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:
- Close all the running programs and restart your computer.
- As Windows reloads, press and hold the F8 key.
- 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.
I posted earlier about a website owner rolling his own service pack 1 for Windows Vista, he is putting together all of the fixes and patches that have been released for far for Windows Vista and creating his own instead of waiting on Microsoft. Well, buyer beware, as always, if you download and install this “service pack” you could have trouble as it includes some patches that are intended to fix specific problems, and they may end up causing you problems you wouldn’t have had if you just updated using Windows Update.
With Vista freshly launched and company executives on record as saying that Vista is “high quality right out of the gate”, Microsoft appears less than thrilled with web site owner Ethan Allen’s decision to distribute Vista’s hot fixes and patches, rolling them into what he calls an SP1 Preview. This so-called preview was a collection of more than 100 hot fixes and patches for Vista. Selection, according to Allen, was determined based on information in Microsoft’s Knowledge Base, as well as information from an undisclosed “inside source.” Source: Microsoft: Beware of bogus Service Pack and hot fix sites
According to Ars Technica, this site has been posting stuff like this for years. My advice, just wait on the service pack from Microsoft and save the hassle for someone else.
Microsoft has finally patched the hole in their Wireless Security Client that I posted about here, as detailed on the Security Fix website here, although most would consider this a security update, Microsoft apparently does not, as it does not show up on Windows Update, even when you look under optional updates. You can read about it and install it from Microsoft’s site here.
The upshot of all this is bad guys can take advantage of these behaviors, as I wrote in January at the Shmoocon hacker conference, where security gadfly Mark “Simple Nomad” Loveless called attention to this problem. Loveless showed that by sniffing the wireless requests sent out by a target XP machine, an attacker can learn the name of a previously associated network and force the target to connect directly to the attacker’s PC, which for all intents and purposes appears to the would-be victim as just another wireless access point (assuming the victim is even paying attention during all of this.)
“In a hall of 400-500 engineers, we hijacked upwards of 100 clients instantly, enough that our Linux laptop became unstable from all the wireless traffic passing through it,” Dai Zovi recalled in a write-up sent to the Bugtraq security mailing list. “In practice, since nearly every roaming laptop has at least one unencrypted hotspot network in [its] preferred/trusted networks, almost all Windows XP and Mac OS X laptops are susceptible to this kind of attack.”
Dai Zovi continues: “The rogue access point coerces the client into connecting to the attacker’s machine, thus obviating the firewall. This usually requires the user having Web or mail software running, but automatic outbound network requests from [those kinds of programs are] very common and these may be attacked.”
This is possible because a laptop with a wireless connection looks for access points it has previously connected to, so it will auto connect to a laptop that says it is one of those previous access points. From Microsoft’s site,
A computer that has the WPA2/WPS IE Update installed lets users manually configure options for WPA2 authentication and encryption. However, until the Wireless Client Update is installed, network administrators cannot centrally configure WPA2 options by using the Wireless Network (IEEE 802.11) Policies node of Computer Configuration Group Policy. Computers that have Windows XP Service Pack 2 and the Wireless Client Update installed can apply these configuration options when they configure the computers by using Computer Configuration Group Policy.
On a computer that is running Windows Vista or that is running Microsoft Windows Server Code Name “Longhorn,” you can specify WPA2 options when you configure wireless networks by using the Wireless Network (IEEE 802.11) Policies node of Computer Configuration Group Policy. Source: Microsoft
This article from Bugtraq talks about how this has been around since 2004.
Our driver responds to EVERY Probe Request as it operates in HostAP mode. The wireless network is “cloaked”, so it does not send out any beacons, but when a client in range sends a Probe Request for a network (“tmobile”, “linksys”, “megacorp”, etc), the driver will respond as if it were that network. In this way, it acts as a virtual AP for any network requested. This yields an extremely effective attack that is able to cause nearly all unassociated wireless clients within range to join the rogue network. KARMA also includes a tool for passively monitoring probe requests sent out by nearby wireless clients and a framework for exploiting client-side vulnerabilities once the client has joined the rogue network (no live exploits are included, though).
In addition, our driver uncovered vulnerabilities in drivers for 802.11b-only cards where they probe for randomly generated network names when the card is not associated to a network. When the KARMA driver responds to this probe, the card and host will join the network and DHCP an address, etc. I reported this to both Microsoft and Apple in the Spring last year. Apple has subsequently fixed the issue  and Microsoft said that a fix would be in the next service pack.
Again, this is not entirely new stuff. Max Moser released his HotSpotter  tool in April 2004 to create a HostAP based on sniffed Probe Requests. We first released our driver implementing the parallel attack in February 2005 at Immunity’s Security Shindig in NYC. However, awareness of these issues appears to still be low.
Update: I just noticed the date on the Microsoft site, guess I need to be better at following up on my posts, looks like this has been out about three weeks already.
In a post from Microsoft’s Jim Allchin, he compares the Windows Vista RTM and the Windows XP RTM, comparing the number of drivers released on the “final product”, 19,500 for Windows Vista and 10,000 for Windows XP, over 11,000 when Vista went to RTM and only 2,000 when XP went to RTM. Windows XP is one of the finest operating systems I have used, the only times I have had a system lock up is when installing a new driver, and usually going and grabbing the latest edition takes care of that little problem. XP is solid, if Vista is anywhere near as good as XP, I will be happy, although I’m sure I will end up cussing it occasionally, as problems with other software packages arise. I can see using XP well beyond the day Microsoft stops supporting it, because even if they do quit, or when they do quit updating it, with just a few precautions, I can see my kids running it on their computers for a long time.
While we worked hard to get a comprehensive set of drivers on the DVD prior to release-to-manufacturing (RTM), the magic of Windows Update and Automatic Updates makes this “frozen in time” distribution problem basically a non-issue. For Windows Vista we are excited to have over 19,500 device drivers on the Windows Vista DVD (in contrast to just 10,000 for Windows XP when it shipped). The number of device drivers is really a small way of looking at it, since each driver can usually support numerous actual different device models. Indeed, sometimes a single driver can support hundreds of different models, as often is the case with video drivers. But, what is even more significant is that at the RTM for Windows Vista, we already had an additional 11,700 device drivers on Windows Update compared to just 2,000 for Windows XP when it RTM?d in 2001. And while we will have significantly more drivers online by official availability, we will continue to add more drivers even after the launch. Because of the improvements in Automatic Updates for Windows Vista, users that choose the recommended setting for Automatic Updates will have the latest drivers installed and available when they add a new device.
While it may go without saying, I also recommend that you take the default setting for Automatic Updates when you setup Windows Vista so that you also get recommended updates. That’s the best option for getting the best experience in my view. Source: Windows Vista Team Blog
Of course you should always update when it asks, the only updates that piss me off are the ones that pop up and say they are rebooting unless you stop it, those can really screw you up, if you have unsaved documents open and it shuts down, you’re hosed.
I thought about making a separate post for this, but, nah. Saw a post on Robert McLaws Windows Now website, called The Worst Windows Vista Review Ever, so I assumed he was reviewing it, but he was referencing a post from PCWorld by Stephen Manes called Full Disclosure: Windows–New! Improved! Yada Yada Yada! with the tagline Every Microsoft upgrade sets a new standard–in hype.
Well, I will agree with Robert, this guy is already complaining about Windows Vista and all he has ever seen are videos, he has seen the demos and read the propaganda and first looks. Talking about how you will be tearing your hair out figuring out the new features, Yada, Yada, Yada, as he says in his title. I can understand being skeptic, but how can you complain about something you haven’t seen yet?
Less time “shutting down the PC”? To this day my XP machines often hang until I hold down the physical on/off switch awhile. A Windows that goes 90 days without a single crash? Yeah, right. Hey, XP won’t go even a month without a forced reboot to install security fixes!
Apart from Microsoft hype, one thing never changes when the latest version of Windows arrives: the time you have to waste coping with the peccadilloes of the new regime. Will the upgrade really deliver productivity increases that let you get that time back? Not bloody likely.
He most have done something to his copy of XP, as I never have trouble shutting down or rebooting or lockups at all, and I think most people are the same. Every pc in our house runs XP and we never have any trouble at all. Might be time for a reload Steve. I read some of his other posts, and all he does is complain about stuff, every post seemed negative. If he hates computers so much, maybe it’s time for a job change?
Oh, and another post by Robert says that Microsoft is giving Windows Vista beta testers free copies of the Business or Ultimate editions to “any invited technical beta tester who submitted a bug. Period.” So, if you submitted one bug, you get a free copy. Sounds pretty cool and much better than what the Office 2007 beta testers got, he said they got the shaft, so I don’t know if that means they got nothing or some other crap.
An exploit involving a wireless driver created by Broadcom Corp. that is built into millions of new laptops created by HP, Dell, Gateway and other computer makers as well as some devices made by Linksys and Zonet, has been released, it is for a specific version, but the writer says it could easily be modified to different versions from different manufacturers. The flaw could be used to take complete control of any vulnerable machine that is within a few hundred feet. This flaw is active on most of these machines because of the background checking it does for wireless networks, so even if it is not connected to a wireless network, it is vulnerable.
A security researcher has released a set of instructions for exploiting a security flaw in the wireless Internet devices built into millions of new laptops from HP, Dell, Gateway and other computer makers. An attacker could use the flaw to take complete control over any vulnerable machine located within a few hundred feet, so be forewarned that reading the rest of this post could make you awfully leery of that guy sitting in the corner booth at Starbucks gleefully clacking away on his laptop.
According to the latest addition to the Month of Kernel Bugs project, the vulnerability resides in a flawed device driver from Broadcom Corp. that is bundled with many different laptops and built in to some devices made by Linksys and Zonet. The flaw is exploitable on vulnerable Windows machines whether or not the machine is connected to a wireless network. In fact, it is the wireless card’s background scan for available wireless networks that apparently triggers the flaw. Source: Exploit Targets Widely Deployed Wireless Flaw from SecurityFix via Faill.com
Here is a quote from the original post and a link to it.
The Broadcom BCMWL5.SYS wireless device driver is vulnerable to a stack-based buffer overflow that can lead to arbitrary kernel-mode code execution. This particular vulnerability is caused by improper handling of 802.11 probe responses containing a long SSID field. The BCMWL5.SYS driver is bundled with new PCs from HP, Dell, Gateway, eMachines, and other computer manufacturers. Broadcom has released a fixed driver to their partners, which are in turn providing updates for the affected products. Linksys, Zonet, and other wireless card manufactures also provide devices that ship with this driver. Source: Broadcom Wireless Driver Probe Response SSID Overflow
This could be a SERIOUS problem in the future, some organizations use Dell exclusively for their laptops, if they don’t come up with an easy way to update these laptops to the latest driver, lots of people could be exploited. I can see a whole new crop of botnets springing from Internet cafes, and places that allow free wireless internet access. Someone setting outside with a better antenna could seriously take advantage of some organizations, this could get ugly. Ask your resellers about it now, not later, and get them working on an easy solution for you.
Update: George OU, who writes Real World IT blog at zdnet, has some more information and a fix posted using an updated Linksys driver. The exploit no longer functions with this driver, but they have only tested it on a couple devices, while it should on work on most, I would think, there is always a chance something could go wrong.
Yes this is an UGLY solution but it’s all we have at this point. Broadcom should have provided certified drivers to Microsoft for inclusion in Windows Update but they didn’t. But even then, Microsoft device driver updates are never pushed out as automatic critical updates and we all know that if it isn’t automatic and seamless it probably won’t get done. This is something Microsoft needs to address with the PC industry in general because driver exploits are becoming very common and very dangerous. Source: Real World IT
Apparently, someone hacked AMD’s forums and and added a link to a windows meta file image hosted at toolbarsdollars.biz, a well known distributor of adware and spyware, so whatever you do, don’t visit that site, that’s why I did not hyperlink it.
As typical with many webpages, AMD’s forum pages have external php scripts that are loaded with the iframe tag in the webpage. One of those scripts, in turn, calls up a 16 kilobyte image called xpladv586.wmf that was being hosted at toolbarsdollars.biz, which is a well-known adware site. Several users reported that their anti-virus and anti-adware programs detected the WMF as containing a Trojan horse and promptly sent the file into quarantine. They have also posted several pages worth of messages to other forum members detailing what they did to clean up their computers and stop future threats. Source: TGDaily.
This has since been fixed, according to AMD here, but they did not say how it happened to start with. To protect yourself, if you have not already updated your software, the patch can be grabbed from here or by using Windows Update from Microsoft.