Safely Eject USB Drives And Memory Cards Via Hotkeys With USB Disk Ejector

Being a Windows user, you’d perhaps be familiar with the ‘Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media’ tool, which sits in the system tray and allows you to eject a plugged in USB flash device from Windows instead of directly pulling it out from your computer to prevent any opened files from being corrupted or lost. But if you are looking for a better way to disconnect your disks, let’s say, via keyboard hotkeys, then help is delivered by the open source tool called USB Disk Ejector. Once fired up, it displays a complete list of currently connected USB drives and memory cards and enables their safe disconnection from the system. Read More

Take Periodic, Automated Backups Of Multiple USB Drives On Mac

Flash Drive Backup is a $4.99 Mac app that lets you automatically backup a USB drive’s content to a folder on your Mac. Think of it as Time Machine on Mac except the backup path is reversed. You save documents to a USB flash drive, and they documents are constantly updated on your Mac. In the event that you forget to save a backup of those files on your Mac and your USB drive gets lost, stolen, corrupted or infected with a virus, you'll have a recent backup of the files and won't lose any data. The app makes sure your Mac isn't cluttered with backups; it regularly monitors the flash drive and backs up the data every 10 minutes, but will delete any backups in excess of three, once they get seven days old. Read More

Use Any USB Drive As A Key To Lock Or Unlock Your Mac’s Screen

We’ve covered quite a few apps for locking your Mac screen. What OS X and most screen locking apps for OS X all have in common is the use of a text password for security. And then there are some apps that allow you to lock/unlock your screen by drawing a pattern across a grid, or unlocking the screen when a particular Bluetooth device is in range. USB Screen Lock is a Mac app worth $0.99 that takes a different approach to locking and unlocking your Mac; it uses a USB flash drive as a key to lock and unlock your screen. Removing or ejecting the drive will instantly lock your Mac. The app also lets you add an additional layer of security by setting a password. To unlock your Mac, you must insert the USB and then enter the password (if configured) to get to your desktop. Read More

Turn Your USB Drive Into A Portable Apps Launcher & Media Manager

Have you ever wanted to take your favorite Windows apps with you and use them wherever you have an access to any Windows PC ? CodySafe is what you’re looking for! It’s a handy portable applications manager that lets you install portable apps on a USB thumb drive or external portable drive. Both the software itself and the downloaded apps are directly installed to your flash drive. In addition, you can carry you favorite media files with you in its pre-configured and well-organized Music, Pictures, Videos and Documents folders. You may also enable the integrated autorun option for CodySafe to automatically launch itself as soon as you plug in the drive. Likewise, the installed apps can be set to auto-execute similarly as well. Read More

USB-AV Offers You Complete Malware Security For USB Flash Drives

In the course of a day, many of us attach several USB flash drives to our computers. Even though almost every computer has an antivirus solution installed on it nowadays, there is still a chance that attaching a random USB drive containing a virus that the antivirus is not be able to detect yet will result in an infected computer. Also, some of us who practice safe downloading habits and choose not to keep a full antivirus software running in the background are also subject to catching viruses from USB flash drivers of our friends that we may connect to the computer for transferring some files. Many of these viruses don’t even require you to access the drive, and can spread through the system as soon as the auto run feature kicks in. USB-AV is an application for Windows that allows you to keep a check on all the connected USB drives and scan them for malware as soon as you plug them in. Read More

WiNToBootic: Drag & Drop ISO Images To Create Bootable USB Drives For Windows Installation

Before the use of USB flash drives to install Windows became common, we could only install Windows on our computers using CDs. At that time, installing an operating system using a USB flash drive sounded like a thing of the future, but today, it is as common as using a CD. Newer versions of Microsoft Windows, like Windows 7, can be installed in two ways: directly from Windows XP and Windows Vista, and by using a bootable USB/CD. If your PC doesn’t have any operating system installed, then you may need a bootable USB drive to boot the system into Windows installation setup. Today, we have an application for you called WiNToBootic, which allows you to make a bootable NTFS USB drive for installing Windows. The application focuses on speed and convenience, allowing you to write ISO images via drag and drop. Furthermore, unlike other bootable USB creators, WiNToBootic provides a Quick Format option, which saves you the time you would've spent performing the operation yourself. More on WiNToBootic after the jump. Read More

Disconnect USB Devices Without Using Safely Remove Hardware Option [Tip]

When you started using your first USB flash drive, someone must have told you to always use the “Safely Remove Hardware” option before pulling out of your computer. Earlier operating systems did have this requirement in order to avoid corruption of your flash memory. However, the operating systems have evolved with time, and the “Safely Remove Hardware” option is now there as more of a formality. Until and unless you pull the USB flash drive out during data transfer, there is really no harm in disconnecting it out without using the aforementioned remove dialog box. The modern Windows operating system even allows you to enable quick removal of USB devices. In this article, we will show you how to enable it. Read More

Multiboot USB Installer: Boot Multiple Live Linux Distros From A Single USB

One of the easiest ways to install a new operating system is to grab its ISO off the internet and create bootable USB drive. This is quite convenient if you are installing Linux operating system. While creating a Bootable drive is easy, multi-boot USB isn't quite possible. Multi-boot drive contains a package of different OS in one drive, not requiring a separate medium for each ISO. In the past, we've covered an application called XBoot that allows you to create multi-boot USB flash drives from a set of ISO image files.  It makes it easy to download the bootable ISOs from host websites and unpack them in a multiboot setup. Today, we have an open source application named Multiboot USB Installer that lets you install, as well as use multiple Live Linux Distros from a single USB flash drive. Using this tool, you can choose to install Debian, Fedora and Ubuntu on a single USB, and boot the system directly into any selected Linux Distro. Unlike XBoot, it supports up to 129 different Linux Distros; you can also test the multiboot USB flash drive without rebooting your system using QEMU. The application also has Syslinux support, and allows editing Syslinux.cfg (syslinux configuration) file. Read More

Create Bootable Windows 8 Installer USB With Win8USB

There was a time when we could only install Windows on our computers using CDs. Installing Windows from a USB flash drive seemed a thing of the future, but today, using a USB flash drive to install Windows is as common as using DVDs. Newer versions of Microsoft Windows, like Windows 7, can be installed in two ways: directly while running a previous version of Windows, or using a bootable USB / CD. If your PC doesn't have an OS installed, you will need a bootable USB flash drive to boot the system into Windows installation setup. Previously, we have covered tools to install Windows 7 from a bootable USB drive, including Windows 7 USB/ DVD Tool, a tool that allows you to create a bootable USB flash drive in only 2 simple steps, and WinToFlash, a utility to copy Windows installation files from a DVD disc to a USB flash Drive, SD Card or external HDD. Since the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 is out, we decided to feature Win8USB, an application that lets you create a bootable USB flash drive for installing Windows 8. Keep reading to find out more about Win8USB after the break. Read More

USB Fix It: Microsoft’s Answer To USB Device Related Issues

Sometimes, while trying to connect new devices to the PC, for instance, a new printer, a scanner or a USB flash drive, we run into USB issues. Some of the most common problems related to USB occur while you are ejecting the USB device. It happens that sometimes Windows does not allow you to remove it using the Safely Remove Hardware dialog box. It displays messages such as, USB can’t be ejected currently, or sometimes, the icon does not do anything when clicked. You have to plug it out without performing the Safely Remove Hardware check, which means that there is a chance of your data being corrupted because of improper removal of Flash Drive. To solve all these USB related issues faced by the users of Windows, Microsoft has released a tool called USB Fix It, which automatically diagnoses and repairs all common USB device related problems on your system. Keep reading to find out more about USB Fix It. Read More

USB Disk Manager: Control Level Of Access & Viruses For Flash Drives

Plugging in random USB flash drives into our computers is one of the primary sources of viruses and spamware. What happens is that when a USB is inserted into an infected computer, the virus automatically transfers itself into the target machine. When you plug the same USB flash drive into another computer, the virus gets transferred to the new PC and infects it. If you own a computer at a public place, for instance a library or a café, it is bound to get infected again and again because of a lot of different flash drives being connected to transfer data. You can use an antivirus, but as new viruses get created everyday, there is a chance that some of them will not be detected by the antivirus. Alternatively, you can use USB Disk Manager, a portable application for Windows that allows you to choose the level of access you give to USB flash drives. Read on to find out more about USB Disk Manager. Read More

Rufus: Create Bootable USB To Install Windows & Linux, Flash BIOS And More

Not a while back, optical discs were the real means to install new operating systems on to your machine. With the advent of thumb drives, everything changed for the better - letting users create bootable USB drives to install Windows. To install Windows from a USB flash or thumb drive, you must first prepare it for bootable drive. In the past, we have covered a number of tools to create bootable USB drive, such as Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool (to create a bootable DVD/USB for installing Windows 7 and Windows 8) and WinSetupFromUSB (to create a multi-boot setup from a folder containing the setup files).  Today, we came across another small, yet powerful bootable USB creator called Rufus. It is a portable application that enables you to create bootable USB flash drive to install Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Linux-based operating systems etc. The application comes with some advance disk format options, and a feature to check device for bad sectors. Moreover, it allows you to create extended label and icon files. Read More

Delete Record Of Previously Connected USB Devices Using USBOblivion

One of the frequently used data transfer medium these days are USB flash drives. USBs are smaller in size, so are easy to keep. Although, now becoming compatible with various devices, their major use is still with computers. Do you know that whenever you connect a USB to your computer, Windows keeps a record of it? It all seems okay if you do it on your personal computer, this can cause some privacy issues if you're plugging the USB to someone else PC, for instance, on an internet cafe. This can result in compromise of your confidential data, because anyone, who knows where to look, can find out which devices were connected to the computer at what times. Should you're unaware, these records are stored in the Windows Registry and are easily accessible using any registry explorer. In such situations, you might want to delete the data about which USB devices were connected to a particular device in the past. To your luck, you can easily do this by using a third-party application. One such we found is USBOblivion. It is an open source application for Windows that allows you to erase all traces of USB connected devices and CD-ROMs from the registry. Keep reading. Read More

Enable USB Host Function On Samsung Galaxy S I9000 & Samsung Captivate

The Galaxy S series, is surely a league of Android devices with seemingly unlimited development coming in from fans. USB host functionality has been a hot topic for a about a year now with more and more Android devices seeming to support the function, especially the newer Android devices. That said, Ice Cream Sandwich is all the rage right now, and would it not be awesome if the Galaxy S got USB Host functionality while running the ICS OS? Indeed it will be, or should we say it is, thanks to XDA-Developers forum member sztupy who took the kernel form Teamhacksung's ICS Build 14 and modified it to enable the USB Host function on the Galaxy S and the Captivate as well. Read More

XXCLONE: Backup System Volumes While Retaining Self Boot Functionality

Backup for system volumes can be performed with a number of applications. However, retaining the self-booting functionality of a volume can be difficult to achieve using conventional tools. XXCLONE is an application for copying your system volume to another, while retaining self-booting functionality. Using this application, you can even boot your system from the clone volume by swapping the disks. This can be particularly useful for disaster recovery, when the primary volume may have become redundant. XXCLONE is capable of copying data to and from FAT and NTFS volumes. It even supports USB drives, PATA and SATA. You can perform periodic backups with XXCLONE, or opt for a one-time disk upgrade/migration. Since XXCLOE copies files and folders, therefore, you can remain logged into Windows during the cloning process and also perform other usual tasks on your PC. XXCLONE also provides additional tools for duplicating the Volume ID, to repair non-bootable disk, creating batch files, etc. Read More

O&O AutoBackup: Automatically Backup Files To USB Drive When Plugged In

O&O AutoBackup is an application to automatically synchronize files and folders from a source folder to a removable media device such as a USB or external hard drive. For example, you can create a backup copy of your important office documents, so that they are automatically saved to a USB when changes are made to them. The data copying process immediately starts after you connect the removable device, and updates made to the original data are synced periodically. This enables creating backup copies of data on external media devices, so that you can keep the data available in portable format for later use. Read More

WinUSB: Create Bootable Windows Installer USB In Ubuntu Linux

WinUSB is an Ubuntu application for creating a Windows USB installer for Windows Vista and Windows 7. Like other applications that enable creating installer USBs, you can create a bootable (installation) USB from an ISO disc image or a DVD. While other tools like Unetbootin can perform similar tasks, however, WinUSB is much simpler than other competitors, and delivers a two-click solution for creating a Windows installer USB. This may be a blessing for users who may require creating a USB installer for Windows for dual booting it with Ubuntu or other Linux distributions. Similarly, you might require installing Windows on another system, but do not have Windows installed on a computer to utilize tools such as the Windows 7 USB DVD Tool. Read More

How To Create Customizable Multiboot System Rescue Disk

System Rescue bootable disks are built to help users easily troubleshoot those PC problems, which are generally quite difficult to fix such as corrupt boot sector, malware infected system files, physical & logical hard disk bad sectors, disk write failures and so on. In our previous guide on completely wiping the hard disk, we recommended using DBAN (Darik’s Boot And Nuke) Boot CD to shred the auxiliary and removable hard drives. Like any other boot disk, DBAN runs in a complete isolated environment to perform the disk wipe operation. Tools like DBAN, eScan Rescue, MSSS, Hiren’s Boot CD etc., require burning the ISO file on a separate disk for creating a bootable disk to fix PC issues, but what if you want to create a customizable bootable USB or CD/DVD disk to use all your favorite system diagnostic utilities without having to change the bootable disks on system startup? Read More

Identify Processes Hindering Removable Media Ejection With Dev Eject

Many a time, when a user attempts to securely eject a USB drive, an error message pops up on the screen, alerting that the device cannot be ejected as it is in use. In such a case, it can be hard to identify which processes might be using the USB device, and therefore, it becomes a bit tedious to individually identify and close each running process. Dev Eject is a handy tool designed to resolve this problem. It allows you to control the removable devices connected to your computer, and displays the running process which may be hindering the safe removal of the device. Read More

LiveUSB Install: Create Live Linux USB, CD/DVD And Download ISO Images

Using a Live USB for installing or running an operating system can be more useful than a Live CD, as optical drives have a lower read/write rate, and do not allow writing extra information. When it comes to using Live Linux USBs, there are many available tools, such as Linux Live USB CreatorLiveUSB Install is a an application for creating Live USB, CD or DVD drives. It works on GNU/Linux and Windows, and allows effortless installation of various Linux distributions. LiveUSB Install supports more than 550 Linux distributions, which includes Android, Fedora, Debian, Zorin, CentOS, OpenSUSE, Pinguy, Xubuntu, Kubuntu and many more. Read More