Posts Tagged ‘#tool’

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. 

Searching Windows

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis April 13th, 2012

Trying to find something in Windows 7?  Scratching your head?  No results?  You’re not alone.  Windows XP had a great tool called the “Search Companion” that could find ANYTHING.  In particular, it had the ability to search EVERY FILE for stuff INSIDE it.  So if you needed to find any file with the word giraffe, for example, it was a few clicks away.  Granted, it might take it all day to perform such an exhaustive search, but it could do it with the patience of, um, a Computer.  Things changed when Google Desktop came along.  The new trend was to INDEX everything beforehand, so that searches were very quick.  Microsoft followed suit with their own search gizmo, and the race was on.  These programs go through all your files while you do other things, and create a list of your stuff, and keywords inside.  And therein lies the problem:  a keyword is usually found in the dictionary.  But what if you need to find the number 12345?  Sorry, that’s not indexed.  This is the problem with the Windows 7 search tool.  Besides being clutzy to use, they have taken away the ability to search for “strings” within files.  Supposedly you can type content:”STRING” in the search box to accomplish this, but I tested it and it failed for a random 5 letters/numbers within an Excel file.  Sometimes with Microsoft it’s One step forward, Two steps back.  This is a terrible search tool.  Once again I’d like to say “IF IT AIN’T BROKE DON’T FIX IT”.  Meanwhile, I found some nifty search tools;  1) for general searches of text within files Windows GREP (after the UNIX GREP command) is easy-to-use software that’s quite powerful.  unfortunately it has a hard time with the latest office formats, in particular Excel XLSX files. I believe it could do it, but you have to tell it the column layout of your spreadsheet.  UGH.  Instead, I recommend 2) IceTeaReplacer.  I was able to find my random string within seconds of using this tool, and had the option of replacing it if I wanted.  Very Nice!