Hard Drive Data Recovery – Part 1 of 2

Hard Drive Data Recovery – Part 1 of 2

When you store files on your computer, they generally go onto a hard disk drive. When you (accidentally) delete a file in Windows, the data is generally still there. It simply “hides” it by removing the first character in the file name. The space that this file occupied is now fair game for other files to be saved overtop.

That is why it is critical to STOP EVERYTHING YOU ARE DOING on your computer if you suddenly realize you mistakenly deleted a file. There is a higher probability of recovering that file if you don’t allow your computer to overwrite the space being occupied by the (now) deleted file.

Finding free programs that can perform data recovery is fairly difficult. You need to be careful what you download. Many programs use the word free but really they are simply talking about the download of the file. They allow you to scan your drive, you get all excited, and then when you go to recover the files you realize you need to purchase a license for the software (though usually they aren’t that expensive).

One program that I have found that is free and does work is Pandora Recovery. It is a Windows only program. Unfortunately as this is a program that you need to install on your Windows computer, it does take space and does increase the likelihood of overwritting portions of the files you are trying to recover. Unless you have installed this program before the problem occured.

Going one step further towards disaster would be where your computer simply won’t boot into Windows. Perhaps you hear a loud clicking sound or your hard drive doesn’t even spin up at all. This is something everyone dreads.

Read next’s weeks blog article to discover how to try and recover files from a hard drive that won’t boot into Windows.

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Edmonton Top 40 Under 40

Edmonton Top 40 Under 40

For the third year in a row, Avenue Magazine has held awards for Edmonton’s Top 40 Under 40. They have a number of sponsors including Global Edmonton.

Back in the summer I was informed that I was chosen as one of these top 40 which is pretty cool, but it had to be kept a secret until now.

Yesterday evening I attended a gala at the Winspear along with the other award recipients. Everything became public at that point.

Avenue Top 40 Under 40

After having gone through a main interview and a few more subsequent fact checking ones, along with a photo shoot, it is interesting to see what pieces of information they decided to focus on and their interpretation. Here is the full page article that is appearing in the November issue of the magazine:

http://avenueedmonton.com/top-40-under-40/david-papp

There are a lot of amazing people in Edmonton. Even the mayor came out to event (he was part of the judging panel).

I have lived in Edmonton my entire life and love what I do. It is great to be recognized for accomplishments and I can definitely say I am still having fun!

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vSphere5 Packs a lot of Networking Goodness

vSphere5 Packs a lot of Networking Goodness

I recently attended the VMWorld 2011 conference and was introduced to VMware’s latest and greatest:

vSphere 5.0

Based on the information I received in many sessions and labs at the conference, I decided to enroll myself in VMware’s “vSphere5 What’s New” course. This was well worth setting aside the time to get more hands-on experience.

Some of the highlights that stand out (in no particular order):

  • No more ESX, only ESXi now available. Along with ESXi5 there is a new generation of virtual hardware as it now supports virtual machine hardware 8.
  • One of the awesome features of virtual machine hardware 8 is support for up to 32 vCPUs! I also love that you now can now configure the number of vCPU cores per socket, i.e. multicore virtual CPUs. This is great if you are paying for licensing certain software in the guest VM based on processors.
  • You can now allocated up to 1 TB of virtual memory to a guest VM!
  • Finally USB devices such as a memory stick or external hard drive can be attached through the client and accessed inside a VM. Also USB 3.0 device support added.
  • VASA: vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness – Instead of only seeing a storage device with a certain capacity with the vi client, you now can get the ability to see raid type, compression, deduplication, replication and other storage information presented from your storage device(s) assuming they support VASA. For example one popular iSCSI SAN many of my clients have is the EqualLogic which I noticed does support VASA.
  • VMFS5 now available – Now uses GPT instead of MBR and supports volumes up to 64 TB! which normally you would still hit a 2TB barrier however this includes pass-through RDMs so 2TB is no longer a limit.
  • Support for Apple Mac OS X servers (10.6 snow leopard), restricted to Xserve 3.1
  • Recognition and support for SSD drives which is great as you can use this for your swap files.
  • Web-based vSphere Client, more fully featured. Not quite as full featured as the windows client, but it is coming along.
  • Auto Deploy for ESXi Hosts, help simplify the task of managing installs and upgrades of the hosts for larger implementations.
  • Datastore Clusters, you can avoid using a centralized storage array and instead allocate local storage from each of the ESXi hosts to participate in the cluster. This gives you some benefits that you would have otherwise only had with a centralized san.
  • Great feature of NetFlow support and port mirroring (span), configured within the dvSwitch. Can run this on a per port/VM basis. Excellent for stats and troubleshooting.
  • NETIOC dvSwitch Network I/O control supporting 802.1p QoS priority tagging
  • No more need for running Windows vCenter server! Now vCenter Server Appliance (as an OVF). Has an embedded database. Quick and easy support for small installs of up to 5 hosts and 50 VMs. This is very lightweight, no linked mode, no SQL, no IPv6, etc Also supports auto deploy, tftp, dhcp, etc
  • Better EVC support, enhanced vMotion compatibility with more AMD and Intel processors.
  • vMotion can take advantage of multi-NICs (up to 4 x 10Gig, 16 x GigE). Also supports higher latency, now up to 10 ms which is a longer distance that you can have your DR site.
  • Now support for more than 1 HA failover host.

vsphere logoThere are many other new features and further details on what I have above. It is an exciting upgrade to undertake. I am already in the planning and testing stages with a few of existing 4.1 sites I help manage. I am really looking forward to running vSphere 5.0 and benefiting from many of the above features.

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Top 6 YouTube Videos by Most Views (as of Sept20/11)

Top 6 YouTube Videos by Most Views  (as of Sept20/11)

I was preparing for a social media presentation (http://DavidPapp.com) and put together a quick one minute video with the current top YouTube videos by most views. I wanted to go top 5 but it seems that Charlie slipped down to 6th position. Not too long ago Charlie used to be the top video but has since been surpassed by music videos which make up the bulk of the current top videos now. I uploaded this little series of clips to share.

The top 6 as of Sept20/11 were:

  • Justin Bieber
    625 Million
  • Lady Gaga
    414 Million
  • Shakira
    396 Million
  • Eminem
    383 Million
  • Jennifer Lopez
    383 Million
  • Charlie Bit My Finger
    374 Million

It will be interesting to see over time how many views this video of mine gets as well. Sort of a little experiment in itself. 🙂

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Neat Portable Scanner

Neat Portable Scanner

“Very handy light and compact scanner to bring along on trips!”

The neat portable scanner is another tool has recently been made part of my road warrior arsenal. Having a scanner on hand is great when you need to send information back to people quickly, scan in something, and send it off. It can accommodate up to a 8.5″ wide paper and 14″ in length.

The rollers inside allow you to easily scan smaller items as well such as business cards and receipts. Neat has created a software suite to help you categorize your receipts and create expense reports while on trips.

This 600 dpi mobile scanner can scan up to 3-4 receipts per minute, seems to have the same scanning rate for larger papers, and weighs under 11 oz. It is only 11″ wide and roughly 1.5″ x 1″ in size. Very compact.

It does not require external power and feeds off the single USB cable. It comes with a soft case but I really like the optional harder shell case you can get for it.

I have been very impressed with this scanner and use it to help reduce the amount of paper I need to carry around. If you are able to name your files appropriately and sort them, it makes retrieving a multitude of documents while you are on the road very easy.

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Portable Home Theater using PK301, iHome and iPod

Portable Home Theater using PK301, iHome and iPod

It fits in your pockets!Optima PK301

I love trying out new technology to see how it all works, thinking of the applications they can be used in. Even more exciting is integrating different technologies together to have a complete solution.

 

Recently I was on a quest to put together a portable home theater that could be brought along in hand luggage on a trip or to meetings with clients for presentations.

Part one was to figure out the best choice for a small projector, in this case a pico projector. After reading a lot of reviews, looking at specifications, inputs/outputs, I decided to use the Optoma PK301 pico projector. This projector features 30 lumens of brightness running on battery and up to 50 lumens while connected to AC power. It is only 0.5 lbs in weight and allows for different inputs (mini hdmi, component video, vga, and a micro sd card slot).

iHome IHM78The second item of importance was the sound. The PK301 only has a built-in 0.5 W mono speaker. I purchased a set of portable iHome speakers (IHM78) which have a handy carrying case and sound great, they are quite loud. They have built-in batteries so you can run them without needing power.

The next step was to look at additional battery life for the PK301 which is rated at about 1.5 hours though seems to be around an hour for me. There is an optional high-capacity battery option (Optoma XP8000) which extends this to 5 hours and also can charge other USB devices (such as the iHome speakers).

After this I wanted to be able to use an iPod touch for movies and tv shows. There is an optional Apple cable to go to composite video which connects directly to the included adapter cable included with the PK301.

iPod Remote and DockI then thought it would be nice to not have to get up during a movie if you wanted to pause it or adjust the volume, this is where the iPod dock comes into play. It doesn’t require separate power to function and works great for our setup.

I have been quite impressed with the sound quality through the iHome speakers and the video quality from the PK301 even in a lit room. If you are able to project on a proper screen it is even better, though a blank wall (preferably white) works out as well.

 

I believe you will find this to be a great integration of different technologies available to put together a portable home theater. Every component has the ability to connect to AC power if you don’t want to run off batteries though that is certainly part of the appeal of this setup.

Please check out the video review below:

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