Tuesday, August 29, 2017

How to Recover Data From a Corrupt Memory Card or USB Drive

By  Dan Price  

We keep a lot of data on memory cards and USB drives. Often, you might even use a high-capacity USB drive as your primary way of creating backups.The Best Backup Software for Windows The Best Backup Software for WindowsYour data is fragile – it only takes one small accident to lose everything. The more backups you make, the better. Here we present the best free backup software for Windows.READ MORE
When something goes wrong with them, it’s hard not to feel a sense of dread. Is that photo of your dog falling in the swimming pool gone forever?
But alas, you shouldn’t panic. There’s a high chance you can recover your data – you just need to methodically work through few troubleshooting steps.
Follow along with this article, and you’ll be laughing at your dog again in no time.

1. Check the Basics

Okay, I know this sounds simple, but have you performed some elementary troubleshooting steps?
For example, have you tried your memory device in a different port or on a different computer? Have you given it a little wiggle to make sure all the connections are touching each other?
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Sorry, but I had to ask… Now, let’s take a more technical look at the problem.

2. Change the Drive Letter

If you plug your USB stick into your computer and can see the drive in File Explorer but can’t access the data, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that the data is corrupted.
But hold up. That might not be the case. Windows simply might not be able to assign a drive letter to the stick.
Thankfully, it’s easy to change the drive letter. Open the Start Menu and type Disk Management. On the results page, select Create and format hard disk partitions.
Locate your USB stick in the list of drives and right-click on it. Choose Change Drive Letter and Paths.
Finally, click Change and select a new letter from the drop-down menu. Every time you connect your drive, it will use the new letter.
If you still can’t access your files, keep reading.

3. Reinstall the Drivers

Your USB stick and your data might still not be at fault. Instead, it’s possible that the drivers on Windows have become corrupted.
To be certain your drivers are working and there aren’t any underlying issues, it makes sense to reinstall them.How to Easily Remove Old Drivers From Windows How to Easily Remove Old Drivers From WindowsNot only does Windows retain previous driver versions for current devices, it also stores drivers for devices you stopped using long ago. We'll show you how to clean up old drivers from your system.READ MORE
Leave your USB stick or memory card plugged into your machine and open Device Manager. You can find it by right-clicking on the Start Menu.
Once Device Manager has fired up, click on Disk Drives to expand the menu. You’ll see a list of all the drives connected to your machine.
Right-click on the name of the memory device you’re trying to fix and select Uninstall device.
Next, you need to remove your external drive from your machine and restart the operating system. When the start-up process is complete, plug the drive back in. Windows should automatically detect it and reinstall fresh drivers.Do You Really Need to Eject Your Flash Drive (or Device) Before Removing It? Do You Really Need to Eject Your Flash Drive (or Device) Before Removing It?It's well known that USB flash drives are supposed to be ejected before removing them. But do you really still need to do this? What happens if you don't?READ MORE
Can you access your data now? No? Let’s keep trying.

4. Check the Disk

At this stage, it’s starting to look like the files themselves are corrupted. But don’t lose hope, you still have options open to you.
There are two ways to check and repair the disk. You can use Windows Explorer, or you can use Command Prompt.

Using Windows Explorer

Firstly, let’s look at the process using Windows Explorer. It’s the more user-friendly of the two approaches.
Plug your memory device into your PC and open the Windows Explorer app. Head to This PC and right-click on the name of the drive you’re trying to fix. You need to select Properties from the context menu.
On the new window, select the Tools tab. In the Error Checking section, click on Check. Windows will scan the drive and report back with the results.
If it finds any problems, another window will pop up to alert you. Select Repair drive to start the fixing process. It could take some time, depending on the size of the drive and the complexity of the corruption.
You will see an on-screen confirmation when the scan is complete. If you click Show DetailsEvent Viewer will provide you with a complete log of all the repairs undertaken.

Using Command Prompt

The other way to scan your disk and fix errors is to use Command Prompt.
To get started, open the Start Menu and type cmd. You do not need to open the app as an administrator.The Fastest Way to Open an Admin Command Prompt in Windows 10 The Fastest Way to Open an Admin Command Prompt in Windows 10At times, everyone needs to open an Administrator Command Prompt. Don't waste time -- use this super-convenient method to get to it faster.READ MORE
Type chkdsk e: /r and press Enter. If your memory device is not using the E:\ drive, replace e: with the appropriate letter.
Windows will give you basic information about the drive and start the scan. You can see the progress of the scan in the window.
Once finished, it will show you its findings and list any repairs it undertook. As you can see from the image below, in my case, the drive was error-free.

5. Third-Party Apps

If you still can’t retrieve your files, you could try using a third-party app. If you do a Google search, you’ll come across lots of fancy-sounding expensive apps. You don’t need them. Try one of these three free versions instead:
  • TestDisk and PhotoRec: Technically, these are two separate programs. However, they’re bundled together because they heavily rely on each other. PhotoRec can recover files (including more than 200 file formats), TestDisk can recover partitions on disks.
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard: This app works with hard drives, SSDs, USBs, memory cards, and digital cameras. It can recover data in a number of scenarios, including corrupted drives, partition loss, accidental deletion, and drive failure.
  • Recuva: Recuva works with USB drives and other external media, as well as your primary hard-drive. It specializes in deleted files, but can also help recover corrupted files.

6. Take It to a Specialist

If all else fails, take your drive to a specialist shop. They might be able to use more powerful equipment than you have access to at home and salvage some data, if not all of it.
Check on Google for a shop in your local area.

What Approaches Do You Take?

I’ve taken you on a step-by-step journey through the most common ways of recovering data off a corrupt memory card or USB stick.
Let’s recap:
  1. check the basics
  2. change the drive letter
  3. reinstall the drivers
  4. use Windows’ Check Disk tool
  5. try third-party apps
  6. take it to a specialist
Now I want to know how you recover data from a memory device? What tips can you pass on to someone in the same situation?How to Recover Deleted Images from an SD Card How to Recover Deleted Images from an SD CardGood news: whether due to a corrupt card or accidental deletions, you can often recover lost photos.READ MORE
As always, you can leave your comments in the space below. And make sure you share this article on social media – you might save someone’s day!
Source: www.makeuseof.com

The 5 Best Laptops Under $500 in 2017

By  Mihir Patkar  

You can get a good laptop without racking up a large number on your credit card. For less than $500, you could get a desktop replacement, a long-battery ultrabook, a 2-in-1, or even a gaming notebook.What Is the Difference Between a Netbook, Notebook, Ultrabook, Laptop, and Palmtop? What Is the Difference Between a Netbook, Notebook, Ultrabook, Laptop, and Palmtop?The term "laptop" encompasses so many different types of laptops these days. Here are the important differences between them all.READ MORE
You need realistic expectations though. When you’re buying budget laptops, you’ll get middling performance. You can play games, but not at max video resolutions. A desktop replacement will do everything that your current old desktop does, but not what a modern desktop today can do.
That said, $500 isn’t a small amount, and the machine will do the basics of the task you buy it for.

Best Desktop Replacement: Asus X555 DA AS11 ($500)

If you aren’t a gamer or someone who needs tons of horsepower from their computer, stop using a desktop PC. It’s time to upgrade to a “desktop replacement” notebook. These do everything that the average user needs while offering a laptop’s portability and energy efficiency.
asus x555 da
The Asus X555 DA is a stunning notebook with a 15.6-inch Full HD screen with an anti-glare matte finish. It has all the ports you might need for connectivity. On the downside, it’s missing an Ethernet port, but who cares when there’s Wi-Fi 802.11ac support. There’s even a DVD writer, which you don’t often find on laptops anymore. All in all, this is an ideal laptop for college students.Buying a Laptop For School? 4 Killer Laptops for Students Buying a Laptop For School? 4 Killer Laptops for StudentsIt's a good time to buy a laptop for school -- there are plenty of great choices out there these days. But as a student, there are a few things to keep in mind.READ MORE
The X555 DA is powered by a quad-core AMD A10 processor and 8GB of RAM. I’d recommend sticking with the 256GB SSD for faster performance, but you can opt for a 1TB HDD at a $50 discount.
ASUS X555DA-AS11 15 inch Full-HD AMD Quad Core Laptop with Windows 10, Black & SilverASUS X555DA-AS11 15 inch Full-HD AMD Quad Core Laptop with Windows 10, Black & Silver8GB RAM/ 256GB SSD with DL DVD±RW/CD-RW. Windows 10 operating system BUY NOW AT AMAZON $489.52

Spend a Little More: Acer Aspire E15 E5-575G-57D4 ($580)

In case your budget lets you add $80, forget about the Asus and get the Acer Aspire E15. It’s a far superior laptop, and worth much more than the extra 80 bucks it costs.
acer aspire e15 i5
Upgrades include a 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, a dedicated Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics card, and significantly higher battery life.
I’d highly recommend you borrow or save up an extra $80 and get this one over the X555 DA.
Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 15.6-Inches Full HD Notebook (i5-7200U, 8GB DDR4 SDRAM, 256GB SSD, Windows 10 Home), Obsidian BlackAcer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 15.6-Inches Full HD Notebook (i5-7200U, 8GB DDR4 SDRAM, 256GB SSD, Windows 10 Home), Obsidian Black7th Generation Intel Core i5-7200U Processor (Up to 3.1GHz) BUY NOW AT AMAZON $579.99

Best Battery and Lightest: Lenovo ThinkPad 13 ($510)

A laptop with a dead battery is nothing more than an oversized brick. If you need long battery life and portability, the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 is perfect, even if it’s $10 above the budget.
lenovo thinkpad 13
ThinkPads are renowned for their durability and toughness, so it will withstand all the bumps and drops of regular life. And it has that delectable ThinkPad keyboard with the trackball, along with an excellent trackpad.
In LaptopMag’s reliable tests, the ThinkPad 13 lasted for 9 hours of continuous web browsing, which is quite impressive. Lenovo improves on that with a USB Type-C port to charge it, as long as you have the right power bank for laptops.6 Of The Best Backup Battery Packs To Extend Your Phone's Uptime 6 Of The Best Backup Battery Packs To Extend Your Phone's UptimeA battery pack is one of the best ways to charge your phone in an emergency. Here are a few portable power banks that might be just what you need.READ MORE
The company claims to have solved all of the security reasons to avoid Lenovo, but familiarize yourself with them nonetheless. And be on your guard.
Note: The Lenovo ThinkPad 13’s price has fluctuated a few times. It debuted at $650, dropped to $510, and went up to $550 again. It’s still a good deal at $550, but if you don’t want to spend that much, wait for it to drop again.

Best 2-in-1 Hybrid or Convertible: Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi ($426)

When we looked at the best $500 laptops in 2016, I said that the Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi was an exceptional deal. And it continues to be the best budget choice for 2-in-1 hybrid or convertible laptops.Best Mini PC Tablet or Convertible Hybrid Best Mini PC Tablet or Convertible HybridTablet sales have been declining. However, one category of tablet continues growing: tablets that transform into laptops when coupled with a keyboard. We call these 2-in-1 tablets. We rounded up the best convertibles around.READ MORE
The specs are perfect: a 12.5-inch Full HD IPS touchscreen, an Intel Core M processor, 4GB RAM, and 128GB SSD. And there’s all the bells and whistles you expect, like a micro USB port, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and so on.
asus transformer t300 chi
The T300 Chi “transforms” from a regular laptop into a tablet by detaching the screen. And Windows 10 is primed to work with touchscreens anyway. Connect the two pieces back together and you’ll get over eight hours of battery life. What’s not to like here?
ASUS Transformer Book Chi 12.5-Inch T300CHI-F1-DB Slim All-Aluminum 2 in 1 Detachable Touchscreen Laptop, Core M, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB SSDASUS Transformer Book Chi 12.5-Inch T300CHI-F1-DB Slim All-Aluminum 2 in 1 Detachable Touchscreen Laptop, Core M, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD12.5" ASUS TruVivid Display with IPS technology, 1920-by-1080 resolution. Corning Concore Glass. BUY NOW AT AMAZON $408.88

Best Chromebook: Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA($469)

The Chromebook has gotten better and better with age. When you’re ready to ditch Windows, don’t even think twice and get the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA. You’ll never look back.
asus chromebook flip
The Chromebook Flip does not skimp on the hardware, unlike most other Chrome-based laptops. It has a fantastic 12.5-inch Full HD screen, an Intel Core M processor, 4G RAM, and 64GB SSD. And hey, you get a USB Type-C port too. All put together, this is a well-performing machine that will feel fast and powerful on its Chrome OS.
ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 12.5-Inch Touchscreen Intel Core m3 with 64GB storage and 4GB RAMASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 12.5-Inch Touchscreen Intel Core m3 with 64GB storage and 4GB RAMThe flexible 360 degree hinge and 12.5" Full-HD touchscreen lets you use the C302 in tablet or laptop mode. BUY NOW AT AMAZON $469.00
One of the things to keep in mind when buying a Chromebook is Android support. Some current and all future Chromebooks will support Android apps, which makes them far more useful than ever before. Asus has also confirmed that the Chromebook Flip C302CA will work with Android. Since it has an excellent touchscreen and the ability to flip the screen back, you get two devices for the price of one.

Best “Get Things Done” Laptop: Acer Aspire E15 E5-575-33BM ($350)

Just because your budget is $500 does not mean you need to spend the whole amount. If you can get things done and save a few bucks, why shouldn’t you? The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM is the top choice on Amazon, as well as the recommended notebook from several reviewers.
acer aspire e15 i3
It meets the minimum requirements of a “good enough” laptop, with 4GB RAM and a 7th-generation Intel Core i3 processor. There’s even a USB Type-C port to charge the device, and a DVD writer to make it a decent desktop replacement.Intel Core i3 vs. i5 vs. i7: Which One Do You Really Need? Intel Core i3 vs. i5 vs. i7: Which One Do You Really Need?Shopping for a new computer but confused by whether to get an Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processor? Here's everything you need to know in layman's terms.READ MORE
In short, it lets you be productive without spending a bomb. The Aspire E15 E5-575-33BM is ideal for web browsing, Office work, and basic multimedia.
Amazon’s Choice – Home - Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-Inch FHD Notebook (Intel Core i3-7100U 7th Generation , 4GB DDR4, 1TB 5400RPM HD, Intel HD Graphics 620, Windows 10 Home), Obsidian BlackAmazon’s Choice – Home - Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-Inch FHD Notebook (Intel Core i3-7100U 7th Generation , 4GB DDR4, 1TB 5400RPM HD, Intel HD Graphics 620, Windows 10 Home), Obsidian BlackAmazon's Choice for a home laptop BUY NOW AT AMAZON $349.99

An Untested Gem: ASUS F402BA-EB94 ($500)

We try not to judge a device by its specifications alone, since those can overpromise and under-deliver. That’s why I’m not comfortable recommending the Asus F402BA right now, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.
asus f402ba
The hardware on this device is unbelievable for $500, including a 14-inch Full HD screen, an AMD A9 processor, 256GB SSD, and 8GB RAM. There’s a USB Type C port too. And even with all that, it weighs under 4 pounds and is less than an inch thick.
Perhaps the best part is that the Asus F402BA is preloaded with Windows 10 Signature Edition. This is a “pure Windows” version with no bloatware to get rid of.How to Easily Remove Bloatware From Windows 10 How to Easily Remove Bloatware From Windows 10Windows 10 comes with several pre-installed apps that take up space on your device and aren't easy to remove. Sounds like bloatware, doesn't it? We show you how to remove these apps.READ MORE
The Asus F402BA hasn’t been tested by reliable sources, and there aren’t any Amazon product reviews you can trust. But if it delivers what it promises, this is a killer machine for $500.
ASUS VivoBook 14 Thin, Lightweight and Portable Laptop, AMD A9 CPU, Radeon-R5 Graphics, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, USB-C, Windows 10ASUS VivoBook 14 Thin, Lightweight and Portable Laptop, AMD A9 CPU, Radeon-R5 Graphics, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, USB-C, Windows 1014-Inch Full HD 1080p Display, Windows 10 Signature Edition Pre-Installed BUY NOW AT AMAZON $499.00

Can You Go Cheaper?

Chromebooks and Intel’s new line of low-cost processors have made it possible to go even cheaper than $500. In fact, we have an entire guide on the best laptops under $300, including which processors to get and avoid.
Do you think $500 is necessary to get a good laptop these days or would you go even cheaper? What’s your pick for the best budget laptop?
Source: www.makeuseof.com

The 15 Most Influential Websites of All Time

The 15 Most Influential Websites of All Time