Category: Tools

JEB's Diagnostic Sites
article #164, updated 16 hours ago

Here are web sites for diagnosing DNS, Internet email, and other issues.

http://mxtoolbox.com

A very good place to test Internet email servers and servers in general exposed to the Internet at large.

http://dnsstuff.com

DNSstuff is excellent for diagnosing DNS issues of all kinds.  Most of its tools require a small subscription fee.

http://whatismyipaddress.com/

whatismyipaddress.com is very good for obtaining geographical and ISP information for an IP address.

https://www.testexchangeconnectivity.com/

is very good for testing Exchange WAN services, e.g., smartphone access, Outlook Anywhere.

Categories:   Internet Networking   Tools

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Unlock Files Easily
article #236, updated 15 days ago

To unlock files easily, use the “Unlocker Assistant”:

http://www.emptyloop.com/unlocker/

There is a portable version and an installable too. This tool makes it very easy to identify which process is locking a given file, and it can attempt to kill the process, or just undo the lock.

There is also “EMCO Unlock IT” which does extremely well:

https://emcosoftware.com/unlock-it

Categories:   Tools   

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Great photo organizer and viewer
article #1095, updated 19 days ago

digiKam

Open source, cross platform, amazingly good. Install it, choose all defaults, then immediately Settings / Configure digiKam, choose Collections on the left, and add each folder containing images. Then the program will search for and cache thumbnails for all of them. Direct camera/phone connection support, and file and folder management too.

Categories:   Tools   

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Symbolic Links (symlinks) in Windows
article #371, updated 32 days ago

In Vista or Windows 7, there is a built-in command, “MKLINK”. Here’s a good reference, suggested by Matt Quick:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/using-symlinks-in-windows-vista/

For a long while they were called “junctions”. In Server 2000, Server 2003, or XP, you’ll need this:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896768

The syntax is a bit different for each. And Windows does not support these “junctions” to directories on remote shares. But this can help a lot, for instance, when moving something like a profile folder from local drive to local drive. They are set up at the NTFS filesystem level, just like Unix/Linux.

A great example of usage, is moving a profile folder. It works like this:

  1. Create a new user, local if it’s not a DC.
  2. Reboot the server/PC, to unlock profile files and folders.
  3. Log in as the new user.
  4. Create a new folder for the profile to be moved.
  5. Robocopy the old profile folder’s contents to the new. Make sure you get everything hidden!
  6. Rename the old folder as backup, and create a junction from the new folder to the old folder’s container.
  7. Log in as the new user and test.

Categories:   Tools   Windows OS-Level Issues

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Browse shadow copies (VSS)!
article #747, updated 32 days ago

From the amazing Matt Quick:

http://www.shadowexplorer.com/

Categories:   VSS   Tools

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Windows Registry Cleaning & Optimization
article #1081, updated 35 days ago

This tool:

http://www.pcstarters.net/performance-maintainer/

is an aggregator which appears to be very helpful so far.

Categories:   Windows OS-Level Issues   Tools

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Favicon generator for all platforms
article #1079, updated 41 days ago

Favicons now come in many flavors. Here’s one web tool which handles it all.

https://realfavicongenerator.net/

Categories:   Web Methods   Tools

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Windows 10-based Live DVD and USB
article #1078, updated 42 days ago

Here are two well-reputed. MediCat:

https://gbatemp.net/threads/medicat-dvd-a-multiboot-linux-dvd.361577/

and Gandalf’s:

http://windowsmatters.com/2015/11/05/updated-gandalfs-windows-10-x86-pe/

Categories:   LiveCD+DVD+USB   Tools

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Excellent vector graphics designer and editor, free of charge
article #1072, updated 78 days ago

I just tried several, including my old friend Inkscape. Gradient editing is broken partly or completely, and/or far arcane and undocumented, in everything I tried, except one new one:

http://designer.io

Gravit Designer. Install it as a program on major platforms, or use it online, or both. Amazingly good.

Categories:   Tools   

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NSSM - Create Services from Executables in Windows
article #1065, updated 92 days ago

Best I’ve found so far:

http://nssm.cc/download

Categories:   Windows OS-Level Issues   Tools