Author Topic: Cleaning PC without internet connection  (Read 11628 times)

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Offline Confused Computer User

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Re: Cleaning PC without internet connection
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2009, 02:44:59 PM »
Some USB's have write protection on them. See if yours has a switch similar to the old floppys.
Computer Systems:

Intel Pentium 4 641 / 2GB RAM / Vista Home Basic SP2 / avast! 5.0 Home / SAS Free / MBAM Free / Windows Defender / Windows Firewall / Spyware Blaster/ Secunia PSI / Firefox 3.6 / Opera 10.5

Core2Duo T8300 / 4GB RAM / Vista Home Premium SP2 (32 bit version) / Same Software.

tripplec

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Re: Cleaning PC without internet connection
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2009, 03:27:55 PM »
Few do, however I do have a Verbatim key which has a mechanical switch which have used in working on other peoples machines. Easily write proteched. But that is rare and 99% done have this. The cost much more. I have three other keys that don't.

Offline Pondus

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Re: Cleaning PC without internet connection
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2009, 04:38:52 PM »
Avast also have USB protection  http://www.avast.com/eng/avast-u3.html  ......not free  :'(

elzar

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Re: Cleaning PC without internet connection
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2009, 05:10:11 AM »
Yes guys, another great point, about the USB thumbdrive contamination risk.

I have 2 USB drives but neither of them have a write protect feature.  I wish they did!

I only use one of those for "bad" PCs, then when I take it back to my PC I make sure I first have my anti-vir (Avast) updated & running OK b4 putting the drive in my PC.  I've also done things to hopefully defeat both autorun & autoplay on my PC as an extra precaution but I 4get exactly what those were. 

Searching around now I found these links that explain the various stuff - hopefully these might help someone else too:

http://www.raymond.cc/blog/archives/2008/04/22/stop-windows-from-executing-instructions-found-in-autoruninf/

http://techbybucky.blogspot.com/2008/01/how-to-disable-usb-and-cd-autorun.html

http://blog.ashfame.com/2008/03/disable-usb-autorun-save-pc-usb-viruses/

http://antivirus.about.com/od/securitytips/ht/autorun.htm

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/303866/how_to_disable_autorun_usb_flash_drives.html?cat=15

Offline Pondus

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Re: Cleaning PC without internet connection
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2009, 01:37:26 PM »
This is free, with ClamWin antivirus  http://portableapps.com/

elzar

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Re: Cleaning PC without internet connection
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2009, 06:05:46 AM »
A couple interesting things about the PC I was asking about (working on it today):

My friend's main complaints were that "people told me they got emails with dirty photos in them that they say came from me so I must be infected with the conficker worm", and "I keep getting a windows error message" at various times, and "my PC runs too slow".

Putting 2+2 together and getting 5, I assumed her PC was like the other computer illiterate folks' PCs that I try to help with similar complaints (and end up finding tons of malware running, windoze not updated thus open to possible known exploits, firewall not even running, etc etc on their PCs) I figured her PC is probably infected with god knows what and in some terrible state....but after doing a lot of work on it today I see that...

- It is not infected by any malware that i can see, testing it with several different anti-virus, anti-rootkit, anti-spywares; instead it is a pleasant surprise security wise - if anything it is protected too strongly (for the amount of resources the machine actually has)!   

- Her PC is slow as hell because it is running latest XP, has tons of startup processes (mostly just needless junk as far as i am concerned), is running "NORTON INTERNET SECURITY v15.something" (suite with anti-vir, anti-spy, firewall, +more), spybot teatimer, plus another security anti-vir type program called "THREATFIRE" in realtime, and worst of all - it has only 512MB RAM!!!!!!

IMO Norton by itself is bad enough resource wise but all that other stuff too, it is just dragging the PC down to disk swapping hell.   Turns out from learning more that her PC last year was badly corrupted by a bunch of viruses and another friend of hers had to reformat/reinstall XP and he got her setup with Norton and other anti-malware apps like THREATFIRE.

On principle i think it is bad to be running more than one realtime antivirus in memory at a time, setting them up to fight over things and cause some kind of unexpected havoc, let alone the system resource drain that they both may be causing, but after researching it i think that THREATFIRE can coexist with norton (please correct me if i am wrong) but i am uninstalling THREATFIRE anyway, for now at least.

I've done a bunch of things to streamline her PC, update some apps like SPYBOT, following some Secunia component update recommendations, cleanup temp files/registry/etc with CCLEANER, and most important of all will be recommending that she upgrade the PC's ram.  From just a quick check on the 'net the PC can take up to 4gb ram - and it is not very expensive either.  Just going from 512mb to 1gb would make a world of difference.  Checking with process explorer now, at startup with not even running any applications (other than those firing up on boot like Norton) it only has about 120mb of free ram.  Just running Word gets her down to about 80mb, adding her web browser it goes down to like 40mb.....

What I don't think I will be able to help her with is her windows system error that she has been getting.  She saved the message and it is some kind of "stop error" relating to either hardware or a driver.  It appears that she installed some kind of hardware/software thing related to how she does dictation b4 she started getting this problem, which causes windoze to crash/dump.   I think she needs to go back to that hardware/software vendor and discuss the problem with them as I haven't a clue as to what that is all about.  I did unselect the "dumprep 0 -u" startup command in msconfig since I don't think it needs to keep running that (?) & disabled the error reporting function in XP for now.

If folks have run into anything similar & have suggestions please comment.  THANKS!



Offline Confused Computer User

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Re: Cleaning PC without internet connection
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2009, 02:42:02 AM »
Well here goes nothing.

My friend's main complaints were that "people told me they got emails with dirty photos in them that they say came from me so I must be infected with the conficker worm", and "I keep getting a windows error message" at various times, and "my PC runs too slow".

Never had this and I'm not certain we can assume it's done by Confiker. As a rule of thumb, you can try and suggest changing the password for the E-mail account. Other than that I have no idea what else to do.

- Her PC is slow as hell because it is running latest XP, has tons of startup processes (mostly just needless junk as far as i am concerned), is running "NORTON INTERNET SECURITY v15.something" (suite with anti-vir, anti-spy, firewall, +more), spybot teatimer, plus another security anti-vir type program called "THREATFIRE" in realtime, and worst of all - it has only 512MB RAM!!!!!!

Well having the latest XP is not bad, in fact it's to be expected if you want to be safe. To give an example it's like saying I don't want to put airbags in my car since they add weight and it slows down the vehicle. Lame example but meant to point out that you are neglecting security for speed. My opinion anyway.
True, the multitude of security apps is overwhelming (even for me and I'm a fanatic about this) I think you can cut off some of those apps but I'm not willing to say how exactly. I use the apps listed at the bottom of each of my posts (the signature as it's called) and I have not had any problems virus wise so far.

IMO Norton by itself is bad enough resource wise but all that other stuff too, it is just dragging the PC down to disk swapping hell.   Turns out from learning more that her PC last year was badly corrupted by a bunch of viruses and another friend of hers had to reformat/reinstall XP and he got her setup with Norton and other anti-malware apps like THREATFIRE.

On principle i think it is bad to be running more than one realtime antivirus in memory at a time, setting them up to fight over things and cause some kind of unexpected havoc, let alone the system resource drain that they both may be causing, but after researching it i think that THREATFIRE can coexist with norton (please correct me if i am wrong) but i am uninstalling THREATFIRE anyway, for now at least.

Yes, it's bad to have two active anti-viruses on your computer. Keep one real-time and the other as a on-demand scanner at most.
I'm not sure about Norton and Threatfire so wait for some other replies.

As for the rest, Upgrading the Ram seems sensible but i would go for 2 GB rather than just one. The error issue is something that will have to be discussed with the vendor.

Cheers
« Last Edit: April 20, 2009, 02:44:08 AM by Confused Computer User »
Computer Systems:

Intel Pentium 4 641 / 2GB RAM / Vista Home Basic SP2 / avast! 5.0 Home / SAS Free / MBAM Free / Windows Defender / Windows Firewall / Spyware Blaster/ Secunia PSI / Firefox 3.6 / Opera 10.5

Core2Duo T8300 / 4GB RAM / Vista Home Premium SP2 (32 bit version) / Same Software.

elzar

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Re: Cleaning PC without internet connection
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2009, 04:17:24 AM »
Thanks CCU :-)

Yeah the "conficker worm" thing was really stupid.  Unfortunately it is something I've noticed recently with my non-computer friends.  They've heard all this hype on the news about conficker lately and now assume any computer problem that they have is "the conficker worm".  It's crazy.  Her first words to me about asking for help were something like "my PC has the conficker worm and I need help to get rid of it".  Sheesh.

I'm 99.9% sure that whatever that picture was that was sent out from "her" had nothing to do with any type of virus on HER PC.  More likely, if it was of virus origin, then someone else that she knows is infected, and the virus acted on their PC and took an address (hers) from that person's address book or sent/received emails and made her addy the "reply to" address for sending out the wierd email.

More likely someone got access to her email account and manually sent the crap out, which in my mind is the most logical explanation, especially since she told me her mail account is YAHOO!   I did tell her to change her yahoo email password but I don't think she did yet and I need to remind her to do that.


About my XP comment, I didn't mean it like it was bad that her XP is the latest/updated, just saying she is running XP on a PC with only 512mb, and also wanted to say it that it does have all the latest updates.  Then adding all this other stuff on top of that like Norton Security + THREATFIRE + a bunch of other stuff that Dell preloaded, I believe that is why it is so slow.

As far as RAM goes, if it was me I would go up to whatever the max it is that the PC can take (I think it goes to 4gb), especially since it is cheap these days.  2gb would be fine too. 1gb would even have a positive impact.  My PC can only go to 1gb or I would put more in it (wish I could).  Sigh...gotta get a new PC someday.

T'anks!

Offline Confused Computer User

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Re: Cleaning PC without internet connection
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2009, 12:30:26 PM »
Computer Systems:

Intel Pentium 4 641 / 2GB RAM / Vista Home Basic SP2 / avast! 5.0 Home / SAS Free / MBAM Free / Windows Defender / Windows Firewall / Spyware Blaster/ Secunia PSI / Firefox 3.6 / Opera 10.5

Core2Duo T8300 / 4GB RAM / Vista Home Premium SP2 (32 bit version) / Same Software.