Sunday, January 06, 2008

WINDOWS XP SERVICE 2 PACK SUPPORT TOOLS

to download Windows XP SP2 CLICK ME
To download the updated Support Tools CLICK ME

About the Tools

The Windows Support Tools for Microsoft Windows XP Professional are intended for use by Microsoft support personnel and experienced users to assist in diagnosing and resolving computer problems

Setup for Support Tools Software

The Windows Support Tools for Microsoft Windows XP Professional are located in the \Support\Tools folder on the Windows XP Professional CD. The \Support\Tools folder contains a Windows Installer file (suptools.msi), which installs the Support Tools utilities and tools on your computer's hard drive.

Note
The Application Compatibility Toolkit does not install with the Support Tools.

Important
These tools have not been localized: they are written and tested in English only. Using these tools with a different language version of Microsoft Windows XP Professional might produce unpredictable results.

General Setup Instructions

The Windows Support Tools for Microsoft Windows XP Professional can be installed only on a computer running the Windows XP Professional operating system. They cannot be used to upgrade Microsoft® Windows NT® or Windows® 2000 Support Tools installed on Microsoft Windows NT or Windows 2000, respectively.

To install the Windows XP Professional Support Tools

Important
It is highly recommended that you remove all previous versions of Support Tools, including beta versions of the Windows Support Tools for Microsoft Windows XP Professional, before running the Support Tools installation program.

If the Setup program finds an older version of Support Tools, it opens a dialog box with Add/Remove and Remove all (default) options. If you select Remove all, Setup automatically uninstalls Support Tools. If you select Add/Remove, you can manually uninstall Support Tools.

  1. Start Windows XP Professional, and then insert the Windows XP Professional CD in your CD-ROM drive.
  2. Follow the instructions that appear on your screen.

Note
In the unlikely event that your computer pauses for a few minutes during installation while the Setup window is displaying "publishing product information," please be patient. The Setup program will continue shortly and will finish installing the Support Tools.

The Setup program installs Windows Support Tools files onto your hard disk. A typical installation requires 4 megabytes (MB) of free space.

As it installs the Support Tools, Setup:

  • Creates a Windows Support Tools folder within the Program Files folder on the Start menu, which contains a shortcut to the Windows Support Tools Help. From there you can access the online documentation and launch tools.
  • Adds the \Program Files\Support Tools directory (or the directory name you choose for installing the tools) to your computer's hard drive.
  • Appends the \Program Files\Support Tools directory to your computer's PATH statement. This enables you to run an installed Support Tool from a command prompt within any folder on the hard drive without specifying the path to the Support Tools folder.

Some tools require separate or additional setup besides the steps described earlier. For more information about each of these tools and others with additional requirements, as well as a complete list of the tools, see the online Help file (Suptools.chm).

Note
On the Windows XP Professional CD, most tools are compressed into cabinet (.cab) files. You cannot run executable files, call other binaries, or open documentation directly from .cab files. Before you run a tool that you have not installed by using the Support Tools Setup, you must first extract all executable files and dependencies for a tool from the .cab file on the CD to your hard drive.

Be aware also that for some tools, the Support Tools Setup or the tool's own Setup program performs other installation procedures, such as making changes in the registry. You might not be able to run these tools even if you extract all their files from the .cab; first install them with the Support Tools Setup or the tool's own Setup program.

COURTSEY MICROSOFTWEBSITE




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Show All Hidden Devices in Device Manager (Windows 2000/XP)

This tweak causes all devices to be DISPLAYED.

Open the windows inbuilt registry editor and find or create the key .

Createa new String value,

or modify the existing value, called"DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES" and set it according to the valuedata below.

Exit the registry ; Restart or log out of Windows for the change to show ups.

Settings

System Key:[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment]


Value Name:DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES


Data Type: REG_SZ (StringValue)


Value Data: (1 = show allhidden devices)

Disclaimer:


Modifyingthe registry amateurishly can cause serious problems and possibilities of windows not starting again and for that in this case may require you to reinstall operating system which will ultimately loss of yours valuable files and reserves.



Show All HiddenDevices in Device Manager (Windows 2000/XP)







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Scheduling Automatic Data Backups in Windows XP

We will use  built-in backup software and the task scheduler. open the backup program .

('start\all programs\accessories\system tools\backup').
Go to the 'schedule jobs' tab. Choose a month and day when you wish the backup job to act for the first time and click 'add job.'

This will open up the backup wizard which will prompt   for the backup type, location and backup update details.

Click 'ok,' then 'next' and enter  account information (in case another user is logged in when the job runs).  scheduled backup has been done.

To edit previously scheduled backups, open the scheduled tasks application from 'start\all programs\accessories\system tools\scheduled tasks.'



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running as non-admin

  1. every single Windows admin tool, if the tool requires admin privileges and is being run from non-admin account, prompt for admin password. For example, device manager, manage computer, services, etc.
  2.  do not create admin users with blank passwords .
  3. try fast user switching .
  4. In the Run As dialog, choose the 2nd radio button the following user enter the user name and password for the account, and click OK.  
  5. The biggest negative disadvantage for Windows users to run as a non-admin are applications that simply failed to start or install if   not logged in as an administrator.
  6. Email, web browsing, and instant messaging do not require administrative privileges, and are common cushions for malicious code to attack end users systems.
  7. To be more secure, users should log on with a Limited   User account (LUA), and use administration rights for specific purposes.
  8. The built-in Administrator account is hidden from the logon UI unless it is the only admin account left.
  9. To transfer Favorites, etc., from  admin account to   new LUA account,   logging on as the admin, finding the Favorites folder, and copying (not moving) the items to the corresponding Favorites folder of your LUA account.
  10. To transfer email account settings, it's Tools / Accounts / Export...  Put the exported data in a shared location where your LUA account can read them.
  11. Running as Limited User does not by itself make you secure, but it is an important piece of defense wall.
     
     

     




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Multiple Patches for Oracle Products

Oracle's releases Security updateson a quarterly basis, latest in October and contains 51 updates for  Oracle Database, Application Server, E-Business Suite, Collaboration Suite, and its PeopleSoft product line.  Updates are described as critical, and advisable to install them as soon as possible .

CLICK HERE

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Movie Producer Thanks BitTorrent site

Eric Wilkinson , producer of The Man From Earth , recently wrote to the BitTorrent site

www.rlslog.com, congratulating them for pirating his filmand making it up for download. Eric is a low-budget,independent movie producer and have no advertising budget to promote. Then due to this BitTorrent site , his website has 25,000 hits in a fortnight and the IMDB ranking developed from 11,235 to 5 th most popular movie. And Wilkinson very pleased and have said "What you guys have done here is nothing short of amazing . In the future, I will not complain about file sharing and you have helped put this little movie on the map"


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Microsoft Security News

November's set of security patches from Microsoft contains just 2 fixes, one  is  important and the other is critical.
The "critical" rated patch, MS07-061,  fixes a problem that has been exploited since mid-year. The flaw meant that a Windows user who clicked on a carefully showed malicious URL could have his or her PC hizacked by a hacker.  The flaw affects all recent Windows versions.
The "important" patch, MS07-062, affects  Windows Server 2000 and Windows Server 2003. Microsoft says it is a spoofing vulnerability .
Details of Microsoft's November Updates, click here
Microsft Update Service , Click here
(Internet Explorer 5 or later)


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Manual steps to re-create the Show Desktop icon on the Quick Launch toolbar

The Show Desktop icon is  an important shortcut. If the icon is deleted, then have to recreate manually . To manually re-create the Show Desktop icon, follow these steps:
1.Click Start , click Run, type notepad, and then click OK.
2.In Notepad, type the following text on individual lines:
[Shell]
Command=2
IconFile=explorer.exe,3
[Taskbar]
Command=ToggleDesktop
3.On the File menu, click Save As, and then save the file to your desktop as Show Desktop.scf.

Note Notepad might automatically append a .txt extension to the file name. Remove this extension if present. The file name should be Show Desktop.scf.
The file must now be moved to the correct folder in the user profile to appear in the Quick Launch toolbar. To manually do this, use one of the following methods.

Method 1

1.Use the mouse to drag the Show Desktop.scf icon to the Quick Launch toolbar or another location where you want the shortcut to appear.
2.Click Move Here.

Method 2

1.Use Windows Explorer to locate the following folders:

Microsoft Windows 95 and Microsoft Windows 98
Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

Microsoft Windows NT, Microsoft Windows 2000, and Microsoft Windows XP
C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

Note Username refers to the account name where you want to put the icon.
2.Use the mouse to drag the Show Desktop.scf file to the Quick Launch folder.
3.Click Move Here.


See the followings link for more:

Guided help from Microsoft

%20Launch%20t.mht%23">

Guided help from Microsoft

/?scid=aw;en-us;190355&eula=1">Guided help from Microsoft

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Install the Backup Utility in XP Home

To install Windows backup on XP Home ,place your XP Home CD in your drive and navigate to '(CD drive letter):\valueadd\msft\ntbackup\'. Then, double click the 'NTBACKUP.MSI' file to start the installation process.



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How to delete cookie files in Internet Explorer manually

This article describes how to delete cookie files from your computer manually.  This article is intended for a beginning to intermediate computer user.

For more information about cookies, click me.

Guided Help to export and to delete cookies or to import cookies from microsoft click me.

Steps to delete cookie files manually

To manually delete cookie files from your PCs, first determine the version of Internet Explorer.


Steps to determine your version of Internet Explorer

To determine which version of Internet Explorer you have installed on your computer, follow these steps:
1.Click Start, click Run, type iexplore.exe, and then press ENTER.
2.On the Help menu, click About Internet Explorer.

Note If you do not see the Help menu, you may have to click the arrows in the upper-right corner to reveal it. In the About Internet Explorer window, the version that is installed is listed next to Version.

Steps to manually delete cookie files for Internet Explorer version 4.01 or version 5.0 for UNIX on HP-UX or Sun Solaris

1.Change to the .microsoft folder in the user's home folder.
2.Change to the Cookies folder in the .microsoft folder.
3.Delete all .txt files that are located in this folder. For example, delete the user@www.example.com.txt file.

Steps to manaully delete cookie files for Windows 98, for Internet Explorer 5, and for Internet Explorer 6

1.Exit Internet Explorer, and then exit any instances of Windows Explorer.
2.Click Start, click Run, type inetcpl.cpl, and then press ENTER.
3.On the General tab, click Delete Cookies in the Internet Properties dialog box, under Temporary Internet Files.
4.In the Delete Files dialog box, click to select the Delete all offline content check box, and then click OK.

Steps to manually delete cookie files for Windows Internet Explorer 7

1.Exit Internet Explorer 7, and then exit any instances of Windows Explorer.
2.Click Start, click Run, type inetcpl.cpl, and then press ENTER.
3.On the General tab, click Delete under Browsing History in the Internet Properties dialog box.
4.In the Delete Browsing History dialog box, click Delete Cookies.
5.In the Delete Cookies dialog box, click Yes.

Steps to verify that the cookie files are deleted for Windows 98, for Internet Explorer 5, and for Internet Explorer 6

1.Exit Internet Explorer, and then exit any instances of Windows Explorer.
2.Click Start, and then click Run, type inetcpl.cpl, and then press ENTER.
3.In the Internet Properties dialog box, on the General tab, click View Files under Temporary Internet Files.
4.In the folder that you opened in step 4, verify that there are no text files.

Steps to verify that the cookie files are deleted for Internet Explorer 4.01 or 5.0 for UNIX on HP-UX or on Sun Solaris

1.Change to the .microsoft folder in the user's home folder.
2.Change to the Cookies folder in the .microsoft folder.
3.In the folder that you opened in step 2, verify that there are no .txt files.


How to manage Cookies in Internet Explorer 6 :

Per-session cookies are not cleared until you close browser

Information about the Security Alert message for cookies in Internet Explorer and Outlook Express

Description of persistent and per-session cookies in Internet Explorer

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

How to Access Blocked Websites

How to Access Blocked Websites


*******************************************************************************************************************************************************************


Popular sites that are oftenblocked in offices, school and workplaces are Google News, Typepad, Orkut,ebay, Blogger blogs, YouTube, Blogger,Facebook, MySpace, Pandora, Bebo, Photobucket, Yahoo! Messenger, AOL AIM, Flickr, last.fm,etc



*************************************************************************************************


These tricks should be used by the persons those who have legitimate reasons to use it .


  • Anonymous Surfing - Browse theinternet via a proxy server.
  • *    Enter the URL in Google or Yahoo search and then visit the cached ofthe page.

  •  Use Google Mobile Search. Googledisplay the normal HTML pages as if you are viewing them on your  mobile phone

  •   Toaccess the blocked Web site. type the IP number instead of the URL in theaddress bar.

  • Use Website  Anonymizer that fetch the blocked sites from their servers and display it 

  •  Use Google language tools service as a proxy server.  Google translate  page from English to English (or whateverlanguage you like).

  •  Use aURL redirection services like tinyurl.com or snipurl.com

  •  

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MAKE CERTAIN OF YOUR PC

 





MAKE CERTAIN OF YOUR PC

 

 

(from my article "secure your system completely" browsethrough this space : )


How to avoid  your PC from being getting affected  withmalware ,viruses , trojans,keyloggers and other nasties  taking control ofyour PC ?

Prevention is better than medication , in other means prevention isbetter than detecting and removing the infections .



The traditional way ofadding additional protection



Securing your PC through multiple secuirty layers based onanti-virus,anti-spyware,anti-trojans,HIPs anti-mallware and other securitysoftware costs too high , one hundred full proof solution will be getting notguaranteed .

Here  cost means financial as well as by adding more secuirtylayers in the PC , hampering performance on your PC .

So how do you prevent infection?


The basics:

1.Download latest fixes of windows and ms office from microsoftupdate service


2.Stay away from sites offering commercial software serial numbers,keygens and other hacked material. Avoid accidentally wandering to hostilesites by installing McAfee Site Adviser.

 

3.Make sure your other software products are also fully updated,particularly popular products like anti virus, anti spyware, and other securityproducts and browsers like Firefox, Opera, the Adobe Reader, Sun Java, Flashplug-ins and media players. The easiest way to do this is to use the free Secunia Software Inspector.

 

4.only download files from trusted sources and never installprograms that friends give you on removable media(cd/dvd/pen drive/floppy)unless you have verified that are clean by either submitting them to free webbased testing services such as Jotti () and Virus Total(), or through scan through in built security software on your PC beforeinstalling and running on it .

 

5.Install a robust firewall to ensure worms can't secretly enteryour PC via the internet. My current favorites are the free Comodo firewall Pro () andZoneAlarm Pro but there are several other excellent choices including Jeticoand Netveda to name but two.

 

6.Stop Using Internet Explorer, instead use Firefox or Opera,It's nosecret that Internet Explorer is filled with security holes. While InternetExplorer 7 is a huge improvement over it's predecessor but it still is no wherenear as secure as Firefox.When it comes to patching vulnerabilities found,According to the Washington Post ,Microsoft has been notorious for notreleasing patches in a timely fashion. According to the Washington Post, Internet Explorer was knownto have exploit code for unpatched critical flaws for 284 days of 2006. Thearticle goes on to compare this with 9 days for Mozilla Firefox. For saferinternet browsing is,For safer browsing, do not use Internet Explorer.

 

7.No Toolbars Allowed, ALL Toolbars. Starting  from Microsoft,Google, Symantec or whoever. No toolbar till this day which is a absolutenecessity . They open another gateway into your  PC to allow ugly thingsinto your PC.For each toolbar added, you are opening a window of opportunitiesfor bad things to enter into your PC.

 

8. Don’t Use File Sharing Programs such as Limewire, Kazaa,Shareaza, Edonkey, Bearshare etc. I would say 1 out of every 10 files containsa virus/worm/spyware. it is nice to be able to download that new song you heardon the radio or download the latest software, all for free. But realize that bydoing this, you are playing with a loaded gun, when it comes to the security ofyour computer.

 

9.PrivBaris a free Internet Explorer add-on written by Aaron Margosis that displaysin a toolbar the privilege level under which the current instance of InternetExplorer is running.


10.If you are a Firefox user check out the free  IsAdminextension that provides similar functionality to PrivBar .

11. Software products to be fully updated , and these should be usedfrom very reliable sources .

 

 

12. Use commodo firewall which also provides services of HIPS (ostIntrusion Prevention System)


13.Never install programs unless you are fully confident they areclean.

 

14.Don't open file attachments unless you are absolutely sure of thesource. Email file attachments are one of the most common vectors forsystem  viruses. Modern antivirus software will scan incoming email as amatter of course, but you still have the possibility of a new virus that hasyet to be added to to the list of scanned-for viruses.



15.Install the Backup Utility in XP Home/Pro or Vista.And constantly back-ups registery and important files.

16.Scan your computer for vulnerabilities with Microsoft'sfree security scanner (MICROSOFT BASELINE SECUIRTY ADVISER ), Download andrun the device to test your local computer (you will need access to anadministrative account  you wish to scan). The MBSA creates a securitylog  which contains easy to read info on any vulnerabilities that mayexist and how to correct them.


17. Test your PC with online secuirty probe :

Each will investigate  your system for security vulnerabilitieswhich could be used by a malicious hacker or virus or for trojanactivities  to compromise and steal  your PC and data. Use theseservices to ensure that you are well secured . Remember it takes a lot of timein dial-ups.

Some free online security scanners:
   

     ONE  
     TWO

     THREE




18. Relocate My document folder

If you wish to direct  the data stored in your 'my documents'folder to a different disk location/partition , you can do this very easilywithout advanced registery alterations. By default, this data is stored in'c:\documents and settings\(username)\my documents'.

To change the location of My Documents folder right click the 'mydocuments' icon on the desktop or the start menu, and select 'properties.'

In the 'target' tab, enter the path to the folder location you wish touse, or press the 'find target' button to browse to the folder. Prior to thatopen a folder in the new target location and rename it as  My Documentsand copy its path  and paste it in the find target box .You will be askedif you wish to move all existing data to the new location. 

 

19. Remove ads from webpage .


If you are Internet Explorer user then use IE7Pro not only provides ad blocking but alsotab management, proxy switching, mouse gestures and more including a veryvaluable crash recovery feature. Download from this link:
 Freeware, Internet Explorer 7, 985KB.

If you are using Firefox then ,  can effectively remove ads fromweb pages using the marvelous free  free Ad-Block extension .

20.See one of my article on registery How to back up and restore theregistry in Windows XP and Windows Vista
from the following location

21. If you are internet explorer users then fix this :

Microsoft Patch Fixes Slow RunningIE7



22.Use Instant Messaging Without an IM Client so that , any infectionsmight have intruded , if you use the IM utilities can be averted .
It  supports a wide range of systems including Yahoo, Messenger,Jabber, AIM, ICQ, MS and more.

DOWNLOAD FROM HERE





However , sticking to these rules is not a bed of roses ; it requires alevel of discipline characters most users may be don't have. Who hasn't beentempted to open a funny Word  email attachment or install a free flashgame?

This means that more protection is a necessity apart from this basicsecurity rules .


Yours First Step To be Protected :


A normal Windows environment is a user account with full administratorrights. It's probably what you are using right now as it is the default setupin all recent versions of Windows up to but excluding, Windows Vista.


The best way to enhance the level of protection is to make right thatif  a malware program sneak inside the your PC , that it is disallowed torun on your PC in a normal Windows environment .


There are three filters in which you can keep away malware from normalWindows environments.

1.Run all high risk programs with limited rights
2.Run all high risk programs in a sandbox or virtual machine or withwindows steady state.
3.Use a Windows limited user account for your daily work



1.Run all high risk programs with limited rights

 Run as a full administrator user but restrict the rights of allprograms such as your browser and email client ,media players or other internetfacing programmes that can be sources of malware infection.



Themost familiar  of these is DropMyRights.()

 

It allows users to easily create special versions of their that runfrom a full administrator account but with the restricted rights of a Windowslimited user or guest user .


The approach however has some weaknesses perhaps the worst of which isdownloaded files. Yes you are safe from infection while using a browser but ifyou run any files you download then you can easily be infected if those filescontain embedded malware.


2.Run all high risk programs in a sandboxor virtual machine

 The important point is that while running in the sandbox, theprograms have no get at to your PC.

 

Any files you download are marooned  to the sandbox. Similarly,any programs that are executed only do so within the sandbox and have no accessto your normal files,the sand box created a PC environment within the sandboxitself not in  the Windows operating system or indeed any other part ofyour PC.


This means that  that if you get infected by malware while usingthe sandbox your "actual" computer is not touched on. Furthermore youcan close the sandbox and all that's within it is erased including anyinfections, leaving alone your real PC in a clean and pure state.

. There are also some fantabulous sandboxing programs around includingfreeware guide the donationware utility "SandBoxie."

 Files in the sandbox are not really permanently on your computerunless you by choice move them from the sandbox to your actual PC. If you closethe sandbox without moving them they will be missed eternally.

Virtual machines such as VMWare()and

Microsoft's VirtualPC()are standardised to sandboxing but take the idea advanced  by completelydetaching  the virtual machine from theactual PC at a abstract level.

 Infections thatare obtained  in the virtual machine cannot affect the actual  PC.Similarly shutting down the virtual PC removes all line of infection.

From a users perspective sandboxing is a better bet than fullyvirtualisation solutions . But the most prime thing is that user's have to bedisciplined at using this .

So,all you need is a good firewall and a good anti-virus program andgood anti-spyware programme . Aggregating  these with a good sandbox andyou will have better security than other users who employ five or moredifferent levels  of active security software/freeware protective cover

Your PC will be faster; a counterpoint  to machines runningmultiple security protection products.

 

3.Use a Windows limited user account for your daily work


 Most malware products need full administrator rights to installthemselves. In a limited account they just can't get a footings .

It's easy to set up a limited user account. Just go the Control Panel,select User Accounts and create a new user account as a limited user. Then signin to this account for your normal computer work rather than the account you acurrently using
 

 

How to Easily Run Programs With Reduced Rights


Having full administrator rights gives the user the highest level ofprivilege possible. It means that Windows will allow a user to pretty well doanything they want on their PC. That includes installing any program theychoose, even programs that change the way the operating system works.
 Many malware programs including rootkits require administratorprivileges to install. If users operated with reduced rights such programscouldn't as easily infect their PCs.
On other operating systems such as Linux and Mac OS X, users normallyrun with reduced rights.

 

The more recent versions of Windows do in fact allow users to beassigned to different user groups with different privileges.

 In order of reducing privilege these are:"administrator", "power user" group, "user" groupand "guest".
Sign on as the reduced rights user for normal PC use and then logoutand use the administrator rights user account for program installation,registry editing and other demanding tasks.In this way by having two useraccounts on PC: one with full administrator rights and the other with reducedrights.

 

Constantly switching users or logging in and out of these accountsis a pain in the butt .

Always operate as a reduced privilege user and usethe special Windows "run as" function from the command window orcontext menu when you needed to run a program that requires administratorprivileges.
It's a slightly more workable solution but not exactly convenient asyou need to enter your admin account password every time.
An Open Source utility called RunAsAdmin Explorer Shim( RES).
RES is a Windows XP program that allows you to sign-in as anadministrator but work within a Windows shell with reduced rights.

 

It works by placing an icon in the system notification area of yourtray. Clicking this icon brings up a menu that allows to run programs withseveral different level of trust from "administrator" through to"user."

 With this can do day-to-day work in arestricted rights shell but easily run any program that requires elevatedprivileges without the need to logoff or enter the admin password. You have theadvantage of safety and convenience at the same time.
It wasn't built into Windows XP.

 

There are also two versions available: a stable V1 release and a V2beta. I installed the latter is working fine though.

It took a few settingchanges and reboots to get everything working perfectly. It's definitely not atask for the faint hearted or technically challenged but neither is using"run as."
To un-install RES start up a command window with admin rights and enterthe command c:\Windows\Shim\Explorer.exe /r
Logoff as the current user and while re-login, the usual rights forthat user account.Then can delete the c:\Windows\Shim\Explorer.exe folder.
Non technical users will have to use Windows Vistato get a satisfactory solution to the user rights problem.



Setting up a limited account may be easy but using it can be a realpain. For example you won't be able to install most programs. You won't be ableto update others.


Most users though, find using a limited account to be simply tooembarassing and inopportune.
That said using a limited account is an excellent solution for advancedusers .




Peaceful security products




Peaceful security products like on-demand scanners (manualy initiation)isa necessity .

 It may be  an anti-spyware scanner,an anti-virus scanner, arootkit detector or a keylogger scanner.

They don't impose an on-going command processing overhead time  onyour computer. The only computer power they consume is while they are actuallyperforming a scan.

In this category comes   the free version of AVG Antispywareor free Panda Anti-rootkit detector or Bit Defender Anti-virus  or  MULTI VIRUS CLEANER  ().And because they are not perpetually running they are less chance  tocause any problems with other programs.

Run on-demand scans periodically: weekly, monthly whatsoever. They area good to prevent anything goes wrong to your on-acess security programmes .



 

Home

EMAIL ME

Website

 

This article updated on Dec. 26 2007

 

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MAKE CERTAIN OF YOUR PC

 





MAKE CERTAIN OF YOUR PC

 

 

(from my article "secure your system completely" browsethrough this space : )


How to avoid  your PC from being getting affected  withmalware ,viruses , trojans,keyloggers and other nasties  taking control ofyour PC ?

Prevention is better than medication , in other means prevention isbetter than detecting and removing the infections .



The traditional way ofadding additional protection



Securing your PC through multiple secuirty layers based onanti-virus,anti-spyware,anti-trojans,HIPs anti-mallware and other securitysoftware costs too high , one hundred full proof solution will be getting notguaranteed .

Here  cost means financial as well as by adding more secuirtylayers in the PC , hampering performance on your PC .

So how do you prevent infection?


The basics:

1.Download latest fixes of windows and ms office from microsoftupdate service


2.Stay away from sites offering commercial software serial numbers,keygens and other hacked material. Avoid accidentally wandering to hostilesites by installing McAfee Site Adviser.

 

3.Make sure your other software products are also fully updated,particularly popular products like anti virus, anti spyware, and other securityproducts and browsers like Firefox, Opera, the Adobe Reader, Sun Java, Flashplug-ins and media players. The easiest way to do this is to use the free Secunia Software Inspector.

 

4.only download files from trusted sources and never installprograms that friends give you on removable media(cd/dvd/pen drive/floppy)unless you have verified that are clean by either submitting them to free webbased testing services such as Jotti () and Virus Total(), or through scan through in built security software on your PC beforeinstalling and running on it .

 

5.Install a robust firewall to ensure worms can't secretly enteryour PC via the internet. My current favorites are the free Comodo firewall Pro () andZoneAlarm Pro but there are several other excellent choices including Jeticoand Netveda to name but two.

 

6.Stop Using Internet Explorer, instead use Firefox or Opera,It's nosecret that Internet Explorer is filled with security holes. While InternetExplorer 7 is a huge improvement over it's predecessor but it still is no wherenear as secure as Firefox.When it comes to patching vulnerabilities found,According to the Washington Post ,Microsoft has been notorious for notreleasing patches in a timely fashion. According to the Washington Post, Internet Explorer was knownto have exploit code for unpatched critical flaws for 284 days of 2006. Thearticle goes on to compare this with 9 days for Mozilla Firefox. For saferinternet browsing is,For safer browsing, do not use Internet Explorer.

 

7.No Toolbars Allowed, ALL Toolbars. Starting  from Microsoft,Google, Symantec or whoever. No toolbar till this day which is a absolutenecessity . They open another gateway into your  PC to allow ugly thingsinto your PC.For each toolbar added, you are opening a window of opportunitiesfor bad things to enter into your PC.

 

8. Don’t Use File Sharing Programs such as Limewire, Kazaa,Shareaza, Edonkey, Bearshare etc. I would say 1 out of every 10 files containsa virus/worm/spyware. it is nice to be able to download that new song you heardon the radio or download the latest software, all for free. But realize that bydoing this, you are playing with a loaded gun, when it comes to the security ofyour computer.

 

9.PrivBaris a free Internet Explorer add-on written by Aaron Margosis that displaysin a toolbar the privilege level under which the current instance of InternetExplorer is running.


10.If you are a Firefox user check out the free  IsAdminextension that provides similar functionality to PrivBar .

11. Software products to be fully updated , and these should be usedfrom very reliable sources .

 

 

12. Use commodo firewall which also provides services of HIPS (ostIntrusion Prevention System)


13.Never install programs unless you are fully confident they areclean.

 

14.Don't open file attachments unless you are absolutely sure of thesource. Email file attachments are one of the most common vectors forsystem  viruses. Modern antivirus software will scan incoming email as amatter of course, but you still have the possibility of a new virus that hasyet to be added to to the list of scanned-for viruses.



15.Install the Backup Utility in XP Home/Pro or Vista.And constantly back-ups registery and important files.

16.Scan your computer for vulnerabilities with Microsoft'sfree security scanner (MICROSOFT BASELINE SECUIRTY ADVISER ), Download andrun the device to test your local computer (you will need access to anadministrative account  you wish to scan). The MBSA creates a securitylog  which contains easy to read info on any vulnerabilities that mayexist and how to correct them.


17. Test your PC with online secuirty probe :

Each will investigate  your system for security vulnerabilitieswhich could be used by a malicious hacker or virus or for trojanactivities  to compromise and steal  your PC and data. Use theseservices to ensure that you are well secured . Remember it takes a lot of timein dial-ups.

Some free online security scanners:
   

     ONE  
     TWO

     THREE




18. Relocate My document folder

If you wish to direct  the data stored in your 'my documents'folder to a different disk location/partition , you can do this very easilywithout advanced registery alterations. By default, this data is stored in'c:\documents and settings\(username)\my documents'.

To change the location of My Documents folder right click the 'mydocuments' icon on the desktop or the start menu, and select 'properties.'

In the 'target' tab, enter the path to the folder location you wish touse, or press the 'find target' button to browse to the folder. Prior to thatopen a folder in the new target location and rename it as  My Documentsand copy its path  and paste it in the find target box .You will be askedif you wish to move all existing data to the new location. 

 

19. Remove ads from webpage .


If you are Internet Explorer user then use IE7Pro not only provides ad blocking but alsotab management, proxy switching, mouse gestures and more including a veryvaluable crash recovery feature. Download from this link:
 Freeware, Internet Explorer 7, 985KB.

If you are using Firefox then ,  can effectively remove ads fromweb pages using the marvelous free  free Ad-Block extension .

20.See one of my article on registery How to back up and restore theregistry in Windows XP and Windows Vista
from the following location

21. If you are internet explorer users then fix this :

Microsoft Patch Fixes Slow RunningIE7



22.Use Instant Messaging Without an IM Client so that , any infectionsmight have intruded , if you use the IM utilities can be averted .
It  supports a wide range of systems including Yahoo, Messenger,Jabber, AIM, ICQ, MS and more.

DOWNLOAD FROM HERE





However , sticking to these rules is not a bed of roses ; it requires alevel of discipline characters most users may be don't have. Who hasn't beentempted to open a funny Word  email attachment or install a free flashgame?

This means that more protection is a necessity apart from this basicsecurity rules .


Yours First Step To be Protected :


A normal Windows environment is a user account with full administratorrights. It's probably what you are using right now as it is the default setupin all recent versions of Windows up to but excluding, Windows Vista.


The best way to enhance the level of protection is to make right thatif  a malware program sneak inside the your PC , that it is disallowed torun on your PC in a normal Windows environment .


There are three filters in which you can keep away malware from normalWindows environments.

1.Run all high risk programs with limited rights
2.Run all high risk programs in a sandbox or virtual machine or withwindows steady state.
3.Use a Windows limited user account for your daily work



1.Run all high risk programs with limited rights

 Run as a full administrator user but restrict the rights of allprograms such as your browser and email client ,media players or other internetfacing programmes that can be sources of malware infection.



Themost familiar  of these is DropMyRights.()

 

It allows users to easily create special versions of their that runfrom a full administrator account but with the restricted rights of a Windowslimited user or guest user .


The approach however has some weaknesses perhaps the worst of which isdownloaded files. Yes you are safe from infection while using a browser but ifyou run any files you download then you can easily be infected if those filescontain embedded malware.


2.Run all high risk programs in a sandboxor virtual machine

 The important point is that while running in the sandbox, theprograms have no get at to your PC.

 

Any files you download are marooned  to the sandbox. Similarly,any programs that are executed only do so within the sandbox and have no accessto your normal files,the sand box created a PC environment within the sandboxitself not in  the Windows operating system or indeed any other part ofyour PC.


This means that  that if you get infected by malware while usingthe sandbox your "actual" computer is not touched on. Furthermore youcan close the sandbox and all that's within it is erased including anyinfections, leaving alone your real PC in a clean and pure state.

. There are also some fantabulous sandboxing programs around includingfreeware guide the donationware utility "SandBoxie."

 Files in the sandbox are not really permanently on your computerunless you by choice move them from the sandbox to your actual PC. If you closethe sandbox without moving them they will be missed eternally.

Virtual machines such as VMWare()and

Microsoft's VirtualPC()are standardised to sandboxing but take the idea advanced  by completelydetaching  the virtual machine from theactual PC at a abstract level.

 Infections thatare obtained  in the virtual machine cannot affect the actual  PC.Similarly shutting down the virtual PC removes all line of infection.

From a users perspective sandboxing is a better bet than fullyvirtualisation solutions . But the most prime thing is that user's have to bedisciplined at using this .

So,all you need is a good firewall and a good anti-virus program andgood anti-spyware programme . Aggregating  these with a good sandbox andyou will have better security than other users who employ five or moredifferent levels  of active security software/freeware protective cover

Your PC will be faster; a counterpoint  to machines runningmultiple security protection products.

 

3.Use a Windows limited user account for your daily work


 Most malware products need full administrator rights to installthemselves. In a limited account they just can't get a footings .

It's easy to set up a limited user account. Just go the Control Panel,select User Accounts and create a new user account as a limited user. Then signin to this account for your normal computer work rather than the account you acurrently using
 

 

How to Easily Run Programs With Reduced Rights


Having full administrator rights gives the user the highest level ofprivilege possible. It means that Windows will allow a user to pretty well doanything they want on their PC. That includes installing any program theychoose, even programs that change the way the operating system works.
 Many malware programs including rootkits require administratorprivileges to install. If users operated with reduced rights such programscouldn't as easily infect their PCs.
On other operating systems such as Linux and Mac OS X, users normallyrun with reduced rights.

 

The more recent versions of Windows do in fact allow users to beassigned to different user groups with different privileges.

 In order of reducing privilege these are:"administrator", "power user" group, "user" groupand "guest".
Sign on as the reduced rights user for normal PC use and then logoutand use the administrator rights user account for program installation,registry editing and other demanding tasks.In this way by having two useraccounts on PC: one with full administrator rights and the other with reducedrights.

 

Constantly switching users or logging in and out of these accountsis a pain in the butt .

Always operate as a reduced privilege user and usethe special Windows "run as" function from the command window orcontext menu when you needed to run a program that requires administratorprivileges.
It's a slightly more workable solution but not exactly convenient asyou need to enter your admin account password every time.
An Open Source utility called RunAsAdmin Explorer Shim( RES).
RES is a Windows XP program that allows you to sign-in as anadministrator but work within a Windows shell with reduced rights.

 

It works by placing an icon in the system notification area of yourtray. Clicking this icon brings up a menu that allows to run programs withseveral different level of trust from "administrator" through to"user."

 With this can do day-to-day work in arestricted rights shell but easily run any program that requires elevatedprivileges without the need to logoff or enter the admin password. You have theadvantage of safety and convenience at the same time.
It wasn't built into Windows XP.

 

There are also two versions available: a stable V1 release and a V2beta. I installed the latter is working fine though.

It took a few settingchanges and reboots to get everything working perfectly. It's definitely not atask for the faint hearted or technically challenged but neither is using"run as."
To un-install RES start up a command window with admin rights and enterthe command c:\Windows\Shim\Explorer.exe /r
Logoff as the current user and while re-login, the usual rights forthat user account.Then can delete the c:\Windows\Shim\Explorer.exe folder.
Non technical users will have to use Windows Vistato get a satisfactory solution to the user rights problem.



Setting up a limited account may be easy but using it can be a realpain. For example you won't be able to install most programs. You won't be ableto update others.


Most users though, find using a limited account to be simply tooembarassing and inopportune.
That said using a limited account is an excellent solution for advancedusers .




Peaceful security products




Peaceful security products like on-demand scanners (manualy initiation)isa necessity .

 It may be  an anti-spyware scanner,an anti-virus scanner, arootkit detector or a keylogger scanner.

They don't impose an on-going command processing overhead time  onyour computer. The only computer power they consume is while they are actuallyperforming a scan.

In this category comes   the free version of AVG Antispywareor free Panda Anti-rootkit detector or Bit Defender Anti-virus  or  MULTI VIRUS CLEANER  ().And because they are not perpetually running they are less chance  tocause any problems with other programs.

Run on-demand scans periodically: weekly, monthly whatsoever. They area good to prevent anything goes wrong to your on-acess security programmes .



 

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This article updated on Dec. 26 2007

 

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Migrating to Mozilla Firefox:

Migrating to Mozilla Firefox:


A combination of multiple security vulnerabilities and the emergence of more modern browsers, Internet Explorer has started to look vulnerable.

According to estimated statistucs  100 million users have already switched over to other browsers mostly to is Mozilla Firefox.

Firefox is a fast, lean tabbed browser .


WHY NO TO INTERNET EXPLORER


  1. VULNERABLE TO SECURITIES TIME AND AGAGIN DUE TO ITS IMMENCE POPULARITY IS THE HACKER'S FIRST LOVE .
  2. scripting component  ActiveX , use of VBScript and browser helper objects (BHOs) that has been heavily exploited by hackers.
  3. a hacker who breaks into IE may not only have hacked your browser but may also be able to gain access to the operating system itself as it is too close to the core of the Windows operating system.
  4. Microsoft's record for responding to reported flaws in IE has been checkeredMicrosoft's record for responding to reported flaws in IE has been checkered , belated and some times hap hazard.
  5. Internet Explorer 7 is only available to those using Windows XP SP2 or later. Users of earlier versions of Windows have to IE6, a version which has proven highly vulnerable to exploitation.
  6. Although IE7  add-ons just can't becomparable to the 1000+ free extensions available for Firefox.

Install Firefox Extensions


More than 1000 free extensions available. Make Google search on "Firefox extension" or "Firefox add-ons."  and also on this link.


FEW SUGGESTIONS ON FIREFOX EXTENSIONS


Use this selection as the guide and donot limit yourself on these and if you know more then let me know also.


 1. A lightweight RSS and Atom reader :  SAGE

  2.Useful for keeping Firefox open but hidden : Minimize to Tray

  3.Opens the current web page in Internet Explorer    :  IEView Lite

  4.quickly bookmark a site to any folder  :  Ad Bookmarks Here

5.Tweaks Firefox to run faster  on broadband  :  Fasterfox

6.Saves tab sessions on demand when Firefox closes. : Session Saver

7.Much more control over tab working Tab Mix Plus

8.Filters ads from web pages : Ad Block


9.  It allows  to re-install  old extensions by bypassing compatibility testing.   :"Nightly Tester Tools"


10. FLASH BLOCK :STOPS MACROMEDIA FLASH CONTENT ON THE PAGE .

11.NO SCRIPT : BLOCKS VARIOUS ELEMENTS LIKE JAVA SCRIPT , JAVA , PLUG INS INCLUDING FLASH FROM WEB PAGES .

12 PERFORMANCING  : INTEGRATES FIREFOX WITH POPULAR BLOGGING PLATFORMS LIKE BLOGGER , WORD PRESS , ETC.

13.  FIREFTP:  ALLOWS FIREFOX TO ACT AS AN FTP CLIENT AND EXPLORE FTP SERVERS .

14. FLASH GOT: ALLOWS FIREFOX TO BE CLOSELY INTEGRATE WITH THE DOWNLAOD MANAGER IN THE SYSTEM .






INSTAL THEMES

Firefox offers many free downloadable themes. To access to new themes select Tools/Themes from within Firefox and then click on "get more themes."



INSTAL PLUG-INS:


ADOBE ACROBAT READER  ,    APPLE QUICK TIME ,     MACROMEDIA FLASH PLAYER  ,    REAL PLAYER ,         SUN JAVA PLUG INS  AND          

WINDOW MEDIA PLAYER


FOR MORE PLUG-INS CLICK ON ME !


FIREFOX SHORTCUTS:


Firefox uses pretty much the same keyboard shortcuts as Internet Explorer .  For full list click    HERE





TO MAKE A CLONE OF INTERNET EXPLORER:


If you want to make it even more like IE then click   HERE


TO SET UP  ROBO FORM :

It depends upon your choice , you'll have to install the RoboForm Mozilla adaptor first. For this CLICK ME


PROBLEM SOLVING  :


If you run into problems first hand  go to  FIREFOX FAQ


For more serious problems then in the second place go to  FIREFOX FORUMS





EMAIL ME

SUNKUMAR KOTHARI

EDITOR OF FREEWARESPACE







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