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Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

Stop Windows Restarting Automatically After Scheduled Updates

April 13th, 2011 No comments

If I had to name the most annoying thing about Windows, it would be that it automatically re-starts after automatically installing Windows updates (assuming for a minute that IE isn’t part of Windows of course!).

I always have a lot open on a system – browsers & tabs, terminal sessions etc etc and numerous times, i’ve come back to a system on a morning, logged in and stared at a blank taskbar in disbelief. It’s also a big problem if you connect in to use a machine from an outside location, particularly if you use drive encryption and it requires a password on boot.

Even if the results are not so catastrophic and i’m actually at the system, i’m forever clicking ‘Remind me later’ each time it pops up saying it’s going to restart.

I’ve always got round this by disabling automatic Windows updates and just installed them manually, periodically.

This very problem happened to me this morning and a friend pointed out a great tip – you can actually disable the automatic reboot. Like disabling automatic updates, you still have to remember to do this on each machine, but at least updates still get applied.

You do this as follows:

Start -> Run -> gpedit.msc
Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update
Double click on: “No auto-restart for scheduled Automatic Updates installations”
Change to Enabled
Click Ok

Categories: Software Tags:

Dropbox – Free Online Storage, Backups & Syncronisation (Get Bonus Space!)

December 18th, 2010 No comments

Dropbox is a brilliant tool.

It’s effectively an online storage provider – however what’s cool about it is, install the software on your machine and it automatically stays in sync so you can save your documents as normal and not worry about having to manually create backups. Even better, you can install it on as many machines as you want.

I recommend you sign-up to and install Dropbox on all your machines and ensure that any files or documents you are creating or modifying go into your Dropbox.

As soon as you save your files, they are uploaded, over the internet to the Dropbox servers. This means you have a copy on your computer’s hard disk and a copy on Dropbox – an automatic backup!

If you have multiple computers, for example, a laptop and a desktop, you can install Dropbox on both and everything will be kept synchronised. Anything you save on one computer, will automatically be stored on Dropbox and appear on the other computer – so, you now have 3 copies of your files automatically.

Other cool features you get are:

  • You can access your files from anywhere by using the web site. You can even upload new or updated files while away from home and they will synchronise with your computers when you next turn them on.
  • You can share certain directories with other Dropbox users.
  • You can access old versions of files.

Dropbox is free for up to 2GB of space but also allows you to pay for more space if you need it.

If you use this link to sign up, when you install the Dropbox software on your computer, you will automatically receive an EXTRA 250MB of space for free (2.25GB in total).

I highly recommend you use it.

Categories: Software Tags: , ,

Cloning a Virtualbox VDI Disk Image (and changing the UUID)

July 26th, 2010 No comments

If you use VirtualBox and try to copy/clone a hard disk (VDI) file to use with another virtual machine, it will not let you add it because it complains that there is already an image with that UUID.

Fortunately┬áthe fix is simple – there is a hidden command available to generate a new UUID:

VBoxManage internalcommands setvdiuuid myfile.vdi
Categories: Software Tags: ,

Free Software

March 15th, 2009 1 comment

It always amazes me, in this day and age where so much is centred around money and people trying so many different things to make money, how much you can get for free. In particular i’m talking about software. For every piece of paid software, there will generally be one or more free alternatives. They are sometimes not as good, sometimes better – but free and generally someone – or a group of people have spent countless hours creating something…to give away for free. Excellent!

There is all kinds of different free software around – from web sites/online tools, operating systems to just plain old software.

Here is a very useful site i’ve found which is really useful for finding cool, free Windows applications:

Categories: Software Tags: ,