Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

How to recover your lost files

You have deleted some old files and now you need them back.
Or, you disconnected your thumb drive by pulling it out of the machine without bothering with that “Safely Remove” thingy, and now your machine cannot “see” the thumb drive at all– it’s dead.

Your files are gone and you need them back.. what a nightmare! How do you get them back?

I cannot count the number of times I have advised my readers to make regular backup copies of their files (in fact, Automate your backup and get some peace of mind was one of the very first articles I wrote). Having copies of your files on some place other than your hard drive (such as a CD/DVD) is the surest way to make sure that some unfortunate mouse click, mechanical failure, or glitch doesn’t permanently rob you of important documents, irreplaceable photographs, or costly music downloads. (There. I’ve nagged you again. Now, will you please run a Backup program and burn some discs?)

But you don’t have backup copies of these files… you didn’t think you’d ever need them.. but now you do. OK.
As I mentioned in Delete does not erase your data–preventing recovery, if the reason you no longer have access to the file you want is because you emptied your Recycle Bin (Trash) or right-clicked+delete, you may recover your file with an undelete tool.. just so long as too much time has not elapsed.
* It is a very good idea to install an undelete tool on your computer before you need it. If you haven’t done so and you don’t already have an undelete tool installed, use an online scanner/recovery tool such as Softperfect File Recovery to try to effect your recovery.

Other reasons for missing (“inaccessible”) files are varied and numerous.. and I could fill a book book with detailed steps for each variant. (If you’ve had to reformat your hard drive, for example {try an “unformat” tool}. Data recovery is a large– and costly –business.) Fortunately, I don’t have to write it, it’s already been written.

Tip of the day+Today’s free link: Visit and bookmark the following Webpage.
PC World Magazine and MSN Tech have teamed up to bring us Kirk Steers’ How To Recover Almost Anything, a three page primer on data recovery steps, and advice for which tools to use.
This information is first place to look when you run into a file recovery situation.. having it bookmarked ahead of time is a good idea, because timeliness is a factor in your success or failure.

*** Disclaimer: you may have noticed that I used the words “may” and “can try”; this is because recovering damaged/corrupted, deleted, or “lost” files is as much luck as it is science. Certain things improve your chances of success.. but the only sure method is making copies of your stuff, and keeping them somewhere else.. like in a safe-deposit box.

* Bonus free link of the day: Folks, my friend and fellow Internationally Renown Tech Blogger, Bill Mullins, has posted what I consider to be a very important article regarding the current state of security on the Internet. You, your loved ones, and your friends should (IMHO) take a look at Script Kiddie Bonaza–Do-It-Yourself Phishing Kits

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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June 23, 2008 Posted by | advice, Backups, computers, Digital Images, file system, how to, missing files, PC, tech, thumb drives, troubleshooting | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Troubleshooting iPods and iTunes

It may be kind of hard to believe, but it seems that a lot of people have iPods. And it seems to be true that a lot of people (even Windows people) use iTunes software to download and/or manage digital music. And, it also seems to be true that both these products are fairly simple and easy to use.

Tip of the day: Make sure you’re using the latest version of the product to resolve your iTroubles.
iTunes is pretty good at letting you know when there is a “newer version available”, and it (typically) prompts you to update. You should accept these prompts when you see them. If you haven’t.. and/or are having trouble making purchases at the iTunes Store, or connecting your iPod to your computer.. you can (and should) manually check for a newer version of the software.
To do so, open iTunes, and under the iTunes menu, click “Check for updates”.

iPods need to have their software updated as well, and you can solve most issues by following these steps:
Connect your iPod and then open iTunes and click on your player in the Source list (on the left), and click on the Summary tab, then click on the “Check for Updates” button. Then follow the instructions.

If you are fully updated with the latest software, and still are having troubles getting or playing music the next troubleshooting step is to reset your iPod.
1) Unplug your player from your computer.
2) For Click-Wheel iPods, slide the Hold switch to “Hold” and then to “Off”.
3) Press and hold both the Menu and Select buttons down for about 10 seconds, or until you see the Apple logo on the screen. (If you don’t see the logo after 15 seconds, stop, and repeat the steps above.)

This should do the trick. But if all this fails, and your player still won’t play, you can restore your iPod’s software. This should be done as a last resort, as it will “wipe” your stored songs/podcasts/etc. from your iPod’s memory, and you will have to copy your content back.
Connect your iPod and then open iTunes and click on your player in the Source list (on the left), and click on the Summary tab, then click on the “Restore” button. Then you may see up to four restore “options”– try using the “Use Newest Version” option first. If that doesn’t do the trick.. repeat the process and select the “Restore” version, and then update it when it is reinstalled.

These steps will resolve the majority of problems, and get your music playing again.

Today’s free link: I have recommended the top-rated encryption program TrueCrypt before, but I don’t believe I made it clear that versions are available for Mac users as well. To get it, click here, and scroll down a bit to see “Mac OS X” and use the drop-down arrow to select your version.. then click the “Download” button.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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June 2, 2008 Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, encrypting files, hardware, how to, software, tech, troubleshooting | , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments