Archive for the ‘Operating Systems’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Caught A Virus?

If you let your guard down or even if you haven’t, it can be hard to tell if your PC is infected. Here’s what to do if you suspect the worst.

Heard this one before? You must run an antivirus software and keep it up to date or else your PC will get infected, you’ll lose all your data, and you’ll experience the wrath of every email buddy you unknowingly infect because of your carelessness.

You know they’re right. Yet for one reason or another, you’re not running an antivirus software, or you are, but it’s not up to date. Maybe you turned off your virus scanner because it conflicted with another program. Maybe you got tired of upgrading after you bought Norton Antivirus 2001, 2002, and 2003. Or maybe your annual subscription of virus definitions recently expired, and you’ve put off renewing.

It happens. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. But chances are, either you\\’re infected right now, as we speak, or you will be very soon.

For a few days in late January, the Netsky.p worm was infecting about 2,500 PCs a day. Meanwhile the MySQL bot infected approximately 100 systems a minute (albeit not necessarily desktop PCs). As David Perry, global director of education for security software provider Trend Micro, puts it, “an unprotected [Windows] computer will become owned by a bot within 14 minutes.”

Today’s viruses, worms, and so called bots, which turn your PC into a zombie that does the hacker’s bidding (such as mass mailing spam) aren’t going to announce their presence. Real viruses aren’t like the ones in Hollywood movies that melt down the whole networks in seconds and destroy alien spacecraft. They operate in the background, quietly altering data, stealing private operations, or using your PC for their own illegal ends. This makes them hard to spot if you’re not well protected.

Is Your PC “Owned?”

I should start by saying that not every system oddity is due to a virus, worm, or bot. Is your system slowing down? Is your hard drive filling up rapidly? Are programs crashing without warning? These symptoms are more likely caused by Windows, or badly written legitimate programs, rather than malware. After all, people who write malware want to hide their program’s presence. People who write commercial software put icons all over your desktop. Who’s going to work harder to go unnoticed?

Other indicators that may, in fact, indicate that there’s nothing that you need to worry about, include:

* An automated email telling you that you’re sending out infected mail. Email viruses and worms typically come from faked addresses.

* A frantic note from a friend saying they’ve been infected, and therefore so have you. This is likely a hoax. It’s especially suspicious if the note tells you the virus can’t be detected but you can get rid of it by deleting one simple file. Don’t be fooled and don’t delete that file.

I’m not saying that you should ignore such warnings. Copy the subject line or a snippet from the body of the e-mail and plug it into your favorite search engine to see if other people have received the same note. A security site may have already pegged it as a hoax.

Sniffing Out an Infection.

There are signs that indicate that your PC is actually infected. A lot of network activity coming from your system (when you’re not actually using the Internet) can be a good indicator that something is amiss. A good software firewall, such as ZoneAlarm, will ask your permission before letting anything leave your PC, and will give you enough information to help you judge if the outgoing data is legitimate. By the way, the firewall that comes with Windows, even the improved version in XP Service Pack 2, lacks this capability.

To put a network status light in your system tray, follow these steps: In Windows XP, choose Start, Control Panel, Network Connections, right-click the network connection you want to monitor, choose Properties, check “Show icon in notification area when connected,” and click OK.

If you’re interested in being a PC detective, you can sniff around further for malware. By hitting Ctrl-Alt-Delete in Windows, you’ll bring up the Task Manager, which will show you the various processes your system is running. Most, if not all, are legit, but if you see a file name that looks suspicious, type it into a search engine and find out what it is.

Want another place to look? In Windows XP, click Start, Run, type “services.msc” in the box, and press Enter. You’ll see detailed descriptions of the services Windows is running. Something look weird? Check with your search engine.

Finally, you can do more detective work by selecting Start, Run, and typing “msconfig” in the box. With this tool you not only see the services running, but also the programs that your system is launching at startup. Again, check for anything weird.

If any of these tools won’t run or if your security software won’t run, that in itself is a good sign that your computer is infected. Some viruses intentionally disable such programs as a way to protect themselves.

What to Do Next.

Once you’re fairly sure your system is infected, don’t panic. There are steps you can take to assess the damage, depending on your current level of protection.

* If you don’t have any antivirus software on your system (shame on you), or if the software has stopped working, stay online and go for a free scan at one of several Web sites. There’s McAfee FreeScan, Symantec Security Check, and Trend Micro’s HouseCall. If one doesn’t find anything, try two. In fact, running a free online virus scan is a good way to double-check the work of your own local antivirus program. When you’re done, buy or download a real antivirus program.

* If you have antivirus software, but it isn’t active, get offline, unplug the wires, whatever it takes to stop your computer from communicating via the Internet. Then, promptly perform a scan with the installed software.

* If nothing seems to be working, do more research on the Web. There are several online virus libraries where you can find out about known viruses. These sites often provide instructions for removing viruses, if manual removal is possible or a free removal tool if it isn’t. Check out GriSOFT’s Virus Encyclopedia, Eset’s Virus Descriptions, McAffee’s Virus Glossary, Symantec’s Virus Encyclopedia, or Trend Micro’s Virus Encyclopedia.

A Microgram of Prevention.

Assuming your system is now clean, you need to make sure it stays that way. Preventing a breach of your computer’s security is far more effective than cleaning up the mess afterwards. Start with a good security program, such Trend Micro’s PC-Cillin, which you can buy for $50.

Don’t want to shell out any money? You can cobble together security through free downloads, such as AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition, ZoneAlarm (a personal firewall), and Ad-Aware SE (an antispyware tool).

Just make sure you keep all security software up to date. The bad guys constantly try out new ways to fool security programs. Any security tool without regular, easy (if not automatic) updates isn’t worth your money or your time.

Speaking of updating, the same goes for Windows. Use Windows Update (it’s right there on your Start Menu) to make sure you’re getting all of the high priority updates. If you run Windows XP, make sure to get the Service Pack 3 update. To find out if you already have it, right-click My Computer, and select Properties. Under the General tab, under System, it should say “Service Pack 3.”

Here are a few more pointers for a virus-free life:

* Be careful with email. Set your email software security settings to high. Don’t open messages with generic sounding subjects that don’t apply specifically to you from people you don’t know. Don’t open an attachment unless you’re expecting it.

* If you have broadband Internet access, such as DSL or cable, get a router, even if you only have one PC. A router adds an extra layer of protection because your PC is not connecting directly with the Internet.

* Check your Internet ports. These doorways between your computer and the Internet can be open, in which case your PC is very vulnerable, closed, but still somewhat vulnerable or stealthed (or hidden), which is safest. Visit Gibson Research’s Web site and run the free ShieldsUP test to see your ports’ status. If some ports show up as closed or worse yet, open, check your router’s documentation to find out how to hide them.

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Article Source: The Only Yard For The Internet Junkie
If you like all this stuff here then you can buy me a pack of cigarettes.

PostHeaderIcon Best Keyboard Shortcuts

Here’s a little something I found while browsing the net.

Getting used to using your keyboard exclusively and leaving your mouse behind will make you much more efficient at performing any task on any Windows system.

Windows key + R = Run menu

This is usually followed by:
cmd = Command Prompt
iexplore + "web address" = Internet Explorer
compmgmt.msc = Computer Management
dhcpmgmt.msc = DHCP Management
dnsmgmt.msc = DNS Management
services.msc = Services
eventvwr = Event Viewer
dsa.msc = Active Directory Users and Computers
dssite.msc = Active Directory Sites and Services

Windows key + E = Explorer
ALT + Tab = Switch between windows
ALT, Space, X = Maximize window
CTRL + Shift + Esc = Task Manager
Windows key + Break = System properties
Windows key + F = Search
Windows key + D = Hide/Display all windows
CTRL + C = copy
CTRL + X = cut
CTRL + V = paste

Also don’t forget about the "Right-click" key next to the right Windows key on your keyboard. Using the arrows and that key can get just about anything done once you’ve opened up any program.

Keyboard Shortcuts

[Alt] and [Esc] Switch between running applications
[Alt] and letter Select menu item by underlined letter
[Ctrl] and [Esc] Open Program Menu
[Ctrl] and [F4] Close active document or group windows (does not work with some applications)
[Alt] and [F4] Quit active application or close current window
[Alt] and [-] Open Control menu for active document
[Ctrl] Lft., Rt. arrow Move cursor forward or back one word
[Ctrl] Up, Down arrow Move cursor forward or back one paragraph
[F1] Open Help for active application
Windows+M Minimize all open windows
Shift+Windows+M Undo minimize all open windows
Windows+F1 Open Windows Help
Windows+Tab Cycle through the Taskbar buttons
Windows+Break Open the System Properties dialog box

acessability shortcuts

Right SHIFT for eight seconds…….. Switch FilterKeys on and off.
Left ALT +left SHIFT +PRINT SCREEN……. Switch High Contrast on and off.
Left ALT +left SHIFT +NUM LOCK……. Switch MouseKeys on and off.
SHIFT……. five times Switch StickyKeys on and off.
NUM LOCK…… for five seconds Switch ToggleKeys on and off.

explorer shortcuts

END……. Display the bottom of the active window.
HOME……. Display the top of the active window.
NUM LOCK+ASTERISK……. on numeric keypad (*) Display all subfolders under the selected folder.
NUM LOCK+PLUS SIGN……. on numeric keypad (+) Display the contents of the selected folder.
NUM LOCK+MINUS SIGN……. on numeric keypad (-) Collapse the selected folder.
LEFT ARROW…… Collapse current selection if it’s expanded, or select parent folder.
RIGHT ARROW……. Display current selection if it’s collapsed, or select first subfolder.

Type the following commands in your Run Box (Windows Key + R) or Start Run

devmgmt.msc = Device Manager
msinfo32 = System Information
cleanmgr = Disk Cleanup
ntbackup = Backup or Restore Wizard (Windows Backup Utility)
mmc = Microsoft Management Console
excel = Microsoft Excel (If Installed)
msaccess = Microsoft Access (If Installed)
powerpnt = Microsoft PowerPoint (If Installed)
winword = Microsoft Word (If Installed)
frontpg = Microsoft FrontPage (If Installed)
notepad = Notepad
wordpad = WordPad
calc = Calculator
msmsgs = Windows Messenger
mspaint = Microsoft Paint
wmplayer = Windows Media Player
rstrui = System Restore
netscp6 = Netscape 6.x
netscp = Netscape 7.x
netscape = Netscape 4.x
waol = America Online
control = Opens the Control Panel
control printers = Opens the Printers Dialog

internet browser

type in your adress "google", then press [Right CTRL] and [Enter]
add www. and .com to word and go to it

For Windows XP:

Copy. CTRL+C
Paste. CTRL+V
Undo. CTRL+Z
Delete. DELETE

Delete selected item permanently without placing the item in the Recycle Bin. SHIFT+DELETE
Copy selected item. CTRL while dragging an item
Create shortcut to selected item. CTRL+SHIFT while dragging an item
Rename selected item. F2
Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next word. CTRL+RIGHT ARROW
Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word. CTRL+LEFT ARROW
Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next paragraph. CTRL+DOWN ARROW
Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph. CTRL+UP ARROW
Highlight a block of text. CTRL+SHIFT with any of the arrow keys
Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text within a document. SHIFT with any of the arrow keys
Select all. CTRL+A
Search for a file or folder. F3
View properties for the selected item. ALT+ENTER
Close the active item, or quit the active program. ALT+F4
Opens the shortcut menu for the active window. ALT+SPACEBAR
Close the active document in programs that allow you to have multiple documents open simultaneously. CTRL+F4
Switch between open items. ALT+TAB
Cycle through items in the order they were opened. ALT+ESC
Cycle through screen elements in a window or on the desktop. F6
Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer. F4
Display the shortcut menu for the selected item. SHIFT+F10
Display the System menu for the active window. ALT+SPACEBAR
Display the Start menu. CTRL+ESC
Display the corresponding menu. ALT+Underlined letter in a menu name
Carry out the corresponding command. Underlined letter in a command name on an open menu
Activate the menu bar in the active program. F10
Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu. RIGHT ARROW
Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu. LEFT ARROW
Refresh the active window. F5
View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer. BACKSPACE
Cancel the current task. ESC
SHIFT when you insert a CD into the CD-ROM drive Prevent the CD from automatically playing.

Use these keyboard shortcuts for dialog boxes:

Move forward through tabs. CTRL+TAB
Move backward through tabs. CTRL+SHIFT+TAB
Move forward through options. TAB
Move backward through options. SHIFT+TAB
Carry out the corresponding command or select the corresponding option. ALT+Underlined letter
Carry out the command for the active option or button. ENTER
Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box. SPACEBAR
Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons. Arrow keys
Display Help. F1
Display the items in the active list. F4
Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box. BACKSPACE

If you have a Microsoft Natural Keyboard, or any other compatible keyboard that includes the Windows logo key and the Application key , you can use these keyboard shortcuts:

Display or hide the Start menu. WIN Key
Display the System Properties dialog box. WIN Key+BREAK
Show the desktop. WIN Key+D
Minimize all windows. WIN Key+M
Restores minimized windows. WIN Key+Shift+M
Open My Computer. WIN Key+E
Search for a file or folder. WIN Key+F
Search for computers. CTRL+WIN Key+F
Display Windows Help. WIN Key+F1
Lock your computer if you are connected to a network domain, or switch users if you are not connected to a network domain. WIN Key+ L
Open the Run dialog box. WIN Key+R
Open Utility Manager. WIN Key+U

accessibility keyboard shortcuts:

Switch FilterKeys on and off. Right SHIFT for eight seconds
Switch High Contrast on and off. Left ALT+left SHIFT+PRINT SCREEN
Switch MouseKeys on and off. Left ALT +left SHIFT +NUM LOCK
Switch StickyKeys on and off. SHIFT five times
Switch ToggleKeys on and off. NUM LOCK for five seconds
Open Utility Manager. WIN Key+U

shortcuts you can use with Windows Explorer:

Display the bottom of the active window. END
Display the top of the active window. HOME
Display all subfolders under the selected folder. NUM LOCK+ASTERISK on numeric keypad (*)
Display the contents of the selected folder. NUM LOCK+PLUS SIGN on numeric keypad (+)
Collapse the selected folder. NUM LOCK+MINUS SIGN on numeric keypad (-)
Collapse current selection if it’s expanded, or select parent folder. LEFT ARROW
Display current selection if it’s collapsed, or select first subfolder. RIGHT ARROW

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Article Source: The Only Yard For The Internet Junkie
If you like all this stuff here then you can buy me a pack of cigarettes.

PostHeaderIcon Safeguarding Your Files When Your Computer Crashes

Has your computer crashed yet? First thing to keep in mind, If your computer hasn’t crashed yet, it will in the future! So instead of waiting for fate to strike, take some precautions now.

1) BACK-UP! Buy some decent DVD-R discs and put everything useful in them. When you have more useful stuff, backup again. Do this often.

2) Keep your computer healthy. Use an anti-virus, an anti-spy, and a firewall. Keep them updated. Check regularly for Windows critical fixes.

3) Don’t install software that would do dangerous things to your hard drive. A boot manager would fall in this category.

4) Use a registry cleaner before and after you install or uninstall any software. Many of the problems that will keep Windows from booting are caused by sloppy software that mess up your registry. Tune-up Utilities is a good registry cleaner.

5) Run chkdsk now and then. Go to Start > Run. Type chkdsk /F and press enter.

In case your PC has already crashed, read the following. Most important, Don’t panic! Panic is like a little demon that whispers in your ear to format your hard drive and reinstall everything. Don’t do it! You will lose all your data and the little demon will laugh at you. :devil:

To be exact, you can still recover your data if you format your drive (by using special software), but only if you don’t write anything on the disc afterward. In other words format + windows install = bad idea. If you reinstall windows without formatting your drive, you will only lose the files on your desktop and "My Documents" folder. In all occasions you should make sure to safeguard your files before attempting any kind of repair!

So let’s go about how to do that. This requires that you have access to a second PC.

Open the case of your computer and remove the hard disk. Install it as a slave on the second PC. Depending on respective configurations, you may have to change some jumper settings on the drive. Read the manual for help with installing hard drives and setting jumpers.

After this is done, boot the second PC. If everything went out ok, you should be able to access your drive without problems. Note that Win98 cannot recognize a local NTFS (Win2K/XP) disk. Copy everything you need from your own hard drive to the other one.

Now you don’t have to worry anymore! Replace your computer’s hard disk, fix all problems and reverse the process to copy the data back to your computer, or take CD backups on the other PC.

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Article Source: The Only Yard For The Internet Junkie
If you like all this stuff here then you can buy me a pack of cigarettes.

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