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Utilities / O&O DiskImage 14 Professional
« on: January 05, 2019, 08:41:02 pm »


O&O DiskImage 14 Professional is the latest of O&O Software's product line for disk imaging/backup. O&O DiskImage is the reliable and affordable solution for protecting your private or professional data. O&O DiskImage provides you with everything you'll need to protect your data just like an IT specialist: it lets you image and restore entire Server systems as well as individual files.

O&O DiskImage enables convenient and efficient duplication (or archiving) of entire systems and individual disks. O&O DiskImage allows back-up of entire computers, single drives and files even during running operations. There is also an integrated disk burner available so as the user can also burn image files to disc. Along this line O&O DiskImage can effectively restore those backed-up (entire) computers (via bootable medium under Windows PE or its new DiskImage To Go), entire disks (whether it be restoration of entire storage volume, or restoration as MBR/GPT or dynamic disk), individual drives (whether it be -- single drives (partitions/volumes), primary, extended and logical partitions, simple, spanned, mirrored volumes, system areas, Master Boot Record or any combination of the above mentioned objects), and files/folders to their normal/familiar working environment back in less amount of time, whether it be onto the original computer or to dissimilar hardware (--have changed a motherboard on the target machine or have bought a brand new PC through its M.I.R. -- Machine Independent Restoring). It also supports SSD drives and the latest UEFI System.









Backup Image / Imaging
We create backups of our data, whether it be the whole computer system, drive, partitions etc. so we will not experience loss of data when something untoward happens such as drive failure. If we often create backup images any untoward incidences are remedied with just a few mouse clicks for restoration.

A backup image or backup imaging is a "mirror" of your drive (partitions as well as file and folders -- data in the drive). When you create an image backup this is termed as a “copy” which contains all information taken from the source drive (partition, folders/files). An "image" format is compressed through this way it will not use much space as compared to the original (source).

O&O DiskImage allows for the creation of reliable images of entire systems, individual drives, and files or folders. The integrated "snapshot" has its own buffer memory integration which will ensure that the imaged data is remains exactly the same as it was when the image was started to be created. Any changes to the data caused by usage or if the user is working on the computer while the imaging do not affect the image while it's being created.  O&O DiskImage ensures consistent images of systems without any interruptions.

O&O DiskImage uses the file extension (*.omg) for the image files it creates when imaging your entire computer or single drives. A drive image stores or backs-up all used sectors or all sectors (whether it be used/unused). This can be used for further activities such as restoration, validation or conversion.

File/Folder backups uses the file extension (*.obk). Files are backed-up directly in the form of data. This type of image includes only file information, no drive information is imaged.


Different imaging methods
Different imaging methods allow a created image to be adjusted for different purposes. You get a space saving image if you select the setting "Only used sectors". If you want to rescue data from a damaged hard disk, we recommend a forensic image - all sectors are imaged exactly according to their structure.



  • Image the used sectors of drives (partitions/volumes)

    Where only unencrypted data is included in the image you create. This method gives you less space needed for a created image. You image "only the used sectors" of the drive.

  • Complete image of all sectors of the object to be imaged (forensic image)

    Where both encrypted and unencrypted data is included in the image you create. You image "all the sectors" of the drive (whether used or not).

  • Direct forensic image

    Where encrypted and unencrypted data is included in the image you create. You image "all the sectors" of the drive (whether used or not). It must be noted that "direct forensic" is intended for imaging encrypted disks using encrypted data (encrypted hard disks using encrypted software) whereby the data you image from the "encrypted disk" remains encrypted even after the image is restored.
After a base imaging (image that serves as "basis" for any changes to that same image), you can create subsequent images as incremental or differential for storing only the changes:

  • Incremental image

    Changes saved between previous images and the current disk (save the changes made since the last base image). Incremental image does not require a complete image as base image. The last incremental (or differential image) is enough for doing this. To restore an incremental image, you need the last complete image as well as all the following images recording any changes.

  • Differential image

    Changes save between the very first image and the current status of the disk (compare present data with the last complete image and store only the changes). The first "successive" image after the complete image is always a differential image. To restore a differential image, you will need both the complete image and the differential image.


DRIVE OPERATION

One-click imaging
The one-click imaging is the fastest and easiest way to create a complete image of your computer including all data and settings. One-click imaging is especially useful if you are using O&O DiskImage for the first time, or have not yet created an image of your computer.




Imaging complete disks
You can create an image of one or more disks, e.g. hard disks. When this happens, all drives found on these disks will be automatically imaged. You are not only able to image entire hard disks, but also individual drives. This incorporates the hard disk layout.

Image of the changes
To create an image of the changes, you need to have created at least one complete image of the drives or folders involved. "Image of the changes" will allow you to create an image that saves only those changes that have occurred since the last base image. While creating an image of the changes, O&O DiskImage compares each sector of the existing image with the corresponding sector of the disk (source) being imaged. This might require more time than a complete image. An image of the changes, however, takes up much less space than a complete image.

Note:
If you want to create an image of the changes, you must have created at least one complete image of each drive that can then serve as a base image. Afterwards, the image of the changes you've created can also serve as a new base image.


Differential/incremental imaging
As a base image you can use either the complete image created using the “Used sector imaging”, “Forensic imaging” or “Direct forensic imaging”, or by using a previously created incremental image/differential image. See also "Different imaging methods" above.

Imaging options

  • Used sector imaging

    Using this imaging method will limit the imaging process to only used sectors on a drive. This method will let you save time, computer performance, and disk space. Used sector imaging is set in the program by default.

  • Image of the changes

    (See "Image of the changes" in DRIVE OPERATIONS)

  • Forensic imaging

    This imaging method is especially useful when creating images of non-supported file systems or when, for example, you would like to recover deleted data from a source drive using special data recovery software. With this method, an exact sector-level copy of the source drive is made. By saving all sectors of a partition or drive, the unoccupied and deleted portions of file systems can be imaged in their entirety.

  • Direct forensic

    Direct forensic imaging is a special case. The difference, however, lies in data being read over deep system interfaces. As with regular forensic imaging, a complete copy of a source drive will be created. This makes it possible to, among other things, image an encrypted hard disk using encryption software. Please note that direct forensic imaging is intended for imaging encrypted disks using encrypted data. This data remains encrypted even after the image is restored. If the source drive being used is an encrypted drive, only sector-based restoration is possible. The file-based restoration or browsing of such an image is not possible. In addition, spanned volumes (stripped/spanned) are also excluded from this, since the logical link here between the regions is taken over by the operating system. Direct forensic imaging makes no sense if the drives are not encrypted.

    Note: Please note that direct forensic imaging of an active operating system is only possible if our snapshot driver is installed.


  • Split image into smaller files with fixed sizes

    An image can be split into multiple image files. If a disk doesn't have enough space to contain a full image of your selected drives, you will automatically be requested to enter another target location. It is also possible to manually set the maximum size of an image file before creating the image. If the image being created is larger than the entered file size, additional image files will be created. This function is especially useful when you plan to burn your image onto a CD/DVD at a later time. Sometimes a CD/DVD is not large enough to contain the entire image file. We recommend your limiting image files to the size of the blank CD/DVD onto which you will be writing your images.

  • Encryption

    Your data can be securely encrypted using the recognized AES method. This permits O&O DiskImage to provide your image with an extremely high level of security with a key length of up to 256 bits.

    Note: A belated encryption of the image is possible under Convert image file.


  • Compress image file to save storage space

    Under Drive operation/Imaging options/Image file you find the settings Compress image file to save storage space. You can choose from the LZNT1 Standard or theBZIP2 process.

    • LZNT1: This is a compression type based on the Lempel-Ziv algorithm, which is laid out on a real time application. Speed is preferred over the rate of data compression.

    • BZIP2: is a block type compression process. Compression rate is preferred over velocity.
    Note: Compression increases the time required to create an image file


  • Advanced >Exclude files from an image

    When using the imaging method “Used Sector Imaging” you have the option of excluding data from the image or compression. Let it be noted that several minutes may be needed for excluding files, depending on the amount of data on the hard disk.

  • Advanced > Exclude data from compression

    Data that is already compressed, e.g. *.rar or *.zip files, will not be compressed any further during the imaging process and so may be excluded from compression. To exclude data from compression, please follow the procedure laid down in Exclude files from an image.


  • Advanced > Lock a drive

    You can lock the drive you wish to image during the imaging process. This prevents any changes being made to the drive while the image is being created. The drive will no longer be displayed in Explorer and all applications will be closed. The drive is not locked by default.


Drive Restoration / Restoration Options

Restoring your data (data recovery) is easy as creating an image. If you want to restore data drives, you only need to start O&O DiskImage under Windows. O&O DiskImage can bring a system back to life immediately and with no installation required. This is provided by the "Bootable Medium" (USB Stick or CD/DVD) which is based on the currently installed Windows system (or from the Windows AIK/ADK) and which contains all the standard drivers required. (See TOOLS > Bootable Medium / WinPE Disc).







Restoring entire disks
O&O DiskImage (through the built-in wizard) assists you when installing/configuring new acquired computers. After configuring your computer, create an image of your entire system and do this for "all" your computer systems. O&O DiskImage allows for the:

  • Restoration of an entire storage volume
  • Restoration to or as MBR disks
  • Restoration to or as GPT disks
  • Restoration to or as dynamic disks
  • Restoring individual drives

O&O DiskImage enables you to restore individual drives from existing images no matter how many drives were included in one image. The following drive types can be restored from a backup image:

  • Single drives (Partitions/volumes)
  • Primary, extended and logical partitions
  • Simple, spanned, mirrored volumes
  • System areas
  • Master boot record (MBR)
  • Create system partitions (e.g. Microsoft reserved partition)
  • Exclusive restoration of the Master boot records (MBR)
  • Restore a combination of the above mentioned objects (various hard disks, partitions, volumes or similar) in one image


Machine Independent Restoration (M.I.R.)
Machine Independent Restoration technology (M.I.R.) renders the option of restoring an image that contains a system partition onto a computer with a different hardware (dissimilar hardware). Thus with O&O DiskImage a restoration of a system image (or clone) can be done not only on devices with previously identical hardware, but also on instances when hardware (e.g. motherboard or processor) has been replaced.

Adapt size of the target drive for restoration and cloning
If the target   for restoration or cloning is an empty area, the user can adapt the size of the target drive to the actual data volume of the source drive. When, for example, the drive being imaged has 5 GB but the data on it is only taking up half its space, a smaller drive of maybe 3 GB can be entered as a target during restoration.





You are also able to clone single drives. This incorporates the hard disk layout. O&O DiskImage supports the following cloning options:

  • Cloning single partitions/volumes
  • Cloning of primary, extended, and logical partitions
  • Cloning simple, spanned, mirrored volumes
  • Cloning the system areas
  • Cloning the Master boot records (MBR)
  • Exclusive cloning of the Master boot records (MBR)
  • Storing of a combination from the above mentioned objects.

Modifications for cloning
You can make various adaptations for cloning. Some of these are configured automatically or you can set them yourself. The following adaptations can be set:

  • Buffer the original data before a change (Snapshot)
  • Automatic conversion of the free areas to an extended partition (if the areas are larger than the partition being cloned and no extended partition exists).
  • M.I.R (Machine Independent Restoration), adjust to the different hardware (dissimilar hardware) of the clone.
FILE OPERATION

File backup

O&O DiskImage makes it possible to backup and restore single files and folders. O&O DiskImage creates an image file of the selected (source) folders and files during a file backup.


File Backup of the changes

A complete image or a previously created image of the changes can be used as base image. Before proceeding you must make sure that the drive containing the base image is connected to your computer. Go to Quick Start > Start File > File backup of the changes. Select your base image in the explorer window and click "Open". Select the recommended target (destination) folder where to save the image (or enter a new target path). Click "Start" to begin imaging.



File Backup Options

  • File backup method

    Under File operation/File backup options/File backup /File backup method you can specify which method should be preset for every file backup. The options are:

    • Complete
    • Image of the changes

    For normal use, we recommend the “Complete” method which is already set by default. If you've already made one or more back-ups of a folder or individual files, you can select the method Image of the changes. Only changes made since the last base image will be saved. When creating an image of the changes, O&O DiskImage compares the data of the existing image with corresponding data from the current folder. That's why this backup method might require more time than the creation of a complete image. On the other hand, an image of the changes normally requires much less disk space than a complete image.

  • Advanced > Lock drive while imaging

    While processing a file backup, you can lock the drive where the folders/files being backed up are located. This prevents any changes from being made to the drive while the backup is being created. The drive will no longer be displayed in Explorer and all applications will be closed. The drive is not locked by default. If the drive is not locked, changes will be buffered either in the snapshot cache (if installed) or over the volume shadow copy service of Windows so that these changed won't influence the backup.

  • Advanced > Use check sums to administer unchanged data (for incremental file backup)

    Unchanged data is saved by default using checksums by the method Image of the changes. The file is slightly larger. It's therefore enough if you enter an existing image of the changes as source image for the next Image of the changes (with checksums). This function is enabled by default. If you save all images in a single folder, you can also disable this function. Your images will then take up less space on the disk.

  • Advanced > Encrypt file backup

    Your data can be securely encrypted using the recognized AES method. This permits
    O&O DiskImage to support extremely high security levels with a key length of up to 256 bits.
File Restoration
To restore individual files and folders you must first locate the image file to be restored (*.obk) then go to File Menu > File Operation > File restoration. Select the image you want to restore, say, "Image20181214.obk" and then at the top select the "Select target" (ribbon). Specify the target destination for the restore operation and click "Start file restoration".

Restore single files from an image via "mount drives from images as virtual drives"
Mounting drives is a quick and easy way to restore single files from an image. (Mount drives from images as virtual drives). This will allow you to copy preferred files and folders from the (mounted) image onto existing drives (target/destination).












TOOLS

Mount drives from images
Mount drives from images serves as "virtual drives". This will allow you to copy preferred files and folders from the (mounted) image onto existing drives (target/destination). Take note that making changes to the image, however, e.g. deleting or adding files, is not possible.



Validate Image File
This function checks the structural integrity of an image file. This will examine whether the required logical structure is intact or undamaged. In addition, encrypted and/or compressed images will be checked to determine if decryption or decompression is possible without error.


Image Information
Displays detailed information about an image file such as the imaging method, date of creation and image contents displayed.





Burn image file(s) on CD/DVD/Blu-ray
To save your image to CD/DVD/Blu-ray, you need to first create an image and save it on an internal or external drive*. Only then will it be possible to burn your image files (*.omg) or your virtual hard disk (*.vhd) to CD/DVD. It is not possible to store an image or a virtual drive directly, i.e. without buffering it, on CD/DVD/Blu-ray.



Note: It must be note that the size of the image files should be limited to the size of your blank CD/DVD/Blu-ray under Drive imaging/Imaging options/Image file/File size. The image file will then be divided into several parts during the imaging process.

Convert image file
The tool “Convert image file” allows you to change the properties and content of existing images (OMG) or a virtual hard disk (VHD/VHDX). It creates a copy of the image file (OMG) or virtual hard disk (VHD/VHDX), so that the original image remains intact. Further settings like compression, encryption or splitting images into several image files with a certain size are possible. Please note the restrictions that apply to “Handling virtual hard disks” (VHD/VHDX).



Merge incremental images
If you have already created several incremental images, you can combine them to form a new base image. The newly created base image is now a "complete" image. Older images that contained only changes can be deleted once the combining has been completed.

Note: Only consecutive image files (Image of the changes) with the same base image may be merged.

Check drive
Check drive for errors runs an intensive analysis of the file system and data storage interface to protect you against any possible loss of data. The "Wizard" (CheckDisk -- like the nrmal checkdisk in cmd.exe) will guide you step by step through the process of checking your drives. Simply follow the instructions in the dialog window and select your drive. In the next stage the analysis is carried out. You can monitor progress by means of the progress bar where all the program status messages are listed.


Bootable Medium / WinPE Disc
The bootable disk is created based on the operating system you are using. This means that if you have a 64-bit system, a 64-bit boot disk will be created. Using a 64-bit boot disk you’ll be able, among other things, to restore images of GPT hard disks under UEFI/EFI systems. Creating a bootable disk with O&O DiskImage is possible by going to the menu item Tools -> Create bootable disk, switch to previous view. This feature detects those options available for creating a bootable disk within the system. It will then copy all the files that are required for doing this. The program will create a bootable disk using:

  • Windows® recovery environment.
  • Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK)
  • Windows Assessment Kit (AIK)
  • Windows® installation disk


Individual driver integration when creating a boot medium
You can specify a driver directory so that every driver accepted by the operating system for the boot device is included in the boot media and run automatically when you boot from it. You can integrate drivers into the boot medium for all types of devices, even ones not PnP compatible.

Individual driver integration when using a boot medium
You can specify a driver directory so that every driver accepted by the offline operating system is included in the operating system and run automatically when you boot up. You can integrate drivers into the boot medium for all types of devices, even ones not PnP compatible, for example graphics cards or network cards. 

The next step will involve using the data detected to create a bootable disk. You have the option to burn the CD image onto a CD/DVD or copy it onto a USB stick. Select the CD/DVD burner or USB drive you want. You also have the option of saving the CD image as an ISO file for later use. This will require your entering a file name as well as a path. To complete creation, click "Create".







New in O&O DiskImage Professional Edition version 14
 
NEW: DiskImage To  Go
The new DiskImage To Go function automatically turns an external hard drive that you select to store an image on (or USB flash drive with enough storage space) into an O&O DiskImage boot medium, and marks this disk as the preferred storage medium for future system backups. As soon as you connect this external USB hard disk to your computer, O&O DiskImage automatically creates an image of all internal drives and the data partition onto it. This makes it easy to create a recent backup. And, if something really happens to your computer or you want to transfer your system and all your data to a new computer, then with the O&O DiskImage boot medium you can restore the image stored on it with just one touch of a button, without the hassle of searching for the boot medium and the external hard drive with the backup.





NEW: Support for VHDX (Virtual Hard Disk Format)
O&O DiskImage 14 adds support for VHDX (Virtual Hard Disk Format) to further enhance the options for virtual environments. The main advantage of VHDX is its increased storage capacity of 64 TB (terabytes), instead of VHD's standard storage limit of 2TB atop VHDX's file corruption protection.





OBSERVATIONS

Installation and Activation
O&O DiskImage Pro v14 installation and activation went on smoothly without a hitch and is pretty straight forward. The activation process is also the same and if a license is NFR (not for resale) you can activate it even without an internet connection. O&O Software advocates that the user register online with the assurance that they will be able to better serve you. This is optional though and can be opted out after you have activated O&O DiskImage Professional offline. Depending on your purchase (or how you have obtained your license) minor updates for a version purchased item is included. Major updates entails an "upgrade" and such can be availed for a price. But O&O Software offers a special discount rate for a license owner.

Quote
Online registration gives you the benefit of having your customer data kept safely in our files, which means we can provide you with even better service. If, for example, you accidentally lose your license key, we can quickly resend it to you without any problem. The license key is needed for using the full version of a program, getting updates, and for reinstalling the program when you make a new setup of your computer.

The trial for O&O DiskImage is 30 days free of charge and with no obligation. The remaining trial period will be displayed each time you start the program. After the trial period the user will need to purchase a license to continue using the program.

One thing to be pointed out is that O&O Software instructs that there should be no other backup/imaging software installed on your computer when installing/working with O&O DiskImage as doing so might lead to complications with the filter driver, especially when different software is working simultaneously on multiple drives. I have other backup/imaging software installed on this test partition but I did not removed them prior installation of O&O DiskImage Pro. Up until this test/review I made there is no untoward issue that I have experienced so far with O&O DiskImage Pro as with the other backup/imaging software installed.

   


Backup and Restore
To compare with 2 of the alternative backup/imaging software I have I made a rough/short comparison test to gauge O&O DiskImage Pro v14 performance. The alternatives chosen where Acronis True Image 2016 Build 6595 and Macrium Reflect Home v7.2.3906. I used a blank partition I have (162 gb in size) and added some files/folders to it (just 4.2 gb of data). Data to be backed up will only be the "used sectors" and after each backup validation is set to be done. Backup/Restore was done within Windows (Win 10 1803 Build 17134.137). No test was made using WinPE bootable media.

Drive/Partition Backup and Restore
O&O DiskImage Pro v14 successfully backed-up PW8WN partition in 4 minutes with a size of 4, 188, 083 KB with no errors. Macrium Reflect's backup time was 4.46 minutes (the slowest) and the backup size is 4, 252, 340 KB (also the largest). Acronis True Image 2016's backup time is also 4 minutes but the backup size is the smallest of the three at 4, 150, 896 KB. There were no errors also for both Acronis and Macrium. The comparison will shows that there isn't much in terms of the backup time (which includes validation of the backup file) and to the size of the backup it is, well, tolerable within the 4g b size of the source partition.

Drive/Partition restoration is a bit more difference between the three backup/imaging applications. Let it be noted that for every restore done the target/destination partition has been formatted using Aomei Partition Assistant Pro v7.5.1 so as the restore/recovery is a full/clean one. Macrium Reflect even though it made the largest of the backup size (at 4,252,340 KB) made a full/clean restore to the target partition at only 2.19 minutes. Take note that this is without Rapid Delta Restore. Acronis True Image 2016 came in second with 4 minutes restore time. O&O DiskImage came in last with 6 minutes! I repeated the whole process (destination partition formatted via Aomei Partition Assistant Pro v7.5.1) but the result was the same. Please see comparison table below.








File/Folder Backup and Restore
File/Folder backup and restore also has been done within Windows (Win 10 1803 Build 17134.137). Same alternatives chosen (Acronis True Image 2016 Build 6595 and Macrium Reflect Home v7.2.3906). Folders selected are (1) 02_Music_Video which is 2 gb in size, and (2) ON1 Photo RAW 2018 folder at only 692 mb in size which is mostly images/pictures. Data to be backed up will only be the "used sectors" and after each backup validation is set to be done. After each restore/recovery, both recovered folders will be deleted in explorer so as to permit clean restoration using the alternative backup/imaging programs.

O&O DiskImage Pro v14 successfully backed-up selected source folders (02_Music_Video – 2 gb in size, and ON1 Photo RAW 2018 folder -- 692 mb in size) in 4 minutes (including validation) with a size of 5, 400, 418 KB with no errors. Macrium Reflect backed-up the same folder in 3.02 minutes (including validation) with 2, 709, 003 KB (no errors). Acronis True Image 2016 in <1minute (including validation) with 2, 695, 191 KB (no errors). This the fastest and the smallest in size as compared to O&O DiskImage and Macrium Reflect (without Rapid Delta Restore). O&O DiskImage is the biggest in size, greater than the total size of the source folders and perhaps because of that it took 4 minutes to backup and 3 minutes to restore. See image comparison below.




Interface and ease-of-use
O&O DiskImage Pro v14 interface has not changed from O&O DiskImage Pro v12. The only glaring difference I see is the addition of the new feature "DiskImage To Go" in the Quick Start interface. When using it you will get the feeling that you are using v12 still (but that's just me). The interface is still easy-to-use with all the features that you need there in front of you as you go on clicking each menu (whether you are in the Application Menu, Main Menu or the Quick Start Menu). That’s a good thing for those that prefer to see all that they need (like me). One thing that irks me when using an application is that I have to find what I need. Here with O&O DiskImage Pro it's all there though some also will state that it's a bit cluttered with all the functions shown (or at least tried to be shown) so the  user will not have difficulty finding what he wants/needs. Now there will be some who are into the "minimalist view" and prefers that they only see what they need or prefers that the interface is small. O&O DiskImage has an "Express View" which can suffice for that. O&O DiskImage's interface kind of reminds me of Acronis True Image 2014 or say, MS Word (or ACAD 2010 for that matter) with all the ribbons and menu combinations. Again this is a good thing for those who want to see (most) of what that they need (the intermediate user per se but not for the minimalist individual or advanced user). This is especially necessary for any "new" user as he does not have any experience using this and will need to tinker/grope with it at first. 

For me this is a bit good as compared to the interface of Acronis True Image 2016 with minimalist in the left corner but shows a large window of the source/destination drive on the right. To top that the ATI 2016 does not have a log file which you can check for data with regards to what you did. But this was corrected in the new Acronis True Image 2019 version complete with log files and pertinent data of all the operations you do (although that big sized image of the source/destination drive is still there. In my opinion -- and being a part of the crew that beta tested ATI 2019 it needs to be toned down to a smaller one and with that reduction in size you can squeeze in the log files as well there at the bottom of the source/destination drive boxes). Macrium Reflect ver7.2 interface looks like ver6 and there isn't much improvement in the big interface either. It also could use a bit of color as its all white there. Most of the Macrium users have either just took it upon themselves to accept that there is no interface changes (or they either don't mind) as long as they have the programs efficient performance.

Anyway will play a significant part in ease-of-use for any user. If you can't find what you need then you lose that needed minutes of your time. Of course you do not need to see "all" functions and features and the user often just use 40-60% of it thus it is a burden that all developers would strive to strike a balance with -- functionality and ease-of-use via an effective interface.



IMAGES OF O&O DISKIMAGE PRO VER12





IMAGES OF O&O DISKIMAGE PRO VER14








Bootable Medium creation
O&O DiskImage gives you a variety of choices for the creation of the WinPE bootable medium and they are all working! If there's one thing I do not like is when I have already the Windows 10 ADK installed in my system and then when you want to create the WinPE bootable disk the applications does not accept it and even tells you to go online t download either their "kit" or the AIK/ADK from Microsoft servers. That is really annoying to me. Here with O&O DiskImage all actually worked either with the Windows RE, Windows ADK, WAIK and the Windows installation media. That for me is very good! No hassle to the user. No extra download issue to the user. There are other backup/imaging applications that has the creation of the WinPE bootable media with them and but does not stop there because they also offer the bootable media ISO download from their servers as extra service for any paid customer/user. O&O Software does not offer that but if their O&O DiskImage does the WinPE bootable media creation with no hassle and issue then there is indeed no need for it at this time.



Additional features
This 2018 I have seen some additional trends/improvements in terms of additional protection of backup files specifically ransomware protection. Acronis 2019 (Active Protection) and Macrium v7.2 (Image Guardian) has their own ransomware protection included (and improved) in their latest versions. I do not see any here with O&O DiskImage. There are only two significant addition in this version 14 which is the inclusion of DiskImage To Go and Support for VHDX (Virtual Hard Disk Format). Acronis 2019 and Macrium (I think -- have to check it out with Macrium support) seems to have both but not like O&O Software exactly there. Although that it is my belief that ransomware protection should be the main duty of the user's main security application (or layered protection) it would not hurt any software developer to give this as a new feature. It is always a welcome addition to any software that is significant to a user. I hope that in the future this may be considered (and added) by O&O Software.



PERTINENT LINKS


O&O DiskImage 14 Professional Product Site HERE

O&O DiskImage 14 Professional Edition User Guide

O&O DiskImage 14 Professional x64 Download HERE

O&O DiskImage 14 Professional x32 Download HERE

Contact O&O Software HERE






SOME ALTERNATIVES

Acronis True Image

Macrium Reflect Home

Aomei Backupper Professional

EaseUS Todo Backup Home

Backup4all Professional


FINAL WORD


O&O DiskImage 14 Professional offers more than a lot of features that are good and efficient enough to the user’s backup/imaging needs. Most features and functions are straight forward enough for anyone to understand and if there are any questions encountered during usage O&O Software offers access to the offline user guide in PDF as reference (in absence of a standalone help file). For a beginner this software application may tend to be overwhelming with a lot of features and function that he may have not seen/used before because the interface shows most of it via menu/ribbon. In retrospect the intermediate and more advanced may find it a bit cluttered and may prefer a more minimalist view. In any case all features/functions when used are also pretty straight forward and pretty soon (as with constant usage) any beginner or intermediate will be relaxed using it. Backup/imaging performance is efficient and at par with other alternatives. The difference in size and time spent is (to me) small/manageable enough depending on the situation at hand. There has been some observations (even with version 12) that restoration of a backup seems to take time within Windows (and even more when using the WinPE bootable medium) as compared to alternatives but then again as I have observed with the alternatives the speed when using the WinPE bootable media (backup/restore) is definitely slower than when you are inside Windows. This should be a point that O&O Software needs to check and improve on as most of the time (especially during emergencies) the user needs to recover/restore something fast and there is no extra time that must be wasted. Let it be noted that this is only with the WinPE bootable medium but within Windows I can say that recovery is manageable also again depending on the situation and conditions at hand. This basis is "only" for this limited test/short spin and not to be taken as a long-time user experience.

The trend these days is that backup/imaging applications are now offering additional protection for their backup images as well as program files itself. I hope that O&O Software will consider to add a security feature that will augment protection of its backup images (and if possible its program application files as well). Such addition in the future is always welcome to the user. There are still the popular brands out in the market like the Acronis and Macrium Reflect but DiskImage 14 Professional with a bit more development and additional features can be considered as true alternative to the brands.




2
Utilities / Macrium Reflect v7.2.3825
« on: November 09, 2018, 08:40:38 pm »

Macrium Reflect v7.2.3825 (2nd November 2018)

Bug Fixes:

  • Extended Windows Shutdown Times
    Some customers have experienced extended Windows shutdown times and have been unable to perform a safe Removal of USB storage devices when the Macrium Changed Block Tracker (CBT) driver is installed. This has been resolved.

    Note: This patch will require a reboot. The initial reboot will still be using the previous CBT driver, so may take an extended amount of time to shutdown. The new CBT driver will be active after the initial reboot.

    Windows XP/Vista/7 Scheduled Tasks Exit Code
  • Scheduled backups on Windows XP/Vista/7 could complete with code 0xff. Tasks would complete successfully but error as the application was unloading. This has been resolved.

Initial Macrium Reflect v7.2 Public Release v7.2.3811 - 30th October 2018

New in Macrium Reflect 7.2

3
Utilities / Flashback Screen Recorder
« on: September 26, 2018, 08:56:56 pm »


FlashBack Express is a screen recording tool that can capture desktop activity as it happens, record the results as a movie, and even upload the resulting clip to YouTube or other video sharing sites. is the former BB FlashBack Express of (formerly BB FlashBack). BB FlashBack is now "Flashback"  a Blueberry Software Product.


Options given to record either full screen, an individual window, or any region of the screen that you like. FlashBack Express can capture application sound, too, perfect if you'd like to capture your performance in a game.

The product is easy to use and is completely FREE! There are options to limit the final video size (useful when sharing the results online). FlashBack Express can export it in AVI or Flash formats (SWF and FLV) plus you can even upload it directly to YouTube, Blip.tv, Viddler or Revver.

NOTE: As of version 5.30, a licence key is no longer required to use FlashBack Express.

Flashback comes in two variants: Pro version and Express (which is the FREE version)

See product comparison below.


Download
http://files.bbsoftware.co.uk/bbfbex5.exe

Latest Build v5.28 : Jan 2018

Changes:
  • Records from ASIO audio devices
  • Fix: possible crash when webcam is unavailable
  • Improves appearance of localised versions of FlashBack when running on English Windows.
  • Improves audio quality when exporting to MP4 with openh264 codec.
  • Color codes objects in the timeline bars.
  • Fix: incorrect naming of microphone and ‘pc sounds’ sound tracks
  • Adds MP4 and AVI export formats to FlashBack Express
  • Fix: the ‘Minimise when recording’ menu item in recorder would appear to be ‘on’ when it was actually set ‘off’ and vice-versa
User Guide
https://www.flashbackrecorder.com/files/..._Guide.pdf

4
Utilities / Revo Uninstaller Pro 4.0
« on: September 26, 2018, 08:52:12 pm »

Revo Uninstaller Pro 4.0

What’s new:
  • Added - New Module – Windows Apps Manager to uninstall Windows Apps
  • Added - New Module – Browser Extensions to remove popular Browsers’ extensions
  • Added - New Module – History Cleaner – combining Windows Cleaner, MS Office Cleaner, Browsers Cleaner
  • Added - Possibility to continue the uninstall of a program if it had been interrupted by a computer restart
  • Added - Possibility to merge traced installation logs
  • Improved - User Interface for faster and easier access to all the functionality of Revo Uninstaller Pro
  • Improved - Scanning algorithms for leftovers
  • Improved - Many minor and user interface improvements
  • Improvements in all additional tools included in Revo Uninstaller Pro
  • Removed Windows XP support

Pro version
http://www.revouninstaller.com/download/...oSetup.exe

Free version
https://www.neowin.net/news/revo-uninstaller-free-205


5
Utilities / WinRAR ver 5.60
« on: August 13, 2018, 11:59:32 pm »




WinRAR is the world's most popular compression software! This compression software offers a full list of quality ZIP features and supports a host of extraction formats. You can compress files into  RAR 5, RAR 4, and ZIP archive formats and can extract a number of different archives. This ZIP software supports the extraction of 14 archive formats. In addition to RAR and ZIP, these include RAR, ZIP, 7Z, ACE, ARJ, BZ2, CAB, GZ, ISO, JAR, LZ, LZH, TAR, UUE, XZ, Z, ZIPX and 001. In this new version 5.50 RARLabs has added extraction support for .LZ archives created by Lzip compressor, inclusion of LZ and ZIPX are added to list of associations in Settings/Integration dialog and LZ and ZIPX extensions are added to default list of formats for -ms switch ("Specify file types to store") invoked without parameters. WinRAR scores high in our extraction format category.

The first WinRAR version, with the proprietary RAR format, was released in 1993. The format is a chief rival of the ever-present ZIP format. Though you can only compress files into the two formats, this ZIP software lets you unzip 14 different formats. The  most  notable  functions  of WinRAR include  very  powerful  document  and  multimedia  file  compression,  file  encryption, processing  of  other  archive  formats,  programmable  self-extracting  (SFX)  archives, damaged archive repair and Unicode support. WinRAR also can scan your archives for viruses before you extract the files.

This application's most user-friendly aspects are the drag-and-drop feature and the Archive Wizard. WinRAR automatically detects the type of files you are compressing and adjusts the compression rate accordingly. WinRAR uses a traditional display involving menu trees that lets you go to your archive folder and drag the files or folder into WinRAR.

This is a review/walk-through of WinRAR version 5.60. This review will also contain comparisons to other popular alternatives to WinRAR.


About win.rar GmbH
win.rar  GmbH  has  been  the  official  distributor  of  WinRAR  and  RARLAB  products since February 2002 and handles all support, marketing and sales functions related to  WinRAR  &  RARLAB.COM.  win.rar  GmbH  is  registered  in  Germany,  and  is represented worldwide by local partners in more than 70 countries on six continents. win.rar’s declared objective is to provide first-class quality support and to optimize its software to meet customer’s requirements in accordance with their valued feedback. For more information about WinRAR and win.rar GmbH please visit our website at http://www.win-rar.com

There are several versions of RAR, for a number of operating environments: Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X.

There are two versions of RAR for Windows:

(1) Version with graphical user interface - WinRAR.exe;
(2) Command line console (text mode) version - Rar.exe.

WinRAR and WinRAR self-extracting modules require Windows XP SP3 or later.

WinRAR features

  • Complete support of RAR and ZIP 2.0 archives;
  • Highly sophisticated, original compression algorithm;
  • Shell interface including drag-and-drop facility and wizard;
  • Command line interface;
  • Non RAR archives (7Z, ACE, ARJ, BZ2, CAB, GZ, ISO, JAR, LZ, LZH, TAR, UUE, XZ, Z, 001 and several ZIPX types) management;
  • Solid archiving, which can raise compression ratio by 10% - 50% over more common methods, particularly when packing a large number of small, similar files;
  • Multi-volume archives;
  • Creation of self-extracting archives (also multi-volume) using the default or optional SFX modules;
  • Recovering physically damaged archives;
  • Recovery volumes allowing to reconstruct missing parts of multi-volume archives.
  • Unicode support in file names;
  • Other service functions, such as encryption, archive comments , error logging, etc.
WinRAR Shell basic states

The WinRAR shell may be in one of two basic states. There are similarities and differences among this basic states and  the user must be capable to understand what or where he is working (either basic states) in order that he may obtain the best performance of WinRAR. User also needs to be careful, say, the "Delete" command which differs in both states. See further explanaion and images in "DELETING CONTENTS OF AN ARCHIVE".


1. File Management Mode
In the file management mode, a list of files and folders from the current working folder is displayed. It is the folder where you intend to make/derive an archive. To go to file management mode you can just double-click the WinRAR icon. From there you can select files and folders in the usual Windows fashion, with a mouse or keyboard, and perform different file operations such as archiving or deleting. Also in this mode it is possible to perform test and extract operations with groups of archives.




2. Archive Management Mode
In the archive management mode, the list of archived files and folders from the currently opened archive is displayed. It is the mode when you open an archive to be viewed in WinRAR. You also may select files and folders and perform archive specific operations such as extracting, testing or commenting.



When you run WinRAR you will see "Main menu" along with th icons that you will need to get you started. The Main menu are: (1) File (2) Commands, (3) Tools, (4) Favorites , (5) Options and the (6) Help menu. See the images below for a view of the contents drop-downlist as you click each one of them.




Options Menu

From the Main Menu you can set the general configuration of WinRAR via Main Menu > Options > Settings. This further displays the following WinRAR settings: General, Compression, Paths, File list, Viewer, Security and Integration.





WinRAR allows you to export and later import configuration/settings of via Options > Import and Export. Here you can either:

(a) Export settings to file
Selecting this will give a file "Settings.reg" for you to save. The default location is C:\Users\Xxxx\AppData\Roaming\WinRAR but you can also select a location of your preference.




(b) Import settings from file
Selecting this allows you to load your saved settings from the default settings location (C:\Users\Xxxx\AppData\Roaming\WinRAR) or a location you previously had set. By default WinRAR first searches the Registry but if "Settings.reg"  file is present in WinRAR own folder (WinRAR.exe location) or C:\Users\Xxxx\AppData\Roaming\WinRAR folders, it will be imported automatically. A restart of WinRAR is needed to apply some of imported settings.




(c) Create a WinRAR.ini file.
Selecting this creates a new "WinRAR.ini file" and copies existing WinRAR settings from Registry to this file. (You can also select a location of your preference). You need to copy a file created with this command either to WinRAR own folder (WinRAR.exe location) or to C:\Users\Xxxx\AppData\Roaming\WinRAR to make it active.




Note:
You export "Settings.reg" if you wish to move your settings to another computer. You create "Winrar.ini" file if you wish to have a portable WinRAR version, such as on USB flash drive, which stores most of settings in ini file and not in Registry.



Directly below the "Main Menu" are the File / Archive Management Command tools. Available command buttons change depending on what mode you are in (file management mode or archive management mode). For file management mode avilable command buttons are (a) Add, (b) Extract To (c) Test (d) View (e) Delete (f) Find (g) Wizard (h) Info, and lastly (i) Repair.



For archive management mode avilable command buttons are (a) Add, (b) Extract To (c) Test (d) View (e) Delete (f) Find (g) Wizard (h) Info (i) VirusScan (j) Comment (k) Protect and lastly (l) Repair.




You can also set/select further toolbar buttons via Options > Settings > General > Buttons.

To the normal user (like me) the default buttons is enough and will almost always be your guide and a good place to start WinRAR with ease. See below image.







ARCHIVING FILES


Archive file in Windows Explorer or Desktop
This will be easier if you have enabled "Integrate WinRAR into shell" option when installing WinRAR. Select the files you are going to compress, in Explorer or Desktop, "right-click" mouse button on the selected files and choose "Add to archive…", "Add to <archive name>...", Compress and Email...", and "Compress to <archive name> and email".

A dialog box will appear -- "Archive name and parameters".

Selecting one or more files, enter a destination archive name in the dialog box -- "Archive name and parameters" or just accept the default name given. Also in this dialog box you may select the parameters that you would like to use or change.

Now for the non-techy mind the default settings given in the dialog boxes are good enough and safe to use. Perhaps just an additional change in the,
 
"General > Set Password" --you will of course from time to time use this one
"General > Compression method --to either fast, best , fastest"
"General > Archiving options > Test archived files" or if you fancy "Create SFX archive" which as we all know is an executable file
"General > Comment"--where you can type-in a description of your archive.

Click "OK" to start the archiving process. An archive will be created in the same folder as the selected files. During process/operation a windows will be displayed showing statistics. If you wish to break or stop the the archiving process just click the "Cancel" button in the command window. If you want to "minimize" it and let it run in the background, there is a "Background" button that you can use. Upon completion the command window will disappear and the newly created archive becomes the current selected file in WinRAR.




Much faster is by using drag-and-drop, just select the file/files and drag-and-drop it to an existing archive icon and drop them. Files will be added to this archive.

To me as a long time WinRAR user I change settings depending on my needs if the files are sensitive or not or it has to be sent via email or I want it to be opened out-rightly when the file is received. For ordinary archiving/compression I use the default/normal with or without password protection.  For beginners, the "Add" button in the WinRAR window or the "Wizard -create a new archive / add files to already existing archive" will be much simpler. The use of the Main menu > Commands > "Add files to archive" command is perhaps tailored for the conventional minds.




Archive file in WinRAR shell mode
Run WinRAR by "double-click" or press Enter on the WinRAR icon or via Windows "Start menu": enter "Programs". WinRAR will then display a list of files and folders in the current folder. You need to go to the folder, which contains files to archive. You need to click on the small disk icons in the bottom left corner, to change the current disk.

Click the "Up arrow" button below the toolbar or double-click on the folder named ".." to go to the parent folder. "Double-click" on any other folder to enter that desired folder. Select the files and folders you are going to archive. Having selected one or more files, click on the Add button at the top of the WinRAR window, or select the "Add files to archive" command in the Main menu > Commands. Enter the destination archive name in the dialog box which appears or simply accept the default name. You may select, in this dialog, the format of the new archive (RAR or ZIP), compression level, volume size and other archiving parameters. This dialog described in details in Archive name and parameters dialog topic. Click on the OK button when you are ready to create the archive.

Add files using drag-and-drop, to an existing RAR archive can be achieved by selecting the desired archive in the WinRAR window or "double click" on its name. Now add files to the archive by simply dragging them from another program and dropping to WinRAR.







Archive files using command line
Below is the common command line syntax for archiving files is:

WinRAR A [ -switches ] <Archive> [ Files ] [ @File lists ]

For example, if you wish add the file LETTER.TXT to the archive LETTERS.RAR, type:

WinRAR A LETTERS.RAR LETTER.TXT

If an archive extension is not specified, WinRAR will use the default archive format selected in the default compression profile, but you may override it by specifying either .RAR or .ZIP extension.

The next example: add all *.WAV files to the solid RAR archive Songs:

WinRAR A -S Songs.RAR *.WAV

It is also possible to list the files to be archived in a file, rather than listing them in the command line. In this case the name of text file, containing the list of files to be archived, must be given in the command line. This is indicated by placing the symbol @ before this file name. Thus, you can create a file Binaries, containing the strings *.exe and *.com and execute the command:

WinRAR A TOOLS.ZIP @Binaries

to add all files with .EXE and .COM extensions from the current folder to ZIP archive TOOLS.

If you wish to stop the the archiving process just click the "Cancel" button in the command window. If you want to "minimize" it and let it run in the backgroud, there is a "Background" button that you can use. If archiving is completed without problems, WinRAR terminates. Diagnostic message window is displayed in case of error.


SFX archives
An SFX or SelF-eXtracting archive is an archive, merged with an executable module, which is used to extract files from the archive when executed. Thus no external program is necessary to extract the contents of an SFX archive, it is enough to execute it. Nevertheless WinRAR can work with SFX archives as with any other archives, so if you do not want to run a received SFX archive (for example, because of possible viruses), you may use WinRAR to view or extract its contents.

All SFX archives usually have .exe extension as any other executable file. People nowadays use SFX archives as a convenient way to send a file to someone else, but do not know, if they have an appropriate archiver to extract the files in the archive.

To create an SFX archive from the command line or via WinRAR shell either select "Create SFX archive" option in Archive name and parameters dialog, when creating a new archive or enter into an already existing archive and press "SFX" button.

In the WinRAR shell you can select the desired SFX module from the list displayed when executing Main menu > Tools > Convert archive to SFX command.

If an archive is already self-extracting, using the command "Convert archive to SFX" will give you options to, "Do not change SFX module", "Add a new SFX module", or "Remove the already existing module from the archive". In this case WinRAR does not touch the original archive and creates a new archive with the same contents, but without self-extracting module.




EXTRACTING FILES


There are so many ways to extract files/folders from an archive in WinRAR. It is really on the preference of the user what he will use. See examples below.

Extracting files in WinRAR shell mode
To extract a  file using WinRAR you must first open the archive in WinRAR by:

(1) Double-clicking or press "Enter" on the archive name in the Windows Explorer window or Desktop. If WinRAR was associated with archives during installation, an archive will be opened in WinRAR. You may also associate WinRAR with archives after the installation using the Integration settings -- Main menu > Options > Settings > Integration.

(2) Double-clicking or press "Enter" on the archive name in the WinRAR window itself.

(3) Drag-and drop an archive to the WinRAR icon or window. Before doing this ensure that WinRAR does not already display another archive, otherwise the dropped archive will be added to the currently displayed archive.

(4) Run WinRAR from the command-line with a single parameter - the archive name.

When an archive is opened in WinRAR (archive management mode) its contents are displayed and can be viewed. Select files/folders you want extracted. Selecting one or more files, click the "Extract To" button at the top f the WinRAR window and click "OK". The "Extract To" dialog box also offers a few advanced options.  During the extraction process and want to "minimize" it and let it run in the background, there is a "Background" button that you can use. If the extraction is completed without errors, WinRAR will return to the shell, in case of an error, a "Diagnostic message" windows will be displayed showing the error/info. You can stop the extracting process anytime. Just click the "Cancel" button in the command window to stop it.








Extracting files in Windows Explorer or Desktop
This will be easier if you have enabled "Integrate WinRAR into shell" option when installing WinRAR.

Select the archive file/s you are going to decompress, in Explorer or Desktop, "right-click" mouse button on the selected files and choose "Open with WinRAR" --WinRAR shell will open, "Extract files..." -- enter the destination desired folder  click "OK", "Extract Here" --to current folder,  and "Extract to <folder name>\" -- without additional requests.

Drag-and drop method is done by selecting the archive/s and then press-and-hold the right
mouse button then drag the selected archive to the selected folder destination.

For beginners, the "Extract To" button in the WinRAR window or the "Wizard --unpack an archive" will be much simpler. Please see images above.





Extracting files using command line
Below is the common command line syntax to extract files with full paths:

WinRAR X [ -switches ] <Archive> [ Files ] [ @File lists ] [ Destination folder\ ]

To extract files, ignoring paths:

WinRAR E [ -switches ] <Archive> [ Files ] [ @File lists ] [ Destination folder\ ]

For example if you wish extract the file LETTER.TXT to the current folder from the archive LETTERS.RAR, use the following command:

WinRAR X LETTERS.RAR LETTER.TXT

Archive extension is optional and may be omitted.

The next command extracts all *.WAV files from the archive Songs to the folder Audio:

WinRAR X Songs *.WAV Audio\

It is also possible to list the files to be extracted in a file, rather than listing them in the command line. In this case the name of text file, containing the list of files to be extracted, must be given in the command line. This is indicated by placing the symbol @ before this file name. Thus, you can create a file Binaries, containing the strings *.exe and *.com and execute the command:

WinRAR X TOOLS @Binaries

to extract all files with EXE and COM extensions from the archive TOOLS to the current folder.

If you wish to stop the the extracting process just click the "Cancel" button in the command window. If you want to "minimize" it and let it run in the backgroud, there is a "Background" button that you can use. If the extraction is completed without errors, WinRAR will return to the shell, in case of an error, a Diagnostic message window will be displayed.


TEST ARCHIVE FILE

The easiest way to test an archive for errors is either by double-clicking the target archive (this opens the archive inside WinRAR shell -- archive management mode), by selecting the target archive > right-clicking in Windows Explorer > Test archive or by selecting the archive > right-clicking > Open with WinRAR. When the archive file opens in WinRAR you just select "Test" button at the top of the WinRAR window. All errors found during test are displayed in the "Diagnostic messages" window. If no errors are detected, WinRAR will display a corresponding message.

"Test archived files" can also be availed via the Main menu > Commands > "Test archived files" or via the Alt + T keyboard shortcut. See images below.




6
Utilities / Acronis Ransomware Protection FREE Version
« on: January 27, 2018, 10:39:35 pm »
Acronis Ransomware Protection


Ransomware is one of the most pervasive and costly forms of malware afflicting businesses and consumers today. The term describes a broad family of hostile computer viruses that infiltrate computer servers, PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other computerized devices like ATMs and airline check-in kiosks. Rather than stealing valuable information from the device, ransomware aims to deny users access to the files and data stored on it. The simpler “blocker” form presents a screen that prevents users from accessing the computer’s desktop. The more sophisticated and destructive “encryption” form of ransomware goes much further: it encrypts (mathematically scrambles) the user’s files. Both types present a screen instructing the user to pay an online ransom to an untraceable recipient, for which the attacker promises to unlock the system.
 
Ransomware-wielding criminals rely on user fear and ignorance to extort payment, increasing the pressure on victims to pay quickly with tactics like a running countdown timer that specifies an approaching payment deadline of days or hours. If the user pays up, the attacker will provide the mathematical key that can be used to unscramble the files, or instructions on how to remove the blocker.

Acronis Ransomware Protection is now available!

Acronis Ransomware Protection is a software suite that ensures the security of information on your PC. It combines two features that supplement each other to provide you with enhanced protection of your personal data:

Acronis Active Protection — this service protects your computer from ransomware.
File-level continuous backup to Acronis Cloud that protects your files from corruption or loss.

Active Protection:

- Based on a heuristics approach and ML-technology, it monitors processes and prevents files from unauthorized encryption.
- Protects from the latest ransomware including Petya, WannaCry, Osiris, and Bad Rabbit.
- Active Protection dashboard shows the current number of the processes being analyzed and the current number of suspicious processes that act similar to ransomware behavior.
- With the Process management functionality, you can trust or block applications to allow or prohibit them running on the computer.

File-level continuous backup to Acronis Cloud:
- With 5 GB of free cloud storage, you can protect your data not only during a ransomware attack, but also from disk failures, disasters, and accidental deletions.
- Changes to the protected files are automatically uploaded to the cloud storage every 15 minutes, to keep the backup up-to-date.
- You can access your files in Acronis Cloud from anywhere on any Internet-enabled device, share them, or download for further reuse.
- Backup Statistics graphically represent content of a backup, provide statistics for backed-up file categories such as documents, photos, videos, music, and others.

System requirements

Hardware requirements:
A CPU that supports SSE instructions
Operating systems:
Windows 10 (all editions)
Windows 8.1 (all editions)
Windows 8 (all editions)
Windows 7 SP1 (all editions)
It is possible for the software to work on other Windows operating systems, but it is not guaranteed.

Other requirements:
An Internet connection
Administrator privileges to run Acronis Ransomware Protection

Acronis Ransomware Protection Site

Release Notes HERE

Related Info HERE

Just head-on to the Acronis Ransomware Protection Site above and avail of the free version of Acronis Ransomware Protection. Alternatively, you can download it below.

DOWNLOAD LINK



7
Security Software / SecureAPlus and SecureAge Technology Info/Products
« on: January 27, 2018, 10:07:19 pm »
SecureAge Technology




SecureAge Technology is a world-class IT company focusing on security software which provides data protection solutions that help, prevent, and shield governments and enterprises from all possible breaches. Founded in 2003 by its founder Dr. Teow-Hin Ngair, Ph.D., SecureAge Technology has developed and refined PKI-based data security products making it easy/transparent to any user or any large corporation/installations. SecureAge security solutions provide organizations complete control and visibility of data movement within their networks, while at the same time making sure that the user/organization operational workflow isn't affected or disrupted. In 2013, SecureAge Technology developed a powerful application whitelisting solution for enterprise so effective it paved the way for its release for home users as well. From there, SecureAplus was made available for the home and personal security solution. Today, SecureAge Technology is at the forefront of providing total data security for government and enterprises from the most advanced/persistent cyber threats as well as providing pioneered/innovative security solutions to individuals and organizations.

SecureAge Technology is headquartered in Singapore and has offices in North America and Japan.

More Info about SecureAge Technology HERE




SecureAge Technology Products







Enterprise Security Software

The SecureAge Security Suite: Enterprise Security with SecureAge Suite
SecureAge enterprise security solutions keep data safe through powerful encryption – every file, every place, every time. Done right, SecureAge encryption doesn’t interfere or intimidate.

SecureData
SecureAge SecureData provides transparent and automatic file and folder data encryption of individual files at their inception and without user deliberation, action, or even awareness. Inherent and Invisible PKI encryption protects the data whether leaked, lost or stolen. Furthermore, integrated application whitelisting and application binding features combat any viruses, malware, zero-day attacks or APT (Advanced Persistent Threats) that would lead to data breaches in the first place.




File Level Data Encryption. SecureData data incorporates a smart, highly flexible, policy-based and end-to-end encryption solution that protects your data files and folders from data leaks across all types of storage media. Real security requires file level encryption, the simple way it should have always been.

Application Integrity. Protection against APT (Advanced Persistent Threats), Sniffers, and threats such as Man-in-the-Middle attacks and Zero-Day vulnerabilities require Application Integrity. SecureData ensures the integrity of the encrypted files at the application layer with Application Whitelisting and Application Binding.

- Automatic File and Folder Encryption
- Application Whitelisting
- Application Binding


More Info on More Info on SecureData HERE


SecureData YouTube Video



SecureEmail
SecureEmail is a policy-based End-to-End Email Encryption. It is Email Encryption made easier and smarter. An indispensable communications tool for organizations, Email generates the largest volume of new data and is most susceptible to digital threats. SecureAge SecureEmail covers Email security in transit and in storage protecting against eavesdropping, modifications to the network line, and unauthorized access to servers and backup drives.



Real security is Inherent and Invisible and works despite our human flaws; confidential emails are mistakenly sent to unauthorized recipients and dangerous files find their way in. Enterprises need email encryption security solution that goes above and beyond traditional protection measures to provide security for Every File, Every Place, at Every Time with little or no effort on the everyday user's activity.

- Automatic File and Folder Encryption
- Application Whitelisting
- Application Binding

More Info on More Info on SecureEmail HERE




SecureEmail YouTube Video


SecureFile
Files Securely Signed, Sealed and Delivered. SecureFile is a comprehensive PKI-based document security solution that secures mission-critical files with 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) file encryption and digital signing. Selected files are protected from unwanted tampering and interception to ensure privacy, integrity, and authenticity.




- Securely Sign and Encrypt Any File
- Securely Pass Documents
- Securely Delete Without Leaving a Trace
- Built-in Key and Signature Management

More Info on More Info on SecureFile HERE





SecureDisk.
SecureDisk creates and manages virtual disks with volume encryption using either Triple-DES or 256-bit AES encryption algorithms on any Windows computer. All files stored in the secure disk volume are encrypted and fully protected and entirely hidden from view. Volumes can be mounted across network for secure file transfer and protection. All of the benefits of Full Disk Encryption (FDE) are yours, but with the flexibility of multiple volumes at sizes of your own choosing. Files written and read from secure disk volumes are automatically encrypted/decrypted without additional actions from the user.



SecureAge SecureDisk enables PKI-based authentication and access control with default 1024/2048-bit public key and 168/256-bit encryption algorithms. Only PKI authenticated users are able to decrypt files stored in the encrypted disk volume. There is no "fixed key" unlike other password based encryption systems, thus adding/removing/changing of user groups will not affect/compromise security.

- Easily Create and Mount
- Easily Encrypt and Decrypt
- Easy Authentication and Access Control
- More than Full Disk Encryption

More Info on SecureDisk HERE




SecureAge Hardware for Enterprise Security

Security Management Server
The Security Management Server enables enterprises to centrally control all SecureAge software deployment, provides central policy control, audit logs, whitelist and key management for the SecureAge Security Suite, including SecureData, SecureEmail, and SecureAPlus. With SecureAge a client-based suite, the Management Server doesn’t authenticate or act as a gateway. Rather, it creates, issues, and manages certificates, keys, and policies; collects log files from client machines for forensic analysis and review; and pushes updates.



SecureAge Security Management Server gives you:

- Simplified deployment of software licenses and updates from the assigned server to any connected device.
- Automatic detection of user's individual environment to assign appropriate updates and flag potential issues.
- Grouping of users to define better functionality and controls.

More Info on Security Management Server HERE





SSL VPN for Enterprise
Safe Connections Wherever, Whenever. SecureAge Enterprise SSL VPN is a reliable, easily deployed security solution that allows users to remotely access corporate networks and resources using well-established SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) technology. The SecureAge SSL VPN is optimized for the SecureAge environment and enables secure remote access to your network from any endpoint device, including laptops, PDAs and smartphones. SecureAge SSL VPN provides a unique private network, isolated safely where your data is safe and away from prying eyes. Without too much tinkering, the peak performance hardware can run over either SSL or IPSec. Combining Secure VPN with the SecureAge Security Suite offers an entirely impregnable, unpolluted and secure network/system.



More Info on SSL VPN for Enterprise HERE




SecureAge Data Diode System
The SecureAge Data Diode System provides a complete solution that encompasses both hardware and software. SecureAge Data Diode ensures that secure data flows only in the direction you specify, pushing data cleanly between open and closed networks comprised of the File Transfer System (FTS), Information Broker (IB), and Universal AV (UAV). SecureAge Data Diode System provides complete security for Enterprises wanting an Air-Gapped Security network because it secures both secure and insecure networks safely securing transition of data.



The File-Transfer System, Information Broker, and Universal AV form a complete security ecosystem optimized for Data-Diode hardware. The SecureAge Data Diode System also supports Data-Diode devices from a wide range of hardware providers. The File-Transfer System, Information Broker, and Universal AV  can easily work on "any" Diode-Proxy configuration.

More Info on SecureAge Data Diode System HERE




Personal Security Solutions



SecureAPlus
SecureAPlus combines application whitelisting and antivirus components to protect you from known and unknown malware at the most efficient way. SecureAPlus does what other conventional antivirus/security application cannot do which is to block any new/advanced malware regardless of how they try to evade detection. It is the next generation antivirus/security suite that "truly" protects you! SecureAPlus' application whitelisting complemented by up to 12 cloud-based anti-virus engines to stop anything – viruses, malware, ransomware – from invading your system.

SecureAPlus’ Universal AV consists of more than 10 antivirus engines in the cloud such as AVG, Avira, and McAfee. SecureAPlus has (1) SecureAPlus Freemium, (2) SecureAPlus Premium, and (3) SecureAPlus for Business, and (4) SecureAPlus for Android.











SECUREAPLUS FREEMIUM

SecureAPlus Freemium is a free security software developed by SecureAPlus that protects PCs from malware & viruses with its powerful but easy to use Application Whitelisting and reliable detection rates of more than 10 cloud Anti-Virus engines with Universal AV. It leverages the power of the cloud allowing for low resources used and compatibility with other installed anti-virus and anti-malware applications, making it the perfect security upgrade for any Windows PC.

SecureAPlus Freemium is free to use for a year (365 days) and once the license is up, users can choose to either purchase premium or extend freemium license via SecureAPlus referral program known as Viral Security Program. Users can extend their Freemium license for free by earning points through sharing about us on social media or writing a review about us. The points can then be exchange to extend the duration of the license (e.g. 30 days, 90 days, 180 days or even perpetual license).

Free Extension of SecureAPlus Freemium for Everyone

SecureAge Ambassador Program


8
Warning! 32 Million Twitter Passwords May Have Been Hacked and Leaked

Our world today is FULL of data breaches soon it will be just a matter of time till anything can be breached IF we will not rethink our ways and try to find ways to be always more secure. Being secure and safe nowadays is a must and must be checked always also.

Swati Khandelwal of thehackernews.com shares the details below as well as related story from telegraph.co.uk



The world came to know about massive data breaches in some of the most popular social media websites including LinkedIn, MySpace, Tumblr, Fling, and VK.com when an unknown Russian hacker published the data dumps for sale on the underground black marketplace.
However, these are only data breaches that have been publicly disclosed by the hacker. I wonder how much more stolen data sets this Russian, or other hackers are holding that have yet to be released. The answer is still unknown, but the same hacker is now claiming another major data breach, this time, in Twitter.

Quote
Login credentials of more than 32 Million Twitter users are now being sold on the dark web marketplace for 10 Bitcoins (over $5,800).
LeakedSource, a search engine site that indexes leaked login credentials from data breaches, noted in a blog post that it received a copy of the Twitter database from Tessa88, the same alias used by the hacker who provided it hacked data from Russian social network VK.com last week.

The database includes usernames, email addresses, sometimes second email addresses, and plain-text passwords for more than 32 Million Twitter accounts. Twitter strongly denied the claims by saying that "these usernames and credentials were not obtained by a Twitter data breach" – their "systems have not been breached," but LeakedSource believed that the data leak was the result of malware.

"Tens of millions of people have become infected by malware, and the malware sent every saved username and password from browsers like Chrome and Firefox back to the hackers from all websites including Twitter," LeakedSource wrote in its blog post.

But, do you remember how Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Twitter account was compromised?

The hackers obtained Zuck's account credentials from the recent LinkedIn data breach, then broke his SHA1-hashed password string, tried on his several social media accounts and successfully hacked Zuckerberg’s Twitter and Pinterest account.

So, one possibility could also be that the alleged Twitter database dump of over 32 Million users is made up of already available records from the previous LinkedIn, MySpace and Tumblr data breaches.

The hacker might just have published already leaked data from other sites and services as a new hack against Twitter that actually never happened.
Whatever the reason is, the fact remain that hackers may have had their hands on your personal data, including your online credentials.
So, it’s high time you changed your passwords for all social media sites as well as other online sites if you are using the same password.

Source HERE


Related story:

Russian hackers sell 33 million Twitter passwords online

Usernames and passwords of almost 33 million Twitter users have been obtained by a Russian hacker and put up for sale online.

The leak, which covers a tenth of Twitter’s users, comes after several high-profile Twitter accounts including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and singer Katy Perry were broken into.

Quote
Twitter denied that its own security had been breached, but said it was checking to see if accounts had been compromised by other huge password leaks.

The data for sale online may have come from hackers checking Twitter usernames against email and password combinations from security breaches at Myspace and LinkedIn.

Millions of passwords from both social networks have been put up for sale on the dark web in recent weeks that were obtained in hacks that date back to 2011. Since many people re-use passwords across the web, a trial and error approach on other social networks could result in many successful attacks.

It is believed that trying LinkedIn and Myspace passwords on Twitter accounts is how several celebrity Twitter accounts have been hacked into over the last week.

A hacking group called OurMine accessed Zuckerberg's account this week, revealing that his password had been "dadada". Rock group Tenacious D's account was breached resulting in a Jack Black death hoax, and others including Lana Del Rey and Keith Richards were affected.

A spokesman for Twitter said it is "confident" that it hasn't been hacked.

"We are confident that these usernames and credentials were not obtained by a Twitter data breach – our systems have not been breached," the company said. "In fact, we’ve been working to help keep accounts protected by checking our data against what’s been shared from recent other password leaks."

Security blog LeakedSource said the data contained 32.9m records. The hacker is reportedly selling the data for 10 bitcoins (£4,000).

Richard Parris, head of cybersecurity company Intercede, said the incidents show that passwords are "no longer fit" for purpose.

"Passwords and usernames need to be consigned to the dusty archives of yesteryear," said Parris. "Online platforms hold masses of sensitive personal data about millions of consumers, and should not be relying on outdated password authentication."

Source HERE

9
General Software / WPS Office Free
« on: June 10, 2016, 01:34:16 pm »
WPS Office Free 2016 10.1.0.5614





What's new in version 10.1.0.5614:

- Now available without watermarks
- Added built-in PDF reader. WPS Office not only can convert documents to PDF files, but also can open PDF files directly.
- Added PPTX format. Users can create, edit and save all the DOCX/XLSX/PPTX formats.
- Added new, graceful and clear 2016 interface.
- Added rich 2D and 3D text and object effects, providing users with more choice when editing a document.
- Added compatibility for MSO SmartArt.
- Removed the watermark: Now unlock premium features for free!

Download HERE

Home Page

10
General Software / Opera Browser
« on: May 31, 2016, 10:33:28 pm »


Opera browser for Windows PC
Do more on the web
Opera, a free browser for Windows 10 and earlier versions, brings you more speed and safety on the web.
Enjoy an ad-free web
Tired of online ads? Opera is the first major browser that can block ads for you without add-ons. According to tests, our built-in ad blocker makes content-rich webpages load in Opera up to 90% faster.
Multitask on the web easily
Our visual bookmarks, tab cycling and customizable shortcuts, keep you on track and save you time. Can't get enough online video? Don’t miss our new video pop out feature - a floating, moveable video frame that lets you keep browsing or work in other apps without missing any of the action.

More Info




11
Utilities / Glary Utilities Updates
« on: May 31, 2016, 10:23:15 pm »
Glary Utilities is a great system optimizer that provides a one-stop solution for PC performance optimization. It offers windows registry cleaner, disk cleaner, memory optimizer, startup manager, tracks eraser, system control, file management, system restore, performance accelerator and many other amazing multifunctional tools. With this helper, you can fix registry errors, wipe off clutters, free up disk space, optimize internet speed, safeguard confidential files, recover deleted files, check for software updates and optimize your system.


Home Page HERE

12
Philippines Bank hit by SWIFT Hacking Group allegedly linked to North Korea



And then again a 4th bank was hit by hackers in what CNN is stating as "Global banking system under attack". thehackernews.com's Swati Khandelwal reports belwo about the details. Read also below for related news story and their links!

Quote
SWIFT Bank Hackers have attacked another bank in the Philippines using the same modus operandi as that in the $81 Million Bangladesh Bank heist.

Security researchers at Symantec have found evidence that malware used by the hacking group shares code similarities with the malware families used in targeted attacks against South Korean and US government, finance, and media organizations in 2009.

“At first, it was unclear what the motivation behind these attacks were, however, code sharing between Trojan.Banswift (used in the Bangladesh attack used to manipulate SWIFT transactions) and early variants of Backdoor.Contopee provided a connection,” Symantec blog post says.
In past few months, some unknown hackers have been targeting banks across the world by gaining access to SWIFT, the worldwide inter-bank communication network that is being used to transfer Billions of dollars every day.

Two weeks ago, Investigators from British defense contractor BAE Systems discovered that malware used in the Bangladesh $81 million cyber heist was almost identical to one used to infiltrate banks in Ecuador and Vietnam.

Investigators are examining possible breaches at as many as 12 banks linked to Swift’s global payments network.

SOURCE HERE


FOURTH bank hit by SWIFT hackers : Has Sony Pics' Lazarus crew come back from the dead?



theregister.co.uk's John Leyden's reports on the details below.

A fourth bank, this time in the Philippines, has been attacked by hackers targeting the SWIFT inter-bank transfer system.

Quote
Security researchers at Symantec reckon the same group blamed for the infamous $81m Bangladesh central bank mega-heist back in February also mounted an earlier assault in the Philippines last year, itself part of a growing litany of assaults.

The same hacker group was also blamed for the theft of $12m from an Ecuadoran bank, Banco del Austro SA. Related strains of malware featured in attacks against these various banks, suggesting that the same group is behind multiple assaults, as Symantec explains.

Symantec has identified three pieces of malware which were being used in limited targeted attacks against the financial industry in South-East Asia: Backdoor.Fimlis, Backdoor.Fimlis.B, and Backdoor.Contopee. At first, it was unclear what the motivation behind these attacks were, however code sharing between Trojan.Banswift (used in the Bangladesh attack used to manipulate SWIFT transactions) and early variants of Backdoor.Contopee provided a connection.

Wiping code used to cover up the banking assaults matches that which featured in the Sony Pictures attacks, Symnatec’s researchers discovered. This commonality of tactics, techniques and procedures has allowed the security firm to point the finger of blame for the SWIFT bank hacks towards the same hackers who ransacked Sony Pictures network two years ago.

Symantec believes distinctive code shared between families and the fact that Backdoor.Contopee was being used in limited targeted attacks against financial institutions in the region, means these tools can be attributed to the same group. Backdoor.Contopee has been previously used by attackers associated with a broad threat group known as Lazarus. Lazarus has been linked to a string of aggressive attacks since 2009, largely focused on targets in the US and South Korea. The group was linked to Backdoor.Destover, a highly destructive Trojan that was the subject of an FBI warning after it was used in an attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment. The FBI concluded that the North Korean government was responsible for this attack.

SOURCE HERE



SWIFT hackers nicknamed 'Lazarus' hit a fourth bank in Philippines by Jose Pagliery, CNN Money
SOURCE HERE


North Korea-linked 'Lazarus' hackers hit a fourth bank in Philippines



Jose Pagliery and Charles Riley  of CNN states the details below.

Hackers targeting the international financial system have claimed a fourth victim: a bank in the Philippines.
It's now clear the global banking system has been under sustained attack from a sophisticated group -- dubbed "Lazarus" -- that has been linked to North Korea, according to a report from cybersecurity firm Symantec.

Quote
In at least four cases, computer hackers have been able to gain a dangerous level of access to SWIFT, the worldwide interbank communication network that settles transactions.

In early February, hackers broke into Bangladesh's central bank and stole $101 million. Their methods appear to have been deployed in similar heists last year targeting commercial banks in Ecuador and Vietnam.
Symantec revealed evidence on Thursday that suggests hackers used the same technique to slip into a bank in the Philippines in October. Symantec (SYMC) did not name the bank.

SOURCE HERE



Philippines Bank Hacked by SWIFT Hackers nicknamed as ‘Lazarus’



SOURCE HERE

13
Utilities / Seagate DiscWizard 18.0.0 Build 6030
« on: May 26, 2016, 10:35:47 pm »
Seagate DiscWizard 18.0.0 Build 6030

A second look at Seagate DiscWizard

Seagate DiscWizard has been around a long time and has been proven to be a great free backup disc imaging/cloning software suite that will ensure the security of all of the information/data in your computer. It will backup the OS including all the applications, settings and data. It will also allow you to securely  destroy sensitive/confidential information that you may no longer need. As the name implies it is tailored for use with Seagate (and Maxtor) drives installed on your computer, otherwise you won’t be able to perform any backup or cloning actions. The new Seagate DiscWizard can now help you when you want to migrate from your existing hard drive to an SSD drive. The new version comes with the Intel Data Migration Software which are meant for everybody who wants to upgrade to an Intel SSD drive.


Backing up

Backing up is pretty straight forward. DiscWizard will back up the entire disk drive or selected partitions.  It can perform full, incremental and differential version backups.

A full backup version forms a base for further incremental or differential backups. A full backup method/version  can also be used as a standalone full backup which is best if you "often" roll back the system to its initial state or if you do not like to  often oversee a number of backup versions.

An incremental backup method/version contains only those files which have been changed since the last backup you did. This is best when you need frequent backup versions and rolling back to a specific time. A downside about incremental backups is during recovery it needs to read all the backups from the full version backup to the incremental versions. If you lose an incremental backup, say, due to corruption, all the other incremental backups are unusable. Thus incremental recovery is compromised.

A differential backup method/version contains only those files which have been changed since the last "full" backup. Downside is that the size of the backup in comparison to "incremental" is bigger. But the plus is that it is more dependable than "incremental" as in recovery it needs only the last "full" backup version along with the last differential version. Thus recovery from a differential version is simpler and much more reliable than recovery from an incremental version.

To backup, glance onto the sidebar and click "Backup". At the bottom of the backup list you will see a (+) sign which says, "Add Backup" then enter a name for your backup. Select the Backup Source icon and then click "Disk and partitions". Place a check on the box next to the partitions and disks that you want to back up, and then click OK. That's it.







You can schedule automatic backups ahead of time. Your data will be backed up as long as there is sufficient storage space. Backups are set on a weekly schedule by default. You can change it in the "Options" menu to "Do not schedule". For weekly scheduling you can set it via selecting the days on which the backup operation is to be performed or via selecting a specific time, entering the hours and minutes, or set the specified time using the up and down buttons.




Backup Schemes is alongside the scheduling helps you to set-up the best backup strategy to suit your needs. Additionally it helps you optimize your storage space, improve storage reliability and automatically delete obsolete backup versions. DiscWizard allows you to set a "Single version" scheme or a "Custom scheme".

Single version scheme s tailored for your use of the smallest backup storage available. If you choose this scheme, DiscWizard will create a full version backup and will overwrite it when it you run a backup manually or according to a schedule you set. The result is that you will have a "single-up-to-date-full version backup" with minimal storage space. Custom scheme allows you to create your own backup scheme on your preferences. There are pre-defined backup schemes where you can select what you prefer and then save it as a new one. In addition, you can create custom schemes from scratch based on full, differential or incremental backup versions. Cleaning up of obsolete backup version can be set automatically where you have the option to set automatic deletion based on a specified period(time), per number of backup versions you specify or a maximum size limit for a backup version.

Notifications can also be set to inform you if you do not have sufficient space left based on the threshold value set for your backups.  If DiscWizard determines that the free space is less than the threshold value specified it will not begin the backup process and will inform you by displaying an appropriate message.

Exclusions gives you the capability to exclude unnecessary files via specifying the files types, mask or file path to exclude.

Advanced tab carries among other things how you set image creation(sector-by-sector), encrypt/password protect backups, backup splitting, backup validation, 
backup comments..etc. Backup validation should always be considered. It is always a sound decision to validate a backup once it is created so that you will know that your backup is not corrupted. You can also run validation either automatically/manually (and before recovery)to ensure it's validity. Backing up (without validation) and then letting it stay frosty until you need it might give some problems when you need to recover the image. What happens when it ends in a validation error? You have nothing to recover!


 
Recovery

Recovering disks or partitions is also easy and straight-forward. Select "Backup" in the sidebar and in the backup section select the backup which contains the disk or partitions you prefer to recover. Click "Recover disks". The Backup version list will show backup versions by it's backup date and time. Select the disks to recover(to recover separate partitions yo need to click Recover specific partitions then select the partitions to recover). Select recovery destination and click "Recover Now" to start the recovery process.




DiscWizard allows to you to recover files and folders both from file-level and disk-level backups. On the sidebar, click Backup. The backup list will show he backup which contains the files or folders that you want to recover. Click Recover files. Select backup version based on specific date and time. Select the files and folders that you want to recover, and then click Next.




Select a destination location where you want to recover selected files/folders. You can recover data to its original location or choose a new one. To choose a new location, you need to click the Browse button. In choosing a new location, the selected items will be recovered by default without
the original/absolute path. Click the Recover now to start the recovery process.   

You can also recover files and folders directly from Windows Explorer. To do that you have to double-click the corresponding ".tib file" (which is the backup version where the files/folders you want to recover are in) and then browse manually to the location of the file or folder that you want to
recover. Copy the file or folder to a hard disk.

Bootable rescue media

You can create bootable media using the Bootable Rescue Media Builder. You will need a blank CD-R/RW, a blank DVD+R/RW or any other media from which your computer can boot, such as a USB flash drive. Seagate DiscWizard also provides the ability to create an ISO image of a bootable disc on the hard disk. You can also use this ISO image to incorporate it on a multi-boot USB (via YUMI, SARDU etc).

Plug in a USB flash drive, or insert a blank CD or DVD. Run DiscWizard and in the Tools and utilities section click Rescue Media Builder. Choose a media type that you want to create. Select a destination for the media(either CD/DVD, USB(formatted in FAT file system), ISO image or WIM image file. Click Proceed to start the creation.

Test the rescue media

It is also a sound decision to always test the rescue media. Say you created a DVD bootable rescue media, you must check and see if it will work. Test if your pc/laptop will boot from that rescue media and also check if the rescue media recognizes all your computer devices, such as hard drives, mouse, keyboard, network adapter and of course your selected backup destination!

First set your computer to enable booting from the rescue media(usually in the BIOS). Set your rescue media device as "first boot device. If you have a rescue CD, press any key to start booting from the CD, when you see the prompt "Press any key to boot from CD". After the boot menu appears, choose True Image.




When DiscWizard starts, check if it detects all your devices. It is recommend to try recovering some files from a backup you have made. Make a test
recovery to ensure that your bootable media disc can be used for recovery. Try to make a backup as well.

Disk cloning and migration

Note: DiscWizard recommends to always perform disk cloning from the DiscWizard Boot CD

Oftentimes you will run out of space and will need to migrate to a bigger size disk. You can use the clone disk feature of DiscWizard. When cloning a disk it is recommended to perform it via the Seagate DiscWizard Boot CD clone disk utility. On the sidebar you need to go to Tools and Utilities>Utilities, and then click Clone disk. In most cases(recommended) the automatic clone mode is preferred. It is also best to sue automatic so that the source drive partitions be automatically and proportionally resized to fit the new drive. Choose the old drive as the Source Disk. Select the new drive as the Destination Disk. After you have checked all the settings click Proceed to start the clone operation.












Migrate to SSD

DiscWizard can help you migrate your old HDD to a new SSD. There are pre-requisites/safeguards to do this. One is to do the migration using the DiscWizard Boot Disc and the second is to backup the system drive(in disk backup mode) to a hard drive other than the system hard disk and the new SSD. Validate the backup. After backing up the system drive, turn-off the computer and remove the system hard disk. Mount the SSD onto the slot where the system hard disk was. Boot to the DiscWizard Boot Disc and select Recover. In the Recovery method select "Recover whole disks and partitions". In What to recover select the system hard disk. In the New location select the new SSD and then click Accept. Click Proceed to start the recovery process. After recovery, reboot and remove the DiscWizard Boot Disc and try to boot from the SSD. Check and make sure that Windows and all applications are working properly.

Seagate DriveCleanser

Seagate DriveCleanser allows you to securely destroy all data on selected hard disks and partitions permanently. We all know that we cannot destroy all the data from a drive that we want to throw away by merely just formatting because it still can be retrieved. If that happens those sensitive information can fall into the wrong hands and who knows where it can be used or for what purpose. For this purpose DiscWizard recommends:

- Replace your old hard drive with a new one and do not plan to use the old drive any more.
- Give your old hard drive to your relative or friend.
- Sell your old hard drive.

**DiscWizard cannot wipe partitions on dynamic and GPT disks.






Mount and Unmount Images

Mounting of backup images lets you have access to the contents of the disk backup image as though they are a physical drive. When you mount an image it will appear as a new disk in your system( virtual mounted disk). From there you can view the contents in Windows Explorer and other file managers.



To unmount an image you just need to right-click the disk icon in Windows Explorer and click Unmount. You can either restart or shutdown your computer afterwards.


Of course as with any free version there are limitations attached. File/Folder backup for one isn't offered. It will only offer you disk and partition backup. From that backup you can have access to whatever files you need. To wrap it up, Seagate DiscWizard remains to be a comprehensive software suite that can help you protect all your data and recover your data and all your saved applications and settings effortlessly. The tools included make it an integrated suite for free!

Seagate DiscWizard 18.0.0 Build 6030 --latest version

Bootable Media FAQ HERE

Download Seagate DiscWizard HERE

Download DiscWizard ver18 User Guide HERE


Data Migration

Seagate Extended Capacity Manager - Beyond 2TB



Some alternatives to Seagate DiscWizard. Freeware alternatives


1. Acronis True Image Western Digital Edition

2.  Macrium Reflect Free

Some Tutorials and info on imaging with Macrium Free HERE

3. Paragon Backup and Recovery Free

Paragon Hard Disk Manager 15 - Backup & Recovery Compact (English) - Free Registration Still Active

4. Aomei --AOMEI Backupper Standard

5. DriveXML

6. EaseUS Todo Backup Free 9.1

7. Clonezilla

8. Redo Backup and Recovery

9. Active@ Disk Image Free

Some related informations below:

5 System Rescue Boot Discs based on Windows PE


AOMEI PE Builder 1.5 FREE : complete WinPE-based bootable media


Paragon Rescue Kit 14 Free Edition


Lazesoft Recovery Suite Home Edition


Windows 8.1 x86 U1 PE



WinBuilder

14
Application Whitelisting : Quickly Deploy the Most Secure Application Whitelisting

Application Whitelisting has been around and in use in the security world for quite a long time. For those who may not already be familiar with AWL, it is, the opposite approach to blacklisting. Everyone is definitely familiar with blacklisting which of course is checking evvery file if it appears to be malicious, and if so, it is blocked from executing period! Thus damage is prevented.

The opposite approach is AWL -- Application whitelisting. By default will deny the execution of any application that has not previously been explicitly approved as “known to not be malicious”. The “default deny” method can effectively offer more security than traditional method of blacklisting offered by traditional AV's the biggest of whihc is that it will prevent malicious code like “zero-day” attacks, which the antivirus blacklist databases does not recognize because of it's zero-day release.

Read on below for digitalguardian.com's take on Application Whilelisting alongside with other pertinent and useful information and links.



Quote
Application whitelisting adds a critical layer of defense against evolving threats such as zero-day attacks that endpoint anti-malware frequently fail to detect. But most of today’s whitelisting products are too difficult to deploy, time-consuming to manage, and reliant on a centralized database. Our application whitelisting is easy to deploy, transparent to existing operations, and the most secure application whitelisting for Retail POS systems and industrial control systems.

Quote
There is no silver bullet in information security, but if managed correctly application whitelisting solutions at the endpoint provide exceptional protection from zero day and targeted attacks.
- The Power of Whitelisting, Neil MacDonald, Gartner

Deploy Application Whitelisting in Minutes

Our agents install in minutes and begin protecting endpoint systems immediately. Our software doesn’t require you to determine in advance which applications and libraries are required by each user. Once installed the Digital Guardian’s application whitelisting agent automatically creates a unique whitelist that determines what executables are permitted to run on that device.

Block Unknown and Unauthorized Executables on Workstations, Servers, POS Devices, and Industrial Controls

Our agent prevents new unauthorized applications from being installed. Upon confirmation of the approved whitelist, execution of any unauthorized application will be blocked, whether malicious applications (such as viruses, Trojans, or Bots) or unwanted/unknown applications. It is proven in the most critical environments such as Retail POS and industrial control systems.

Automate Application Whitelisting Management

Through the designation of trusted agents, our software enables you to use your normal methods for patching, updating, and installing software without having to explicitly look at or manage a whitelist. This trusted agent feature allows organizations to efficiently keep all authorized applications on endpoints updated and patched without requiring any additional intervention by the end user or IT.

Prevent Unauthorized Changes to Applications & Executables

These agents block any attempts at unauthorized additions, deletions, or modifications and log both authorized changes and unauthorized attempts.

Source HERE

Tech Overview on Application Whitelisting HERE

DG_AppWhitelisting_Datasheet HERE

Ten Common Misconceptions about Application Whitelisting HERE

NIST Publicaion on Application Whitelisting HERE

Application Whitelisting Trifold HERE

Using SRP

Application Whitelisting: Panacea or Propaganda? from the SANS Institute HERE

15
Hacker finds flaws that could let anyone steal $25 Billion from a Bank



A security researcher could have stolen as much as $25 Billion from one of the India's biggest banks ‒ Thanks to the bank's vulnerable mobile application. Late last year, security researcher Sathya Prakash discovered a number of critical vulnerabilities in the mobile banking application of an undisclosed bank that allowed him to steal money from any or all bank customers with the help of just a few lines of code.

Quote
Being a white hat hacker, Prakash immediately reached out to the bank and alerted it about the critical issues in its mobile app and helped the bank fix them, instead of taking advantage of the security holes to steal money from the bank that has about 25 Billion USD in Deposits.
While analyzing the mobile banking app, Prakash discovered that the app lacks Certificate Pinning, allowing any man-in-the-middle attacker to downgrade SSL connection and capture requests in plain text using fraudulently issued certificates.

Besides this, Prakash also found that the mobile banking app had insecure login session architecture, allowing an attacker to perform critical actions on the behalf of targeted account holder without knowing the login password, like seeing victim's current account balance and deposits, as well as to add a new beneficiary and making illegal transfers.
"So invoking the fund transfer API call directly via CURL, bypassed the receiver/beneficiary account validation. I was able to transfer money to accounts that weren't on my beneficiary list," Prakash wrote in his blog post.
"It was a matter of 5 lines of code [exploit] to enumerate the bank's customer records (Current Account Balance, and Deposits)."



If this wasn't enough, Prakash discovered that the app did not check to see if the given customer ID or Transaction Authorisation PIN (MTPIN) ‒ used for critical controls like transferring funds, creating a new fixed deposit ‒ actually belong to the sender's account.
This blunder in the mobile banking app could have allowed anyone with the app and an account in the bank to transfer money from someone else's account, reported by Motherboard.

Source HERE

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