USBCrypt v.16.10 released

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Personal license $49.95
Business license $99.95

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October 25, 2016.

A new version 16.10 of USBCrypt software is available now for download and purchase!

This update enables the use of USBCrypt on clean installations of Windows 10 build 1607 and Windows Server 2016 with Secure Boot enabled.

As usual, the trial version of USBCrypt comes with a free license for 30 days of full use. If you have not tried it yet, please feel free to download it and give it a try.

And, of course, if you have purchased your USBCrypt within the last 12 months, you can upgrade to this version free of charge (for the earlier purchasers the 50% upgrade discount is also available.)

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Folder Guard v.10.2 released

Buy Folder Guard:
Personal license $49.95 $39.95
Business license $99.95 $79.95

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October 21, 2016.

A new version 10.2 of Folder Guard software is available now for download and purchase!

This is a minor update that enables the use of Folder Guard 10 on computers with Secure Boot enabled that have Windows 10 Anniversary Edition or Windows Server 2016 installed from scratch. We've also added the Spanish language translation to the available downloads.

As usual, the trial version of Folder Guard 10.2 comes with a free license for 30 days of full use. If you have not tried it yet, please feel free to download it and give it a try.

And, of course, if you have purchased your Folder Guard license within the last 12 months, you can upgrade to this version free of charge (for the earlier purchasers the 50% upgrade discount is also available.)

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AB Commander updated to v.9.8.2

Buy AB Commander:
Personal license $39.95
Business license $79.95

Try AB Commander free:
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October 17, 2016.

A new version 9.8.2 of AB Commander is available now for download and purchase!

This version offers several improvements and corrections.

As usual, the trial version of AB Commander comes with a free license for 30 days of full use. If you have not tried it yet, please feel free to download it and give it a try.

And, of course, if you have purchased your AB Commander within the last 12 months, you can upgrade to this version free of charge (for the earlier purchasers the 50% upgrade discount is also available.)

Folder Guard 10.1 released

Buy Folder Guard:
Personal license $49.95 $39.95
Business license $99.95 $79.95

Try Folder Guard free:
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August 21, 2016.

A new version 10.1 of Folder Guard software is available now for download and purchase!

This is a minor update that offers several improvements to Folder Guard 10. In particular, Folder Guard is now available in several languages other than English.

As usual, the trial version of Folder Guard 10.1 comes with a free license for 30 days of full use. If you have not tried it yet, please feel free to download it and give it a try.

And, of course, if you have purchased your Folder Guard within the last 12 months, you can upgrade to this version free of charge (for the earlier purchasers the 50% upgrade discount is also available.)

More information

AB Commander 9.8 released

Buy AB Commander:
Personal license $39.95
Business license $79.95

Try AB Commander free:
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August 10, 2016.

A new version 9.8 of AB Commander is available now for download and purchase!

This version offers several improvements and corrections.

As usual, the trial version of AB Commander comes with a free license for 30 days of full use. If you have not tried it yet, please feel free to download it and give it a try.

And, of course, if you have purchased your AB Commander within the last 12 months, you can upgrade to this version free of charge (for the earlier purchasers the 50% upgrade discount is also available.)

Windows 10 fails to upgrade? Here is how to fix it.

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There are many possible reasons for Widows 10 upgrade to fail. Whether you are upgrading from an older version of Windows, such as Windows 7 or Windows 8, or from a previous build of Windows 10 itself, if the upgrade is failing, the first things to check are the obvious ones: search the web for the error message displayed and see what others might have done about it, check your C: drive for errors, remove any old software that might be incompatible with Windows 10, etc.

If you tired such things, but Windows 10 still fails to upgrade without giving an obvious explanation, for example, if the upgrade reaches a certain percentage point and then stalls there for hours, and when you try the upgrade again, it stalls again, perhaps at a different percentage point, one of the possibilities is that the BCD on your computer is corrupted and that's stopping Windows 10 from upgrading properly.

What is BCD, you might be wondering? It stands for Boot Configuration Data, and it's a set of files that Windows is using internally when it starts your computer. It is used by Windows upgrade procedure, too, and if something is wrong with it, Windows upgrade fails. This article explains how to repair the BCD.

However, first things first:

DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION DISCUSSED HERE CAN CAUSE HARM TO YOUR COMPUTER, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO: THE IRREPAIRABLE DAMAGE TO THE FILES, MAKING THE COMPUTER INOPERABLE, AND/OR VOIDING THE COMPUTER MANUFACTURER'S WARRANTY. YOUR COMPUTER MAY BE INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE INFORMATION DISCUSSED HERE. THE INFORMATION DISCUSSED HERE INVOLVES THIRD-PARTY TOOLS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN TESTED BY WINABILITY SOFTWARE CORPORATION. THE USE OF THE TOOLS AND INFORMATION DISCUSSED HERE MAY BE ILLEGAL IN YOUR JURISDICTION. THE INFORMATION DISCUSSED HERE IS PROVIDED "AS-IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. THE INFORMATION AND TOOLS DISCUSSED HERE MAY BE INCORRECT, OUTDATED, INVALID, OR HARMFUL. BY USING THE INFORMATION AND TOOLS DISCUSSED HERE YOU AGREE WITHOUT EXCEPTION THAT YOU WILL BE THE SOLE RESPONSIBLE PARTY FOR DETERMINING WHETHER THIS INFORMATION AND TOOLS ARE SUITABLE FOR USE BY YOU, AND YOU AGREE THAT ALL RISK ARISING FROM ANY USE OR MISUSE OF THE INFORMATION AND TOOLS WILL REMAIN WITH YOU. THE INFORMATION AND TOOLS DISCUSSED HERE ARE NOT SUPPORTED BY WINABILITY SOFTWARE CORPORATION. SHOULD YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS OR ASSISTANCE WITH REGARD TO THE INFORMATION AND TOOLS DISCUSSED HERE YOU SHOULD SEEK COMPETENT LEGAL AND/OR TECHNICAL ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS.

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1. Boot in the Safe mode with Command Prompt

The procedure depends on the version of Windows that you already have. If you have trouble rebooting your computer in the safe mode, another option is to boot the computer from Windows 10 DVD (if you have it, of course), and choose Repair your computer option:

On the next screen, choose Troubleshooting, and then finally choose the Command prompt option:

2. Rebuild the BCD

Type the following command in the command prompt:

  bootrec.exe /RebuildBCD

Windows should start searching for the existing installations of Windows you might have on your hard drives. If it reports that 0 installations are found, try the following two commands, one after another:

  bcdedit /CreateStore BCD
  bcdedit /Import BCD

Now try the bootrec.exe /RebuildBCD command again. This time, Windows should find its existing installation and ask you to add it to the BCD information, reply Y for Yes:

Encrypt and password-protect external drives with USBCrypt software for Windows 10,8,7, and XP.
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Now close the Command prompt, restart the computer as usual, and try to upgrade to Windows 10 again. Chances are, the upgrade will now succeed! It not, then sorry, the problem on your computer was something else.

Good luck!

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How to stop Microsoft Edge from hijacking PDF files

Windows 10 comes with the new web browser, Edge, that is also set up as the default application for handling several other popular files, such as PDF. If you prefer another program to open the PDF files, you can set up that program using the Default Programs tool of Control Panel. You could also use the Open With... command that appears on the right-click menu for the PDF files.

However, in some situations, changing the default application for handling the PDF files does not stick: it may work once or twice, and then Microsoft Edge takes over, reverting the file association of the PDF files to itself. You can try to change the default application once more, but soon Windows "forgets" about your decision and starts opening them with Edge again. If you experience such a problem, the following solution might help.

First things first: the following steps involve changing values in Windows Registry. Please be extra careful with it, because if you do something wrong, you can damage your Windows installation and even make your computer disabled. If you are not familiar with the Registry Editor, you may want to ask a more experienced friend or a colleague for help.

To solve the problem of Microsoft Edge hijacking the PDF files, run Registry Editor, and navigate to the following key:

  HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    SOFTWARE
      Classes
        Local Settings
          Software
            Microsoft
              Windows
                CurrentVersion
                  AppModel
                    Repository
                      Packages

Under this key, look for a key that starts with Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge. At the time of this writing, such a key is named:

Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_38.14393.0.0_neutral__8wekyb3d8bbwe

However, it could be changed in the later versions of Windows. Expand this key and also expand the following keys under it:

  Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_38.14393.0.0_neutral__8wekyb3d8bbwe
    MicrosoftEdge
      Capabilities
        FileAssociations

Select FileAssociations and look at the list in the right-hand part of the screen:

Take a note of the Data string displayed for the .pdf name. At the time of this writing, the string is AppXd4nrz8ff68srnhf9t5a8sbjyar1cr723, but it may change in the future versions of Windows.

Now, while still in Registry Editor, navigate to the key:

  HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    SOFTWARE
      Classes
        AppXd4nrz8ff68srnhf9t5a8sbjyar1cr723

Right-click on AppXd4nrz8ff68srnhf9t5a8sbjyar1cr723, and choose Rename from the menu. Add the underscore character to the end of the name and press Enter to save the new name:

Now use the Default Applications tool of Windows Control Panel one last time to set up a default application for the PDF files (other than Edge). From now on, Edge should not reinstall itself as the default application.

If you decide later on that you want to return to the previous behavior, simply remove the underscore character from the name of the AppXd4nrz8ff68srnhf9t5a8sbjyar1cr723 key (thus restoring its original name).

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Preventing installations of specific programs with Folder Guard

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Personal license $49.95 $39.95
Business license $99.95 $79.95

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So you've got a program that causes problems on your computer, or you have some other reason for not wanting a specific program to be installed on your computer. For example, Google is very pushy about its Google Chrome web browser: it's very easy for other users to click the button to install it, but you don't want that to happen (because, for example, you have already installed another web browser and you don't want to clutter your hard drive with software that no one is going to use anyway?) Wouldn't it be nice to remove the ability of the users to install that specific program, without getting in the way of other programs to work on your computer?

It's pretty easy to achieve with Folder Guard. All you need to do is restrict access to the folder in which the program is usually installed. If the program cannot create files into its program folder, it would not be able to install!

Let us show the steps involved using Google Chrome as an example. This web browser installs its files into the folder named Google, inside the C:/Program Files folder on your hard drive. (For other programs, you may want to try to install them first, to see which folders they install into.) Run Windows Explorer and navigate to the C:/Program Files folder. Is there a folder named Google there? If yes, continue to the next step. If not, create an empty folder and name it Google there:

Preparing to restrict the installation folder

Now run Folder Guard and use it to set up the read-only access to the Google folder. Such a restriction prevents modifications to the folder, including creating new files in it, which is exactly what we need.

The procedure is described in detail in the User's Guide of Folder Guard. The easiest way to proceed is to drag the Google folder from Windows Explorer window with the mouse and drop it over the Folder Guard window. When you drop a folder in such a way, the Folder Guard Wizard should start automatically:

Folder Guard wizard guides you through the configuration process

Continue using the wizard to set up the protection we need. Select the option to restrict the folder without a password:

Folder Guard wizard guides you through the configuration process

We don't need to restrict the visibility of the folder, so we leave it Default:

Folder Guard wizard guides you through the configuration process

This is the step where we select the desired access restriction; for our purposes the read-only choice is just what we need here:

Folder Guard wizard guides you through the configuration process

After the wizard is finished, an entry like this one should appear in the list of the restrictions of Folder Guard:

Folder Guard wizard guides you through the configuration process

Now enable the protection (or, if the protection is already in effect, press the Apply button for the new restrictions to take effect) and try to install Google Chrome. If everything is well, it should display an error message like this one and stop installing:

Folder Guard restricts the ability of Google Chrome to install its program files

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The same steps can be used to prevent installing other programs, as well, as long as they don't allow the user to change the installation folder. If you want to prevent installing a program that does allows that, a different approach should be used.

Happy computing!

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USBCrypt 16.6 released

Buy USBCrypt:
Personal license $49.95
Business license $99.95

Try USBCrypt free:
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June 15, 2016.

A new version 16.6 of USBCrypt software is available now for download and purchase!

This update offers several improvements and fixes.

As usual, the trial version of USBCrypt comes with a free license for 30 days of full use. If you have not tried it yet, please feel free to download it and give it a try.

And, of course, if you have purchased your USBCrypt within the last 12 months, you can upgrade to this version free of charge (for the earlier purchasers the 50% upgrade discount is also available.)

More information

AB Commander 9.7 released

Buy AB Commander:
Personal license $39.95
Business license $79.95

Try AB Commander free:
Download free trial

June 15, 2016.

A new version 9.7 of AB Commander is available now for download and purchase!

This version offers several improvements and corrections.

As usual, the trial version of AB Commander comes with a free license for 30 days of full use. If you have not tried it yet, please feel free to download it and give it a try.

And, of course, if you have purchased your AB Commander within the last 12 months, you can upgrade to this version free of charge (for the earlier purchasers the 50% upgrade discount is also available.)

Useful Windows utilities and security software