Folder Guard 10 certified for Windows 10

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

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May 15, 2016.

A new version 10.0 of Folder Guard software is available now for download and purchase!

This is a major update that adds many new features and capabilities to Folder Guard, such as:

This version of Folder Guard passed the Microsoft tests and is now officially certified as compatible with Windows 10.

As usual, the trial version of Folder Guard 10 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.)

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Folder Guard licensing explained

Password-protect and hide personal files and folders with Folder Guard for Windows 10,8,7, and XP.
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Our Folder Guard software offers many different ways of protecting files, folders, and programs, including some advanced methods that are useful mostly in the business environments and have little practical use at home. We thought it would be unfair to expect the home users of Folder Guard to pay the full price of the software for the features they would not use anyway, so we created a less expensive option specifically designed for the home users. If you have registered Folder Guard with a Home license that was described as for the home, personal use only, the following limitations apply:

  • The filters are not available for use with the Home licenses. You can still see the list of filters in the Filters view, but you would not be able to enable them for actual use. To use the filters, purchase one of the business licenses, such as the Professional or Office license.
  • If you have purchased a Home, personal license, the shared folders cannot be protected with passwords for use by the network users. You should still be able to set up folder passwords for the local users.
  • Even if you are a business user who doesn't need the filters or the network passwords, you are still not authorized to use the Home license on a business computer. The Home license can be used only on a personal computer that is not used for any business or employment-related tasks.
  • To install Folder Guard on a Windows Server, an office license for 10 computers or more must be purchased. Without such a license, you can install Folder Guard on a server in the trial mode only. Remember that even if you are going to install Folder Guard on the server computer only, you must still count all other computers on the network that may connect to the server to include in your license.

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Speed up the updates of the network folders

Suppose you have two computers, A and B, on the same network. Computer A has a shared folder, which is accessed from the computer B. You change something in the shared folder on the computer A, for example, add or remove a file, or rename it, but the computer B does not see the change right away. It may take 30 seconds (or more) before the computer B shows the updated listing of the files in the shared folder located on the computer A. If this is happening on your network, we bet you would want to make the updates happen across the network much faster, wouldn't you?

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The reason for the delay in the first place is that the Windows network browser uses a cache to store the file information it receives over the network from other computers. The purpose of such a cache is to minimize the network traffic: if the computer B requests the same information from the computer A too often, then instead of contacting the computer A every time, Windows just uses the information it stored in the cache last time. Theoretically, this is supposed to speed up the network browsing, but only if the cache is kept in sync with the actual information and is updated promptly. If it gets stalled for 30 seconds or more, you can hardly call it an improvement in speed.

Anyway, the solution to the slow network updates described above is to disable the cache, and the following registry tweak should do just that.

Before you begin: The following information is provided AS-IS, WITHOUT GUARANTEE OF ANY KIND. Use the following information at your own risk. Please be very careful with Registry Editor, because it's very easy to use it to damage your system, if you are not careful. If you are not sure, ask someone who is more experienced with computers for help. We do not provide any support regarding any issues that may arise out of your use or misuse of the following information.

To disable the network browsing cache, run Registry Editor on the computer that you use to browse the shared folders (in our example, it's the computer B), and select the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SYSTEM / CurrentControlSet /services / LanmanWorkstation / Parameters

Under this key, create a new DWORD entry with the name DirectoryCacheLifetime and the value of 0.

Exit Registry Editor. The change should take effect right away, but if not, restart the computer. After that, the changes you make to the shared folders on other computers should be seen on this computer much faster than before.

If you decide to reverse the change and re-enable the network browser cache, use Registry Editor again to delete the entry DirectoryCacheLifetime you've created above.

Happy computing!

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Make your Windows laptop work as a Wi-Fi access point

When you travel, you encounter all kinds of Internet access arrangements. Some hotels make it easy, allowing you to use their Wi-Fi networks without restrictions. More often than not, however, connecting to Wi-Fi on the go is not simple. For example, some hotels limit connections to their Wi-Fi networks to one device only. Or, one device at a time. Or, some places offer the wired (Ethernet) lines only. Sure, you can connect your laptop to the Internet this way, but what about your tablet or the smart phone, wouldn't it be nice to connect them, too?

Turns out, it may be possible to set up your laptop to share its Internet connection with other devices via its Wi-Fi adapter. The following steps should work well if you have a laptop with Windows 7 or later. If you have Windows Vista or XP, a different procedure may work instead. (A hint: search the web for how to create an ad-hoc connection for the specific version of Windows that you have.)

The first thing to do is to check that your Wi-Fi network adapter suports the so called Hosted Network mode. To do that, open Windows command prompt and enter the following command:

netsh wlan show drivers

Look for the line that reads Hosted network supported: Yes.

If you see it, you are good to go. If not, then your Wi-Fi network adapter does not support this feature, sorry.

Now, let's configure your laptop to offer its own Wi-Fi access point, to which you could connect your other Wi-Fi devices. First, decide on the name of the wireless network your laptop would create. It could be nearly anything. In the example below, we chose the name MyLaptopWiFi. Second, decide on the password that you would need to enter to connect your other devices to this access point. We chose Orange6725 as the password; you can obviously choose something else.

To actually create the access point, open the command prompt in the Administrator mode. To do that on Windows 10, you could press the Win-X keys and select Command prompt (Admin) from the menu. Then, enter the following two commands into the command prompt:

netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=MyLaptopWiFi key=Orange6725
netsh wlan start hostednetwork

Of course, replace MyLaptopWiFi and Orange6725 with your own name and password that you have chosen.

This creates the access point, but it's not fully operational yet: you need to tell Windows that you want to share your actual Internet connection with the access point you've just created. To do that, use Windows Control Panel to open the Network and Sharing Center window. There, click on the connection that provides the actual connection to the Internet (which could be your Wi-Fi connection or the Ethernet line, depending how you have connected to the Internet.), press Properties for that connection, and finally select the Sharing tab:

Check the Allow other users to connect through this computer's Internet connection box, and also select Local area connection in the Home networking connection list.

This should make your laptop to work as a Wi-Fi access point. If you open another device, you should now see MyLaptopWiFi in the list of the Wi-Fi networks offered. Connect to it, as usual, entering the password you have set up, and your device should now be connected to the Internet via the laptop. Pretty neat, huh?

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Well, it all should work well in theory. In practice, though, we discovered that not all is smooth. If you connected a device to MyLaptopWiFi, but there is no connection to the Internet on that device, try to restart the laptop, and repeat the steps above again, it may work better the second time. Or, it appears that enabling the access point may not work well with the power transitions of your laptop. That is, if you try to put the laptop to sleep, it may not work and the laptop may stay awake while the access point is enabled. We also experienced a few blue screen crashes, although not that frequently to make it a real concern. It may depend on the model of your laptop or the Wi-Fi card that your laptop has; some combinations may work better than others.

Keep in mind, that if you put your laptop to sleep or restart it, the access point disappears and you would need to set it up again each time you wake up the laptop. If you do this frequently and don't want to go through the same steps every time, you may want to use Windows Task Scheduler to do it for you. For example, put the two commands shown above in a batch file, and then create a new task that would run that batch file, and set the trigger for that task On workstation unlock. This way, every time you wake up the laptop and unlock it, the batch file would run for you automatically. When you no longer need it, disable the task in Task Scheduler.

We also found that sometimes an attempt to create the access point fails with Windows displaying the following message:

The hosted network couldn't be started. The group or resource is not in the correct state to perform the requested operation.

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If this happens, it could be because the hosted network adapter got disabled for some reason. To solve this problem, open Device Manager, navigate to Network adapters, right-click Microsoft Hosted Network device, and choose to enable it. (If you don't see it in Device Manager, restart the laptop.) Check also that the real Internet connection is still shared.

Finally, what if you've created the access point, used it for awhile, and no longer need it, how to turn it off? Easy: open Windows command prompt and enter the following commands:

netsh wlan stop hostednetwork
netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=disallow

Happy travels!

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How to stop automatic updates on Windows 10

With Windows 10, Microsoft took away our control of how and when Windows updates are installed: by default they are installed when they become available, whether we want them or not.

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Why would one not want to install updates right away? When one's computer is using a connection that's limited in bandwidth or expensive, obviously. This is usually not the case when connecting to a Wi-Fi at home or at work, but when you travel, you may find it necessary to use a cell data connection that's roaming, or metered, and in such case you certainly don't wan't to end up with a huge bill after Windows has downloaded a multi-megabyte update in the background without telling you.

So, how to temporarily stop Windows 10 from using the bandwidth for the maintenance tasks such as Window updates? Easy: you need to tell Windows that the connection you are using is metered, and that would stop the automatic updates over that connection. Specifically, the steps are as follows:

1. Open the Start menu of Windows 10 and choose Settings:

2. Select Network and Internet:

3. Select Wi-Fi:

4. Select Manage known networks:

5. Select the Wi-Fi network you are connected to, click Properties, and then select Advanced options:

If you don't see Advanced options on this screen, it probably means you are not connected to a Wi-Fi network. In such a case, connect to Wi-Fi, and then repeat the steps above.

6. Move the Set as metered connection switch to the On position:

That's it, that should stop Windows 10 from downloading updates over this specific connection. Keep in mind that if later on you connect to a different Wi-Fi network, you should set it as a metered connection, too, if you want the ban on Windows updates to continue.

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Consider also, that Windows stops doing some other tasks over the metered connections, such as installing or updating device drivers delivered via the Windows update channel. If you encounter a problem connecting a device to your laptop while using a metered Wi-Fi connection, try turning off the 'metered connection' switch and see if that improves the situation.

And of course, when you are back home from the trip, don't forget to check that the metered connection setting is off, to allow the updates to resume and go on as usual. Remember that Windows updates are (usually) a good thing!

Happy computing!

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StartFinity Pro v.2.3 released

StartFinity Start Menu for Windows 8 and 10. (Click to enlarge) StartFinity Pro Start Menu (Click to enlarge)

We are excited to announce the immediate availability of version 2.3 of StartFinity Pro.

This is a minor update that corrects the following problem: on computers with more than one monitor, attaching an additional monitor did not always result in StartFinity start button to appear on the attached monitor.

To update your existing StartFinity installation, right-click on the StartFinity start button, choose Check for updates from the shortcut menu, and it should guide you through the update.

Or, go to the Download StartFinity page to download and install StartFinity 2.3 manually.

Happy computing!

Windows cannot connect to the printer. Access is denied.

Recently we wanted to print something from an old computer running Windows 2000 (yes, we have all kinds of dinosaurs in our office zoo) to a printer connected to a laptop that was recently upgraded to Windows 10. In the past, all we needed to do was to share the printer on the laptop, and then add it as a network printer on the Windows 2000 computer, and it would work beautifully.

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This time, however, when attempting to add the network printer to the Windows 2000 computer, we received the following message: "Windows cannot connect to the printer. Access is denied." We tried to do the usual troubleshooting: checked the security settings of the shared printer, checked the sharing settings, made sure that the file and printer sharing was enabled on the Windows 10 laptop, all was in order, yet the Windows 2000 computer was still denied access to the shared printer.

After restarting both computers a few times and repeating the sharing/connecting steps, but the same error message appeared every time. So we tried something different, and it worked. We decided to share our solution here, hoping it could be of help to someone else:

1. On the computer to which the printer is connected (in our case it was the Windows 10 laptop), share the printer as usual, and when sharing it, set up the share name that is easy to type in. For example, in our case the long name of the printer was "Epson Stylus Photo R200", but we shared it with the name EpsonR200:

Shared printer settings

2. On the computer from which you want to connect to this printer (in our case it was the Windows 2000 computer) use the built-in Add Printer wizard and choose the 'Add Local Printer' option:

Add local printer

3. Press Next, and on the next page choose the 'Create a new port' option and make sure the 'Local port' option is selected:

Create local port

4. When you press Next, Windows will prompt you to enter the port name. Enter the UNC name of the shared printer, in the format: //computername/sharedname . In our case, the computer name of the Windows 10 laptop was laptop, and we had previously set up the shared name of the printer as EpsonR200 (see Step 1 above), so we entered the port name as:

Settin up the local port name

If you don't know the network name of your computer, you can find it out as follows: right-click on the This PC folder (or Computer) in Explorer or some other file manager, and choose Properties from the shortcut menu. On that page, look for the 'computer name' text. That's the name you need to enter instead of 'laptop' in our example. Be sure to use the name of the computer that has the printer attached to it, not the one from which you are trying to connect to the printer through the network!

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Next, Windows will probably ask you to select the printer make and model, install its drivers, etc. Keep providing the information that the wizard requires, according to your specific printer. When done, Windows should add the new printer to the computer, and you should be able to use it to print files. The procedure described above worked for us, hopefully it will work for you, too.

Happy printing!

If you want to link to this article, you can use this HTML code: <a href="http://www.winability.com/windows-cannot-connect-to-the-printer-access-is-denied/">Windows cannot connect to the printer. Access is denied.</a>

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USBCrypt 15.8 certified for Windows 10

Buy USBCrypt:
Personal license $49.95
Business license $99.95

Try USBCrypt free:
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August 10, 2015.

A new version 15.8 of USBCrypt software is available now for download and purchase!

This update includes several minor tweaks to make USBCrypt run smoothly on Widows 10 computers. This version of USBCrypt passed the Microsoft tests and now is is officially certified as compatible with Windows 10.

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 v.9.6 certified for Windows 10

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

Try AB Commander free:
Download free trial

August 8, 2015.

A new version 9.6 of AB Commander is available now for download and purchase!

This version has been officially certified by Microsoft as software compatible with Windows 10. We've made a few improvements to make it work smoothly with Windows 10.

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.)

StartFinity Pro v.2.2 certified for Windows 10

August 7, 2015

We are excited to announce the immediate availability of StartFinity Pro v.2.2, a new version that passed the Microsoft certification for compatibility with Windows 10.

This version offers a few minor changes that make it work smoothly on Windows 10 computers.

If you purchased a previous version of StartFinity from us within the last 12 month, you are eligible for a free upgrade! Otherwise, please visit our Upgrade Center to see the upgrade options available to you.

Useful Windows utilities and security software