Dangerous Bug in Windows XP Turns Windows Help into Windows Hell

red-x-ico If you haven’t already, you need to fix your Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 machines to protect you against a recently discovered flaw. It’s called the HCP Flaw.

microsoft-hpc

Is it dangerous? Yes, all you have to do is view a specially coded page on the net, and your control over your PC can be stolen right out from under you.

Here’s what the problem is. A flaw in the Windows Help and Support Center (helpctr.exe) was discovered recently, and shortly after that, the information telling people how to take advantage of it was also published. It’s good when Windows flaws are reported, but it’s very bad when the information on how to use those flaws is also broadcast. You can bet that there are some black hats out there already infecting PCs with this new flaw.

There is a fix out from Microsoft. Go to this page and click on the Fixbutton to download the fix (KB2219475).

microsoft-hpc-fix

This fixisn’t a real solution. It disables the Help and Support Center in Windows, but if you are like me, you never use it anyway. Some time after Microsoft offers a real update to solve this problem, I’ll go back and re-enable the help center.

People running running Windows 7, Vista, 2000 or Server 2008 are safe from this bug. The affected operating systems are:

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2, when used with:
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter x64 Edition
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise x64 Edition
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard x64 Edition
Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition for Itanium-Based Systems
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition for Itanium-based Systems
Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2, when used with:
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3, when used with:
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Microsoft Windows XP Professional

Here’s a good place to find more information on the HCP Flaw if you need it.

Many thanks to Terry’s Computer Tips for this tip.


How to Choose a New Laptop Hard Drive

Guest post by Manas Pandey

hd-001 Your laptop’s hard drive is the major source for storing all your data. It is the place where all your applications, files and other data are stored. A typical laptop hard drive measures 2.5 x 2.5 inches in size and is smaller and lighter compared to a desktop hard drive. It is also available with different storage and data access capabilities.

Generally, people change their laptop hard drives only when the original hard drive gets corrupted or stops functioning. However, changing hard drives just to increase the storage capacity of laptop is also very common. Whatever the reason for changing the laptop hard drive, the following factors should be kept in mind while choosing a new one:

Form factor and interface:
The laptop hard drive is available in different form factors and has different interfaces. Form factor primarily refers to the external dimensions of a hard drive. It is important that you opt for a laptop hard drive with a form factor and interface that is compatible with your laptop. If you are not aware of the process to install or uninstall hard drive, you must contact the laptop manufacture or get a professional to help you with the process.

Capacity and Performance:
A hard drive with large capacity allows to you to store more data. It is therefore essential that you choose a hard drive with enough storing capacity. In my opinion, for an average user a hard drive with 250GB storage space is sufficient. The performance of the drive depends on the spindle speed of the disk. The faster the spindle speed, the faster the data is accessed and the better your hard drive will perform.

The RPM (Rotation per Minute) value refers to the spindle speed and is a vital factor in determining the functional capacity of the hard drive. The spindle speed of a typical hard drive is about 5,400 RPM. A laptop hard drive with faster spindle speed has better performance but consumes more powers and heats up quickly. For example, a hard drive with 7,200 RPM consume more power and gives better performance than a hard drive with 4,200 RPM. You must therefore choose a hard drive, which offers reasonable RPM, consumes less power and delivers good performance. It is also advisable that you confirm from your laptop manufacturer that the hard drive will work with your particular laptop configuration. Not all laptops will support a high RPM hard drive.

Cache:
Cache helps to improve the functioning of a hard drive by keeping the data intact for temporary or instant use. A hard drive with larger cache will hold more data and thus the functional capacity of a hard drive is greatly increased. Generally, laptop hard drive comes with different cache options starting from 2MB and 8MB to 16MB.

Finally, if you have selected the model and brand of the hard drive, keep in mind that newer versions of the drive will always be better than older versions. So make an informed decision on your new hard drive.

About the author:
Manas Pandey writes technology related articles, providing useful information on
Laptops, Smartphones, Tablet PCs and other handheld computing devices.

How to Restore Default File Types in Vista and Windows 7

registry iconA few weeks ago, I told you how to repair the default image file types in Windows XP. At the time, I wasn’t aware of any utilities that could help you restore file types in Vista or Windows 7. I should have guessed that Ramesh Srinivasan would make good on his word. I had seen an old post which said he’d be working on something to help out.

Why would you need to restore a default file type?

You probably already know that a file type is controlled by the last letters after the dot in a file name. When you install new applications, sometimes the new app takes over the opening of some file types automatically. If you installed a new music player, you might discover that all .MP3 files now open up in the new player. That’s fine if you like the new player, but what if you don’t? You can re-assign the MP3 file type to another player by using the Open Withmenu when you right click on an MP3.

If you want Windows to use the default player that Microsoft had originally chosen for MP3 files, you might have trouble figuring out how to do that. I have found that it’s also sometimes tricky to get the defaults back on image file types. Fortunately, there are a few scripts and utilities that can help.

Using .REG Scripts

Ramesh has a page on his site that helps you restore a few Windows 7 file types to their defaults. He also has a page that lets you restore Vista file types to their defaults. Read the instructions on those pages to use REG (registry) scripts to make the changes.

Here’s a list of the file types that can be changed there:

AUDIOCD, AVI, BAT, BMP, CHM, CMD, COM, DVR-MS, EXE, GIF, HTM, HTML, ICO, INF, IMG, JPE, JPEG, JPG, JS, LNK, MP3, MPE, MPG, MSC, MPEG, REG, SCR, TIF, TIFF, TXT, VBS, WMA, WMV, WSF, XML, XPS, ZIP, FOLDER, DIRECTORY, DRIVE

Using the Unassoc Utility

WordPress 2.9.1 Coming Soon, Adds Fix for Missed Schedules Post and Cron Jobs

seems to have a bug which is annoying the hell out of people. The problem is occurring with scheduled posts and missed cron jobs. Some users reported that scheduled posts were either missed or posted in the past.

The main reason why this is happen is because of some code introduced at the last minute, which in turn has apparently broken the WordPress cron. This is only affecting a minor percentage of users.

If you are experiencing a problem with scheduled posts or other Cron jobs not running on your blog, you can find the patched files on this page, along with the description of errors. WordPress might release 2.9.1 in a day or two to fix this issue. In the meantime you can use the files from the page above to fix the missed schedule posts and cron jobs issue with WordPress 2.9.

Fix for Jailbroken iPhone 3.1.2 Showing Restore on Restart or Reboot

If you have a iPhone or iPod Touch running iPhone OS 3.1.2 jailbroken with Blackra1n, which keeps asking you to restore your phone on reboot or restart, here is a handy fix. Just run the Blackra1n jailbreak once again without running restore and your iPhone or iPod Touch should be back to normal. It is a minor inconvenience, but hey it fixes the problem.

This works 100%, I tested it few months back, but someone emailed me to ask for a solution, so here goes. I do not endorse jailbreaking, but I certainly entertain tech help requests. You can always use the contact us form to find help for your tech related problems.

Fix Windows Media Player Errors With Fix WMP

Windows Media Player is the default media player in Windows. Sometimes you may come across issues with the player which may not allow you to play audio or video files due to corrupted dll (Dynamic Linking Library) files.

Fix Windows Media Player Errors

Fix WMP is a handy which will re-register all the dll files associated with Windows Media player to fix any issues it has.

There are 40 dll files associated with WMP which can be easily fixed with FixWMP. FixWMP is a portable software, so you don’t need to install it. Fix WMP works on and Windows Media Player.

Download FixWMP

Fix for XML-RPC Services are Disabled on this Blog

xmlrpc_services_are_disabled

Recently a reader started using Windows Live Writer after she read our of for Windows Live Writer. However, she got stuck with an error which said XML-RPC services are disabled by default.

Jasmine, the above error is because the Remote publishing is disabled by default in , we have written a post on how to enable remote publishing on WordPress platform to help you out. Have fun blogging.

Have a question? Ask it in our Forums or feel free to contact us about it.

Repair and Fix Windows 7/Windows Vista Errors With FixWin

There are time when you might run across some peculiar issues on or , such as the Recycle Bin missing or thumbnails not working in Windows Explorer. You will always find solutions for such problems on the internet.

fix_windows7_errors

However, why not have a simple fixit tool which will automatically repair and fix these small problems for you without breaking your head? FixWin is the app for the cause, it has fixes for 50 common problems faced on Windows.

FixWin provides one-click fixes for Windows Explorer problems, Internet & Connectivity issues, Windows media player problems, system tools and some additional fixes for uncategorized items.

Techie Buzz Verdict

FixWin acts like a Windows doctor and gives you a single button to fix several problems faced by Windows users. If you are a novice computer user or don’t usually liked to meddle around with settings, FixWin is the perfect tool for you.

So make room for a handy companion on your PC and download it right away.

Ratings: 4.5/5 (Excellent)

Download FixWin

How to Fix Rundll32 or Error in Loading DLL?

One of the most infamous and commonly encountered errors, which is faced by an average computer user, is the rundll32 error loadingerrors. This is one of the erroneous message windows, which gets displayed on your computer screens before start up. The message can be highly intimidating as well as patience testing, especially if you are in a dire and urgent need for the computer. The major cause of these error messages is the occurrence of spyware on your system, and can surely cause you much inconvenience in situations where not using your computer may have certain financial repercussions. Apart from spywares, a lot many other reasons have been cited for the occurrence of such an error message.

The registry of a computer is a home to many different dll files, which are appropriately loaded as well as reloaded during the execution of various programs on the computer. These dll files have fixed location in the registries and are loaded from that particular location. However, there might be situations in which, some of the shared dll files can get renamed or relocated by mistake. This may especially happen during installing and uninstalling programs. Thus now when a particular dll file is required to be loaded again, the computer would search for the location of the dll file in the registry. On not finding the dll file there due to its relocation or renaming, the computer would slow down it’s overall activity and would forage for the dll file everywhere else, throughout the directory. In case the dll file has been deleted, or it has been relocated to a position, which is obscure and cannot be reached by the computer system, the result is the occurrence of rundll32 error loading.

The most appropriate choice when it comes to fixing up rundll32 errors is suitable registry repair software. Such software have been specially designed to repair the registry as well as the various effected files in the registry, in a manner, which does not cause any further damage to the registry. Many computer users often try to repair such rundll32 error loading messages on their own. However; this can prove quite costly for your registry, especially in case you do not possess much experience into the job. This is because any damage caused to the registry can prove fatal for your system. This is the reason why it is advisable to choose plausible registry repair software, when it comes to fixing a rundll32 error loading.

There is an innate strategy through which registry repair software functions and helps in preventing the occurrence of a rundll32 error loading. The very first thing, which any registry repair software does, is to scan the registry properly. Once this has been done and the real reason behind the damage caused to the registry has been diagnosed, the registry repair software cleans the registry of all the various pieces of erroneous and incomplete information. This is how the rundll32 error is prevented from occurring again.

This is a guest post by Bob is a freelance writer and software developer for http://www.qiqisoft.com. Interested in writing a guest post for us? Check out the rules and guidelines to guest post for us.

Get HP Quick Launch Buttons in Windows 7

Since I upgraded to I have been missing the HP Quick launch buttons feature on my HP Pavilion dv6000 special edition laptop (dv6875se).

I tweeted about it and fellow Techie buzzer Clif Sipe gave me a working solution, so here is a post that will show you how to get HP Quick Launch Buttons working in Windows 7.

Step 1: Visit HP.com in your web browser and select support & drivers from the menu.

Step 2: From the available radio buttons select Download drivers and software (and firmware) under Step 1. Under Step 2 enter the product number of your HP laptop or PC, in my case it was dv6875se (you will find this under your laptop or the serial number sticker on your desktop). Once you have entered the product number click on the Go button.

Step 3: In some cases HP will display a list of laptops/desktops that match yours select the one that you have to go to the driver page. In cases where you entered the exact product number it will take you directly to the drivers page.

Step 4: In the available list of operating systems click on Microsoft for 32-bit Windows 7 or Microsoft Windows Vista (64-bit) for for 64-bit Windows 7.

Step 5: Scroll down till you see Driver – Keyboard, Mouse and Input Devices, in that list click on the link HP Quick Link Launch Buttons to download the drivers.

Step 6: Install the downloaded software and the quick launch buttons will become functional again.

I tested this out on my laptop and everything works perfectly fine.