How I setup my external backup drive.

VeraCrypt128x128I use VeraCrypt to create a encrypted hard drive.  That way, if I lose the drive, the lucky finder won’t be able to read the data.

The steps are as follows:

  1. Using DiskPart and Clean the drive
  2. Start VeraCrypt and select the VeraCrypt Volume Creation Wizard
  3. Encrypt a non-system partition/drive
  4. Standard VeraCrypt volume
  5. Select the external hard drive
  6. Create encrypted volume and format it
  7. Select the default encryption options
  8. Volume size is the entire drive
  9. Select the NTFS Filesystem AND the “Quick Format” option
  10. Click format

Using PowerShell to ZIP something.

powershellI needed to ZIP-up some log files in a number of subdirectories.  In the past, I have used the PKZIP utility.

I couldn’t find my copy of PKZIP Sad smile

“Doesn’t PowerShell have a compress-archive command?”
’Why, yes it does!’

Two commands later:

$files=get-childitem *.log -Recurse
compress-archive $files -DestinationPath c:\data\AllTheLogFiles

I had my AllTheLogFiles.Zip file.

Backup date/time and SyncBackPro

imageMy backup tool of choice is SyncBackPro.  It’s a quality product at a reasonable price.

One of the things I backup is my Apple iPhone and iTunes folders.  I take a snapshot of these by using the Compression feature, with a custom filename.

You can generate a custom filename this by creating your own variable in the Profile Setup/Variables area.

In the screenshot (about) you can see that I’ve created the Variable Name DATETIMENOW with the Value %YEAR%%MONTH%%DAY%_%HOUR%%MINUTE%%SECOND%

In the screenshot, this translates to 20180717_213656

I then use this in the Profile Setup for the actual backup:
image

As simple as that.

A replacement for Jasc Image Robot?

xnconvert-win-01Had an email recently from a reader

I found your page on Google (Jasc Image Robot – October 2009) and was just wondering if you still have Image Robot or if you know where I can get a copy of it?

No, and no.

But a quick look at Google shows that XnConvert might do what they want.  It will read 500+ image formats, and output to 100+ formats.   

And it’s freeware.

I also briefly looked at Advanced Batch Image Convertor, but the two problems I had with it were that a) it won’t read PaintShop Pro images (PSP) and b) only 5 export formats.

That picture looks odd …

Subscribe girl I was looking at the picture on the right, and was thinking, there’s something wrong with it.

But I didn’t know what.

So I did a check on TinEye*, and found several close matches.

This one is the closest, it’s from shutterstock.
stock-photo-cheerful-young-adult-pointing-on-a-blank-illustration-14162329

By the looks of it, the first image was rotated left, so the display board was level; and it has been cropped.

* yes, I wrote about TinEye 3 years ago.  I’m still impressed with the service.

Fixing a sticky Lockwood Deadlock.

There hasn’t been many blog posts of late, as I’ve moved into a new apartment in South Melbourne, and the processing of moving has taken up a bit of time.

One of the first problems in the new apartment was with the lock.  I’d put the key in the lock, turn the key to deadlock the lock, then take the key out.

Except the key wouldn’t come out.

Ah, it’ll need some graphite to fix the sticky lock.  Off to the local locksmith to buy some.  The local locksmith is called Local Locksmiths.

Naahhhhh, you don’t need graphite, your actual problem is that the screws holding the key barrel are loose.

Lockwood Lock

By jove he was right.  Tightened the screws up, and the problem was fixed.

How to open a WD Elements USB2 External Drive

You carefully lever the bottom of the case, out of the case.  Here are a couple of photos which demonstrate this:

WD Elements USB2 - Open WD Elements USB2 - Open - 2

After I got the case open, I was impressed by the amount of shock absorption that Western Digital provided.  The blue mounts in the second picture are the shock mounts.

If you are looking for a replacement, you can still buy drive these drives Western Digital WDBAA0010HBK drives on Amazon.

Office 2010 SP2 install issues.

I’m getting ready to deploy Office 2010 Service Pack 2 out to my customers desktop fleet.  I’m going to journal the list of problems I find along the way.

Issue 1- Open File – Security Warning

Open File - Security Warning

I’m surprised that I’ve not stumbled across this issue before.  It’s caused by the “Zone Identifer” feature.  In short, if you download a file from the internet, you’ll probably see this warning.  I’m running the SP2 install from a VBscript file, which is why I’m seeing it.

There are a couple of ways around this:

  1. Copy the file to a FAT formatted drive.
    This causes the Zone Identifier flag to be stripped off.
  2. Change the SEE_MASK_NOZONECHECKS environment variable
    As documented in Microsoft KB889815
    It works.
  3. Don’t use VBscript “Use a command script”
    Also from KB889815.  Not an option for me unfortunately
  4. Use the Microsoft Sysinternals Streams utility to remove the Zone Identifier flag.
    Bit of a brutal approach, particularly if you have other information stored in the alternative data streams.
  5. Use the ZoneStripper utility.

Next (potential) issue: "Error 1718. File was rejected by digital signature policy"