Microsoft Outlook Hangs on “Synchronizing Subscribed Folders”

Microsoft Outlook Hangs on “Synchronizing Subscribed Folders”

When you have many folders with many messages in Microsoft Outlook, synchronization can be slow or even appear to hang.

Outlook hangs because it downloads all messages every time, including attachments, while with a regular email IMAP application, only headers are being synced.

To solve this issue in Outlook, please follow these steps:

Open Outlook as usual and right-click on your email account and select “IMAP Folders…”

1. Click on the “Subscribed” tab and click the “Query” button.

2. Select all items in the list as follow:
3. Select the first item in the list and scroll down.
4. Hold shift and click the last item in the list.
5. Click the “Unsubscribe” button on the right.
You may get prompted about folders that cannot be unsubscribed, click “OK” here.

6. Next, select the “ALL” tab as we are now going to sync folders we wish or need to sync.

7. Select “Drafts” and click subscribe.
8. Select “Inbox” and click subscribe.
9. Select “Spam” and click subscribe.
10. Select “Sent” and click subscribe.
11. Select “Templates” and click subscribe.
12. Select “Trash” and click subscribe.

Do this for any other folders you wish to sync with the server.

The steps above should resolve the issue of Outlook hanging on “Fix Outlook hangs on synchronizing subscribed folders.”

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What is U.2 Storage Technology?

What is U.2 Storage Technology?

What is U.2?

Formerly known as SFF-8639, is an interface standard defined by SSD Form Factor Work Group.

It was developed for the enterprise market and designed to be used with new PCI Express drives along with SAS and SATA drives. It uses up to four PCI Express lanes and two SATA lanes.

U.2 connector supports NVMe standard protocol and PCI-E 3.0×4 bus, which makes the U.2 SSD have a theoretical bandwidth up to 32Gbps and have advantages of high speed, low latency, and low power consumption.

Currently, HGST Ultrastar SN100, OCZ Z-Drive 6000 and other enterprise-class SSDs have a common feature, that is, they provide two form specifications. One is the traditional PCI-E expansion card model, and the other is the 2.5 inch U.2 interface disk style.

In November 2015, Intel introduced the 750 series SSD which is available in both PCI Express and U.2 variants.

However, the U.2 SSD that can be bought by ordinary consumers includes the Intel 750 series, which includes three capacity specifications: 400 GB, 800 GB, and 1.2 TB.

The sequential reading and writing speed of the Intel 750 U.2 SSD of 1.2TB capacity can be up to 2400 MB/s and 1200 MB/s, respectively. As for its random reading and writing speed, this SSD can reach 440000 IOPS and 290,000 IOPS, respectively. In a word, the performance is very strong. If you want to know the explanation to terminologies about disk performance, please read the recommended article.

In addition, ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, ASRock, and other vendors have announced support for U.2, and demonstrated the new U.2 data line and U.2-M.2 converter. At present, the ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Extreme motherboard has been equipped with a U.2 interface.

u2-ssd-1
The U.2 connector is mechanically identical to the SATA Express device plug, but provides four PCI Express lanes through a different usage of available pins.[3][4]

U.2 devices may be connected to an M.2 port using an adapter.

U.2 compared with M.2

  • U.2 allows hot-swap, whereas M.2 does not.
  • U.2 can use 3.3 V or 12 V for power, while M.2 only supports 3.3 V.
U.2-ssd

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What is RAID?

What is RAID?

What is RAID?
RAID commonly stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. In a RAID two or more separate drives are put together to act like one. The benefits of this are to keep your data safe, to access your data faster, or some combination of the two. A RAID distributes data across volumes (or drives) in several different ways, depending on the level of RAID you choose.

A Short Overview of Spinning Disk and Solid State Drives
Spinning disk, mechanical hard drives, or Hard Disk Disks (HDDs) are typically chosen in situations where needs such as speed and performance fall second to cost. Due to physical limitations and the mechanical nature of many high speed moving parts contained in them, HDDs also have a relatively high failure rate compared to SSDs. RAID is meant to help alleviate both of these issues, depending on the RAID type you use. Typically, a mechanical hard drive has a 2.5% chance of failure each year of its operation. This has been proven by multiple reports and no specific manufacturer or model has a dramatic variation from that 2.5% rate. In short, if you value your data, you are going to need to implement some methodology to help protect it from drive failure.

SSDs are typically chosen in situations where speed and performance take a priority to cost considerations. As they have no moving parts, their ability to both write and read data on them is significantly faster than on a HDD (at least 8-10x faster.) And their failure rate is roughly .5% during each year of is operation, which significantly reduces the risk compared to a spinning HDD.

Because of the dramatic difference between the technologies of HDDs and SSDs, it’s important to state that some RAID implementations that are great for HDDs are not for SSDs, and vice versa.

What are the Different RAID Levels?
There are multiple levels of RAID and each has its own pros and cons regarding the balance of speed and security. RAID levels are denoted by different numerical values (RAID 0, RAID 1, etc.) but these are only for identification and do not signify number of disks, performance or any other metric.
RAID level chart

Volume (logical) vs. Disk/Drive (physical)
When discussing data storage, it is important to understand the difference between logical and physical.
When someone says,
“I have a 160GB hard drive in my computer.” They are referring to the physical disk/drive.

When that same person says,
“There are two drives that show up on my computer.” They are referring to the logical disk/drive, which is referred to as a volume.

When a physical drive is split logically into different volumes, this is called partitioning.

When discussing RAID technology, it is important to be aware of the differences between the logical and physical storage references.

Firmware
Firmware is essentially a small piece of software that resides on a piece of hardware to provide core functionality to the device as well as interface it with software and other pieces of hardware.
Firmware provides a basic set of operating instructions for the hardware device such as a hard drive.

It helps to think of firmware as a very basic OS (operating system) for a specific piece of hardware.

Drivers
Drivers, like firmware, provide a link from hardware to software.
Drivers reside on the host OS (Mac OS X, Windows XP, etc.) and give functionality to the hardware present.

For example, your digital camera may require special drivers to be installed on the OS in order for it to transfer photos.

It helps to think of firmware as a very basic OS (operating system) for a specific piece of hardware.

When Should I Use RAID?
RAID is extremely useful if uptime and availability are important to you or your business. Backups will help insure you from a catastrophic data loss. But, restoring large amounts of data, like when you experience a drive failure, can take many hours to perform. Those backups could be hours or days old, costing you all the data stored or changed since the last backup. RAID allows you to weather the failure of one or more drives without data loss and, in many cases, without any downtime.

RAID is also useful if you are having disk IO issues, where applications are waiting on the disk to perform tasks. Going with RAID will provide you additional throughput by allowing you to read and write data from multiple drives instead of a single drive. Additionally, if you go with hardware RAID, the hardware RAID card will include additional memory to be used as cache, reducing the strain put on the physical hardware and increase overall performance.

Note: We generally do not advise using a hardware RAID card for SSD volumes, as the additional cache isn’t necessary because of the speed of the SSDs themselves.

What Type of RAID Should I Use?
No RAID – Good if you are able to endure several hours of downtime and/or data loss due while you restore your site from backups.
RAID 0 – Good if data is unimportant and can be lost, but performance is critical (such as with cache).
RAID 1 – Good if you are looking to inexpensively gain additional data redundancy and/or read speeds. (This is a good base level for those looking to achieve high uptime and increase the performance of backups.)
RAID 5/6 – Good if you you have Web servers, high read environments, or extremely large storage arrays as a single object. This will perform worse than RAID 1 on writes. If your environment is write-heavy, or you don’t need more space than is allowed on a disk with RAID 1, RAID 1 is likely a more effective option.
RAID 10 – A good all-around solution that provides additional read and write speed as well as additional redundancy.

Software RAID vs Hardware RAID?

Software RAID
Software RAID is not always an included option in all of dedicated servers. This means there is NO cost for software RAID 1, and is highly recommended if you’re using local storage on a system. It is highly recommended that drives in a RAID array be of the same type and size.

Software-based RAID will leverage some of the system’s computing power to manage the RAID configuration. If you’re looking to maximize performance of a system, such with a RAID 5 or 6 configuration, it’s best to use a hardware-based RAID card when you’re using standard HDDs.

Hardware RAID
Hardware-based RAID requires a dedicated controller installed in the server. Steadfast engineers will be happy to provide you with recommendations regarding which hardware RAID care is best for you that is based on what RAID configuration you want to have. A hardware based RAID card does all the management of the RAID array(s), providing logical disks to the system with no overheard on the part of the system itself. Additionally, hardware RAID can provide many different types of RAID configurations simultaneously to the system. This includes providing a RAID 1 array for the boot and application drive and a RAID-5 array for the large storage array.

What Does RAID Not Do?

RAID does not equate to 100% uptime. Nothing can. RAID is another tool on in the toolbox meant to help minimize downtime and availability issues. There is still a risk of a RAID card failure, though that is significantly lower than a mechanical HDD drive failure.
RAID does not replace backups. Nothing can replace a well planned and frequently tested backup implementation!
RAID will not protect you against data corruption, human error, or security issues. While it can protect you against a drive failure, there are innumerable reasons for keeping backups. So do not take RAID as a replacement for backups. If you don’t have backups in place, you’re not ready to consider RAID as an option.
RAID does not necessarily allow you to dynamically increase the size of the array. If you need more disk space, you cannot simply add another drive to the array. You are likely going to have to start from scratch, rebuilding/reformatting the array. Luckily, Steadfast engineers are here to help you architect and execute whatever systems you need to keep your business running.
RAID isn’t always the best option for virtualization and high-availability failover. In those circumstances, you will want to look at SAN solutions, which Steadfast also provides.

Source: Steadfast , macsales , Wikipedia

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What is a VPN?

What is a VPN?

What is a VPN? How can you find the right VPN for your phone, and how much is it gonna cost you, if anything at all?

A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Applications running across a VPN may therefore benefit from the functionality, security, and management of the private network. Encryption is a common, although not an inherent, part of a VPN connection.

VPN overview
By Michel Bakni – This file was derived from:✦ Server symbol-blue.svg✦ Network cloud symbol.svg✦ Workstation symbol-Blue.svgDulaney, Emmett (2009) CompTIA Security+ Deluxe Study Guide, Wiley Publishing, Inc., p. 124 ISBN: 9780470372968., CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=84020759
VPN technology was developed to provide access to corporate applications and resources to remote or mobile users, and to branch offices. For security, the private network connection may be established using an encrypted layered tunneling protocol, and users may be required to pass various authentication methods to gain access to the VPN. In other applications, Internet users may secure their connections with a VPN to circumvent geo-blocking and censorship or to connect to proxy servers to protect personal identity and location to stay anonymous on the Internet. Some websites, however, block access to known IP addresses used by VPNs to prevent the circumvention of their geo-restrictions, and many VPN providers have been developing strategies to get around these blockades.
A VPN is created by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection through the use of dedicated circuits or with tunneling protocols over existing networks.[2] A VPN available from the public Internet can provide some of the benefits of a wide area network (WAN). From a user perspective, the resources available within the private network can be accessed remotely.
How does a VPN work?
How does a VPN work?
A virtual private network refers to a secure connection through which users can transmit and receive data over a public network. Connecting to the internet with your smartphone, tablet, or PC without a VPN exposes you to specific privacy and security risks. But VPNs offer online security and privacy.

Establishing a connection through a VPN first encrypts the packets of data to be sent even before the public network sees it. The encrypted data is transmitted to a VPN server, which in turn, forwards the data to the destination. The VPN server offers anonymity because it hides your IP address, with the transmission carrying its address instead. You can surf the internet from one country while your VPN indicates another location.

What Can a VPN Do and What Advantages Does It Provide?

In today’s technologically advanced world, network security is of primary importance. A VPN can secure your online activities from infiltrators and spies. It can even do much more. Here are some benefits of the VPN:

 Security Enhancement

The primary purpose of the VPN is to be able to establish a secure connection free of hackers and spies. It keeps your private information, such as passwords, IP address, and even your financial information from intruders.

Anonymity

With the VPN, you can surf the internet freely while protecting your identity from exposure. Anonymity is vital even as you surf through websites and web apps. There are certain online activities (not fraudulent ones) we usually don’t want to be traced back to us.

Remote Control and Access

You can use a VPN for a secure remote connection. It’s ideal for businesses because remote access enables their employees to work remotely.

IP Change

You can keep your IP hidden as you surf the internet. This also allows you to connect to certain websites where IP addresses from some locations are blocked.

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Why is SSD better for Data Backup?

Why is SSD better for Data Backup?

Why is SSD better for Data Backup?

If you need speedy local storage for lots of files (say, music or movies you carry around, or all those pics and videos you collect on your phone or camera), you may want to consider a portable solid-state drive (SSD) rather than a portable hard drive.
Once prohibitively expensive, SSDs of all stripes have been falling in price over the past few years, and external SSDs have emerged as alternatives to external hard drives, delivering as much as five times the speed and much greater durability. They have no metal platters to spin up, nor any read/write heads that need to travel to a specific point on a platter to find the file you need. And because of their lack of moving parts, portable SSDs are usually more compact, slimmer, and better suited to frequent travel and accidental drops than even the most thoroughly ruggedized hard drives.
best-ssd-external-storage-drive-for-data-backup
Unlike a hard drive, which stores data on spinning platters accessed by a moving magnetic head, a solid-state drive uses a collection of “persistent” flash memory cells to save data. These are similar to the silicon that makes up a computer’s RAM, but they retain your data when electrical power is cut off.
Since hard drives are mechanical devices that use mature technology, you can get relatively huge amounts of storage capacity for the money. But the same tech that makes hard drives a tantalizing value becomes their biggest liability when used on the go. If you drop the drive, you could damage the interior mechanism and make your data inaccessible. By contrast, if you jolt an SSD while you’re reading or writing data, there is no risk that your files will become corrupted and unreadable.
And, again, hard drives are slower because they have to physically access your data. Just how much faster is it to read data from flash cells than from particular points on spinning platters? Typical throughput for consumer hard drives is in the range of 100MBps to 200MBps. (One factor is spin rate—among external drives, 5,400rpm units are more common and more affordable than 7,200rpm.)
best-ssd-external-storage-drive-for-data-backup
External solid-state drives are, essentially, internal SSDs (the same kind that power laptops or live inside desktops) with an outer shell. As a result, external drives use one of two internal “bus types” that, in part, dictate their peak speed: Serial ATA (SATA), or PCI Express (PCIe). The latter is usually associated these days with Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe), a protocol that is optimized for the characteristics of SSDs and speeds up data transfers.
SATA-based drives tend to be a little cheaper; they’re also slower, but just fine for most users’ everyday applications. SATA-based SSDs typically top out at around 500MBps for peak read and write speeds, just a bit below the ceiling of the USB 3.0 interface. (Much more about that in a moment.) However, if you’re going to be transferring large files such as videos often, you may well want to spring for a PCIe/NVMe-based external SSD. That also ties in with the port you’ll plug your SSD into.

Sellers of portable SSDs don’t always indicate if the drive is SATA- or PCIe-based. However, checking the specs can be a giveaway. If the drive tops out at sequential read and write speeds between 400MBps and 550MBps, it’s very likely SATA-based. Speeds of 800MBps or higher indicate a PCIe-based drive.

Here are three key things to look out for when shopping for an external SSD:

COST PER GIGABYTE. The way to calculate relative value on drives like these is to perform some simple math and figure the cost per gigabyte based on the price of a given drive on the day you’re shopping. Because SSD pricing fluctuates all the time, relative value does, too.

RUGGEDIZATION. The degree of ruggedness does vary from drive to drive, with drives like the ADATA SE800 leading the field at the moment among mainstream-price external SSDs. IP68 certification is a good spec to look for if you’re serious about waterproof and dustproof drives.

CARRY WEIGHT. Most SSDs weigh a negligible couple of ounces. I like the carabiner retention loop of SanDisk’s Extreme family of drives, as many of these drives are small and light enough that losing them is an easy and expensive mistake.

If none of the drives we’ve selected for this roundup sounds appealing to you (or you already own an internal SSD that’s hanging around the house or office), there’s one more option available: SSD enclosures. These are plastic or metal housings into which you can put your own SATA 2.5-inch or M.2 solid-state drive to take with you on the go.

Enclosures come in 2.5-inch form factors (into which you would put a 2.5-inch SATA SSD) or M.2 ones. The stick-style M.2 SSD is much smaller and lighter, but know that M.2 drives themselves come in both SATA and PCIe bus flavors. You need to be sure your enclosure supports the kind of M.2 drive you’re putting in it.

Though there are exceptions, most enclosures are not as durable or rugged as major-maker portable SSDs are. This can be a drawback for those who take their SSDs into dangerous environments (think wildlife photographers or first responders), so be sure that before you go this route, you know what your drive will be exposed to. Your data could be at greater risk for corruption than it would be in an SSD purpose-built to withstand the elements.

Source: pcmag.com

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Who invented the hard drive?

Who invented the hard drive?

Who invented the hard drive?

Like many innovations in 20th-century computing, hard drives were invented at IBM as a way to give computers a rapidly accessible “random-access” memory. The trouble with other computer memory devices, like punched cards and reels of magnetic tape, is that they can only be accessed serially (in order, from beginning to end), so if the bit of data you want to retrieve is somewhere in the middle of your tape, you have to read or scan through the entire thing, fairly slowly, to find the thing you want. Everything is much faster with a hard drive, which can move its read-write head very quickly from one part of the disk to another; any part of the disk can be accessed as easily as any other part. The first hard drive was developed by IBM’s Reynold B. Johnson and announced on September 4, 1956 as the IBM 350 Disk Storage Unit.

IBM engineers also pioneered floppy disks, which were removable magnetic disks packed in robust plastic cases (originally 20cm or 8in in diameter and wrapped in flexible plastic sleeves; later 133mm or 5.25in in diameter and packed in tough plastic cases). Developed by IBM’s Warren Dalziel in 1967 and first sold in 1971, they became hugely popular in microcomputers (the forerunners of PCs) in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but are now obsolete. With a storage capacity of only 1.44MB, they’ve been completely superseded by USB flash “drives” that offer hundreds or thousands of times more memory in a tiny plastic stick a fraction the size.

Artwork: The original hard drive. IBM engineers developed this groundbreaking magnetic memory (which, in IBM-speak, was called the DASD, pronounced “das-dee”), through a process of continuous improvement from the early 1950s onward and were awarded their final patent on the design in 1970. You can see that the basic read-write mechanism is exactly the same as in today’s drives: there are multiple platters (light blue) made up of individual sectors (dark blue) that can be written to or read from by multiple read-write heads (red) mounted on the ends of sliding actuators (orange). The platters are spun by a pulley and motor (green), while the actuators are driven by gears and a motor (yellow). The main difference between this drive and a modern one is the amazing amount of intricate machinery this one contained (which you can read all about in the original patent). From US Patent 3,503,060: Direct access magnetic disc storage device by William Goddard and John Lynott, IBM Corporation, March 24, 1970, courtesy of US Patent and Trademark Office, with colors added for clarity.

ibm-dasd-hard-drive-patent

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