Photokina 2012 images: The world's best imaging event

How should one retaliate if he/she suffers an epic data loss from his beloved Mac OS X, digital camera or any other media? A data loss could be nightmarish and an event that no one wants to invite. We can't avoid a data loss to happen, however we could control it to some extent but certainly can't avoid it. It may happen any time and with any one. Even I and you could become a victim of data loss :(. But there is nothing to loose all the hope if you are going through a data loss. Thanks to the ever changing technology, recovering lost, deleted and even formatted images is made possible with the help of useful recovery software.

The above box is the image of Stellar Phoenix Mac Photo Recovery 5.0, recently showcased in Photokina 2012. To be precise and candid, the term data recovery is either misunderstood or is often low-rated. The facts should now be cleared that data recovery does not only limits to an expert user who knows everything about a hard drive. In fact, the term data recovery is made simple by the help of Do-It-Yourself software which are easily handled even by lay users. 

At Photokina 2012

My Mac OS X & different ways to back it up

We humans need to act like ants, which are the hardest working creatures on the planet. Like ants collect their food stuff for the winter season, we too can back-up our entire hard drive data and contents to overcome a near future obstacle. These uninvited obstacles may be in the form of hard drive failures, data corruption, system inaccessibility, or theft. Although I don't have the exact figures of such obstacles but I could only estimates that thousands of Mac users go through the pain of data loss due to sudden malfunction of the Mac machine, software gone bad and theft. Such circumstances may not be under control of any user but we can act beforehand to at least ensure the content of the hard drive remains accessible by implementing a back-up plan.

Components of the back-up plan include two basic requirements:
  • The system hard drive (source) and,
  • an external hard drive (destination),
  • Third back-up process may include the use of online storage Medias which are becoming popular day-by-day.
External hard drives are the accessories which are most used by the users, after all who doesn’t require having additional storage capacity. 

1.Imaging the hard drive: With the help of a non-Apple utility, we can choose to create an image file of the drive (important data). Once the imaging is made it may be stored on the source itself. However how wise it would be store on the same system taking the inaccessibility of the Mac on account. This can be done by saving the back-up on an external hard drive and should be done on weekly basis.  

Stellar Drive Clone 2.0: Ready to create an image file of hard drive or volume
(The chosen drive is imaged to the user's location)

2. Cloning the hard drive: Another activity you could do in place of imaging is cloning the source to a large destination (A destination drive larger than source is always required to make a clone). What is good about the cloning is it creates a similar copy of the source hard drive which is in the ready to use form.

Take Note that: Cloning erases all the content of the destination drive. If destination > source drive then you can also expand the volumes located on destination drive. Cloning creates a bootable DVD for the system helpful to boot the Mac if inaccessible. 

3. Time-Machine backup: It’s simple to do by connecting an equal or bigger external hard drive to the Mac system. Making way through System Preferences<<Time Machine, double click to launch it and switch the time machine ON. See the 'Select Disk' option, you need to click and select the connected external drive. All done, only the check box located at below needs to be clicked. 

Wikipedia: Time-Machine in action can be found in the Mac 10.5 and above versions. It creates incremental backup that can be restored at backward date.


Your computer contains set of registries and system files for smooth and uninterrupted PC running. When any of the system files get deleted or registries got corrupted, you may face bunch of error messages or sometime complete system failure. One such error is “windows\system32\config\system” which may occurs due to of deleted system files, windows corruption, or hard drive failure etc. and will make your system unbootable. As results, you won't be able to access your stuff inside the system till you fix the error. See the below image to know how it looks like:

Computer won't boot

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM”

If you are suffering from the same and desperately hunting for it's solution then you are at the right place as I'll describe here the most prominent causes behind this error and the easy steps to solve it on your own.

Why This Error?

As I described in above paragraph, your registries are the most sensitive parts inside the system and can be easily malfunctioned or damaged. Once your registries got corrupted, it makes their corresponding file (which is at the location Windows\System32\Config\system/software), unreadable. This system file can also be corrupted or deleted by viruses, human or the file itself got unstable by any unauthorized system operation and needs to be updated. Therefore, once the file is corrupted and next time you started the system, it won't boot up and gives an error as described in the image above.

What you can do to get it fixed?

The simplest solution is to replace the same file with an updated and non corrupted file from your Windows media disc or from the registry backup (if you had taken a backup of your system registries?

Here are the detailed steps on how you can do it manually:
  1. Insert your Windows installation CD into CD ROM and restart your PC.
  2. Follow the same steps as in the case of installing fresh Window except the screen appears after pressing 'F8' key, where you have to select 'R' key (to go the recovery console) instead of pressing 'Enter'.
  3. Select the targeted windows if you have dual booting operating system.
  4. Type the administrator password whenever asked. Leave it blank if you don't have any.
  5. Once you reached at the command prompt, type the following commands and press enter each time after typing a line:
    md tmp
    copy c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\tmp\system.bak
    copy c:\windows\system32\config\software c:\windows\tmp\software.bak
    copy c:\windows\system32\config\sam c:\windows\tmp\sam.bak
    copy c:\windows\system32\config\security c:\windows\tmp\security.bak
    copy c:\windows\system32\config\default c:\windows\tmp\default.bak
    delete c:\windows\system32\config\system
    delete c:\windows\system32\config\software
    delete c:\windows\system32\config\sam
    delete c:\windows\system32\config\security
    delete c:\windows\system32\config\default
    copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config\system
    copy c:\windows\repair\software c:\windows\system32\config\software
    copy c:\windows\repair\sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
    copy c:\windows\repair\security c:\windows\system32\config\security
    copy c:\windows\repair\default c:\windows\system32\config\default
  6. Type ‘exist’ to navigate away from the black screen and restart your system. See if your system starts normally, but if not follow the next steps.
  7. Remove and connect your hard drive to another computer to take backup of your important data. Once you done with this again plug it back to your old computer and install a fresh copy of Windows to get back to your system normally and recover your data.

Mac OS X corrupt PDF file repair guide

A few times PDF files on Mac won't open up and this could be an agitation state for the user. Mac owners have frequently reported to such errors where portable files on their system won't respond or previews blanks pages, if files open.

A recent query of my friend Matthew reported me a similar error. He says: 

“I am using Mac Mini OS X 10.7.2 and upon clicking the PDF files they generate the blank screen.”

What can be the possible reasons for the Matthew issues? 
  • Chances of damaged PDF files: The first thing that strikes the mind is the credibility of the files. Upon downloading them from the Internet, were they corrupted? It mostly happens die to the poor connectivity of the broadband speed when an incomplete file gets download on the system. Although the files are saved on the HDD but it fails to collect the proper information which it needs to open correctly.
  • Other reasons for file corruptions: It's not only the Internet held responsible for a PDF file corruption but other factors such as 'a sudden Mac OS X shutdown', 'interrupted transfer of PDF files from a media to the system, 'PDF files present on the bad sectors of the hard drive' and 'an improper PDF file uploaded on the website' can be summed up to broaden the possibility of damage of the PDF files. 
  • Susceptible to malware: PDF files are easily carried away by the Trojans, malware and other suspicious attacks. Upon opening these files, they not only mislead the information but may also harm the entire system.
  • Non-Compatible Programs: Whether to view the file in Adobe PDF reader or Mac's own in-built Viewer remains the question for users. Although both will serve the purpose for viewing the PDF files but there are many other software available which can be totally incompatible with the PDF files created with the help of other tools.
Coming back to solving Matthew own trouble: Here are my inputs that Mattew followed to get over the PDF file issue:

1. Suggested him to check if /Applications/ present? Also try to open the PDF file with the right-click of the mouse and choose /Application. Preview.

2. If the application still fails to open with the Preview, then try installing a fresh copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader program. If this works then its fine and no further steps are needed.

3. However, if the file fails to open with both the application then a choice of using a PDF repair tool is still left open.

5. Select the PDF file(s) to be repaired. Proceed to the next window.

6. Although the software being a demo does not repair the damaged PDF files in real but let you see the preview of repairable PDF pages. 

As directed Matthew did follow my instructions and also tried the repair tool and he was surprised enough to see the preview of his repaired PDF files (including the inside objects). By the end of the day Matthew did have his corrupted PDF file repairs which now work fine on his Mac Mini 10.7.2.