Author Archives: Ray Woodcock

The PeaZip Saga: Installing in Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

I wanted an archiver that would do for me, in Linux, more or less what WinRAR did for me in Windows. PeaZip appeared to be the best game in town. This post describes my project of installing it. Contents Installing … Continue reading

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WinRAR Compression Benchmarks by Filetype

I was using WinRAR 6.11 x64 on a Windows 10 Pro system with an Intel Core i7-4790 CPU and 32GB DDR3 RAM. I had been using WinRAR for some time; but aside from one brief prior inquiry, I had not … Continue reading

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Detecting and Changing Filenames That Use Non-ASCII Characters

In the course of working with files en masse, I encountered the occasional problem with path and/or file names. In one recent post, for example, I noted that some of my favorite old Windows programs could not work with paths exceeding 256 … Continue reading

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A Spreadsheet to Batch-Remove Duplicative Folder Layers

I had a situation where some folders had redundant names, like this: D:\Folder XYZ\Another Folder\Another Folder\Odd Layer\Folder XYZ I wanted to remove the redundancies, so that that example would look like this: D:\Folder XYZ\Another Folder\Odd Layer\ This post describes how … Continue reading

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Downgrading Win10 Pro to Win10 Home – Summary

I had Windows 10 Pro installed on my desktop. I had spent a lot of time installing and configuring the system and its programs. I wanted that same installation on my laptop. The laptop came with Windows 10 Home. The … Continue reading

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Performance Test: VeraCrypt Encryption Plus Windows Compression

This post presents my tests of the compression feature offered in Windows File Explorer, when used to compress files stored on VeraCrypt-encrypted drives. The gist of it is that Windows compression took more time than it was worth. I found … Continue reading

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Bash: File List with File Path, Name, Date, Time, Size and Hash on One Line

Contents Introduction Cleaning Up Filenames Hashing an Entire Folder or Drive Hashing Selected Files . Introduction As I understood it, file-encryption ransomware would corrupt an installed operating system (usually Windows), so that it would no longer display the true contents … Continue reading

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Batch or PowerShell: File List with File Path, Name, Date, Time, Size and Hash on One Line

I wanted a Windows 10 batch file that, for each file in a folder recursively, would output file path and name, timestamp, size, and SHA512 hash value, all on one line. This post provides the solution I found, with links … Continue reading

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Hot Plugging, Hot Removal, Hot Swapping

As discussed in another post, I was thinking about hot swapping SATA drives, as part of a possible ransomware-detection scheme. For further insight into a part of that scheme, I posted a related question on Spiceworks. In the ensuing discussion, … Continue reading

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An Unpleasant Environment for Newcomers at Spiceworks

In previous posts, I have criticized StackExchange for promoting a hostile environment, especially toward newcomers. I have wanted to believe, and have often found, that forums offering a more freewheeling ambiance tend to be less vicious. But nothing is perfect. … Continue reading

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Improved Ransomware Detection via File Hashing

A previous post described how I used file hashes to compare the past and present contents of data files. One would expect some files on a backup drive to be outdated; but when there were many unexpected differences between the … Continue reading

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Creating a Batch File That Opens a File or Webpage Twice a Day

This is an update of old posts from 2011 and 2012. The purpose is to set up a Windows 10 computer so that it automatically opens a file twice a day – although, as we shall see, it could instead … Continue reading

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Feature Update Fails on Windows To Go (WTG) USB Drive

A previous post describes how I used AOMEI Backupper to image my Windows 10 installation and restore it to a USB drive, referred to here as a Windows To Go (WTG) drive although, technically, it was not exactly that. With … Continue reading

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USB2ISO: Saving a Bootable USB Drive as a Bootable ISO in Windows

Four years earlier, I had written a post exploring the question of how to save a backup of a bootable USB drive in Windows 10. Now I wanted to update and streamline what I had learned there (and also touched … Continue reading

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WordPress.com Classic Editor: Set It Up, Hide Extraneous Top & Bottom Material

At this writing, another post explains how I got the WordPress classic editor. That was a few years ago. It may be easier now. For quite a while, WordPress.com was determined to wreck the functionality of the classic editor, but … Continue reading

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Deduplicated Full-Drive Archives Using Borg

This post provides a blow-by-blow account of issues confronted, mistakes made, and outcomes achieved in my first use of the Borg backup and deduplication program on relatively large filesets. This writeup may be of interest to people who want a … Continue reading

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Adding a Swap File to Ubuntu in Lieu of a Swap Partition

As part of an effort to clone a large Ubuntu installation into a small target drive, I had deleted the swap partition. This post describes how, after the cloning process was finished, I replaced the swap partition with a swap … Continue reading

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Converting a GPT Drive to MBR Without Losing Data

As part of an effort (discussed in another post) to clone a larger Ubuntu USB source drive to a smaller one, it seemed that I might need to convert the source drive from GPT to MBR partition structure. This post … Continue reading

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Adding Songs to AIMP Playlist

I was using the AIMP music player on Android. It had pretty good functionality for my purposes, aside from a bug that I pointed out in spring 2021. There was one problem: it was impossible to add songs to the … Continue reading

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Merging Ubuntu Partitions Without Losing Data

I had installed Ubuntu on a 64GB GPT-formatted USB drive with five primary partitions. I was going to boil that down to just three. I would be using GParted in this process. If GParted was not already installed, it was … Continue reading

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Ways to Clone a Larger Bootable Ubuntu USB Drive to a Smaller One

Summary I experimented with Linux and Windows tools that seemed like they might be able to clone a bootable Ubuntu installation from a larger source drive to a smaller target drive. In this case, I was trying to reduce a … Continue reading

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Massive File Compression Using Deduplication in Btrfs and Borg

Summary This post introduces various types of deduplication, and then focuses on block-level post-process local deduplication. In other words, I was trying to save disk space by feeding selected files to a tool capable of identifying similarities among those files. … Continue reading

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Buy or Build a Room Air Purifier

[This post is still in development.] Commercial Air Purification Devices It was Black Friday. There were sale prices. This provoked me to consider buying a room air purifier. A review of multiple sources narrowed down to two lists of best … Continue reading

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Capturing a Long Computing Process in a Relatively Brief Video

Summary To boil down 11 hours of events onscreen to a one-hour video, I began with a live-action segment, using the free OBS Studio to capture mouse movement, windows being dragged around, and other real-life aspects of the computing experience. … Continue reading

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Secure Compressed Archiving on Blu-ray (BD-R) – Speeding It Up

This is the latest in a series of posts on using Blu-ray BD-R optical discs as a form of backup. This one is brief because, before I could even finish it, I was already starting to explore a different technology … Continue reading

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My Materials Available for Download

I have worked up a few spreadsheets and other items to share with others. I have been listing these for download at other sites. But I have seen several of those download sites disappear — leaving readers of my blog … Continue reading

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Cool Edit 2000: “File is probably in use by another application”

I was using Cool Edit 2000 (version 1.1) on Windows 10 x64 2004 (i.e., April 2020 version). I had been using it for a year since my last weird Cool Edit error message. Out of the blue, when I tried … Continue reading

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Comparing Backup Drive Hashes to Detect Ransomware

Summary This post seeks a solution to the problem that, at present, the most commonly used type of ransomware gradually encrypts files and decrypts them on the fly, making them available to the user whenever s/he wants them, so that … Continue reading

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P2V: Converting a Windows 10 Physical Installation to a Virtual Machine: Internal Methods

Summary I had developed a Windows 10 installation that I wanted to convert into a virtual machine (VM). This post describes several ways in which I tried to do that. An earlier post discusses external physical-to-virtual (P2V) conversion methods. External … Continue reading

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Lubuntu in VMware Player: “The system is not connected to the Internet”

I was installing Lubuntu in a virtual machine (VM) in VMware Workstation Player. Lubuntu booted up. Its desktop offered an icon, “Install Lubuntu 20.04 LTS.” I double-clicked on that. It said, “Welcome to the Lubuntu installer.” Then, a moment later, … Continue reading

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VeraCrypt in Linux: Failed in wxGetKeyStateGTK

I was using VeraCrypt in Ubuntu 21.04. I entered a password to mount an encrypted drive. I got an error message that I had not seen before: Veracrypt An assertion failed! ../src/unix/utilsx11.cpp(894): assert “Assert failure” failed in wxGetKeyStateGTK(): Unsupported key, … Continue reading

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Using Thunderbird to Convert Web-Based Emails to Separate EML Files with Descriptive Filenames

I had some emails in Hotmail. I wanted to download them to Thunderbird, and then I wanted to export them from Thunderbird to individual EML files, one email message per file. I wanted the EMLs to have descriptive filenames, like … Continue reading

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Ways to Convert a VirtualBox VDI to a VMware VMDK

At this writing, VirtualBox and VMware Workstation Player continued their long dominance of the consumer virtual machine (VM) market. The problem of the moment was, how can I convert a VDI file (used in VirtualBox) to a VMDK file that … Continue reading

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ESXi: Alternatives and Hardware for a Budget Desktop Hypervisor

Summary This post works through the search for hardware compatible with VMware’s ESXi type 1 hypervisor, for the purpose of running virtual machines (VMs) on a desktop computer. The Background section explains that I saw a type 1 hypervisor as … Continue reading

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Performance Comparison: ProtonVPN Free vs. Surfshark Paid

Summary Many sources recommended using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for security and privacy. Sources also often said that free VPNs were inferior to paid ones. This post provides the results of a comparison of ProtonVPN’s free service against Surfshark’s … Continue reading

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Considering Antivirus for Desktop Linux Systems

I was in the process of developing a post sketching out the components of a relatively secure Linux installation. As part of that, I had to consider the debates I had seen, over the years, on whether it made sense … Continue reading

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Seeking a Linux Substitute for DoubleKiller

As described in another post, I was in the process of developing a ransomware-resistant backup system that relied, in part, on a Linux system. As part of that process, I was interested in finding Linux software that could detect duplicate … Continue reading

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Running DoubleKiller in Wine on Ubuntu 21.04

As described in another post, I was setting up an old computer to function as a file comparison and text indexing station. In Windows, my preferred file comparison scheme involved Beyond Compare, for making sure that the target drive contained … Continue reading

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Attempting to Create a Minimal Ubuntu System

For posterity, this post describes several semi-failed attempts I made to create a small Ubuntu system, before finally finding that a minimal installation option was available within the regular desktop Ubuntu ISO. Another post provides the details on the approach … Continue reading

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Cloning and Renaming a Virtual Machine for VMware Player

As described in another post, I was working on a project that would try to use one VMware virtual machine (VM) as a virtual USB drive in another VM. To assist in that project, I wanted to make a renamed … Continue reading

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Types of VM Interloper: ISO, Physical or Virtual USB or CD Drive

Summary It was hard to make a good image or clone of a running Linux virtual machine (VM) because, unlike Windows, Linux did not have a Volume Shadow Copy capability. The image or clone might be unable to make a … Continue reading

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Creating a Minimal, Relatively Secure Ubuntu Installation

This post describes how I set up a minimal, relatively secure Ubuntu system. This system, which I named UbMin, was not intended for end-use applications. Its purpose was to provide a starting point for other Ubuntu installations intended for specific … Continue reading

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Creating Many Dummy Files With or Without Random Content

The most advanced tool for creating a set of fake files (for testing, to overwrite a drive, etc.) is CubicDesign File Generator ($15). Or at least I think that’s the one. I got it in what was, I think, its … Continue reading

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V2P: Converting a VMware Player Linux VM to a Physical System

A previous post examined ways of converting a Linux virtual machine (VM) running in VirtualBox to a physical installation (V2P) running from an actual drive. This post revisits some of the key methods discussed in the previous post. There are … Continue reading

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V2P: Converting a Linux Virtual Machine to a Physical Installation

Note: a later post offers a boiled-down (and in some ways improved) version of this one. See also the Summary, below. Contents Summary Introduction File Format Options Setting Up the VirtualBox VM Possible Solutions INTERNAL SOLUTIONS Using Clonezilla – Background … Continue reading

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KeePass as a Backup Password Manager

An earlier post described how a combination of my mistakes and mediocre tech support at LastPass left me unable to get online for a day. For my purposes, that turned out not to be a big deal. But it could … Continue reading

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Installing and Configuring an OSBoxes Ubuntu 21.04 Virtual Machine

As discussed in another post, I was exploring the possibility of converting a Linux virtual machine (VM) to a physical installation (a/k/a V2P). For that effort, instead of installing my own Linux installation from scratch, I decided to experiment using … Continue reading

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