windows

Mon
17
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: Is Ransomware a Real Threat? Should I worry?

Infopackets Reader Tina A. writes: " Dear Dennis, I've been reading articles on the Internet about cyber criminals breaking into computer networks, encrypting files and then demanding a ransom. I've also read that if I leave my computer connected to ... the Internet, I could be susceptible to ransomware. I don't know what to believe. So my question is: is ransomware a threat? Is ransomware malware? Should I be worried? " My response: This is a pretty big question to answer. The simple answer is that: yes , ransomware is a threat, and yes you can get infected with ransomware just by having your ... (view more)

Thu
26
Apr
John Lister's picture

Man Jailed for Copying Windows Restore Disks

A man behind an scheme to sell Windows restore disks for 25 cents will pay a $50,000 fine and spend 15 months in prison. Eric Lundgren offered the disks as part of his e-waste recycling business. Lundgren originally operated a perfectly legitimate ... business; at the time, he lived in China and bought cheap computer components. He'd then ship the components to the US where they'd be used to repair computers. One major selling point of the business was that people could use their computers longer and even upgrade certain components, rather than sending them to a landfill. In 2012 Lundgren added a ... (view more)

Tue
13
Mar
John Lister's picture

Infected Routers Spread Malware, Log Keystrokes

A security firm says malware that targets routers is so sophisticated it's highly likely a government is behind it. Dubbed "Slingshot," the malware appears to have been working for six years without detection. The attack was on a specific brand of ... routers, namely Mikrotik. Although based in Latvia, its products have shipped around the world to business and home users. The big problem was with an associated piece of software named Winbox, used to manage the router. The way Winbox works involves taking DLL files stored on the router itself and running them directly in the computer's ... (view more)

Fri
05
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Spectre and Meltdown Exploits - What You Need to Know

Infopackets Reader Steve P. writes: " Dear Dennis, There has been a whirlwind of news on the Internet regarding the 'Spectre' and 'Meltdown' exploits that affect all microprocessors (CPUs) from 1995 and on. I am afraid my computer is at risk but I ... don't understand all the tecno-talk. Should I be worried? " My response: The short answer is: yes and no, mostly no (once patches are released). At the end of this article I'll offer advice on what you can do to stay protected. What does the Spectre and Meltdown Exploit Mean? I have been following the news for the last few days and here is what I ... (view more)

Fri
29
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Run Batch Script as Administrator (Without Password)

Infopackets Reader Barry S. writes: " Dear Dennis, I read with interest your article on how to shut down Mozilla Thunderbird gracefully using a series of 'taskkill' commands. The issue I have is that Thunderbird eats an enormous amount of memory if ... I leave it running over a period of 24 hours or more. When I try and send an email, the words in the email window (as I'm typing them) come out in spurts. This drives me crazy as I am a fairly quick typist. I tried setting up a batch script to run (using Task Scheduler) to gracefully close Thunderbird and restart it every 24 hours, but for some ... (view more)

Fri
15
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

Step-by-Step: Fix 'I/O Device Error' (Hard Drive, SD Card, etc)

Infopackets Reader Greeshma N. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have an external hard drive that has worked fine for years. Now the hard drive won't show up in My Computer, though it shows up under Devices and Printers - very strange! I have tried ... initializing the disk from Disk Management, but it won't format and I keep getting ' The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error '. I have tried cleaning up the disk by deleting items but it shows 0 bytes free and keeps giving me 'The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error'. What can I do to make this work? " My ... (view more)

Fri
24
Nov
John Lister's picture

Windows Bugs Could Be Much More Serious

A key security feature in Windows doesn't work as planned. It's not a vulnerability in itself, but means that hackers who find bugs in software are much more likely to be able to do damage. The problem is with Address Space Layout Randomization ... (ASLR). It deals with the way a computer organizes different programs in memory. As an analogy, it's like organizing vehicles of different sizes and makes in a parking lot. Most operating systems support ASLR, which means that when a program starts up and needs to use the computer's memory, it's assigned a random location. In the analogy, think of cars ... (view more)

Tue
10
Oct
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Admits Defeat On Smartphones

Microsoft says it won't add any new features or devices for Windows 10 Mobile. It's a sign that hopes Windows 10 would revive the company's smartphone presence have largely failed. While what was then called Windows Mobile was once technically the ... most common smartphone operating system, it faded behind Apple's iOS and Google's Android as smartphones became more widely used. The attempt to relaunch under "Windows Phone" failed to make a breakthrough, and the system fell well under a one percent market share. The most recent figures suggest just one in every three thousand phones ... (view more)

Fri
06
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: 'Windows Setup has Failed to Validate the Product Key' Error

Infopackets Reader Jill G. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have a Windows 7 Pro machine that we use at work which has a broken Windows Update. I have tried to do an 'upgrade repair' in hopes of fixing the issue, but the Windows installer exits immediately. ... The major issue we're facing is that our Windows 7 machine has new user accounts on it which we did not create - we suspect that it has become compromised because it has not downloaded Windows Updates in over a year. From what I read online, it is possible to upgrade from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 8 Pro (not 8.1!) which will keep my programs and ... (view more)

Wed
13
Sep
Anonymous's picture

How to Reset Windows 10 Login or Admin Password

Has this happened to you? Infopackets Reader Dave C. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have been completely locked out of my Windows 10 machine! I tried to uninstall Avast Antivirus using Safe Mode (as this was recommended), and now Windows is asking me for ... a password, when before I was using a PIN number. I have NO IDEA what my password is as I have been using a PIN for the last two years. I've tried rebooting without Safe Mode but the option to use a PIN is no longer there. I am desperate! Can you help? " My response: There are a few ways to reset your Windows password - whether you ... (view more)

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