View Full Version : PC Tech Support and Coding FAQ

4th September 2004, 03:22 PM
PC Tech Support and Coding FAQ

Spyware information

Over the past few years, a new class of software has emerged that's up to no good. It goes by many names: spyware, adware, foistware, malware, eulaware, or even crapware. For simplicity we'll just call them all spyware. Here are some of the "features" you get from spyware. Some spyware may only use one or two of these tactics, while others do quite a bit more.

Deceptive functionality. Spyware often uses a classic "trojan horse" tactic--like a virus. It offers to synchronize your PC's clock or keep track of forms, but it is also doing other hidden things while you browse.
Home page hijacking. Did you ever find that your home page was changed, or discover new sites in Favorites that you didn't add? It might be spyware.
Loss of privacy. Some spyware keeps track of the web sites you visit and sends that information back to the spyware vendor. Do you want to tell everyone?
More advertising. Did you install a popup stopper but you are still getting popups? The ads you are getting may not be from the web site you are on, but from spyware.
Stolen advertising. Instead of showing the ads that should appear on a web site, some spyware substitutes its own ads which can rob a web site of revenue.
Broken web sites. Spyware sometimes changes the actual content on a web page, and in the process it "breaks" the page. The page may not look correct, or you may get Javascript errors.
Reduced performance. Spyware uses up system resources, CPU time, memory, disk space, and Internet bandwidth, making your system slower.
System instability. Most spyware isn't very well tested or debugged, and there is no way to report bugs or obtain tech support. The result can be system crashes, hangs, or other strange behavior.
Security risks. Some spyware has a built-in update feature that lets the spyware maker download and install new code to your system without your knowledge or approval.

- - - - Best Removal Tools: - - - -
- Ad-Aware SE (http://www.download.com/Ad-Aware-SE-Personal-Edition/3000-8022_4-10045910.html?part=dl-ad-aware&subj=dl&tag=top5)
- spybot search and destroy 1.4 (http://www.safer-networking.org/en/mirrors/index.html)

Remember to update the definitions for both before using them! Also, update defs at least once a week, otherwise your computer is NOT protected.

Also I'd like to add about spybot search & destroy , when you first install there is a way for it to monitor sites if you go to them for spyware activity ,but this ONLY works on version 1.3 ++ for spybot search and destroy..

Also when you do download it , and have it installed it would be best to immunize.. Also in the immunize section there is another program you can download called "spyware blaster" , its works very well..

Additionally, be careful with Spybot. By accident you can delete several very important files that are NOT spyware and are just encrypted files. Certain things like Microsoft Updates and Windows programs should not be deleted. Look for things like Cool2ShareSoftPLUS! and etc.

Virus Information

One of the biggest fears of having computers are viruses, viruses are malicious programs designed entirely for destruction and havoc. Viruses are created by people who either know a lot about programming or know a lot about computers.

Once the virus is made it will generally be distributed through shareware, pirated software, e-mail or other various ways of transporting data, once the virus infects someone's computer it will either start infecting other data, destroying data, overwriting data, or corrupting software.

The reason that these programs are called viruses is because it is spreads like a human virus, once you have become infected either by downloading something off of the Internet or sharing software any disks or write able media that you placed into the computer will then be infected. When that disk is put into another computer their computer is then infected, and then if that person puts files on the Internet and hundreds of people download that file they are all infected and then the process continues infecting thousands if not millions of people.

- - - - Pay Virus Scanner: - - - -
- Norton antivirus 2005 pro = buy
- Mcafee = buy

- - - - Free virus scanner: - - - -
- Avast virus cleaner (http://download.com.com/3000-2239-10223810.html?tag=lst-0-11)
- AVG Anti-Virus System v.6.0 (http://www.freewarefiles.com/programs.php?categoryid=9&subcategoryid=90&ProgramID=1007)
- Avast! 4 Home Edition v4.1.342 (http://www.freewarefiles.com/programs.php?categoryid=9&subcategoryid=90&ProgramID=2165)

You can also get several free full time trials of virus scanners that are normally bought. They normally last about 30 days or so. Some such programs are AVG and McAfee. Try them out. ...But remember, just like with spyware, if you don't have a anti-virus program on your computer that updates at least once a week, your comp is NOT protected.

Trojan Information

What is a Trojan Horse?
Named after the famous Wooden Horse used by the Greeks to
conquer the city of Troy, these programs basically invade your PC disguised as a piece of desirable software. Often hidden inside the installation routines of pirate software downloaded from the internet they install themselves at the same time as the actual application and modify your system settings to ensure they are automatically run every time your PC is started up.

Trojan horses themselves seldom damage the system they infect, preferring to silently allow attackers to access your machine over the internet and do almost anything from stealing your files through to destroying your hard disk. Because they normally rely on an internet connection, PC's with cable modems or other always-on connections are especially vulnerable if infected with a trojan horse.

Regular users of IRC need to be especially wary of receiving trojan horses in files they download from other users. These often exploit bugs in the Windows operating system to make themselves appear to be harmless picture, text or zip files when in reality they are executables which will install a trojan horse on your system if run.

- - - - Best trojan remover: - - - -
- im sorry, but it's hard to find a good trojan remover.

Designed tools to remove specific virusses/trojans COMPLETLY

List of removal tools (http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/tools.list.html)

For Trojan removal/prevention try TDS-3 (free version, but really you want to buy it) and for free virus scan, try Housecall from trendmicro. For spyware prevention try SpywareBlaster and SpywareGuard. for general diagnosis and control of startup/bho's/ect try the following:

BHO Demon
Process Viewer
Belarc Advisor

HijackThis is a tool, that lists all installed browser add-on, buttons, startup items and allows you to inspect, and optionally remove selected items. The program can create a backup of your original settings and also ignore selected items. Additional features include a simple list of all startup items, default start page, online updates and more. Intended for advanced users.

link: http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/files/HijackThis.exe

Please note that HijackThis is also a tool you can use to get help on GUA! If you have a certain type of trojan or file infection, then HjT can help us determine what tool for you to download for specific removals. All that you need to do is to download the latest version (link above), update it, scan, and make a log. Take this saved log and post it onto GUA right in this forum and then we can find exactly what you need.


CWshredder is a "Coolwebsearch trojan remover." This is a small utility for removing the browser hijack CoolWebSearch and it's variants. This tool will find and destroy all traces of the CoolWebSearch (CWS) hijacker on your system. This includes:

Redirections to CoolWebSearch related pages
Redirections when mistyping URLs
Redirections when visiting Google
Enormous IE slowdowns when typing
IE start page/search page changing on reboot
Sites in the IE Trusted Zone you didn't add
Popups in Google and Yahoo when searching
Errors at startup mentioning WIN.INI or IEDLL.EXE
Unable to change or see certain items in IE Options
Unable to access IE Options at all

link: http://www.intermute.com/spysubtract/cwshredder_download.html
Edit - Fixed link ~Flocito


A removal tool specifically for the Look2Me parasite. Kill2Me removes Look2Me versions 115, 116, 117 118, 120, 121 and 122 (the most recent ones) on all versions of Windows

link: http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/files/kill2me.zip

also, if you want to tighten windows security, and eliminate many security holes, visit www.grc.com, Steve Gibson has made several small free utilites for disabling raw sockets, disabling plug n play, patching/detecting windows XP holes, disabling the DCOM service, disabling windows messenger, and scanning for general security vulnerabilies. Also, the site offers a service called Shields Up! which offers a remote service port scan for your system, allowing you to find out the degree of protection your router/firewall provides.

At times, your computer may have problems connecting to the internet. This can because by something a user did or by spyware and viruses. The best tool to fix this is called Winsock Fix (http://www.snapfiles.com/get/winsockxpfix.html). One little note before using it, please remember to back up your files and settings (it is an option on Winsock Fix) before you click Fix. If you don't, you could end up screwing up your computer even worse than before.

2nd March 2005, 08:36 PM
Web Hosting
I thought I'd compile a list of some free and easy web hosting sites... I'll edit this later and add on descriptions of each. Some give images, some all types of media, and etc.


27th November 2005, 09:45 AM
Read this article on Protecting Your Home computer (http://www.infosecwriters.com/text_resources/pdf/Protecting_Home_Computer.pdf) then take your pick of the free programs listed here.


Firewalls for personal use include:
Ashampoo Firewall 1.02 Free ~ http://www.download.com/Ashampoo-FireWall/3000-10435_4-10580790.html?tag=lst-0-1
Kerio Personal Firewall ~ http://www.kerio.com/kpf_home.html
OutPost Firewall Free ~ http://www.agnitum.com/products/ (Works well for '98 & 2KPro)
Zone Alarm Free ~ http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/company/products/trial_zaFamily/trial_zaFamily.jsp?lid=home_freedownloads

All three prevent outbound traffic unless you allow it. The best type of firewall to have.

Anti-Virus programs to download and install include:
AVG Free Edition ~ http://www.grisoft.com/doc/40/lng/ww
BitDefender Free Edition v7 ~ http://www.bitdefender.com/PRODUCT-14-en--BitDefender-Free-Edition-v7.html
Free avast! 4 Home Edition ~ http://www.avast.com/eng/avast_4_home.html

Anti-Virus Online Scanners:
McAfee Free Scan ~ http://ts.mcafeehelp.com/?siteID=1&resolution=&cid=13048
Panda ActiveScan ~ http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/
Trend Micro Housecall ~ http://uk.trendmicro-europe.com/consumer/housecall/housecall_launch.php

Antivirus Database (Manual removal):
Mcafee Virus Database ~ http://us.mcafee.com/virusInfo/default.asp
Symantec Virus Database ~ http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/vinfodb.html

If you have Windows Me or XP remember to disable System Restore before attempting to remove viruses, or you will not completely remove the virus from your system. Back up important files first.

Ewido ~ http://www.ewido.net/en/ ~ runs in tandem with your anti-virus program. Many anti-virus programs do not remove malware.

Adware & Spyware Programs to download and install:
Adaware SE Personal ~ http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/
Spybot Search & Destroy ~ http://www.download.com/3000-2144-10122137.html?part=104443&subj=dlpage&tag=button
Ccleaner ~ http://www.ccleaner.com/
Spyware Blaster ~ http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html

Adware & Spyware Online Scanners:
Trend Micro Anti-Spyware for SMB ~ http://uk.trendmicro-europe.com/smb/products/spyware_scan.php
Zone Alarm Spyware Scanner ~ http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/promotions/spywarescanner/index.jsp

Bundled Spyware and Antivirus Scanner:
Hitman Pro 2.5 ~ www.hitmanpro.nl

(I've tried this, it's excellent and it can be installed in English. It can be configured to use both McAfee and Trend Micro's online Virus scanners but it will not replace your installed antivirus software or firewall as it is only a scanner.)

Other Programs:
HijackThis ~ http://www.download.com/HijackThis/3000-8022_4-10379544.html

These are just a very small sample of what's available for free. There is absolutely no reason why anyone should ever pay for a personal firewall or anti-virus program. Simply choose which ones work best on your system and remember to keep them updated.

I personally have used all of these programs and scanners at some point.

If you know of any other legally available programs free to home-users, pm them to me and I will add them to the list once I've checked them out. Anything for Mac would also be useful though I won't be able to test it atm.

18th December 2005, 01:19 PM
Ok so i've just come up with this, inspired semi by other forums and a rather lame previous attempt by myself so here is a list of Freeware for windows, i still have more to add so bear with me.

PDF Utilities

* Adobe Reader - http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html
* CutePDF Writer - http://www.cutepdf.com/Products/CutePDF/writer.asp
* PDF Explorer - http://www.snapfiles.com/get/pdfexplorer.html

CD Burning and ISO Extraction

* DeepBurner - http://www.deepburner.com/
* CDBurnerXP Pro - http://www.cdburnerxp.se/download.php
* DuBaron cd2iso - http://www.dubaron.com/cd2iso/

Compression and Encryption

* IZSoft IZArc - http://www.izarc.org/download.html
* WinRAR - http://www.rarlab.com/download.htm
* AB AxCrypt - http://axcrypt.sourceforge.net/


* SysInternals PageDefrag - http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/PageDefrag.html

Instant Messaging

* Gaim - http://gaim.sourceforge.net/win32/index.php
* Google Talk - http://www.google.com/talk/
* Msn messenger 7.5 - http://messenger.msn.com/
* Aol Instant Messenger - http://www.aim.com/
* Yahoo Messenger - http://messenger.yahoo.com/
* ICQ - http://www.icq.com/download/
* Trillian Basic - http://www.ceruleanstudios.com/downloads/

Image Manipulation

* The GIMP - http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/stable.html
* PhotoFiltre - http://www.photofiltre.com/
* Image Browser Arctic - http://www.uticasoft.com/
* Paint.NET - http://www.eecs.wsu.edu/paint.net/download.html
* Pixia - http://park18.wakwak.com/~pixia/download.htm


* Kerio Personal Firewall - http://www.kerio.com/kpf_home.html
* Zone Labs ZoneAlarm - http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/catalog/products/sku_list_za.jsp?dc=12bms&ctry=US&lang=en&lid=dbtopnav_zaav
* Agnitum Outpost Free Firewall - http://www.agnitum.com/products/

Network Utilities

* AnalogX PacketMon - http://www.analogx.com/contents/download/network/pmon.htm
* Ethereal - http://www.ethereal.com/download.html
* Sniphere - http://www.securesphere.net/html/projects_sniphere.php

Web Browsers

* Mozilla Firefox - http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/
* Flock - http://www.flock.com/developer/
* Portable Firefox - http://johnhaller.com/jh/mozilla/portable_firefox/
* Opera - http://www.opera.com/
* Maxthon - http://www.maxthon.com/download.htm
* Deepnet Explorer - http://www.deepnetexplorer.com/
* Avant Broswer - http://www.avantbrowser.com/download.html

E-mail Clients

* Mozilla Thunderbird - http://www.mozilla.com/thunderbird/
* I.Scribe - http://www.memecode.com/scribe.php
* Koma-Mail - http://www.koma-code.de/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5&Itemid=6

Audio Players

* dBpowerAMP Audio Player - http://www.dbpoweramp.com/dbpoweramp.htm
* WinAmp - http://www.winamp.com/
* Quintessential Player - http://www.quinnware.com/downloads.php
* MusikCube - http://www.musikcube.com/page/main/download

Spyware Utilities

* Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE Personal - http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/
* Spybot - Search & Destroy - http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html
* SpywareBlaster - http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html
* Hitman Pro - http://www.hitmanpro.nl/

Benchmarking and Information

* Fresh Diagnose - http://www.freshdevices.com/freshdiag.html
* CPU-Z - http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php


* XP-Antispy - http://xp-antispy.org/index.php?option=com_remository&func=sellang&iso=en
* FireTune - http://www.totalidea.com/freestuff4.htm#down
* Fresh UI - http://www.freshdevices.com/
* Microsoft TweakUI - http://www.microsoft.com/ntworkstation/downloads/PowerToys/Networking/NTTweakUI.asp


* Quicktime Alternative - http://www.free-codecs.com/download/QuickTime_Alternative.htm
* Real Alternative - http://www.free-codecs.com/download/Real_Alternative.htm
* Windows Media Player Classic - http://www.divx-digest.com/software/media_player_classic.html
* VideoLan - http://www.videolan.org/

Codec Packs

* K-Lite Mega Codec Pack - http://www.free-codecs.com/download/K_Lite_Mega_Codec_Pack.htm
* G.Knot Codec Pack - http://www.free-codecs.com/download/Gordian_Knot_Codec_Pack.htm
* XP Codec Pack - http://www.free-codecs.com/download/XP_Codec_Pack.htm

Office Programs

* OpenOffice - http://download.openoffice.org/2.0.0/index.html


* FreeCiv - http://www.freeciv.org/index.php/Freeciv
* Return To Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory - http://enemy-territory.4players.de:1041/
* America's Army - http://www.americasarmy.com/


* AntiVir - http://www.free-av.com/
* Avast - http://www.avast.com/eng/download-avast-home.html
* AVG Free - http://free.grisoft.com/doc/1

22nd January 2006, 06:19 AM
Backup ur WinXP product key and activation file in case u need to reinstall ur OS. (Save to a floppy disk or different partition/harddrive.)
Recover Product keys for ur MS software.
Recover System passwords and generate new ones.

Free Utility:

RockXP (http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4138.html)

6th February 2006, 04:12 PM
The K-lite codec pack is not a very good codec pack for playback and encoding. X.264 HD is not supported, and is the future codec. The best playback pack is the CCCP codec pack (http://www.cccp-project.net/). This pack will rid your Pc of choppy playback. But fair warning if your PC is not fast enough do Not use it.

1.6ghz is the recommended cpu speed.

Also If you hate codec packs then Just install the VLC Media Player (www.videolan.org). It has the ability to playback EVERY CODEC there is, without having to install the actuall codec.

Special thanks to NL for this C-pack.

Broken Link Edited~H2SO4

10th November 2008, 04:10 AM
Bump to become stickied