How to Retrieve Windows Files Using a Linux Live CD

Sometimes Windows just won’t start. That’s alright, you’ve
been making regular backups or syncing your hard drive with a cloud service
like Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive. You haven’t been making backups? You
don’t have a cloud storage service? Oh. That’s okay, we’ve got this.

Let’s use a Linux Live CD to get in to that hard drive and
rescue our most important files.

You’ll need a Linux Live CD or USB .ISO file, a free program called Rufus, an empty USB drive to put the Live CD on, and another USB drive to put your recovered files on.

The USB drive for your recover files needs to be formatted to FAT32 file format. We’ll show you how to get the Linux Live CD and then use it to recover Windows files from your dead computer.

What is a Linux Live CD?

Linux is an open source operating system (OS). You may have
already heard about Linux but didn’t think you’d have any use for it.

A Live CD or Live USB provides a way to use an OS on a
computer, without installing it on the computer. We’re going to stick to the
USB type, since so many computers don’t have CD or DVD players anymore.

Once you’ve made the live USB, you insert it in to your
turned off computer. Then you start the computer and tell it to boot from the
USB. The operating system and all its programs stay on the USB. They don’t
install on your computer.

The live USB will access your computer’s RAM and CPU to
function. It will also give you access to any hard drives that are in your
computer.

How Do I Get a Linux Live CD?

Hopefully, you’ve done this before your hard drive stopped
working. If not, ask a friend if you could use their computer to make one.

First, you need to download a Linux distribution that does what you need it to do. There are several out there. Let’s use Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD). It is free to download and comes with a lot of programs and tools for drive cloning, data recovery, memory and CPU testing, and BIOS. Get to know how to use these tools and you can possibly fix your failed hard drive too.

You can download it through a peer-to-peer (P2P) tool or do
a direct download from one of the mirror sites listed.

If you’d like to try a different Live CD, here are some more
options:

  • SystemRescue CD – Has antivirus, malware and rootkit removal, and other tools
  • Hiren’s Boot CD – Features Mini Windows XP, so you can use Windows tools.
  • FalconFour’s UBCD – Similar to Hiren’s but with more tools loaded in Mini Windows XP.
  • GParted Live – Mostly focused on hard drive partition management.
  • Trinity Rescue Kit – Text based interface, good recovering deleted files or changing passwords.

Also make sure to download Rufus. It’s the easiest and fastest way to make bootable USB drives.

How Do I Make a Bootable Linux USB Drive?

Rufus is a great little program that can help you make any
.ISO file into a bootable USB drive. You’ve already downloaded it, so let’s
open it.

Make sure you have the correct USB drive selected. This
process will completely erase the USB drive. Rufus will already be set to the
right setting you need. Click on the SELECT
button to choose our UBCD .ISO.

When the file explorer opens, navigate to where you saved
the UBCD .ISO and double-click on it to select it.

Now, click on the START
button. When you hover over the button, you will get a warning, “This will
DESTROY any data on the target!”

You’ll get another warning that all the data on the USB
drive that you selected, “…WILL BE DESTROYED.” Rufus isn’t kidding. Click on OK to continue.

Rufus will start to make the bootable USB drive. You’ll see
a progress bar continue across the bottom. It only takes a minute or two, with
a USB 3 flash drive.

When the status bar says READY, click on CLOSE.
Your UBCD bootable USB drive is now ready.

How Do I Boot My Computer with a USB Drive?

It depends on the computer. There are several ways to boot with a USB drive, so it’s best to find the specifics for your computer. The common thread is that when you turn the computer on, you’ll have to press a specific key, or combination of keys, to boot into BIOS and change the default boot drive to your USB.

Check out our article that shows you how to change the boot sequence in the BIOS. Some laptops will allow you to boot to a boot menu outside of BIOS, where you can choose to boot from the USB drive.

Once you’ve rebooted your computer with UBCD, you’ll see a
text-based menu. Use your arrow keys to go down to Parted Magic and tap enter to select it.

Now you’ll get another text menu with three different
choices. You can choose either 1.
Default settings (Runs from RAM)
or 2.
Live with default settings
. If one doesn’t work, try the other.

You’ll see some text scroll by as the computer starts up the
Parted Magic desktop. Then you’ll see a desktop that’s not completely unlike Windows.

Near the top-left corner, you’ll see File Manager. That’s the UBCD equivalent of Windows Explorer.
Double-click on that to open it.

You’ll see several drives in the left-side of the File
Manager. It may be obvious which one is the drive that Windows is installed on
or it might not. The sure way to tell is that you’ll see a folder called Windows.

When you find that, you’ve found the drive with the files
that you wish to recover. Navigate through there to find the files you’re
looking for. Click through Users > Your
Account
where Your Account is your account’s name.

In there, you’ll see My Documents, My Pictures, Desktop, and
so on. That’s likely where you’ll find the files you want to recover. When you
find them, you can select them just like you would in Windows. Right-click and
copy the files.

Then look for your other USB drive where you will paste the
files. Once you’ve found it, it’s as simple as right-click and Paste.

Now your files are on your USB drive, ready to put back on
your computer once it’s fixed.

Close out File Manager and click on the start menu button in
the bottom-left corner of the screen. In the picture below, there’s a red
square around it. Then click on Logout.

Another window will open with some choices on how you can
log out. Click on Turn Off Computer.

Once the computer is shut down, remove your USB drives and
put the away for safekeeping, until your computer is up and running again.

Anyone Can Build an App with Glide Apps

Have you ever wished you could create your own app? But you
thought learning programming was just too much effort or beyond your
capabilities? The people at Glide Apps have something for you!

What is Glide Apps?

Glide Apps is a website, glideapps.com, that enables you to create your own app, from a Google Sheet, in as little as 5 minutes. That’s what they claim. Truly, it’s probably going to take more than 5 minutes, but it certainly won’t take as long as learning how to program an app. Maybe 10 minutes.

What Do I Need to Build an App?

All you need to build an app with Glide Apps is an account
with them, a Google Drive account so you can use Google Sheets, and a little
time. Glide Apps has a free account option. It will serve most people’s needs
and even allow you to share your app with others.  

To follow along with the tutorial, you’ll need to create a
Glide Apps account so sign up for one. If you don’t have a Google Drive
account, please go create one now.

If you have some experience with Google Sheets, that will
help you if you want your app to be more complex. Learning Google Sheets is
much easier than learning to program, so this is still a great option for most
people.

If you’re not familiar with Google Sheets, you might be more familiar with Microsoft Excel. There are some differences between Sheets and Excel. If you’re comfortable in Excel, you’ll pick up Google Sheets quickly.

How Can I Build an App with Glide Apps?

Let’s build an app to track who we loan our books to. You’ll
learn all the basics of how to make an app with Glide Apps by doing this. Then
you can take it to the next level and make an app for yourself.

Our book lending app is going to track our books and our
friends, and match up which friend borrowed which book, and when.

The front page will list our books. When we click on a book,
it will take us to the book’s detail page.

The book detail page will show us all the details of our
books, which friend has it, and when they borrowed it. Next to the friend’s
name will be buttons that allow us to call or text our friend to remind them to
return our book.

The friends page will allow us to add, or maybe remove,
friends along with their e-mail and phone number.  Let’s begin.

Create a Google Sheet

In our Google Drive, we’ll create a Google Sheet and name it
Book Tracker.

Re-name the first sheet Books.
The name of the sheet becomes the name of the page within the app, so use
simple names that make sense.

We’ll need 8 columns in the Books sheet: Title, Author, Format, Price, Photo, Loaned_
To=Friends:Name
, and Date Loaned.

Why is that one column named Loaned To=Friends:Name? That is
like an equation that Glide Apps can read. What it tells Glide is that this
column has the name of the friend that you loaned the book to. Then it tells
Glide to associate the names here with the name, phone number, and e-mail of
that friend in the Friends sheet. More on that later.

Now we need to create a Friends sheet. Go ahead and do that.
The Friends sheet needs 3 columns. Name them Name, E-mail, and Phone.

Add Data to your Google Sheet

Let’s add some information in our Book Tracker spreadsheet. In
our example, we’re using just 4 books to start with. That’s enough to help us
make and test our app. We can add as many books as we want later.

The Photo column needs a little explanation. You can find an
image of the book you want on the Internet. Right-click on the image and select
Copy Image Address. Paste that in
the Photo column. You’ll see later that our app will show the image. If you
want to use your own pictures, you’ll need to have them hosted somewhere
online.

Let’s leave the Loaned_To
and Date Loaned fields empty for
now.

Switch to the Friends sheet and fill out the Name, E-mail, and Phone
columns. The example uses some made up names, of course.

Go back to the Books
page. Now you can fill in the Loaned_To
and Date Loaned fields. The name you
put in the Loaned To field must be identical to what’s in the Friends sheet.
That is what Glide will use to link the two together. If they aren’t identical,
Glide assumes that they aren’t the ones that need to be linked.

Now we’re ready to start creating our app in Glide Apps.

Creating the App in Glide Apps

Switch to the Glide Apps website at https://www.glideapps.com/. Click on the Create an app button.  That will take us to the app creation site.

Click on the New App
button on the left side of the screen to start the process.

A window will open that is tied to our Google Drive account.
Here, we’ll select the Google Sheet from which we want to make our app.
Double-click on Book Tracker. Glide
Apps will start making the app for us. It will take about a minute, probably
less.

Once the app appears, we can see that the app is almost
complete. It will work like this, but let’s make it a little better.

Setting the App Logo and Information

Click on the Book
Tracker
name and icon in the top-left corner of the page.

That will open a toolbar on the right where we can customize
the app’s icon and name. Click on Change
under the icon, and search for a suitable icon. You can select almost any emoji
that there is. Let’s select a book.

Now we can change the background color of the icon. We went
with a blue/purple, but we could choose any of the colors.

We’ve now got a professional looking logo for your app. So
easy!

Here, we can also change the theme of the app. Our choices
are Light, which is the default that
we see, and Dark, which is an
inverse of the light.

There’s also a section here that allows us to give our app its own web address. For this example, we’ve chosen to give it the URL of https://booktracker.glideapp.io. Only one person can use that URL for their app, so you’ll need to use something slightly different.

Just below that is an area where you can write a brief
description of your app.

Right under that, we can set the privacy of the app to any
of the following choices: Public, Public with e-mail, Password, and E-mail
Whitelist. This allows us to determine who can have access to our app. For
demonstration purposes, we’re setting it to Public.

Take note of that smiling chat icon. That is our direct line
to help. We can use it to search Glide Apps’ Wiki. If we don’t find the answer
we need, we can send a message to the good folks at Glide Apps. They’re
responsive and helpful.

The Books Page

We own more than 4 books, so we’ll want the ability to add more books directly from the app. To do that click on Screens in the left toolbar. In the right toolbar, we’ll see a button for Add item.

Click on that and a plus sign (+) will appear in the top-right corner of our app. Clicking on the plus sign opens a form that we can use to enter more books.

Let’s look at an individual book’s page. Click on one of the
books and it will take us to the details page for that book. Everything that we
had in our Google Sheet on the Books page is presented nicely here.

We can see that a friend’s name is listed under the book,
with an arrowhead to the right of it. Tapping on this brings us to the details
page for that friend.

From here, we can e-mail, text, or call the friend to see
how they’re enjoying the book, or to ask for it back.

The Friends Page

Let’s look at the Friends
page. It looks like the Books page,
but with our friends of course.

We’ve got more than three friends, so let’s make the app
allow us to add more friends, just like we made it allow us to add more books. In
the right toolbar, click on the Add item
button. We’ll see a + sign in the top-right corner of the Friends page.
Clicking on that opens a form that allows us to add more friends.

App Navigation

Finally, let’s tidy up the navigation. Click on Navigation in the left toolbar.

In the right toolbar, we see the app pages listed. Let’s
change the icon for each page to be a bit more meaningful. Click on Change under circle icon for Books. We
can search for a suitable icon here. Let’s choose the Book Open icon.

Do the same to change the icon for the Friends page. We
chose the Facebook icon because it’s easily associated with friends.

Apple or Android?

So far, we’ve done all this in the iPhone view. If we’d like
to see what the app would look like for an Android device, click on the Apple
icon near the top-right of the app preview area. It will instantly show you
what it will look like on most Android devices.

Sharing the App

That’s it! Your app is done. All that is left to do is to
share it with people and Glide makes it easy to do that too. Just click on Share App in the left toolbar for all
the ways we can share it with people.  We
can share it to Twitter, Facebook, via e-mail, or get a link that we can put on
a website.

What Will Your App Be?

Glide Apps provides some simple and more complex example apps that you can take apart to learn from or get inspiration from. You could make an app for your gaming guild, or a directory of local restaurants, or whatever strikes your fancy.

If it can be represented in spreadsheet form, you can use Glide Apps to make an app for it. We hope you give Glide Apps a try and let us know what you created.

What is Cryptojacking and How Do I Stop It?

You know about malware and ransomware. You know what a computer virus is and probably had one. But do you know about cryptojacking?

Cryptojacking is a bit like ransomware, but stealthy and potentially worth more money to the criminals that use it. While ransomware takes your data hostage until you pay the ransom, cryptojacking uses your computer or phone’s resources to mine cryptocurrencies like Monero or Ethereum.

You may never know that it is there. The only thing you might notice is that your computer isn’t working as well or fast as it used to.

Why is Cryptojacking a Big Deal?

You might be thinking, “If I won’t even notice
cryptojacking, it doesn’t cost me anything, and it doesn’t harm anything, why
should I care?”

The money made from these sorts of criminal operations don’t
just go to hacker’s living in the basement buying expensive booze and fancy
watches. The money could be supporting organized crime or state-sponsored
cyberwar.

According to hackmageddon.com, over 81% of hacking events in 2018 were cybercrime based and almost 3% were classified as cyberwarfare. They’ve got to pay for all that hacking somehow.

How Does Cryptojacking Malware Get on a Computer?

Cryptojackers invade your computer in several ways. Sometimes you can get it from opening an infected attachment in an e-mail or clicking on a phishing link on a website. Or it might show up inside of a browser attachment that you installed for a legitimate reason.

That’s like the traditional way that viruses were spread. If the cryptojacker gets on your computer this way, it will run in the background on your computer all the time, quietly digging up cryptocoins.

The drive-by cryptojacking is more devious. It will hide on
a website or in an ad just waiting to show up on your computer. Then it will
start mining with your computer if you are on that website or that ad is
showing.  The cryptojacker is unloaded
when you leave the site, leaving no trace that it was ever there.

Do I Have a Cryptojacker on My Computer or Phone?

It used to be obvious. Your CPU usage would spike to near 100% and your computer would crawl when you only had maybe one program open or just browsing a website.

Hackers using cryptojackers are getting wiser though and it
will get harder and harder to stop. When they first started, they would consume
as much of your CPU power as they could. This alarmed people to its existence
though. Now, they’re using less resources on any single computer, but trying to
hit as many computers as possible.

How Do I Stop Cryptojacking?

Keep practicing good computer security and use your smartphone’s security features. Make sure you’re using an antivirus app, keep your operating system up to date, and allow your browser to update freely.

Most major security apps have cryptojacker detection and protection now. Look at getting antivirus and security apps like ESET, Avast!, or Norton.

If you want to make sure a drive-by cryptojacker isn’t running in your browser, you can try extensions for Chrome like Coin-Hive Blocker, No-Coin, or minerBlock. Try No-miner or minerBlock for Firefox. All major browsers are continuing to bake-in security features with each update, so let those updates happen.

Is There a Good Use for Cryptojacking?

There might be. It could be used as an alternate revenue
source to support web sites and apps. Some sites will ask you if they may use a
javascript-based cryptominer on your computer while you’re on their site, some
will not.

The Pirate Bay, Salon.com, UFC.com, and others have tried
this in the past. People did not respond well. As a method of revenue
generating, it appears to have small gains for the high cost of user
alienation.

The Future of Cryptojacking

Is cryptojacking going to be an ongoing threat? If cryptocurrencies
continue to have real world value, it will. But how much of a threat will it be
to you?

Hackers are getting wiser. They’re realizing that stealing
pennies from millions is much harder to stop than stealing thousands from a
few. Cryptojacking will be a minor nuisance to you and your computer use. The
social cost from it being used to fund more evil schemes may continue to grow.

Do what you can to stop it. Keep your antivirus up to date
and continue to update your operating system and browser. If most of us can do
that, we’ll keep cryptojacking a minor threat.

What is WiFi 6 and Is It Worth Waiting For?

The new Samsung S10 was just released and there was something in the specifications that you may have missed. It’s WiFi 6 ready! What is WiFi 6, you ask? Did you even know that there were different types of WiFi?

If you did know there were different types of WiFi, you probably knew them as 802.11a, 802.11b,  802.11n, or 802.11ac. If you’re counting, that’s 5 different versions.  

The WiFi Alliance, an organization of companies and people that help develop WiFi standards, has decided to make telling versions apart easier for you. 802.11n is now known as WiFi 4, 802.11ac is now WiFi 5 and the next hot thing is WiFi 6. But if you want to use its full name, it’s IEEE 802.11ax.

So, What’s Different About WiFi 6?

Like you’d expect with a new version of any tech, WiFi 6 is
faster. It supports a data rate of up to 9.6 Gbps. Compare that to your WiFi 5
and it’s almost three times as fast.

WiFi6 also supports connecting more devices at once. This might not have been an issue for you at home. But, when you’re out in public almost anywhere, there’s free WiFi to be had.

Ever notice how if it was a crowded coffee shop, the data crawled? That will be improved by two technologies WiFi 6 will use: orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA) and multi-user multiple input, multiple output (MU-MIMO).

Faster, For More People

OFDMA allows for more people to connect on any single
channel of the router. This is a more efficient way to increase the number of
people who connect, while also reducing latency (slowness) and maintain a high
rate of data transfer.

MU-MIMO also increases data throughput and the number of clients connecting at once. It does this slightly differently by allowing more data to be transferred at once.

A simple analogy would be going from a store with only one cash register and no barcode scanners to a store with a bunch of new cashier lanes with barcode scanners. More devices can be served with the same quality, faster.

That’s important because the average household can expect to have about 50 Internet-connected devices before long, according to a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Stronger Signal, Longer Lasting Batteries

WiFi 6 will also have an improved signal power within its
range, allowing for faster data rates and a more stable signal.

Target Wake Time (TWT) is another technology that WiFi 6
will use. Qualcomm, the maker of many WiFi chips, says it will help, “…phones
to use up to 33% lower power…” when using WiFi. The basic concept is that your
phones WiFi will only wake up when it needs to transfer data.

How Good is WiFi 6 Really?

Let’s say you’re watching Netflix in the living room, your partner is watching Hulu in the bedroom, your teenage daughter is streaming Spotify in her room while video chatting with her friends, and your younger son is 6 hours into an epic Fortnite binge.

Would you cringe as you saw your Netflix stutter and drop quality? Not with WiFi 6. All that could go on and you wouldn’t notice with a WiFi 6 network in your home.

That’s what WiFi 6 promises.

Will My Older Phone Work with WiFi 6?

The short answer is yes. You won’t get all the benefits of
WiFi 6 by connecting your older device to a WiFi 6 router, but you will be able
to connect and use it. It may mean that you’re able to connect to WiFi easier
in a crowded coffee shop and have a better transfer rate if they have a WiFi 6
access point.

So, yes, your phone, tablet, computer, and IoT devices will
work with a WiFi 6 router.

Will My WiFi 6 Phone Work with My Old Router?

Again, the short answer is yes. And just like we covered in
the last section, you won’t have the benefits you would by connecting to a WiFi
6 router. The older router still has its limits and your phone cannot exceed
them. Just because you have a Ferrari doesn’t mean you can ignore the speed
limits.

Do I Need a WiFi 6 Router?

This is the age-old quandary of need versus want. If you
want to have all the benefits of the new WiFi 6 standard, you will need a WiFi
6 router to go with your WiFi 6 phones, tablets, computers, and smart devices.
If you’re content with your current router, then no, you don’t need to get a
new router.  

When you do get a new router, keep in mind our advice on boosting your WiFi signal and improving its performance. You want to squeeze every drop of performance out of it.

What Devices Will have WiFi 6?

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is the biggest phone name to hit the market with WiFi 6 so far. Expect to see Apple, Google, and everyone else follow the trend with their next product releases. You’ll also start to find WiFi 6 built in to cars.

Qualcomm has made a WiFi 6 chip that will, “support Gigabit in-car hotspot and to deliver efficient Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the vehicle, supporting ultra-high definition (ultra-HD) video streaming on multiple displays, screen mirroring from compatible devices and wireless back-up cameras, as well as Bluetooth 5.1 support”.

Also, most WiFi router manufacturers already have WiFi 6
routers on the market. Prices start at around $130 and go up from there.

What Else Should I Know About WiFi 6?

Depending on the maker of the router or device, expect to see enhanced Bluetooth 5.1 capabilities, synergies with the new 5G cellular data standard. Expect 5G capabilities on the best Android phones this year. There will also be integration of WPA-3 security for better data protection. Basically, everything gets better.

Image credits:

Linksys Mu-Mimo Explanation:https://www.amazon.co.uk/b?ie=UTF8&node=9836110031

Galaxy S10 Screenshot –https://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/galaxy-s10/performance/

Qualcomm Automotive Use Case –https://www.qualcomm.com/news/media-center/images

Asus Router –https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51L44eF4GYL._SL1000_.jpg

Wifi 4-5-6 Comparison, WiFi 4-5-6 Naming Convention – wifi.org

Cool New Features in Google Chrome v73

Google’s most recent stable version of Chrome, version 73, has some fun new features that make it worth talking about. Really, who ever talks about the newest version of a web browser?

Yet these features are unique and useful for just about anyone. While you’re at it, learn about some great Chrome features you should already be using.

Auto Picture-in-Picture

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to flip back and forth
between apps while having a video chat with someone, and the video stays
visible? That’s available in Chrome now. For non-Android devices, it still
requires clicking a button to make it happen, but for Android devices, it
happens automatically.

This could really help when having a video chat with someone and you want to look at something else like a business report while maintaining the conversation. If that appeals to you, then you’ll want to also take a look at a few Chrome extensions to boost your productivity .

https://gfycat.com/ifr/GranularWiltedGoldeneye

Google is working on making it automatic on all devices, so
keep an eye out for that in future versions.

Progressive Web Apps Work Everywhere

 A Progressive Web App
(PWA) can be installed like a desktop app but it’s really running on the web.
This feature is now available for MacOS users, as it has been for Windows,
Chrome OS, and Linux.

Pete LePage, Developer Advocate with Google, explains, “A Progressive Web App is fast, and reliably so; always loading and performing at the same speed, regardless of network connection.” You can get a taste of PWAs with apps like Twitter Lite and Pinterest.

Secure DataSaver

Chrome has had the DataSaver feature for awhile now. That’s how Google will compress web pages on their own servers so they can deliver the page to you in the good quality but a much lower file size.

That wasn’t always available for HTTPS traffic. Now it is. The claim being made by Google is that it could, “…reduce data use by up to 90% and load pages two times faster.”

Control Media with Your Media Keys

If your keyboard has keys for play, pause, rewind and other
media commands, those will now work with media in Chrome. It’s not working
perfectly just yet as not all media players support it. Expect that to happen
soon, though.

Dark Mode for macOS

Before Chrome v73 you had to install third-party themes to get dark mode on your browser. Google has it cooked in for macOS now and is working on it for Windows.

Dark mode is a nice feature for browsing at night. It’s much easier on the eyes for most people. Take a look at the side-by-side comparison below.

Google Acknowledges DuckDuckGo

Web browsers will often build-in access to search engines so that whatever you type in the address bar can become a search. Chrome has had Google, Microsoft’s Bing, and Yahoo!

Built in for a while now. In v73 they have included the secure search engine, DuckDuckGo. By setting DuckDuckGo as your default search engine, you can drastically reduce the amount of information Google collects about you. We recommend trying it out.

Other Features

There are a host of other features in Chrome v73, but most of them work silently in the background to make things faster and safer. Or, the features are more for the web developer crowd to allow them to give you a better experience on the sites they make.

If you’re interested in reading more about these features, you can at developers.google.com and chromestatus.com.