USB Sticks

USB Sticks

I will show you how to speed up your slow USB and recover any lost data and fix ‘device not recognised’ error message

Bootable USB Stick Failing to Boot

You have just made yourself a bootable USB stick but Windows ignores it? You will most probably just need to edit the boot order in your BIOS settings. If your computer is running Windows XP, Vista or 7 you will want to tap the F2 or Delete key as soon as you turn on your computer or laptop. Once you have the BIOS screen up you will need to use your arrow keys to navigate the BIOS screen: you will want to look for something like ‘Boot Order’ or ‘Boot Device Priority’ and you will need to make sure the USB Stick is higher than your Hard drive.

If your bootable USB stick won't boot, you need to change boot priority

If your bootable USB stick won’t boot, you need to change boot priority

If you are running Windows 8 or 8.1 you can access the ‘UEFI BIOS’ by pressing the Win + C keys then click on settings followed by ‘Change PC Settings’. If you are running Windows 10 you will want to click  Start then Settings. Now you need to click ‘Update and Recovery’ then ‘Recovery’, then ‘Restart Now’ under the ‘Advanced Startup’. Finally, you will want to click ‘Troubleshoot’, then ‘Advanced Options’ and the UEFI Firmware Settings, then Restart.

USB Running Much Slower Than Normal

If your USB stick is starting to run slow or become unresponsive, you could have attached it to an older USB port. Most modern PC or Laptops should have at least one USB 3.0 port which can be recognised by having a blue insert; but many still have the older USB 2.0 slot as well. If you PC or Laptop is really old it might still be using USB 1.1 so try the USB Stick in a different Port, ideally one with the blue plastic insert so you get the fastest speed possible.

USB 2.0 & 3.0

If your USB stick is running slow make sure you have plunged it in to blue USB port

Files Won’t Save or Become Corrupted

This could be bad news as your USB stick could be faulty or a fake. A fake USB stick will appear to work normally until it reaches its real capacity this is when you will start to get problems and there is no fixing this.

Even if you USB stick is not a fake most faults are almost impossible to fix, but you might still be able to recover lost files. To do this you can download the free recover tool called Recuva, you will want to select your USB stick and click scan, Tick the files you want to recover and then click the Recover button.

USB Stick Does Not Appear in Explorer

If you ever get the message ‘USB Device Not Recognized’ you should 1st try plugging it in to a different USB port. If you are still getting the same message you will need to launch the ‘Disk Management’ to do this press Win + R, and typing diskmgmt.msc and press Enter. You will want to look for the drive labelled ‘Removable’ and matches your USB Sticks capacity. If you see it is saying ‘Healthy’ and has a ‘Primary’ partition, then Windows might not have assigned a drive letter. To do so you will need to Right-click on the partition and choose ‘Change Drive Letter and Paths’. Now click add and choose a drive letter. If that still does not work press Win + R and type devmgmt.msc and press Enter. You will want to double click on both Disk Drives and ‘Universal Serial Bus Controllers’ and see if anything has a yellow triangle. If you find any you will want to right click on it and choose Properties. You will want to make a note of any error messages you find in the ‘Device Status’ and you can then search Google to see how to fix it or what the problem could be.

Your USB Stick Does Not Work In Your TV

Most modern TV’s now come with a USB port on them and will play video files straight from the USB, but the USB has to be formatted in the correct way. Window preferred file system is NTFS, but this does not always work on all TV’s so you might have to format the USB stick to FAT32 but will be restricted to the file size you can put on it. Press Win + E to launch Windows Explorer, you will then want to right click your drive and choose Format followed by FAT32 in the ‘File System’ menu and the click ‘Start’

Your USB Stick is Write Protected

If you are finding you can’t write files to your USB stick, have a look and see if you can see a physical switch, as some devices can have a small toggle that you can flip to lock and unlock. If not it could be a Registry key has become stuck with the wrong value. Before you begin you will want to back up your PC/Laptop, then press Win + R and type in regedit and hit Enter. You will then want to Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL-MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentContolSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies and look for or create a key called StorageDevicePolicies in the right-hand panel look for or create a new ‘DWORD (32-bit) Value’ and call it WriteProtect. If you need to create key or value, right -click in the relevant pane, point to New then choose the relevant option. You will then want to double click WirteProtect and set its value to ‘0’

Disable Write-Protection

Change this Registry key to allow you to write and copy files to your USB Stick

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eBay waited over 30 days before they fixed password stealing flaw

eBay waited over 30 days before they fixed password stealing flaw

eBay waited over 30 days before they fixed password stealing flaw

 

eBay has been criticised for taking over a month to fix a security flaw that could have left millions of user’s passwords at risk.

The security flaw was discovered on 11th December by a security researcher known only as MLT. He contacted eBay the same day he found the flaw, but revealed a month later eBay had only just fixed the flaw.

MLT said eBay “only rushed to patch the security flaw after the media contacted them”. In a blog post MLT described the security flaw as “fairly basic”. He demonstrated just how hackers could have set up a fake login page with ‘ebay.com’ in the URL, this would then trick users in to revealing their usernames and passwords.

The hackers could then lure victims to these pages by sending out a phishing email that contained links to a bogus login page. Once the hackers have stolen the usernames and passwords they could then send scam emails to millions of other users or even bid on stuff.

eBay has blamed a “miscommunication” with MLT for the delay in fixing the security flaw.
An eBay spokesman has been quoted saying “we’re aware of this particular issue, which involves fraudsters attempting to phish customers using a malicious code in very limited case’s, this type of scheme is extremely rear on our platform”.

There is no sign that the hacker’s have exploited the security flaw and stolen any passwords, but it’s an indication of just how many vulnerabilities’ lie undiscovered within the websites we all use daily.

This is not the first time eBay has reacted slowly to report a security flaw, back in 2015, an Estonian Researcher Jaanus kääp said eBay had not fixed security venerability he found and emailed them about 4 times in 12 months.

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Oracle forced to confess Java is unsafe!

Oracle forced to confess Java is unsafe!

Java

The company that makes Java has been publicly shamed and forced to admit the plug-in can leave users at risk of getting malware.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC have ordered the California based company Oracle to display a warning about the security flaws in Java in their website.

The company has to make sure the warning stays on their site for the next two years, they also had to post a message on Twitter and Facebook linking to it.

By the company agreeing to these terms they won’t have to pay a fine for the flaws in their software.

The FTC accused Oracle of braking consumer-protection by lying about the flaws and the security of there plug-in.

Regulators have said between 2010- when Orical bought Java – and august 2014, the updates have affected only the newest version installed on PCs.

The FTC have said the updates did not remove older versions of Java, which were then left unpatched on PCs, and contained security flaws that hackers could then exploit.

The FTC said have said Oracle have “deceived” their users by not telling them older versions of Java were not being removed and what makes it worse is the company knew there was a problem back in 2011. Oracle have formally denied any wrong doing, but the ruling is a significate one because of how widely used Java is. Java is installed on an estimated 850 million computers.

Javas safety has long been a concern, back in 2013 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned everyone to disable or uninstall Java due to serious security flaws in the software.

Orical must publish a warning telling people if they are updating Java they can remove the old version using its ‘Uninstall Tool’.

For more information and to read the ruling of the FTC go to their blog post, titled: ‘What’s worse than stale coffee” Stale Java

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Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)

Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)

Android Marshmallow

Hear is how to fix failed upgrades, solve wireless-connectivity problems and bring back a ‘bricked’ device on Googles new OS Marshmallow

Marshmallow upgrade unavailable

Sometimes you might have to force your device to manually check for the update. To do this you will want to Launch settings, tap ‘About Phone’ (or ‘About’), followed by ‘System Updates’, the ‘Check for Update’. If you don’t get offered the chance to update, then you will have to wait for your devices manufacture to make the new update available unfortunately this can take weeks or months. If you are tired of waiting you might be able to download the Marshmallow system image and manually force the update. This can be very complicated and the method can vary a lot between devices, so you will be best searching google how to do the update on your particular device.

Upgrade failed or phone unusable

How you recover your device from a failed upgrade depends on what went wrong, if your device is still working normally simply try again but make sure your device is plugged in and has a stable and reliable internet connection – Wi-Fi is generally better then using 3G/4G. If your device has crashed and is frozen on one screen or won’t turn on, you can reset it by holding down the power key, volume down for about 10 seconds. If this does not work and you think your device might be ‘bricked’, try and boot in to Recovery Mode: holding down both the volume up and down buttons and holding the power button for about 5 seconds, if it works you will see a text based interface that you will navigate using the volume buttons and power button as enter. From this menu you can reboot your device or wipe and restore it to factory settings.

Notations work intermittently

If you feel that the notification are less reliable in Android 6.0 you might not be imagining it: In Marshmallow there is a new battery-saving feature called Doze but has the side effect of stopping some of your apps from behaving how you might want them to. So to stop it go to settings, then Battery, followed by the menu button (The three dots, top right). Then Choose ‘Battery optimization’, tap ‘Not optimized’, then choose ‘All apps’. You then want to tap on the apps whose notifications are affected, then choose the ‘Don’t optimise’ button, then tap ‘Done’

Can’t Connect to 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi

Wireless connectivity problems are nothing new for Android devices, but Marshmallow has done little to fix them. If you can’t get a signal, then you should try turning the relevant connection on and off. To get to Android’s Quick Settings your simply have to swipe down with two fingers from the top of the screen. You will then want to tap on the Wi-Fi or mobile-connection, wait a few seconds then press the icon again to switch the antenna back on. If this does not work you can always try resting your device by holding the power and the volume down button for about 10 seconds. If this does not work last resort would be to launch settings, tap ‘Backup & reset’, followed by ‘Networking settings reset’, then ‘Reset settings’.

USB connection doesn’t work

With earlier Android versions you could simply connect your device to your PC via USB and as long as your device was unlocked you could use Windows Explorer to navigate the folders on your device. In Marshmallow, you will have to do a bit more work. From the home screen, swipe down from the top left, tap ‘USB for charging’ then choose either the ‘Transfer files (MTP)’ or ‘Transfer photos (PTP)’ button.

Camera app won’t launch

Unfortunately, there is no single fix for the ‘Can’t connect to the camera’ error message in Android 6.0 – it is simply a bug that Google need to hurry up and fix. While you are waiting the one sure fire way to clear the error is to restart your device, just hold down the power button, then tap power off, then turn device back on. You can take some preventative steps to stop it from happening. If you are using apps other than the Camera app that can use the devices lens, then close them before launching the Camera: just tap on Recants Button then swipe left or right across the apps you want to shut down.

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New Windows 10 Upgrade message is as bad as some malware’

New Windows 10 Upgrade message is as bad as some malware’

Windows 10 Upgrade Screen Shot

Microsoft have been slammed by some technology experts in the latest attempt to persuade Windows 7 & 8 user’s to upgrade to Windows 10. Some critics have gone as far as comparing Microsoft’s tactics to those used by cybercriminals.

This outrage was triggered by the new upgrade message that has started to appear on Windows 7 & 8 PCs that suggests users have no choice but to upgrade. Under the heading ‘Upgrade to Windows 10’ there are two buttons giving users only two options ‘Upgrade Now’ or ‘Upgrade Tonight’.

At first glance, users might think they have no option but to upgrade by the end of the day. However, you can simply ignore the message and close it by clicking on the cross in the top right corner. Microsoft knows not many users will realise they can simply ignore and dismiss the message by simply clicking on the cross, so they will be forced to upgrade even if they don’t want to.

An angry user in Reddits’s Windows 10 forum has likened it to a ‘salesmen’s tactic’. He wrote “Assume the deal is closed and offer them the car in red or blue’.

Microsoft has also used another salesman-like ploy in some of there messages saying that ‘Upgrading to Windows 10 will be free for a limited time’ but the message fails to state just when the offer will end, even though Microsoft has announced that this will be 28 July 2016.

By doing this Microsoft hope it will coax many users into upgrading straight away, and they will not realise they still have over 6 months to decide.

Microsoft is ‘lying to its users’

Critics have said the message should contain a ‘no thanks’ or ‘not now’ button. One tech blogger has said ‘Microsoft’s marketing is ‘more reminiscent of malware than a leading technology company’, Gordon Kelly, accused Microsoft of “selling its users a lie” on Forbs.com.

This is not the first time Microsoft has used this sort of tactic and am quite sure it will not be the last. An earlier message asked users to ‘Upgrade no’ or ‘Start download, upgrade later’.

Microsoft has defended its aggressive marking of Windows 10. In a statement to the Inquire website, Microsoft said: “the average user….. wants to make sure they have got the most secure and always up-to date version of Windows, and the feedback we get is that people want that to be as simple and seamless as possible”.

But this is unlikely to convince the rising number of Windows 7 & 8.1 users who are becoming increasingly angry by Microsoft attempts to force them to upgrade.

Comment

‘Upgrade now’ or ‘Upgrade tonight’: what kind of choice is that? Yes, there is a small cross you can click to close the message, but Microsoft is not stupid. They know thousands of PC users, are conditioned to click the ‘Upgrade now’ button. Microsoft marketing department may have approved of this upgrade trap, but is could have done lasting damage to the reputation of their new operating system. Many won’t stick with Windows 10 if they feel they have been tricked into upgrading.

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