How to reset the root password after upgrading MariaDB

If you've upgraded to MariaDB version 10.4, you may be surprised to learn that it no longer uses the root user the same way it used before. For most situations it should not be a problem, because most software packages should not use the root user anyway. Except that you may have other database management software that uses the root user to manage the MySQL databases, and they would no longer work. For example, if you use Webmin to manage your server that worked well with the old version of MySQL, you may find that it cannot login to MySQL server after the upgrade:

Webmin needs to know your MySQL administration login and password in order to manage your database. Please enter your administration username (usually root) and password below.

The problem is, the latest version of MariaDB changed the handling of the root user quite significantly. There is a way to make it work to keep other software like Webmin happy. We just need to reset the password for the root user. You may find quite a few online tutorials that suggest using the command mysqld_safe --skip-grant-tables to reset the root password, but when you try it, you may be surprised to learn that it no longer works with MariaDB 10.4 (again, because they had changed the handling of the root user.)

First things first though: what is described below worked for us, but it MAY NOT WORK for your specific server configuration. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS PROVIDED "AS-IS" WITHOUT A WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. BY CHOOSING TO USE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION, YOU ASSUME THE ENTIRE RISK OF SELECTION, APPLICATION, AND USE OF THE INFORMATION. INDEPENDENT OF THE FORGOING PROVISIONS, IN NO EVENT AND UNDER NO LEGAL THEORY, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, TORT, CONTRACT, OR STRICT PRODUCTS LIABILITY, SHALL WINABILITY SOFTWARE CORPORATION OR ANY OF ITS SUPPLIERS BE LIABLE TO YOU OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF GOODWILL, WORK STOPPAGE, COMPUTER MALFUNCTION, OR ANY OTHER KIND OF COMMERCIAL DAMAGE, EVEN IF WINABILITY SOFTWARE CORPORATION HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. THIS LIMITATION SHALL NOT APPLY TO LIABILITY FOR DEATH OR PERSONAL INJURY TO THE EXTENT PROHIBITED BY APPLICABLE LAW. IN NO EVENT SHALL WINABILITY SOFTWARE CORPORATION'S LIABILITY FOR ACTUAL DAMAGES FOR ANY CAUSE WHATSOEVER, AND REGARDLESS OF THE FORM OF ACTION, EXCEED THE AMOUNT OF THE PURCHASE PRICE PAID FOR THE SOFTWARE LICENSE OR ONE UNITED STATES DOLLAR, WHICHEVER IS THE GREATER.

IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO FULLY ACCSEPT THE RISK OF USING THIS INFORMATION, STOP HERE. If you do agree, let's continue.

To reset the root user password for MariaDB 10.4, try sudo mysql instead:

$ sudo mysql
Welcome to the MariaDB monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MariaDB connection id is 40
Server version: 10.4.12-MariaDB MariaDB Server

Copyright (c) 2000, 2018, Oracle, MariaDB Corporation Ab and others.

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.

MariaDB [(none)]>

Now enter the following command at the MariaDB command prompt (replace secret with the actual password of the root user that you want to set):

MariaDB [(none)]> ALTER USER root@localhost IDENTIFIED VIA mysql_native_password USING PASSWORD("secret");

Now try Webmin to log in to the MySQL server again, using the same root password. Happy MySQL-ing!

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How to upgrade MySQL or MariaDB properly

If you've used the Site Health tool of your WordPress installation and it reported that your server has an Outdated SQL server, you probably want to upgrade the database software to the new, faster version, to improve the performance of your web site.

First things first though: what is described below worked for us, but it MAY NOT WORK for your specific server configuration. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS PROVIDED "AS-IS" WITHOUT A WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. BY CHOOSING TO USE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION, YOU ASSUME THE ENTIRE RISK OF SELECTION, APPLICATION, AND USE OF THE INFORMATION. INDEPENDENT OF THE FORGOING PROVISIONS, IN NO EVENT AND UNDER NO LEGAL THEORY, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, TORT, CONTRACT, OR STRICT PRODUCTS LIABILITY, SHALL WINABILITY SOFTWARE CORPORATION OR ANY OF ITS SUPPLIERS BE LIABLE TO YOU OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF GOODWILL, WORK STOPPAGE, COMPUTER MALFUNCTION, OR ANY OTHER KIND OF COMMERCIAL DAMAGE, EVEN IF WINABILITY SOFTWARE CORPORATION HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. THIS LIMITATION SHALL NOT APPLY TO LIABILITY FOR DEATH OR PERSONAL INJURY TO THE EXTENT PROHIBITED BY APPLICABLE LAW. IN NO EVENT SHALL WINABILITY SOFTWARE CORPORATION'S LIABILITY FOR ACTUAL DAMAGES FOR ANY CAUSE WHATSOEVER, AND REGARDLESS OF THE FORM OF ACTION, EXCEED THE AMOUNT OF THE PURCHASE PRICE PAID FOR THE SOFTWARE LICENSE OR ONE UNITED STATES DOLLAR, WHICHEVER IS THE GREATER.

IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO FULLY ACCEPT THE RISK OF USING THIS INFORMATION, STOP HERE. If you do agree, let's continue.

Login to the server and check the current version of the MySQL server:

$ mysql -V
mysql  Ver 15.1 Distrib 5.5.64-MariaDB, for Linux (x86_64) using readline 5.1

This tells us that the server indeed is running a pretty old version 5.5 of MariaDB. The current version as of this writing is 10.4, so let's upgrade it. The example below if for a server having the Centos 7 flavor of Linux. If your distribution is different you may need to make adjustments to the commands below as appropriate.

Next step is to do a backup of your databases and/or of the complete server. It's quite possible that something will go wrong during the update. The simplest way to solve such problems would be to restore the complete system from the backup and start over. If you don't know how to do the backup, stop here and learn that first. Got the backup? Tested it? If yes, let's continue.

Check that the system is up to date:

$ sudo yum update
No packages marked for update

Now, a lot of other online tutorials you may find elsewhere suggest that in order to install a new version of MariaDB, you should uninstall the old version first. This is certainly a valid approach. The problem with it, however, is that when you uninstall MySQL or MariaDB, all other software packages that depend on it would be removed as well. It should not be a big inconvenience if you are setting up a fresh server: you probably don't have a great number of packages dependent on MySQL, and it would not be too difficult to install and configure them again after installing the new version of MySQL.

If, however, you are upgrading MySQL on an established server, you probably want to minimize the changes to the configuration of other software packages. To do that, we can try to upgrade the MySQL/MariaDB package without uninstalling the old version first. That's the approach we take below.

Next step would be to add the MariaDB repository. The MariaDB web site has a helpful web page that can generate the repository file appropriate for your Linux distribution. To create the file, we use the nano editor:

$ sudo nano /etc/yum.repos.d/MariaDB.repo

Paste the content of the repository file suggested by the MariaDB web site into nano:

[mariadb]
name = MariaDB
baseurl = http://yum.mariadb.org/10.4/centos7-amd64
gpgkey=https://yum.mariadb.org/RPM-GPG-KEY-MariaDB
enabled=0
gpgcheck=1

Press Ctrl+X to close nano, press Y to confirm it's OK to save to file, and now check for updates again. This time it should inform us that a new version of MariaDB available:

$ sudo yum update
mariadb                                                  | 2.9 kB     00:00
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package MariaDB-client.x86_64 0:10.4.12-1.el7.centos will be obsoleting
--> Processing Dependency: MariaDB-common for package: MariaDB-client-10.4.12-1.el7.centos.x86_64
---> Package MariaDB-compat.x86_64 0:10.4.12-1.el7.centos will be obsoleting
---> Package MariaDB-server.x86_64 0:10.4.12-1.el7.centos will be obsoleting
--> Processing Dependency: galera-4 for package: MariaDB-server-10.4.12-1.el7.centos.x86_64
---> Package mariadb.x86_64 1:5.5.64-1.el7 will be obsoleted
---> Package mariadb-libs.x86_64 1:5.5.64-1.el7 will be obsoleted
---> Package mariadb-server.x86_64 1:5.5.64-1.el7 will be obsoleted
--> Running transaction check
---> Package MariaDB-common.x86_64 0:10.4.12-1.el7.centos will be installed
---> Package galera-4.x86_64 0:26.4.3-1.rhel7.el7.centos will be installed
--> Processing Dependency: libboost_program_options.so.1.53.0()(64bit) for package: galera-4-26.4.3-1.rhel7.el7.centos.x86_64
--> Running transaction check
---> Package boost-program-options.x86_64 0:1.53.0-27.el7 will be installed
--> Finished Dependency Resolution

Dependencies Resolved

================================================================================
 Package                 Arch     Version                       Repository
                                                                           Size
================================================================================
Installing:
 MariaDB-client          x86_64   10.4.12-1.el7.centos          mariadb    12 M
     replacing  mariadb.x86_64 1:5.5.64-1.el7
 MariaDB-compat          x86_64   10.4.12-1.el7.centos          mariadb   2.8 M
     replacing  mariadb-libs.x86_64 1:5.5.64-1.el7
 MariaDB-server          x86_64   10.4.12-1.el7.centos          mariadb    26 M
     replacing  mariadb-server.x86_64 1:5.5.64-1.el7
Installing for dependencies:
 MariaDB-common          x86_64   10.4.12-1.el7.centos          mariadb    81 k
 boost-program-options   x86_64   1.53.0-27.el7                 base      156 k
 galera-4                x86_64   26.4.3-1.rhel7.el7.centos     mariadb   9.3 M

Transaction Summary
================================================================================
Install  3 Packages (+3 Dependent packages)

Total download size: 50 M
Is this ok [y/d/N]:

We can see in the table above that 3 packages with the new version of MariaDB will replace the appropriate packages with the old version. We reply Y to allow the download to proceed and enter Y once more to allow it to download the package signing key:

Downloading packages:
warning: /var/cache/yum/x86_64/7/mariadb/packages/MariaDB-common-10.4.12-1.el7.centos.x86_64.rpm: Header V4 DSA/SHA1 Signature, key ID 1bb943db: NOKEY
Public key for MariaDB-common-10.4.12-1.el7.centos.x86_64.rpm is not installed
(1/6): MariaDB-common-10.4.12-1.el7.centos.x86_64.rpm      |  81 kB   00:00
(2/6): MariaDB-compat-10.4.12-1.el7.centos.x86_64.rpm      | 2.8 MB   00:00
(3/6): boost-program-options-1.53.0-27.el7.x86_64.rpm      | 156 kB   00:00
(4/6): MariaDB-client-10.4.12-1.el7.centos.x86_64.rpm      |  12 MB   00:01
(5/6): galera-4-26.4.3-1.rhel7.el7.centos.x86_64.rpm       | 9.3 MB   00:00
(6/6): MariaDB-server-10.4.12-1.el7.centos.x86_64.rpm      |  26 MB   00:00
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total                                               29 MB/s |  50 MB  00:01
Retrieving key from https://yum.mariadb.org/RPM-GPG-KEY-MariaDB
Importing GPG key 0x1BB943DB:
 Userid     : "MariaDB Package Signing Key "
 Fingerprint: 1993 69e5 404b d5fc 7d2f e43b cbcb 082a 1bb9 43db
 From       : https://yum.mariadb.org/RPM-GPG-KEY-MariaDB
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Running transaction check
Running transaction test
Transaction test succeeded
Running transaction
  Installing : MariaDB-compat-10.4.12-1.el7.centos.x86_64                   1/9
  Installing : MariaDB-common-10.4.12-1.el7.centos.x86_64                   2/9
warning: /etc/my.cnf created as /etc/my.cnf.rpmnew
  Installing : MariaDB-client-10.4.12-1.el7.centos.x86_64                   3/9
  Installing : boost-program-options-1.53.0-27.el7.x86_64                   4/9
  Installing : galera-4-26.4.3-1.rhel7.el7.centos.x86_64                    5/9
  Installing : MariaDB-server-10.4.12-1.el7.centos.x86_64                   6/9
  Erasing    : 1:mariadb-server-5.5.64-1.el7.x86_64                         7/9
warning: /var/log/mariadb/mariadb.log saved as /var/log/mariadb/mariadb.log.rpmsave
  Erasing    : 1:mariadb-5.5.64-1.el7.x86_64                                8/9
  Erasing    : 1:mariadb-libs-5.5.64-1.el7.x86_64                           9/9
  Verifying  : MariaDB-server-10.4.12-1.el7.centos.x86_64                   1/9
  Verifying  : MariaDB-client-10.4.12-1.el7.centos.x86_64                   2/9
  Verifying  : galera-4-26.4.3-1.rhel7.el7.centos.x86_64                    3/9
  Verifying  : MariaDB-common-10.4.12-1.el7.centos.x86_64                   4/9
  Verifying  : boost-program-options-1.53.0-27.el7.x86_64                   5/9
  Verifying  : MariaDB-compat-10.4.12-1.el7.centos.x86_64                   6/9
  Verifying  : 1:mariadb-libs-5.5.64-1.el7.x86_64                           7/9
  Verifying  : 1:mariadb-5.5.64-1.el7.x86_64                                8/9
  Verifying  : 1:mariadb-server-5.5.64-1.el7.x86_64                         9/9

Installed:
  MariaDB-client.x86_64 0:10.4.12-1.el7.centos
  MariaDB-compat.x86_64 0:10.4.12-1.el7.centos
  MariaDB-server.x86_64 0:10.4.12-1.el7.centos

Dependency Installed:
  MariaDB-common.x86_64 0:10.4.12-1.el7.centos
  boost-program-options.x86_64 0:1.53.0-27.el7
  galera-4.x86_64 0:26.4.3-1.rhel7.el7.centos

Replaced:
  mariadb.x86_64 1:5.5.64-1.el7           mariadb-libs.x86_64 1:5.5.64-1.el7
  mariadb-server.x86_64 1:5.5.64-1.el7

Complete!
$

We are almost done. Let's restart the MySQL server and check the version again:

$ sudo systemctl restart mariadb
$ sudo mysql -V
mysql  Ver 15.1 Distrib 10.4.12-MariaDB, for Linux (x86_64) using readline 5.1

It looks like the new version is running! The last step is to let the new version upgrade the existing databases:

$ sudo mysql_upgrade
Phase 1/7: Checking and upgrading mysql database
Processing databases
mysql
mysql.columns_priv                                 OK
mysql.db                                           OK
mysql.event                                        OK
mysql.func                                         OK
mysql.help_category                                OK
mysql.help_keyword                                 OK
mysql.help_relation                                OK
mysql.help_topic                                   OK
mysql.host                                         OK
mysql.ndb_binlog_index                             OK
mysql.plugin                                       OK
mysql.proc                                         OK
mysql.procs_priv                                   OK
mysql.proxies_priv                                 OK
mysql.servers                                      OK
mysql.tables_priv                                  OK
mysql.time_zone                                    OK
mysql.time_zone_leap_second                        OK
mysql.time_zone_name                               OK
mysql.time_zone_transition                         OK
mysql.time_zone_transition_type                    OK
mysql.user                                         OK
Upgrading from a version before MariaDB-10.1
Phase 2/7: Installing used storage engines
Checking for tables with unknown storage engine
Phase 3/7: Fixing views
Phase 4/7: Running 'mysql_fix_privilege_tables'
Phase 5/7: Fixing table and database names
Phase 6/7: Checking and upgrading tables
Processing databases
admin_default
information_schema
performance_schema
Phase 7/7: Running 'FLUSH PRIVILEGES'
OK

That completes the upgrade to MariaDB version 10.4. Of course, if you have any software packages dependent on MySQL, you should test them to make sure everything works well with the updated version. Also, don't forget to ensure that MariaDB is set to start at system boot:

$ sudo systemctl enable mariadb
Created symlink from /etc/systemd/system/mysql.service to /usr/lib/systemd/system/mariadb.service.
Created symlink from /etc/systemd/system/mysqld.service to /usr/lib/systemd/system/mariadb.service.
Created symlink from /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/mariadb.service to /usr/lib/systemd/system/mariadb.service.

That's all for now, happy MySQL-ing!

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Force DISKPART to delete EFI system partition on Windows 10

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So you've upgraded your Windows laptop by replacing its old mechanical spinning disk hard drive with a fast SSD. Congratulations, your laptop is much faster now. What to do with the old drive though? Sure it's not fast, but it probably still has a few years of useful life in it, wouldn't it be nice to repurpose it for use as a backup drive? So you are going ahead and trying to erase the old data from it, but you encounter a problem: Windows refuses to remove the old EFI system partition that used to have Windows boot files on it. Sound familiar? This article should explain how to delete the EFI partition and erase the whole hard drive properly.

Windows offers a built-in tool for working with storage devices, Disk Management. You can run it by right-clicking on Windows 10 Start button and choosing Disk Management from the popup menu:

You can open Disk Management tool by right-clicking on the Start button.

(If you use an older version of Windows such as Windows 7, you can get to this tool by right-clicking the My Computer item on Start menu and choosing Manage from the popup menu.)

If you used this tool before, you probably know that its screen is split horizontally. The top half lists volumes and their respective drive letters, while the bottom half contains a list of the storage devices currently attached to the computer and available for use by Windows. If the old hard drive that you want to erase is connected to the computer, you should find it in the bottom part of the screen.

(Note that if you've just cloned the old hard drive to the SSD and both are attached, then Windows may keep one of them offline. If this happens to you, simply force Windows to bring the hard drive online.)

Disk Management of Windows 10 lists all available storage devices

Now back to erasing the old hard drive. First of all, make sure you recognize the drive you want to erase in the list: you don't want to accidentally erase a wrong drive. Scroll through the list in the bottom part of the Disk Management window and make sure you can identify each disk listed there: which one is the primary boot drive (usually it's the first one), which one is the CD/DVD drive, and which one represents the drive you want to erase. If in doubt, disconnect the drive from the computer and refresh the list, notice which entry would disappear. Now attach the drive back to the computer and see its entry reappearing back in the list. If you are confident which entry represents the drive you want to erase, go on.

Take a note of the disk number that Windows assigned to the hard drive you want to work with. In our example above, the disk number is 2. We will need it later on.

To remove old information from the drive, use Disk Management to delete the partitions this drive contains. Right-click each partition and choose Delete Volume from the menu:

Use Disk Management right-click menu to delete partitions

This should work on most partitions, but if the hard drive was previously used for a Windows installation, then it may contain one or two system partitions that cannot be deleted this way: when you right-click on such a partition, the popup menu does not have the Delete Volume command!

To erase the disk in such a situation, we must bring heavy artillery: the command prompt. Run the command prompt As Administrator. (If it's not on the right-click menu of the Start button, you should find it under the Windows System group on Start menu.) Now recall that the disk we want to erase was listed as Disk 2 in the Disk Management list. Enter the following commands into the command prompt to erase it:

diskpart
list disk
select disk 2
clean
exit

Before issuing the clean command, double check the list of the disks displayed and make sure you have selected the correct disk number. This is the point of no return: once the clean command is finished, all data and all partitions are deleted from the selected drive. If you have selected a wrond drive, there is no easy way to recover its data after the clean command.

While you are issuing the commands, the command prompt window should look similar to the following:

Using command prompt and DISKPART to erase a disk

The next step in the rejuvenation of the old hard disk is to initialize it. While the disk you've just cleaned is still connected to the computer, run Disk Management again, and it should prompt you to initialize the disk automatically:

Disk Management prompts you to initialize the disk

Which option to choose, MBR or GPT? This question deserves a separate article, but for now the rule of thumb is: if the disk size is less than 2TB, it's OK to choose MBR. For larger disks, choose GPT.

The final step is to create a volume on the freshly initialized disk and format it. You can do it all within the Disk Management screen, by right-clicking on the Disk 2 entry and using the New Simple Volume command on the shortcut menu:

Using Disk Management to create a new volume and format it

After the last step is done, close Disk Management, and look inside the This PC folder: your newly refreshed old hard drive should appear there, with its own drive letter, ready for use.

Happy computing!

If you want to link to this article, you can use this HTML code: <a href="http://www.winability.com/force-diskpart-delete-remove-efi-system-partition-windows-10/">Force DISKPART to delete EFI system partition on Windows 10</a>

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How to make Windows 10 recognize a cloned hard drive again

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So you've just cloned a hard drive of your Windows computer (for example, you decided to upgrade from an old 'spinning disk' style of a hard drive to a fast SSD). You've attached the freshly cloned drive to the computer, but it does not appear in the This PC folder. You are probably wondering whether the new drive is defective and should you take it back to the store for a replacement?

No need to panic just yet: most probably, your new hard drive is just fine, and you only need to give Windows a little nudge to make it recognize the newly cloned drive. Here is what to try in such a situation:

Run the Disk Management tool of Windows. The easiest way to do that is by right-clickng the Start button and choosing Disk Management from the menu:

Right-click Start menu and choose Disk Management

(If you are using an older version of Windows such as Windows 7, then right-click on My Computer on the Start Menu, and choose Manage to get access to Disk Management.)

When Disk Management opens, you will notice that its window is split horizontally roughly in the middle. Never mind the top half for now, and look at the bottom half instead. It will probably contain several thick horizontal bars, each bar representing a storage device such as a hard drive or a CD/DVD drive. (Funny how Windows calls them "disks", even though the modern devices such as SSDs or flash drives have nothing that resembles any disks inside. But I digress.)

The first bar will most probably represent the main storage device of your computer, the one that has the C: drive on it. You may need to scroll down the list to see other such devices. You can distinguish between them by noting their total sizes shown. If you locate the freshly cloned hard drive that Windows refuses to work with, you will probably see something similar to the following:

The Disk Management window contains a list of the drives attached to the computer

So, Windows informs us that this "disk" is "offline". If you move the mouse pointer over the blue (I) icon, it should provide a bit more information about the condition, most probably: "The disk is offline because it has a signature collision with another disk that is online."

What this means basically is that Windows sees the newly cloned drive as an exact copy of the original drive, including the signature of the drive, and that makes Windows confused, preventing the use of the second drive at the same time.

To alleviate confusion, all you need to do is right-click on the offline disk, and choose Online from the menu displayed:

Make Windows recognize the cloned disk by marking it Online using the right-click menu

(If you don't see the Online command on the right-click menu, make sure you are right-clicking over the leftmost part of the bar representing the problematic disk in the list, not over one of the partitions that the disk may have.)

Immediately after you choose Online from the right-click menu, Windows should accept the cloned disk as a valid one, assign drive letters to its partitions, and generally make you able to work with the cloned drives as usual.

If you want to link to this article, you can use this HTML code: <a href="http://www.winability.com/how-to-make-windows-10-recognize-a-cloned-hard-drive-ssd/">How to make Windows 10 recognize a cloned hard drive again</a>

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AB Commander 20.2 released

Buy AB Commander:
Personal license $39.95
Business license $79.95 This software is compatible with Windows 10

Try AB Commander free:
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February 15, 2020.

A new version 20.2 of AB Commander is available now for download and purchase!

This version offers a new option designed to improve stability and decrease a chance of a conflict with some third party shell extensions that add commands to the right-click menu of Windows.

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.)

More information

Folder Guard v.20.1 released

Buy Folder Guard:
Personal license $49.95 $39.95
Business license $99.95 $79.95
Folder Guard is compatible with Windows 10
Try Folder Guard free:
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January 21, 2020.

A new version 20.1 of Folder Guard software is available now for download and purchase!

This update offers several minor improvements and corrections.

As usual, the trial version of Folder Guard 20.1 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 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.)

More information

AB Commander 20.1 released

Buy AB Commander:
Personal license $39.95
Business license $79.95 This software is compatible with Windows 10

Try AB Commander free:
Download free trial

January 12, 2020.

A new version 20.1 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.)

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Icon Shepherd updated to v.19.10.2

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Not sure how to download?

October 29, 2019.

Good news: A new version 19.10.2 of Icon Shepherd utility is available now!

This is a minor update that comes with an improved method of putting icons into their proper positions when the desktop is rather crowded. The requirement to use the 'Align to grid' setting is no longer a requirement, it's now an optional suggestion: if you prefer not to align icons to the grid, Icon Shepherd will now work with that.

As before, you can use Icon Shepherd on one computer at your home, free of charge. (For other uses, an appropriate license must be purchased.) 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 Icon Shepherd license within the last 12 months, you can upgrade to this version free of charge. For the earlier purchasers an upgrade discount is available.

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ActiveExit updated to v.19.10

Buy ActiveExit:

Site license from $99.95

Free for personal use:

Download ActiveExit

Octpober 7, 2019.

A new version 19.10 of ActiveExit is available now for download and purchase!

This is a minor update that corrects a problem that prevented the use of the empty ‘Apply To’ and ‘Exclude’ lists in some situations.

As usual, ActiveExit is free for the home users. For the business customers, the trial version of ActiveExit 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 ActiveExit 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.)

More information

Icon Shepherd 19.10 released

Get Icon Shepherd:
Free Download

Not sure how to download?

October 7, 2018.

Good news: A new version 19.10 of Icon Shepherd utility is available now!

This is a major upgrade that introduces several new capabilities:

  • You can now save icon layouts using names of your choice, to make it easier to recognize them on the Icon Shepherd menu list.
  • You can use the Manage icon layouts screen to delete the icon layouts you don't need, to rename them, and also change the order in which they appear on the Restore icon layout menu.
  • You can use the Options screen to stop Icon Shepherd from saving icon layouts automatically, to reduce the clutter on the Restore icon layout menu.
  • For the enterprise customers, we are now offering the Icon Shepherd Administrator's Kit that can greatly simplify the deployment of Icon Shepherd to a large number of computers using Active Directory and Group Policy.

As before, you can use Icon Shepherd on one computer at your home, free of charge. (For other uses, an appropriate license must be purchased.) 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 Icon Shepherd license within the last 12 months, you can upgrade to this version free of charge. For the earlier purchasers an upgrade discount is available.

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