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  1. #1
    Lounger nzo's Avatar
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    Avaquest's PowerDesk crippled unless it can call home?

    Hi all,

    Powerdesk has been one of my favorite file managers for years. When I switched to Win 7 Ult about a year ago I purchased a new version of PD. Unbeknown to me at time of purchase, this version 9.0.1.10 Pro insists on calling home in order to remain uncrippled!

    When I dug out my original info on this purchase, there was no mention anywhere, either in emails received from Avanquest or on their websites that I visited prior to purchase, that PD must be permanently connected to the internet in order to work. Unlike previous versions of PD, I was unable to take my PC to regions that did not have internet access.

    This did not become an issue until recently when I requested a way of not crippling PD when travelling and working in an internet-free zone. The support person I spoke with via email told me this was not possible.

    When I enquired further and asked him to point me to anywhere on Avanquest's websites that stated clearly that PD would be crippled unless connected, he became evasive and did not give me a straight answer, but did point me to this webpage.

    Here is the content of our emails:

    Hi -,

    Thank you for contacting VCOM Technical Support.
    Sure if you go to the link below you will see it stated at the bottom of the page

    http://www.vcom.com/power-desk-pro-system-requirements

    If you have any further questions, please write back to us.

    Thank you,
    Michael
    VCOM Technical Support

    Office hours are:
    5:00AM to 8:00PM Pacific Time

    09/03/2015 20:40 - noozilandr wrote:
    Hi Michael,

    Can you please tell me where specifically and clearly VCOM or Avanquest state, at time of purchase and before, that the Powerdesk version I purchased is/will be crippled when not permanently connected to the internet?

    Thank you,

    John S
    I think the particular text he refers to is this: Internet connection for product and subscription updates.

    I feel this is hardly a professional explanation, and certainly not one that was explicit and clear to me at time of purchase. In the time I've used PD I have not received a single product update.

    The other fact I don't know is what information is being sent to Avanquest from my PC.

    I'm left with a bad taste and wonder where I can go to take this sloppiness to the next step.

    Any advice greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by nzo; 2015-03-16 at 21:31.
    Half frog, half man, but which half?

  2. #2
    3 Star Lounger
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    Are you quite sure about this? I use PowerDesk, version 9.0.1.10, as you use, and I value it as a file manager, just as you do.

    Curious about the "phone home" feature that you described, I blocked C:\Program Files (x86)\Avanquest\PowerDesk\PDExploNXP.exe from reaching the internet. I had no problem in making PowerDesk work, could not find any feature that would not work. Yes, it told me that it could not reach the update server, but that was no surprise.

    I installed from a file named <PowerDesk9_setup_signed-uk>, which, as far as I can see, I downloaded direct from Avanquest when I purchased it in Mar-13. I think that it did "phone home" when I installed it and entered my licence code, but I don't have a real problem with that.

    Purely out of curiosity, I'm going to leave this block in place to see whether it reproduces the behaviour that you describe. I'll post in this thread if it does want to "call home" at some future time.

  3. #3
    Lounger nzo's Avatar
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    Hi John,
    With me it took some 10 to 15 mins after I blocked it in my firewall until PD started to protest. I'll try it again in the morning. I tried to locate another post on the net where they had the same problem, but so far no luck.

    John
    Half frog, half man, but which half?

  4. #4
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    I also have PowerDesk Pro 9.0.1.10 on a Win7Ult computer and don't see any issues but once in awhile it will check for an update.

  5. #5
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    FREE PD clone, almost.

    Quote Originally Posted by Berton View Post
    I also have PowerDesk Pro 9.0.1.10 on a Win7Ult computer and don't see any issues but once in awhile it will check for an update.
    I have been using PD for many years and ran into the same problem and got nowhere with them. However; since I had to "land on Iwo Jima to take Mt. Sirabachi" [aka to get work done], I found an acceptable clone: Cubic Explorer. Along with "Folder Marker & File Marker", I created a very powerful File Mgr system that quickly allows me to find/use nearly 1,000,000 files in approx 3,000+ folders on 4 TB hd space. And it's all FREE. Plus it comes in a portable version. Now that's powerful innovation.

    See screen shots below for more info.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    I also used Powerdesk for quite a number of years, but support under VCOM is pretty much useless. So, based on several interactions with VCOM "non-support". I got rid of it. I now use FreeCommanderXE and find it just as good or maybe better than PD. The only thing that I don't like is when opening FreeCommanderXE (I have a server with network shares), it takes quite a long time to open the program (timing out on network share connections, it seems).

    So, before closing FreeCommanderXE, I just set both windows back to C: (assuming I remember). The same happens if I leave one of the Windows "set" to an external "drive" such as an SD or CF card. Not a huge deal, but a bit annoying. If I later turn the server on (it sleeps a lot), just clicking on one of the network connections re-establishes that connection. There is a user changeable toolbar right down the middle of the two screens that allow often used functions (new folder etc) easily visible.

    So, it takes a little setup but one would expect that with a fully featured file manager.

    I might try Cubic to see what it is like.

    Quote Originally Posted by klxdrt View Post
    I have been using PD for many years and ran into the same problem and got nowhere with them. However; since I had to "land on Iwo Jima to take Mt. Sirabachi" [aka to get work done], I found an acceptable clone: Cubic Explorer. Along with "Folder Marker & File Marker", I created a very powerful File Mgr system that quickly allows me to find/use nearly 1,000,000 files in approx 3,000+ folders on 4 TB hd space. And it's all FREE. Plus it comes in a portable version. Now that's powerful innovation.

    See screen shots below for more info.

  7. #7
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    For what it's worth I used to run PowerDesk. I had to rebuild my system (Windows/XP at the time) as many of us have had to do over the years and when I tried to reinstall/re-activate PowerDesk it failed with a "too many activations" error. OK, so maybe I should have cleanly uninstalled it first. In any case, I notified Avanquest's support team and they were completely useless, giving me answers you'd get if you were trying to activate a bootleg copy (which it was not). I gave up and just uninstalled their software and moved on.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevmeist View Post
    I also used Powerdesk for quite a number of years, but support under VCOM is pretty much useless. So, based on several interactions with VCOM "non-support". I got rid of it. I now use FreeCommanderXE and find it just as good or maybe better than PD. The only thing that I don't like is when opening FreeCommanderXE (I have a server with network shares), it takes quite a long time to open the program (timing out on network share connections, it seems).

    So, before closing FreeCommanderXE, I just set both windows back to C: (assuming I remember). The same happens if I leave one of the Windows "set" to an external "drive" such as an SD or CF card. Not a huge deal, but a bit annoying. If I later turn the server on (it sleeps a lot), just clicking on one of the network connections re-establishes that connection. There is a user changeable toolbar right down the middle of the two screens that allow often used functions (new folder etc) easily visible.

    So, it takes a little setup but one would expect that with a fully featured file manager.

    I might try Cubic to see what it is like.
    kevmeist,

    Thanks for the quick response & the lead on FreeCommanderXE. Cant wait to check it out & let you know.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    5 Star Lounger
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    OMFG,
    I notified Avanquest's support team and they were completely useless, giving me answers you'd get if you were trying to activate a bootleg copy (which it was not).
    Avanquest is like that - so is Nuance.

    Zig

  10. #10
    3 Star Lounger
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    So, I just tried Cubic Explorer and uninstalled it again (which you have to do by running uninstall.exe from the program folder as it was not in "programs and features" that I could see).

    The main reason (I did not exhaustively test Cubic) that I uninstalled it is that FreeCommanderXE offers a dual window approach (either left to right or top to bottom) that allows you to visually see drag and drop file moves/copies. I did not see a view like that in Cubic. This feature alone would recommend FreeCommanderXE to me.

    K

    Quote Originally Posted by klxdrt View Post
    kevmeist,

    Thanks for the quick response & the lead on FreeCommanderXE. Cant wait to check it out & let you know.
    Last edited by kevmeist; 2015-03-19 at 14:02.

  11. #11
    3 Star Lounger
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    Powerdesk support used to be pretty good (I used it for quite a few years). After several companies bought out the original company (at least I think it was the original when I first started using it), support went down the hill. With VCOM, I had earlier emails showing that I had 3 licenses for PD...they said we have no records of that and wanted me to buy it again. Totally useless Tech Support IMHO (or IMO). It's as if they wanted to tick off licensed users and stop supporting the product. I did my best to oblige them.

    K

  12. #12
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    Directory Opus as Explorer replacement

    I use Directory Opus as file manager.
    http://www.gpsoft.com.au/

    It costs a penny but there's a 60-day trial if you want to road-test it to death. It's road-rage free.
    Trust me, after 60 days (or just 1), you'll be begging them to take your money.
    It's configurable to the nth degree.

    Support?
    They have their own forum (resource centre) and their 3 developers/experts come online every day to answer questions and provide solutions to your own tweaks.
    http://resource.dopus.com/viewforum....d1eafc8ac074e6
    Just browse through that forum to see how users can modify the defaults and add-on new functionality.


  13. #13
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    $49 is a bit more than a penny.

    cheers, Paul

  14. #14
    3 Star Lounger
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    Especially when there are other products like FreeCommanderXE that are free.

    K

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    $49 is a bit more than a penny.

    cheers, Paul

  15. #15
    3 Star Lounger
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    nzo - I checked my log today, and PowerDesk has not tried once to "phone home" since I first posted here, in answer to your first post, and started monitoring the behaviour of PowerDesk, on 17 March, date of our first exchange of mails.

    Others posting in this thread remind me about Avanquest's failing standards of customer service, across the range. I haven't had to call upon them, but have no great confidence.

    Another Windows Explorer replacement is xplorer2, by Zabkat, free if you don't want to have technical support.

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