Malicious Viruses and What To Do If Your System Becomes Infected

26 08 2012

Malicious code (sometimes called malware) is a type of software designed to take over or  damage a computer, without the user’s knowledge or approval. Malware includes:

  • Viruses that attach to legitimate files and spread when the files are opened.
  • Worms that infect systems and spread automatically through the network.
  • Trojan horse programs that appear to be useful programs but which perform secret or  malicious acts.
  • Spyware that tracks your computer or browser activity.
  • Adware that displays pop-up advertisements based on your browser activity.
  • Spam that is unwanted, unsolicited e-mail, often carrying viruses or advertisements for    questionable or illegal products.

You should protect all systems with malware protection software to help prevent and control   malware on your system.

Here are two of my favorite programs to use, Malwarebytes and Avast.  Malwarebytes is reactive program that you install in a non-infected system and run and update to keep your computer safe.  You can also use it in a ‘cocktail’ of programs to run in Safe Mode if you ever have to clean up your system from infections.

Avast is a free anti-virus that has worked pretty good to keep our systems protected.  It is simple, very stealth, and low resource-consuming on any operatating systems we have tested it on.  It has picked up many viruses and removed them from infected systems.

  • Common symptoms of malware on your system include:

    • The browser home page or default search page has changed.
    • Excessive pop-ups or strange messages being displayed.
    • Firewall alerts about programs trying to access the Internet.
    • System errors about corrupt or missing files.
    • File extension associations have changed to open files with a different program.
    • Files that disappear, are renamed, or are corrupt.
    • New icons appear on the desktop or taskbar, or new toolbars show in the browser.
    • The firewall or antivirus software is turned off, or you can’t run antivirus scans.
    • The system won’t boot.
  • Some malicious software can hide itself such that there might not be any obvious signs of its presence. Other symptoms of an infection include:
    • Slow Internet access.
    • Excessive network traffic, or traffic during times when no activity should be occurring.
    • Excessive CPU or disk activity.
    • Low system memory.
    • An unusually high volume of outgoing e-mail, or e-mail sent during off hours.
  • Conducting regular system scans can detect and fix many problems.
    • Most software lets you schedule complete system scans, such as daily or weekly.
    • If you suspect a problem, initiate a full system scan immediately.
  • Remediation is the process of correcting any problems that are found. Most antivirus software remediates problems automatically or semi-automatically (i.e. you are prompted to identify the action to take). Possible actions in response to problems are:
    • Repair the infection. Repair is possible for true viruses that have attached themselves to valid files. During the repair, the virus is removed and the file is placed back in its original state (if possible).
    • Quarantine the file. Quarantine moves the infected file to a secure folder where it cannot be opened or run normally. You might quarantine an infected file that cannot be repaired to see if another tool or utility might be able to recover the file at another time.
    • Delete the file. You should delete files that are malicious files such as worms, Trojan horse programs, or spyware or adware programs. In addition, you should periodically review the quarantine folder and delete any files you do not want to recover.
  • If a scan reports a serious problem, disconnect your computer from the network. This prevents your computer from infecting other computers until the problem is corrected.
  • Some malicious software warnings, such as those seen in pop-ups or received through e-mail, are hoax viruses. A hoax virus instructs you to take an action to protect your system, when in fact that action will cause harm. Two common hoaxes are:
    • Instructing you to delete a file that is reported as a virus. The file is actually an important system file that will lead to instability or the inability to boot your computer.
    • Instructing you to download and run a program to see if your system is compromised or to add protection to your system. The file you download is the malicious software.

    Before taking any actions based on notices or e-mails, search the Internet for a list of virus hoaxes and compare your notice to know hoaxes.

Recovery from malware could include the following actions:

  • If scans detect malware, then repair, quarantine, or delete the malicious software.
  • Some malware cannot be removed because it is running.
    • If possible, stop the program from running, then try to remove it.
    • If you are unable to stop the malware, try booting into Safe Mode, then run the scanning software to locate and remove the malware.
  • If malware has caused damage to the system, it may be permanent and could require that you reinstall applications, features, restore files from a backup, or even restore the entire operating system from scratch.
  • If malware has damaged or corrupted system files, you might be able to repair the infected files using Sfc.exe.
    • Before running Sfc, be sure to remove the program that caused the damage (or it might re-introduce the problem after the fix).
    • You might need to boot into the Recovery Console to check system file integrity and repair any problems found.
  • Some malware can corrupt the boot block on the hard disk preventing the system from starting. To repair the problem, try using the Recovery Console in Windows XP, or perform an automatic repair in Windows Vista/7. Use fixmbr or fixboot in the Recovery Console to try to repair the damage.
  • If the organization uses imaging solutions, you can quickly reimage a machine if it is infected with malware. Reimaging or installing from scratch is often faster and more effective than malware removal and cleanup.

To conclude, the best thing to do in case the virus is not removed is to boot up in Safe Mode (restart the computer and right when it turns on press F8 until you are prompted to start in Safe Mode).  Then run your virus removal utilities.  If you will need the Internet, boot in Safe Mode with Networking (this mean you can connect online with minimal resources loaded).

Sometimes virus removal can be like peeling an onion- you remove one and it reveals another one that was not detected before.  IF this happens a lot, then as you go removing the viruses, some parts of your operating system can become corrupt, like system files and applications .  In this case, and in the case of rootkits, sometimes it’s just best to salvage whatever information you can and then re-install the operating system.

If you need help with any of the things mentioned above, or guidance, please feel free to contact technical support by visiting www.techsuperforce.com.

We are always available through phone, chat, or email.

We hope you enjoyed this article, and feel free to leave comments or questions here.





WDS Deployment Facts – Windows Server

25 08 2012

Did you know that if you have the resources (which can be anywhere from affordable to bust-the-bank expensive), you can populate a very nice and resourceful network in your small or regular business.

Most office have machines that host the operating system, such as Windows XP Professional, right inside the actual machine.  This is called a local installation because it resides locally in the computer.

With Windows Servers, you can implement a different kind of hosting system.  You can have hard drive-less workstations that boot right off the server operating system image files stored in a file server.  This is called WDS or Windows Deployment Services.

Now although this may not be the right fit for every business, it certainly has its benefits.  One of the benefits is increased security, as the local machine does not have anything stored in it, and another one is data is securely stored in the server and there is more fault tolerance.

WDS Facts

The Windows Deployment Services (WDS) server role enables the deployment of Windows operating systems to client and server computers. Using WDS, computers without an operating system installed boot from the network, contact the WDS server, and download and install the operating system.

WDS uses disk images for the installation. An image is a single file containing the contents of an operating system installation. Image files have the .wim extension. There are four types of WDS images:

An install image is an image of the operating system that will be installed on client computers.

  • A default install image (Install.wim) is included on the operating system DVD in the <DVDroot>\Sourcesfolder.
  • Install.wim includes all editions of Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 within the single image file, including the Enterprise and Datacenter editions and the Server Core installations.
  • When you add the install image in WDS, you identify the editions within the install image that are available for clients to install.
  • When a client computer connects to the WDS server, and if there are multiple install images available or multiple editions within a single install image made available, a menu will be shown allowing the user to select the version and edition to install.
  • Each install image is architecture specific. For example, you must have either the 32-bit, 64-bit or 64-bit Itanium version.

boot image is a minimal operating system that is sent to the client when it first connects to the WDS server. Boot images are used as follows:

  1. During the boot process, the client computer locates the WDS server.
  2. The WDS server sends a boot image file to the client. The boot image file contains the Windows PE operating system and the WDS client software.
  3. The client installs the Windows PE operating system in the boot image and starts the WDS client.
  4. The WDS client retrieves a list of available full operating systems to install.
  5. The client computer downloads the appropriate install image and installs the full operating system.

When working with boot image files:

  • A default boot image file (Boot.wim) is included on the operating system DVD in the <DVDroot>\Sourcesfolder.
  • You can use multiple boot image files. If the WDS server has multiple boot image files, the client computer will display a menu of boot images to use.

Note: Client computers must support PXE boot (network boot) to use boot image files. PXE boot allows a computer without an operating system installed to locate and download the operating system through a network connection.

capture boot image is an image that you use to create custom install images. To create a custom install image you do the following:

  1. Create the capture boot image from a regular boot image. The capture image includes Windows PE and the WDS Image Capture Wizard.
  2. Install the operating system on a reference computer. Once the operating system is installed, you can customize the installation as desired.
  3. On the reference computer, run the Sysprep utility. Sysprep prepares the computer so that an image can be created from the installation.
  4. Boot the reference computer from the network. When the computer connects to the WDS server, select the capture boot image you created earlier.
  5. After the computer boots, it runs the WDS Image Capture Wizard. Use the wizard to select the disk partition containing the operating system installation you want to capture, and a location to save the resulting image file.
  6. When the wizard completes, the resulting install image file is uploaded to the WDS server.

discover image is a boot image that is placed on removable media (such as a CD, DVD, or USB drive) that can be used by non-PXE clients to boot and locate a WDS server. To use a discover image:

  1. Create the discover image from an existing boot image.
  2. Use the Microsoft Windows AIK tools to create an ISO image that contains the discover boot image.
  3. Burn the ISO image to disc. You must use a tool capable of creating a disc from an ISO image; simply copying the image to the disc will not work.
  4. Insert the media in the client computer. Boot the computer from the media.
  5. The computer installs the Windows PE operating system and connects to the WDS server. Select a desired install image to install the full operating system and complete the process.

A few more things to keep in mind…

Windows Server 2008 R2 supports IPv6 for deploying images, but does not support IPv6 for network booting.

Windows Server 2008 R2 also adds the ability to deploy virtual hard disk (.VHD) images under the following limited conditions:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate are the only supported operating systems.
  • The WDSUtil command line utility must be used to import and configure .VHD images.
  • Deployment must be automated, which requires creation of two unattend files. It is valid only for a physical computer (not a virtual machine).
  • The .VHD image must contain only one OS and one partition. It may not contain applications or data (only the OS) or a 64-bit Windows edition partitioned with a GUID partition table (GPT).

THAT WRAPS IT UP here at Superforce for WDS Facts.  We hope you enjoyed our article and found it useful, and please feel free to write any comments or if you have any questions.  We will be more than happy to assist you.

If you need further technical support, you may visit our main technical support website at TECHSUPERFORCE!





Realtek Ethernet driver ERROR Microsoft Windows XP and 2000

25 08 2012

If you downloaded a driver for your VGA display adapter on Windows XP and you still cannot get rid of the error after running it, you might be missing one more thing.
Here’s what to do….

Make sure to find out if your display is NVIDIA or INTEL first!  The way to do that is by right clicking in Device Manager the (!) device and going to Properties, and from the drop down menu select HARDWARE IDs.

This will show you something like….

USB\VID_1B96&PID_0001&REV_0000&MI_02

 

If you do some research on these Hardware Ids, you will get a wealth of information back.

NOW-  we have the necessary info to determine what driver manufacturers we need to download from.  Never get third party drivers, NOT RECOMMENDED!  Always go to the Manufacturer’s Website.

(The following is an example of a driver installation for an Ethernet adapter and we will use Windows XP as the environment. We will use a random .exe file as a demonstration, however the concept is the key to apply to your specific driver.)

Now, follow the instructions after you have unsuccessfully fixed the problem if you are sure you have the correct drivers:

Downloading the package
=======================
1. Click the file link to download the file from the Web page.
2. When prompted, select a drive and directory in which to save
   the downloaded file.

Extracting the package
======================
1.  Click Start, click Search, then click All files and folders.
2.  Type q4etn11us13.exe in the search field, then click Search.
    This will locate the file you just downloaded.
3.  Double-click the q4etn11us13.exe icon.
4.  Click Next. Read the license agreement.
5.  Click I accept the terms in the license agreement. 
6.  Click Next.
7.  Ensure that "Save files in folder" is set to
    C:\SWTOOLS\drivers\ethernet\Q4etn11US13.
8.  Click Next.
9.  Click Finish to extract the necessary files to your hard drive.

Installing the package
======================
1.  Click Start, then click Run.
2.  Type C:\SWTOOLS\drivers\ethernet\Q4etn11US13\Setup.exe, then click OK.
3.  Follow the onscreen prompts and choose to reboot at the end of
    installation.

That’s it.  Hope this helps.  Feel free to leave comments and advice yourself, and we will answer you promptly if you need technical assistance.

If you need any type of Technical Support on any other operating systems or hardware, please visit our main Tech Support website at http://www.techsuperforce.com.





New Technical Support Website is LIVE

17 08 2012

There’s a new site online creating a buzz. A new kind of geek is looking out for the technically disabled and the services are monstrous! Where else can you get affordable technical support, fix your home or business network issues, and maintain your website with graphic design and website creation?

Techsuperforce.com, that’s where!

With an independent graphic and web design firm backing them up with over 15 years of experience, this organization does it all!

Live local and remote support, email inquiries, and phone support. It’s like having your own personal IT guy, or girl, of that suits you better.

Check out http://www.techsuperforce.com.





The Real Scoop on AT&T U-Verse

18 09 2010

AT&T U-verse Review

by Superforce Newsvine

Okay, so everybody is finding out about this new TV, Internet, and Home Phone service called U-verse from AT&T, right?  The boxes (nodes) which bring the signal to your local neighborhoods are spreading throughout the county.  With prices at competitive rates, and the demand for better and faster technology growing, many people are switching over to U-verse.

But, exactly how dependable is it??  Let’s talk about some pros and cons-

TV

The signal is tremendously stronger and fiber optic (essentially glass cables that are ran underground to bring you a better resolution and signal for crystal clear picture).  But they don’t run Fiber to the unit.

Fiber is only ran to the neighborhood (except in some of the newer development in New Japan) in Miami (this is what is called Fiber-to-the-node).  Those big beige boxes that you have been seeing the AT&T trucks working on, those are nodes, where the signal and fiber runs to.

From a node, signal is brought to your house or unit using existing copper wires, ones that were once, Southern Bell lines, which AT&T recently bought out (economically-speaking).

PRICING

Anywhere from 99.00 to 237.00 for all three service, AT&T offers “solutions”, which are (in essence) TV Channel Preferences, Internet Speed necessity, and Phone Lines.

A good package runs you about 147.00 for all three services, with 60% of the Movie Channels. All except HBO.

QUALITY

AT&T’s regular standard signal is 720p, which is Comcast’s High-Def signal resolution.   U-verse’s HD, is actually 1080i, not “p”.  So depending on your equipment, 1080p may be the better quality, therefore making the U-verse 1080i, one notch lower in quality.

INTERNET

The modem they give you (called a Gateway) is developed by Cisco systems and was specially designed to be compatible with fiber optic networking, a first of it’s kind.  It is the brain of the entire U-verse system.  It brings in the signal for your TV, Internet (with 4 Network Connection Ports/ethernet), and also powers the VOip Digital Telephone service.  If you have AT&T DSL, this is twice as fast, and more.

Another thing about nodes (and quality) is the Internet’s signal strength.  One thing I always used to tell my customers, was a little inside tip I received from a technician, one day stopping for a coffee break, and just taking it easy in the South Florida sun.

Technician:  “We have to pump enough signal for it be able to reach up to 1 mile from these nodes.  In order to be able to push that much signal through these wires, we have to give it a lot of juice. ” – says My New Pal.

He continues, saying-  “That means, that if the customer at the end of this grid line wants to pay for the biggest package and fastest internet, and he wants 32Mbps, we are going to have to pump like 100Mbps through that line jsut to be able to reach that last customer, and it’s almost sometimes impossible to tweak and precisely control that kind of power stream!”

WHAT DOES ALL THIS MUMBO-JUMBO MEAN?

That people living closer to the node, may get away paying for only 12Mbps of Internet Speed ( The MAX Package), but they’ll most likely receive like 30Mbps of speed on the house, due to this phenomenon!

Final OVERVIEW

YES! YOU CAN GET ANOTHER SERVICE FOR CHEAPER.  But you cannot get (in some neighborhoods) the speed U-verse has.  The signal for Hi-Def might be 1080i, as opposed to Direct TV’s 1080p, but on the up-side, you won’t lose signal because of a little storm cloud or a sudden rise of gusty winds.

Some channels that certain satellite providers contain, U-verse does not currently have on their network of channels they provide.  but inside info, is that many channels are being internally requested (even I used to request them after sales call if I had a customer that was bargaining with that as his decision-maker), but requesting the channels is not a gurantee they will be supplied.

Channels like TV Caracol, TV Chile, The Dutch Channel, TVe,  and a few others.

If you live close to a node, you may benefit more than your other neighbors who live further down the line.  You’ll have your own dedicated line for Internet, as opposed to Comcast’s DSL (which is on one shared line which you share with all your neighbors on that same line; the reason why your speeds fluctuate from hour to hour, and it sucks).

Finally, the phone service, well it’s VOip, that’s all I gotta say.  Some people like it, if it’s a luxury.  Other people who might be helpless if the power goes out and they lose their signal, may not like this feature.

It does come with a battery backup pack, but if the power goes out, and the modem goes out, the phone gets knocked off.  Unless you have a generator, you will lose your services in a blackout.  The U-verse and AT&T company nodes, and central offices, have generators and battery backups, and this mean even during blackouts, they are still streaming signal.  It just depends on you, how demanding your needs are for these service.
CHOOSE WISELY, and if you would like Special Promotions for U-verse, please leave your email and check your availability, with the author of this post, be leaving a comment or by email.





WAX ON, F*CK OFF! Funniest Spoof This Year!

17 06 2010

Okay, if Ralph Macchio were to make the resurrection of the century, THIS IS DEFINITELY THE RIGHT WAY!!

This is one of the best thought of spoof with an actual great supporting plot that I have seen in a while.  I thought this kind of humour was something  rare and an unfortunately-forgotten grand art of ancient masters, the like of which nobody has been able to replicate (only diluted and watered-down imitators and second comers), and OUT COME MACCHI with The Steal!!!

WOW – If this were rated by gold stars, this small yet much needed kind of production would get a GALAXY.

Really awesome subtleness and fantastic ability to ‘go there’ and really give it a good ‘ol mock.  If you want to have a go at what it feels like to pee a little in your pants while tears build up in your eye sockets watching the return of Ralph Macchio to SOMETHING, this is the place to be- give the PLAY BUTTON a push and bed pan is highly recommended. ( OKAY SO WE COULDN’T EMBED IT HERE [FUNNYorDIE] YOU GUYS REALLY HAVE TO PUT IT ON YOUTUBE ALREADY OR SOMETHING, the Embed code didn’t work here on WordPress for us Little guys.)

But that’s okay because this is the link just click on it!  Wax On, F*ck Off with Ralph Macchio





superforce101.wordpress.com: NEW KARATE

5 06 2010

superforce101.wordpress.com: NEW KARATE KID Movie (Remake): “Is it doing good? What’s Your Opinion? http://wp.me/pBZby-7e