How to open an ISO file using free Windows software

I’m often asked by customers how to burn ISO images onto DVDs. Seems lots of people are downloading them and are then unable to write them onto discs.

The answer is quite simple, download free software that will do it for you.  It’s called VirtualCloneDrive and it comes from Slysoft the manufacturers of Clone CD,  a great utility I was using way back in 2003!  Things have changed now and their website boasts some of the finest burning, cloning and image writing software going.

Here’s the link to the freeware, it works on all Windows version from 2000 up to Win7:


If you like this, check out their other products:

  • AnyDVD – A utility for copy protection removal
  • CloneDVD – Clone any type of DVD, great for backing up movies
  • CloneDVD Mobile – Clone movies into formats for mobile media players like iPod, Zen etc. Also makes and converts to XviD, mp4, DivX, avi
  • CloneCD – Copy CDs and DVDs perfectly
  • GameJackal – Copy your game CD to hard drive for ultra-fast loading and playing

Remove Adobe Flash Player from Windows and reinstall

Removing Adobe Flash Player from Windows is required generally because it will not install correctly.  In all cases here is the logical method I use to remove and reinstall corrupted installations.

  • Backup current registry settings
  • Uninstall all previously installed versions of Adobe Flash Player
  • Verify that Internet Explorer has the correct ActiveX and security settings
  • Reboot and clean the Windows registry
  • Download the latest Adobe Flash Player from the official website


First off a few checks for the obvious stuff:

  • Make sure you are logged in as an administrator (not a “Standard or Limited user”)
  • You have no Pop-up or Ad Blocking software, notorious for killing Flash installations
  • You have accepted any ActiveX or Add-on warnings that popped up
  • JavaScript is enabled

All OK so far? Let’s go a bit further then…..  Perhaps print this off or bookmark the page in your favorites folder so you can return to it as we’ll be restarting the PC and closing the browser window.


Backup the current registry settings.

Close all open programs. Create a Windows System Restore point. This will help us to get back to this point in time if anything untoward happens.


Attempt to remove Flash Player via Control Panel

Close all programs INCLUDING ANY MESSENGER PROGRAMS LIKE WINDOWS LIVE MESSENGER. “File”, “Exit” or “Quit” usually does the trick for messenger programs.

Drop into Control Panel and open Add/Remove Programs (Windows XP, 2003) or Programs and Features (Windows Vista and 7).  Remove any entries for Adobe Flash Player and Adobe ActiveX.

Restart your PC


Modify any ActiveX and Security settings within Internet Explorer

Make sure that Internet Explorer security is set to the Medium: Default level, which allows viewing ActiveX controls.

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. Choose Tools, Internet Options
  3. Select the Security tab
  4. Select Medium: Default level

Alternatively, and a better way to do it for this purpose, is to configure the Custom level to view ActiveX controls with the next steps.

Select the Custom Level instead of the Default Level and do the following.

  1. Navigate to the section marked “ActiveX controls and plug-ins.”
  2. Set “Download Signed ActiveX Controls” to “Prompt”.
  3. Set “Run ActiveX Controls And Plug-ins” to “Prompt”.

OK your way out and close Internet Explorer


Clean out the registry

Download the free CCleaner program from here.  Install it and opt out of the free Google toolbar install by unticking the selection (it’s your choice but I don’t like the toolbar).  Run it and click on “Run Cleaner”.  This will remove all your temporary Internet files and Cookies along with your Internet history and lots of other clutter.  Now select “Registry” from the left side, “Scan for Issues” and when finished, “Fix selected issues”.  Save a backup if prompted.

Now restart your spring-cleaned computer!


Download and install Adobe Flash Player

Download and run this  ‘Standalone Executable Installer’ for Flash Player (Internet Explorer only) Basically, if you run Internet Explorer you will need this.

Download and run this Flash Player standalone plugin if you use another browser such as Firefox, Safari etc If you don’t run another type of browser and just use Internet Explorer then you don’t need this.


If you are still struggling, then it may be a problem within Internet Explorer. Taking it back to ‘factory settings’ sometimes helps.  If you don’t already have it, install Firefox and run the Flash Player Standalone Plugin, then restart Firefox.  Visit and if you can see the videos you have Flash installed (and I would definitely recommend using Firefox over IE any day)!

Leave me a comment (or buy me a coffee) if this has solved your problem!



Notepad Plus Plus add text to the start of a line

Notepad ++ plus plus pcrepairmanIf you’ve got a text list that you want to add the same data to at the start of each line, then use this simple trick in Notepad Plus Plus:

  • Move your cursor to the start of the first line
  • Hold down Alt + Shift together then use the cursor down key to select subsequent lines
  • Type in your text that you wish to prepend every line with

You’ll find this comes in especially useful where you have long lists like domain names that need to be prepended with https://

Notepad ++ is a brilliant, free text editor available on Sourceforge.

Tim Thumb exploit – vulnerability found in popular script

The popular image resizing library TimThumb, used in many a good WordPress theme has had a major exploit carried out against versions of its code. The TimThumb code vulnerability allows third parties to execute PHP code in the TimThumb cache directory after uploading it themselves. As many people are aware, running malicious PHP code can easily compromise a website or an entire server.

We recommended deleting timthumb.php or thumb.php or indeed the complete theme or plugin when this zero day exploit was announced. There is a later version of TimThumb available that now patches this vulnerability.

If the file exists in a theme or plugin that you’re no longer using you may want to remove the entire theme or just the relevant plugin directory. After you remove the TimThumb library, check your site is still working as it should.

If using the later version, please check that you  set ALLOW_EXTERNAL to false like this:

define( 'ALLOW_EXTERNAL', false );

then find the $allowedSites array inside the file and completely remove the associated domain names to prevent remote file downloading like this:

$allowedSites = array();

Windows XP loses logon screen – goes straight into user account

Problem: Windows XP computer goes straight into the user account and bypasses the standard logon screen.  Even worse, it is compounded by the fact it goes into a Limited User account and this freezes on logout.  Here’s what I did to fix this:

  • Booted up in Safe Mode
  • Logged off (this time it worked as there were no freezing issues in Safe Mode)
  • Logged on as Admin
  • Start, Run and type in “control userpasswords2” then hit Enter.
  • Tick the box “Users must enter a user name and password”
  • OK and restart the computer

You should now see the login screen back again.  One last thing you can try (if this doesn’t work for you) is the following command:

Start, Run and type in “rundll32 netplwiz.dll,ClearAutoLogon” (without the quotes) then hit Enter. Note the spacing and comma!

Let me know if this works for you.


PCRepairMan Top Tips

With Win XP Home you can only access the built in Administrator account when booting into safe mode. By default, on XP Home only, this Administrator account has no password.

With Win XP Pro the Administrator account is only shown on the Welcome Screen if no other account is part of the “Administrator” Group. You can still login using the account if holding down CTRL & ALT and pressing DEL twice.

A WinXP account is only shown on the Welcome Screen, if it belongs to either the “Administrators”, “Power Users”, or “Users” groups.


Fatal error cannot redeclare class TextStatistics Easy WP Seo

Problem: You try to save a draft, publish or update a post in WordPress and you get:

Fatal error: Cannot redeclare class TextStatistics in /home/nasalcon/public_html/wp-content/plugins/easywpseo/onpageseo-readability.php on line 35

This is caused by a conflict between Yoast’s excellent WP SEO plugin and the (equally excellent) Easy WP SEO plugin. It was triggered on the v1.2 update of the Yoast plugin that happened on 12th June 2012. Now I’ll make it clear that the problem does not appear to be with Yoast’s plugin, it seems to be the fact that both are using the php Text Statistics code released here:

I have contacted the developer of EasyWP SEO but, to date, have had no reply. Since it renders a website unable to create posts, I thought I’d better write a fix for my clients and for those of you who use both plugins. I have added a small text link to this article in case the developer updates the plugin, I’ll let you know here if he does.

Many people use Yoast’s plugin for its useful sitemap and meta description functionality and have no need for the SEO scoring tools that were introduced in the last update as they use alternative plugins.

The TextStatistics fix

What I have done is modified the code to temporarily disable the calls to the readability class within Easy WP SEO.  Most, if not all of my clients do not use the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease tests in the ‘Readability’ section so this has no adverse effect.

To apply my fix, you’ll need to update just 2 files on your server. I presume that you are familiar with FTP and unzipping, let me know if not. I’ll also presume you are running the latest version of Easy WP SEO (v1.6 or 1.6.2), I am unable to check any backwards compatibility. My method does create backups of both files though so should be very safe.

Download the zip file here (UPDATE – THIS IS NO LONGER NECESSARY, THE AUTHOR HAS NOW FIXED THE PROGRAM) and follow this method:

  • Extract the files onto your desktop, they’ll be in a folder called PCRMB-EWPSEO-fix-v1.
  • Using an FTP client, navigate to wp-content/plugins/easywpseo/ and rename the file “onpageseo-admin.php” to “onpageseo-adminBAK.php
  • Copy the extracted file “onpageseo-admin.php” from your new desktop folder to wp-content/plugins/easywpseo/
  • Now navigate to wp-content/plugins/easywpseo/templates/ and rename the file “admin-score-metabox.php” to “admin-score-metaboxBAK.php
  • Copy the extracted file “admin-score-metabox.php” to wp-content/plugins/easywpseo/templates/

Create a test post and fill in some keywords in the Easy WP SEO box. You should now have no conflict between Yoast’s WP SEO and Easy WP SEO.

Please note that you should not fill in the WP SEO ‘Focus Keyword’ as you are choosing to keep the more graphical Easy WP SEO tool as the primary SEO scoring indicator.

Please drop me a comment below or click one of the social buttons if this helped you. Also please let me know if you get any other errors.


Panda Cloud Antivirus review

Panda cloud antivirus reviewThis article is primarily a Panda Cloud Antivirus review, but let’s start by examining the need for a lightweight antivirus.

Well, the ubiquitous market leader AVG Antivirus has gained some weight in its 2012 incarnation. So much so that it now brings many lower-specced PCs to their knees.  Running AVG on our test rig (a Dell 3.0GHz Pentium 4 with 512MB of RAM) we saw an unusable PC with pretty dire start-up times. Removing AVG shaved nearly 3 minutes from the startup time! Not good. The older version had been a step in the wrong direction too in my eyes, with added bloat and heavily foisted registry cleaners.

So many loyal AVG users should look to a newer antivirus, with a lighter framework.  Enter the ‘cloud’ antivirus offering from Panda Security. There have been other manufacturers of antivirus products that utilised the cloud but, to date, none as capable as this.

Installation is a breeze with the install program weighing in at less than 700kB. It took just 50 seconds to install on our Dell Windows XP test PC.

It was nice to see that the right click functionality is there – you can scan a folder or file for viruses ‘on demand’ rather than do a full scan every time. On opening the main program window via a double click on the panda icon in the system tray – you can immediately see whether you have any issues with the industry-standard big red or big green indicator. Panda’s interface offers a built-in reporting feature that will show you what threats were found and dealt with on your PC. A discreet ‘gear’ icon allows you to further explore the Panda Cloud Antivirus options.

You can select both Quick and Custom Scans, as is the norm these days.  If Panda incorrectly marks a file as infected (a “false positive”) then you can recover it from the Panda Recyce Bin. For network scenarios Panda provide a useful proxy option.

For the privacy concerned, you should know that you pass your scanned file and setup data, albeit anonymously, to ‘the cloud’. This approach means that other users benefit from your detection of malware as do you benefit from theirs. You can opt-out of this but that really does defeat the object, as by doing this you are also opted-out of any cloud based advanced threat management.

I was disappointed to see that it doesn’t scan in archives (zip, rar, 7z etc) by default so you will need to turn this feature on immediately from the settings menu. This is a major fault in my eyes and I suspect this was done because of Panda’s eagerness to have the lightest-weight AV client around and improve the scanning speed.  The inclusion of a Internet Explorer/Firefox Panda toolbar that we didn’t get the option to install is annoying. Hilariously, it incorporates the “Toolbar remover” icon that allows uninstallation of – you guessed it – all other toolbars except the Panda one.

PC Repair Man’s Verdict

A useful and lightweight antivirus that operates cleverly in the cloud to achieve low resource usage. Has a huge amount of work to do to be able to compete with our current pick of the AV crop Kaspersky Pure, but it’s a sensible free solution for older PCs and those with low RAM , eg XP with 512MB or less.


Yoast WordPress SEO double title fix

If you are getting a double title appear in the tab of your browser as you hover over it, there is a good chance that it’s because you have WordPress SEO by Yoast installed. Often just ticking the box ‘Force overwrite titles’ (from the Titles and Metas section on the General tab) will suffice, but I have seen this on many customer themes where it doesn’t work and usually gives the address as a simple URL. Not great for SEO!

Here’s the fix. Look in your WordPress theme files for header.php and then open it in Notepad or ideally Notepad++. Now look for this line or similar (it differs from theme to theme):

<?php wp_title('|',true,'right'); ?>
<?php bloginfo('name'); ?>

Now replace it with:

<?php wp_title(''); ?>

Upload this file to your WordPress theme, overwriting the existing header.php.

Make sure the ‘force overwite titles’ is still unticked. Save your changes and empty any caches you have, eg W3 Total Cache. Check your category titles and post/page titles and they should be fixed!


Free Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, InDesign, Acrobat, Audition, GoLive

adobe-photoshop-free-cs2Do you want a free licensed version of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, InDesign, Acrobat, Audition, GoLive, Acrobat, InCopy, or Elements? Well Adobe have done a very strange thing and put direct download links to the CS2 versions of this excellent software online WITH the activation serial key. Why would they do that I hear you ask? Well apparently Adobe have problems with their licensing server and older software is not validating correctly. To combat this and in a gesture of goodwill (or long-term customer baiting) they are making older versions like CS2 run, without requiring validation, on these keys.

Windows and Mac versions can be downloaded free from the Adobe website here

So why give away Adobe CS2 for free?

Supposedly, these licences are for existing customers, although the software is now coming up to 8 years old so it would be understandable if it was given away to tempt people to upgrade to later versions. Because of the high prices that Adobe has previously charged for this software, my guess is that it would possibly be perceived as putting a finger up to previous customers who bought this suite if they released it free of charge. Hence some mystery surrounds this ultra discreet release of serials and downloads.

I’m not sure all programs are Windows 7 or 8 compatible. There are Mac OSX downloads in there too, again I’m not sure what version of the OS it will go up to. What I do know is that the original minimum spec for CS2 was

  • Mac OS X v.10.2.8–v.10.3.8. PowerPC® G4 or G5 processor
  • Microsoft® Windows® 2000/Windows XP. Intel® Pentium® III or 4 processor

I’d recommend that you go for the complete CS2 download listed at the start as it contains all the individual software programs. If you manage to get a copy and install it, please let me and others know what operating system you’re running it on by dropping a quick comment below.


Printer keeps printing pages when pc starts

If your printer keeps printing pages when your pc starts, then follow these steps to clear the print queue.

These instructions are for Windows 7 or Vista, and won’t do any harm to your PC. I usually advise this and 99.9% of clients will cure their printer problems this way.


  1. Click Start.
  2. In the box above, type cmd
  3. Right-click on cmd.exe (the command prompt shortcut) and select Run as administrator
  4. In the black box that appears, type net stop spooler then press Enter
  5. Type in del %systemroot%\System32\spool\printers\*   /Q then press Enter. (Note there is a space before the /Q)
  6. Type net start spooler then press Enter


The print queue on your Windows 7 or Vista PC will now be cleared out. Close the black command window using the cross at the top and restart your PC.


Has my fix for Printer keeps printing pages when pc starts worked? Then please use the icons below to tweet, like or share this article if you found it useful, it really helps this site to help others!