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*The following links go to independent websites and will open in a new browser window. Computer Techniques, Inc. is not responsible for their content. This page contains tools, advice and resources to assist you in cleaning up your troubled computer and to keep it running at peak performance. Keep in mind that you are solely responsible for downloading, installing and running any of these programs.*
Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor
Every computer needs to have active up-to-date anti-virus software running. If not, your computer is guaranteed to get a virus.
Perform a free on-line virus scan from Panda to rid your system of active viruses.
a virus scan on your system for FREE.
Perform this FREE on-line virus scan from Trend Micro to rid your system of active viruses.
This Free service will detect and remove viruses found on your system. You can perform this scan as often as you wish. Click HERE
(You need to accept the download of the anti-virus software by trusting the content from Trend Micro. After the download completes click on "My Computer" and the "Auto Clean" choice. Click on the SCAN button to start the scan.)
When the scan is done the program will most likely tell you that any viruses it found are non-cleanable. Don't worry about that, but instead click the DELETE button. The program will attempt to delete the infected files from your computer. Reset the computer and run this virus scan again to verify that it has removed ALL viruses from your computer.
(If for some reason you can not get out to the internet through Internet Explorer to run this program, try to use "My Computer". Double click on "My Computer" and in the address bar type in the following URL: http://housecall.antivirus.com/housecall/start_corp.asp and hit enter.)
* Note: This free online virus scanner, only scans when you visit. Purchasing and installing antivirus software provides around-the-clock protection. We recommend scanning your computer with the free scan from Panda first to make sure there are no viruses on your machine but once that scan has completed it is very important to install a virus protection program that will catch the viruses before they infect your system.
Recommended anti-virus software vendors are:
You do not need to purchase the complete full-up version of any of these programs. All you need to purchase is the basic anti-virus protection which is usually the cheapest and simplest version of the program. Purchasing a firewall is not necessary if your computer is already behind a router. From my experience, most people end up either disabling the firewall since it caused some of their software not to function due to misconfiguration.
Certain terms used to describe online threats can be confusing. Here's an easy understand glossary of commonly used words that are related to Internet security.
Virus: A program that replicates itself across a network, or the Internet. The virus payload may be destructive, like deleting files, or it could simply try to overwhelm a network by copying itself. A Virus typically spreads itself by attaching itself to emails that it sends out using your address book on your computer. The virus will randomize the To: and From: fields of the email it sends out in order to keep people in your address book from realizing and warning you that YOU are the culprit that has been sending all that virus-infected email to them. In general do not open any attachments unless you are expecting something from someone you know.
Virus signature: The "fingerprints" of a virus, which antivirus programs use to identify and isolate viruses. Users should regularly update their antivirus programs online to download the latest virus signatures, so they're protected against new viruses. Typically most virus software companies give you a 1-year subscription to their servers to download these virus signatures. BEFORE this subscription expires you must renew your subscription in order to keep your virus signatures up-to-date. Anywhere from 2 to 10 new viruses are discovered each day and if you do not have the latest virus signatures your chances of getting infected increase every day.
Worm: A virus that replicates itself without human intervention. If the victim has to open an e-mail attachment to get infected, it's a virus. But if it scans for new victims and attacks by itself, it's a worm. Worms spread through a network and will typically infect every computer attached to that network unless that computer is protected by some Antivirus software.
Trojan: A program that doesn't necessarily replicate itself, but like the legendary wooden "Trojan horse" is much more than it appears. A Trojan program might look like a game, but instead it steals your personal information and sends it to a criminal.
Password sniffer: A file that seeks out passwords on your computer, then sends them to a hacker. A keylogger can also grab anything typed on the keyboard.
Blended threat: A program that combines the characteristics of viruses, worms and Trojan horses. An example of a blended threat was the Nimda virus outbreak.
Exploit: A program that takes advantage of a security hole in a computer program, like Microsoft Windows or AOL Instant Messenger.
Spyware / Adware: General terms for a program that surreptitiously monitors your actions. While they are sometimes sinister, like a remote control program used by a hacker, software companies have been known to use spyware to gather data about customers. Spyware typically seizes a great deal of your CPU's processing time and Internet bandwidth eventually slowing your computer down to a point that it will be rendered useless to you. A main source of spyware comes from allegedly free programs that you be download off the Internet. One of the primary sources of spyware is from free versions of Music Sharing programs such as Kazaa, Morphis, Bearshare, Limewire, Madster, Grokster, and WinMX to name a few. Even Real Player and Windows Media Player have components that are considered spyware. My recommendation is to use the purchased (non-adware supported) versions of these sharing programs.
Rid your system of Adware and Spyware.
Download and run one or all the following FREE
Windows Defender is a free program that helps protect your computer against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats caused by spyware and other unwanted software. It features Real-Time Protection, a monitoring system that recommends actions against spyware when it's detected.
Run and Update: Once downloaded and
installed. Run these programs one at a time by clicking on the appropriate icon
on your desktop.
Fix Selected Problems: After the programs have completed make sure that all of the problems found have check boxes next to them. Then continue by either clicking the next button (in Ad-aware) or the "fix selected problems" button (in Spybot).
Run these programs once a month or whenever you feel your system starts to slow down.
Whether you’re an IT Pro or a developer, you’ll find Sysinternals utilities to help you manage, troubleshoot and diagnose your Windows systems and applications.
While the flexible security model employed by Windows NT-based systems allows full control over security and file permissions, managing permissions so that users have appropriate access to files, directories and Registry keys can be difficult. There's no built-in way to quickly view user accesses to a tree of directories or keys. AccessEnum gives you a full view of your file system and Registry security settings in seconds, making it the ideal tool for helping you for security holes and lock down permissions where necessary.
Windows NT/2K provides Registry settings that can be set so that a user is automatically logged in the next time the system would otherwise put up the logon dialog box. However, the Registry values are hidden very deep, and are a pain to configure. This program, Autologon, will do the Registry configuration for you, and allow you to enable and disable auto-logon when you want.
Scan your system for rootkit-based malware
See what programs are configured to startup automatically when your system boots and you login. Autoruns also shows you the full list of Registry and file locations where applications can configure auto-start settings.
Ever wondered which program has a particular file or directory open? Now you can find out. Handle is a utility that displays information about open handles for any process in the system. You can use it to see the programs that have a file open, or to see the object types and names of all the handles of a program.
Tired of running Calc everytime you want to convert a hexadecimal number to decimal Now you can convert hex to decimal and vice versa with this simple command-line utility.
ZoomIt is screen zoom and annotation tool for technical presentations that include application demonstrations. ZoomIt runs unobtrusively in the tray and activates with customizable hotkeys to zoom in on an area of the screen, move around while zoomed, and draw on the zoomed image.
Free up Previously Used Memory
http://www.memturbo.com/ MemTurbo increases your system performance by making more RAM available for your applications and the operating system. It also defragments your physical RAM, increasing the efficiency of your CPU and Motherboard caches. MemTurbo also recovers memory leaks from poorly behaved applications and flushes unused libraries and DLLs temporarily out to disk, making more room for your favorite games or applications.
Check your Internet Connection Speed
NetPerSec, lets you check your connection speed in real time. NetPerSec monitors all TCP/IP activity to and from the Internet or other networks, and graphs the communication speed. The utility's dynamic tray icon can show send and receive activity with a bar graph or a histogram. Click here to download the program.
Non-essential programs that load on start up bog down your computer system. StartMan is a startup manager created to address some of the shortcomings in Microsoft's original System Configuration Utility (MSCONFIG.EXE). MSCONFIG is primarily a troubleshooting tool, not a startup manager. Please read the documentation that comes with this program before using it. Click here to download the program.
Try any or all of the following procedures to help speed-up your computer:
Find and remove any Viruses and/or
Next turn off automatic updates from
downloading when they want to.
Next check to see if you have a
corrupted hard drive.
If you don't use AOL and you have ANY
of the AOL components installed - remove them all, via Add/Remove
If when the computer locks and IF the
mouse stops moving as well - that is considered a "Hard Lock" - it might
be a hardware problem such as bad RAM.
In addition to being a security risk, Windows' "Messenger Service" is being used to "Spam" Windows users across the Internet. If you are running Windows XP or 2000 you need to turn the messenger service off. Click here to download a simple program that will turn the Messenger Service off for you.
2007 time zone
update for Microsoft Windows operating systems
If your computer is still having problems, Computer Techniques can help. Call us at 631-422-0531 for more information and rates of service.
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