• cloudsandskye



    Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 206 total)
    • in reply to: Fixing Onyx’s RAID 1 failure #2557998

      I was wondering if the article had an error in the paragraph following Figure 5. Under Physical Devices, the drive with ID 0 is not part of the RAID array. I think the new drive has ID 1. Regardless, this was a very interesting article. I was never interested in implementing RAID, but this article piqued my interest.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • in reply to: Fixing Onyx’s RAID 1 failure #2557993

      It’s possible the FireCuda seller was a third party seller who sells on both Amazon and Newegg.

    • in reply to: The problem with local administrator accounts #2554375


      I first learned about separating the administrator account and the user account about 15 years ago from the book Microsoft Windows XP Inside Out. That subject was also covered in the subsequent similar book for Windows 7. It’s a lot more work because each account requires some customization, but having the administrator account and user account separated provides peace of mind that I find well worth the effort. See attached screenshot.

    • in reply to: The Fastie Keyboard Silencer Pro+ #2535208




      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • in reply to: Opal: The Update #2422107

      A RAID debate that went on for over ten years: https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Why-RAID-is-usually-a-Terrible-Idea-29/

    • in reply to: Looking for a new AV product without all of the bloat #2360270

      I use Avast Free with Windows 10. It can be customized with just the minimum components. Attached is a screenshot of the components I select. After installation, I go to Programs and Features, select Avast, and then select Change to see what was installed, and if anything I did not select was also installed. If any of the latter, then I unselect it and proceed with Change to remove it, otherwise just close the Change window. For support, I usually use their forum. Yes, Avast will nag you every day to upgrade, but that is the price we pay for using the free version. Windows 7 is currently at a 16% market share and Windows 10 at a 78% market share. Avast, Bitdefender, and F-Secure plan to support Windows 7 through January 2022:




      There is a thread in the Webroot community were it was said that Webroot still supports Windows XP and this statement: “I’ve spoken with our Product Managers about this and to our knowledge, we have no plans of discontinuing support for Windows 7 any time in the near future.” https://community.webroot.com/webroot-secureanywhere-internet-security-plus-13/using-windows-7-beyond-ms-support-expiration-in-jan-2020-341490

    • in reply to: The Quest for Windows 7 (a full, legitimate copy) #1586350

      Over the past ten years I’ve bought a few brand new Microsoft Windows products at substantial discounts on eBay that were fine. Read the description carefully to make sure you understand what is being offered, including the shipping charge. Buy only new products with a certificate of authenticity from experienced USA based sellers with very good positive feedback. eBay doesn’t put up with seller shenanigans anymore. If you buy something that doesn’t match the description, report it and you will ultimately get a refund after you complete the return process.

      Looking at what is currently available for retail Windows 7 Pro, I see mostly dregs and just one that I would consider purchasing: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-Microsoft-Windows-7-Pro-Professional-32-64-bit-Retail-version-DVD-Licenc-/262743051296 I would contact the seller and ask them to add a photograph of the certificate of authenticity to their listing. If they’re not willing to do that, then don’t buy it. Demand for this item is greater than supply, so prices are not the bargains they were a couple years ago.

    • in reply to: Becoming a self-sufficient computer user #1585944

      To help find a trustworthy repair shop try Angie’s list (https://www.angieslist.com). It’s now free for basic users. I’ve used it for years to find competent, local service providers. Yelp.com, although not as reliable, can also be helpful.

      It’s easier to be self-sufficient when a computer is less likely to have problems. Assuming you are using Windows 7, or higher, the most successful way I’ve found to prevent computer problems for older people is to set up their computer as follows:

      1. Password protected administrator account (strong password)
      2. Password protected standard account for each user (simple password, like year of birth)
      3. Enable the guest account.
      4. Uninstall the email client, unless they really like it.
      5. If possible, when installing antivirus software, select only modules they really need.

      Having accounts for each user provides an extra level of protection for the operating system and keeps internet access in the administrator account to a minimum, which provides additional protection. When the grandchildren visit and want to use the computer, it’s hard to say no, so just put them in the guest account where the operating system is well protected from their use. When I use variations of the word protect here, I’m referring to more than just security, but also preventing damage to the operating system that can accidently be caused when using the computer in the administrator account.

      An email client like Microsoft Outlook can create difficulties for some older people, so eliminating it and using internet based email like Yahoo! Mail, Google Gmail, etc. can make email simpler to use. Antivirus software is including more and more bells and whistles, which can create issues with some computers. When I install Avast! Free antivirus software, I only install the modules I really need and leave the rest out. See screenshot example.


      If you are going to buy new computers, get the Professional version of Windows, or higher. This will include a feature called Software Restriction Policy. When this is enabled, it’s very difficult for malware to execute, so it will just sit there until it’s cleaned out in the next antivirus scan. If you don’t want to spend the extra money for the Pro version, get the Home version and enable Parental Controls. I haven’t used this feature, but my understanding is it behaves similar to the Software Restriction Policy. For more details about these features, see http://www.mechbgon.com/build/security2.html

      I can understand if you don’t want to mess around with these restriction/control policies, so as long as you set up the accounts I mentioned and have good security software, the chance of something serious happening is slim, thus making it easier to be self-sufficient.

    • in reply to: Just How Good IS Windows Defender Today? #1585246


    • in reply to: Bitdefender Internet Security vs. Norton Internet Security #1581512

      PCMag reviews:

      Norton – http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2469519,00.asp

      Bitdefender – http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2460963,00.asp

    • in reply to: Protecting your backups from Ransomware #1580168

      Protecting against ransomware begins when you choose which Windows operating system to buy. Get the Professional version or higher, which have the Software Restriction Policy option. Using the Parental Controls may be a way to duplicate the Software Restriction Policy option in Windows versions below the Professional level. Windows Server software also has the Software Restriction Policy option. For ransomware to activate, it must execute its program, but when the Software Restriction Policy is enabled, ransomware, or any other type of malware, cannot execute. So, it just sits there until it gets cleaned out and deleted by the next antivirus software scan. I don’t practice “safe browsing” on the internet. I go almost anywhere. Yet, the Software Restriction Policy, antivirus software (free Avast), Chromium-based browser (Chromodo), standard user account, and Windows Firewall have combined to prevent anything of any significance from compromising my computer for several years, and I occasionally run into some nasty stuff, although not ransomware. I should give some credit to Yahoo which seems to do an excellent job of screening out junk email that might contain something nefarious, although I do have to occasionally pluck out a legitimate email from the junk pile.

      For this to work effectively, users must have a user account without administrator access (a standard user account). If ransomware gets into a user account, the account then becomes similar to a sandbox with the Software Restriction Policy preventing the ransomware from executing. Since you want to run automatic backups, which should be run from the administrator account, then the Software Restriction Policy will have to be enabled for the administrator account also, which will create some inconveniences, such as having to right click your mouse on some shortcuts to get the “Run as administrator” function and enter the administrator account password. These inconveniences will also occur in the user accounts. I have 23 software programs on my computer and two have that type of inconvenience. I’ve never enabled the Software Restriction Policy in the administrator account, so don’t take my word for it that it will work properly with your automatic backup scenario. Test first before going live.

      Enabling the Software Restriction Policy is not just a matter of turning it on. There are some adjustments that need to be made. This fellow has good instructions on what to do: http://www.mechbgon.com/srp/index.html I do most of what he suggests, although I have not got around to Step 6. Here’s some more information about the Software Restriction Policy: http://www.computerworld.com/article/2485214/microsoft-windows/cryptolocker-how-to-avoid-getting-infected-and-what-to-do-if-you-are.html

    • in reply to: What AV are Windows 10 folks using? #1576898

      I don’t have Windows 10 or Avast Internet Security. I use Windows 7 Pro and the free Avast. What I’ve found with all the antivirus software products I’ve used is not to simply install the product as provided, but rather install an edited version containing only what you really need. I don’t know if this applies to Avast Internet Security, but the free Avast is composed of several modules. I select the modules I want and leave the rest behind (see attached screenshot). I’ve used this technique for years and it works fine.


    • in reply to: Working with the Windows shell and extensions #1576615

      Every couple of years, Neil Rubenking at pcmag.com tests Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Here’s the last tests from 2014:



    • Another option is to use an external hard drive designed to be able to take a few knocks. I’ve been using the Transcend brand for years without any trouble. http://us.transcend-info.com/Products/No-284

    • in reply to: Outlook 2010 bizarre behavior #1571939

      I use Outlook 2010 and am not experiencing that issue. Go to File > Options and spend some time customizing Outlook for your use. The Mail section has a part for customizing Message format, which may help you.

    Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 206 total)