Posts Tagged ‘Windows’

Latest Windows News

Windows 7 hits Milestone 3 from Mary Jo Foley – I have seen the future — specifically Windows 7 Milestone 3 (Build 6780).

Peru to try out Windows on XO laptops from Ina Fried – Microsoft and the One Laptop Per Child project announced Monday that Peru will be the first country to try out XO laptops running Microsoft Windows as part of a nine-month pilot program.

Report: HP trying for ‘end-run’ around Windows from Erica Ogg – Is the biggest PC vendor in the world looking to give customers an option besides Windows?

iTunes 8: If Windows Vista displays a blue screen error message when connecting iPhone or iPod from Apple.com – After installing iTunes 8 for Windows, some users may see a blue screen error message when connecting iPhone or iPod to a Windows Vista computer. In some cases, the computer may immediately restart when connecting iPhone or iPod to the computer.

Rumor: Windows 7 to Arrive Early, First Beta Due October 27 from Scott Gilbertson – Windows 7, the much-anticipated successor to Microsoft’s Windows Vista OS, may arrive ahead of schedule.

Microsoft and Cray Team up to Bring High Performance Computing Mainstream from Tina Couch – For the first time in the two companies history, Microsoft and Cray have teamed up to offer a powerful mix of what each company does best – - the Cray CX1! What is the CX1, you ask?

Windows Gets Even Better on the Mac with VMware Fusion 2: 100+ New Features, Free Upgrade for Existing Users from Team Fusion – We’re proud to announce that VMware Fusion 2 is now available.

Is Microsoft aiming for an early Windows 7 launch? from Ed Bott – Andy Patrizio at InternetNews.com has raised some eyebrows with his report that an “internal calendar” at Microsoft has June 3, 2009 as the planned release date for Windows 7.

Hypothetical thoughts on what Windows 7 Milestone 3 might have from aeroexperience – Alright, so I talked about Windows 7’s pillars not so long ago.

VMware wants to trump Windows and Linux servers with its Virtual Datacenter OS from Jason Hiner – VMware’s new CEO Paul Maritz used his first VMworld keynote on Tuesday to introduce the company’s Virtual Datacenter Operating System (VDC-OS) to an audience of IT professionals and technology industry insiders at the VMworld 2008 conference at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.

Microsoft and Cray to unveil $25,000 Windows-based supercomputer from Mary Jo Foley – Microsoft and Cray are set to unveil on September 16 the Cray CX1, a compact supercomputer running Windows HPC Server 2008.

Ahead of PDC, Microsoft Begins Internal Test of Windows 7 from Paul Thurrott – While Microsoft is busy trying to overcome consumer opinions of its current operating system, Windows Vista, the software giant is also undergoing an internal effort to beta test the next version, called Windows 7.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - September 17, 2008 at 3:06 am

Categories: Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP   Tags: , ,

More on Antivirus XP 2008

Had another user who had been infected by the Antivirus XP 2008 malware, I noticed they had both hit the same website at least once, myspacecdn.com, I haven’t checked it yet as I don’t have a machine handy that I can blow out, so I will have to check it later. The main install file seems to be ccwjgn.dll which gets run from the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogonNotify, it runs the popup from a program in the TEMP folder in Windows to get you to launch the install. The process is listed as a .tmp in Task Manager, usually with a weird name like ttC.tmp.exe or something similar.

On this machine, however, they set a explorer.exe registry key here, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionImage File Execution Options, and Windows explorer could not run, I am assuming they were redirecting it to run some other malware and then starting explorer, but Virusscan deleted the file they were using, so, Windows just sat there. You could run Task Manager by hitting control-alt-delete, so that allowed me to run regedit, navigate to the key and delete the explorer.exe value out, which then allowed Windows explorer to run. After the desktop loaded, the Antivirus XP popup came up, I ended the process using Task Manager, I deleted all the files out of the Windows temp folder, found the programs/dll files in the System 32 folder, two of them this time with the lphctp9j0ea5j.exe and blphctp9j0ea5.scr type of names and after rebooting I was able to delete the ccwjgn.dll file.

I then ran the latest version of Spybot, which found some other stuff and removed them. No more popups or nag screens trying to get her to install their malware.

Update: I thought I had it until I updated to Windows XP Service Pack 3 and after rebooting I received the daggon popup again. More deleting and rebooting, after awhile I gave up and tried the free version of AVG, it found about 40 or so driver files that were infected and cleaned those and she has been running Antivirus Xp 2008 free for a couple hours now. So, for everyone who just wants it removed without knowing how or why, run AVG as Spybot doesn’t seem to clean it yet.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - September 11, 2008 at 12:04 pm

Categories: Antivirus XP 2008, Malicious Websites, Malware, Spyware Info, Windows XP   Tags: , ,

AntiVirus 2008 Infections Getting Pretty Sneaky

The other day I had a user call me to let me know their PC was getting an error message and that her co-worker had tried to fix it for her but couldn’t. The computer was off when I got there and when it booted up, it went to a blue screen of death with the problem listed as “Panic Stack Switch”, and, although that is an actual error message, it made me believe that it was a fake message, as I had never seen it before and had not searched for any occurrences online. While I was reading the error message though, the user hit her spacebar and the blue screen immediately went away to show me one of those your infected backgrounds that malware, such as Win Antivirus 2008 uses. You can imagine my surprise as the computer should not boot into windows after a blue screen of death, so this was yet another indicator that malware was involved, so I just went about cleaning the machine.

It was infected with the AntiVirus, or Win AntiVirus, XP 2008 malware, and was surprisingly simple to remove, certainly a lot easier than other infections I had dealt with, probably because Spybot and her antivirus software was blocking portions of it. All I had to do was delete the folder the malware was in, I believe it was called rchpcg or something similar, I used the Sysinternals program autoruns to remove any programs that were set to run automatically that shouldn’t, a couple had names something like blphctp9j0ea5.scr or lphctp9j0ea5j.exe or something similar, don’t quote me on those, and I went ahead and removed some of those programs that run in the background just to check to see if their software needs updated, etc, stuff no one really needs running all the time.
Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - August 28, 2008 at 11:08 am

Categories: Antivirus XP 2008, Malicious Websites, Malware, Security, Spyware Info   Tags: , ,

Show and Delete Hidden Devices

Recently when I was trying to get a sound card to work in our Call Manager, I ran across these tips that helped me from a couple other sites that are definitely worth checking out. These will help you clear out everything listed for sound and multimedia, which can sometimes keep devices you added from working, such as a new sound card.

From Techguy.

To get rid of that unwanted driver, device, or service:

  1. Open the Start menu and choose Run
  2. Type in “cmd” (without the quotes) and click ok.
  3. At the cmd prompt, type in “set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1″ (without the quotes) and press enter. (Note: Nothing seems to happen as you are actually setting an environment variable which is going to help to see hidden devices)
  4. On the next cmd prompt line, type in “devmgmt.msc” (without the quotes) and press enter to launch the Windows Device Manager Console.
  5. In the Device Manager Console, from the “View” menu, select “Show Hidden Devices”.

Now, as you expand the different drivers and devices in device manager you will see not only the items that Windows currently detects as installed on your pc (these are the usual items displayed), but you will also see drivers, devices, and services which have been loaded in the past but were not uninstalled or are not currently started. You can find your offending device, right-click, and choose “uninstall” to remove it from the system completely.

From Computing.net.

  1. Boot to safe mode.
  2. Go into the device manager.
  3. Remove all devices in multimedia/sound.
  4. Reboot to normal mode and allow the devices to reinstall.

Microsoft has some built in devices the device manager such as Microsoft Kernel Audio Mixer that may be damaged.

Those devices can only be seen/removed in safe mode under Windows ME. The problem you are having is usually caused be a corrupt MS Kernel driver or Audio Codec.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - July 30, 2008 at 2:11 pm

Categories: Detailed Bookmarks, Hardware, How To, Tips   Tags: , ,

Todays Windows Vista Stories

No, I don’t mean stories featuring Windows Vista, I mean news stories about Windows Vista, it’s features, reviews, liked it, don’t like it, whatever. Ed Bott posted an article today called Windows Vista’s three killer features, and if you ask me, he couldn’t of picked a more boring set of features to crow about. The first one he talks about is interesting in the fact that some of the big competing programs, like Google’s Picasa, do it differently. He’s talking about Windows Photo Gallery and the fact that it stores the photos metadata in the photo itself, while Picasa and Apple’s iPhoto use sidecar files.

Windows Photo Gallery. Ho-hum, right? Just another lightweight program to import photos from a digital camera? What most reviewers miss is Photo Gallery’s support for the Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP), developed by Adobe and used in a variety of professional-strength photo-editing applications. When you tag a JPEG or TIFF photo with keywords in Windows Vista, those tags are stored directly in the file as metadata, which you can use to search, sort, and filter images in Photo Gallery. That’s a great leap forward from Apple’s iPhoto and Google’s Picasa, both of which store metadata in sidecar files rather than in the image itself.

Windows Speech Recognition. You probably haven’t heard much about speech recognition in Windows Vista. If you did, it was probably thanks to a demo that went awry last summer and was widely reported. That’s a shame, because the built-in speech-to -text conversion software in the final release works exceptionally well for controlling the Windows interface and dictating text.

Windows Desktop Search. Yes, you have lots of third-party desktop search options for Windows XP. I’ve tried them all and never found one that was reliable enough for daily use. What makes Vista’s search so useful is the fact that it’s integrated directly into the operating system, so you can search in the Start menu, in Control Panel, in Explorer windows, and in common dialog boxes. I miss this capability most when I sit down at a Windows XP machine and try to find a specific Control Panel option. It also just works. I haven’t had to rebuild indexes or mess with search settings on any Vista PCs in my office. Source: Windows Vista?s three killer features

Stewart Butterfield from the Flickrblog says a good reason to get Vista is because several of the wallpaper files include ones from Flickr members.

One good reason to consider an upgrade to Vista, Microsoft’s just-released upgrade to Windows: the default set of desktop wallpapers it ships with include several from Flickr members. Long Zheng has a blog post with some examples, and Microsoft’s Raymond Chen has more details.
Reportedly, Microsoft experience designer Jenny Lam considered around 10,000 images, combing traditional sources and commissioning a few photo shoots, but is happiest with the ones that came from Flickr members, like these from Hamad Darwish. Source: A Key Benefit of Vista

While it may be nice that their members created several of these files, it is definitely not a reason to upgrade, but the images he shows on the blog are definitely very good.

Nail Kennedy says no one is lining up for Windows Vista in San Francisco.

Earlier tonight I attended a Windows Vista launch event in San Francisco and was surprised to find not a single person in line to buy the software less than an hour before launch. CompUSA stayed open late to provide hands-on demonstrations of Microsoft’s new Windows Vista and Office 2007 but for most people I talked to in the store the event was a learning experience and a chance for some special sales and discounts. When I left about 45 minutes before Vista officially went on sale to consumers there were no eager customers ready for launch. Source: No one is lining up for Windows Vista in San Francisco

Seriously, was anybody expecting anyone to line up for a copy of a Windows Operating System? Sure, there are going to be Mac fan boys who line up for anything, and I don’t mean that it’s not worth lining up for, but he said he figured there would be a few to compare to the 200+ that were at the last Apple OS X event. I’m not surprised at all. Most people who are really into Windows probably have been using it for awhile and anybody else who would want it, would they line up? I want a copy of Windows Vista, but not bad enough to wait in line for it, I’ll be ready when my copy comes in the mail. And besides, how much ridicule would someone have to take from people for waiting in line for a copy of any Microsoft operating system?

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - January 30, 2007 at 8:42 pm

Categories: Windows Vista   Tags: , , , ,

New Worm, W32.Chatosky, Using Skype to Infect Users

A new worm is spreading it way around the internet using Skype, the first, I believe to use Skype, although I could be wrong, this virus affects all these versions of Windows, Windows 2000, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP. So, pretty much , all of them but the newest and the oldest.

Here is the info Websense has o it,

  • users receive messages via Skype Chat to download and run a file
  • the filename is called sp.exe
  • assuming the file is run it appears to drop and run a password stealing Trojan Horse
  • the file also appears to run another set of code that uses Skype to propagate the original file
  • the file is packed and has anti-debugging routines (NTKrnl Secure Suite packer)
  • the file connects to a remote server for additional code
  • the original site has been black holed and is not serving the code anymore
  • the number of victims is still TBD
  • the original infections appear to be in APAC region (Korea in particular)

Source: Websense

Symantec has more info on their site, and they are calling it W32.Chatosky.

When W32.Chatosky is executed, it performs the following actions:

Searches the registry for the location of the Skype application.

Displays the following message and then exits if it cannot find the registry:

Error!
I could not find Skype !

Executes the Skype application and displays the following message if it finds the registry:

Warning!
Allow this program in skype!

Queries Skype for random users every 3 minutes.

Starts the Skype application and sends the following message to the users:

Check this! Here is where it displays a url containing the worm body.
Source: Symantec

To remove it, disable System Restore (Windows Me/XP), update the virus definitions and run a full system scan.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - December 19, 2006 at 7:34 pm

Categories: Malware, Security, Virus Info   Tags: , ,

What Really Slows Windows Down?

Apparently, Nortons slows it way down, which most of us already know, but since I use Mcafee, I had no idea it was this bad. Oli from ThePCSpy did some real world testing to see what really does slow down your computer the most.

The aim of this article is to find out what types of application slow down a computer the most. I’m going to be measuring the speed as the time it takes to shutdown, restart and get back to desktop (with auto-login) and start an application in the computer’s start-up settings.

The results of the security software were quite shocking. I’ve always known that being most involved with the system, antivirus and firewall programs are going to make things slower, but I was just completely astounded by the Norton result when compared against the other software on show.

Fonts were as, if not more, amazing. I know people always say not to install too many fonts (which is really hard when you have a DVD full of them), but this is the first proof I’ve seen that shows fonts have a massive effect on the windows load time.

One conclusion that we can take from this is software that makes many, many changes to the system when it installs is going to have a larger effect to windows boot timings. Examples of this were shown by the .NET runtime (both standalone and part of Visual Studio) and the fonts which get scooped up by system services. VMWare Workstation installs a lot of system drivers to emulate hardware properly which also goes a long way to slow down a computer. Furthermore, if that software loads at boot, this is going to have an added knock on effect, shown best by the antivirus programs and the chat clients. Source: ThePCSpy

Some of the results:
Norton Internet Security 2006 added 43.33 seconds a systems delay of 57.78
1000 Fonts added 30.00 seconds a systems delay of 40.00
Kaspersky Internet Security 6.0.0.303 added 10.67 seconds a systems delay of 14.22
Yahoo Instant Messenger 8.0 added 10.67 seconds a systems delay of 14.22
AOL Instant Messenger 1.5 Preview added 10.33 seconds a systems delay of 13.78
McAfee SecurityCentre added 8.67 seconds a systems delay of 11.56
Kazaa 3 (+included crapware) added 8.67 seconds a systems delay of 11.56

This is huge, look at the difference from Nortons to Mcafee, Nortons adds 35 more seconds boot up time. Article is definitely an eye opener.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - September 12, 2006 at 4:45 pm

Categories: Security, Software, Startup Problems   Tags: ,

Ever Wonder Why Windows Takes So long to Boot?

Found an article on why Windows can take longer and longer to boot up. It describes the prefetch cache slowing it down because it gets clogged up with more and more programs, this is because Windows tries to load programs faster for you, so it loads parts of the programs you ran on your last session to make them load faster. It tells you how to make this faster, it also talks about the hard drive getting defragmented, network drives slowing you down, adware and spyware and file and printer sharing. Check it out, Why windows takes so long to start up. But, read on before you do.

Well, some of this info is incorrect, you should not clean out your prefetch folder, according to Ed Bott,

Bottom line: You will not improve Windows performance by cleaning out the Prefetch folder. You will, in fact, degrade Windows performance by cleaning out the Prefetch folder. I’ve done performance testing that establishes this definitively. In all the many sites that offer this bogus tip, I have yet to see a single piece of actual performance testing.

So, while the article is helpful in telling you to defragment your hard drive, clean spyware and adware, but, whatever you do, do not empty the prefecth folder. Some will say it will help if you test programs, or check out a program and never run it again, but Windows cleans up the folder and removes program that are no longer used.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - September 9, 2006 at 4:37 pm

Categories: Tech News, Windows XP Tips   Tags: ,

Microsoft’s Next Tuesday Update

This week when Microsoft does it’s Tuesday patch update, it will contain fixes for two flaws, one deemed critical for Office and a windows patch marked as important.

On 14 March 2006 Microsoft is planning to release:

Security Updates

One Microsoft Security Bulletin affecting Microsoft Office. The highest Maximum Severity rating for this is Critical. These updates may require a restart. These updates will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer and the Enterprise Scanning Tool.

One Microsoft Security Bulletin affecting Microsoft Windows. The highest Maximum Severity rating for this is Important. These updates will not require a restart. These updates will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer.

Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool

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).

Non-security High Priority updates on MU, WU, WSUS and SUS

Microsoft will not release any NON-SECURITY High-Priority Updates for Windows on Windows Update (WU) and Software Update Services (SUS).

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

From News.com:

Microsoft rates as critical any security threat that could allow a malicious Internet worm to spread without any action required on the part of the user. Problems deemed “important” could be exploited to compromise the confidentiality, integrity or availability of data, or the integrity or availability of processing resources, according to the company.

Microsoft’s notice did not specify which components of Windows or Office are being repaired with Tuesday’s patches or how many flaws the update will tackle. Security researchers with eEye Digital Security list one vulnerability on their Web site for which a fix is considered overdue.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - March 9, 2006 at 3:38 pm

Categories: Microsoft News, Office News   Tags: , ,

Microsoft’s Nightmare has a Name

And it’s name is Google. Read a really intersting article on news.com, about how an executive at Microsoft wrote a memo called “The Web is the Next Platform”, where he described how the internet will be the next platform, he said;

“The Web…exists today as a collection of technologies that deliver some interesting solutions today, and will grow rapidly in the coming years into a full-fledged platform (underlined for emphasis in the original memo) that will rival–and even surpass–Microsoft’s Windows,” Slivka wrote.

Microsoft went the other way and focused on the Operating system, pushed the head of development of the next version of Windows, Jim Allchin. Today they are making hosted services a more strategic part of the company and will fold their MSN Web portal business into its platform product development group, where Windows is developed. Focusing on the web and their new crop of competitors. But, is this the same ol same ol with new names in the competition slots? Google is by far the most likely to be able to take on Microsoft, with billions in the bank and more being made every year, they are luring away top employees from Microsoft and others, something which Microsoft itself used to do.

Google has also been buying up loads of dark fiber, fiber that is not being used, and it has been speculated that this will help them host applications and services to help steal some of Microsoft’s desktop dominance.

Another memo, called “Google–The Winner Takes All (And Not Just Search),” is also making the rounds. This internal memo, written in 2005, argues that Google threatens Microsoft and the company’s crown jewel, Windows.

“Google threatens Microsoft’s position on the Internet, and could potentially lock Microsoft out of its existing distribution channels and reduce the value of Windows.”

We shall see. Microsoft has had so many competitors who were supposedly going to help knock them from their perch, AOL, SUN, IBM, Oracle, etc, and it’s never happened. Profits at Microsoft amount to about 12 billion a year, tripling in the past eight years, and far exceed Googles, making it easier, in my opinion, to hold off Google and all comers. If Google falls out of favor with internet users, then that will pretty much end their reign, but it will take much more for Microsoft to go away.

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - September 23, 2005 at 9:46 am

Categories: Microsoft News   Tags: , ,

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