Monthly Archives: October 2013

Two Reasons Why it’s a Bad Idea to Leave Your Backup Drive Always Connected to Your Computer

This applies mostly to those who have an USB external hard drive that is used for periodical backups of your data. I myself use that method for my daily computer data backups. However, I only plug it in at the time of the backup and otherwise keep it disconnected from my computer. Why, you might wonder?

1. In power surge prone areas, if one hits your computer, and your external hard drive is connected to it, and it’s powerful enough, it will fry your computer AND your external hard drive.

2. There are malware infections that will encrypt your files and then ask you for a ransom to decrypt them (aptly named ransomware). The recent versions of it will encrypt files in any drive connected to your computer, not just your internal hard drive. So your only hope for recovery from such infection would be thwarted since the backup data in your backup drive will also be encrypted.

So know your backup schedule, and do what I do, put a reminder in your calendar so it reminds you a few minutes before your scheduled backup, and only then connect your external hard drive to your computer. And unplug it from your computer (and from any power source if it has its own power adapter) when done. Doing this might save the day if disaster strikes.

And if you don’t have a backup plan in place for your computer data, well, I suggest you get going on that. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 🙂





Malware is a coined word from malicious software. It includes any program that can adversely affect your computer. Traditionally the word virus was used to describe such, but as time went by and the types of malicious software grew, a new, all-encompassing word was needed to include other types of malware that were not necessarily viruses.

Not for Beginners – setting up a FREENAS 9.1.1 file server in a Windows workgroup

This is so I don’t forget what I did to set this up correctly, since I spent hours tweaking.

1. Install FREENAS on designated computer. In my case I used a 4 GB flash drive as the target for the install.

2. Create a ZFS volume. This is important. Don’t create a UFS one, it will get in the way of changing permissions from the Windows side later on, due to some unknown bug, took me hours to realize.

3. Create a group for all the users in the LAN that will have equal access rights.

4. Create as many users as needed to match the users and their credentials in the LAN computers (workgroup style).

5. Configure CIFS service settings for workgroup so it matches your LAN workgroup. Set authentication model to local users.

6. Create a new volume, with the main LAN user as the owner, and the group created in step 3 above as the owner (group).

7. Change permissions to rwxrwxr-x. This is so you can allow certain shares to be accessed but not modified.

8. Set ACL to Windows.

9. Create a Windows CIFS share. Allow guest access. If prompted to start service, click yes.

10. From a Windows computer, create the main folders that will be public and private. Edit the security in the private one by removing the everyone from the permissions. That effectively makes the permissions for that folder rwxrwx- – – , i.e. if you’re not the owner or belong to the group, you don’t have access at all.

11. If you wish to remove write permissions from subfolders of the publicly shared folder, edit advanced permissions for Everyone to allow only:

Traverse folder / execute file
List folder / read data
Read attributes
Read extended attributes
Read permissions

Apply to This folder, subfolders and files.

12. I ran into a problem deleting files and folders when logged in as owner/group member. To handle, I granted full control to the first private folder of the share, and set it to propagate to subfolders and files.

I supposed individual shares could be set up, as an alternate method, using ZFS datasets. As of this writing I have not tested that route so can’t say if it’s more convenient/configurable/flexible. I know the above works.

Adobe Hacked, What to do

If you get an email message from Adobe with the below text, it is real and not a hoax: 

Important Password Reset Information
To view this message in a language other than English, please click here. 

We recently discovered that an attacker illegally entered our network and may have obtained access to your Adobe ID and encrypted password. We currently have no indication that there has been unauthorized activity on your account. 

To prevent unauthorized access to your account, we have reset your password. Please visit to create a new password. We recommend that you also change your password on any website where you use the same user ID or password. In addition, please be on the lookout for suspicious email or phone scams seeking your personal information. 

We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause you. We value the trust of our customers and we will work aggressively to prevent these types of events from occurring in the future. If you have questions, you can learn more by visiting our Customer Alert page, which you will find here.

Adobe Customer Care

More data and exact instructions on what to do you can find here: