Pen Drive – History and Facts

Often referred to as a jumpdrive, the pen drive is a portable flash memory solution, designed to transport data files from one computer to another. The product can carry audio, video and data files, and is brilliantly simple; all the user has to do is plug the pen drive into a computer`s USB port, drag and drop the necessary files from the hard drive, remove it and plug it into another machine.

Durable, portable and scratch-resistant, the pen drive is a marked improvement on previous data transportation devices, such as the CD and floppy disk, and a source of constant relief and graduate for millions of people the world over.

The history

At the dawn of the new Millennium, it became clear that traditional storage solutions were no longer up to the job. People now needed to move large files between computers in the blink of eye, using intermediary technology which was quick to set up, easy to carry and hard to damage. A clutch of software companies, including SanDisk (then known as M-Systems), Lexar, Trek and IBM began working on a solution that would meet these needs.

Their solution was the revolutionary USB flash drive, which was gradually developed in the last years of the 20th century. In 2000 Trek rolled out the first-ever flash drive, named Thumb Drive, in Singapore, with IBM introducing a similar model to the North American market. Just a few months later Lexar introduced a Compact Flash (CF) card with a USB connection, and a companion card read/writer and USB cable; this eliminated the need for a USB hub, and allowed the pen/flash drive to enjoy meteoric growth over the next decade.

How it works

Each pen drive comprises a tiny Printed Circuit Board (or PCB) to store data, a USB connector, and a NAND flash memory chip using multicell level technology; this groundbreaking solution was first developed by SanDisk and Toshiba in 2005. The constituent technologies are encased within a tough outer shell, manufactured in metal, rubber or plastic, and the USB connector may be sheathed in an outer cap or protected by a retractable strip, which allows the user to withdraw the connector when not in use.

The name pen drive is actually an anachronism; drives typically rely on mechanical systems, but this little gem does not. The term drive remains as a vestigial nod to the past because computers read and write flash-drive data using the same system commands as for a mechanical disk drive, with the storage appearing to the computer operating system and user interface as just another drive.

Meteoric growth

In less than 10 years the pen drive has evolved from an optional extra for the technologically savvy into an indispensable staple for all computer users. People have found more and more reasons to use a pen drive, and they have been encouraged by rapid increases in storage capacity; the early pen drives had room for just 8MB, but this soon increased as the technology improved – today you can pick up a pen drive with capacity of 128GB, provided you are willing to pay top dollar for the privilege.

The growth of the pen drive has rendered the good-old floppy disk almost obsolete. Until 2005 most PCs were fitted with floppy disk drives as standard. Now, faced with the ubiquity of the pen drive, designers are leaving out the old drives and fitting USB ports instead. The revolution is nearly complete!

Ntoskrnl Exe Blue Screen – Fix Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) With Ntoskrnl Exe

Ntoskrnl.exe Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) is a Fatal Error displayed by Microsoft Windows family operating systems. The nature of this critical error is non-recoverable.

According to the research, the computer starts fine, and then after an interval of approximately 10 minutes, the Blue Screen appears with Ntoskrnl.exe error. An emergency system reboot is required to be done by the user, or otherwise, the system automatically restarts.

Cases with solutions:

1. Missing or Corrupted Ntoskrnl.exe File

2. Corrupted Registry Entries

3. Missing or Corrupted Boot.ini

4. Corrupted System Files

5. Bad Sectors in the Hard Disk

6. Restore the System

7. Corrupted User Profile

Missing or Corrupted Ntoskrnl.exe File

Ntoskrnl.exe is the kernel image for the family of Microsoft Windows NT operating systems. It’s a fundamental part of your system. Often, in BSOD with Ntoskrnl.exe error problems, this file is missing or corrupted.

1. Insert the Bootable Microsoft Windows Operating System Installation DVD ROM.

2. Restart the machine.

3. Press F2 or Delete key of your keyboard until the BIOS Configurations Screen appears.

4. Select First Boot Device to your DVD ROM, Second Boot Device to your Hard Disk. [You need to search for these options in the appropriate menus.]

5. Save your settings. The system shall automatically restart again.

6. The setup shall start loading.

7. When prompted, press R key for loading the Recovery Console, recovery functionality.

8. Select your operating system to repair. For instance, Microsoft Windows 7, or Microsoft Windows XP.

9. In the Command Prompt, type: Expand x:i386ntoskrnl.ex_ c:windowssystem32

Note: In above command, x refers to the drive letter assigned to your CD ROM. If my CD ROM drive letter is J, then I will replace x with j as like this: Expand j:i386ntoskrnl.ex_ c:windowssystem32

10. Press ENTER key.

11. When prompted to overwrite the specified file, type Y and press ENTER.

12. Type Exit for closing setup and restarting the machine.

Corrupted Registry Entries

Windows Registry is a fundamental part in Microsoft Windows. The increased use of the registry causes outdated, invalid or incorrect information to reside in the registry.

Fixing the registry manually is not a simple task. Thousands of entries having reference to various objects are stored in the registry. Any incorrect change may lead to system instability and thereby loss of precious user data. That’s why a need to use a good registry fixing program arises. You can get a good registry fixing program online which is a must have program to deal with errors such as Ntoskrnl.exe blue screen problem.

Missing or Corrupted Boot.Ini File

A missing or improperly configured Boot.ini file may lead BSOD with Ntoskrnl.exe. If you had recently modified the Boot.ini file; or otherwise, installed new or uninstalled the existing operating systems improperly, then it might be the source of the Ntoskrnl.exe blue screen of death problem.

You need to rebuild the Boot.ini file as below:

1. Do the Steps 1 to 8 mentioned in the Missing or Corrupted Ntoskrnl.exe File section.

2. In the Command Prompt, type bootcfg /rebuild and press ENTER.

3. Press Y to confirm the action.

4. A prompt will ask you about operating system load option. Type /Fastdetect and press ENTER.

Corrupted System Files

Corruption in the system files may cause Ntoskrnl.exe blue screen error. You need to run the SFC utility which replaces any corrupted system files with their original versions.

1. Insert Microsoft Windows installation DVD ROM.

2. Click Start | Run.

3. Type SFC /ScanNow, and press ENTER.

4. Follow the instructions on your screen.

Bad Sectors in the Hard Disk

A corrupted hard disk, having bad sectors may result in BSOD with Ntoskrnl.exe problem. In such case, run the Disk Checkup to find corrupted sectors and repair them.

1. Open My Computer.

2. Right click a drive. For instance, drive C.

3. Select Properties.

4. Click Tools | Check Now.

5. Click Start.

6. Follow the instructions on your screen.

7. Do the Steps 2 to 6 for all the remaining drives on your machine.

Restore the System

Restoring your computer and registry to an earlier state is also recommended. Only choose a system restore point on which the BSOD with Ntoskrnl.exe error was not displaying.

1. Click Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | System Restore.

2. Select the option letting you restore Windows to an earlier state.

3. Select a system restore point on which Windows was working fine.

4. Follow the instructions your own.

Corrupted User Profile

The Ntoskrnl.exe blue screen error may occur, if the user profile where you got the error is corrupted. Create a new User Account.

1. Log on as an administrative user.

2. Click Start |.

3. Click Manage Another Account | Create a New Account.

4. Follow the wizard.

To solve the BSOD with Ntoskrnl.exe error, registry fixing is must.

Entourage Repair to Fix "Not Enough Memory" in Microsoft Entourage

Are you unable to access your Entourage Inbox, Drafts folder, Deleted Items folder, and any of your subfolders of Inbox? You get memory errors while accessing items from your database. This behavior makes all your precious data inaccessible and leads to severe data loss. At this point of time, you need to opt for Entourage repair solutions to get your precious data back.

In a practical instance of this problem with your E-mail client, you may encounter the below error message while accessing data-

“Entourage cannot open the item due to an error. Not enough memory.”

This behavior renders all your precious data inaccessible. In order to recover Entourage database in such cases, you need to find out the cause of this issue and fix it using appropriate solutions.

Root of the problem-

Unfortunately, the above error is not caused by memory problems. This is actually a wrong description on generic error, which can be caused by number of other things, such as-

  • If you get this error while receiving emails, it can be due to a corrupt message.
  • The fonts are faulty or damaged.
  • Your Mac RAM (Read Only Memory) is either low or damaged.
  • Entourage database is either corrupt or unrecognizable.

Resolution-

  • Log into your account using web browser and remove the damaged items.
  • Install new fonts or remove the faulty fonts.
  • Replace or Upgrade your Macintosh RAM.
  • Restore your database from the most recent backup. You are recommended to repair Entourage database from backup only if it is updated.

If you cannot perform Entourage database recovery using any of the above methods, you need to opt for Entourage recovery software to get your data back. Entourage repair software are capable of retrieving inaccessible data in all data loss situations.

Data Consolidation Techniques

As data increases in the company’s database, the need for data to be consolidated is a must in order to manage it effectively and utilize it for business operations. Data consolidation is getting data from multiple locations and sources and integrating them into a single database to be used in the company. Consolidation is an important component in data integration modules that comprise data propagation and federation.

Data propagation deals with duplicating information from different sources and locations while data federation deals with unifying the source information virtually. When data is integrated into a single database it allows for quicker access and better control. Managing data is now more effective and efficient. Data consolidation is done with the use of two different technologies and these are the ELT and ETL.

ELT stands for Extract, Load, and Transform. This is where the systems transform a volume of data after it is loaded in a database. After the loading process is done, it is then transformed and then delivered to different tables that can be access by authorized users. This technology is also called pull systems because it is performed on-demand by any individual. This allows also the users to transform and publish data after it is loaded in the database.

On the other hand, ETL stands for Extract, Transform, and Load. This is another data consolidation technique where it extracts information from multiple resources, transforms it into the standard rules and then loads it afterwards in the target systems with specified formats. It is quite different from ELT, because data is being transformed first before loading process takes place. Transformation takes place in the form of reformatting, standardizing and streamlining it to other data manipulation rules set by the company.

The extraction process is the first stage in any data consolidation techniques. Extraction may take place from high volume to multiple data sources or maybe from relational to object databases and other documents. This may also delivers both unstructured and structured data. The next technique is the transformation process that varies from data consolidation technique that is available. This may also ranges from single to complex operations. This allows also to deliver timely and relevant information that are used by the management team in their decision making process. Data is customized and tailored to what the company really needs. And the last process is the loading where it transfers and delivers data from one location to any target application. The loading process differs in both techniques because in ELT data loaded is unprocessed while in ETL data is loaded after it is processed.

Data consolidation is done with two different techniques. However, both of these techniques aim to integrate all the necessary data and information from different sources to a single database for effective management of data.

The Pros and Cons of Network Attached Storage (NAS)

As the increase in technology becomes more advanced, so do the methods of data recovery. Data recovery has become a need for personal and business reasons, but for businesses a poor disaster recover or data loss plan can lead to the loss of extremely important data that cannot be recovered. While this seems like an issue that can be solved, the loss of data for some businesses can cost thousands or even millions of revenue dollars. For private users, it may not be the loss of millions of dollars, but it can mean the loss of an integral set of information that costs even the personal users many dollars.

With the increasing advancement of data storage, the use of data recovery has also tried to parallel its sister component. Rack and virtual drives have become the new way to save large amounts of data on an array of large network drives. Network Attached Storage, or NAS, has become an official method to store large amounts of data. This type of technology is mostly used in medium to large enterprises and it gives the corporation an added layer of data recovery and fail over solutions.

Pros of Network Attached Storage:

The advantage of NAS is the consolidation of storage platforms for administrators. It is much easier to collaborate all servers onto one machine with an array of drives faster than any standalone server on the market. The other advantage is the administrative headache of managing any failures or other types of typical issues that can affect each, individual machine. Basically, the use of NAS consolidates a bunch of servers and their issues into one, easy to manage machine that is quick and easy to restore any lost data across a network. This leaves an incredibly easier way to manage large corporate data that spans across multiple offices and even mobile locations.

The Cons of Network Attached Storage:

One of the main consolidation issues is the file systems under which NAS operates. End users, who are backing data up on the NAS, connect to it through their installed operating system. However, the actual file system on the NAS it typically Linux. In case of failure it may prove difficult to recover the data without professional data recovery service.

These are only two of the pros and cons of network attached storage that comes with the management of improved and advanced network technology. A business that uses NAS in their network design should ensure that the business is in need of a topology design that is as advanced as NAS. Even when NAS is not a solution that can be used in the business, the use of data recovery is important for any business to ensure its survival through disaster recovery.

The Simplest Way to Unhide a Hidden Partition

After my first article on the hidden partition I realized that the solution that I brought was rather difficult for the newbies, I thus sought and tried out various solutions and programs until I find this terrible little software, I named PARTEDIT32.

This small freeware software will allow you to make visible your partition in some clicks of mouse and on the fly under Windows XP.

Just unzip and launch Partedit32 the user interface opens, simple but effective if you have more than one hard disk, choose the hard disk where your hidden partition is in the Hard Disk menu, then look in your partitions table at the column TYPE, Partedit32 has a list of the various types of partition, you can reach it by clicking the button SET TYPE.

In this example with a Acer laptop the name of the partition is pqservice and its type is 12, changes it by type 07, and save.

Now you just have to restart your computer, enter into “my computer” you have done it, now you can see the hidden partition pqservice. If you do not see the hidden partition repeat the operation but disable before the D2D recovery software into the bios menu. To open the bios hit the F2 key during the boot (note this is for Phoenix Bios check your user manual for other bios). Go to the main menu set the D2D recovery to disable, save the change restart and you have done it.

The PARTEDIT32 software is available for download at laptop support after a free registration.

After that you just have to reverse the operation to hide the pqservice partition. Note that if you want to secure documents or software you can create a partition, save your goods into and hide this partition by using partedit32.

Victor Pradel.

Corruption in USN Journal or NTFS Log File May Damage the NTFS Volume and Cause Severe Data Loss

The USN journal (or Update Sequence Number Journal) is a new feature introduced with NTFS v3.0. that is responsible for keeping track of all the changes that occur to the files, streams, and directories present on the NTFS volume. It also records changes in their attributes or security settings. The ‘$Logfile’ is another functionality that is added to the NTFS file system. It is basically an NTFS log file that is used to record any meta changes to the NTFS volume. If these files become corrupt due to any reason or contain some invalid records, it may cause NTFS volume corruption. If the damaged volume is your boot volume, then it may make your system unbootable which would further result in losing all the vital data stored in your system. To recover back your lost data from the corrupt NTFS volume, you need to go for Windows partition recovery through a reliable third party utility.

For instance, you are using a Windows 2000-based computer. When you try to access your NTFS file system-based volume, you may come across any one of the following error messages:

“The disk structure is corrupted and unreadable”

OR

“There is not enough space on the disk. “

If the damaged volume is your boot volume, you may also receive an error message on rebooting your computer:

“stop 0x0000007B (0x00000000, 0xC0000032, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)

Inaccessible_boot_device “

Cause:

The $UsnJrnl file or the $LogFile file contains some invalid records.

The STOP error will render your system unbootable and prevent you from accessing the precious data stored in the system. In such situations, you can use a backup to recover partition data. If you don’t have a backup, follow the below mentioned resolution steps.

Resolution:

You should follow these steps to resolve the STOP error:

Use a Windows XP operating system CD and restart your Windows 2000-based system to the recovery console.

Click ‘Run’ in ‘Start’ menu and then type ‘Chkdsk.exe /r’

Click ‘OK’ and reboot your system.

However, if the ‘Chkdsk’ tool is unable to detect the errors and you are not able to access your NTFS volume, you should take help of an efficient Partition recovery software. These software can easily recover lost, deleted, or formatted data from the corrupt NTFS, FAT, or exFAT file system-based partitions.

Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery is an advanced tool that can recover lost, deleted, or formatted files, documents, photos, emails, videos etc. from corrupt partitions in any situation of data loss. It helps us to perform a customized recovery of files based on their file types. 

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.

Database Recovery Concepts

The process of solve any type of database failures, quickly and without data loss and keep database high available is called database recovery.The main elements of database recovery is the most recent database backup.If you maintains database backup efficiently, then database recovery is very straight forward process.

The components and technologies of database is to configure to minimize or no data loss and keep database for open, includes

* Checkpoints

* Control file

* Online redolog files

* Archived redo log file

* Flash Recovery Area

Recovery Technologies

* Database Flash back technology

* Open database in Archive log mode

* Implement database high availability features like RAC, DATAGUARD,steams etc.

Components of database recovery

Checkpoints:- Checkpoint (CKPT) in oracle database is a mandatory background process. This process works in concert with the database writer process (DBWn) to manage the amount of time required for instance recovery. Checkpoint in oracle occurs when manual or automatic log switch occurs. FIRST_START_MTTR_TARGET parameter can be adjusted to control checkpoints as a result to improve instance recovery.

Control file – Control file is a metadata repository for database. It keeps all information about structure of the database. Control file is a very critical for database operation, so as being a DBA,you should maintain at minimum two copies of control file ( Oracle recommend three ) and save these in a different disk to same the control file disk failures.

Multiplexing control file

* Through Init.ora

* Through SPFILE

Multiplexing control file on init.ora file though CONTROL_FILE initialization parameter

CONTROL_FILES =(‘/u01/app/oracle/oradata/prod/ctlorcl01.ctl’,’/u02/app/oracle/oradata/prod/ctlorcl02.ctl’,’/u03/app/oracle/oradata/prod/ctlorcl03.ctl’)

Storing control file into multiple location,it protect control files from single point of failure. In multiplexing control file configuration, Oracle updates all the control files at a time, but uses only one,first one listed in the CONTROL_FILES parameter.When a single controlfile is corrupt, then DBA can simply copy a good one to that location or other location and make changing in the CONTROl_FILE parameter in init.ora file, resolve the issues.

Through SPFILE

We can dynamically set or change the location of the control file using SPFILE concept using the following command.

SQL> ALTER SYSTEM SET CONTROL_FILES =

‘/u01/app/oracle/oradata/prod/ctlorcl01.ctl’,

‘/u02/app/oracle/oradata/prod/ctlorcl02.ctl’,

‘/u03/app/oracle/oradata/prod/ctlorcl03.ctl’) SCOPE=SPFILE;

The parameter will get effects when restart the oracle instance.

Multiplexing redo log files

The information in the online redolog files are very important for database recovery. For safe guard these files against any kind of damage you can configure multiple copies of online redolog files in different disk location. All multiplex copies of redolog files are same in size and keep in a group. Each redolog file in a group is called members. LGWR background process, writes redo information to all identical members of a group,It is a best practice to protect redolog file from single point of failure. When multiplexing redolog files, members of a group should keep in different disks so that one disk failure will not affect the normal database operation.For normal database operation at least two redo log groups is required.

Creating new logfile group

We can create new redolog groups using the following command.

SQL > ALTER DATABASE ADD LOGFILE

GROUP 4 (‘/u01/app/oracle/oradata/prod/redo0401.log’,

‘/u01/app/oracle/oradata/prod/redo0402.log’

‘/u01/app/oracle/oradata/prod/redo0403.log’ ) SIZE 10M;

We can add new member to an existing group using the following command.

SQL> ALTER DATABASE ADD LOGFILE MEMBER

‘/u01/app/oracle/oradata/prod/redo0401.log’ TO GROUP 3;

Renaming Log members

Following steps to be follow to rename log members

1. Shutdown database.

2. Copy/rename redolog file to new location with operating system command

3. startup database with STARTUP MOUNT command

4. Execute SQL> ALTER DATABSE RENAME FILE ‘oldfilename’ TO ‘newfilename’

5. ALTER DATABASE OPEN

Dropping redolog groups

SQL> ALTER DATABSE DROP LOGFILE GROUP 3