Monday, 4 November 2013

Windows 8 / 8.1 ~ Reduce the number of programs running at startup

Reduce the number of programs running at startup If your PC is taking too long to boot, it’s probably because you have far too many programs running at startup.
Reducing this is easy, it will make your PC launch noticeably faster and lighter upon first load. To change the items running at startup, go to Run using the hotkey Windows key + R, and type "msconfig." A small window will appear (see the screenshot below), select the Startup tab.
 From here you will be able to turn off many startup programs, which can shave several seconds (or minutes) off your boot time. (Note Windows 8 has moved this functionality to the Task Manager). Try to make sure you research what you are turning off as some processes might be needed by third party programs or drivers you have installed.

Below: System configuration window (msconfig)

Here is a link to an older post Disabling startup items using msconfig or Ccleaner.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Lumia 2520: A tablet all its own

Lumia 2520: A tablet all its own

Nokia’s much-ballyhooed tablet device will reside in the market alongside Microsoft’s Surface tablets. The Lumia 2520 looks like an enlarged version of its phone siblings and runs Windows RT 8.1. It features a 10.1-inch 1080p display with high brightness and low reflectance, which Nokia says will make it easier to use in direct sunlight.

Lumia 2520

It’s equipped with a 6.7-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2-megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera, as well as a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, which is a bit of a departure from the Surface 2’s Tegra 4 chip. Nokia says that sticking with Qualcomm’s mobile chip should help improve startup times, as the tablet could take advantage of the processor’s fast-charging abilities. The 2520’s 8000mAh battery pack can charge up to 50 percent after just half an hour, though it requires an entirely separate port—and power adapter—to do so. This connection exists in addition to the USB 3.0 port (the same that Samsung uses on its latest, the Note 3) and a Mini HDMI-out on the side.

You can also buy a keyboard case, seemingly fashioned after the Surface’s, that has a “bouncy” Chiclet-style keyboard, an extra battery pack for an extra five hours of juice, and two USB ports. The case folds over like a Trapper Keeper and protects the Lumia 2520 from dust and scratches.
Lumia 2520
The Lumia 2520 will sport a keyboard cover not unlike that of Microsoft’s Surface.

Nokia hopes that integrated, out-of-the-box Office functionality—something that Apple and Google tablets don’t offer—will draw users to the 2520. But with both versions of Microsoft’s Surface tablets not selling well, and considering the fact that the tablet feels heavier than Apple’s iPad without the keyboard case, it’s not clear which part of the tablet market Nokia is gunning for here: the mobile consumer segment, or the professional productivity niche the Surface has managed to carve out.

Apps are coming, too

Today’s announcement finally puts Nokia and Windows Phone directly in the ring with the big competitors, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. And the company isn’t going into battle alone—Nokia also announced that more app makers have come on board the Windows Phone 8 platform. You’ll see popular apps such as Flipboard, Instagram, and Vine in the coming weeks, in addition to a few handwriting applications. “We want to keep bringing great applications to Windows Phone,” Majid said in our closed session. “There’s a little bit of a perception problem with the applications [Windows Phone 8 has now].” Some worthy applications—especially Instagram—may be in the pipeline, but whether consumers will be willing to leave the comfortable embrace of the platforms they know best will be another thing entirely.

The Lumia 1520 and Lumia 2520 will be available for purchase later this year. The 1520 will cost $749 before carrier subsidies. The 2520 will sell for $499 before subsidies, while the power keyboard accessory will cost $149.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Housekeeping with Ccleaner - How to Use the Cleaner and Registry options.

Lets do some Housekeeping with Ccleaner - Lets get started

1:Open CCleaner.

2: Lets Start off by cleaning your temp files, History Cookies Index.dat files etc. (By default the brush is already selected)

3:Uncheck the items that you'd do not want to clean out from your browser(s) and any suggested applications. Under Internet explorer check temporary internet files, cookies, and last download location. Most users don't really need this stuff. It is up to you if you want to clear the cache of  history and bookmarks Index.dat files. Leave Windows Explorer, System, and Advanced at the default settings.

4: Run CCleaner and it will start deleting files

 5:Click "Run Cleaner"  once again  until you get 0 bytes remove

Now that you have removed all the unwanted files you can move onto cleaning the registry

The Registry Cleaner

Use the Registry Cleaner after uninstalling programs, as the uninstalled programs will often leave behind incorrect registry entries. The registry cleaner is recommended for slightly more advanced users.
1:Click the Registry tab on the left hand side of the program window.

2:Check off the items want to clean.(leave at default if you are not sure)

3:Click the "Scan for issues" button at the bottom of the program.
 (Give the program a few moments to run and look for all potential problems with the registry.)
4: Click the "Fix Selected issues" button.
5: Create a backup copy of the registry file.  (I have never encountered a problem with ccleaner, its probably  one of the safest registry cleaners out there. Just create a back up for your peace of mind.)

6: Click the "Fix All Selected Issues" when a dialog box displays.
7: Now continue to repeat the process  from point 3 again until you get a message that reads "No issues found" ( Fixing one issue may create other issues so just repeat until you get the 'no issues found' )
8: You are now done and close your Ccleaner window.


Have a look at how to remove /disable unwanted start up items from your PC with Ccleaner.
Tools - Startup Tab

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Fastest GTX780 in the world: MSI Lightning spy photos

Monday, 2 September 2013

Microsoft is doubling the storage capacity of inboxes for those using Exchange Online and Office 365

Microsoft is doubling the storage capacity of inboxes for those using Exchange Online and Office 365. The rollout from 25GB to 50GB is already under way and should be completed sometime in November according to a post on the Office 365 blog.

Customers using Exchange Online Plan 1, Office 365 Small Business, Midsize Business, Enterprise E1, Government G1 and Education A1 are among those that will see the mailbox capacity boost.
Those on one of Microsoft’s premium service plans (Exchange Online Plan 2, Office 365 Enterprise E3 and E4, Government G3 and G4, Education A3 and A4) already enjoy unlimited e-mail storage through their personal archive but now the default primary mailbox size is increasing to 50GB. It is worth pointing out there will be no extra charge for the additional storage and the transition will happen seamlessly behind the scenes.

Elsewhere, shared mailboxes and Resources mailboxes are both increasing to 10GB (more than double) and Kiosk user mailboxes are doubling in capacity from 1GB to 2GB. The size of Site mailboxes remains unchanged, Microsoft said.

The changes come just days after Microsoft tripled the file storage capacity on SkyDrive Pro. Office 365 and SharePoint customers previously were afforded just 7GB of storage but that’s now been boosted to 25GB.

Overall, the new storage limits push Microsoft ahead of Google Drive’s storage capacity that’s shared across Drive and Gmail. One has to wonder if the search giant will take notice and boost user capacity in response

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Afrihost DNS issues - work around until issues are solved 28 August 2013

Afrihost ADSL clients may experience errors with Web Browsing, YouTube access, Sending & Receiving Email and other services due to a DNS error on MTN network.

Here is a solution until the issues are solved

If your router has Afrihosts DNS servers in it or its set on 'Obtain  DNS automatically' ,  Log into your router and change it to Googles DNS

Primary DNS:
Secondary DNS:

If your router is set on obtain automatically your can use an alternative method but will have to do this on each individual computer.

Go to your network adaptor (wireless or LAN  local area connection) settings right click select properties.Select  Internet protocol version 4 (TCP/IP v.4) >>> Click 'Properties'

Then select the radio button  'Use the following DNS server adresses:'  put in Googles Primary  & Secondary DNS settings mentioned above. Click okay and now you should have browsing and email access again

If you have any questions please leave comments.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Microsoft Office 2013 - Error opening word and excel files that have been downloaded or sent to you as attachments.

How to fix an error opening word and excel files that have been downloaded or sent to you as attachments in Microsoft Office 2013

 Below: Error message
 image thumb How to remove protected view from Office 2013 when downloading documents from the web

The message that has nothing to do with the actual problem, and the problem is actually a Microsoft feature, as often is:

- Office now has a  "protected-mode" feature, which prevents office apps from doing certain things under certain conditions.
- One of them is to stop excel / word from opening attachments coming from outlook.

Click the Microsoft Office ButtonButton image, and then click Word Options. or Excel  depending on what you having a problem with.
 image thumb2 How to remove protected view from Office 2013 when downloading documents from the web 

Below: Click Trust Center, and then click Trust Center Settings. image thumb3 How to remove protected view from Office 2013 when downloading documents from the web 

Below: Click the "Protected View"  in the left menu and untick all 3  check boxes on the right.
image thumb4 How to remove protected view from Office 2013 when downloading documents from the web

Save and voila, suddenly  word / excel can open all your files and has absolutely no problems with your gigs of free memory.
Thanks to the brilliant minds who conceived such an awkward feature with awkward error messages and ultra-deep menu options to clear - and of course no simple help. LOL

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Legitimate Windows 7 ISO Images

These ISOs (image files)  are now available for those who currently have Microsoft Windows 7 with Genuine Activation Keys. These are the legitimate downloads, full ISO image to burn to a good quality blank DVD using any good image burning program such as ImgBurn or outher image mounting software.

These ISO images have the Service Pack 1 integrated into the installation setup, so therefore there is no need to separately install SP1 after the initial install of Windows 7.


Windows 7 SP1 ISO Download Links Including English and Foreign Language Versions:

x86 = 32 bit
x64 = 64 bit

Facebook Embedded Post Example

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Win7 & Win8 Calculator in more detail

Windows 7 calculator looks just like Vista's version, but explore the Mode menu and you'll see powerful new Statistics and Programmer views. And if you're clueless about bitwise manipulation, then try the Options menu instead. This offers many different unit conversions (length, weight, volume and more), date calculations (how many days between two dates?), and spreadsheet-type templates to help you calculate vehicle mileage, mortgage rates and more.

Programmer Binary, Hex Values, Bytes

Scientific Calculator

Calculate, Angle, Area, Energy, Length, Pressure Temperature, Time, Velocity, Volume, Weight/Mass 

 Calculate Stats

Calculate Dates

Calculate Mortgages, Leases, Fuel Economy

Thursday, 1 August 2013

My BlackBerry Freezes and is Terribly Slow

I know this is not PC related, it is however very common question I get from many of my customers, so i thought i would post a little article on it.

Okay lets just start with rebooting the device With the BlackBerry device POWERED ON, remove the battery for a 20 secs , and then reinsert the battery to reboot.

After  using your Blackberry for a while you may experience freezing or lagging/slow response on any BlackBerry, the most important practice you can adopt is to be sure to CLOSE applications when you are finished using them.

If you just hit the red "end call" key to go back to the home screen the application actually stays open and running in the background. If you do this repeatedly don't close the applications properly,  you will have lots of apps open and consequently your memory will get used up pretty quickly.

The lack of memory is the biggest reason your BlackBerry slows to a crawl or locks up.
Get into the habit of actually using the menu key to close the applications this will at least slow down this memory-clogging process. You still may have to do a battery pull or use the "Quickpull" app once in a while when things get slow.

To check what applications are running on your device in the background, press the Menu key,
then choose Switch Applications. You will see the icons of each application there. Select the icon of the application you want to close open it then click the blackberry menu button scroll to the bottom of the menu and select 'Close'

So now, check your applications running in the background. There are commonly four or five applications that will always be running (Messages, Call Logs/Phone, BlackBerry Messenger, Homescreen, and the Browser;

There are other third party applications such as, Whatsapp, BlackBerry Alerts which will also run in the background which you cannot close if you want them to operate). Make certain that the browser is NOT on an active webpage. Close any other applications that do not need to be running (the camera or a game you were playing or Google Maps etc).

Next, Blackberry devices by default create event logs  you  can delete the event logs by doing the following:
 Holding the "ALT" button and pressing "L G L G" one after another, then press the menu button and  scroll down to 'clear log' and select it, then select 'delete'.

Clearing the memory log, we can free up 1-2 meg or so of memory space depending on amount of apps. If you do not want your blackberry to create event logs you  can select 'options' and untick the boxes  or  an even easier option is to press the menu button again and select 'Hide all Types'.

Microsoft Office suite will soon be available for Android users in the next few weeks

Just over a month after making available a mobile version of its Office suite for iPhone users, Microsoft is doing the same with an Android version of Office Mobile.

Just like it did with the iPhone version, Microsoft is tying the Android version of Office Mobile to Office 365. Users who want to use the mobile versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint on their Android phones will need to have an Office 365 subscription, such as Office 365 Home Premium, Office 365 ProPlus or these other SKUs to get them.
Office Mobile for Android phones (known officially as "Office Mobile for Office 365 Subscribers") was launched initially in the U.S.  yesterday, ( July 31 2013)  and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for free. The plan is to make it available in 33 languages and 117 markets "over the next several weeks."
The Office Mobile for iPhone and Android suites are both like the Office Mobile suite that Microsoft preloads on Windows Phone, meaning they are optimized for the editing, viewing and creation of Word and Excel documents. (Microsoft already has offered OneNote for Android phones since February 2012.)
 Unlike Office Mobile for iPhone, Office Mobile for Android phones does not include an option to purchase an Office 365 subscription from within the app, however. Office Mobile for Android phones only has a “sign in” option.
Office 365 subscribers are authorized install Office Mobile on up to five iPhones and/or Android phones. (Office Mobile on Windows Phones don't count against that total.) Office 365 University subscribers can install Office Mobile on up to two non-Windows Phones.
Microsoft is still widely believed to be developing versions of its core Office apps that would be customized to work on iPads and Android tablets. As with the iPhone and Android phone versions, these Office tablet apps would likely be tethered to an Office 365 subscription, tipsters have hinted.

(credits  : Mary Jo Foley )

Monday, 22 July 2013

What really happens to that deleted file?

YOU know that file you deleted from your computer before your significant other had a chance to find it? 
What if we told you that file never really disappeared?
That's right, just because you move a file to the trash doesn't mean it has actually been deleted.
And even once you empty the trash, the space inhabited by the file isn't actually emptied. When you hit "delete" that file doesn't disappear. It is simply marked as empty.
Michael from YouTube channel VSauce explains that "the file's home becomes available real estate but the file itself hasn't actually moved out. Only the pointers have gone away."
What are pointers, you ask? Pointers are a kind of data that point to places in your computer's memory where the file you are referencing can be found.
Deleting a file is the equivalent of turning to the contents page of a book and marking a chapter as empty, even though the actual chapter still exists.
Which is why you need to "overwrite" the file. Overwriting the file is the equivalent of turning it into Frankenstein's monster. You keep adding new data to it until it becomes unrecognisable.

However, overwriting doesn't always work. Some people have overwritten files more than 35 times and even then hackers and cyber criminals have been able to piece the information back together.
So the next option is shredding - physically taking apart your computer piece by piece and maybe putting it through some high powered magnet for good measure.
But much like shredded pieces of paper can actually be put back together, so too can shredded computer parts.
The video explains that cyber criminals have been able to find classified files from the US government in digital dumping grounds in Ghana.
So basically, nothing is permanently gone. And the best way to keep your data safe is to keep the hard drives of your old computers before ditching, donating or selling it, because you never know where your data can end up.
And then take a hammer to it making sure you destroy the platters.
Watch the video above for a more detailed explanation.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Protect your PC from Viruses & Hackers

secure your Computer How to Protect Your Computer From Hackers! 
Computer Security is extremely important for all computer users. Here is how to protect your computer against hackers and viruses. Now days everyone fears hackers and  all your computers, weather it be PCs, Laptops, or servers have to be secured and protected against attacks like Spyware,trojan horses,phishing,viruses,malware and hackers.

 Protect your Computers.

1 > Install Anti-Virus Software.
Make sure that your Computer has a resident  and up-to-date  AV running.
2 > Up to date Operating system.
Keep Your Operating system up to date with latest patches.
3> Java Security Issues
 If you have to use Java, make sure you are using the latest Java (at time of this post Java version(s): 7.0, 7u21),  not old versions of Java or running applet code that is not signed from a trusted Certificate Authority. More info on Java from Oracle.

4 > Install Anti-Spyware Software.
Use Anti-Spyware it protect from spyware,malware and trojan horses.
Already discussed in earlier posts. Malware Spyware - what is my best form of protection?

5 > Install Firewall Software.
Make sure the windows firewall is enabled  or Install a personal firewall and keep it up to date.In internet world there are many free firewall software out there.  Free Software Tools

6 > Scan Computer fortnightly.
Scan your Computer Hard Disk Weekly it will make better performance of Computer.

7 > Don’t Open Spam E-mail.
Don’t Open unknown E-mail or spam mail.

8 > Use Strong Passwords.
Use Strong password not use your birthdate,nickname or mobile number.
use alphabets,numbers and special symbols in your password.
Like GhU*&45H and also make it long.

9 > Secure Your Wi-Fi.
Secure your Wi-Fi connection with strong password. If your router supports  WPA / WPA2-PSK rather use that  as it has better encryption then WEP. The problem with WEP is not the bit length of the key but rather the simplistic math used to create it. WPA, WPA2 have better techniques and thus better security

10 > Don’t Use Dictionary words in your Passwords.
Never use Dictionary word in password.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Windows 8.1 now with Quiet hours for notifications

Windows 8, like Android and iOS, features an apps notifications function, alerting you when you receive new messages, calendar events and email. Unfortunately, Microsoft offered users scant options for silencing those notifications. You could either shut them off for a few short ours, or turn them off entirely. Thankfully, Microsoft has rectified this omission, adding a new Quiet Hours function in Windows 8.1 that lets users schedule when notifications should be active and when they shouldn’t.

 search for 'notifications' from start screen  select it then select '
notification settings'

When enabled, Quiet Hours ensures your notifications don’t make any noise or cause the screen to light up when your Windows 8.1 device is in sleep mode. Your notifications will automatically be restored whenever you start using your device or Quiet Hours are over.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Best ADSL ISP in South Africa: survey

Mybroadband’s June 2013 broadband survey results showed that Afrihost was the top rated ADSL Internet Service Provider (ISP) in South Africa, followed by Axxess and FNB Connect.
The survey was successfully completed by 4,329 South African broadband users, which included over 2,800 ADSL subscribers.
The surveyed ADSL subscribers rated their ISP on price, network quality, billing, support and overall satisfaction.
This survey tested ADSL users’ satisfaction with their ADSL ISP and their perception of the service, rather than the actual performance of the service. The results therefore show how happy users are with their ADSL ISP.
This survey used a token system where only users who formed part of a random sample could do the survey. This ensured more accurate results.
The survey results show that Afrihost was rated as the top ISP, followed by Axxess, and FNB Connect.
The following table provides an overview of the ADSL ISP survey results. It should be noted that only ISPs with a high enough number of ratings are listed.
ADSL ISP Price Network quality Billing Support Overall satisfaction Average
Afrihost 7.86 7.37 8.56 8.33 7.96 8.02
Axxess 7.57 7.14 8.29 8.07 7.76 7.77
FNB Connect 8.71 6.71 8.38 7.29 7.24 7.66
Web Africa 7.21 7.21 8.14 8.08 7.64 7.65
Openweb 7.27 7.20 7.67 7.32 7.45 7.38
Internet Solutions 6.48 7.77 7.80 7.15 7.44 7.33
Vox Telecom 7.00 7.75 7.08 6.36 7.42 7.12
MWEB 6.25 6.55 7.42 7.37 6.88 6.89
Cybersmart 7.15 6.08 7.23 6.16 6.47 6.62
Telkom Internet 5.40 5.24 6.12 5.38 5.43 5.51

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Quickbooks ~ Error sending invoice via email in PDF format using the send button

Quickbooks Error sending invoice in PDF format using the send button on win7 64bit OS

this  seems to be a win7 64 bit OS issue


Close QuickBooks
Go to Devices and Printers
Double click on Amyuni PDF Convert/QuickBooks PDF Converter
Cancel all the processes go back
Delete it
Right click on QuickBooks Shortcut icon
Select open Location
look for Install.exe
(click Install using recommended setting, if get prompt)
Go back to Devices and Printers
rename Amyuni PDF Converter as "QuickBooks PDF Converter"
(to do this right click on Amyuni PDF Converter printer icon select printer properties - change the name in the first field text box)
Click the Ports tab.
Click Add Port.
Select Local Port and click New Port.
Enter QBD_PDF in the Enter a port name field, click OK, and click Close.
Verify that QBD_PDF is selected in the Port column of the Properties window.
Click Apply and click OK.
Go to task manager (by pressing ctrl+alt+del or right click task bar start task bar manager)
look for "splwow64.exe" and end it if its running
In search box look for any instances of qbprint.qbp
open their location and right click to rename - Right-click qbprint.qbp and select Rename.
Enter qbprint.old and press Enter.
open QuickBooks
open any invoice or any report
go to file> click on save as PDF
you may receive an error(-20 activation error) Close the error and try it to save it again
now you should not get any error.

 IMPORTANT >>>> Restart PC
you will now be able to send PDF Invoice via your default email program using the send button in Quickbooks.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Fix many common PC and device problems automatically

Fix it Solution Center finds and fixes many common PC and device problems automatically. It also helps prevent new problems by proactively checking for known issues and installing updates. Fix it Center helps to consolidate the many steps of diagnosing and repairing a problem into an automated tool that does the work for you.

Fix it works with older versions of Windows as well as Windows 7. The complete list of compatible versions includes:
  • Windows XP SP3
  • Windows XP Pro (64-bit) SP2
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2003 SP2
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2

Monday, 8 July 2013

Display Windows Desktop Background on Start Screen Win8.1

The Start screen feels completely alien in Windows 8. Press the Windows key and you’re whooshed from your desktop to a completely different environment with a completely different background that’s separate from your desktop background. If you want to set a custom background for your Start screen, well, you can’t — you can only choose from among the handful of weird Start screen backgrounds that Steven Sinofsky decided to give you.
Windows 8.1 deals with this by providing an option to “Show my desktop background on Start.” It sounds like a small change, but using the same background on your Start screen makes it feel much less out of place. When you go to the Start screen, it will look as if the tiles (or list of installed apps) are hovering over your desktop rather than existing in a different environment.

 Below: example of desktop background set on start screen


To enable this option: right-click the taskbar, select Properties, click the Navigation tab, and check the “Show my desktop background on Start” option.

 Below: example of desktop background set on start screen

Boot directly to Desktop in Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 includes an option that lets you boot to the desktop so you don’t have to see that tiled interface anymore. You don’t have to install third-party software or mess around with complex hacks involving the Task Scheduler just to boot to the desktop.

To enable this option, right-click the taskbar, select Properties, click the Navigation tab, and check the “Go to the desktop instead of Start when I sign in” option.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Windows 8.1 gets released today, news and features

Windows 8.1 launches today, bringing a bunch of updates and improvements to the Windows 8 OS. Here are a few things you can expect.

  • Lock screen slideshow
  • More backgrounds
  • Different tile sizes
  • Aggregated search
  • Enhanced apps
  • More snap views
  • An enhanced Windows Store
  • Save direct to Sky Drive, plus offline files
  • You no longer need the desktop Control Panel
  • A new Internet Explorer
  • Better with a mouse and keyboard 
  • A change to the Start 'tip'
     Read more

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Telkom’s forced ADSL price cuts

Telkom have reached a settlement agreement to resolve a series of complaints lodged against Telkom from 2005 to 2007 by various companies, including the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA), Internet Solutions, Multichoice, and Verizon.

The settlement package includes an admission of guilt by Telkom, a R200-million penalty, a functional separation between Telkom’s retail and wholesale divisions, a transparent transfer pricing programme, and wholesale and retail pricing commitments for the next five years estimated to yield R875m savings to customers.

See what ISP CEOs have to say  Read more 

Credits: Staff Writer -

Monday, 24 June 2013

Slow Internet speeds to International sites reported

ADSL subscribers using Mweb accounts started reporting slow speeds to international sites from around 12:30 on Monday, 24 June 2013.
Users from all over South Africa have reported the same issue on the MyBroadband forums.
A representative from the Internet service provider has told subscribers that Mweb is busy investigating reports on slow browsing and e-mail connectivity.
It is not clear at this stage what is causing the problems.
Original forum thread: Mweb uncapped ADSL feedback

Remove File Encrypting Harasom Ransomware

Video tutorial to remove file encrypting ransom-ware  'department of justice' . There are other forms of ransom-ware such as MBO  which are all part of the Win32/Harasom.A Trojan family.

This infection will also scan your computer for files that end with the .ddrw ,.pptm ,.dotm ,.xltx ,.text ,.docm ,.djvu ,.potx ,.jpeg ,.pptx ,.sldm ,.xlsm ,.sldx ,.xlsb ,.ppam ,.xlsx ,.ppsm ,.ppsx ,.docx ,.odp ,.eml ,.ods ,.dot ,.php ,.xla ,.pas ,.gif ,.mpg ,.ppt ,.bkf ,.sda ,.mdf ,.ico ,.dwg ,.mbx ,.sfx ,.mdb ,.zip ,.xlt extensions and then encrypt them. 

When the ransomware encrypts a file it will rename it as a HTML file and then embed the encrypted
file inside of it. If you then attempt to launch any of these encrypted files, you will be taken to a web page, which is currently at htxp://, that prompts you to pay the ransom in the form of a Money Store, Vanilla Reload, or Reload it voucher.

What you will need.
You will need  to download Hitman Pro, Malwarebytes and Emsisoft Harasom decrypt tool, and in worse case scenario if you can't boot into OS you may have to download and make a rescue disk to boot up off of. You can download either Kaspersky Rescue disk  or AVG Rescue disk. These links can be found on my blog  under Free Software Tools.

Follow the video tutorial below:
 Credits Brian :

The XPS viewer folder mentioned is situated in the Appdata folder. If you cannot find the Appdata folder  this is probably because the application data folder is hidden by default. You need to tell your OS so show hidden files and folders.
To do this open Windows Explorer  (windows key + E) click on Tools at top then Folder Options. Then click on the 'View' tab and check the tick box "Show hidden files and folder"

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Dust build up in Desktops & laptops - a little maintenance!

Dusty Desktop
A look inside a desktop tower covered in dust
Every desktop or laptop collects dust, the trouble is we often forget it's there or even bother to look. Because computers need fans to keep them cool the down side of this is that dust gets sucked in- over a short time this build-up of dust can fill a desktop tower very easily to such levels you can hold it in your hand.

At any level dust is not good news for computers as there is electric passing through the system all the time this could start a small fire if left for too long without cleaning. The worst thing about dust is its very bad for your health unknowingly breathing in dust fumes from your laptop or tower as well as building up static electric so you could get a nasty jolt one day.

Can of Compressed Air
You can safely use any vacuum on the outside of a tower or laptop .If you discover a large amount of dust inside a tower take it outside a use a small paint brush  to remove the dust it may pay to wear a mask over your mouth while doing this. Another alternative is to but a can of compressed air from
your local hardware store, or used compressed air from a compressor (as long as its dry and not too strong). Do not use your vacuum inside the tower as there are many small connections which could easily be damaged or come loose by the suction, not only that vacuum cleaners tend to build up static electricity which can fry the components in your tower.

For laptops buy a laptop cooler plate these often have extra fans which will aid the air flow within the small spaces of a laptop or have it professionally cleaned by us. Read more on laptop overheating remedies in one of my earlier posts

One of the many reasons a computer will slow down is due to dust and the lack of air flow as the pc / laptop becomes hot very quickly - if it gets too hot the desktop or laptop may not start at all as a safety switch kicks in.

We believe that you should at least get your laptop or desktop cleaned out annually if you are in an office environment or more periodically in a dusty environment. If you would prefer to get a professional to do this for you contact us and we will  give you a quote. Not only do we clean them , we will replace the thermal paste between the heat sinks and CPU and GPU .
We will inspect for tired fans - check fan speeds, loose connectors etc  and we will tidy up the cabling.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Windows 8 Shortcuts

Making your way around Windows 8  can be a nightmare however remembering these windows key combinations will help you get around windows 8 more efficiently.

  • From the tiled layout the Windows key and D key will take you to the traditional Windows desktop.
  • Pressing the Windows and M keys minimizes everything that is showing on the traditional desktop.
  • Windows and E key opens Explorer for quick access to folders.
  • Windows and Tab key opens a list of currently running programs.
  • Windows and Print Screen key takes a screenshot and saves it in a Screenshots folder within your Pictures folder.
  • Windows and Q key opens a global search menu. Type what you’re looking for and where you would like to look.
  • Windows and R key opens the Run command which is useful for quickly launching apps and other routines using a command prompt.
  • Windows and X key opens the Quick Access Menu, exposing system functionality such as the Command Prompt, Disk Management, File Explorer, Run, and more. Alternately, you can right-click on the bottom right corner of the screen to spawn the Quick Access Menu.
  • Windows and I key opens the settings menu, giving you quick access to the Control Panel, Personalization, and your Power button, among other features

Saturday, 15 June 2013

KB2821895 update for Windows 8 causes System File Checker to hang & eats up resources


During the June 2013 Patch Tuesday, which took place June 11th, Microsoft rolled out a high-priority non-security update KB2821895 via Windows Update. This "servicing stack update" was available for Windows RT, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012. However, after installing the update, some users are experiencing some major resource consumption issues when it comes to the System File Checker.
After installing the update and running the System File Checker, the process hangs at 100% CPU utilization while eating more RAM than necessary. This process eventually ends after roughly 30 minutes and states that it was "unable to fix problems" while generating a large CBS.log file that repeatedly states "Cannot repair member file." Microsoft has not addressed this issue just yet so we will have to resort to an alternative means to bypass this update since we cannot manually remove it.
In order to fix this issue, run the following command as an Administrator and type at the command prompt 
DISM /Online /cleanup-image /RestoreHealth  [press enter]
If you have yet to install this, head over to Windows Update and find KB2821895. Make sure you right click on the update and select "Hide Update." The update weighs 9.5MB. We will update you as Microsoft issues a formal statement on this issue.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

How to Password Protect a Folder Using a simple Batch File

This tutorial will guide you through the steps required to create a locked folder in Windows 7 – without installing any additional 3rd party software.
While the steps below will guide you in creating a hidden and password protected folder, this method is not 100% secure. It will deter the average computer user enough, but an advanced user will be able to access the contents of this folder. If you want to create a truly secure and encrypted place to store files and folders that absolutely nobody will ever be able to access, see the tutorial
  1. Create a new folder and name it whatever you would like.
  2. lock folder example
  3. Open the folder, right-click on a blank area in it, then select New -> Text Document from the pop-up menu.

  4. Open the text file you just created by double-clicking it and copy/paste in the following text:
    title Folder Private
    if EXIST "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}" goto UNLOCK
    if NOT EXIST Private goto MDLOCKER
    echo Are you sure you want to lock the folder(Y/N)
    set/p "cho=>"
    if %cho%==Y goto LOCK
    if %cho%==y goto LOCK
    if %cho%==n goto END
    if %cho%==N goto END
    echo Invalid choice.
    goto CONFIRM
    ren Private "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}"
    attrib +h +s "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}"
    echo Folder locked
    goto End
    echo Enter password to unlock folder
    set/p "pass=>"
    if NOT %pass%== PASSWORD_GOES_HERE goto FAIL
    attrib -h -s "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}"
    ren "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}" Private
    echo Folder Unlocked successfully
    goto End
    echo Invalid password
    goto end
    md Private
    echo Private created successfully
    goto End
  5. In the above code, replace the key PASSWORD_GOES_HERE with the password you want to use to unlock the folder. For example if you want the password to be 123456, the line should look like:
    if NOT %pass%== 123456 goto FAIL
  6. Save your new file in the .bat format with the complete file name being locker.bat. To do this, make sure to change the Save as type: to All Files (*.*).
  7. Save file text file as a batch file
    click to enlarge
  8. In the folder you created back in Step #1, double click the locker.bat file and there will now be a new folder named Private where you can put anything you want.
  9. private folder and batch file
  10. Upon exiting, double click the locker.bat file again. It will prompt you to answer whether you want to lock your folder or not. Press Y and the private folder will disappear.

  11. click to enlarge
  12. In order to retrieve the Private folder, all you have to do is double click the locker.bat file and enter the password which you set in Step #4 and the folder will appear again for you to access.

  13. click to enlarge
  14. That’s it!