Computer Data Recovery Tips

Computers

So you put off backing up your data until it’s too late.  Now your computer won’t boot and instead you’re greeted with the dreaded “click of death”.  Don’t worry, all may not be lost.  Here are some tips and tricks that may just help you with your computer data recovery efforts.

Dead Hard Drive

 

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Fix “USB Device Not Recognized” Error

Computers

So you’re clicking along on your PC and everything is working great. Suddenly USB devices that have previously given you no grief are no longer recognized by Windows. You try all the usual stuff and continue to get a “USB Device Not Recognized” error:

  • Unplug / reconnect the USB device
  • Plug the device into a different port
  • Reinstall the driver for the device
  • Reinstall the driver for the USB port
  • Bypass the USB hub
  • Wiggle it
  • Swear at it

Of course none of these methods work and you start to fear that perhaps a massive power surge wiped out all your USB devices at once.

Dead USB

 

Fear not, for there is a simple solution to your problem: Unplug your computer. That’s right, completely unplug the power supply.

New-fangled computers don’t turn completely off when you shut them down. Sure, they’re dark and quiet, but some of the circuitry remains powered up. This can include the USB chips, presumably so features like “wake on space bar” will work. Sometimes they get a little confused and need to be reset, but just shutting the machine down doesn’t do it. If you completely remove power from the system for several seconds then fire everything back up it should fix your problem.

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Printers Have Become Truly Disposable

Computers

A couple years ago I bought an Epson StylusColor R200. My last Epson printer clogged all the time and I had to spend a bunch of time cleaning the nozzles every time I wanted to print, so I wasn’t going to buy another one, but the R200 made really pretty pictures, had six separately replaceable cartridges and even printed on CDs. For $99 I figured I couldn’t go wrong. I’d just buy a new printer if this one started sucking.

The Epson printer in its natural habitat

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Comcast Blocking Port 25

Computers

A few days ago I found I couldn’t send any emails. “Server must be down” I thought, but then I noticed that I couldn’t send email from any of my accounts. I began to wonder why my mail client said it couldn’t connect to the mail server it had just connected to when I received my mail.

To make a long frustrating story short, it turns out that Comcast has started blocking outgoing traffic on port 25. A quick look around the intertubes informed me that they’ve been doing it in various markets for months; I guess they finally got around to doing it in my corner of the Seattle area.

Comcast says they’re doing it to thwart spam, but the downside is that they are thwarting plenty of not-spam too. Plus there’s that whole thing where you’re paying for something and you have the ability to do something one day and they take it away from you the next and you’re still paying just as much.

Anyway, I’m all about fixing stuff instead of just whining about it (okay, maybe I had to whine a little…), so on to the fixin’ part.

Not so much.

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