Tag Archives: Windows

New Free Virus Removal Tool from McAfee – Fake Alert Stinger

flying_wasp [Windows Only] McAfee is well known for it’s antivirus software, and you usually have to pay for their protection. They offer the free Stinger tool to help people clean out PCs that have been crippled by virus and trojan attacks.

fake-alert-scanner

There is no installation required. Just download it and run it. It works on all Windows PCs as far as I know.

I normally download a fresh copy of Stinger onto a USB flash drive or CD before I go off to help my friends with bug problems.

In addition to the standard Stinger, there’s a new version of Stinger out now called FakeAlert Stinger. It’s designed to specifically target multiple varieties of the FakeAlert trojans, such as, Kryptik, AVP Security, Fakespypro, Winwebsec, Antivirus Soft and XPSpy.

FakeAlert applications are a form of ScareWare that pop up fake warnings which attempt to trick you into running their scans and buying their premium products. It’s a huge money-making scam that’s been very effective against new PC users.

Download McAfee Stinger and FakeAlert Stinger

Notes: There are many other antivirus and anti-malware tools that can help you clean up an infected PC. Last year, Keith wrote about an application which will Remove Fake Antivirus from Your System. If all else fails and the PC is really trashed, I’ve got an article describing how to Run AntiVirus on a PC That Will Not Boot.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1 There are two versions of McAfee Stinger. Both are very good, and there’s no reason not to use both of them when you need to clean up an infected PC. I have used Stinger for years and I’ve never had an issue with it. I only wish it was Open Source, so that more people could contribute to it’s effectiveness.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

100,000 People Are Now Using Immunet Protect AntiVirus

Is 100,000 a big number by the standards of the Internet? No, it’s not. However, the people at Immunet might disagree. To them, this is very likely a much anticipated milestone.

My fellow author Tehseen first wrote about the Immunet Protect service in August of last year. At the time, only a few thousand people were using it. Immunet is a cloud (internet based) service that is constantly connected and stays up to date against the most recent bugs. Here’s what Immunet says about it:

Imagine for a moment that you could leverage the computers of your friends, family and a worldwide global community to harness their collective security. Every time someone in this collective community encounters a threat everyone else in the community gains protection from that same threat in real time.

I recently wrote about trying Immunet as an addition to your regular antivirus. Since then, I’ve started using it as my only active antivirus. I do occasionally run ESET’s online scanner.

This afternoon when I booted up my netbook, this is what I saw above my task tray.

immunet-protect-100k

Congratulations to the Immunet Protect team on crossing 100,000 users. You can tweet them at @immunet to offer your toasts to them as well.

Note: I only recommend this free AntiVirus service as an addition to your existing protection. That said, I don’t always take my own advice.

More information:  https://immunet.com/protect

Macs Cheaper Than Windows PCs For Enterprises

Mac-NewsRemember those “Hi Mac, I’m a PC and I’m Cheaperadvertisements by Microsoft? Those ads were pretty consistent with the general perception that Macs are a lot more expensive than Windows PCs. However, a recent survey of enterprise IT managers suggests that the common perception may not be entirely true – at least not for enterprise users.

The survey conducted by the Enterprise Desktop Alliance polled administrators of organizations, which have 50 or more servers or 100 or more Macs. While the upfront cost of Macs may be more, the total cost of ownership (TOC) is significantly less.

Mac-vs-Pc

A staggering proportion of the respondents believed that the cost of troubleshooting and help desk calls is less in case of Macs. Most system administrators also believed that aspects such as software licensing fees, user training and system configuration cost less in case of Macs.

As always, take the results with a pinch of salt since its very difficult to judge the reliability of surveys like these. EDA president’s statement that , “The members of the Enterprise Desktop Alliance provide products and services that make deployment and management of Macs easier to do”, doesn’t help either.

Microsoft Spills Details About Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows-7 You have heard the rumors before, but now it is official. Microsoft has announced Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

As expected, Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 would be a minor upgrade. It will mostly be a collection of previously released updates rolled into a single deployer. The only significant new feature would be provided through an updated Remote Desktop client, which would take advantage of RemoteFX.

Speaking about RemoteFX, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 would be a fairly major update and will introduce two new features – RemoteFX and Dynamic memory.

The previously mentioned RemoteFX will be the latest addition to Microsoft’s desktop virtualization stack. It will allow remote workers to enjoy the same rich user experience over a network as with a locally executing desktop. This will include audio, video, rich media, Silverlight and even 3D graphics.

Dynamic memory is an enhancement to Hyper-V which will enable higher consolidation/VM density ratios suitable for servers and VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) deployments.

Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc refused to specify any dates, but promised to reveal more details once we get close to the milestone release. Windows 7 is a fairly polished and a mature product, hence big updates were never expected. In fact, “Don’t wait – go ahead and deploy… you know you want to!”, was LeBlanc’s advice to corporates waiting for the first service pack.

Set and Create Time Zones with Zone Manager

clock-002 Have you ever heard of Karen’s Power Tools? Karen Kenworthy is a Visual Basic programmer and she offers most of the programs she writes for free at her website, KarenWare.com. Karen also occasionally sends out a newsletter featuring one of the tools she’s recently worked on. This time her newsletter featured a tool named Zone Manager.

Zone Manager let’s you quickly control and set new time zones in Windows. You can create a desktop shortcut to any time zone, so that you can switch between zones with a double-click of your mouse. You can also create your own custom time zones and enable or disable Daylight Saving Time. In addition, Zone Manager can synchronize your PC clock to one of the super accurate Internet Time Servers.

Why would you need it? Let’s say that I’m hopping on a jet from New York to India. While I’m on the way there, I may stop in Europe or Arabia. If I know my route ahead of time, I can create desktop shortcuts that quickly change my PC’s time zones. A double click and I’ve changed from one time zone to another. I’ll have the local time set even before I hit the terminal.

You can find out more about Zone Manager in Karen’s most recent Newsletter.

Here’s what it looks like.

zone-manager-interface-1

Here you can see that I’ve made a time zone named Twilight Zone.

zone-manager-edit-zones

Download Karen’s Zone Manager

The source code for many of the programs at Karen’s site is available for download. That means you can customize these programs or use the code as a learning resource.

Once I asked Karen about making one of these program portable, so that it could run from a flash drive. I didn’t get an answer, but I’ve figured it out on my own. If you want to use any of Karen’s Power Tools on a flash drive, follow these steps.

1. Download and install the Power Tool. (note step 4 before you finish installing)

2. Go to the Program folder for that program and copy it to your portable drive. Example path: C:\Program Files\Karen’s Power Tools

3. Since Karen’s tools need the Visual Basic runtime files, you need to copy these into the portable drive folder you created in step 2. If you don’t have VB6 runtime support installed, you can get it here. Here are the files you will need, they are usually located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder.

ASycFilt.dll
ComCat.dll
MSVBVM60.dll
OLEAut32.dll
OLEPro32.dll
STDOLE2.tlb

4. There may also be some OCX files you’ll need. When you install a Power Tool, it will display all of the files it needs in it’s installation window just as it finishes. Once again, these are usually located in the System32 folder.

Here are some more of Karen’s Power Tools, just in case you are curious:

Replicator – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptreplicator.asp
Countdown Timer II – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptcount2.asp
Directory Printer – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptdirprn.asp
Computer Profiler – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptprofiler.asp
Show Stopper – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptstopper.asp
WhoIs – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptwhois.asp
URL Discombobulator – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptlookup.asp
Calculator – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptcalc.asp
Once-A-Day II – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptoad.asp
Hasher – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/pthasher.asp
‘Net Monitor – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptnetmon.asp
Cookie Viewer – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptcookie.asp
Zone Manager – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptzone.asp
Print Logger – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptprnlog.asp
E-Mailer II – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptmailer2.asp
Disk Slack Checker – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptslack.asp
Drive Info – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptdinfo.asp
Time Sync – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptsync.asp
LAN Monitor – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptlanmon.asp
Window Watcher – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptwinwatch.asp
Recycler – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptrecycler.asp
Alarm Clock – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptalarm.asp
Font Explorer – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptfonts.asp
Power Toy – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/pttoy.asp
Time Cop – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/pttimecop.asp
Mailer – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptmailer.asp
Version Browser – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptbrowse.asp
Autorun.inf Editor – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptautorun.asp
Registry Pruner – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptpruner.asp
Registry Ripper – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptregrip.asp
Snooper – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptsnoop.asp
Clipboard Viewer – http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptclpvue.asp

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Zone Manager is one of many very good tools from Karen that I’ve used over the years. It offers a unique set of features you aren’t likely to find anywhere else. I like the fact that it’s not only free, but that the source code is also offered for free.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

A New and Improved Start Menu with StartMenu7

In September of 2008, Keith wrote about a Windows Start Menu replacement called VistaStartMenu. The author of that program has created a new alternative based on the Windows 7 menu. If you are running an older version of Windows, and you have a slight case of feature envy, StartMenu7 may be an option you’ll enjoy adding.

7start-menu-icon I recently tried StartMenu7 and took a few screenshots. I’ll share them with you here and add a few comments on some of the features.

This screen-shot is from the author. It shows the default skin.

7start-menu-default-skin

If your system supports it, portions of the menu are transparent.

This menu has a search box at the bottom, like Vista and Win7. It works pretty much the same. Typing into it searches your Start Menu for programs or actions. Also across the bottom are buttons for PC power control and options. Just above the power buttons are three tabs labeled All Programs, Quick Startand Autorun. The All Programsis the default view and it shows all of your programs. The Quick Startmenu can be populated with items that you add to it through the Options.

Here’s another skin called Classic…

7start-menu-classic-skin

… and another skin called Windows. I liked this one the best.

7start-menu-windows-skin

At the top of StartMenu7 are two buttons for adding and removing program shortcuts. There’s a third button for access to a custom Runmenu with several interesting features.

7start-menu-run-jumper

Shown above is the Runsub-menu called Commandsand below is the sub-menu for Folders.

7start-menu-run-jumper-folders

StartMenu7 is installed like most other applications and can be removed using the Windows Add/Remove applet. You can launch StartMenu7 normally or you can set it to automatically launch when Windows boots up.

There are many options that I haven’t explored. Here are a few that are listed on the program’s website.

  • The list of menu items is alphabetically sorted, so you can easily find any program or command by its name.
  • Open any location on your PC with a single click.
    You can create, modify, and reorder items in Start Menu 7. So it’s easy to create a list of the most used locations, popular directories, and virtual folders to access them with a single click.
  • There is a special Run button to access seldom used locations without adding them into menu.
  • Start Menu 7 has a customizable Power Buttons panel.
  • With Power Timer feature you can delay any of power management operations.

Download StartMenu7 (Windows 2000, 2003, XP, Vista, 7)

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I don’t use many addons like StartMenu7. I like to keep my resources free and I’m also a big fan of Classicmenus. That said, I’m very tempted to add StartMenu7 to my Windows XP machines. While I was using it, it seemed bug free and didn’t slow things down one bit. I really did like all of the extra features it adds.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

NeoSearch – Search Windows the Better Way

Neosearch is a replacement for the default search that comes with Windows. The built-in search is a great tool to instantly search something, but there are some limitations to it also. The shared folders of any network are not indexed by the Windows search. So here is a nice work-around to help you remove this limitation.

neosearch-installing

Download Neosearch and install the tool. Once you have installed it, you will be prompted to broaden the search index by selecting full system index. Choose Yes if you wish to do so. The tool sits unnoticed in the system notification area, without causing any hindrance to your work. The very moment you need it just hit the keyboard combination Windows key + S. The search box pops up. You can do your search and then close it once you are done.

neosearch-indexing

The indexing of partitions or specific folders also takes place without eating up large amount of your memory i.e it doesn’t hang up other processes. You can carry on with your tasks as the program indexes your files. The indexing process meter is shown to the bottom right corner just above the notification area.

neosearch-file-indexing

Neosearch options can be configured to index your files automatically every day or manually whichever you prefer. You can also select some folders to exclude them from the search results.

neosearch-options

Techie-Buzz Verdict

Neosearch is light tool(2Mb) which comes at no cost. The application is also very small in size(520kb). This tool completely replaces the Windows search tool with many more added advantages. Though this tool is not unique, it definitely is among the best I have tried. I recommend this free tool to people who rely mostly on Windows search.

Techie-Buzz Rating : 4/5(Excellent)

Wise Disk Cleaner – Cleanup your Hard Disk

Wise Disk Cleaner is a free utility to clean up your hard disk by removing junk files such as cookies, temporary files and rarely used files. This tool also includes a disk defragment tool which is very helpful.

1. Download Wise Disk Cleaner and install it..

2. Start the application after installing it. Choose your language.

3. You can select the scan location from the Scan Locationdropdown. The scan location is selected for all the partitions by default.

wise-disk-cleaner-window

4. Start the scan for locating the junk files that needs to be removed. Use the Play (Scan) button to the top left corner of the application window (refer screenshot below).

5. After the files are located press the Delete junk files button (refer application window image above).

Configure the Scan Junk File Wizard

1. You can also start the Wizard by pressing the Wizard button just to the right of the Play button (refer application window image above).

wise-disk-cleaner-wizard

2. Press next to select the file types you are willing to remove i.e what you you consider as junk.

3. After selecting the junk file types proceed to the next step to select the scanning location. Press Next.

4. Now in the options window you can decide on certain other features to make the scanning and deleting of the junk files better. The screenshot below shows the options I use myself.

wise-disk-cleaner-wizard-options

5. The very next step showcases an important feature of this free utility. You can assign any folder to the list the contents of which will be considered as junk files and will be erased when the junk file deletion happens.

wise-disk-cleaner-wizard-add-folder

6. In the next and final step you can make this tool delete the previously assigned junk files automatically and exit after the deletion is over. You can also choose to delete the files permanently or temporarily (move to Recycle Bin). Press Next and then Finish to save the changes.

wise-disk-cleaner-wizard-auto-run

If you are still not sure about how to use it, you can choose to read the manual first. The manual can be found here.

Techie-Buzz Verdict

This free tool is an obvious choice for users who forget to delete temporary files. With its basic user interface, it’s quite easy to use for users of any skill level. The app is light on its memory usage and small in size. It is compatible with all Windows platforms. If added, portability would definitely make it better. I strongly recommend this freeware tool.

Techie-Buzz Rating : 4/5(Excellent)

AutoPatcher Adds Support for Windows 7 – Download and Distribute Updates Offline

AutoPatcherEarlier today, we shared with you how to slipstream (integrate) Windows updates into the setup, in order to avoid downloading them every time you (re)install Windows. In case you do not want to take the trouble of creating a custom Windows setup, AutoPatcher is your best friend.

AutoPatcher has a very simple aim – to make installing updates as simple and hassle free as possible. Originally, all the essential Windows updates used to be included in the download package itself. However, due to objections raised by Microsoft AutoPatcher had to change its ways. In its current form, AutoPatcher comes with an update module, which identifies and downloads all available updates. The deployment tool then takes care of the rest. The final product is a simple executable file, which can be used to install all available updates at one go.

Until now, AutoPatcher was available only for Windows 2000, Windows XP and Vista (with the latest Service Pack already installed). The good news is that AutoPatcher has now been updated to support Windows 7. The biggest benefit of AutoPatcher is that it is able to effortlessly install multiple updates in a batch without requiring repeated user intervention. Additional modules also available for deploying essential utilities like Adobe Reader, DirectX and .NET Framework.

Create Custom Windows 7 Setups with RT Se7en Lite

You may be wondering why anyone would take the trouble of creating his or her own Windows setup when the default installer works just fine. To be honest, creating custom setups is not something every user would need to do. The default Windows setup is designed to provide a balanced experience to everyone. However, an installation fine-tuned for an individual or an organizations needs would obviously perform better under certain circumstances. Sure, you can tweak the system after installation. However, this is not the ideal solution for a computer administrator or a user who frequently formats his computer.

RT-Se7en-Lite

RT Seven Lite is quite similar to nLite (for Windows XP) and vLite (for Windows 7). It allows users to remove unnecessary Windows utilities and integrate system updates, drivers, third party applications, tweaks, wallpapers and themes into Windows installations. The entire interface is wizard based and is designed to ensure that the process is as simple as possible.

Techie Buzz Verdict

RT Se7en LiteAlthough, vLite works reasonably well with Windows 7 there are several issues since it does not officially support Windows 7. This makes RT Seven Lite a must have for anyone looking to create their custom Windows 7 setup. Even if you have not tried customizing your Windows setup earlier, give it a try. Benefits such as unattended installation and integrated security updates make it work the effort.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

[ Download RT Se7en Lite ]