Author Topic: Avast on the web  (Read 19949 times)

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Offline DavidR

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Re:Avast on the web
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2004, 02:46:50 PM »
Hi Johanna,

Reading your further posts now gives me a good idea of your experience level and more importantly your common sense approach to surfing the net and general computer security. Had I known that before, I would not have been so concerned at your leaving standard shield off (otherwise any suggestion/advise has to err on the side of caution). Your image backup strategy should keep you reasonably well protected, I have always believed that common sense is potentially 90% of protection, so it is not unusual that some people don't seem to get infected.

Your backup/recovery strategy should get you out of any trouble that you might encounter on-line (got a problem, install yesterdays image, problem solved). Many people don't have any backup strategy, other than 'oh my god' what am I going to do now! Worst case scenario, format, reinstall OS and all programs, lose most if not all volatile data, program settings, windows updates, etc. etc.

I only take an image (PowerQuest Drive Image 2002, a bit long in the tooth now) once a week and that too goes on a 2nd HDD. I use a little program called mirror.exe (115KB, runs in dos window) for daily back ups of volatile data). So the worst case scenario for me would be to lose 6 days worth of new programs and any windows tweaks, updates, settings changes, etc. and one days worth of volatile data changes. A little inconvenient, but much less than 'oh my god.'

General advice for others reading this thread.
Some 18 months ago I did get blasted (using AVG6), when I switched to WinXP Pro from win98se, the installation disk had sp1 included, however, I went on line to get the latest windows updates, virus pattern files, etc. and was infected (MS Blaster) within 30 seconds of being online.

This is one occasion where it is possible to get infected whilst online, now that should be ok if people were patched, but without an imaging backup strategy, all those patches are lost in the 'oh my god' situation too. Another potential problem is it iframe vulnerability, where the iframe pulls in a page that calls/executes code to that can be harmful. This vulnerability was only recently patched, but we await the next vulnerability and the time taken to identify and patch, leaves us open to potential harm.

The moral of the story, exercise common sense (and you are 90% of the way there), have a backup and recovery strategy, an image copy is I feel the easiest and best option.

David
« Last Edit: July 19, 2004, 01:01:04 AM by DavidR »
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Offline Johanna

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Re:Avast on the web
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2004, 04:21:25 PM »
Hi Bob,

What happened to this person is exactly what I was talking about.  They had their AV program, it didn't detect a virus, they opened the attachment, they got in trouble.  Also no backups which makes it worse.

I have been using Imaging programs for quite a while, started with the first Ghost, then tried Drive Image, True Image, (all versions of each program) plus others.  Found what I think is the best of them all http://www.bootitng.com/  it's simple never fails, and cost less than half than the other programs.  System Restore can't be trusted, just do a search on Google "System Restore Fails" to see.  With a good backup you don't have to worry at all if you run into something that screwed up your PC.  I very rarely uninstall any program I just restore to any image I have made in the past.  

One other note is that in all the cases I see where people are getting a virus or tricked into clicking on a link  stems from some email they got.  I would like to know of some cases where people were not exploring the dark places of the net who picked up something which screwed up their PC.  A firewall or router is more important  to have than AV software for protection while on the net, and when it comes to email use some common sense, it's beed told over and over again don't open attachments.

I guess with all this just starting with my question about using avast for protection while on the web is somewhat answered for myself anyway.  In that as long as I use a router, firewall, don't go to the dark alleys of the net, have my PC up to date with security patches, it's not likely I'll pick up something.  Even if I did, I would just restore the PC.

PS: here's a site that has some visual tutorials of the program I use.  http://www.heffy.com/

J

Offline MikeBCda

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Re:Avast on the web
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2004, 07:08:11 PM »
One question on imaging -- would Restore-IT be considered an equivalent?  It does daily incremental restore points for all files that have been changed (including deleted) since the previous point, not just system files, so it beats the heck out of system restore in that sense.

Farstone claims it'll even restore a drive that's been accidently (or maliciously) reformatted, since it's on its own partition.  But I'm not sure how you'd access it in a case like that, if the main drive including OS is gone.
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Offline bob3160

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Re:Avast on the web
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2004, 10:14:17 PM »
Johanna
Thanks for the insite. Does Image Back-up and Restore Software have a trial version?
By the way, your sight is an excellent source of all kinds of goodies. Again, thanks. Please stick around.
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Offline Johanna

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Re:Avast on the web
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2004, 10:21:48 PM »
Hi Mike,

To be honest this is one I've never tried.  It appears like it may be just a little like the "GoBack" program which Norton bought.  GoBack is a very good program, and better than System restore.  Here's a link to Fred Langa's comments on some of these things http://langa.com/newsletters/2001/2001-12-03.htm#1

On backups http://www.langa.com/backups/backups.htm

I think Fred discovered the BootIt and Image for Windows last year and was excited to find it.  I think  some of the tech's at Microsoft use and recomend the Terabyte products as well.  

I'll give you an example of how I use IFW & IFD: (I also have BootIt)

I bought a new laptop, defraged it first, then burned an image on to a DVD using IFD.
Uninstalled Norton AV and some other programs that came with the PC that I didn't want, defraqed and made and image.  Installed all MS critical updates, defraged and made an image.  Installed a few programs I use, defraged and made an image.  Installed some more programs, defraged and made an image.  I just continue to keep my PC cleaned, defraged, and backed up at all times.  It may sound like a lot of time and work to do this but it's not time consuming at all.  Last time test I did was 1 minute 33 seconds to run Disk Cleanup and Defrag, 10 min 36 sec to make an image with validation....when it's doing the backup I take my shower.  So the results are I can restore my PC actually to any point.  I did however in the beginning make some partitions on the 80 gig HD that came with the PC.  One 8 gig partition for XP,  one 8 gig partition to install the larger programs I have, plus for the temporary internet and mail files, paging file, and downloads.  The last partition it for backups.  There's other things I do but this is just a little of it.  The PC's I have run like a dream and if there's is the smallest problem that comes up I restore it to any point I need.  The restore takes under 5 minutes, on my laptop

Any backup is better than none at all, and there are many good programs that will do it for you,  I know there some here that use Ghost, and it's a good product, so is Drive Image, and True Image.  I bought and used them all, I just prefer the one I use for different reasons I discovered using the others.

J

Offline Johanna

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Re:Avast on the web
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2004, 10:27:02 PM »
Bob,

The trial is for 30 days but the images made with a trial version I don't think will restore.  The latest version will now do NTFS partitions, so you don't have to have any FAT 32 partitions.

J

Offline Johanna

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Re:Avast on the web
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2004, 10:43:05 PM »
David,

I use another program called "ViceVersa Pro"  www.tgrmn.com  With this program I never loose anything when I do a restore.  Before I restore I make sure I run ViseVersa, then restore, and run ViceVersa again.

A freeware program I tested out called SyncBack http://fileforum.betanews.com/detail/1070420627/1 does the same thing. I didn't know about it before I bought ViceVersa.

J

Offline bob3160

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Re:Avast on the web
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2004, 11:35:16 PM »
Johanna
One of my problems is that I have 2 HD'd 60Gig and 120Gig. Neither of them are partitioned. Partitioning is just something I never did. So now when I make a backup, it's got to be the whole C drive cause that's where windows is.
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Offline DavidR

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Re:Avast on the web
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2004, 12:51:20 AM »
Johanna,
Thanks for the links. If nothing else this thread will I'm sure be great source of information and very helpfull for those reading it later.

Bob,
You might want to look at Partition Magic (there are others, this is one of the best), as it allows you to partition your HDD without destroying existing data, version 8 is XP compatible (ntfs, fat32, etc. support). I am just about to buy version 8 (ebay $27.99 + postage, very reasonable), had previous versions up to version 7 (win98se). I never experienced a problem with the program previously.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2004, 01:00:39 AM by DavidR »
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Offline bob3160

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Re:Avast on the web
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2004, 01:00:43 AM »
David or Johanna
My main problem is that I really don't have the faintest Idea about partitions. What sizes do I need?   etc etc
I was always told that the only thing partitioning did was the wast space.
I also know it's a royal pain to have to image a monster of a drive when all you want is one directory.
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Offline DavidR

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Re:Avast on the web
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2004, 01:21:01 AM »
Hi Bob,

There is lots of information, but the main consideration is what is your usage.

Google it

A visit to Fred Langa's website http://langa.com/index.html may also have some info.

Also Scot Finnie's website at http://www.scotsnewsletter.com/

General Use suggestion
Windows Partition - 10GB for your windows partition should be fine and allow windows and programs, assuming you want them on the same partition, mine are on a different partition.

Data Partition - 10-20GB for all your volatile data files, Word docs, etc. spreadsheets, database files.

Music/Images Partition - This would depend on your usage and could potentially be your largest partition (probably the rest of the HDD space). This allows for expansion/resizing of the other partitions, etc.
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Offline bob3160

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Re:Avast on the web
« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2004, 01:35:16 AM »
Thanks DavidR
I also get all of those news letters. Guess i'll have to go back and do some more reading or wait till the next harddrive and start it off partitioned.
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Offline Johanna

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Re:Avast on the web
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2004, 03:26:36 AM »
Just some info partitioning.  Partition Magic 8 is great and easy to use, also the BootIt program can partition your hard drive as well as make images.  I did mine with PM 8 even though I have BootIt.  It's really up to each individual how much space you want for each partition.  It's a puzzle to me why some people keep everything on one large HD.  Maintenance and backups take a long time when you have to do it on one large partition.

This would be just  an example  of what I would do if I had small 40 gig HD with XP on it.  If your are going to start from a point where you already have a lot on it and I'll say 12 gigs is used.
 
Partition the drive in 2 first and move things from C: to the new partition.
Put things like images, movies, mp3 or other sound files, etc. on the new partition.
Make another partition if you like for backups.

To make your backup images as small as possible you can change your internet cache, and mail to the second partition, and because these are always being changed they will not be fragmenting your C: drive either.  I also moved my pagefile.sys to the second partition it isn't something that needs to be backed up.  I disabled Hibernation and that saves space, and then I turned off System Restore to save more space, since I have the backups I don't need it or use it.

I have some large programs installed on the second partition such as the Microsoft Plus! Digital Media Edition (736 mb),  Microsoft Picture It! 9 (424 mb), E-Sword (639 mb).  I don't need to back these up every time.  I try to keep XP around 3 gigs, but have 8 gigs on that partition.  

Using just about any imaging program those 3 gigs will fit on 3 CD's because the images are compressed, and that's if you do wnat to put some on CD's once in a while. to make room on your backup partition.  

There are some things to consider depending on you PC and if you have certian programs installed already.

If you have GoBack and maybe the  Restore-IT program installed you will need to uninstall them first before doing making any partitions.  Always investigate any programs you have installed that have changed or monitor your MBR (Master Boot Record)  They will have to be uninstalled. first.

If you have a PC that has a hidden partition that has your factory recovery on it then that's a nother thing to check out.  Many of the newer PC's have this hidden partition.

Oh my, this can really turn into something that could take a lot of explaining for a post like this.  One has to look at their PC as to what steps to do.  There is not just a simple answer that would fit each PC.

Once you have partitions and a good image program you'll never go back to what you had before.   Norton bought Partition Magic  too!  

I have had people come over my home just to give them a demo, I delete programs, unstall programs, delete windows files so the PC will not ever boot up.  I take out a little floppy with IFD in it or put in a bootable CD or DVD, and in a few minutes Bingo it's just as it was before we did the damage.  What happens is they ask me to come over their house and setup their PC. like that.  I have done  3 this year, and you should see the confidence they have in that they don't have to worry about much at all if something goes wrong with their PC.  

J

Offline bob3160

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Re:Avast on the web
« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2004, 01:24:03 PM »
Johanna
Thanks for the great explanation. It's actually more involved than one can absorb in a few minutes.
If your ever in NM, your welcome to set my system up to. :) :)
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Offline Johanna

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Re:Avast on the web
« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2004, 04:11:55 PM »
On my PC I use PerfectDisk, and I'm not trying to sell PD to anyone but if you want to listen to this you can learn why defraging is important. pnm://realaudio2.interland.net:7070/techtalkradio/raxco.rm

J

« Last Edit: July 19, 2004, 05:33:19 PM by Johanna »