Interactive file list. TeraCopy shows failed file transfers and lets you fix the problem and recopy only the files which couldn’t be copied.
  4. Shell integration. TeraCopy can completely replace Windows Explorer copy and move functions, allowing you to work with files normally.

TeraCopy allows you to copy and move files on your Windows system at faster speeds. For this, it uses adjusted buffers. It also uses asynchronous copy to speed up transfers between two or more hard drives. If there’s an error while copying or moving files, it will automatically retry the copy and in case of another failure, will skip the files completely unlike Windows which will just cancel the whole copy operation.

Teracopy also gives you a chance to try and recopy files at the end of the copy operation. It can also take over the Windows Explorer functions by integrating itself into the Windows Shell.  You can make it the default Windows file/folder copier.

This program can also be used as a portable application on small devices such as pen drives and USB sticks. Simply create a folder in that drive and place TeraCopy.exe (from your Program Files\TeraCopy Folder) inside the folder. In short, TeraCopy speeds up file transfers and can pause, resume and verify file copy operations.

TeraCopy is a free download for home computer users (Windows only) and can be downloaded from here.

Why Do I Need a Separate File Copy Tool When Windows has a Built-in Copy Tool

Windows has a useful built-in File Copy Tool and everybody knows and uses it. But that tool is not suitable in cases when hundreds of thousands of files are to be copied, specially when you have to copy an entire disk. Some of the common problems you might face using windows built-in copy tool are as follows:

  1. It can abort the entire file copying process, if it encounters a bad or corrupt file. You will have to start your copy again but still there’s no guarantee that it won’t abort. What is even more frustrating is that Windows won’t tell you the exact path of the file which is causing it to abort.
  2. It does not allow copying files from multiple folders at one go.
  3. It does not provide any sort of customization.
  4. It does not provide any report, whether all files were copied correctly or not.
  5. There is no Stop, Pause or Resume File Copy feature.
  6. The speed of file copying process is too slow compared to some other file copy tools.
  7. Very limited features, when you talk about attributes, files sizes, date stamps etc.

If you want to read some file copying speed comparisions between Windows Copy and TeraCopy, click here.

A similar but hidden free tool from Microsoft called RichCopy (similar to TeraCopy) was the single most popular piece of content published on Technet. So, TeraCopy would get a similar response. You can get RichCopy from here. RichCopy has a few additional features that TeraCopy doesn’t have but TeraCopy still seems to be the favorite.

There would be such an inbuilt copy tool in Windows 8, but until then, it’s better to stick with TeraCopy.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

What to do when My Documents folder opens at startup?

December 29th, 2010 No comments

What to do when My Documents folder opens at startup?

One fine day, you start your Windows XP computer and when you log on, you find that theMy Documentsfolder opens up automatically. You close the folder, feeling a bit puzzled.

Being curious and wanting to check again, you restart the computer once but this time too, the “My Documents” folder opens up after you log on. You feel irritated. After some time, you become used to closing the My Documents folder every time you start Windows. But you wish to know how it started opening on its own. And whether there’s a way to stop it from opening at startup?

This happens if there’s a registry change in the Userinit value. Use the following steps to remove this behavior. The following procedure tells you to make changes to your Windows registry, so make sure to backup your files. Also backup the Windows registry, before you change anything in the registry. If you do something wrong with the registry, Windows may not start. So, beware. For more information on backup, click here.

  1. Click Start ->Run and type the following command and press the Enter key:

regedit

The Registry editor opens, as shown below.

MyDocuments1

2. Navigate down to the following key by clicking the + sign next to the following, as shown in the images below:

HKEY_ LOCAL_ MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

MyDocuments2 MyDocuments3

MyDocuments4 MyDocuments5

MyDocuments6

3. When Winlogon is selected in the left pane, on the right pane, carefully look for the key named “Userinit” and double click it to open the value.

It should have a value of

C:\WINDOWS\system32\userinit.exe,

(The comma at the end is important, don’t delete it. Add it, if it’s not present.)

MyDocuments7

4. If there’s anything else instead of the exact value shown above, delete it and carefully type the above value and then click OK.

5. Exit the registry editor by clicking on the cross.

6. Restart the computer. After Windows restarts, the “My Documents” folder won’t open up at startup.

How to Restore from a Backup made by Cobian Backup?

December 4th, 2010 No comments

In the other posts, you saw how to install, configure and backup your files using Cobian Backup. Here, you’ll see how to restore the already backed up files, whenever you need them.

1. If you don’t remember the destination or target folder on your backup device, open Cobian backup by double-clicking its icon in the system tray. Then, click the “Files” settings in the left-hand pane. Whatever destination you selected when you configured Cobian for the first time, can be seen under the Destination heading.

Cobian_Backup1

2. Now, open up My Computer or Windows Explorer and go to this folder. You may have to connect your backup device to the computer if it’s not already connected. You may see something like the following screen. There’s a list of all the backed up files in zip format. Some of the backups are Full and others are Differential as mentioned in parenthesis along with each backup.

Cobian_Backup2

3. Since we backed up using the Differential type of backup, when restoring, we’ll have to restore the last Full backup plus the last Differential backup. Since the backup names above include the date and time of backup, we can easily select the two backup files needed for restoring the latest backup. You may copy these two files to a temporary folder on your hard drive.

Cobian_Backup3

4. Now, extract or unzip both the zip files. You can do this one by one, so you’d know which folders were extracted by which zip file.

Cobian_Backup4

5. In this case, My Documents was extracted from the Full Backup and the other three folders were extracted from the Differential Backup zip file.

Cobian_Backup5

6. Now, you have to move the folders created by the differential backup, into the folder created by the full backup. Cut the last three folders.

Cobian_Backup6

7. Then, paste them into the My Documents folder.

Cobian_Backup7

8. Since we are overwriting some of the files of the Full Backup, with the ones in the Differential Backup, it’s okay to say Yes or Yes to all, when Windows asks if you want to replace the existing files.

Cobian_Backup8

9. Now, the My Documents folder contains the latest restored files. Remember that this is within a temporary folder, so you should move all these files and folders to the folder you want them in.

Cobian_Backup9

10. That’s it. You are done with the restore. This is simpler than it seems because of all these steps. Once you try it, the next time you can do it much faster, without much thinking.

 

If you want to know all about backups, click here.

If you want help in installing Cobian Backup, click here.

If you want to know how to configure Cobian for local backup, click here.

If you want to know how to configure Cobian for online / FTP backup, click here.

Configuring Cobian for Online / FTP Backup

November 24th, 2010 1 comment

1. First, install Cobian Backup as shown here.

2. After installation of Cobian Backup is complete, configure it as shown here.

3. The third step is to create an FTP account with a free or paid ftp server service. There were many free ftp servers in the past but almost all have started charging for their service. Only drivehq is the one known at this time, which doesn’t charge for ftp. Free FTP space is also available with free website hosting services, but they may not let you upload files for backing up. Even if they allow, they may delete the content if its not according to their terms and conditions.

4. Signup with drivehq. It’s a one-step, free signup and a very reliable service. You’ll get 1GB of free FTP space. Click here for the list of features.

5. If you don’t want to go with a free ftp service, you have two options – you can get a cheap, paid FTP service at cheapftpspace or you can get 1GB FTP space free at transferum, for a one time activation fee of USD $15. Transferum used to charge just US $1 for the activation, a few months ago but recently they increased the price. Please read the details on this page at transferum.

6. After paying the 15 USD fee, just send an email to free_account@transferum.com with your desired username and email address. You’d be notified, once the account is created. The password would be sent in the email.

7. Now, back to configuring Cobain Backup. In the Files setting, where you add the source and destination, click on FTP for destination.

Configuring_Cobian5

8. This example assumes that you have an FTP account with transferum. Replace the settings according to your FTP server documentation. Configure the FTP settings as shown. Use your FTP account username and password. Leave the working directory blank and check the checkbox that says Passive transfers. This is all you have to do. Leave the other settings as they are. You can now click the “Test” button to test the connection. A test file will be created in your ftp account and a status message would be shown. Now, click OK to save the settings.

Cobian_ftp_settings

9. Configure the rest of Cobian Backup, as shown on the Cobian Local Backup configuration page.

If you want help in installing Cobian Backup, click here.

If you want to know all about backups, click here.

If you want to know how to restore data from a backup made by Cobian backup, click here.

 

All About Backups

November 22nd, 2010 1 comment

What is a Backup?

A backup is a copy of your data, which can later be restored when the original data is lost or corrupted for any reason.

Why to Backup?

Everyone has experienced data loss at one time or the other. When data is lost,  you may be in need of some important files from that data. If you compare the time and money that goes into trying to get the data back, to spending a little time regularly to backup your data, you’ll start backing up your data too. Just a little time spent regularly for backing up, pays off when you lose data.

One of the reasons why people don’t backup is that they think nothing will happen to their computer. But, every computer and hard drive will die or become corrupted someday in the future. It cannot be said when that will happen.

Another reason why people don’t backup is that they are just lazy. They don’t want to backup at the end of a tiring day. They also tend to think that when they come back the next day, their data would be safe.

Another reason for not backing up is spending on expensive backup devices. Even if one wants to buy a backup device, which device should one buy or which one is the best is a question for them which confuses them.

And there’s one more reason why people don’t want to backup – what type of backup to use? People are confused when they hear that there are many types of backups. They aren’t clear as to which type of backup is suitable for them. And they don’t want to sit and learn about something, just to be able to backup!

These reasons make people tend not to backup at all. But, sooner or later, they are bound to repent and after losing some valuable data, they’ll spend on some kind of backup device. Whatever your backup device is, or whatever the backup type, some kind of backup is better than no backup at all.

What are the Causes of Data Loss?

There can be one or more of the following that can cause data loss:

  • Hardware Failure, including hard drive failure
  • Software Problems
  • File or Folder Corruption
  • Accidental File Deletion
  • Accidental Hard Drive Formatting
  • Viruses
  • Theft
  • Disasters

When to Backup?

The time to backup is now, not tomorrow or later. When you aren’t sure that your computer would be functional tomorrow, is it safe to leave it without backing up your valuable data, for which you have spent a lot many hours? So, better backup now than repent later. Another good time to backup your data is when you are about to make some changes to the operating system, install or uninstall new hardware or a software program, or do anything that may affect the computer.

How often to Backup?

You should backup up important files as often as possible. In the past, creating a backup was a time-consuming and tedious task. But today, there are many good backup solutions available. Good backup programs provide automating the backups. You don’t have to spend time on manually backing up daily. The programs do that for you, every hour or every day – whatever you set them to, once.

It also depends on what amount of data you create and how often. If you create new data daily, then doing a daily backup is a good idea. If you are creating lots of data every hour, then it would be better to choose an hourly backup plan.

How to Backup?

  • Manual backup You manually select the files and folders to backup and copy them to the destination device like a CD/DVD or to a USB Flash drive. Manual backups are time-consuming and a task which most people like to avoid doing daily. Manual backups can be useful in case of doing a full backup of your hard disk, using an imaging software program like Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image. But this is not required frequently, and you can do it once in a while, if you are using an automated backup program.
  • Semi-automated backup Backup programs do the backup automatically, but you have to remember and run the program manually to do the backup. If you forget to run the program someday, your data won’t be backed up on that day and there’s a possibility of losing this data the next day.
  • Automated backup Automated backups are created regularly and automatically, without your interaction with the backup program. The backup program does everything regularly and efficiently, in the background, once it is configured to do so. This is set once and forget it type of backup, and you don’t have to worry about your data, once you’ve configured it.

What to Backup?

You can backup only the important files. Any files that cannot be replaced and you can’t afford to lose, should be backed up. This includes your typed documents, emails, photos, recorded videos and any such thing that you cannot afford to lose.

Before you configure your backup program, you should go through all the folders on your hard drive and make a list of the ones that you want to include in the backup. This may include folders and files with any personal data, important software and music files that you don’t want to lose, documents, email, address books, bookmarks or favorites, etc.

When you lose data, due to reasons like a corrupt hard drive or an operating system corruption, you have to spend precious time to reinstall the operating system, the drivers, software programs and then restoring the already backed up data. This may even take up a whole day or more.

Using some disc imaging programs like Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image, you can create an image of the hard drive or of different partitions, and keep them on the backup media. Then, when you need to restore your operating system and data, you only have to restore the image from the backup. This is much faster than manually installing the OS and restoring your data.

Difference between Full, Differential, Incremental and Mirror Backups

  • Full Backup A full backup is a complete backup. It includes everything that you want to backup. Restoring a full backup is fast because you have to restore only from one set of backup. The drawback is that the full backup itself takes time and is slower than other types of backup. Another drawback of a full backup is, it takes more space on the target device to store full backups. Since your backup program will usually store multiple backups on the target device, there will be many full backups, taking up a high amount of storage space.
  • Differential Backup A differential backup is a backup of only those files that have changed since the last full backup. The files which are not changed after the last full backup will not be backed up.If you do a differential backup more than once, each time, it will backup all the files, which were changed since the last full backup. It will take backup of those files even if those changed files were backed up in a previous differential backup.Backups are faster than a full backup, since only a few changed files are backed up. Also, it takes little space even for multiple differential backups on the target device. For restoring all the data, you need the last full backup plus the last differential backup. Differential backups are a little slower to restore, than restoring from a full backup, but faster and less confusing than incremental backups. But, a the time taken for a differential backup is a little more than an incremental backup.
  • Incremental Backup An incremental backup is a backup of only those files that have changed since the last backup of any type (full, differential or incremental).For example, if you took a full backup on Sunday and an incremental backup on Monday, the incremental backup would contain any files changed after the Sunday’s full backup. If you took another incremental backup on Tuesday, it would only contain the files changed after the Monday’s incremental backup.Incremental backups are the fastest and take the least amount of storage on the target device. But, restoring is the slowest because you have to restore from the full backup plus from all the incremental backups. It may also be confusing when doing a restore, for some people.
  • Mirror Backup Some backup programs provide another option than the above three. This is nothing but a mirror copy of the folder or directory that you specify to backup. After whatever time you specify, the program will copy any files that were changed since the last time, to this mirror backup folder on the target device.A mirror backup is similar to a full backup, except that the files are not compressed, so you can access the backup folder anytime by opening Windows Explorer.  Because the files aren’t compressed, this is the fastest backup method. Restoring is also the fastest, because you only have to copy the folder back to the original location. The drawback is that the storage space needed is more than all other backup types.

Where to Store Backups?

  • On-Site Storage This is the most easiest and common place of storing your backups. In simple words, this means to keep your backups in your home or office, at a safe place. This may be fine for normal users, but if your backups contain extremely sensitive and valuable data, disasters like floods or fire in your area can make your backups useless.
  • Offsite Storage This method of storing is very good for protecting your data. If there is any kind of disaster in your area, you can still get your data back, if it is lost.
  • Online Storage This is also a kind of offsite storage, and very good for protecting your data. But you don’t have to spend on any extra devices for storage. You can also access your backup immediately using an Internet connection. There are free online backup services available, and provide space from 1 – 2 GB. This much is enough for backing up normal documents and images. You can buy more space, if needed.

Two examples of free online backup services are: http://mozy.com and http://www.idrive.com/

To know more about online storage and online backup, view this page.

Where to Backup?

  • Floppy Disk A few years ago, when someone mentioned about data backup for personal computers, all that people would think was the 3.5” floppy disk. Nowadays the floppy drive itself is obsolete and you can’t even find it on new computers. Even old computer users have removed it, since floppies are very less reliable and have very low storage space.
  • CDs/DVDs Blank writable CDs can hold up to 700 MB of data. These are very cheap. You can also get re-writable CDs which cost just a little more and data on them can be erased many times.On the other hand, you can also use DVDs or re-writable DVDs which hold about 4.7 GB of data. New type of double-sided DVDs can hold much more data. These re-writable discs can be used multiple times for backing up your data.
  • A Second Hard Drive You can use an additional hard drive for saving backups. You can also get external or portable hard drives which connect via USB to backup your data. These are very easy to carry around.
  • USB/Pen/Flash Drives These are extremely cheap these days, replace the old floppies, hold large amount of data, are much more reliable than floppies and can be carried around extremely easily. There are even mini-sized versions called as thumb drives. They are readily available up to 64 GB and 256 GB versions are expected sometime later this year.If you use them for data backup, make sure that you use two instead of one. Even the ones that have lifetime warranty can fail soon. If you want a better backup option, spend a little more and buy an external/portable hard drive.
  • Network This is similar to backing up your data to another hard drive. It’s fast and reliable. If the other computer has a high-capacity hard drive, you can store a large amount of backup data on this networked computer. Also, you don’t have to spend on backup devices. The drawback is that you should know how to network computers and use network resources. If there are any network problems, you may not be able to backup.
  • Magnetic Tapes These are normally used by organizations to store large amount of data. You won’t find them with normal computer users, and most users don’t even know what they are. The cost of the device is quite high. They are slower than other devices, when you want to retrieve particular data files, because data is accessed sequentially. They also have a shorter life-span than other devices. They were the only backup medium at one time, for large organizations. But now there are other devices available. Normal computer users won’t want to select this as the backup medium.

Which is the best, free software program to use for backup?

If you search Google with the keywords “free backup software”, you’d get more than 71,000,000 hits. There are many good backup programs and they widely vary in features and ease of use. Many people, however have found Cobian Backup from CobianSoft to be a nice, feature-rich and easy to use backup program. It can backup to local backup devices as well as online / ftp accounts.

If you want help in installing Cobian Backup, click here.

If you want to know how to configure Cobian for local backup, click here.

If you want to know how to configure Cobian for online/FTP backup, click here.

If you want to know how to restore data from a backup made by Cobian backup, click here.

How to upgrade a device driver

December 10th, 2008 No comments

Sometimes driver problems can be solved by updating the drivers. Updated drivers are more secure and also improve performance.

The first step is to identify the hardware.

  • Log on to your computer as an administrator
  • Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Manage
  • Under System Tools, click Device Manager
  • In the right window, expand any category to find the hardware. The name you find here identifies your computer hardware

To find the update for the driver, visit the manufacturer’s web site. Under their support section, you should see a driver download section. Identify your product and you will be able to download the latest driver from the manufacturer’s web site. After downloading the driver, install it and restart your machine.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Driver Problem? Try XP Utility – Driver Verifier

June 28th, 2007 No comments

Driver Verifier is a hidden tool for monitoring Windows kernel-mode drivers and graphics drivers. Microsoft strongly encourages hardware manufacturers to test their drivers with Driver Verifier to ensure that drivers are not making illegal function calls or causing system corruption.

To use Driver Verifier, go to Start / Run and type VERIFIER in the text box.

In the Driver Verifier Manager, choose the Standard Settings

Choose Select Drivers from a list

Check the boxes next to the drivers you wish to select

You'll be prompted to reboot your machine. Once you reboot, either you'll see the dreaded blue screen, which will contain an error message. If your system reboots normally, the drivers selected aren't a problem.

*Important note: Your Driver Verifier Manager stays active until you disable it. To disable, go to Start / Run and type VERIFIER /RESET

For more information about the Driver Verifier, read “Using Driver Verifier to identify issues with Windows drivers for advanced users.”

Categories: Troubleshooting, Uncategorized Tags: ,