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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Partitioning or Not w. single HDD? on: July 07, 2015, 08:03:13 AM
The software is called Cameyo. Instructions on how to use it are here.

Virtualizing for your own personal use only? Go here.
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Partitioning or Not w. single HDD? on: July 06, 2015, 09:17:15 PM
I always divide up any hard disk in at least 3 partitions, but my preference is 4 of those.

One partition for Windows (and literally nothing else).
One partition for software I install.
One partition for data.
One partition for temporary storage.

On the Windows partition I move every user-related folder to my data partition using the Windows options that are available to me.
On the Windows partition I move every temporary storage-folder (user and system) to the temporary storage partition using the Windows options that are available to me.
On the Windows partition I make the page file 8GByte in size and won't allow it to grow above that. On a normal PC I disable hibernation.
Whenever I install software, I select the software partition as it's home. And because I am the only user, I use portable versions of software I wherever I can. And if that is not an option, I have some software that allows me to make portable versions of software that requires installation normally.

Why do I go through all that trouble?
The Windows partition is hardly ever written to (besides updates). This reduces the need to defrag it drastically. And the Windows file system will after some time have placed the files in their optimal position on that partition. This way you can make the Windows partition lean and mean. And it will stay that way. I normally allocate about 25GByte for the Windows partition.

The same is true for the partition that contains my software, especially when you don't install new software on a regular basis. I usually allocate 100GByte for the software partition, which is  enough, because I make sure to configure applications to work with and store everything on the data partition. I must add that I hardly play any games anymore.

As a result the data partition and temporary storage partitions get a bit messy. I usually allocate 25GByte to the temporary storage partition, mainly because I don't think I need that much garbage on my system to begin with. The rest is for the data partition. I don't care too much about the content of the temp partition and wipe it clean at least once month. Saves me defrag session as well  Wink

That leaves the data partition, that one does need a defrag once in a while, but not nearly as often as you think. And even on that partition the Windows file system will find the optimum location for the content after some time.

Exaggerated? Perhaps, but in my mind all of the above makes perfect sense. There are many schools of thought regarding this subject and most are there on merit. Just couldn't help adding my  two cents

3  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Is robocopy faster than Windows GUI to "Move" files between drives on: July 05, 2015, 09:46:40 PM
I believe you can disable the "Calculating size" bit in Directory Opus.

From your code I understand that you want to move stuff from every subfolder in the %from% folder into one giant pile in the %to% folder.

A word to the wise:
The NT-filesystem doesn't like folders with huge amounts of files in them. If you have such a folder, you will notice that Windows will slow down to a least until it is finished processing the folder.  Doesn't matter how much "horse-power" your PC has, opening and/or working with a folder that contains several thousands of files, performance degrades significantly. And yes, I know that in theory the NT-file system supports loads and loads of files in whatever structure you can think of. In practice: better keep an eye on the amount of files you store in a folder.
I would try something like this:

[copy or print]

::User settings
SET /P srcfolder="      Enter source path:  "
SET /P dstfolder="Enter destination path:  "
::Folder check
IF NOT EXIST "%dstfolder%" MKDIR "%dstfolder%"

PUSHD "%srcfolder%
FOR /r %%a IN (*.*) DO (
  MOVE "%%a" "%dstfolder%\%%~nxa"
ECHO Folder error: %srcfolder%
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for Software with this feature on: July 05, 2015, 10:17:26 AM
I'm wondering why file size matters, because wouldn't the date be off by even a few seconds if it's two different copies of a file? Even in a high speed automated "log.txt" or something updated and then aggressively backed up, do any of the options above change context if it doesn't need to know the file size (or maybe checksum, because for ex someone opens a text file and then say MS Word adds a line break it's now different.)

The OP refers to file "name, extension and size", but file size is generally an unreliable/imprecise basis for file comparison, whereas content (checksum) is pretty definitive as a data analysis tool.
You seem to have conflated "time" with "size", and yes, "time" is also an imprecise basis for file comparison - mainly because of the different and inconsistent time-stamping standards applied by different file operations and file management tools.

IainB is right about having a checksum from both files and comparing these to find out if the files are the same or not.

Unfortunately, it looks like xplorer2 uses CRC to generate these checksum values. The advantage of CRC checksums are that generating these is fast. Disadvantage is that these checksums are not always unique.

So these were replaced with MD5 hash values (which take a bit more time to generate) but nowadays these can also be tricked. Best option for now is to generate SHA-based hash values of files to identify these. But again, these take even longer to generate.

The method IainB suggests is the best method you can apply to identify if files are unique or not. CRC is better than nothing for this purpose, but not much. SHA is much better, but consumes a lot of computational resources, so if your system doesn't have much of that (readily) available...expect to wait long times.
5 Software / Find And Run Robot / Re: FARR hangs when %SPECIALSYS_DOCS% included in search folders on: July 04, 2015, 09:16:31 AM
Microsoft uses the guidelines for TCP/IP connections. That is, it will wait till 30 seconds (which feels a lot longer when you wait for something to happen on a computer) before it will give up on any network connection. This is part of a (sub-)set of parameters you can only change in the registry. MS doesn't have any window, field, picker, drop-down menu, check box or radio button for these parameters to be adjusted...on purpose.

The information is available on the MSDN/TechNet websites. Have found it there myself, but those settings can have serious implications, so I won't link to it either.

"Funny" thing is...if your application isn't multi-threaded and it tries to make a network connection it will wait 30 seconds before continuing, if the application needs to make another network connection, it will wait again for 30 seconds. This cycle is repeated every time for every network connection. The user gets the impression the application hangs, but in reality the application works like specified. It's the TCP/IP specifications that create the problem here.
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: when Google fails..DC! Cut and paste text adding double carriage return option on: June 27, 2015, 07:45:54 PM
Is it not an option to collect first in a text file. Then, when collecting has finished, add the double carriage return (very easy with an hex-editor or text editor that has similar functionality). And when that is done, copy-paste the content from the text file into Outlook?

Although this seems more work, it is easier to automatize than working directly with MS Office applications. More reliable too, if you need to take different versions of Office into account.
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The end of the hard disk on: June 24, 2015, 08:30:25 PM
Next time I will be more precise and call it "storage device"...that should make everyone happy. smiley
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The end of the hard disk on: June 23, 2015, 11:09:17 PM
Around 1000USD a pop you have now decently sized hard disks that work according to SSD principles, but instead of using SATA, they use the PCI-Express lanes of your motherboard. If you think SSD's (or SSD's in RAID) are fast...these puppies run 4 to 5 times faster than SSD drives (at their top speed) in most usage scenarios. If you want really fast servers that have no problems shifting mountains of data around, SSD's are already old hat.
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: recover an SQL .mdf file that is currently written to a bad sector on: June 23, 2015, 10:54:57 PM
@Stoic Joker:
It is indeed a dangerous proposition. If the database remains working, moving data around by shrinking may be the step that saved your database..or it will create more severe problems. I would try that last.

Now I must say that I am not too accustomed wit SQL Server, Oracle is what I know. But the lessons learned in my encounters with that fickle beast apply to SQL Server as well.

To create a full dump from your database, it shouldn't take much more than:

Formatted for SQL with the GeSHI Syntax Highlighter [copy or print]
  1. USE <insert DATABASE name>;
  2. GO
  4. TO DISK = 'Z:\Bak\SQLServer\<insert database name>.bak'
  5.    WITH FORMAT,
  6.      MEDIANAME = 'SQLServerBackup',
  7.      NAME = 'Full Backup of <insert database name>';
  8. GO

Creating another database server with SQL Server Express on a different computer should be easy. The defaults provided by the installer are sufficient for a database like yours. You will encounter problems restoring a database on the same server, so make sure you use a different server on a different computer!

Uploading the dump you created to the new server is also not difficult:
Formatted for SQL with the GeSHI Syntax Highlighter [copy or print]
  1. RESTORE DATABASE [NewDatabaseName]
  2.    FROM  DISK = N'Z:\Bak\SQLServer\<insert database name>.bak'
  3.    WITH  FILE = 1,  NOUNLOAD,  STATS = 10

This can also be done with the SQL Server Management Suite (SSMS for short), an option enabled by default in the installer. It was in the SQL Server 2012 software I used to setup my server, and that is the only SQL Server I have experience with. Even if the old DB server doesn't have it installed, you can install it on the new server and use SSMS to connect to the old server. If you know the passwords for the old server, you will be amazed how easy it is to export the old database and import it into the new database. SSMS is a very nice tool and easier to work with than what Oracle delivers with their server software. I can tell you that much.

SSMS (for SQL Server 2012 at least) comes with functionality to compare databases. The Oracle software also comes with such functionality and that software doesn't care if the compared databases are not on the same db server. I assume it is the same with SSMS. Even if that is not the case, there are 3rd party tools or scripts that will.

You could try the TOAD for SQL Server server (available in free/commercial versions). TOAD is much more powerful than the Oracle software and the TOAD for SQL Server software should be in the same league.

Dumping and restoring your database is the first option I would try. Mainly because that is the easiest (especially if there is a redundant SQL Server running in your environment).

Cloning the hard disk from the old server is the second option. But assuming that this server remained active during this thread, it should be first option by now.

After that I would try shrinking the database and more or less hope if that works out.

Next time your company negotiates for a new license from the company that delivers the software you work with, get the most angry person that works there and make him/her curse them to hell about holding your data hostage, especially in cases with imminent hardware failure. And seriously look for other vendors of similar software, and let the current vendors know your company is doing so.
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: recover an SQL .mdf file that is currently written to a bad sector on: June 22, 2015, 09:51:01 PM
HDClone - that would be a tool to use. The freeware version is slow, but it does the job. It will create a bootable device (CD/DVD/Pen drive) and after you connect both hard disks, you only need to boot that system up and it will clone your hard disk. Might take a bit (no pun intended) on the problematic sector(s). It doesn't use Windows at all and that is a good thing in this kind of cases.

There are alternatives to HDClone if you so desire, but I can (and will) personally attest to the excellent qualities of HDClone.

Maybe Macrium is good(enough) at cloning, but as far as I know their software to be able to make images of a hard disk. And Google confirms.

An image is not a's close, but it isn't a clone.
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: recover an SQL .mdf file that is currently written to a bad sector on: June 21, 2015, 08:42:50 PM
You are correct in that cloning is the most secure way to rescue your data. However, from questforfla's previous posts I gathered that the company he works for doesn't like to spent money on IT. With that in mind I made my comment.

You could also be right about this problem being the cause of earlier issues with their backup procedures. I missed that previous thread while lurking here.  embarassed

Anyway, questforfla should be thinking about running multiple SQL Express servers. One that is used as production server and another that synchronizes with the production server on regular intervals. When the production server is having a problem, the redundant server can take it's place, everyone can continue and he has time to properly fix whatever is the problem of the production server.

The main problem with such a setup is the license from the software they use for their business. Does their license tolerate the use of a redundant server or not.
12 Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Utility to handle files/folders with illegal characters on: June 21, 2015, 12:42:28 PM
If you still have a 32-bit Windows OS, then I would suggest to download and use PortableLinux. Because then you can run Windows and Linux (Ubuntu) both at the same time. Whatever file gives you problems in on one OS, might not be problematic in the other as Windows and Linux have a different set of illegal characters that can be used with file names.

Too bad PortableLinux only works with 32-bit versions of Windows...the software (co-linux) that allows Linux to run besides Windows is 32-bit only and doesn't look like it is going to be fixed any time soon. Having said that, I personally have tried and tested PortableLinux successfully with Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows7 and Windows 8.

13  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: recover an SQL .mdf file that is currently written to a bad sector on: June 21, 2015, 12:07:00 PM
Further in my comment you will find the same statement...which applies when questforfla is of the opinion that the hard disk won't survive too long anymore.

On the other hand, there is not much harm in using CHKDSK if the hard disk performs as expected, except for one or more sectors. That was the impression I got after reading his first post, so I mentioned that first. Then again, I might have missed something, as English isn't my native language.
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: recover an SQL .mdf file that is currently written to a bad sector on: June 21, 2015, 12:51:02 AM
While I'm not a fan...try if you can use CHKDSK, in the off chance Windows is actually able to repair the bad sector(s) or capable of moving data around to spare sectors.

Then I would try software such as TestDisk to retrieve data. At least it doesn't give up that quickly as Windows explorer when copying files. UnstoppableCopier is another piece of software that won't give up easily when copying files. Both are free to use.

If you don't trust the hard disk to last much longer, you might be better off to clone the current hard disk to a new (similar storage capacity or bigger) hard disk, disconnect the current hard disk to keep the original data as safe as possible and try to retrieve data from the cloned hard disk. This way is likely best, as you will need a new hard disk for your server anyway. And with cloning you have a 1-on-1 copy, so the server should work immediately after the cloning is finished and the original HD is disconnected. Especially when you can get a new hard disk that is the same brand and model as the original.

If you have more than one SQL Server running, you could dump the original database and import it in the other SQL Server. That would be fastest and give you an option to check for content and/or structural differences between both databases and make fixes where necessary. Which is also not hard to do with the software that comes with the server software. As your database is only 2.3 GByte in size you can download the free SQL Server 2012 Express software, with which you are allowed to run a database smaller than 10GByte. There might be already an express edition from SQL Server 2014 available, if you fancy the latest.

And as a general rule: always verify if your dumps are correct...don't trust the message saying the dump was created successfully, but upload it again and actually check for errors during import and do random checks for structural and/or content integrity. I have been burned by dumping Oracle databases that show no error in the dump log file, but still are capable of generating import errors. This hardly ever happens, so if you feel lucky, go without the verification...but don't say you weren't warned.

Making backups/dumps from a MS SQL Server database is quite easy and fast. At least it is on my MS SQL 2012 Server with the management software that comes standard with the server software. PowerShell is very handy too when making SQL database dumps.
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: June 18, 2015, 06:39:27 AM
The fat one...or the one on top?
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: LastPass hacked on: June 16, 2015, 09:22:05 AM
Allowing one entry a minute is already a big boost in security and is easy to setup. If it takes much time, most attackers loose interest. Return rates of hacking accounts is financially much less viable this way.

Granted, this method isn't convenient for the end user when he/she doesn't remember the password. The ones that do remember aren't affected at all.

It might even get people that have trouble remembering to use phrases they can remember as a password, which would be an even bigger boost to their security. That is, if they aren't blocked to do so by stupid password systems that are used by companies that provide on-line services that is. Ah well, there's hoping for you...
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Maxthon Browser Users: Maybe one of you has already solved this on: June 16, 2015, 08:39:40 AM
Now let's hope that the link to the file you download still exists after say...six months? Or worse, the user/company moving domains? Or change the system behind their website (for example from Wordpress to Joomla)?

In my experience links do not always exist that long and you'll still end up with no info at all. As a serial downloader I have been burned enough by this. Nowadays I stopped with being a serial downloader and have used my system for years when I do need to download something. Granted, it isn't ideal either, but I have all the info (links, descriptions, screenshots, etc.) about the download, structured and searchable locally, but if I choose to in the cloud as well.

It all depends on what you want, I guess.
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Maxthon Browser Users: Maybe one of you has already solved this on: June 14, 2015, 08:01:31 AM
Not sure if there is an add-on for IE/Maxxthon, but I (mis)use the FF add-on 'Zotero' just for this purpose. Although the idea behind this add-on is for keeping references to whatever subject you do research is actually very usable for storing the url (and a copy of the page behind that url) of your download. When you have a list of URL's like this it is easy to search through them, you can add/remove tags easily. Even better, you don't even need an internet connection to see the copy of the page you put in Zotero (but it is able to update the copied page when you do have an internet connection.

There is also a stand-alone version of Zotero, if you are more interested in using the software as intended.
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Free Task Manager total resources for multiple instances? on: June 12, 2015, 01:03:11 PM
To my knowledge Process Explorer only shows the usage of resources per process. It doesn't sum the resource usage of linked processes. At least I didn't see such an option in version 15.22 (or previous ones) of Process Explorer.

Process Hacker is an excellent alternative to Process Explorer, but it doesn't sum resource usage of linked processes either.

NirSoft also doesn't appear to have a tool that sums up resource usage.

All your other requests are managed very well by either Process Explorer or Process Hacker.
20  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Scary Windows error: Failure to log in to profile, loading of temp profile on: June 08, 2015, 10:56:23 PM
I wouldn't dismiss the possibility of bad sectors on your hard disk just yet. This error can also appear when (parts of) the registry aren't loaded on time.

CHKDSK may report that there are no errors, but I have learned that the outcome of running the CHKDSK command isn't that helpful.
Yes, it will mark bad sectors as bad sectors and use sectors that are intended as replacement. However, I got the feeling that it doesn't verify if the replacement sectors are any good.

In my case I had a hd with 6 partitions and the same error kept happening on that system. That got irritating pretty quick and Windows/CHKDSK kept telling me that all was fine with the HD. Common sense kicked in, so I shrunk the second partition so much that I had enough room to clone the first partition into the free space that was available.

After cloning I marked the clone as active and removed the drive letter from the previous first partition. In essence I disabled the first 10GByte of storage space on the HD.

In 3 years time this error didn't appear anymore and that database server still runs like new. CHKDSK and Windows may tell you everything is fine, but if this error keeps returning, use the trick above or use proper tools to investigate the state of your HD. Preferably with software such as MHDD that uses a cd/dvd/pen drive to boot.

Windows and CHKDSK are way too forgiving if you would ask me (and I know you didn't).
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Dumb question but maybe somebody knows how. Probably a form of Sync. on: June 08, 2015, 09:21:57 PM
Formatted for Text with the GeSHI Syntax Highlighter [copy or print]
  1.   @echo off
  2.    echo @ECHO OFF>> zerobytefilesremover.bat
  3.    for /r %%F in (*) do (if %%~zF==0 echo DEL /F /Q "%%F">> zerobytefilesremover.bat
  4.                         ) else (
  5.                            if %%~zF==".tmp" echo DEL /F /Q "%%F">> tempfilesremover.bat
  6.                            ) else (
  7.                                <fill in other arguments/conditions if you like>
  8.                             )

IF...ELSE... structure is allowed in batch script. But it makes the execution of it (a lot) slower. Just make sure that when you use the () characters in a script, you terminate each condition properly with a ). Decent text editors light these characters up when a set is terminated if you select one such character and it doesn't light up, you have to investigate your code. Although this lighting up is a great help, it won't save you from all possible error scenarios with the use of () characters.

But that is something you learn best the hard way... Wink
Code indentation is your friend. It makes working with IF...ELSE... structures easier.

Another word to the wise, don't start the holy war between the use of spaces or tabs for indentation back up...  cheesy
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Dumb question but maybe somebody knows how. Probably a form of Sync. on: June 07, 2015, 05:28:55 PM
OMG!  I just opened the last box of drives anbd they are ALL IDE.  I am not sure i even havd a bvoard with an IDE plug.  Nothing but fun around here.  Other day one guy comes up with an old Okidata (OLD-Old) printer and asks me why his USB can't work on it.  This was NOT the model that had both. Wanted an adapter for a USB to ..SERIAL..  Where in the heck he found the Printer itself I have no idea  I have not seen a serial printer since..  I think i was watching the Fonz on Happy Days?

I adapted it right to the trash bin.  Adapter wold cost at least 10 bucks IF one exists which is more than the printer would be worth IF it worked and it probably didn't.  This stuff is so old the salvation army wont take it.

That is why they want me to get these files off before there IS no more IDE even.

Serial printers are common in POS setups. Industrial label printers (2000 USD and up) also work with the serial port. Thermal printers  often make use of the serial port too.

You might have to hunt a bit, but there are 3.5 inch portable hard disk enclosures that work with IDE drives.
23 Software / Clipboard Help+Spell / Re: How to use spellcheck on: May 31, 2015, 06:15:55 PM
I should have been clearer. After installing Aspell, my browsers (FF & Iron) and text editor (notepad++, SQL Developer, SQLTools, TOAD) suddenly support spell-checking. Notepad++ comes with a spell-checker, but when it sees that Aspell is there, it asks you if you want to use that one instead. From my own experience I can tell you that Aspell functions like this on XP Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 2012.

Because of how Aspell functions it hasn't got its own interface, instead your standard text editor should now be able to do the spell-checking you need (if it couldn't do this before).

I took a look at the Metapad FAQ page and question 30 covers the use of Aspell with Metapad.
24 Software / Clipboard Help+Spell / Re: How to use spellcheck on: May 31, 2015, 10:21:30 AM
Aspell is what I use and that is a system wide spell checker. It's open source and very, very light on resources. Dictionaries for a lot of languages are already available.
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Dumb question but maybe somebody knows how. Probably a form of Sync. on: May 30, 2015, 07:46:43 AM
@echo off
echo @ECHO OFF>> zerobytefilesremover.bat
for /r %%F in (*) do if %%~zF==0 echo DEL /F /Q “%%F”>> zerobytefilesremover.bat

This creates a batch file that should delete all the 0-byte files when executed.

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