Gather information and tune your hard drive to function at peak performance with HD Tune

Your hard drive is the life blood of your computer. When it goes bad, the whole thing goes down. Keeping it healthy can be an involved and painful process without the right tools. HD Tune is the right tool for that job.

HD Tune works with all kinds of drives, internal or external, spinning media or SSD, USB sticks, etc. With it, you get a complete picture of how your PC’s hard drive is performing, and can even check its S.M.A.R.T. status as well as perform various maintenance activities on it.

Read the full review | Download HD Tune

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NetworkMiner seeks hidden traffic

NetworkMiner is a Network Forensic Analysis Tool (NFAT) for Windows. NetworkMiner can be used as a passive network sniffer/packet capturing tool in order to detect operating systems, sessions, hostnames, open ports etc. without putting any traffic on the network. NetworkMiner can also parse PCAP files for off-line analysis and to regenerate/reassemble transmitted files and certificates from PCAP files.

The purpose of NetworkMiner is to collect data (such as forensic evidence) about hosts on the network rather than to collect data regarding the traffic on the network. The main view is host centric (information grouped per host) rather than packet centric (information showed as a list of packets/frames).

NetworkMiner has, since the first release in 2007, become popular tool among incident responce teams as well as law enforcement. NetworkMiner is today used by companies and organizations all over the world.

The professional edition comes installed on a specially designed USB flash drive. You can run NetworkMiner directly from the USB flash drive since NetworkMiner is a portable application that doesn’t require any installation. It is recommended that you copy NetworkMiner to the local hard drive of your computer in order to achieve maximum performance.

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Get over the 4GB limitation on FAT32 file-system very easily

If your USB flash drive (or any other storage device) is FAT32, you’ll face the 4GB limit. This file system has a ‘natural’ limitation for the maximum file size it can handle, which is 4GB. The partition itself can have a greater size, but you will not be able to create files greater than 4GB. The only way to solve the problem (beside splitting yours files to a limit of 4GB each using a spitting tool) is by converting the FAT32 partition of your USB flash drive to NTFS which can handle files of a greater size.

The simplicities way to do this is using Windows’ native conversion utility which works from the command prompt. Assuming the drive letter of your USB flash drive is is K:, here is what you have to do:

1. Open the Command Prompt (if you have Windows XP: Start > Run > cmd; if you have Windows 7 or Vista: type ‘cmd’ in your Start > ‘Search programs and files’).
2. Type: convert k: /fs:ntfs (substitute k: with the letter of the USB flash drive of the partition you wish to convert, then press enter)

Thats it, after a while the partition will be converter to NTFS.

Note: NTFS is a fault-tolerant and more efficient than FAT32, beside, handle files of a greater size and provides performance improvements.

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Create a bootable USB flash drive the easiest way possible

Many times I’ve been asked “how to create a Bootable USB flash drive” and every time I found it quite difficult to give a straight answer. That’s because there are several tools and guides out there related to ‘install Windows from USB flash drive’ and even if I’m an advanced user, some were quite hard to understand or they just didn’t work. Luckily, not long ago, I’ve found an easy way to create bootable USB flash drives (thumb-drive) with a tool called Koala.

You can find out more about Koala if you read the full review or you can download Koala here. Koala requires .Net Framework 2.0, you can get it here – in case you don’t have it already.

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