Everything You Need to Know About USB Write-Protection

In spite of all the buzz regarding digital distribution, fulfilling your content on physical medium, like a USB flash drive, is still a very critical aspect of any business. You may have large data files or would just like to have your content branded. Whether you plan to fulfill software or a large library of video files, a USB key (a flash-based storage device, also known as USB flash drive or thumb drive) is widely supported by most computer systems and smart devices. Unlike other storage devices such as magnetic tapes, compact discs or memory cards, USB flash drives do not have any built-in write-protection mechanism unless you choose to work with a provider who can work on the controller level and make the USB a read-only device. A write-protected USB will ensure that your content is secure and not accidentally erased.

  • Safeguard Against Malicious Activity: When a disk is write-protected, files can be read or copied from the disk, but nothing can be saved or copied to it. This can help prevent you, or anyone else, from accidentally deleting or saving over important files. Most importantly, a write-protected USB is safer since it can not be infected by any viruses or other malicious activity. For example, let’s say you have a software package which is distributed on USB media. It is important that the company write-protects the flash drive because not only do you not want to spread any viruses, but you also do not want a third party messing with your software and saving the changes on your USB stick.
  • Better Customer Experience: A USB flash drive behaves like a removable storage. If you accidentally delete files from a USB flash drive you are out of luck. The deleted files do not go in the recycle bin so you will not be able to recover the files once they have been deleted. You want to make sure your content doesn’t accidentally get deleted which can result in an unwanted, expensive support service call with a frustrated customer.
  • USB is Unlike Other Storage Devices: Whether you had IBM’s ½ inch magnetic tape, a floppy disk, a CD-ROM, or SD card, there has always been an option to write-protect your content. On the other hand, USB does not have this selection. IBM’s magnetic tape had a circular groove on one side of the reel, into which a soft plastic ring had to be placed in order to write on the tape. A floppy disk was write-protected when the plastic tab at the top was moved to reveal a “hole” in the disk. Sliding the tab up or down switched the floppy disk to enable or disable write-protection. Memory cards used in your camera have the option to write-protect. Standard CD or DVD-ROMs are “Read Only Memory,” which means the content is written once and used for reading only. CD and DVDs are still the most viable form of distributing your content as the content is secure and very economical to produce and distribute. However, the dominance of drive-less computers is forcing companies to choose USB flash drives as an alternative medium. For this reason, an easy write-protection option is a very desirable feature.
  • Requires Technical Expertise to Write-Protect: A USB Flash drive can be write-protected. It requires sending a command to the controller and turning off the SCSI write command. The IC chip on a USB stick is called the controller and it is a chip which controls the read and write process between the USB memory and the host computer it is connected to. The SCSI write command (Small Computer System Interface) is unique to each USB controller on the market, so there is no universal command. A good service bureau who has expertise in data pre-loading and duplication services can easily control the command in the controller and help produce write-protected USBs.

In conclusion, even though USB flash drive does not have an easy way to write-protect your content, you must find a way to secure your content if you are choosing to fulfill your digital content on USB. This will safeguard your organization’s interests and allow for a better customer experience.

A viral marketing project by Kelvin Scotts, best marketing agencies in singapore that provides complete social media in singapore services.

‘Attempting to Validate BBT Refcounts’ Outlook PST Error

Microsoft Outlook PST is the single file consisting of all email messages, notes, journals, tasks, appointments and other Outlook objects. This file is prone to corruption due to reasons like virus attack, saving PST on network, application faults, unexpected shutdown and other similar reasons. Thus for complete file restoration, you need to use your recent file backup. But in case you observe that backup is giving errors or is not updated to restore required data, commercial Outlook PST Repair tools can prove as valid tools to be used.

You might receive the similar error message while using Microsoft Office Outlook Inbox Repair Tool:

“Attempting to validate BBT refcounts”

“Couldn’t find BBT entry in the RBT (211C8)”

You receive such errors in the log report.

Cause

Possible causes for the above error to occur are:

  • PST file is large in size
  • Outlook is unable to find the BBT entry of the file
  • PST is damaged or corrupted

Note: Outlook 2002 and earlier versions have default file size limit of 2 GB. If PST grows beyond this file size limit, Outlook shows strange behavior and PST gets odds to corrupt. In Outlook 2003 and 2007, this file size limit has extended to default value of 20 GB.

Solution

To fix these issues, you should try performing these steps:

  • Try to reduce file size. You can empty the ‘Deleted Items’ folder and delete unimportant email messages from all folders including Inbox, Sent Items etc.
  • Try reinstalling Microsoft Office Outlook to resolve BBT errors
  • If PST corruption is the issue, you need to repair it. Since Inbox Repair Tool cannot repair such files, you should Repair PST using commercial applications.

Outlook PST Repair software are safe and advanced applications to repair damaged PST. These software deploy high-end scanning algorithms to examine a damaged PST file and repair it, without changing file original view and content. You can use these tools to Repair Outlook PST in any case of personal storage file corruption. They come equipped with self-descriptive interface, read-only design and automated recovery options.

How To Quickly Make A Bootable USB Stick With FreeBSD

Install FreeBSD, or use an existing FreeBSD installation, and follow these steps:

1) First, you need to prepare and format your USB stick:

fdisk -BI /dev/da0
bsdlabel -B -w da0s1
newfs -U -O1 /dev/da0s1a
boot0cfg -v -B da0
(“-U -O1” [“O” like in Olympus, not zero] is for UFS1 which provides much faster copying than UFS2; if you decide for UFS2, type “-U -O2” – but expect that the copying will be slower)

2) Then mount it: mount /dev/da0s1a /usb
3) Copy all directories (FreeBSD) to the stick
4) After copying, modify the /usb/boot/loader.conf (explained below)
5) In the /boot directory on your USB stick you must have MFS (Memory File System – mfsroot.gz), which you will make (instructions are below)
6) Modify your /etc/fstab in MFS and put the following line (only) there:
/dev/md0 / ufs rw 0 0
7) After you boot your computer with the stick, you will be in the MFS environment from which you will mount your USB stick with mount_nullfs (described below)

Modification of /boot/loader.conf on your USB stick

You must have the following lines in your /boot/loader.conf (some lines are optional):

mfsroot_load=”YES”
mfsroot_type=”mfs_root”
mfsroot_name=”/boot/mfsroot”
nullfs_load=”YES”
splash_bmp_load=”YES”
vesa_load=”YES”
geom_uzip_load=”YES”
geom_label_load=”YES”
bitmap_load=”YES”
bitmap_name=”/boot/splash.bmp”
snd_driver_load=”YES”
kern.maxfiles=”25000″
kern.maxusers=”64″
vfs.root.mountfrom=”/dev/md0″

# Additional filesystem drivers

udf_load=”YES”
linux_load=”YES”
fuse_load=”YES”
ntfs_load=”YES”
ext2fs_load=”YES”
reiserfs_load=”YES”

Making your own MFS

FreeBSD, after the kernel boots, can use the root file system in memory (mfsroot_load=”YES” command in /boot/loader.conf will do the trick). To build such a memory file system, type the command:
dd if = /dev/zero of = mfsroot bs = 1024k count = 42

The mfsroot file of about 40 MB in size will be created. You need to format it, mount it and copy the most important files into it from your FreeBSD system (/bin, /sbin, /etc, /root….):

mdconfig -a -f mfsroot md0
newfs /dev/md0
mount /dev/md0 /mnt

Once copied, you must unmount it and gzip it: gzip mfsroot

Optionally, you can chroot it to see if everything works, then copy the mfsroot.gz to /usb/boot onto your USB flash drive (or disk). If you think it may be a problem to pick the most important files for your MFS (from your FreeBSD installation), search for mfsbsd in Google and either use its toolset or the MFS image alone (contained in the downloadable ISO of mfsbsd).

After booting from the USB stick (you will jump into MFS), you must mount the physical USB stick:

/sbin/mount -o ro /dev/da0s1a /usb
/sbin/mount_nullfs /usb/boot /boot
/sbin/mount_nullfs /usb/usr /usr

The above commands will help you use the big /usr directory on your USB stick instead of the /usr dir in MFS. mount_nullfs /usb/boot /boot is optional, as in your MFS/boot directory only the following files are needed for the little MFS to boot (/boot/kernel directory in MFS): geom_label.ko, geom_uzip.ko, zlib.ko a their debug symbols (zlib.ko.symbols, etc.). By mounting the /usb/boot dir via mount_nullfs into the /boot directory in your MFS you will be able to load kernel modules.

Delete Browsing History – How to Clear & Permanently Delete Cookies and Cache From Your Web Browser

It has always been pretty simple to delete your Internet browsing search history. Your favorite browser, whether it is Internet Explorer, Firefox or some other, has long come with the option to delete your Internet, web and browser search history and to clear cookies and memory cache. The trick is your simply knowing what to do.

Now, remember that as in deleting other files, these files are not permanently erased until they are written over, so there are numerous special programs out there to permanently erase your search and Internet history. However, while most users do not know how to erase the history, even fewer know how to retrieve it, so using these built in functions is going to be successful for most computer users.

Most people surfing the web still use Internet Explorer. On the top menu, simply click Tools/Options/Internet Options/General. Then click “delete files”, then click OK. Finally click “clear history”, then click Yes when prompted.

Safari users have it easy. Simply click History on the top menu, and then click Clear History on the bottom of the list that appears. Just in case you did not know, Safari is now freely available for Windows users. It is one of the best browsers when it comes to protecting your search history and enabling private browsing.

If you are a Mozilla FireFox user, you will choose Tools/Options/Privacy/Clear. It is a piece of cake, right?

AOL is just as simple…Settings/Preferences/Toolbars and Sounds/Clear History Trail Now.

Granted, having to choose “toolbars and sounds” does not sound intuitive, but it does bring up an important point. If you have toolbars on your browser, like the Google, Yahoo, or Alexa toolbars, those also keep your search history for future reference…which is actually quite handy when you are trying to find something again and cannot remember what search term was successful.

However, if you are trying to cover your tracks, you do not want that information left there for prying eyes. As an example, click the Down arrow to the right of where you enter your search on the Google toolbar, and you will see your search history right in front of you. Fortunately, you will also see a link that says Clear History. Just click there, and your history is gone from sight.

All toolbars provide this sort of option, as well as an option to not even remember your Internet search history, although you might have to go into your browser and turn off the AutoComplete function.

But, again, if you want to truly make sure your search history is gone forever, you are going to need third-party privacy control software to do it. These programs cannot only clear history, cache and cookies, but they will usually permanently delete them from your computer where they cannot be recovered using undelete or data recovery software. Most programs on the market use government and military level deletion protocols, which wipe the data from your computer for good.

Password Recovery on the Cisco ASA Security Appliance

In this article, I’ll explain how to perform a password “reset” on your Cisco ASA security appliance. The more commonly used term for this procedure is “password recovery” which is left over from the days when you could actually view passwords in configuration files in plain text. Today, such passwords are encrypted and not actually recoverable. Instead, you will gain access to the appliance via the console port and reset the password(s) to known values.

This procedure requires physical access to the device. You will power-cycle your appliance by unplugging it at the power strip and plugging it back in. You will then interrupt the boot process and change the configuration register value to prevent the appliance from reading its stored configuration at boot. Since the device ignores its saved configuration on boot, you are able to access its configuration modes without passwords. Once you’re in configuration mode, you will load the saved configuration from flash memory, change the passwords to a known value, change the configuration register value to tell the device to load its saved configuration on boot, and reload the device.

Caution: As with all configuration procedures, these procedures should be tested in a laboratory environment prior to usage in a production environment to ensure suitability for your situation.

The following steps were designed using a Cisco ASA 5505 Security Appliance. They are not appropriate for a Cisco PIX Firewall appliance.

1. Power-cycle your security appliance by removing and re-inserting the power plug at the power strip.

2. When prompted, press Esc to interrupt the boot process and enter ROM Monitor mode. You should immediately see a rommon prompt (rommon #0>).

3. At the rommon prompt, enter the confreg command to view the current configuration register setting: rommon #0>confreg

4. The current configuration register should be the default of 0x01 (it will actually display as 0x00000001). The security appliance will ask if you want to make changes to the configuration register. Answer no when prompted.

5. You must change the configuration register to 0x41, which tells the appliance to ignore its saved (startup) configuration upon boot: rommon #1>confreg 0x41

6. Reset the appliance with the boot command: rommon #2>boot

7. Notice that the security appliance ignores its startup configuration during the boot process. When it finishes booting, you should see a generic User Mode prompt: ciscoasa>

8. Enter the enable command to enter Privileged Mode. When the appliance prompts you for a password, simply press (at this point, the password is blank): ciscoasa>enable Password: ciscoasa#

9. Copy the startup configuration file into the running configuration with the following command: ciscoasa#copy startup-config running-config Destination filename [running-config]?

10. The previously saved configuration is now the active configuration, but since the security appliance is already in Privileged Mode, privileged access is not disabled. Next, in configuration mode, enter the following command to change the Privileged Mode password to a known value (in this case, we’ll use the password system): asa#conf t asa(config)#enable password system

11. While still in Configuration Mode, reset the configuration register to the default of 0x01 to force the security appliance to read its startup configuration on boot: asa(config)#config-register 0x01

12. Use the following commands to view the configuration register setting: asa(config)#exit asa#show version

13. At bottom of the output of the show version command, you should see the following statement: Configuration register is 0x41 (will be 0x1 at next reload)

14. Save the current configuration with the copy run start command to make the above changes persistent: asa#copy run start Source filename [running-config]

15. Reload the security appliance: asa# reload System config has been modified. Save? [Y]es/[N]o:yes

Cryptochecksum: e87f1433 54896e6b 4e21d072 d71a9cbf

2149 bytes copied in 1.480 secs (2149 bytes/sec) Proceed with reload? [confirm]

When your security appliance reloads, you should be able to use your newly reset password to enter privileged mode.

Copyright (c) 2007 Don R. Crawley

Data Recovery – The Importance of Backing Up Data

It is important any computer user to remember to always back up their data. Although technology is continuously improving, hard drives still fail and data is still lost. Hard drives are an amazing piece of mechanical engineering. They operate at high speeds spinning at around 7200 rpm. Although they have been engineered to withstand considerable levels of jarring and vibration, problems can still occur that result in irreparable damage to the drive.

Because of the nature of all storage devices, you should back up any important data you may have. There are many ways you can unintentionally lose information on a computer. A power surge, lightning, fire, equipment failure and malicious or innocent tampering with your computer can all cause data loss.

If you regularly make data backups copies of your files and keep them in a separate place, you can easily get at least of your information back in the event something happens to the originals on your computer.

Deciding what to back up is highly personal. Anything you cannot replace easily should be at the top of your list. Before you get started, make a checklist of files to back up. This will help you determine what to back up, and also give you a reference list in the event you need to retrieve a backed-up file.

Things to back up include the following:

  • Digital photos  
  • Personal documents  
  • School or work projects
  • Music collection  
  • Address book  
  • Email archive  
  • Downloaded software

There are many ways to back up your personal computer. The cheapest is often just to purchase a CD or DVD burner and a collection of blank disks. Another way, which can add another level of security to your data, is to purchase storage space on an offsite server, and update your files there on a regular basis.

You can individually select the files you want to back up each time, or you can use a back up utility. There are several programs out there that are suitable for regularly copying the essential portions of your hard drive.  Windows XP includes its own Backup Wizard. It comes preinstalled on Windows XP Professional, but you will have to install it yourself of the Home edition. Once it is installed, you can find it by going to the system tools folder in the start menu.

Backing up your data regularly can prevent the need of a difficult data recovery process in the event of a system failure. When you consider the time and the effort you have spent acquiring or producing the data and programs on your computer, it makes sense to spend just a little bit of time each week ensuring that you do not lose it.

How to Resolve Outlook OST File Error "File.ost Can Not Be Accessed"

At a work place MS Exchange server and MS Outlook collaboratively provides an efficient e-communication environment. All the mails and other mailbox data gets stored on the MS Exchange server. A unique profile is created on Exchange Server for every user which can be accessed with MS Outlook client. For each profile an ost file is automatically created on the user’s local system which is exact replica of the users mailbox on the Exchange Server. The OST file facilitates the user to work in offline mode, and gets synchronized with the Exchange Server when the internet connection is restored, to reflect the changes in one another.

Here it is to be considered that.ost file can not be accessed with the MS Outlook. When it get synchronizes with the exchange server it automatically gets converted in.pst file that is directly accessible with outlook. But what happen if in any case you can not connect with the Exchange server.

Consider a practical scenario, where you had left your job but have some of your important personal mails and data in the company’s mailbox. But now you do not have permission to access the MS Exchange Server. In such a case when you open MS Outlook and try to access the.ost file it results into the error message

Unable to open your default e-mail folder.

The file C:Documents and Settings/User Name/Local Settings Application

DataMicrosoftOutlookoutlook.ost cannot be accessed. You must connect to your MS Exchange

Server at least once before you can use your offlline folder file.

In this situation you only have the OST file that contains all your mails and data. The only way to access your desired mails and data is to convert the ost file into pst file using a third party ost pst converter, that converts the Otlook ost file into pst file that is accessible with outlook and can be stored on any disk visible to host system.

Convert OST to PST tools are fabricated to convert the damaged or inaccessible Outlook OST to PST file to make then accessible with Outlook. Such tools are very efficient, easy to use and are able to convert all the contents of the ost file (mails, tasks, notes, attachments, calendar entries, journals etc.) into pst file. Using ost to pst conversion tool individual mails can be stored in EML or MSG format. Convert OST to PST software can convert the password protected or encrypted OST file to PST file. Software supports Windows 7, VISTA, XP, 2003 and outlook 2010, 2007, 2003, 2002, 2000.

Reasons of JPEG File Corruption and Ways to Repair JPEG File

File corruption is a very common problem with almost all types of files, including the JPEG and JPG files. When corruption takes place your files become inaccessible and you run across severe data loss situations.

Nevertheless of the cause of JPEG and JPG file corruption, you have to fix it using appropriate JPEG repair solutions to get valuable images back to life.

JPEG file corruption may take place due to a wide range of reasons and it makes the file inaccessible.

The most frequent reasons of the JPEG and JPG file corruption are as listed below:

– Broken or corrupted header of the JPEG file.

– Viruses or malwares has infected the file or storage media.

– The storage media, such as hard drive, memory card etc., has bad sectors.

– The Master Boot Table or Master Boot Record of your Windows machine is damaged.

– The scan of the JPEG file was not complete or you have improper edited the structure or encoding of the image.

When you face JPEG or JPG file corruption due to any of the following reasons, you need to repair JPEG file using suitable applications to make them accessible.

Resolution:

In order to extract or access a corrupted JPEG file, you can opt for any of the following steps:

– Scan your disk using an updated Anti-virus application and check if it helps.

– If your hard drive has bad sectors, then you need to use CHKDSK utility to fix the affected disk.

– Restore or repair Microsoft Windows operating system, if corrupted Master Boot Record or Master Boot Table are causing the problem.

– In case JPEG or JPG files are damaged, then you need to restore the most recent copy of the image from an updated backup.

– If you do not have a valid or updated backup, then you can try opening the file in different picture viewer and can try to save it as different name and format.

If none of the above methods help you perform JPG repair, then you have to opt for a commercial recovery application. Such tools are capable of effectively handling all corruption scenarios.

Stellar Phoenix JPEG Repair is the most efficient utility to repair and restore damaged JPEG and JPG files. It is compatible with Microsoft Windows 7, 2008 Server, Vista, and XP. The application uses high-end scanning techniques to ensure absolute recovery of damaged JPEG/JPG files from hard drive, USB drives, memory cards, and flash cards.

How Small Businesses Can Benefit From Computer AMC and Tech Support Services

Can you imagine your business running without using computers? In the present scenario, computers have become an imperative part of life. It seems that it’s impossible to manage without their presence. Our computers and their parts have certain warranty period. After that warranty period, you have to look for paid computer support services that can rectify any errors that might arise due to regular work. A computer support service should be such that maintains your computer used in your business, and makes it work without annoyances, by making it run smoothly.

Computer AMC and technical support services are your solution if you encounter software bugs. Many companies are offering these services for a smoother functioning of your PC. Computer AMC also offers a post warranty contract, which can be used if you want to extend your warranty, or if your computer faces any problems after the warranty period has run out.

A computer AMC service offers multiple types of computer support options such as software support, hardware support, operating system support, antivirus support and much more. There are many benefits that your business can have if you avail computer AMC from a trusted support service provider.

If you have a small or mid-sized business, the online computer support is a great key to solve your PC problems. These technical support services also maintain a check on your PC and help it keep working without any possible glitches. Here are some benefits:

. Quality maintenance service

. Complete package of maintenance service for a cost effective range.

. Since computer AMC is post warranty cover, it will help you save time as well as money.

. System protection against viruses, spywares and malwares

. Upgrading and assembling your computer

. Recovering hard disk data

. Maintaining, repairing, servicing your printer and monitor

. Services based on the Internet

. Fixing of Modem, hard disk, CD-ROM and Mother Board etc.

. Troubleshooting

. Keeps your computer perfectly tuned round the clock.

Since online support services are available 24/7, you can avail them any time you need expert guidance. You can contact them through phone or using chat, whichever way is comfortable for you. An online computer support company uses Remote Desktop access to scan and fix your PC for errors. The best part about online technical support is that you can even choose to view the entire process of PC repair. Therefore, the process is fast, completely secure, and result-oriented.

This is a great help for those, who are working at open-ended business hours. Because the solution is given within moments, these online pc repair services ensure instant help to small and mid-sized businesses as well as home users.

Fix Your Corrupt PowerPoint Presentation by Using MS PowerPoint Recovery

Microsoft Office is one of the most common and popular software programs among all computer users. It is a software suite that contains several desktop applications for multiple purposes. As a computer user we use these applications on a daily basis. MS PowerPoint is one of them, which is used for creating and designing high-class presentation files. We all know the importance of presentation. It is widely used in almost every sector, for example:

  • For marketing promotion or corporate training session on businesses or large enterprises.
  • For teaching or training purposes in education sectors.

MS PowerPoint is one of the finest tools for creating presentation files. A presentation file may contain several pages, which are known as slides as they appear in sliding form. A slide of a presentation file may contain several file objects, such as: text, graphics, sound, movies and other objects. All these file objects make a presentation file more attractive and appealing. Microsoft PowerPoint saves presentation files in PPT or .ppt file extension. There are three types of file extension used by Microsoft PowerPoint:

  1. PPT: PPT file stores all presentation data in a single binary file. It is used by MS PowerPoint 2003 and its earlier versions.
  2. PPTX (Open XML): PPTX file is created by using the Open XML format. It stores the documents as a collection of separate files in compressed form. It can be opened in MS PowerPoint 2007 & 2010.
  3. PPTM (Open XML Macro Enabled): PPTM file, which is also known as macro-enabled presentation, contains embedded macros. It can be opened in MS PowerPoint 2007 & 2010.

It takes a lot of time and hard work to make a presentation file. A PPT file may be large as it contains several slides and various file-objects. Due to having a large size and complex structure it may get easily corrupted or damaged.

There is no computer file or application, which is immune to corruption. In the same way, presentation files are also prone to corruption. MS PowerPoint program becomes unable to open or read a corrupt file. There could be several unforeseen factors behind this corruption. Virus infection, unfinished or abruptly system shutdown, improper cancellation of presentation files or application, unexpected crash in system hard drive, software malfunction, human errors or mishandling a presentation, etc. are some of the common reasons of corruption. While opening a corrupt presentation file we may face some errors. Errors are the perfect indication of file corruption. Some of the most common errors are: “This is not a PowerPoint Presentation” or“File is corrupted or damaged”.

Whenever a file gets corrupted or damaged we need to repair it. We can use “Open and repair” to repair corrupt file, It is a built-in repair feature provided by MS Office to repair corrupt documents. It is one of the easiest and effective solutions to repair corrupt files. The steps, which are mainly required for this solution, are shown below:

  1. Open MS PowerPoint program. Click on Office button (on top of the left side).
  2. A list will be appearing. Click on Open.
  3. A small window will pop-up. Select corrupt file from the system directory.
  4. Click on the arrow of Open button. A list will be scrolled down.
  5. From the list, click on Open and repair. After some seconds, the file will be repaired and opened.

Note: Though this solution efficiently works with corrupt files, but if it does not work we must try the following solutions.

  • We should try to open a corrupt file in OpenOffice Impress.
  • We should try to open a corrupt file in MS Word. If it gets opened, we can recover at least the text part of the file.
  • We should try to import the slides from the damaged file into a new file.
  • If these solutions do not work, then we may use a third-party recovery tool for corrupt files. MS PowerPoint Recovery consists of PPT, PPTX and PPTM recovery tool, which can easily recover our data from corrupt PPT, PPTX and PPTM files. It does not overwrite or replace the old document. It creates a new file and saves all the recovered data into it. The tool works in self-describing mode as it is equipped with an automated wizard interface.