With the upcoming release of the Windows 8 operating system from Microsoft, I figured it was time to remind every one of the Black Viper configuration site (http://www NULL.blackviper NULL.com/service-configurations/). Dealing with Technology isn’t always about knowing every part of technology. Technology changes almost daily, if you truly try to keep up with all the changes, you would never have a “real” life. May times, technology is about knowing where to look to get the information you need. Today’s post is about just that situation.
All flavors (versions) of Windows have “services” that run in the background and basically control what the pc does. Knowing what each service does and what each service is dependent on, is a valuable asset to any tech. Additionally, many of the services that run probably don’t need to be, for most users, and the fewer services that you have running on your PC means the more “resources” your computer will have for those things you are using.
I could go thru and list all these services and take weeks to put the entire package together, however, there is someone who has already done just that. If you visit Black Viper’s site (His real name is Charles) you will find (what I think is) one of the most complete listings of services which “Includes complete explanations of each service and advice on which services you can safely disable”.
Per an announcement Friday (7/20/12) on the Microsoft Facebook Page (https://www NULL.facebook NULL.com/Microsoft/posts/10150982490238721), there is a HUGE Sweepstakes coming soon.
The posting lists the following items so far as sweepstakes prizes
1) A Dell XPS 13 Windows Ultrabook
2) A Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone
3) An Xbox 360 with Kinect (the 250GB version)
4) A Microsoft Hardware Arc Touch Mouse
5) Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010
6) An Xbox LIVE 12 month Gold subscription
7) A Lifecam Studio webcam to use with Skype
The sweepstake winner will win all of the items listed (and more). Microsoft also included a message that “There’s even more, but we’ll fill in the rest on Monday”. So it seems we will find out more details and what the sweepstakes will be on Monday 7/23/12. TGM will post additional details once they become available
ThreatMetrix (http://threatmetrix NULL.com/company/company-overview/) (provider of integrated cybercrime prevention solutions) has found a new version of the Zeus Malware (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/Zeus_(Trojan_horse)). Zeus which has been around (in various forms), since it was identified in 2007, is used by the bad guys to retrieve information like banking and account log in information. One can get a Zeus infection on their pc in a couple of ways
- drive-by downloads (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/Drive-by_download)
- By visiting an infected website and downloading and installing a file that the end-user thinks is legitimate. For example, downloading movies, music, or software from untrusted locations.
- By visiting an infected website and agreeing to install an “update” or “viewer” to look at something on that site.
- phishing (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/Phishing)
- By clicking on links or downloads in emails claiming to be from someone you know or you do business with. Example of this could be that email that says (Insert name of bank here) needs to verify your account information….
Unfortunately, in todays computer world, its still possible to get a malware or virus infection even if you take every precaution imaginable . In addition, sometimes files or programs do not always install properly. In both cases, you may need to start your computer in safe mode to fix the issue. Safe Mode is a version of Windows that runs with a minimal number of files started. This helps minimize the “File is in use” issue that can happen in normal mode. These are the steps to How to start your pc in safe mode.
Starting In Safe Mode
- Make sure you are completely powered off. It is a lot harder to get into safe mode from a reboot.
- Once the pc is off, power it back on and as soon as pc starts to boot press F8 (which is located on the top row of your keyboard) over and over.
- Your pc should show the “Windows Advanced Options Menu”, use the up/down arrow to select safe mode with networking and hit enter
One of the issues that I’ve come across this week involves having to reinstall both the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office software on a pc without having the product key (serial number). How to recover your software product key when you don’t know it? In the case of the Windows OS, the sticker on the side of the pc was faded to the point you couldn’t make out what it says.
While the OS code was faded, I didn’t have the office code at all because the customer never put the sticker on the pc. So what is one to do? This is where ProduKey (http://nirsoft NULL.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer NULL.html) from Nirsoft (http://nirsoft NULL.net) comes in.
ProduKey is a small utility that displays the ProductID and the CD-Key of Microsoft Office (Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Office 2007, Microsoft Office 2010), Windows (Including Windows 7 and Windows Vista), Exchange Server, and SQL Server installed on your computer. You can view this information for your current running operating system, or for another operating system/computer – by using command-line options. This utility can be useful if you lost the product key of your Windows/Office, and you want to reinstall it on your computer.
So what is Holdkey?
In many languages the alphabet includes letters with characters (é à ø ü € ß ñ ï ç ö ę ğ among others) , unfortunately most keyboards these days do not usually include those letters and do not make it easy to add those letters to your writing.
Holdkey is a Windows Program that makes it easy to type characters with accents.
Ease of use
Holdkey works with virtually all Windows programs. Once you install Holdkey, all you need to do is hold down the key for the character you want an accent on for a second, and you will get a pop up box with your choices
at which point all you need to do is select the character accent you desire either by selecting the number next to the character or by clicking on the charter and it gets added to your typing.
Freeware or Premium
Holdkey works with XP, Vista, Windows 7, and comes in 2 options, Freeware and premium. For most people the Freeware version is all that they will need. The difference between the 2 versions is (from the site FAQ page)
I am using the freeware version of Holdkey, what is the catch ?
When you click the ‘more’ button when the Holdkey info bar is visible a browser window will open with more characters and symbols along with some ads, sponsored links and the option to donate. You can also upgrade to the Pro version.
You can download Holdkey from (LINK) http://www.holdkey.eu/ (http://www NULL.holdkey NULL.eu/)
I ran across a strange error this week when attempting to delete a folder from my Windows 7 pc. I kept getting an error message that said “Could not find this item” and “This is no longer located in ……”
No matter how I tried to remove the file, I would end up with the same error.
The solution I found involves a Windows Tool called (LINK) DelinvFile (http://www NULL.purgeie NULL.com/delinv/). Once you download and install the program (which is designed for use with Windows Vista and Windows 7) and launch it, you will get a window that allows you to browse all the files on your pc.
**NOTE (IMPORTANT) This program allows you to remove any file from the computer, that includes files that are required for Windows to properly operate. DO NOT remove any files or folders unless you are sure that what you are removing will NOT affect windows.
With the warning above kept in mind,. just browse to the location of the file or folder that you are trying to remove, highlight the item, and select the Delete File or Folder button. You will be reminded that once the file or folder is gone, that it can’t be restored. If you are sure, then remove the file.
The program is a fully functional trial. It allows for “3 actions / 15 days” of use.
And that’s how you fix a file or folder that can’t be removed.