Liberating Yourself with Liberkey

July 20, 2010

Two months ago, my back-up external hard drive crashed. And nearly simultaneously, my primary laptop crashed too. All my thousands of photos from the past 15 years, potentially destroyed. My digital scrapbooking files, also probably went *poof* in a cloud of magnetic dust. Aaiigghh!

I sent the external hard drive to Best Buy’s Geek Squad. I spent approximately $150, but they were only able to recover one video I made of my mom’s wedding. My mom’s wedding’s video is all and good, but I mean, thousands of goofy pics of my kids?! All gone?! At least I got a sleek, brand-new (but nearly empty!) hard drive as part of that “deal.”

Then I remembered a set of utilities recommended several months ago by a Twitter friend: Liberkey.com.

Liberkey.com Logo

Liberkey is basically a set of over three hundred (yea, hundreds!) free (yea, FREE!) PC (sorry, no Mac) utilities and programs that are installed onto an USB drive. A single, easy-to-use program unifies all these utilities and makes it easy to add / remove programs and keep all these programs updated. And since they’re all on an USB drive, you can bring the set of utilities anywhere with you and plug it into any PC computer / laptop / netbook.

Liberkey main program

What utilities and programs am I talking about? Ah, here’s a short but fabulous list of the best programs and categories:

  • Browsers, including Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera
  • Office productivity suites, especially OpenOffice.org which rivals Microsoft Office and has a complete word processor, presentation, spreadsheet, database, and more
  • FileHippo which checks many programs on your computer and makes it easy to update them
  • Paint.net and GIMP, which have similar functions as Photoshop Elements, as well as dozens of other smaller graphics utilities to paint upon, repair, or enhance your photos
  • Dozens of file management / repair utilities, including those that copy, back-up, repair, defrag, re-name, search, and more
  • Many network programs for Internet bandwidth monitoring, configuring router and computer settings, and more
  • A good number of video programs for editing, enhancing, fixing, and managing videos
  • Dozens of programs to manage, repair, create, or stream audio / music files
  • Anti-virus scanners, anti-spyware catchers, and numerous other security-related programs
  • Registry optimization / repair and many other programs that repair and tweak your computer operating system so that it runs better and faster
  • And many, many more

Liberkey Updates view

Liberkey index of utilities

Some of these free programs — like OpenOffice.org, GIMP, and Paint.net — are nearly or equally as good as their expensive counterparts.  And everything is portable – you can take all these with you in your USB thumb drive. Because there are just so many (free!) goodies – especially the huge OpenOffice.org program – you just have to make sure you’ve got space for them all. So, I recommend that your USB thumb drive be at least 4 gig.

So, what did I use to recover files from my defective external hard drive? Let’s see, I used these two programs:

  • I used “Partition Find and Mount” to re-mount the damaged hard drive.
  • Next, I used “TeraCopy” to delicately copy files from the damaged hard drive to the new drive. For such a simple program, it worked surprisingly well.

I just wish that a mobile version of Google Picasa was one of the Liberkey applications. That’d be like icing on top of layers of icings on an immense and beautiful cake … I had some other beefs, but the newst beta version of LiberKey (v5.0) takes care of them: remembering my favorite / last used applications, and a better navigation scheme.

Oh, my photos? I was able to save ALL of them onto the new external hard drive. And clean out / fix a friend’s computer. Thank you, Liberkey.

I’ve since then saved a backup of my photos onto the cloud. I’ll explain in a future blog post – stay tuned.

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2 Responses to “Liberating Yourself with Liberkey”

  1. Julia Says:

    Hi Proud Geek, maybe you can help me since I can’t find an answer to my question. On Facebook, do you know why some of my friend’s posts show up on my wall while others that I would like to receive never appear on my wall. Is there something I can do about this? Thanks for any knowledge you can share about this.

  2. proudgeek Says:

    Hi Julia – perhaps you have given different privacy settings to your closer friends than to your other friends? Facebook recently made it possible for you to give more access to some of your friends — i.e., some friends would be allowed to post on your wall while others can’t. Or perhaps some of your friends just don’t know Facebook well enough to post something onto your wall? :-)


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