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  Old  April 21st, 2004, 6:03pm     #1
amyshulk is offline
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Computer help - Post links, advice, etc...
I've seen a lot of posts asking for computer help and quite a few of you have responded with some good advice. I would like to start this thread for people to refer to when they have a problem. I am in no way a tech guru, but I have the means to help.

I think it would be great to have all the info in one place, so all of you that have links/advice please post them to this thread so others can know where to go for help.

PLEASE do not post Q's to this thread. It will be much easier to get an answer if you start a new post and it will keep this thread from getting cluttered.
If someone posts a link/advice you have Q's on, pm them if they say in their post they would welcome it.

I go to G4TTV (the old techtv message boards) when I have troubles. Here is a link to my post:

The best way to post is to put the name of your problem in the title instead of "help", the regulars will skip over "help" posts.

Give as much info as possible; system specs (XP or 98... & if you have antivirus, firewall, etc...) problem & when it started (after a d/l, clicked on a link, visited a webpage, etc....) & what you have already tried.

Please remember to post back on what did/didn't work & thank those that tried to help.

They have a sticky thread w/all the free d/ld's (link is at the bottom of my post) & lots of smart techies that are willing to help out. Please read my post before going there to learn the guidelines of their board.

You can pm me if you have any Q's or need help navigating the techtv boards.

EDIT 4 DEC. 2004

First off, if you have the preview pane on, you don't have to open the email to get infected - so you need to close that ASAP.

Go to OE (outlook express)

Click on View, then Layout. UNcheck the preview pane box and hit OK (if you hit apply, you will still have to hit OK)

Next, you should have a firewall and antivirus running at all times. I use ZA and AVG. Both are free.

Here is a link to g4ttv's post of ALL the free goodies to use to protect your comp:
Updated 5/10/05

Startup Utilities
Hardware and Software Reporting Utilities
Internet Security
Free Personal Firewalls
Web based Virus and Trojan Scanners
Local computer Virus and Trojan Scanners
Links to common virus removal instructions
Adware, Spyware, and Hijacker Scanners
PopUp Stoppers
Web Sites with Useful information
Microsoft Knowledge Base Articles
Windows Installation Helpful How To Sites
Registry Cleaners, file shredders, and file recovery
Audio and Video conversion and editing
Tweak Sites and Software
Spell Checkers

Scroll down to "Free Personal Firewalls" and decide which one to d/ld.
Remember, it's best to create a restore point BEFORE you d/ld, and wait awhile before d/ld'ing another program in case there is a conflict.

Then scroll down to "Local computer Virus and Trojan Scanners" and select one to use.

Those are the two MOST important progs. But you have to learn to surf safely, because they won't prevent you from making a mistake.

I also use spybot and adaware - they find things your antivirus doesn't look for, sso they are good to have too.

There is also a list of Web based Virus and Trojan Scanners - I try to do at least one of the online scans once a week or so. No one antivirus finds everything, so they are a good back-up

EDIT 17 FEB 2005 to add greensthings link/post to rogue spyware cleaners:

Originally Posted by greensthings another thread about spyware cleaners;

We had some talks lately about spyware, and I think I remember someone saying
they used and swore by a product whose name I remember seeing on the "rogue
spyware" list.
Rogue spyware is a kind of spyware that actually calls itself a spyware remover.
Some are simply false positives to force you to buy them, so that it will
"remove" the spyware. Actually, all it does is register that you've paid money
and stops telling you the false message.
Others actually add spyware to your computers. So I searched through my
favorites, and found this list...
Everyone, please check through this list and make sure your anti-spyware programs
are legitimate - I'd hate to see any of you scammed or ripped off.

MODS - Is it possible to pin or make this a sticky thread if it gets a lot of responses?

Thank you all, amy

Last edited by amyshulk; October 10th, 2005 at 4:30pm.
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  Old  April 22nd, 2004, 1:04am     #2
renegade is offline
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For spyware info go to and check out the New Users forum if you are a rookie and the Security or Privacy forums if you need more specific info. They will read your HijackThis files and tell you what to do to fix your system. Registration is free.

Also, for spyware info I go to It stands for counterexploitation.

To prevent Hijackings go to and download the free program. Scotty will warn you of any hijacking attempts.

To prevent most spyware problems STOP using IE. Download Avant at or MyIE2 at Set the browser to clean history at closing and you will prevent 90%+ of all spyware from showing up.

Make sure you use the Immunize feature on Spybot Search and Destroy.
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  Old  April 22nd, 2004, 1:17am     #3
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Sometimes upgrading to a newer version can be a good thing. Other times, your computer may not be compatible with the new version, the new version is bloated, or all the good options are no longer available. has been supplying the online community with old versions of various programs since 2001.

"Never tell me the odds!" -Han Solo
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  Old  April 22nd, 2004, 11:42am     #4
amyshulk is offline
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Hijackthis Steps Before You Post
Virus/Trojan/Spyware Help! and HijackThis Instructions !

Last edited by amyshulk; September 2nd, 2005 at 6:43pm.
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  Old  April 22nd, 2004, 6:47pm     #5
Rikostan is offline
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I would just like to say to be careful with avant browser. It used to contain spyware(the UCMore garbage) and I have heard that the latest version is pretty bad too, but I have not checked it myself.
Besides if you are using Myie2, avantbrowser, crazybrowser(my favorite), you are still using IE. You are basically just using a shell for IE.

I don't really have any boards I go to for help as I enjoy figuring stuff out on my own, but if I am really stuck, I go to It is the only place I have found that has really polite and really, really knowledgeable people.
You can get help for just about anything thing. I normally go when I need help with sql, oracle and Mysql code, but there are a lot of forums with more basic knowledge in them.
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  Old  April 23rd, 2004, 2:18am     #6
gunnerclark is offline
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This is a forum where everyone helps everyone else. You have to sign in but they never spam and I have always gotten good advice from it. Just post the problem and let others help. Also if you want to help someone there go for it.
This is the best place to figure out what is running on your computer in the taskbar. I have only found two things they did not have listed.
This is the place for all the best programs out there that are free or real cheap. Ad-aware and spybot just to name a few are residences here.
They have a database of over 800 files on your system and a nice search function for them. Helps id bad stuff.
This is the place to find out information on websites and spam. It tells you who owns the site and who is the network for the site.
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  Old  April 30th, 2004, 9:17am     #7
donnagirl1964 is offline
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Deleting .dll files
When I run my Antivirus programs it always finds tons of spyware, most of which can't be deleted. So when I go into manually delete the .dll files and they read "write protected or in use" I rename the file to something easy like delete.doc and then reboot. After rebooting you can easily go in and delete the files, because they don't boot as .dll files.

2004 Wins:
4 Hardback Books "The Warriors", 8 PF Wallets, Roy Rogers Calendar, Rodeo Tickets, Scooby Doo Mini Poster, Travel Mug, Hat from Netscape, Lip Gloss, 2 tickets to the Great Southern Motorcycle Show (local), 14 Ring Tones from Slim Jim, 1 Music Download from Slim Jim, Barbie Package, 3 Family Books, 50Cent DVD, Notebook, Aerosmith Tickets

2003 Wins:
Trip to Hollywood to meet Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Luggae, Computer Supplies, Lamp.
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  Old  May 1st, 2004, 3:43pm     #8
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saw this posted on another board and it looks like it would be handy:

Daily Rotation

Daily Rotation: Quick Loading Headlines from 300+ Tech Sites

Click here to pick your headlines, font colors, etc.
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  Old  September 20th, 2005, 1:28pm     #9
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  Old  September 27th, 2005, 1:35pm     #10
fastfreddie1959 is offline
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Thumbs up Create a Windows CD
September 27th, 2005

Answer Line: Create a Windows CD

Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector

My new laptop came with a recovery disc but not with a stand-alone
Windows XP CD. What can I do?

--Abdul Hamid, Denver

Microsoft requires that every PC bundled with Windows provide some way
of restoring the operating system, but too many bundled Windows XP
"restore" CDs merely return your hard drive to its factory condition,
which wipes out all of your data and any apps you've added.

Fortunately, vendors appear to be moving away from these data-wiping
recovery discs. I recently looked at new PCs from ABS, Dell, Gateway,
Lenovo, and WinBook, all of which came with either a real Windows XP
CD or another way to perform nondestructive OS reinstalls.

If your PC lacks a Windows CD, a folder named 'i386' containing the
Windows installation files is probably in the root directory of drive
C: or in your C:\Windows folder. Your system may have several i386
folders, but the one you want has a lot of files with extensions
ending in underscores (_), along with the executable files expand.exe,
regedit.exe, and winnt32.exe. Copy this folder onto a CD for
safekeeping, though you'll use the version on the hard drive to
actually reinstall Windows.

Keep your 25-character Windows Product Key handy--you'll need it to
reinstall the OS. The number is on the back of your PC, on the bottom
of your notebook, or in some other hard-to-read spot; it may be listed
in the documentation as well.

You'll also need a bootable CD for starting the install process. Bart
Lagerweij's free PE Builder creates a CD-bootable version of XP called
Bart's Pre-install Environment, or BartPE, from either a Windows CD or
the i386 folder. Download PE Builder here:

Open PE Builder's main dialog box and select the folder or drive
containing your i386 folder, but not the folder itself. Check Create
ISO image, click Burn to CD, and select your CD-RW drive from the
Device drop-down menu. If PE Builder doesn't support your burner,
double-click the PE Builder--created .iso file to launch your CD
authoring program and burn the CD.

To reinstall Windows, boot from the BartPE CD you just created and
select Go, Programs, A43 File Management Utility. Navigate to the hard
drive's i386 folder (do not use the i386 folder on the CD).
Double-click winnt32.exe to start the installation process. When the
installation program closes, reboot your PC, remove the CD, and select
Microsoft Windows XP Setup from the resulting boot menu. The
installation will pick up where it left off.

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  Old  September 30th, 2005, 1:29pm     #11
fastfreddie1959 is offline
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Thumbs up Your IP, ISP and location
Your IP, ISP and location
See country and physical location
of any IP address including yours.

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  Old  September 30th, 2005, 6:47pm     #12
fastfreddie1959 is offline
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Lightbulb Common security related terms
Adware - (ADvertisementWARE) - Any software application or program in which advertising banners are displayed or Pop-up windows appear while the program is running. Adware is considered "spyware" and is installed without the user's knowledge. It typically displays targeted ads based on words searched for on the Web or derived from a user's surfing habits that have been periodically sent in the background to a Web server.

Adserver - A Web-based server that delivers banner ads to the requesting Web pages. For websites that sell their own ads, the adserver may be an in-house or co-located machine at an Internet service provider (ISP), or it may be owned by an Internet advertising company.

Browser Hijacker - Any program that changes some settings in your browser. Browser hijackers commonly redirect your "search" page to pass all searches to a certain pay-per-search site, change the default home page to the desired company page and often transmit URLs (websites) viewed toward the desired company server.

Cookie - A small data file created by a Web server that is stored on your computer either temporarily for that session only or permanently on the hard disk (persistent cookie). Cookies provide a way for the Web site to identify users and keep track of their preferences. It is also commonly used to "maintain the state" of the session as a user browses around on the site.

Note: The default settings in your Web browser typically allow "first-party" cookies that do not contain any personal information, but "third-party" cookies are created by a Web site other than the one you are currently visiting; for example, by a third-party advertiser on that site. A lot of personal data resides in the cookie files in your computer. As a result, this storehouse of private information is sometimes the object of attack.

Dialer - A type of software that silently disconnects your modem from your usual Internet service provider and dials another phone number. The new number is usually a long distance or 1-900 billable call.

E-mail Harvester - A person or software that searches the Internet looking for valid e-mail addresses. e-mail addresses are compiled into directories that are purchased and maintained by spammers.

Firewall - Any software program or hardware device designed to prevent computers on a network from communicating directly with external computer systems by filtering the information coming through the Internet connection into your private network or computer system . A Firewall keeps hackers out and personal data in by acting as a barrier through which all information passing between the network or computer and external systems must pass.

Hacker - A slang term for a person who writes programs in an attempt to gain unauthorized access to computer systems Although it may refer to any programmer, it implies very tedious "hacking away" in an attempt to steal, disrupt or corrupt a computer system or network.

Hoax - Usually an e-mail that gets mailed in chain letter fashion describing some devastating, highly unlikely type of virus. Hoaxes are detectable as having no file attachment, no reference to a third party who can validate the claim.

Note: Some "hoaxes" instruct you to change or delete a specific system file or setting which can damage your system.

Keyboard logger - A computer program or hardware device specialized to record your keystrokes. It can record anything that you type, including your passwords, e-mails, credit card number. They save the recorded keystrokes into a log file or send them to another machine. Most keyloggers can be detected by spyware removal software.

Pop-up - A small window that is displayed on top of the existing windows on screen. A popup window can be used in any application to display new information. It is widely used on Web pages to cause an ad to "pop up;" however, pop-ups can be prevented or made to appear beneath the browser window using various pop-up blockers.

Spam - e-mail that is not requested. Also known as "unsolicited commercial e-mail" (UCE), "unsolicited bulk e-mail" (UBE), "gray mail" and just plain "junk mail,". Spam is used to advertise products or to broadcast some political or social commentary.

Spamware - Software used by spammers to send large amounts of spam to e-mail address lists. Spamware is also a variety of trojan that can turn your computer into a sender of spam or even viruses.

Spyware - Software that sends information about your Web surfing habits to its Web site. Spyware is often installed without the userís knowledge or explicit permission in combination with a free download.

Trojan Horse - A program that appears legitimate, but performs some illicit activity when it is run. It may be used to locate password information or make the system more vulnerable to future entry or simply destroy programs or data on the hard disk.

Virus - Software used to infect a computer. After the virus code is written, it is buried within an existing program. Once that program is executed, the virus code is activated and attaches copies of itself to other programs in the system. Infected programs copy the virus to other programs.

Worm - A destructive program that replicates itself throughout disk and memory, using up computer resources until it becomes unusable.

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  Old  May 1st, 2004, 4:41pm     #13
JoyfulNois is offline
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This is a good tutorial for the HiJackThis! program:

And I found this site good for researching whether the items listed in my HiJackThis! log were legitimate, or were trojans or malware, etc., or just unneccesary:
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  Old  May 3rd, 2004, 4:47pm     #14
yadgirl is offline
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As of May 2, 2004 10:07 PM (PST), TrendLabs has declared a High Risk Virus alert to control the spread of WORM_SASSER.B. Several infection reports have been received indicating that this worm is spreading in the Latin American region.

This variant of WORM_SASSER.A similarly exploits the Windows "Local Security Authority Subsystem Service" (LSASS) vulnerability, which is a buffer overrun that allows remote code execution and enables an attacker to gain full control of the affected system.


To propagate, this worm scans random IP addresses for vulnerable systems. When a vulnerable system is found, the malware sends a specially crafted packet to produce a buffer overrun on LSASS.EXE, which causes the program to crash and eventually require Windows to reboot.

TrendLabs has released the following EPS deliverables:

TMCM Outbreak Prevention Policy 112 (released)
Official Pattern Release 883 (released)
Damage Cleanup Template 334 (released)
Vulnerability Assessment Rule 010 (released)
Network VirusWall (NVW) Pattern 10125 (released)

For more information on WORM_SASSER.B, you can visit our Web site at:

You can modify subscription settings for Trend Micro newsletters at:

Squirrel Butts Do Not Glow.
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  Old  May 5th, 2004, 7:44pm     #15
donkeydoings is offline
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YaHOO Search Shortcuts & Preferences
Received this in an email today.

Encyclopedia Lookup

Use the word facts after your search term. For example: Tasmania facts. Content comes from the Columbia Encyclopedia.

Synonym Finder

Use the prefix synonym in front of your search terms. For example: Synonym indefectible. Content from the Roget's II: The New Thesaurus.

Hotel Information

Use the word hotels after the location. For example: Seattle hotels

Traffic Reports

Use the word traffic after the location. For example: Baltimore traffic


EarthLink has a free Internet Explorer add-on that alerts users when they are directed to a fake website (

Last edited by ibewgirl; May 6th, 2004 at 11:18pm.
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