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What To Do When You Encounter A Windows PC Error Message

What To Do When You Encounter A Windows PC Error Message

Are you fed up with your computer’s slow speed?

Are error messages, such as file type errors. a common occurrence on your Windows computer?

If you answered Yes, then this article is all you need to get rid of your computer woes forever.

In this article, we will discuss tips that will allow you to troubleshoot common Windows PC errors, such as .pcb file type errors on your own.

Tip#1 Perform a malware scan

Did you know that malware infection is often the root cause of a myriad of computer errors, such as the .daa file type error?

Malware programs, if present on your computer, can create havoc by deleting or altering various files and eating into your computer resources. In case you notice symptoms, such as a sudden increase in errors, or a drop in your computer’s performance, it is likely your computer’s security is breached.

The solution is to run a complete malware check on your Windows computer. To do this, first update your security tool with the latest malware definitions and security updates. Next, isolate your PC by disconnecting it from the Internet and from any network share that it is attached to. Now, restart your computer in Safe Mode and run a thorough malware scan. The simple steps illustrated below take you through how to start Windows in Safe Mode:

  1. Close all the running programs and restart your computer.
  2. As Windows reloads, press and hold the F8 key.
  3. Select the Safe Mode option using the arrow keys in the Advanced Windows Boot Option Menu and press Enter.

To ensure that all threats present on your PC are detected and deleted and quarantined, we recommend that you run the scan twice.

Update your Windows, driver, and software files

The next step is to update your Windows, driver, and software files.

  • Updating Window files – Windows PC’s come with a useful built-in Automatic Update feature that ensures new Windows updates are automatically downloaded and installed on your Windows computer. Ensure that this option is enabled on your computer. In case, you are using a version of Windows prior to Windows ME (Automatic Update feature was first introduced with Windows ME) then you will need to manually download any new updates and security patches available for your version of Windows from the Microsoft website.
  • Updating Software files – Many software too have an Update tool that you can use to update the software files. If the feature is absent in some of your installed software, then for these applications manually download the new updates by visiting the software manufacturer’s website.
  • Updating third-party drivers – When it comes to updating third-party drivers, you have two options – update drivers manually or use a reliable third-party driver update tool.

Use a reliable file extension repair software

A lot of file type errors, such as .aspx file type errors occur due to damaged file openers. The issue can be fixed by deploying a reliable file extension software. Such software fixes the damaged file openers, providing you quick access to files generating errors.

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - January 29, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Categories: How To, Malware, Microsoft News, Tips, Windows Update   Tags: , , , , ,

How to Stay Out of Botnets

Just finished reading this article on USAToday, Botnet scams are exploding, about how much botnets have increased and how they estimate that on a typical day, 40% of the 800 million computers on the internet are in a botnet. That is just ridiculous, but, probably true. Why? People don’t want to have to do anything to make something work, they just want it to work, and while you can buy a car and jump in it and take off, the same cannot be said for computers. With a new computer, you are already in the whole because you need to make sure your anti virus is up to date, make sure your machine has all of the latest patches and get some kind of spyware scanner. But, who wants to do all of that? Most people just jump online and take off, which is a bad, bad thing, unless you have been on the internet for awhile and actually know not to open emails from people you don’t know, etc. While this article on USAToday is good in informing the public about botnets, it does nothing to let you know how to keep them off of your computer.

Two days after actor Heath Ledger died, e-mails began moving across the Internet purportedly carrying a link to a detailed police report divulging “the real reason” behind the actor’s death. Ledger had been summarily drafted into the service of a botnet.

Bots are compromised computers controlled by profit-minded crooks. Those e-mails were spread by a network of thousands of bots, called a botnet. Anyone who clicked on the link got instantly absorbed into the fast-spreading Mega-D botnet, says security firm Marshal. Mega-D enriches its operators, mainly by distributing spam for male-enhancement pills.

Largely unnoticed by the public, botnets have come to inundate the Internet. On a typical day, 40% of the 800 million computers connected to the Internet are bots engaged in distributing e-mail spam, stealing sensitive data typed at banking and shopping websites, bombarding websites as part of extortionist denial-of-service attacks, and spreading fresh infections, says Rick Wesson, CEO of Support Intelligence, a San Francisco-based company that tracks and sells threat data.

The whole article is worth a read for sure, as you get some background info on how botnets work and what some of the current botnet “herders” are doing and how they evade the scanning systems, etc, of the gate keepers, such as your ISP. So, if you are buying a new computer, here is how to get started safely on the internet. I will post an article later and link to it from here for the ones who are already infected or think they might be.

Download all of the latest patches from Windows Update and install them. Make sure to set your computer to download the latest patches and to notify you when they are received. This is how computers end up in botnets, unpatched computers. If their is a hole in your operating system somebody will, or already is, exploiting it somewhere, a patched and up to date computer is your best friend. If you are surfing with an unpatched computer you are just asking for trouble eventually, mark my words.

In Internet Explorer, click on tools, then click on Windows Update. Or, you can go to www.windowsupdate.com, it should redirect you to the latest version. If you have other Microsoft products installed, like Microsoft Office, go ahead and click on the Upgrade to Microsoft Update link on the right, and you can get the latest patches automatically for those programs as well. Select and install all of the patches that it brings up and have a seat as this could take awhile.

Windows Update

Next, update the antivirus software you have installed, or install the one you are going to use and then update it, most will have a button that says check for updates when you go into the program. In the screenshot, using Network Associates Virusscan, you can click on Auto Update and the click the green arrow to go at the top. Once that is done, double click auto update and then click on schedule to set it to automatically get the updates everyday. I would set it to check at least once daily, maybe twice, if you leave it on all day. Note: Each program is different, the steps to do this will be in the manual or are probably easily found on their website.

Network Associates Antivirus

Download a spyware/malware scanner, my advice is to get more than one as all of these programs are not the same. Some will catch infections that others will not. If I have missed one that you like or recommend, drop a comment and let me know so I can try it. I will be adding others as I go, this list will probably never be comprehensive, as I am only adding the ones that I have used.

Recommended Programs: Spybot, Search and Destroy This program is free and is highly recommended by about everyone I know. Once you have it installed and setup, make sure you go to the immunize tab and let it run. This will stop many spyware or malware programs from even running.

Adaware – They have a pay version, but they have a free version as well here.

AVG Anti Spyware – This one is free for a month, then you will need to pay for it. It is worth paying for and they probably have a lot more customers because of me. I have caught malware on several machines that most free one’s do not find.

Prevx – They also sell this program, but they have a free pc check here. This is another program that has caught several malware programs for me that the others did not.

Microsoft Oncecare – Microsoft has really done a pretty good job with this program, if you look at the Prevx site listed above, you can see by the graph on the front page that it caught more stuff than a lot of the other programs. This is a pay program as well, but they have a 90 day free trial.

X-Cleaner – Another program you have to pay for, this one is also excellent and frequently updated. The makers of this program have a free online scan here.

Panda Antivirus – This is a 30 day free trial.

Once your spyware scanner is installed, your computer is patched and your anti virus is updated, you should be covered from most things, but there are always ways to get you. Spam is the botnets biggest weapon as they can spam out interesting things to get you to click on them, once clicked, you will be redirected to or through their site, their botnet program is installed, and it may likely forward you to a proper site, and you may not even have noticed what just happened. So, in your email program, set it to read email in plain text format to keep them from being able to do anything to your computer without you even opening an email, or, if you prefer the graphical format, you should get rid of the preview pane so it does not automatically run any programs or display any pictures.

Another suggestion is to use an alternate browser, such as Firefox, that are widely considered as being more secure.

Anyway, that is my little take and something they should’ve added to the article, or published in another article to actually help keep people out of spammers botnets.

Keep your computer clean and it will run better, faster and last a lot longer, guaranteed.

Note: Now all you techies out there are going to say, you can do this, you need to run that, use this operating system, etc. I’m not saying that this is comprehensive at all, but, the absolute minimum you should do is on this page. But I would also recommend not running under and administrator account, turning on your firewall, turning off your computers or your internet access when it is not being used, not opening emails from strangers, not opening strange emails from people you know without asking them what it is, and always pay attention to the websites you are going to online. When you click on a link, if you hold it down, it will show you where you are going, you can slide your mouse off without releasing the button to keep from going there or just letting go of the button to go ahead and visit that website. This article will change as necessary.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - March 18, 2008 at 6:41 pm

Categories: Botnets, Security, Windows Update   Tags:

Windows XP SP3 RC2 Released Into the Wild

Microsoft has released release candidate 2 of Windows XP service pack 3 into the wild, making it available on Windows update, after you download a small registry patch that will tell your system it is okay to grab it.

Microsoft released SP3 to testers last week, but the general public can now download the service pack via Windows Update. Users have to first download a small registry file from Microsoft which gives them special access to Windows Update to download SP3.

“The script sets a registry key on your system. The registry key is required for Windows Update to recognize your machine as a valid target for Windows XP Service Pack 3 RC2,” states Microsoft. “It is recommended that you apply the resulting update package to an activated, genuine copy of Windows XP, in a test environment.”

Users are also asked to remove any previous beta or release candidate versions of SP3 before proceeding with the latest update. Source: Microsoft Makes Windows XP SP3 RC2 Publicly Available

The final release should be available the first half of this year, SP3 will include Black hole router detection, Network Access Protection, Credentials security service provider and the Microsoft Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - February 20, 2008 at 2:48 pm

Categories: Windows Update, Windows XP   Tags:

Critical Windows Update Causing Problems

One of the updates that Microsoft sent out on Tuesday, the MS07-040: Vulnerabilities in the .NET Framework could allow remote code execution, has issues. There are already 6 kb articles discussing problems caused by this update, from the SANS Internet Storm Center,

The reports we got so far seem not to lead to any specific thing that happens in many cases, just various things going haywire. We really do appreciate the heads-up warnings we get from our readers as it allows to write little warnings like this one.

We’d like to offer a double advise at this time:

If you run into trouble do call Microsoft and open a case, it’s the only way to get attention to the problem from those who know best how to fix it. It should be free. In the US: call 1-866-PCSAFETY, check their website for other countries, support with patches should always be free.
Do read through for your specific combination of .NET framework version and you specific OS the relevant KB, some of them were prepared in anticipation of certain problems. They are all linked from KB 931212. Source: MS07-040: .NET update trouble

So, if you have been having trouble since you updated, it could be causing you some problems, here are the kb articles that have been released, so far, concerning this update.

Description of the security update for the .NET Framework 1.0 for Windows XP Media Center and Windows XP Tablet PC: July 10, 2007

Description of the security update for the .NET Framework 1.0 for Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000: July 10, 2007

Description of the security update for the .NET Framework 1.1 for Windows Server 2003: July 10, 2007

Description of the security update for the .NET Framework 1.1 for Windows XP and Windows 2000: July 10, 2007

Description of the security update for the .NET Framework 1.1 for Windows Vista: July 10, 2007

Description of the security update for the .NET Framework 2.0 for Windows Vista: July 10, 2007

Description of the security update for the .NET Framework 2.0 for Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000: July 10, 2007

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - July 12, 2007 at 6:23 pm

Categories: Security, Windows Update   Tags:

Microsoft’s June 2007 Patch Tuesday

Microsoft has released the latest bulletin for the monthly patch Tuesday, it includes 4 critical updates and a couple not so critical, affecting most versions of supported Windows, IE and Outlook, to name a few.

This is an advance notification of six security bulletins that Microsoft is intending to release on June 12, 2007.

This bulletin advance notification will be replaced with the June bulletin summary on June 12, 2007. For more information about the bulletin advance notification service, see Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification. Source: Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification for June 2007

They have also decided that next Tuesday will be the day they start pusing Windows 2003 service pack 2. You will have to click on the update icon, and accept the agreement to download it, so, it shouldn’t do it automatically, yet. You can block Windows 2003 service pack 2 using this tool provided by Microsoft.

Microsoft announced availability of Windows Server 2003 SP2 in mid-March, and made the update available for download at that time. A number of security experts and Most Valuable Professionals criticized Microsoft?s decision to release SP2 on March 13, which was a Patch Tuesday. Admins usually have their hands full implementing the usual bunch of security fixes; they don?t need to be thinking about a whole new service pack at the same time, Microsoft?s critics said. The proximity of the SP2 release date and the earlier-than-usual start of Daylight Saving Time also angered some admins. Source: Microsoft to push Windows Server 2003 SP2 via Automatic Updates on Patch Tuesday

The patches and fixes in SP2 are cumulative and will work on Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2 and Windows Server 2003 SP1 machines. It also will update Windows Storage Server R2; Windows Unified Data Storage Server; Windows Compute Cluster Server; Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2; and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition systems.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - June 8, 2007 at 6:26 pm

Categories: Security, Windows 2003, Windows Update   Tags:

Microsoft Advance Security Bulletin for Tuesday’s Update

As part of the usual Patch Tuesday security updates, Microsoft has released this bulletin to let you know exactly what is coming out next Tuesday, December the 12th.

As part of the monthly security bulletin release cycle, Microsoft provides advance notification to our customers on the number of new security updates being released, the products affected, the aggregate maximum severity and information about detection tools relevant to the update. This is intended to help our customers plan for the deployment of these security updates more effectively.

Five Microsoft Security Bulletins affecting Microsoft Windows. The highest Maximum Severity rating for these is Critical. These updates will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer and the Enterprise Scan Tool. Some of these updates will require a restart.

One Microsoft Security Bulletins affecting Microsoft Visual Studio. The highest Maximum Severity rating for these is Critical. These updates will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer and the Enterprise Scan Tool. These updates may require a restart.

Microsoft will release an updated version of the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool on Windows Update, Microsoft Update, Windows Server Update Services and the Download Center.

Microsoft will release four NON-SECURITY High-Priority Updates for Windows on Windows Update (WU) and Software Update Services (SUS).

Microsoft will release 10 NON-SECURITY High-Priority Updates on Microsoft Update (MU) and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

Webcast is Wednesday, December 13th at 11:00 AM Pacific time here.

F-secure notes that the Word exploit is not being patched, as everyone expected. The dropped files they have seen used together with the Word vulnerability are detected as Trojan-Downloader.Win32.Cryptic.ec, Trojan-Downloader.Win32.Cryptic.f and Trojan-Downloader.Win32.Tiny.y.

There is no mention of Windows Vista in the bulletin, although, they don’t mention any operating systems until Tuesday, I think.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - December 8, 2006 at 4:50 pm

Categories: Security, Windows Update   Tags:

Keep IE7 From Loading Until You Are Ready

Microsoft has had a utility available to help organizations block the automatic update to IE7 for a few months now. It just creates a registry key and turns off the ability to update automatically and blocks receiving the update through the express option on Windows Update. You can get the Toolkit to Disable Automatic Delivery of Internet Explorer 7 here . It also includes a group policy administrative template to help you do this accross your domain.

The folks at Intelliadmin have created a nice utility to help everyone else do it using their mouse! With their IE 7 blocking tool, you can do any computer you have an account on.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - October 11, 2006 at 1:07 am

Categories: IE7, Security, Windows Update   Tags:

Network Issue Delays Microsofts Tuesday Patch Release

Microsoft has posted a notice on their site saying there has been a delay in releasing the security patches today because of a networking issues. Users can go to the TechNet Security Center and click on the October 2006 update, here to download the ten patches manually and installing them.

Due to some network issues experienced on the Microsoft Update platform, the October security updates released today are not yet currently available via:

Microsoft Update
Automatic Updates
Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)
Windows Update v6

To be clear, it?s a delay due to the networking for these systems: there are no issues with the security updates themselves. Also, this issue doesn?t affect customers using Software Update Services (SUS), Windows Update v4 or Office Update. Source: Microsoft Security Response Center Blog

They will post an update whenever these are available through Windows Update, and if you are set to receive them automatically, then they will be send to your pc eventually. They say there is no issue with the patches, just in releasing them.

The release of these 10 patches is about the biggest patch Tuesday so far, it includes six critical fixes for Windows and Office and the 10 patches fix about 26 vulnerabilities.

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - October 10, 2006 at 5:53 pm

Categories: Microsoft News, Security, Windows Update   Tags:

The Next Patch Tuesday

Microsoft has released the usual press release about patch tuesday, coming up this week. Looks like quite a few updates are being released, both security and non-security patches.

Six Microsoft Security Bulletins affecting Microsoft Windows. The highest Maximum Severity rating for these is Critical. These updates will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer. Some of these updates will require a restart.

  • Four Microsoft Security Bulletins affecting Microsoft Office. The highest Maximum Severity rating for these is Critical. These updates will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer. These updates may require a restart.

  • One Microsoft Security Bulletin affecting Microsoft .NET Framework. The highest Maximum Severity rating for this is Moderate. These updates will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer and the Enterprise Scan Tool. These updates may require a restart.
  • Microsoft will release an updated version of the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool on Windows Update, Microsoft Update, Windows Server Update Services and the Download Center. Note that this tool will NOT be distributed using Software Update Services (SUS).
  • Microsoft will release No NON-SECURITY High-Priority Updates for Windows on Windows Update (WU) and Software Update Services (SUS).
  • Microsoft will release two NON-SECURITY High-Priority Updates on Microsoft Update (MU) and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

Here is the address for the Technet Webcast on Wednesday, October 11, 2006 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada), in case you have any questions.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - October 6, 2006 at 2:56 pm

Categories: Microsoft News, Security, Windows Update   Tags:

Windows Update Problems

Had quite a few searches recently with people having trouble getting the updates from Windows Update.

Make sure your clock is set to the correct time, sometimes when your clock is far enough from the time on Windows Update, the scan from Windows Update uses SSL and if the time is far enough apart the process will fail.

Another thing to check is to make sure you have a language set in your options, at the top of the bar in Internet Explorer, click on tools, click the button marked languages and make sure at least one language is selected.

You can also check out the Windows Update Troubleshooter including the following topics:

  • Problem reaching Windows Update
  • Problem Downloading/Installing a Software (Non-Driver) item
  • Problem Downloading/Installing a Driver
  • Other

There are many, many links you can check to see if you are experiencing the same trouble downloading updates.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - October 2, 2006 at 3:08 am

Categories: Tips, Windows Update, Windows XP   Tags: