Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Windows 8 Antivirus and Antispyware--An Insight into Windows 8 Internal Virus Detection

It’s more than a year; we are listening continuously about Microsoft Windows 8. Microsoft always has to say something about its upcoming release. In many discussions company represents its focus on Windows Defender and OS kernel. Perhaps Microsoft’s history does not allow us to get more excited about security features in Windows 8.

Probably Windows 8 would be more secure than preceding versions, however, hackers may find some security holes in Windows. 

Built-in Antivirus in Windows 8

Microsoft is currently working to add more security features to Windows 8 operating system and it may anger antivirus industry that highly relies on worm catching products.  Built-in Antivirus in Windows 8 is bad news for antivirus industry but good for consumers. With built-in antivirus users will get out of the box for protection issues. It depends on the quality and power of the build in protection mechanism in the upcoming OS from the Redmond Champ. 

Possibly creating a single frame of antivirus program for multi-million users could make a security mono-culture. Built-in antivirus as a part of Windows update may threaten many companies.

Including Antivirus in Windows 8 is innovation?

Including antivirus in Windows 8 is innovation or it’s just a monopoly? Companies relying on antivirus products would get hurt but does it mean it’s good for consumers?

Built-in antivirus would certainly hurt consumer sales but if every user who is getting Windows 8 on new computer never attempts for protection, won’t that create a new universe of issues?
Assembling antivirus in Windows 8 is surprising!!!

Microsoft itself says

Windows 8 the new release would be safe, secure and reliable in computing environment. Microsoft is committed to provide broad array of solutions to the computer world through a wide range of industry partners. 

Current Landscape of Windows

Virus attacks and malware has become standard weapon against anyone who uses Internet in this digital era. Even cell phones and tablets are victim of these malicious programs. Some viruses are designed to attack all operating systems.

Hackers are now moving to social engineering tricks to perform their actions. Online advertising campaigns site can bring viruses in your system. In fact some sites have the potential to install viruses on your system.

Windows 8 is Secure by Design

Microsoft is using security development lifecycle when building Windows 8 to provide you best security design and development.

·         They are writing secure code to prevent from common coding bugs.
·         Company is continuously working to update its security tools to the latest state.

Windows 8 includes mitigation enhancements that would surely further reduce the attacks. Improvements are under following features.

·         ASLR
·         Windows Kernel
·         Windows Heap
·         Internet Explorer

Microsoft Antimalware Engine

After installation of Windows 8 on a new system, if you have no security software installed, Windows 8 will provide you protection with improved version of Windows Defender. Improvements to Windows Defender would help users to protect from all type of malicious programs. Windows update would regularly track your system for updates using Microsoft Antimalware Engine.

Windows UEFI-based secure boot will help ensure all firmware and updates are secure. In boot path only properly signed and validated code shall be inserted which ensures malicious code cannot enter into boot.

SmartScreen for IE and Windows

Windows 8 will improve the performance and security with reputation-based technologies used to launch applications as well as when you are browsing through Internet Explorer.

Application reputation is new feature that is added to SamrtScreen in IE which provides an additional layer of defense to make you feel and stay safer. Still Internet Explorer is not only way to download things, users might choose some download manger or any other web browser.

On Windows 8 based machines SmartScreen will only notify when you run an application. User experience in this way is quite simple because you just need to click and go. All major browsers, Instant Messaging and email clients have added this feature known as “Mark of the web”

In conclusion, Windows 8 is taking broader steps to improve the security level by the use of SDL processes. Windows Defender is another way to provide users real-time protection against all categories of malicious programs.

How Cloud Computing Really Works and What are its Benefits for Ordinary Users

The term Cloud Computing means a service available on the internet for which you sign up and access via your web browser. It’s not an application program that is installed on your computer.

Cloud Computing is a commonly seen and speedily growing form of internet services. When someone says the data is stored “in the cloud”, it means the data is stored on the servers of the service provider company and off course not in our computer.

The main advantage of cloud computing is that you can access your data from anywhere in the world. You need not be in a particular place or use a particular computer for accessing your data. Since the data is stored in the servers of the service providing company, you’re free to use any computer and log-in from any place on the earth. Good examples of cloud computing are Gmail, Hotmail, Google Docs and Wikipedia.

How Cloud Computing works?
Let’s say you started a new office and purchased dozens of computers. You have employees ready to manage the data in to the computers. But is it really enough? Of course not, because you need to buy several copies of all software program that you’re expecting your employees should use. It would cost more money and become so difficult for you.
The cloud computing has changed the entire computer industry. It saves your money and makes the data accessible from anywhere in the world. In above example, wouldn’t it be a good idea to subscribe for a “single” cloud based service and access it from all your computers without purchasing any software?
Simply talking, cloud services are provided by the companies which have lots of servers that store our data. For using these services and accessing the data, what we require is just a web browser! We subscribe for them, provide log-in details and our data is ready.

Benefits for Ordinary Users:
There are several benefits of using cloud based services. The main benefits are highlighted below: 

1. No Need to Install Software:
Cloud computing has changed the way user works on PC. There is no need to buy and install software on each computer where you want to work. Just open the web browser and log-in to your cloud based service. You’re done! 

2. Saves Time:
Lot of our time is saved by not having to install any software. We do not need to download or install anything on our computers. 

3. Economical:
In cloud computing, there is no thing like multiple user license. Generally, in ordinary computing, you need not to purchase several copies of a single software for all your computers/ users. Thus it saves huge money! 

4. Access Data from Anywhere:
The cloud technology makes it possible to access our documents and data from any part of the world. An internet enabled computer with a web browser is competent to use a cloud based service.
5. Data Security:
Cloud technology is quite safer. It provides us data security against viruses, accidental deleting and computer problems. Since the data is stored online, there is no chance of losing it if our computer stops working at all. Regular backup is also provided.

6. No Tech Knowledge Required:
For using cloud based applications generally no technical knowledge is required to the user. The user has to just subscribe for the service and all the things are managed by the services provider.

Cloud based services are very helpful to the users and have a great future. They’re changing the way we’re using our computer. They are making it simple, quick and economical to work. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Speed Up Slow PC Performance

A slow computer is one of the most irritating problems faced by users all over the world. It makes you frustrating, reduces your productivity and increases the chances of committing mistakes. Regardless to say, you’ll lose the interest in watching movies, listening music and playing games on such a computer.

With the ages a computer runs slower and slower. Definitely there is no single factor that causes such a major problem. Lot of things have to be taken into consideration if you’re expecting to make your computer run faster and prevent system freezes and lags. This article goes through simple, safe and useful techniques that are expected to perform at least once a week to speed up slow PC performance.
Clean Registry Errors
Registry Scan Results
Registry is like the brain of your operating system. It has thousands of entries belonging to several programs and the operating system itself. Over a period of time, potential problems start arising in the registry and simultaneously the PC performance goes affected. Thus regularly scan your registry using a quality Registry Cleaner and fix all errors found in it. 

Check Disk Errors
Similar to the point illustrated above the same problem happens with your hard disk. We daily store and process a number of files on our hard disk. Our actions, unexpected power failures and other things make bad sectors in our hard disk resulting in a slowed PC performance.
Repairing the Disk Errors
To dramatically speed up slow PC performance you’re supposed to check the hard disk errors and fix them instantly.
  1. Double click My Computer desktop icon.
  2. Right click the C:\ drive and select Properties.
  3. In the new dialog click Tools tab and then Check Now button.
  4. Click Start when prompted.
  5. Repeat the above steps for all other partitions of your hard disk. 

Clear Cache of Internet & Other Files
Your computer creates a cache of many files that you frequently open. This contains temporary internet files and other system files too. Obviously it negatively affects the system performance because a large amount of disk space is used for this purpose. Thus clearing temporary files becomes essential to speed up slow PC performance.
Cleaning Temporary Files
  1. Open My Computer, right click the C:\ drive and select Properties.
  2. In the General tab click Disk CleanUp button.
  3. In the new dialog click Clean Up System Files button.
  4. Check up all the boxes and click OK button. 

Adjust Windows Performance Settings
Windows itself provides an option to choose for best appearance or performance. By selecting the latter option, you’ll be able to notice a significant improvement in the system performance because most of the features that cause your computer run slow are disabled. In other words the first priority is given to the speed of your computer and then to the appearance.
Adjust Windows for Best Performance
Customize Windows settings as below:
  1. Right click My Computer desktop icon and select Properties.
  2. In the new dialog click Advanced System Settings. (Left side)
  3. As default the Advanced tab would be open. If it is so, click Settings button under Performance frame.
  4. You’ll see a new sub-dialog. Click Visual Effects tab and select Adjust for best performance.
  5. Click OK | OK. 

Optimize Startups & Services
This is a very crucial step. Until and unless you don’t manage the programs being loaded at the startup interval, you’ll not be able to speed up slow PC performance.
Most often Startup Manager and Services Optimizer come as a part of a Registry Cleaner software. If you have downloaded it, then click the relevant tab and manage them.
Optimizing Startups & Services
Alternatively, you may use System Configuration tool in Windows as discussed below. There is a limitation that unlike a Startup Manager and Services Optimizer tool, it will not be able to automatically optimize these items. You must have the knowledge of the programs and services that you’re considering to disable.
  1. Click Start, point to All Programs | Accessories. Select Run option.
  2. Type MsConfig and then press ENTER.
  3. Use the Startup and Services tabs to deselect each unnecessary item.
  4. Click Apply | OK when you’re done.
  5. Restart the system.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

ATI2dvag Blue Screen

A computer changes the display modes and applies 16 bit colors automatically. An error appears saying the ATI Graphics has been stopped responding so you need to restart the computer. When restarted it shows ATI2dvag Blue Screen and the operating system fails to boot. You’ll be able to access your data from the Safe Mode and Normal Mode won’t work temporarily.

This is really a bothering problem especially when you’re playing games or doing some important work on your computer. Besides, it makes your data insecure and causes further damages to the PC. If you’re getting this problem and seeking a solution, you have come at the right place. Fortunately solving this problem has never been a hard task. Let’s begin.
  • Update your AGP Controller
  • Disable AGP FastWrite
  • Check and Clean System Configurations
  • Scan System Files

Update your AGP Controller
AGP stands for Accelerated Graphics Port. Its primary objective is to accelerate the 3D performance of your games and computer graphics.
If the AGP Controller is out-of-date you may receive ATI2dvag Blue Screen. Update it using Device Manager as discussed below:
  1. Click Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Run.
  2. Type DevMgmt.msc in the Open box and press ENTER.
  3. Right click your AGP Controller (For example, SiS AGP) and select Update option.
  4. Select automatic update option. If unsuccessful, try manual update option after downloading appropriate files from the manufacturer website.
  5. Restart your computer.
Disable AGP FastWrite Feature
Many motherboards support the AGP FastWrite feature. Although your motherboard is capable of using it and it is already enabled by default, it can be interfering with other programs and Windows components.  Thus disable it by performing the steps given below:
  1. Double click My Computer icon on your desktop.
  2. Open C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc\Modules.d
  3. Right click the file NVIDIA and select Open With | Notepad. If the file name is other than NVIDIA then open concerning file.
  4. You’ll find the following line: options nvidia NVreg_EnableAGPFW=1 NVreg_EnableAGPSBA=1
  5. Replace 1 with 0 and save the settings by clicking File | Save.
  6. Close the file and restart your machine.
Note:In some cases you’ll have to alter the BIOS Settings to disable the said functionality. Please visit the website of motherboard manufacturer for detailed information.

Check and Clean System Configurations
The registry of your computer may contain certain strings & keys which are incorrectly modified by some programs. Scan the registry errors and clean them as soon as possible. Download a genuine Registry Cleaner such as PC Fresher. 
Scan System Files
Some of the operating system files can be missing or replaced by malicious programs. Scan them using System File Checker as below:
Running System File Checker using Command Prompt
  1. Click Start, point to All Programs | Accessories.
  2. Right click Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator option.
  3. Type SFC /SCANNOW and then press ENTER.
  4. When you’re done please restart your computer.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Error 807 Repair in PC

When you’re getting access to a central organisational network through the Virtual Private Network (VPN) error 807 is common. It may appear while trying to connect to your workplace using the dial-up connection you have on Windows 7, Vista or XP based computers.
I’m going to demonstrate a few ideas and changes in the system settings that you’ll have to make in order to fix this error and make your network run fine as usual.
  • Stop Multimedia Class Planner Service
  • Turn Off your Firewall and Antivirus Protections
  • Fix Network Configurations in your Registry
  • Restore the System

Stop Multimedia Class Planner Service
Stop "Multimedia Class Scheduler"
The Multimedia Class Planner (MCP) service is usually responsible for error 807. It is displayed in the Services manager program which can be located as below:
  1. Click Start, point to All Programs | Accessories | Run.
  2. Type Services.msc
  3. Right click the service Multimedia Class Planner and select Properties.
  4. In General tab, select Startup Type to Disabled.
  5. Click the Stop button and then click OK.
  6. Again, open Run, type RegEdit and press ENTER.
  7. Locate HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE => System => CurrentControlSet => Services => AudioSVR
  8. Double click DependOnService string. Delete the line MMCSS from the value shown in it.
  9. Click OK and close Registry Editor. 

Turn Off your Firewall and Antivirus Protections
Disable Firewall Protection
In some cases firewall and antivirus programs prevent your computer from connecting to a network thus causing error 807. Turn both of them off to fix the error.
  1. Click Start, select Control Panel.
  2. Click System and Security | Windows Firewall.
  3. On the left hand side click Turn Windows Firewall On or Off link.
  4. Make it turned off and click OK | Close.
  5. Refer to the Help & Support Manual of your antivirus program to know how to stop the real-time protection. Usually an icon is placed in the System Tray area where you are given options similar to Disable Protection or Stop RealTime Protection etc.

Fix Network Configurations in your Registry
The registry can have problem itself. Some of the settings stored in it can have changed because of which you’re getting error 807. It is simple to fix the registry. Just download a Registry Cleaner program, install it. Run a full scan and review the corrupt portions of your registry. Fix them instantly by clicking Fix Errors button.

Restore the System
If you have chosen to make a restore point automatically, you may have a chance to restore your system to an earlier date and repair error 807.
  1. Click Start, point to All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | System Restore.
  2. Click Next, select a system restore point and follow the necessary instructions.

Direct3d Error Repair Procedure in Windows (7, Vista and XP)

In many cases Direct3d is either disabled or your computer shows Microsoft. Direct.direct3d.dll error. The error occurs due to a file that contains DirectX software collection. It is used by multimedia content and games on your system. Below is given Direct3d error repair procedure.

Step 1: Configure Hardware Acceleration 

This error can be repaired by configuring hardware acceleration to "full" scale. Follow the instructions given below. 

1. Click on Start | Search Box | Type “Display”
2. Click on Display Properties in Programs list.
3. Enter correct Admin login and password if prompted.
On Windows XP:
1. Click on Start | Run | Type “desk.cpl” | OK
2. Click on Settings | Advanced
3. Click on Troubleshooting on Performance tab
4. Move the Hardware Acceleration slider to right.
5. OK | Close
6. Restart your system if prompted.

Step 2: Enable Direct3D or DirectDraw

Below are some steps through which you can enable Direct3D or DirectDraw.

1. Click on Start | Search Box | Type “dxdiag” | Enter.
2. Enter Admin login and password if prompted.

In Windows XP:

1. Click on Start | Run | Type “dxdiage” | OK
2. Verify that DirectDraw and Direct3D Acceleration on Display tab are selected under DirectX Features.
3. Click on Enable if their status is Disabled

Step 3: Install Latest Version of DirectX

Direct3dD error can appear due to outdated version of DirectX. Download and Install the latest version of DirectX. In some cases users are unable to install the updates. If you are experiencing issues when downloading products, you should troubleshoot the problem especially when you cannot install updates.

Step 4: Update Video Driver

Direct3D error appears when your video driver is outdated. Update video driver automatically or by applying the steps given below.

1. Right Click on My Computer | Select Properties
2. Hardware | Device Manager
3. Check if Video Drive is marked with Yellow sign.
4. Check the vendor’s name through DirectX (start | run | type “dxdiag” )
5. Download latest version of video driver and restart your system.

Step 5: Limit Startup Items and Manage Background Services

When you start your operating system, lots of programs start automatically. These background running programs can interfere with other programs which results in Direct3D error. Use Microsoft Configuration utility to limit startup items and to manage background services.

1. Click on Start | Run
2. Type “msconfig” without quotes | Enter.
3. Click on Start up items | Uncheck unwanted startup items
4. Click on Services | Uncheck unwanted background services

Step 6: Disable NetMeeting’s RDS

When Remote Desktop Sharing is enabled, NetMeeting disables Direct3D. Disable NetMeeting’s RDS to avoid from Direct3D error.

1. Start NetMeeting | Click on Remote Desktop Sharing on the Tools menu
2. Clear Enable Remote Desktop Sharing on this computer | OK
3. Close NetMeeting

Step 7: Disable the Enable Write Combining (XP)

If above step did not work for you, disable the Enable Write Combining feature by following the instructions given below.

1. Click on Start | Control Panel | Display
2. Click Advanced on Settings tab
3. Click on Troubleshoot tab| Check clear Enable Write Combining
4. OK | OK again

Method 8: Create Fresh User Profile

If Direct3D error continues to appear on your system, create a fresh user profile. Follow the instructions given below.

1. Click on Start | Run | Type “compmgmt.smc” without quotes | OK
2. Expand Local users and Groups | Right click Users | New Users
3. Type User Name and Password | Create
4. Place newly created profile under Administrator | OK

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Improve Windows 7 Performance

The performance of Windows 7 based computer decreases day by day. The programs & games start lagging, applications load slowly due to which it becomes very difficult to work on it.

By following a few guidelines and regularly tweaking your computer, you’ll observe a great improvement in the system performance. No matter how much tech savvy you’re; this article deals with such tools and techniques that anyone can do easily without any difficulties.

Tip: Optimize Windows 7 w/ RegInOut System Utilities

Best Optimization Software

  1. Schedule Disk CleanUp
  2. Make Changes to your Registry
  3. Uninstall Unnecessary Software
  4. Defrag the Registry
  5. Turn Off Visual Effects
  6. Speed Up the Folder Browsing
  7. Stop Unwanted Services
  8. Unload DLLs when Applications are Closed
  9. Disable Startups
  10. Avoid System Overheating
Schedule Disk CleanUp

To make your machine run smoother, it is important to delete unwanted files and folders stored on your hard disk. The lesser files you’ll store; the more improvements you’ll see in the computer performance.
Disk CleanUp is a tool included with Microsoft Windows that help users in finding and deleting unwanted files and folders. I’m providing steps to schedule this task so that you don’t need to remember it at all.
  1. Click Start button on your Taskbar.
  2. Type CMD in the Search box and press ENTER.
  3. Type CleanMGR.EXE /sageset: 1 and then press ENTER.
  4. Disk CleanUp will open. Mark all the items checked and then click OK. This will make Windows understand which items it should clean when it executes our scheduled task.
  5. Click Start.
  6. Type Task Scheduler in the Search box and press ENTER.
  7. Click the Action menu and select Create Basic Task.
  8. A wizard will appear on your screen. Type a name, say Clean-Up the Disk Automatically. Type a description, say Delete temporary files to make your hard disk clean.
  9. Answer When do you want the task to start? as Daily. Click Next.
  10. Keep the default date, select a time comfortable for you and then click Next.
  11. In What action do you want the task to perform? select Start a program. Click Next.
  12. In Program/ Script, type C:\Windows\System32\CleanMGR.exe
  13. In Add Arguments, type /sagerun:1
  14. Click Next.
  15. Confirm the settings and click Finish.
Make Changes to your Registry

Registry is the database where several settings are stored. Due to several reasons, these changes affect its performance. I have mentioned some registry tweaks below which will improve Windows 7 performance:
  1. Click Start, type RegEdit and press ENTER.
  2. Open the following location:
  3. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
  4. Double click MenuShowDelay. Replace 400 with 200 and click OK. The lower number you’ll specify here, the faster Start Menu will load.
  5. Open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control.
  6. Double click WaitToKillServiceTimeOut and replace 5000 with 1000. This is the timing specified after which unresponsive programs are automatically terminated.
If you are unsure how to make changes to your Windows registry use some effective system utilities software such as PCFresher. 

Uninstall Unnecessary Software

Have you installed a bunch of software programs? Installing more programs wastes your disk space and makes your computer slower. It is also found that most of them run every time your computer starts. To improve Windows 7 performance, remove the programs you don’t use.

  • Click Start | Control Panel | Programs | Uninstall a Program.
  • One by one select and uninstall all unneeded programs.

Defrag the Registry

De-fragmentation of your Windows registry is a very essential task. It is because almost all programs continuously change the registry information thus resulting in a huge fragmentation.

Download a Registry Defrag tool such as RegInOut. Start this tool, close other open programs and defrag the registry.

Turn Off Visual Effects

Sometimes appearance versus performance situation is created in Windows. Follow these guidelines:

  • Click Start, right click My Computer. Select Properties.
  • Click Advanced System Settings.
  • Under Performance, click Settings.
  • Select the option Adjust for Best Performance and click OK | OK.

Speed Up the Folder Browsing

To reduce the slight delay in browsing folders, change the settings given below:
  • Open My Computer.
  • Press Alt key of your keyboard, select Tools | Folder Options.
  • Click the View tab. De-select the box named Automatically Search for Network Folders and Printers.
  • Click Apply | OK.         
Stop Unwanted Services

Running a number of services increase the load on your processor and computer runs slower. Improve Windows 7 performance by stopping the unwanted services.

  • Click Start, type Services.msc in the Search box. Press ENTER.
  • Stop the following services:Indexing Service, NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing, Help and Support, Remote Registry Services, Human Interface Access Devices, Messenger, Remote Procedure Call Locator, Workstation and Wireless Zero Configuration.
Caution: Do this step at your own risk. Stopping a service can disable functionalities of depending programs.

Unload DLLs when Applications are Closed

DLLs are loaded by programs for loading their data. As default, after an application is closed, the DLLs loaded by it are unloaded after some period of time. This obviously wastes your RAM and your computer run slower. There is a feature called Always Unload DLL which should be enabled like below:
  • Click Start, select Run. Type RegEdit and press ENTER.
  • Open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Currentversion\Explorer
  • Make a new string with name AlwaysUnloadDLL. Double click it and type 1 as its value. Click OK.
  • Close Registry Editor.
Disable Startups

Stop excessive programs from running every time your computer is started. For this task, System Configuration can be helpful.
  • Click Start, select Run. Type MSCONFIG. Press ENTER.
  • Deselect all items from the Startups tab except your antivirus program.
  • Click Apply | OK.

Avoid System Overheating

Is your computer overheating a lot? If so, take appropriate steps to avoid this situation and make it run faster.

Turn it off, open the cabinet. Clean the dust on both the fans installed. Clean the graphics card and other components of your CPU.