Posts Tagged ‘#removal’

Norton Power Eraser

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis August 17th, 2012

If you’re using Norton for your PC protection, you may have wondered about some of the extra tools that they offer.  Although I REALLY like Norton’s virus and malware protection, these tools are practically worthless.  The main two I’m talking about are called Norton Power Eraser (NPE) and the Norton Bootable Recovery Tool (NBRT).   First of all, Power Eraser is a TERRIBLE name for this software.  It implies that it’s a scrubbing tool or something.  But MOSTLY I should warn you:  If you get a message from Norton that you should run NPE, you most likely have a ROOTKIT!  This is the worst kind of infection, and allows total control of your computer.  The really sad part is that NPE probably won’t be able to remove it!  The tool seems to hang on removal or completely fail, and the boot tool rarely works unless you burn a CD of it.  Your best bet, if this happens, is to download and run ComboFix from this site.  (NOTE:  It’s the second Download button.  The first one is an ad).  You should turn off your virus protection while it runs.  It removes the vast majority of rootkits without a hitch.  But if all this makes you nervous, just take your PC to a good technician, and tell them the problem.   By the way, I still highly recommend Norton Internet Security.  I’ve only had ONE infection, out of hundreds of PC’s, in the last year since I started recommending it.  It’s great at prevention, which is the key in the first place. 

Outlook Duplicates

Helpful Hints | Posted by Dennis April 25th, 2012

Sometimes Outlook, or your email server, messes up.  With all the syncing and smartphone use these days, there are more ways than ever to get COPIES, or duplicates, in your email, calendar, contacts, etc.  If it’s email, there can be several causes.  Here’s an article  that has good starting points for troubleshooting this issue (Thanks Mike at Demand Media!).  If these don’t help, keep searching, there is a LOT of info out there.  But after the fact, once you fix the source of the problem, you STILL can have a big mess to clean up.  I found a nifty free tool that can remove all duplicates from any given folder in outlook.  You can download it here

Phone Privacy (again)

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis December 1st, 2011

The hot tech topic lately is PRIVACY.  Facebook is getting its hands slapped for tracking where all it’s visitors go on the web, and in the meanwhile a hidden ROOTKIT style spying critter was found on nearly every class of smartphone except Windows phones.  i-phones, Android, and Blackberry devices have all been exposed to have Carrier IQ, which is software that can log, well, just about ANYTHING, including keystrokes.  Of course, all the major carriers and manufacturors are denying any misuse, and are claiming that they either don’t use it, or that it’s only for diagnostics. (we all believe that, right?).  Meanwhile the politicians are all jumping on board to scream foul play.  Here’s a great ZDNet article  that describes all the details of this debaucle.  Should you be worried? Naaa,  I think that pressure will create a simple solution soon.  I’m guessing there will be an easy way to simply turn the feature off.  BUT in the meanwhile, if you want rid of it here’s a site where you can get software that will check if it’s logging, and if so will remove it (if you buy the product for a buck).  WARNING:  There have been some reports that if you remove Carrier IQ that it will BRICK YOUR PHONE.  So be sure you have a backup, or just wait for an easy solution.

Facebook Ticker

Helpful Hints, News | Posted by Dennis September 24th, 2011

The biggest uproar on all the latest Facebook (FB) changes are about the News Ticker.  Most people aren’t thrilled with the fact that it’s posting EVERYTHING, even people’s LIKES and comments.  Now it’s not like you couldn’t see this info BEFORE, but you had to go to their profile to view it.  Still, people seem to be unnerved by the new display.  You can turn this off for individuals by hovering over their name and selecting the things you want to see.  But this could take FOREVER if you’ve got a long list of friends.  (there are lots of folks posting requests to do this).  But there are other ways.  Some are programs you can download, others are alternative browsers like Google Chrome.  Here’s an article that describes several methods of getting rid of that pesky FB ticker altogether.


Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis May 25th, 2011

My clients like it because I don’t try to talk over their heads.  I call all the software bugs (viruses, trojans, malware, etc.) CRITTERS.  That’s the Okie in me. 😉  It’s amazing how complex they’ve become, and how much they mimick living creatures.  They propagate, they defend themselves, and some are smart enough to learn.  I see a lot of PC shops that run a disk for an hour or so and say OK, IT’S ALL FIXED.  I just laugh.  See, the latest critters are REALLY good at making sure you don’t kill them.  If you remove one piece, another puts it back, and vice-versa.  We use a pretty complex procedure to make sure 1) the beast doesn’t load to memory 2) that more than one software removal tool scans EVERYTHING to make sure the pieces are gone and 3) then we run tools within Windows to make sure that any changes are remedied.  It’s another reason to make sure that you hire reputable service companies and techs to do your PC work.