Archive for the ‘Free Software’ category

Mount ISO Image to Virtual CD/DVD Drive

August 13th, 2012 by Admin

Mounting ISO images in your OS is a great way for you to view and run the content of the disk image without having to burn it into a CD/DVD. While Mac and Linux come with native support to mount ISO images in the system, Windows, regardless which version you are using, doesn’t come with this feature. In this article, we will show you how to mount ISO image file in your Windows at a price of free.

If you are one of those who do not have a CD / DVD burner or do not want to burn the image on a CD / DVD, you can still access the files inside the ISO image by mounting the ISO image to virtual CD/DVD drive with MagicDisc. It works and behaves just like a physical CD / DVD drive.

MagicDisc is a freeware that allows you to mount ISO files as a virtual CD or DVD drive.

You can mount up to 15 virtual CD / DVD drives using MagicDisc. In addition to this you can also create a image file (ISO) from a existing CD or DVD. Usage is pretty simple. Once you have installed the software. It will show up as a tray icon.

Right clicking on the icon will load a new menu using which you can mount or unmount and image files as a virtual CD / DVD drive. Selecting the virtual drive will show you options to mount or unmount the drive.

Clicking on mount will open a file dialog from where you can choose the image file and mount it as a virtual drive and will appear in your Windows Explorer. You can then install the software or copy the files inside the  mounted drive. Once you have finished use of the mounted drive you can simply click on the Unmount option to unmount the drive.

This is a very useful software as it supports many different types of image files along with supporting the default ISO files

  • BIN (CDRWin)
  • IMA/IMG (Generic disk images)
  • CIF (Easy CD Creator)
  • NRG (Nero – Burning ROM)
  • IMG/CCD (CloneCD)
  • MDF/MDS (Fantom CD)
  • VCD (Farstone Virtual Drive)
  • VaporCD (Noum Vapor CDROM)
  • P01/MD1/XA (Gear)
  • VC4/000 (Virtual CD)
  • VDI (Virtuo CD Manager)
  • C2D (WinOnCD)
  • BWI/BWT (BlinkWrite)
  • CDI (DiscJuggler)
  • TAO/DAO (Duplicator)
  • PDI (Instant Copy)

MagicDisc will work on Windows  7/Vista/XP.

Backup and Restore Hardware Drivers in Windows

August 12th, 2012 by Admin

Drivers are an important part of the system. They act as intermediaries between the system, and the hardware devices. They interpret the signals, and facilitate communication between the system and the devices. Without drivers, the devices won’t work at all, or won’t work properly.

Generally, the drivers come on a CD/DVD, with the hardware devices. As an alternative, they can also be downloaded from the manufacturer’s site, and that’s the best place to download the drivers, or their newer versions.

But, sometimes, the CDs can get misplaced, or lost, or the drivers might not be available from even the manufacturer’s site, because they might have stopped providing support for the hardware. Instead of going through all that hassle, you can simply use a great utility called Double Driver to help you backup and restore hardware drivers the easy way.

How to Backup and Restore Hardware Drivers in Windows?

Step #1: To start, first download Double Driver, It will be in zip format so just open it and execute the app named dd.exe.

Step #2: Now you can see the home screen and on the home screen just click “Back Up” button.

Step #3: On the next screen click “Scan current system”, by selecting this option Double Driver will scan your system for all the installed drivers and will automatically select all the third-party drivers like sound drivers, graphic drivers etc. You may also select the drivers individually which you want or don’t want. After finishing the selection just click the “back up” button.

Step #4: On the next screen you will see three back up options like “Structured Folder, Compressed Folder & Single file self extract”. You can select any option based on your taste, for this tutorial I’m selecting “Compressed folder” option as it is easy to carry on my pen drive.

Next choose a destination directory to save the back up, then click “OK” to proceed the back up process.

That’s it, here you can see the progress of the back up and you will see the “Operation completed successfully” dialog box.

If you ever want to restore the backed up drivers, just open the Double Driver application and click the restore option on the home screen. It will restore all the backed up drivers and you can use them after restarting the system. This will save you plenty of time and troubles every time you reinstall Windows operating system.

Delete Your Confidential Files Permanently with Secure Wipe

July 28th, 2012 by Admin

Once you decide to discard your hard drive or resell your PC, it is mandatory to remove all personal information, passwords, and other details that you saved on it. Just deleting the data or formatting the hard drive is not sufficient, because there are powerful tools to recover all deleted data. Therefore, you need to permanently wipe all data from the hard drive.

Secure Wipe is a small, free utility that allow you to completely delete sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns. So, no one can recover your personal or important data from it.

How to use Secure Wipe?

After installation, run the tool. From the setting menu, select the deletion algorithm that you prefer (e.g. Gutmann 35). Then from the Eraser tab select a folder or file that contains your personal details. Then click Erase button to erase the data permanently.

Secure Wipe can be downloaded (917Kb) free at this link.

How to Remove Excel Workbook Password for Free

July 3rd, 2012 by Admin

How many times have you forgotten password of a Microsoft Excel workbook/sheet and then had a sinking face?

Microsoft Excel has a protection feature that allows users to lock a workbook or sheet with a password. When the Excel workbook/sheet is protected with a password, any user attempt to edit data shows an error message as follow.

Here comes an handy Excel plug-in called Excel Password Remover utility which can remove the password protection from Excel workbooks and spreadsheets. You can install the plug in by downloading it from here. Once installed, it adds options Unprotect workbook and Unprotect sheet to Excel’s Tools menu, and choosing these options does what they are meant to.

Download Excel Password Remover

Note:

To install the plugin you should set security level of Macros to medium by following the menu Tools->Macros->Security in Microsoft Excel.

Excel Password Remover can’t be used to remove password set to open a spreadsheet. If you are unable to open the file because it asks you for a password, this program won’t help you. Then you need to get this Excel Password Recovery program to crack the file open password.

Password Protect Your USB Flash Drive with Bitlocker

June 26th, 2012 by Admin

Data security on USB flash drives is a growing concern. USB flash drives, with the size no more than a pack of chewing gums, is always prone to theft or loss. Hence the security of data through USB data encryption is highly important.

There are many USB data encryption tools available, some are free and some are paid. However, did you know that starting from Windows Vista, Microsoft has added a free data encryption tool within the operating system. It is known as Bitlocker. In Windows Vista, it was only available for Business and Ultimate editions.

Bitlocker in Windows Vista was able to encrypt only the hard disks. But in Windows 7, Microsoft has extended the data encryption facility to USB flash drives also and rightly so, the encryption utility has been renamed as BitLocker To Go.

To use Microsoft BitLock to password protect your USB flash drive, please follow the steps below:

1. Right click on your USB flash drive.

2. Click on Turn on BitLocker….

3. Now the BitLocker feature starts encrypt the USB flash drive and its content.

4. Now we will be prompted to set a password or smart card protection for our USB flash drive.

5. Here you need to enter your password which need to to unlock the USB flash drive to continue. After enabling BitLocker feature you need this password to access data stored in the flash drive.

How to Password Protect Your Running Programs

June 13th, 2012 by Admin

You might have faced a situation where you have to leave your work in front of somebody and move away from them. You only have the choice to leave the system and can’t logoff Windows. Think of such a situation. Yes it can happen some times. So how can we protect your running programs from being seen by somebody else?

Here’s where LockThis! comes into your rescue. LockThis! is a tiny Windows utility that makes it possible to password protect almost any programs or documents that’s currently running/open. This tool is perfect for people who often lend their PC to others, because with this tool they can keep the content of some programs or documents from other people eyes without need to close them first. Huge time saver if you really often lend your PC.

It’s very easy to apply the protection. Mostly it only involves pressing keyboard Ctrl button when minimizing the window of the program/document and supply the password in the dialog that follows (or you might had chosen to use a predefined common password, which in this case you won’t be asked for password). Now the content is save because the window can not be restored or maximized without supplying correct password. Whenever the window is about to restore or maximize a dialog asking for password will pop up. If the correct password is not supplied, the restore or maximize request will be ignored and the window stays minimized.

Pros: A great freeware app that assure you more privacy and you can safely give your laptop with opened windows to any body without the fear of them seeing it.

Cons: LockThis doesn’t work with Internet Explorer 8/9, it can’t be used to protect 64-bit applications , so if you want to hide the open windows contents from them, think of it before giving your laptop or pc to any body else.

Download LockThis!

3 Best Free Password Managers

June 12th, 2012 by Admin

Most of us end up having so many different passwords for different websites, that sometimes it becomes really hard to remember them. Writing them anywhere would defeat the whole purpose of having a password. A very simple solution is a Password Manager. Password Manager is a software that securely stores all your passwords, and you are provided with one master password to access all your passwords. This means that you need to remember just one password.

We have reviewed many free password managers. Here is a list of the best 3 free password managers that we have come across. All of these are extremely easy to use, very secure, and completely free. Some have more features than others. So, go through the list, and see which one fits your needs.

Note:  Almost all available password manger utilities use some kinds of irreversible encryption algorithms to secure your password. So if you forgot the password to log in to your password manager software, it’s unable to recover all logins and passwords saved by the application. But you can still give a try with Password Recovery Bundle, it can help you reset forgotten Windows login password, unlock MS Office / PDF document, recover passwords from email clients and instant messengers, etc.

1. KeePass

KeppPass Password Manager is my favorite Password Manager. It is extremely secure, and uses advanced algorithms for encrypting your information. Apart from passwords, it stores website URL, login name, and password. So, if you want to open a website, and add login information to that, just double click on that in KeePass Safe, and it will take care of that for you. This makes it extremely useful. Apart from that, you can carry it in your Flash drive so you can use it on any system. It works on almost all OS, including, Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and FreeBSD.

2. iPassMan

iPassMan is another useful password manager. It works a lot like KeePass. You can store name of website, and the corresponding login information. You can also add some notes for your login information. To run a website, you can directly click on it in iPassMan, and it will open the website for you, and also fill in the login information. It works only on Windows.

3. MyPadlock

MyPadlock Password Manager is a secure and simple password manager that allows the user to keep all the password under “lock and key” on their PC and is only accessible if they know a master password that is created by the user on initial configuration. This master password will be the only password which needs to be created.

MyPadlock has using 128-bit AES encryption to encrypt all the password into an encrypted file and keep into hard drive. The file is also encrypted with password and will automatically logged off in a few minutes to ensure that the users don’t leave the password open to anyone while they were away from their desk.

So which password manager is right for you? Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what features you want. If these free password manager utilities can’t meet your needs, you can also consider purchasing commercial software such as LastPass, RoboForm, 1Password, etc.

How to Recover Windows 7 Password Using Ophcrack

June 4th, 2012 by Admin

Forgot Windows 7 password and can’t log on to your local account on the laptop or desktop? I believe that you’ve faced this issue several times. There are tons of free tools which can be used to recover Windows 7 password. One of the most popular software is Ophcrack, which can run from a CD or USB drive and enable you to recover Windows 7 password without reinstalling.

Note:  Ophcrack is only intended for computer geek, not ordinary, nontechnical folk. For average computer users, the most efficient and easiest way is to use Reset Windows Password utility.

Ophcrack is a free (open source) Windows password cracker/recovery tool based on rainbow tables. It is a very efficient implementation of rainbow tables done by the inventors of the method. It comes with a Graphical User Interface and could be used to recover Windows 7/Vista/XP password.

How to Recover Windows 7 Password Using Ophcrack?

  1. Download the Ophcrack from the official website. When you go to Ophcrack download page you will notice there are LiveCD ISO’s for Windows 7 and Windows XP. Based on the operating system of your locked computer download the ISO for that operating system (Windows 7 or XP). It won’t hurt to download both because you never know when you might need them.
  2. Burn the ISO image on to a CD. It will create a bootable CD for you. I use BurnCDCC for this. You can use anything you like.
  3. Now put the CD into the CD-ROM and make sure you set CD/DVD as the first boot device inside the computer BIOS.
  4. When it boots from the CD, you will see the list of the accounts on the computer.
  5. The machine will do its thing and just leave it. After a while, you will see password has been recovered and displayed on the screen beside the accounts those are not password-protected.
  6. After you see it – remember it just reboot the machine and you should be able to log on to Windows 7 system.

Recover Your Lost Wireless Network Key with WirelessKeyView

May 26th, 2012 by Admin

WirelessKeyView is a portable free network utility by NirSoft that recovers your wireless network security key/passwords stored in your computer. The latest version adds a feature that allows you to export these keys into a simple text file and then later on import them into another computer.

Because it’s a portable tool you can just download it from the link below and launch it without first installing it. It supports on both 32bit and 64bit of Windows, so make sure you know which edition of windows you are using and pick one that matches.

Select the keys you want to export, and Export Select Items from File menu. It’s worth noting that the keys exported in the text file are not encrypted. So make sure to keep the file in the safe place if you are concern about the security of your network.

If you find the keys that are obsolete from the network adapter that are no longer existed, you can even delete the keys from the tool directly. The key deleted from the tool will also be removed from your computer. Note that only the keys from the inactive network adapter can be deleted.

WirelessKeyView works perfectly in XP and Vista but has a bit of difficulty working flawlessly in Windows 7 due to the new encryption and hashing algorithms used by the Windows Data Protection system. The author has to make a workaround but claims that he will still keep the research and development going. However, I test its 64bit version of this tool on my Windows 7 64-bit system and it has no problem revealing all my wireless network keys I ever inputted.

As always, WirelessKeyView has a list of command-line options and can be executed in Command Prompt window or be a scheduled command.

Download WirelessKeyView

Download WirelessKeyView for x64

How to Hack Windows Password with Free Linux Live CD

May 20th, 2012 by Admin

Forgetting Windows password means losing access to important files and settings on your computer. A password hint can provide clues to help you recall your password. But in most situations, we can’t recognize the importance of password hint and leave it as blank when set a new password. How to hack or recover Windows password so you can regain access to your computer?

In this tutorial we’ll show you how to hack Windows password with a Linux live CD – Ophcrack, which is a freeware that can crack Windows password so you can login without making any changes to your computer.

Step 1: Download Ophcrack and Create A Linux Live CD

The first thing we will need to do is download the CD image from Ophcrack’s website. There are two options to download: XP or Vista. So make sure you grab the right one. The Vista download works with Windows Vista or Windows 7, and the only difference between XP and Vista is the “tables” Ophcrack uses to hack the password.

Once the .iso file is downloaded, burn it to a CD using any CD/DVD burning software you like, such as BurnCDCC or ImgBurn. If you are going to be cracking your password on a computer that doesn’t have a CD drive, such as a netbook, you can also burn the ISO image to a USB flash drive using Universal USB Creator.

Step 2: Hack Windows Password

Boot the computer from the Linux Live CD that you created.  On some computers you may have to go into the BIOS settings to change the boot order or push a key to show the boot menu.

Once the disk is done booting, Ophcrack should start automatically and will begin hacking the passwords for all of the users on your computer.

If you have a complex password it will take a lot longer than simple passwords, and with the free tables your password may never be cracked. Once the hack is done you will see the password in plain text, write it down and reboot the machine to login. If your password isn’t hacked, you can also log in as one of the other users with admin rights and then change your password from within Windows.

With the free tables available you will not be able to hack every password, but the paid tables range from $100 to $1000 so you may be better off just resetting your password with Reset Windows Password utility.