• rc primak

    rc primak


    Viewing 15 replies - 4,051 through 4,065 (of 4,128 total)
    • in reply to: COM Surrogate – Acronis Delete Problem #1208307

      When you run Acronis, it runs in the background. This often makes Acronis archives show up to Explorer as “in use”. Various components of Acronis use the Windows COM functions to keep track of where an archive is located, especially if it is still mounted. Closing the Acronis program window does not always unmount the archive. This can leave a COM operation running, hence the error message. In any event, when I want to delete an archive, I play it safe and do so from with True Image. This method allows the Actonis program to “forget” about the archive, and prevents the program from mistakenly trying to mount an archive which no longer exists during future backup or recovery runs.

      True Image keeps track of Volumes and Archives using a separate drive mounter from Windows Explorer. These two systems can get badly out of synch with each other if you delete Acronis archives using Windows Explorer. On external drives, this can cause Acronis to “hang” when analyzing the drive. The only solution would be to uninstall and reinstall True Image. I have had this disaster happen in True Image version 11.

      So play it safe and only delete Acronis archives from within the True Image Program. A “folder in use” error message is only the least of the problems which can result from using Windows Explorer to do the deletion. Especially if the Acronis Secure Zone has been activated on the target drive!

      I have been using Acronis True Image since Version 7. I know what can happen.

      BTW. the discussion of Macrium is off topic in this thread.

      -- rc primak

    • in reply to: Group Policy controlling security in XP #1208306

      Regarding the continuing crisis…. I have MS Essential Security and the ZoneAlarm free firewall installed. The ZA works fine, it updates and is always in green status. The MS Essential Security does not always start at boot-up. I have to start it manually nearly every time I reboot. This is an XP Home with SP3 machine. I have not yet reinstalled Uniblue Registry Booster. I was thinking of uninstalling both ZA and MS Essentials, rebooting, install and scan with UniBlue RB, and then reinstalling ZA and MS Essentials. Any ideas on how to get these running without conflicts is greatly appreciated.

      Zone Alarm has a page available in the user interface which shows the permissions assigned to any programs which ZA restricts. Maybe MSE needs additional ZA permissions? I used to have that problem when mixing ZA with other security programs. That’s why I switched to the Comodo Free Firewall. I like the way Commodo uses pre-configured rule sets. MSE would be a “Windows System Application” under Comodo. Then it could launch automatically with Windows just fine. ZA may allow similar adjustments. I don’t use MSE, so I don’t know exactly which permissions to adjust.

      If switching to Comodo, make sure ZA is completely removed, using the Zone Alarm removal tool available at their web site. The ZA uninstaller in the program leaves some stuff behind. If selecting Comodo, when installing, select the Firewall only or the Firewall and Defense+ only. Do not run Comodo Internet Security alongside MSE, as they will conflict. And opt-out from the Toolbar in the Comodo install screen. (I think it’s the Yahoo Toolbar.)

      But if you like Zone Alarm, by all means stick with it, and try some permissions table adjustments.

      -- rc primak

    • in reply to: A couple of malicious Firefox add-ons #1208305

      A couple of malicious Firefox add-ons have come to light, Version 4.0 of Sothink Web Video Downloader and all versions of Master Filer. For more details see Security Issue on AMO – Mozilla Add-ons Blog.

      AMO has been updated, and those two add-ons are no longer available.

      -- rc primak

    • in reply to: MS Security Essentials: right-sized protection? #1208304

      One thing which has been noted by several reviewers is the lack of “Zero-Day” or predictive heuristics protections in MSE. To supplement for this lack, many users find the addition of PC Tools (free) Threatfire to be useful and fully compatible with MSE. Both MSE and Threatfire can provide native 64-bit protection to 64-bit Windows, as well as normal 32-bit protections to 32-bit systems. Something to consider, as “64-bit” AVG is currently a hybrid 32/64-bit security program. Also note, AVG Free provides no rootkit detection or removal features. That is why I upgraded a few years ago, before converting to Avast Free.

      (Avast needs an additional firewall, but for Vista or Windows 7, the built-in firewall with Sphinx Controls (free for 32-bit, but costs money for 64-bit Windows) is all that is needed. Sphinx controls is easier to use than the byzantine maze of native Windows outbound firewall controls for many users. )

      -- rc primak

    • in reply to: MS Security Essentials: right-sized protection? #1208302

      Back to the issue of Microsoft Security Essentials – I find it to be a good program (so far), but the lack of outbound virus screening in Windows Firewall was concerning (not everybody agrees on this point, most notably Microsoft). So, when I installed MSE on a Vista laptop, I left the ZoneAlarm Firewall in place – BIG mistake!! Apparently (and I believe this only applies to Vista), there’s a conflict, such that the OS won’t fully load. After spending all nite turning various services & processes on & off, I was able to localize the problem to ZA (I later found the problem described elsewhere online). Booting into safe mode, uninstalling ZA and activating Windows Firewall solved the problem. Just thought you ought to know. Please forward to Fred.

      Bill Zigrang

      I don’t know where you got the idea that Windows Vista and Windows 7 do not have outbound firewall protections. There is an outbound component in these versions of Windows Firewall. But getting to and changing the controls for the outbound Windows Firewall is very daunting. That is why many users prefer the free version of the Sphinx Software controls for the outbound Windows Vista/Windows 7 Firewall. Get Sphinx here:

      The 64-bit “Plus” version is unfortunately not free.

      -- rc primak

    • in reply to: Chrome flagging googlemail as insecure content #1207555

      Maghully Back said:

      “It “sounds” good to me, and it sandboxes IE8 which can only be a good thing. I’ve never liked the “sound” of Firefox.”

      Sorry, folks, but Kaspersky is engaging in advertising hype. It is technically IMPOSSIBLE to isolate IE8 from the Windows System kernel under any version of Windows.

      IE is intimately tied into the Windows System kernel in all of its operations. Worse, applications make IE calls which do not open up the full browser. Any application which runs with any Administrator privileges (and all commercial Windows Applications do this) can open IE windows which are totally unprotected by any security program which tries to “sandbox” the browser. What Kaspersky and Zone Alarm Extreme Security are doing is shielding the browser, nothing more. In this regard, you might as well be using a free Antispyware product.

      Firefox is almost as closely tied into the Windows system kernel as IE, but it does not run Active-X or certain other high-risk content-delivery systems. Better than IE, but not possible to sandbox under Windows.

      Only Chrome runs its processes without Administrator privileges, can be installed directly into a Limited User Account, and installs on a per-user basis. This is not perfect isolation, but it comes pretty close. I would think that if Kaspersky can sandbox any browser, it would come closest with Chrome. And if one Chrome window crashes, other open Chrome tabs will continue to function, which further illustrates that Chrome processes are well-isolated under Windows. At least as well-isolated as is technically possible.

      Still, due to Google privacy policies, I would classify Chrome as an ad-supported browser, and all the privacy concerns that involves. I would not touch Chrome with a ten-foot polecat.

      Stick with what works for you, but be aware that some of the claims of “sandboxing the browser” are nothing but high-priced snake-oil.

      -- rc primak

    • in reply to: Chrome flagging googlemail as insecure content #1207434

      Sorry, folks — right reason, wrong Google Page.

      What happens after Google log-in is that you are taken to the Google G-Mail Home Page. This page does indeed link to unsecured Google services, like Chat and maybe some of the ad links. Depending on your other sign-ups (like Google Groups, which is a Public Area, and also not secured), additional unsecured elements may be present. But rest assured, the actual reading and downloading of G-Mail or using G-Mail as Web Mail, will not lower your security protections. If you don’t trust unsecured content, Firefox with NoScript will block most of the unnecessary unsecured scripts from running. This does not impair your use of G-Mail. Also be aware that the Google SendMail (outgoing mail) servers, both client-based and Web based, are not secure in any way, and are not encrypted. Use at your own risk.

      When using NoScript, it is very obvious how to enable only a few scripts which clearly say “Google” in them. Only allow these scripts to run. Leave all other scripts disabled. This is for Firefox users only. IE uses Active-X, and with that present, good luck staying secure! Chrome is secure enough without modifications.

      For the record, the entire Internet backbone through which all Web communications pass, is not considered secure. Things can be intercepted and pieced together. Not a common source of problems for most of us, but something to keep in mind.

      Privacy is another matter, but this is inherent in all Google services. Google does read and reorganize your mail for you, and advertisers do get your personal information and e-mail contents as keywords, so that they can target the ads they will show you while you are using any of Google’s services. That’s what “Ad Supported” means to Google. It’s how they pay their bills.

      If you don’t like these Google privacy implications, try Yahoo MailPlus ($19.99 per year, if you want POP Client access), as I have done for years, without any security breaches. The Yahoo Mail Home Page also contains some unsecured elements. It’s really no big deal — I trust Yahoo, but I keep my web shields up.

      All of this having been said, the most likely way your e-mail activities could end up being passed into hostile hands, is through your browser. It can be bugged, hijacked, cross-scripted, and many other scary things. Protect yourself by using antivirus/antispyware programs with Web Shields or Browser Shields, and use Firefox not IE. All of the Windows Secrets Lounge favorite free antivirus and antispyware products offer web shields of some sort. Just don’t get too hung up on every alert. Some alerts are more important than others, and it takes a bit of experience to tell the difference. It’s not something I can teach you; you just get a “feel” for it after awhile. And I do make mistakes — that’s what weekly scans are for.

      Do not fall for the false claims that browsers can be “sandboxed” (isolated from the Windows System Files). Under Windows, this is simply not true (although Google’s Chrome browser can come close). Don’t pay something for nothing for these types of products.

      With Firefox, use NoScript to avoid some (but not all) cross-site scripting and clickjacking threats. And don’t get phished — open e-mail links only by copy/paste into the location bar of Firefox. You will see if you are about to be taken someplace other than where the e-mail link said it would take you.

      In general on the Internet, don’t get hung up on security warnings about secure pages with insecure content. What you need to be very wary of, is any totally unsecured Web page which is asking you for any personal information. Stay away from those types of sites.

      -- rc primak

    • in reply to: Chrome flagging googlemail as insecure content #1207328

      Google G-Mail has security issues, but what is being flagged here may be that by default, the G-Mail log in page is unsecured. You can switch to a secure log in, but the page will still contain some unsecured content. This should not be a security concern, as long as you make sure that yu are using the secure log in if the choice is not pre-selected for you.

      -- rc primak

    • in reply to: I need help picking a browser! #1207327

      I agree with you. I did send a note to Google Chrome and they agree to a point. They did not feel it was extreme, however I agree with you. They did admit that Opera was a good company and not malware. If that is the case, why the warning!. Thanks for your info. Bob

      Let’s not forget that Google is the only search engine which has ever flagged the entire Internet as malicious! (It happened a few months ago, and all the tech news sites piled on about it.) So this does not surprise me in the least.

      -- rc primak

    • in reply to: Update Firefox 3.6 #1207251

      I have revised and consolidated my Firefox 3.5.7 to Firefox 3.6 upgrade issue into this posting at the Firefox User Support Forums. You do not have to register there to participate, but registration is free and has a few benefits. The gist of my posting is that I no longer consider this issue to be a Firefox bug, but a poorly-configured behavior change in the Personas plug-in, which is now standard in Firefox 3.6. You cannot install Personas on top of non-default Themes, as I had been doing under FF 3.5. Trying to do so can corrupt your Firefox current user Profile, and a clean reinstall may be the only solution. Use the FEBE Extension to allow batch-restoration of settings under a clean, new user Profile.

      -- rc primak

    • in reply to: Avast version 5 impression #1206865

      What a Registry Seeker does not see, is old Registration Data, which is actually a hidden file on your hard drive. I recommend using RevoUninstaller to ferret out ALL the residues of the old version, then start fresh if possible. Under Vista and Windows 7, there is a kernel lockout, especially in the 64-bit versions. Avast is a 32/64 bit hybrid antivirus system, and does not really have full access to the Vista or Windows 7 kernel. So its inside the kernel protections may not be able to install properly on some computers running Vista or Windows 7, and hence the freeze during installation. The same thing can happen if you are using a third-party firewall and do not disable it during the upgrade. (Voice of experience here, even under Windows XP Pro!) My Avast 4.8 to 5.0 upgrade went smoothly, but I have mercilessly reigned in my Comodo Firewall previously, so it “trusts” and “learns” Avast rather than block it. Under Vista or Windows 7, this technique may or may not help.

      -- rc primak

    • in reply to: Avast anti-virus #1206864

      Avast 5.0, like its predecessors, has a lot of user configurable settings, from Web Shields sensitivity to custom scan settings, to logging and reporting, and now, running statistics for many of the shields. I am a button-pusher who likes to tweak everything, so I have poked around every nook and cranny I could find in Avast 5. There are too many settings to mention here, but I have made sure that automatic updating (a background process) is disabled (yes, Avast will complain loudly about this!), and since the e-mail scanner does not scan SSL encrypted transmissions, I don’t use that feature at all. Scanning files on access can be limited or disabled, and the boot-time rootkit scan (a default setting) can also be disabled. Avast can also be set to load only after other Windows processes are up and running (a lifesaver if you have a slow-loading driver like my Intel ProSet Wireless Driver). Again, there’s way too much detail for me to give a full tutorial here, much as I love showing off my knowledge of the esoterica of Windows and freeware programs. Alwil has at the Avast Forums, several tutorials showing the basics. They are our most reliable resource on these matters. I am only pushing random buttons and praying nothing breaks!

      -- rc primak

    • in reply to: Update Firefox 3.6 #1206717

      I am also having problems after just installing 3.6, not with Themes but add-ons. I have installed two new add-ons separately and gave the go ahead to restart FF, but 3.6 just closed and would no come back up. I had to manually stop the process, then restart from the desktop icon. FF appears to be working okay but is much slower. I have a theme, NOIA running that is doing okay, but I haven’t tried to change/update it so don’t know what would happen.

      There is, in All Programs Menu, a listing for Mozilla Firefox. Hover your mouse over that listing, and click on the Firefox Safe Mode listing. Try closing and reopening the Safe Mode Firefox. If this mode does OK, you may need to update or remove some extensions and themes. Then retry your regular mode Firefox. This is how you can diagnose problems with add-ons (extensions and themes) without having to reinstall Firefox.

      Also, corrupted user Profiles can cause Firefox problems. In that case, a full-scale clean reinstall may be the option of last resort. Removing your profile from your Application Data folder (for the current Windows user — the folder is called Mozilla Firefox. Just remove the profiles folders with the crazy alphanumeric names.) before reinstalling Firefox can also help, but you would be left without your current Firefox user data — you would have a clean, blank-slate reinstall. (Your Bookmarks and other stored data would be lost.) Revo Uninstaller can remove Firefox and all your Firefox user data in one operation, but then you would lose anything you customized.

      -- rc primak

    • in reply to: Update Firefox 3.6 #1206714

      New Update to my “BUG” posting:

      (Most of the original content of this post duplicates what I posted in other places, as well as here. No need to clutter up The Lounge with excessive details.) (Friday, January 29, 2010)

      If I find out about any fixes or updates relating to this issue, I’ll post again. Otherwise, I feel my posts here and elsewhere are sufficient to warn of this issue and document how it may be occurring. I left a brief note at the Woody Leonhard Windows Patch Watch site (https://www.askwoody.com) referring people who have had this problem, or who have not yet upgraded, to The Lounge for these details. my take on this issue.

      (Friday, January 29, 2010:)
      Note that I have revamped my original posting about this. I now consider the upgrade installer to have a bug, but some other Personas behaviors were intentionally changed in Firefox 3.6. A possible configuration tweak may save folks from doing a clean reinstall if this bug bites you. My Post # 11 below links to my Firefox User Forum posting, which is up to date and as detailed as anyone should want to know. That thread also contains an “about:config” file entry modification which may help if this issue bites you.

      -- rc primak

    • in reply to: Avast anti-virus #1206706

      When I upgraded to Avast 5.0, the new interface and some of the new scanners took about a week for me to adjust to them, and I am a knowledgeable, long-time Avast user. Please don’t give up on this version — it’s really worth the learning curve. The scans are much faster, and there is more control available if you don’t settle for the default settings. I have had no trouble with the program or its updates, but I took the time to customize nearly everything available to the user through the full interface (the full-screen control center). With the right settings, this version is easier on system resources, can scan in a targeted or very broad and deep way, and there are absolutely NO NAGS OR (Nagging)POPUPS in the Free Edition. The only pop-ups which should be happening are virus alerts or information alerts about the program or the scanners.

      And yes, folks, the Avast Tray Icon is ALWAYS orange.

      I use Avast Free with Commodo Free (Firewall and Defense+) (Skip their antivirus.), and I have stayed virus-free for a couple of years now. Nothing else I’ve tried, free or paid, has even come close to this level of defense. Secondary scans with Malwarebytes Free and Super Antispyware also show a virus-free laptop. My Avast logs show numerous malicious scripts and Flash Objects being blocked each month. Avast just works — enough said.

      I had more trouble from the recent Firefox 3.6 upgrade than I had from the Avast 5.0 upgrade.

      -- rc primak

    Viewing 15 replies - 4,051 through 4,065 (of 4,128 total)