Malicious Software Removal
Tools. On Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2005 Microsoft is releasing its first
version of a malicious software removal tool. It is pre-programmed to
zap 10 of the most virulent worms and viruses, including Blaster,
Sasser, MyDoom and Nachi. The tool will be released as a "critical"
download and updated once a month as part of Microsoft's scheduled
software patch cycle. In the event of a major worm or virus outbreak,
Microsoft will push out updates for the malicious software removal
tool outside of the monthly cycle. The tool will also be pushed out to
Windows users as a download through the Microsoft Download Center.
Customers who have Automatic Updates turned on will automatically
receive the download. The tool is programmed to scan a PC for
infections of known viruses, but it is not intended as a substitute
for full anti-virus protection. After a scan is conducted, the
Microsoft tool will present color-coded results: a red 'X' for an
infected machine or a green checkbox if nothing is detected.
Oh...Anti-virus vendor McAfee Inc. also provides a
similar tool called Avert Stinger. Stinger, available as a
uses scan engine technology, including process scanning, digitally
signed DAT files and scan performance optimizations, to disinfect
Changing the Screen
Resolution. Sometimes I have a hard time seeing some of the
text and icons within Windows. Changing the screen resolution in
Windows XP to something more suitable might make things easier than
trying to wear my bifocals using the computer.
Simply put, the screen resolution decides how much screen space is
available to you, and this impacts the size of objects. The higher the
resolution, the more space you will have and the smaller objects like
icons will appear. Lower screen resolutions will make everything
appear larger, and will reduce your desktop space. Some computer users
use a lower screen resolution in order to see things clearly.
You can easily change the resolution.
1. When you’re at your normal Windows desktop (where your wallpaper
and icons are), right click on a blank space of the desktop and select
Properties in the menu that pops up.
2. Click on the Settings tab in the new window, and you’ll see a
slider control which lets you alter your screen resolution.
3. Drag it down to something like 800x600 or 640x480 and apply the
changes to see what everything looks like. If you’re able to see
things much more clearly then click OK. If not then change the values
again until you find something you're happy with and click OK to close
If you have ever saved an e-mail attachment in Outlook, you will
notice that it automatically defaults to the My Documents folder. If
you don't want to save there you can change the folder.
In the Save Attachment dialog box, there are a set of icons along the
side that you can use when saving your attachment. For example, you
can click the Desktop icon if you want to save an attachment to this
location. So instead of having to browse to a specific folder each
time you want to save an attachment, why not add the folder to the
list of icons?
All you have to do is browse to the specific folder
in the Save Attachment dialog box.
Highlight the folder and click the down arrow beside
the Tools option.
Select "Add to My Places."
Now when you want to save an attachment to that
specific folder, just click the icon along the side of the dialog
box instead of having to browse to it.
Microsoft has offered free trial versions of many of their programs
for years. But the big trick has always been to know about it and to
find the download page. Microsoft for all their ability to sell, sell,
sell has real problems getting the message out about free, free, free
(albeit for a short period of time.) Interested? Try their download
If you use Microsoft Windows XP, you know that you need to update
it. Did you know that the download can be 60-80 Mb? That's a 6 to 10
hour download on a dialup connection. But you can order a CD with the
update on it for free. Just go to
Microsoft's site and place your order. It's Free!
I don't know about you, but various programs on my computer more or
less demand different screen resolutions. And every time I change
screen resolution, my desktop icons get all messed up and it takes too
much time to rearrange. This lightweight application does exactly what
it says. It installs a context menu that appears when you right-click
on your desktop. Make sure the icons are placed in the appropriate
positions, and then click on Save Desktop. If your icons ever get
messed up, all you have to do is click Restore Desktop to bring back
some order. Free download - only 77K from
e-Security Guide for Small Business available for downloading. It
has tips, tricks, and how-to information for protecting PCs. Get 10
steps to better security, answer 22 questions to diagnose and learn
about security related to your business, and how to write a security
policy. Though targeted to small businesses, some of the advice could
help those with a small home network.
Three or four times a year I get a call to repair a computer which
has gone south for an extended holiday. Usually it has been infested
with a variety of spyware, adware or viruses. Usually it is from
children of the owners - not always young children but often adult
children who just "have to" use the computer as they visit for the
weekend or so. The biggest problem with formatting a hard drive and
then reinstalling is determining exactly what hardware is installed -
modems based on chipsets, video cards based on chipsets and so on
since finding drivers after the fact can be a real pain. And since, as
often as not, the original CDs have gone missing. The second biggest
problem is getting the CD-Keys for the software that has to be
reinstalled. My solution is a lovely free program called the
Advisor. It'll tell you everything! All of your PC profile
information is kept private on your PC and is not sent to any web
Microsoft's Product Activation for XP.
“Have you ever wanted to reformat the hard disk and reinstall Windows
XP on a system but you didn’t want to mess around with Microsoft’s
Product Activation after the reinstall? Fortunately, you don’t have
As long as you aren’t making any hardware alterations, you can back up
the activation status files before you reformat the hard drive and
then restore them after you reinstall the operating system.
To perform the backup, follow these steps:
1. Use Windows Explorer to open the C:\Windows\System32 folder.
2. Copy the Wpa.dbl and Wpa.bak files to a floppy disk or CD.”
From the TechRepublic Windows XP Tips newsletter.