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-   -   New to this site and NEED HELP (https://www.techsupportalert.com/freeware-forum/general-computer-support/1510-new-to-this-site-and-need-help.html)

TheDrewMiller 28. Jul 2009 10:42 PM

New to this site and NEED HELP
 
Just found this site yesterday and would like some tips on how to protect my computer and some steps I should take to remove any programs that were previously installed.

I am running Windows XP Pro. I recently decided that I was going to look into an antivirus program after finally getting TOO annoyed with the windows update icon constantly popping up telling me that I didn't have one.

I stumbled upon this site and the info here is beyond satisfactory..but Im not very techie so I'm not sure if what I have installed is right for my situation.

The first step I took was downloading avira(free) which found 5 viruses on the first scan so it seems to be working properly.

After that I downloaded Super antispyware which also seems to be working as well.

Mainly I wanted to download programs that would pick up anything that I downloaded previously and get rid of it. As well as scan any files I download from now on and identify any threats.

I am wondering if there are any steps that I should take as far as disabling any windows programs that are installed by default that may interfere with these programs. Last time I checked it has a firewall and something else.

Also, when getting a computer new or used what are the steps that I should take to make sure it is protected and that all un-needed files and junk is removed and the computer is running with optimal performance. Mine seems to be getting a little sluggish and all tips would be appreciated.

Another question I have been looking to get solved is a little more complex I imagine. The computer I am currently using was given to me for free and has been working just fine for me for about 3 months now. Its a Compaq Presario sr1703wm. When given to me, upon startup I noticed that there are 3 operating systems installed! I use XP Pro and it is the only one I need.

Is having these other operating systems effecting my computers performance in any way and if so, how can I remove them without really screwing up my computer? As I stated before, I am not techie so if anyone can offer advice, spell it out like you are talking to a newborn so I am sure to understand.

Thanks and I look forward to being a future contributor to this board!

MidnightCowboy 28. Jul 2009 10:52 PM

Hi and welcome TheDrewMiller :)

The first question I would ask is do you have the XP installation discs for your OS or access to them? The only reason I ask is that having inherited an already infected machine with two extra OS's you don't need one option would be to wipe the whole hard drive and start with a clean install of XP.

After you reply to this myself and others will contribute to your cause! :D

TheDrewMiller 28. Jul 2009 11:06 PM

Thanks!
 
I dont have the discs...I have been searching online for an opportunity to get them or download them but havnt been able to find anything that would be of help. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Drew

MidnightCowboy 28. Jul 2009 11:26 PM

OK drew, no problem we'll work to get you a manageable solution with what you've got.

My contribution will come tomorrow now (my time) as I'm being summoned in other directions. If you have a wife or know what one is then you'll understand what I mean :D

One of the other editors will need to advise about your multiple boot setup because I know nothing in this direction. Otherwise I will post my contribution later and no doubt some others here will also offer their own choices and advice. I certainly wouldn't consider removing any Windows functions or services at this stage until we can get the rest of it sorted for you.

Which firewall do you have installed? Is it a third party program like Comodo or PC Tools etc., or the default Windows own?

J_L 29. Jul 2009 12:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheDrewMiller (Post 10106)
Mainly I wanted to download programs that would pick up anything that I downloaded previously and get rid of it. As well as scan any files I download from now on and identify any threats.

I am wondering if there are any steps that I should take as far as disabling any windows programs that are installed by default that may interfere with these programs. Last time I checked it has a firewall and something else.

Also, when getting a computer new or used what are the steps that I should take to make sure it is protected and that all un-needed files and junk is removed and the computer is running with optimal performance. Mine seems to be getting a little sluggish and all tips would be appreciated.

I believe this is what you're looking for in your first sentence: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...-installer.htm
As for your second request, try uploading suspected files to VirusTotal (http://www.virustotal.com/). They also have a handy uploader (with lower file size limit though).

Never run more than 1 of the same type of security program. That includes firewalls, anti-viruses, and whatever else you have. By default there's only the Windows Firewall, but because you got the computer from someone else who used it, there might be more.

Look here if you want to make sure your computer is protected: http://www.techsupportalert.com/how-...re-your-pc.php
The easiest way to make your computer run faster is by using one of these utilities: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...up-utility.htm
Don't forget to include a disk defragmenter, that is the best and safest way to speed up your pc.
You could use individual utilities instead, if you want a bit more performance at the cost of less convenience (look through here: http://www.techsupportalert.com/pc/cleanup-tools.html).
This isn't something mentioned here, but I've tried it and it really helped me on my old pc: http://www.eboostr.com/. It's shareware though, but works every time you startup for 4 hours.
Also, you may tweak your Windows settings/services/etc., but those aren't really for newbies.
Next, there's overclocking, but that can void your manufacturer's warranty and ruin your hardware if you go too far. That is definitely not something for beginners, but it has the greatest potential for performance gains.
Lastly, you can simply improve your hardware, but that isn't free (usually). The easiest and most universally possible way is to add more RAM.

TheDrewMiller 29. Jul 2009 12:37 AM

Thanks guys
 
I appreciate the feedback and a going to sort through the links and see what might be suitable for my situation. The firewall is the stand windows one...when you click on the yellow shield symbol in your bottom status bar.

So as far as what I have installed since last night...does it seem like those are suitable? They seemed to be highly rated on here so I went with them
(Avira, SuperAntiSpyware)

I almost downloaded one of the defrag options on here but wasnt sure which would be the best for me without compromising speed and memory space.

Basically I dont want to download 10 things that are going to be constantly popping up telling me to do this...then that. I would like something that can run without me manually dealing with it constantly is that is reasonable...

Thanks for the help!
Drew

TheDrewMiller 29. Jul 2009 01:48 AM

Keeping you updated..
 
The Secunia link has proved to be a help already. 14 programs needed to be updated. Some of them were doubles so I downloaded the one that seemed the most relevant.

1 question... when downloading the updated versions does it automatically removed the older one so that I am not compromising space on the computer?

Thanks for the link and I'll be sure to keep you posted as I make more progres towards cleaning this thing out!

J_L 29. Jul 2009 02:45 AM

The best defrag option is Smart Defrag. It can optimize your hard drive, putting the most used files in the fastest locations on your drive. Also, it can automatically defrag your drives when you're not using the computer.

As for the updates, it really depends on the software and the version you have on your computer. Space shouldn't be compromised (unless the installation directory changes without automatically uninstalling the old version, and excluding the likes of Java + .Net Framework), but the software might not work without uninstalling during major updates (2.0 to 3.0). If it's just minor updates (like 2.0 to 2.1), then simply installing over the old version should work fine.

TheDrewMiller 29. Jul 2009 03:43 AM

My First Defrag..good or bad?
 
1 Attachment(s)
Ive included a pic of my first defrag...I'm assuming since its not all solid theres something not so good going on here. Maybe I'm wrong?

Heres my defrag pic: http://www.techsupportalert.com/free...1&d=1248835236

I downloaded the one that the forum recommended as their highest rated. If there is a better one, advise me

Also, I am considering downloading : Advanced SystemCare Free from IObit but when it says it can harm your computer in the forum it scared me away. What things should I consider when deciding whether or not to download this program. Also, would it interfere with the Avira and SuperAntiSpyware I installed?

kendall.a 29. Jul 2009 04:09 AM

Based upon what you've shared so far, I'd stay away from Advanced SystemCare. I would stick with your antivirus (Avira is good) and a good firewall. You've already downloaded SAS, I would suggest also downloading and installing MalwareBytes Anti-malware and Spyware Blaster. MalwareBytes only needs to be run manually every week or so; same with Spyware Blaster. Smart Defrag (as already mentioned) is probably the best defrag program.

Most of us here would recommend that you NOT use Internet Explorer, instead use Firefox with Web of Trust (WOT), NoScript, and possibly LinkExtend add-ons.

TheDrewMiller 29. Jul 2009 05:11 AM

Thanks Kendal
 
Thanks for the insight Kendall.

Earlier today I installed MyDefrag because it was rated higher in one of the discussion board here. Would you recommend that I uninstall and get SmartDefrag? I included a pic of my defrag earlier today...not sure what it means but it looks better...i think

Also, I have never used Internet Explorer I always use Firefox and installed NoScript,WOT, and Adblock Plus. They seem to be working good but the NoScript is constantly bugging me. I suppose I'll get used to it. I just hate having to Temporarily allow script all day....for multiple web pages.

I am going to install MalwareBytes and Spyware Blaster tonight. I didn't before because I figured that they would not work properly in conjunction with SuperAntiSpyware.

Thanks for your advice.

p.s. - If anyone could offer some insight as to how I can uninstall the 2 operating systems I dont use without me crashing my computer I would greatly appreciate it. lol

p.p.s - I just downloaded MalwareBytes and Spyware Blaster...Spyware Blaster seems like a protector more than a scanner...am I correct? Also, what should I be aware of as far as having all these programs now? I really dont want to run into any problems with them in conjunction with eachother. Should I keep them all off and manually turn them on once a week? Keem them running? How should I prioritize these programs? Thanks!
So far I have downloaded the following :
1. Avira
2. Super Antispyware
3. MalwareBytes
4. Spyware Blaster
5. MyDefrag

If I should uninstall some or change some let me know.

kendall.a 29. Jul 2009 06:08 AM

Quote:

p.p.s - I just downloaded MalwareBytes and Spyware Blaster...Spyware Blaster seems like a protector more than a scanner...am I correct? Also, what should I be aware of as far as having all these programs now? I really dont want to run into any problems with them in conjunction with eachother. Should I keep them all off and manually turn them on once a week? Keem them running? How should I prioritize these programs? Thanks!
So far I have downloaded the following :
1. Avira
2. Super Antispyware
3. MalwareBytes
4. Spyware Blaster
5. MyDefrag

If I should uninstall some or change some let me know.
Spyware Blaster is indeed a "protector". Super Antispyware (SAS), MalwareBytes (MAB), Spyware Blaster, and MyDefrag are all manual or on-demand--you run them when you choose to. I run them all separately, individually, once per week or once per month (depends upon how paranoid I am that week/month). When you don't need them, don't run them. They should not be run constantly.

Avira should of course be on all the time; or what we call "resident". The other thing you haven't mentioned is a firewall. If you have a DSL or Cable router that includes a hardware firewall, then you're probably ok with the built-in windows firewall. (As long as you don't go to porn sites, warez sites, or other dangerous sites.) If you do not have a hardware firewall, then you really need a software firewall.

I have not personally used MyDefrag. If our editor here recommends it, then it's good. I personally use SmartDefrag and I really like it.

Quote:

p.s. - If anyone could offer some insight as to how I can uninstall the 2 operating systems I dont use without me crashing my computer I would greatly appreciate it. lol
Maybe I missed something, but what do you mean by "the 2 operating systems I don't use"? Normally, you cannot install more than one operating system on a computer unless you dual-boot it or use some type of virtual machine.

J_L 29. Jul 2009 06:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheDrewMiller (Post 10139)
Thanks for the insight Kendall.

Earlier today I installed MyDefrag because it was rated higher in one of the discussion board here. Would you recommend that I uninstall and get SmartDefrag? I included a pic of my defrag earlier today...not sure what it means but it looks better...i think

Also, I have never used Internet Explorer I always use Firefox and installed NoScript,WOT, and Adblock Plus. They seem to be working good but the NoScript is constantly bugging me. I suppose I'll get used to it. I just hate having to Temporarily allow script all day....for multiple web pages.

I am going to install MalwareBytes and Spyware Blaster tonight. I didn't before because I figured that they would not work properly in conjunction with SuperAntiSpyware.

Thanks for your advice.

p.s. - If anyone could offer some insight as to how I can uninstall the 2 operating systems I dont use without me crashing my computer I would greatly appreciate it. lol

p.p.s - I just downloaded MalwareBytes and Spyware Blaster...Spyware Blaster seems like a protector more than a scanner...am I correct? Also, what should I be aware of as far as having all these programs now? I really dont want to run into any problems with them in conjunction with eachother. Should I keep them all off and manually turn them on once a week? Keem them running? How should I prioritize these programs? Thanks!
So far I have downloaded the following :
1. Avira
2. Super Antispyware
3. MalwareBytes
4. Spyware Blaster
5. MyDefrag

If I should uninstall some or change some let me know.

I believe Smart Defrag is more user friendly while MyDefrag is more powerful.

As for NoScript, you should just allow all of your favourite sites (ex: bookmark links), instead of temporarily allowing everything. Also you may want to allow embedded media on the website such videos from youtube.com

Have you read and followed this guide?: http://www.techsupportalert.com/how-...re-your-pc.php

Anupam 29. Jul 2009 09:01 AM

Hi and welcome TheDrewMiller :).

Quote:

I recently decided that I was going to look into an antivirus program after finally getting TOO annoyed with the windows update icon constantly popping up telling me that I didn't have one.
So, you mean to say till now you were running the PC without an antivirus program:eek:? That was quite a mistake, I must say.

Anyways, its good now that you decided to go for an antivirus program, and you have chosen Avira... it is one of the best. The virus detection rate it offers is excellent.
An equally good choice is Avast Home. You can use any one of them.

As for antispywares, Superantispyware and MalwareBytes Antimalware... both are good. They can be used to scan the PC on-demand, on weekly basis, or as it suits you.
Spyware Blaster protects against a list of blacklisted sites, and you can use that to safeguard your system.

If you suspect you have virus and malwares lurking around in your computer... update the definitions of the antivirus, and the antispywares... and then run scans on your computer with them one by one.
Running scans with the above three should be sufficient.

Just to make sure you don't have any virus/malware, you can turn off the System Restore... because sometimes virus can keep hiding in the System Restore area, even after they have been removed from the other parts of the system, and they can strike back.
So turn off the System Restore, boot PC in safe mode, and then run the scans. Make sure you turn the System Restore back on when you are done with the scans, and when you boot in normal mode again. But mind you, all your restore points will be lost when you do this... so only do it if you want to.

If you still suspect you have virus/malware, you can post your problems in forums that let you post virus problems, and they will guide you there.

General System Maintenance:
To remove all the unnecessary junk from the computer, you can download CCleaner. It is safe and does a good job of getting rid of the junk like temporary files and other similar junk.

You can also download a software program like TreeSize, or WinDirStat... if you want to see what files or folders are occupying space on your computer, and where. They are helpful programs.

To improve performance of the computer, you can use defragment programs. There are various defragment programs out there which do a good job, and with so many choices, it all depends on your personal choice. You have installed MyDefrag, and that is certainly a good software. It has recently been given the top pick in the Best Free Disk Defragment. You can go with it. Other good choices are IObit SmartDefrag, and Defraggler.

My advice would be to stay away from the different tune-up utilities that are there, because the individual programs do better.

You can also do a registry defrag, if you want. It may improve performance a bit. Eusing offers a free registry defrag program here:
http://www.eusing.com/free_registry_...try_defrag.htm

I should caution you, there are two programs... registry defrag, and registry cleaners. Do not use registry cleaners, they are unsafe. Registry defrag is quite safe, and you may use that.

As for the multiple operating systems... which other operating systems are installed besides WinXP? Are they working? You should check if they are working. I don't have much knowledge about multiple OS, but I will check if I can get any information on how to remove those.
You will have to be quite careful because you don't have WinXP CD. You should take backup of your important data on DVDs, or external drive, or pendrive before doing anything major to the system.

MidnightCowboy 29. Jul 2009 10:10 AM

Hello again. Well, the first step you took was definitely a good choice. I use Avira free myself which is a simple program to operate with a highly effective detection rate.

Here's just a few tips to improve your protection coverage. If you start Avira to open the main windows then click the blue "configuration" link, put a 'tick' in the box for "Expert Mode". Then, in the right hand window select "All files", and also put a tick against "Search for rootkits before scan".

Hopefully, under the "General", "Extended threat category" you have already enabled these during the install process, but if not just select "All" in the right hand window.

There are a couple of other things like splitting the scan results into separate entries so you don't have to manage the findings en mass but these are not important at this stage.

Do you know how to set your time preference for the automatic updates? If not, please say and I'll run you through this process from the main window too.

I'll also apologize here but coming late into this I might end up duplicating stuff others have already posted for you.

The free version of A-Squared also has an excellent detection rate but also suffers from "false positives". These are files wrongly identified as being malware when in fact they're safe. The danger is that if you don't know this and delete them (same with any other program's scan results) then you risk removing things that other programs need to operate. This even extends to your operating system which in a worse case scenario could be disabled. This is the other reason I suggested a reformat because you could scan immediately after in the knowledge that anything identified would be definitely false. You could then just note these down to ignore in future scans. With an already established system though it means checking the files flagged with an online service and/or uploading them to a site like Virus Total, both of which I'm guessing you wouldn't be too keen on attempting. On the basis that we are now retaining your existing system however I would recommend downloading and scanning with A2 free, and we'll try to advise the results here depending on how many things it finds. Just post a screenshot of the scan results if you're unsure about anything and we'll offer an opinion. The dual scanning engine in A2 and broad spectrum detection makes this a must have option for your situation.

http://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/free/

Firewall choice.

For an excellent ease of use Firewall I would recommend Outpost Free. It has the ability to create most things for you automatically and will remove the need to make lots of manual configurations.
http://free.agnitum.com/

I would also recommend you download and install Comodo memory firewall. It's a simple process, requires no configuration and although it won't save the world it will prevent most of the commonly exploited methods for launching "buffer overflow" attacks. Some firewalls and other applications offer this protection too but CMF is a set and forget solution and well worth the 6MB of memory it takes up.
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/memoryfirewall.html

Having offered some choices for your security setup we then come to maintenance. This I know is where my own views are going to differ greatly from some of the others here because I do not like file cleaners and registry whatevers one bit! :D However, one thing not in dispute is that most established systems will benefit from the removal of temporary files and a disc defrag. The tools I would recommend for this are EmptyTempFolders and Auslogics defrag. The techies might suggest a "better" defrag tool but Auslogics is trouble free in use, easy to understand and does the job well enough.
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Securit...-Folders.shtml
http://www.auslogics.com/en/software/disk-defrag

I see others have recommended different options here which is fine. By all means stick with what you like best. In the end you'll never tell the difference between any of them. SmartDefrag is the easy option because it's fully automatic but I personally don't see the need to keep a service like this running full time and I did read somewhere recently that constantly defragging over time can actually slow your computer down instead of speeding it up. I thought I's saved the link to this at the time but something went wrong and now I can't find it again! :)

For your Firefox I would also recommend adding the CS Lite (cookies) and RefControl set to "forge" for a bit more added protection. OK so cookies are a privacy concern mainly but some recent malware exploits have targeted cookie files as a means of spreading.

Anupam 29. Jul 2009 10:32 AM

MC, I have seen you write many times, that you don't like file-cleaners. In case of registry cleaners, I will agree with you, that I too don't like them, because they don't improve the performance of the system, neither help in freeing the disk space... and moreover, they can damage the system.

This is not so in the case of file cleaners. There are many file cleaners out there, and some of them are not safe. But, CCleaner is the safest file cleaner, and you should definitely try it. You will be surprised, how much junk it will clean off your system. I have seen old systems, that had never been cleaned with any file cleaner, and when CCleaner was run on them, many-many MBs of hard disk space was freed. Now, it won't matter if you have a large capacity hard disk, and if you don't care about the space much. But, on a smaller capacity hard disks, and for people who care about the junk on their systems, file cleaners are very helpful. The temporary files, and the other junk are not much of use anyways, and they should be removed. Some virus and malwares also take refuge in the temporary files, and folders.
So, go ahead MC, give CCleaner a try :D.

We should not emphasize too much on which disk defragmenter to use, on TheDrewMiller :D. Its not that important. Important thing is that defragmenters will improve system performance.

I would advise not to use A-Squared at this stage, because there is no WinXP CD to perform recovery or other things, if anything goes wrong. Because of the large amount of false positives from A-Squared, chances are that something might go wrong if an important file is removed. MC has duly warned about it... but I am still advising just to be safe.

TheDrewMiller 29. Jul 2009 10:33 AM

About the ther Opeating Systems...
 
I'd have to reboot to check but they're other versions of windows.
I am running Windows XP Pro.

I asked how to remove them because I wonder how much space is being compromised that I could be using...

Regarding backing up my computer... I dont have any of the original disks and have no idea how to backup my computer. If it involves writing info on a cd my computer is capable of that but is very slow at it....

If it involves writing on a dvd, my computer doesn't even read dvd's. I have read up on some writing software on here...could I download dvd burning software and make it work? Or do I need to buy a dvd burner??? <---- not important but food for thought:)

I want to free up as much space as I can on here.... Im assuming deleting the unused OS's would do this? Also, is there anything I can look up in my computer that would tell me exactly "how good" my computer is running or just have a good idea of how much space I have left to mess around with??

As far as the recommendations from MC... Will downloading that firewall interfere at all with the current windows one? I read somewhere on here if you have multiple firewalls it can really screw up your computer.

Thanks guys!
Drew

Anupam 29. Jul 2009 10:47 AM

Drew... space left on the drives, can be seen in the My Computer window. You can see both the used space, and the free space.

Since you are that concerned about hard disk space... please download CCleaner, it will get rid of the junk on your system, and free up space.

Next, you should download TreeSize or WinDirStat. They will give you an idea of the space being used on the hard disk in a nice manner, which will be very helpful for you.

To be able to burn DVDs, you do indeed need a DVD burner :). Then only you can. By backing up, I meant backing your important documents, music, videos, files, and folders. Backing up of the whole system might not be of use, because using that, you cannot restore your system, or cannot install the OS again.

One option would be to make a disk image of the hard disk, but I would advise against it, since you are not sure, if you have virus on the system or not... second, there are multiple OS on the computer, and they will also be included in the image. Third, we don't what's the size of the used space... and so disk image may be pretty large. Also, you don't have a DVD burner :D.

Don't be too concerned about the other OS on the system. First you need to make sure there are no malwares or virus on the system. And, defragment your hard disk. Then you should move further. Take it easy :D.

Anupam 29. Jul 2009 12:13 PM

I found some links on how to remove dual boot. But, I don't know if you will be able to do it on yourself or not. I haven't tried dual booting anytime, and so I don't have any experience of it.

Main problem is that you don't have the original XP disk. That makes removing the other OS quite risky.

It might help, if you can tell what OS are there on your system, and on which partition, or if they are on different hard drives.

If you want to try a firewall, you can turn the Windows firewall off, and then install the other firewall. But, if you are not comfortable with the idea of a firewall, and have apprehensions about it, and you think you will not be able to handle it, then please continue with Windows Firewall. MC will explain more about it, and give his views.

TheDrewMiller 29. Jul 2009 12:31 PM

Been busy...tryin to keep updated
 
5 Attachment(s)
Im in the US and its 4am here so Im gettin to bed but had a few things to say and questions before I hit the sheets.

I downloaded the CC cleaner just to see what kinds of things it would pull up and on the first scan it showed 150MB of junk files. I dont know if that is considered alot...but theyre gone now. As far as CC goes though...I can see a lot of file names coming up that I have no idea what they mean...I dont want to delete anything that could cause serious problems so is there anything I should keep an eye out for? Also, there seems to be alot of configuration setting for the CC Cleaner and I was wondering if there is any particular way I should set this up to gain optimum performance as well as not messing anything up.

I am including a multiple screenshots of my first TreeSize scan so you guys can get an idea of how my space is being used up and give me some pointers on how I can free some space up without damaging anything. I am seeing many users on the computer, but when I actually go into the folders...there are folders that Treesize is showing are there...but are apparently magical because I cannot find them anywhere. I hope the screenshots I have provided are sufficient enough for you to make an evaluation and walk me through deleting these users files. They must be previous owners of the computer...because I have never heard of them

I am now going to bed but will be looking forward to you're future posts. You may have added a couple while I was writing this as I've been in and out for about 2 hours.

TheDrewMiller 29. Jul 2009 12:35 PM

More screenshots
 
2 Attachment(s)
Ive included a screeshot for MC regarding my Avira Scheduling. Let me know if daily is good or I should do it weekly.

Ive also included some more screenshots of my Tree breakdown and my questions about the breakdown and where the mysterious files are.

For note: The other operating systems on the computer are
Windows 2000pro
Windows XP Home Edition

Anupam 29. Jul 2009 08:46 PM

Drew... CCleaner is a pretty safe application, and you can be relaxed that it won't harm your system. Just use its file cleaning part, and not the registry cleaner part... but that is considered safe too.

You can safely delete what it shows and you can go on with the default settings. Just to be sure, you can uncheck "Memory Dumps", and "Windows log files" from the "System" part, and "Hotfix Uninstallers" from the "Advanced" part. Rest is ok.

About the folders showing up in TreeSize, but not on the disks, the reason is that those files and folders are hidden. If you want to see them, follow this procedure: Open My Computer ---> From the Menu bar ---> Click Tools ---> Folder Options ---> Under View Tab ---> Advanced Settings ---> Show hidden files and folders.
This should start showing your hidden files and folders. But, don't just start deleting them :D. Some are important for the system, and that's why they are hidden.

Thunderbird is an email application like Outlook Express. If you don't use it, you can uninstall it via Add/Remove Programs from Control Panel.

Regarding different users being there... first you should note down the user names. Then you should browse their folders, to see if they have any data which might be important for you. Save those data to a different safe place. After that, you can log in as Administrator, or other account having administrator rights, and then delete those user accounts from the Control Panel ---> User Accounts.

Data is yours, so you have decide what to save.

wdhpr 30. Jul 2009 03:05 AM

Maybe I haven't looked close enough but I did not see anything showing the other os's. There should be separate partitions showing c, d, etc.

A good partition manager such as acronis disk director or paragon partition manager are ones that I have used and can vouch for. However they are shareware.
http://www.techsupportalert.com/cont...on-manager.htm Here you can find free versions of this type of software. However I have not used them and can not vouch for their performance or safety.
The point is a good partition manager will allow you to safely delete these partitions as well as regain the hard drive space they consumed. Not to be done lightly. There is always a risk! Be warned. (know what your doing first) Read and think through!

Is there a boot option to these OS's when booting your computer? If so you may need to edit your boot.ini after reclaiming the partitions.the boot.ini is a very critical file! Make a backup first of that file. Also it maybe hidden.

My advice is to read up on what you want to do. Make a plan. Print out directions first before attempting major changes such as these.

Good luck

Wdhpr

TheDrewMiller 30. Jul 2009 09:23 PM

Boot option?
 
When I reboot the computer it shows up with a list of the OS's and asks me which one I want to use. Not sure if that is what you mean...

As far as the partition managers go I am really wary about losing everything on my computer because I work from home and literally "everything" is on here. Im guessing it probably wouldnt be in my best interest to mess around with this risky business.

I dont know how to make a backup disk or whatever you call it to save all your info incase that happens

Sope 30. Jul 2009 10:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheDrewMiller (Post 10341)
As far as the partition managers go I am really wary about losing everything on my computer because I work from home and literally "everything" is on here. Im guessing it probably wouldnt be in my best interest to mess around with this risky business.

I dont know how to make a backup disk or whatever you call it to save all your info incase that happens

In this case, my advice would be to make it your priority to learn how to make backups of all your important data as a matter of urgency. Hard drives can and do fail at any time.

It's a simple task to burn all your important files to disk once you look into it, and the peace of mind backups give is invaluable.

Anupam 30. Jul 2009 10:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sope (Post 10344)
In this case, my advice would be to make it your priority to learn how to make backups of all your important data as a matter of urgency. Hard drives can and do fail at any time.

It's a simple task to burn all your important files to disk once you look into it, and the peace of mind backups give is invaluable.

I will agree 100% with Sope here. Its important that you backup your important data on DVDs, or an external hard drive, if you have. Since you do not have an XP disk, this makes it more important to backup your data. Because, if something happens, you won't be able to even run recovery. Only chance would be to slave your hard disk to another one, and take out your data. If the hard disk fails, even those chances are also dim.

DVD burners come really cheap nowadays, and so do blank DVDs. This investment is worth a lot. Learn from someone how to write data on DVDs, if you don't know, and back all the important data, as soon as possible.

Till that is done, I would advise not to do anything about the multiple OS issue... let it be. If you really want them removed, get professional help. Because, we can give you the links on how to remove the OS, but if you are not able to do it properly, you will loose data.
Do not mess around with the system much, until your data is safe somewhere.

Sope 30. Jul 2009 11:02 PM

Yep, I wouldn't worry about multiple OS for now.

Regarding backups, to start you off, here's the most simple method to burn files to CD using XP -
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306524
(assuming you PC has a CD/DVD burner which is very likely)

Next up (preferably) you could choose something from here -
http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...g-software.htm

Alternatively you could just copy files straight onto a USB flash memory stick (inexpensive), or an external hard drive (relatively expensive).

Here's the more advanced way to backup your entire system before you mess with partitioning programs etc. -
http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...ng-program.htm

To be safe, always make sure anything important that you have stored digitally is on at least two seperate devices/media.

MidnightCowboy 30. Jul 2009 11:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheDrewMiller (Post 10167)
Ive included a screeshot for MC regarding my Avira Scheduling. Let me know if daily is good or I should do it weekly.

Hi

No, daily is good for the updates which need doing as frequently as possible so that the latest malware signatures are always in your database. There is a way you can instruct Avira to update more often but it's best not to get involved with any program tweaks until you get the rest of your system sorted. Is the time shown in the screenshot OK for a daily update i.e. are you always likely to be online at this time? Avira will repeat the update request if you're "switched off" but you can set a more convenient time if you wish to. Just click on the time showing then on the third icon from the left in the toolbar above and follow the windows through to adjust the time setting.

kendall.a 30. Jul 2009 11:15 PM

Quote:

Regarding backups, to start you off, here's the most simple method to burn files to CD using XP -
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306524
(assuming you PC has a CD/DVD burner which is very likely)

Next up (preferably) you could choose something from here -
http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...g-software.htm

Alternatively you could just copy files straight onto a USB flash memory stick (inexpensive), or an external hard drive (relatively expensive).

Here's the more advanced way to backup your entire system before you mess with partitioning programs etc. -
http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...ng-program.htm

To be safe, always make sure anything important that you have stored digitally is on at least two seperate devices/media.
I totally agree that you should have at least 2 separate devices/media. In that vein, I would like to suggest online data backup. I use Mozy for this purpose and I love it.

I actually back up to 3 separate media/devices; plus an image backup. I back up my data online, to DVD's, and to an external hard drive. Then, I make monthly image backups and save those to an external hard drive. (Yes, I am a little bit paranoid about data backup......)

aqua 31. Jul 2009 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MidnightCowboy (Post 10154)
Hello again. Well, the first step you took was definitely a good choice. I use Avira free myself which is a simple program to operate with a highly effective detection rate.

Here's just a few tips to improve your protection coverage. If you start Avira to open the main windows then click the blue "configuration" link, put a 'tick' in the box for "Expert Mode". Then, in the right hand window select "All files", and also put a tick against "Search for rootkits before scan".

Hopefully, under the "General", "Extended threat category" you have already enabled these during the install process, but if not just select "All" in the right hand window.

There are a couple of other things like splitting the scan results into separate entries so you don't have to manage the findings en mass but these are not important at this stage.

Do you know how to set your time preference for the automatic updates? If not, please say and I'll run you through this process from the main window too.

I'll also apologize here but coming late into this I might end up duplicating stuff others have already posted for you.

The free version of A-Squared also has an excellent detection rate but also suffers from "false positives". These are files wrongly identified as being malware when in fact they're safe. The danger is that if you don't know this and delete them (same with any other program's scan results) then you risk removing things that other programs need to operate. This even extends to your operating system which in a worse case scenario could be disabled. This is the other reason I suggested a reformat because you could scan immediately after in the knowledge that anything identified would be definitely false. You could then just note these down to ignore in future scans. With an already established system though it means checking the files flagged with an online service and/or uploading them to a site like Virus Total, both of which I'm guessing you wouldn't be too keen on attempting. On the basis that we are now retaining your existing system however I would recommend downloading and scanning with A2 free, and we'll try to advise the results here depending on how many things it finds. Just post a screenshot of the scan results if you're unsure about anything and we'll offer an opinion. The dual scanning engine in A2 and broad spectrum detection makes this a must have option for your situation.

http://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/free/

Firewall choice.

For an excellent ease of use Firewall I would recommend Outpost Free. It has the ability to create most things for you automatically and will remove the need to make lots of manual configurations.
http://free.agnitum.com/

I would also recommend you download and install Comodo memory firewall. It's a simple process, requires no configuration and although it won't save the world it will prevent most of the commonly exploited methods for launching "buffer overflow" attacks. Some firewalls and other applications offer this protection too but CMF is a set and forget solution and well worth the 6MB of memory it takes up.
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/memoryfirewall.html

Having offered some choices for your security setup we then come to maintenance. This I know is where my own views are going to differ greatly from some of the others here because I do not like file cleaners and registry whatevers one bit! :D However, one thing not in dispute is that most established systems will benefit from the removal of temporary files and a disc defrag. The tools I would recommend for this are EmptyTempFolders and Auslogics defrag. The techies might suggest a "better" defrag tool but Auslogics is trouble free in use, easy to understand and does the job well enough.
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Securit...-Folders.shtml
http://www.auslogics.com/en/software/disk-defrag

I see others have recommended different options here which is fine. By all means stick with what you like best. In the end you'll never tell the difference between any of them. SmartDefrag is the easy option because it's fully automatic but I personally don't see the need to keep a service like this running full time and I did read somewhere recently that constantly defragging over time can actually slow your computer down instead of speeding it up. I thought I's saved the link to this at the time but something went wrong and now I can't find it again! :)

For your Firefox I would also recommend adding the CS Lite (cookies) and RefControl set to "forge" for a bit more added protection. OK so cookies are a privacy concern mainly but some recent malware exploits have targeted cookie files as a means of spreading.

GOOD TIPS for avira ..thanks MC..didn't know about it.


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