The Digital Life, Houston We Have a Problem, 093 26/07/08
Lost and Found, Possibly...
I have Windows XP. Recently I deleted some photos using File >
Delete in My Pictures folder. Regrettably I now realise I want some of these
photos back into my folders again. Is this possible, and if so how can I go
about retrieving them?
Geoff Atkinson, by email
First check the Recycle Bin, if you haven't emptied it recently
and the pictures are still there just highlight the files and select Restore
this item. If the Bin has been emptied then there is still a chance the photos
can be recovered. As you may know, when you delete a file in Windows all you
are actually doing is removing the reference to it from the filing system's
index. However, the space the 'deleted' files occupy on the hard drive is
marked as free and available for use, so eventually the data will be
overwritten. If it wasn't too long ago then you might be lucky. Try a small
freeware utility called Restoration (http://tinyurl.com/5mjbzn). This scans
your PC for recently deleted files and any that can be recovered will be
restored to a nominated folder on your computer.
RAW Deal for XP
When I download RAW image files into Windows XP Explorer from my
Nikon digital camera, the thumbnails appear as white squares with a NEF logo in
the centre. Jpeg and Tiff files appear as expected. Can you suggest a fix?
Peter Johnson, by email
Support for the high quality RAW file format (Nikon call it NEF or
Nikon Electronic Format) is included in Windows Vista but in order to get XP to
display RAW images you will have to download a add-on from Microsoft called,
appropriately enough, the RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer for XP
(http://tinyurl.com/2gxkla) and your photos will appear as thumbnails in Windows
When typing work into Word recently, it all disappeared and I
failed to retrieve it. What did I do wrong and how could I have retrieved it?
John Bowley, by email
I can't say for sure why your document disappeared but if it
became highlighted and you pressed a key then Word assumes you want to replace
everything, and it vanishes. When anything like this happens the first thing to
do is click the Undo icon on the toolbar (backwards curved arrow) or use the
keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Z.
Microsoft Word doesn't have an automatic backup facility as such;
there is a feature called Save Auto Recovery (Tools > Options > Save tab)
but all this does is save the open document as a temporary file, which you can
retrieve if Word or Windows crashes. However, the temp file is deleted when
Word or the document is closed.
You should save your work every few minutes, but if you have
trouble remembering try a freeware utility called SaveReminder
(http://tinyurl.com/28hx9k), which creates a Word Macro that can be set to
remind you to Save at preset intervals, or it will do it for you automatically
Foil the Felons
I recently had two computers stolen from my office. Can you please
recommend an encryption program for future use, preferably free if there is one
Brian Whale, by email
You may already have the necessary software on your computers if
you are using Windows XP Pro (http://tinyurl.com/6s9udc) or Vista Business,
Enterprise or Ultimate (http://tinyurl.com/4wldbn). Otherwise I suggest a
program called Cryptainer LE (http://tinyurl.com/qp9t), which creates encrypted
folders or 'vaults' into which you move the files that you want to protect. It
uses a strong 128-bit key, so your files are well protected, and it also works
well on USB drives, so you can safely carry your sensitive files around with
your. Also have a look at EasyCrypto, (http://tinyurl.com/6pyza6), which uses
the highly regarded 128-bit Blowfish algorithm.
If you need industrial-strength protection then you will have to
pay for it, PGP (Pretty Good Privacy - www.pgp.com, is about as good as it
gets, though bear in mind that no system is unbeatable, for anyone determined
enough, and with sufficient resources. In the end security begins at home, so
make sure your office and the computers therein are locked down tightly, so
they can't be easily stolen. You can protect data on laptops with systems that
automatically delete files, either remotely or when an unauthorised attempt is
made to open them, see www.absolute.com..
One is Enough
I have thee anti-virus programs. At start-up they all show that I
have been attacked by various viruses. I request for them to be removed, the
system closes down and on restart shows that there are more viruses to be
removed. Can you please recommend a program that will remove the virus on a
Len Seale, by email
It may seem like a good way to enhance your PC's security but you
should only install one anti-virus program on your PC. That's because all AV
scanners use 'Signature Libraries' to identify potential infections. Basically
these are inert samples of virus code, but to another AV program they can
appear to be live viruses, creating a never-ending series of alerts.
(c) R. Maybury 2008 0707