Posts Tagged ‘#warning’

Final (FBI) Warning

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis July 6th, 2012

The DomainChanger (AKA DNS Changer) virus that I warned you about will “expire” this weekend.  I’m getting lots of phone calls about the hubub, so I wanted to give some explaination.  First of all, THE VIRUS IS IMPOTENT thanks to the FBI.  They shut down the crooks that set it up, and replaced the bad server computers with some of their own (ours… the taxpayers).  But if you ARE infected, the servers will be shut down soon.  What’s that mean?  You won’t get internet access on the infected PC.  You’ll have to remove the bug before you can surf.  Here’s a link to the site that will clean it up for you.  Interestingly, the daily “new IP’s” (or new computer addresses) to the FBI servers is still quite high: 300,000+ as of about a month ago.  That tells me there’s still a BUNCH of folks out there that are infected.  If you have friends or family whose internet suddenly stops working this weekend, this is probably why.

Stupid Nvidia RAID

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis March 14th, 2012

Ok, so remember how I told you there’s a cool thing called RAID that will keep you from losing your stuff?  If you use a RAID 1 “mirror” on two hard drives, it keeps a constant copy of EVERYTHING.  It’s great, as long as it works.  This week I had a RAID array fail, and found out just how CRAPPY the Nvidia RAID manager is.  I looked around after a bunch of weird things happened, like my document backup failed.  Turns out the mirror had been broken for ALMOST TWO WEEKS.  I got no notification, no warnings.  But HERE’S the KICKER:  The FAILED drive was the one the Nvidia chip decided to continue using!  So my last two weeks of work were hanging by a thread.  ARRRRGGG!  Luckily, I was able to clone the drive to another, and then go get a replacement drive.  HEY NVIDIA… STAY OUT OF THE RAID BUSINESS.  They evidently should stick with video cards/chips (which they do very nicely, by the way).  Most mainboards these days with built-in RAID capability have the Intel solution.  I can GUARANTEE this would never had happened with their setup. 


Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis March 2nd, 2012

Nope, they’re not a golf club, or a chauffeur.  In PC lingo a “driver” is the software that helps your computer use add-on hardware.  Most people who have used Windows know the routine; you plug in your new gizmo, and hope it works.  Windows 7 has REALLY refined this process, and made it easy for THOUSANDS of products to be added to your setup.  But what if it can’t find your driver?  This can be a real nightmare, and it’s gotten worse.  See, I USED to be able to surf the web and easily find what my clients need.  But lately, every time I go to look, there are TONS of crap driver pages that are a minefield of convoluted information.  All of them want you to buy a service, or install their software, to get what you need.  I was really let down that has done this.  What used to be a very useful site has turned into garbage.  So what do you do?  Your best bet is to AVOID GENERAL WEB SEARCHES.  Instead, go STRAIGHT to the support section of the manufacturor’s site.  So if it’s a Logitech mouse, for example, go to and look for your driver there.  Be sure to check if your operating system is 32-bit or 64-bit (yes, it matters… a LOT).  You can do this by right-clicking My Computer and choose Properties.  Meanwhile, beware of the commercial crap out there.  They are just trying to steal your money.

Facebook Stalkers

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis February 20th, 2012

Yes, it happens.  So there are LOTS of good reasons to enable privacy on your account.  ESPECIALLY women and kids.  But you’ll often see ads that claim they can tell you things like 1) who is looking at your page and 2) who’s searching the engines for you.  THESE ARE FALSE, and might get you a virus instead.  There’s no way to do this without a warrant, so it’s just another scam.  They’re trying to get you to sign up/pay for something that’s impossible.  Meanwhile, make sure you enable full privacy on FB and don’t friend anyone you’re unsure of.   If you or someone in your family suspect ANY bad feelings about an individual, just remove them from the friend list.  Better safe than sorry.  I’ve also posted some good stuff in previous blogs to help protect/monitor your children It’s interesting to note here that LinkedIn (another social site geared more towards business) CAN tell you who’s watching, for a price.  You have to pay them for a premium account to get this feature.

DNS Warning

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis February 18th, 2012

The Internet is basically three things;  Connections (think wires, wifi, fiber optics etc), Computers, and Routers.  The main computers that control and manage the traffic are called Domain Name System (DNS) servers.  Some of the biggest and most dangerous attacks lately are setting up fake DNS servers, and making YOUR PC go someplace evil instead of where you told it.  The FBI, and a bunch of other “good guys”, have been combatting recent worm attacks called DomainChanger.  These digital heroes went so far as to replace some of the nation’s biggest DNS servers via court order, to try and stop the spread of attack.  University Geeks set up a web site to help you check your computer.  EVERYONE SHOULD DO THIS – you can find the instructions here.  Meanwhile, in June 2012, the court order expires and a bunch of key DNS servers may go down.  It could cause major Internet traffic issues.  Read the full article on Beta Beat here.

Email alert

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis November 15th, 2011

VIRUS WARNING:  There’s an email circulating out there that will send you to an infected site.  SUBJECT – ACH Transaction Canceled.  FROM – The Electronic Payments Association.  DO NOT click the link!  The site is infected and will take over your PC.  This one almost got me because I had just made an electronic payment.  Luckily my antivirus (ESET NOD32) blocked access to the web page.

Shelf (demo) Models

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis September 13th, 2011

Watch out for this one:  Wal-mart, Sam’s, Best Buy, and most of the other chains have all kinds of stuff out on the shelf for you (and everyone else) to play with.  When it comes time to sell them, you can save BIG $$$$.  But be careful, ‘cuz when it comes to PC’s this can be a MAJOR problem.  See, every wannabe hacker in town, and know-it-all kid etc. etc. has had his hands on this thing.  With a radio or TV it wouldn’t matter.  Just use a sani-wipe on it and you’re good to go.  But with a computer it can mean any number of problems, like trashing windows files, locking out all accounts, or dumping a virus;  the list goes on and on.  Unfortunately if this happens, none of the genius sales people will have any clue how to fix it, so they’ll try to pass off the problem to you.  I’ve seen it myself, and had friends in this predicament, so I thought I’d pass along the HEADS UP!

Email Woes

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis August 27th, 2011

The biggest problem I see with people’s email are because they NEVER CLEAN IT UP.  They let all their folders keep filling and filling until BLAP! they hit a wall.  For web mail it’s because there’s a limit to the amount they let you store.  For Outlook, it’s a problem with the program.  Depending on the version, Outlook will only allow 2 Gb of email to be stored…. more for the later versions  (Outlook express is worse, and just crashes).  Tips to manage your storage:  1) EMPTY THE TRASH! (deleted items)  2) Clear out as many sent items as possible (do you REALLY need 7 years’ worth?)  3)  Don’t leave everything in the IN BOX!  Create folders to stay organized, and move stuff out to those after you read them.  4) Auto-archive in Outlook can help automate cleanup, but there’s a catch.  If you turn on this feature, IT WON’T WORK UNTIL YOU TELL IT the setting you want for each folder.  So it defaults to not touch it.  This is good, but people don’t realize that each folder has an archive setting that you should set.  For example, I want my Tech Newsletter folder to get dumped if it’s 6 months or older.  But my login/registration folder I NEVER want touched.

Attacks from Russia

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis May 23rd, 2011

Ok, so the source of the latest digital attacks has been revealed!  They are using Google API to steer people to infected sites.  The source is in Russia.  This was verified by a customer who inadvertantly gave their CC number to the critter (the one that pretends to be Antivirus), then contacted the bank.  They rejected the charges based on location.  So it seems that the Russian mob has found another way to steal lots of American money.  IF I DISAPPEAR PLEASE TELL THEM TO READ THIS!  😉   I’d say avoid Google searches altogether until they clean up their act.

Osama Photos (FBI Warning)

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis May 8th, 2011

We have been advised of an FBI warning related to purported images and videos related to the recent events surrounding Osama bin Laden. A number of reports have indicated attempts to integrate malicious software with this media or websites hosting it. We advise all users to avoid viewing or clicking links claiming to show Osama bin Laden. Please see the below link to the FBI warning for more information.