Tag: Windows XP

How to permanently delete files from your computer

How to permanently delete files from your computer:

Windows XP will end its 12-year successful run on April 8th and Microsoft wants the considerable number of users to shift over to more modern versions of its operating system. For full details regarding Windows XP support cycle,  please check my earlier blog article: It’s time to upgrade: Windows XP:

When you  delete any  file or folder  from your computer, it moves to the Windows Recycle Bin. This is easily  recoverable. If  you empty the Recycle Bin, the data still remain on your hard disk? In many cases, deleted files can be recovered with little effort because most computer operating systems will only delete links to the data so they no longer appear to you, but the actual data remains on the disk. Getting access to the deleted data is as simple as restoring the links.

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When you delete files or folders, the data are not initially removed from the hard disk. Instead, the space on the disk that was occupied by the deleted data is “deallocated.” After it is deallocated, the space is available for use when new data is written to the disk. Until the space is overwritten, it is possible to recover the deleted data by using a low-level disk editor or data-recovery software.

SDelete:

To permanently erase files and prevent your confidential files from getting into the wrong hands, Microsoft offers a free command line utility – SDelete (Secure Delete) – that overwrites all the free space to prevent data recovery.
You can use SDelete both to securely delete existing files (replacement of delete), as well as to securely erase any file data that exists in the unallocated portions of a disk (including files that you have already deleted or encrypted).

032914_1155_Howtoperman2.png    SDelete implements the Department of Defense clearing and sanitizing standard DOD 5220.22-M, to give you confidence that once deleted with SDelete, your file data is gone forever. 

Step-by-Step: Using SDelete:

Download the Microsoft command-line tool SDelete. Here’s how to use this tool.

1. Click StartRun > ... , type cmd and press OK or Enter (Return). (Windows Vista and Windows 7 users can just click Start and type cmd in the Windows Search box.)
2. Navigate to where you have SDelete downloaded. For example, if it’s located at C:\cmdtools, type cd C:\cmdtools, and press Enter.
3. Now type sdelete <path to file or directory>, and press Enter, where <path to file or directory> is a standard Windows path. For example, to delete C:\mysecuredata.txt, you would type sdelete c:\mysecuredata.txt, and press Enter.
4. Once they’re deleted, you will receive confirmation that your files or folders have been permanently deleted, and you’re done!

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CCleaner:

If you are already using CCleaner, you should know that it contains a Drive Wiper.

 Open CCleaner and go to Tools > Drive Wiper. You can wipe only free space or the entire drive, and you can choose up to 35 passes, meaning data will be overwritten with random strings of binary code 35 times. This very complex overwrite should make it impossible for anyone to restore the data originally saved in this space. When you’re happy with your settings, click >  Wipe and wait patiently.

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Eraser:

 Eraser is a freeware and open source security tool to completely remove data from your hard drive. It can overwrite data several times using randomized patterns of binary code. It essentially is a file shredder.

Eraser is more convenient than CCleaner’s Drive Wiper because it can delete and shred single files, rather than just wiping all free space on a drive, and it is integrated with Windows Explorer (right-click menu). Moreover, Eraser provides you with a host of advanced settings, for example, different file and space erasure methods, the option to replace erased files with other files to allow plausible ‘deniability’, and schedule erasure of files, folders, recycle bin, or unused disk space.

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Whenever you want to securely erase your data, follow these steps.

  1.  Navigate to the files or folders that you want to securely erase.
  2.  Right-click on the files and/or folders and an Eraser menu will appear.
  3.  Highlight and click Erase in the Eraser menu.

Active@Kill Disk – Hard Drive Eraser:

 Active@ Kill Disk – Hard Drive Eraser is a free utility for securely erasing a hard drive. More importantly, this utility adheres to the United States Department of Defense standards (DoD 5220.22M) for hard disk data removal.

Active@killdisk

DBAN (Darik’s Boot And Nuke):

 DBAN, as it is shortened, is a nice little application that lets you completely erase your data.

Download the ISO for your system and burn it to a disk.  Next, pop the disk into your hard drive and boot from it.  This may require you to press F12 at the BIOS screen (the first screen you see when your computer boots up) and choose to boot from your CD/DVD drive.  

Press Enter to run DBAN in interactive mode.

1. Use up and down arrow keys to highlight the drive to wipe.
2. Press the space bar to select the drive.
3. Press M to select the wiping method.
4. Press F10 to begin the wipe process.

Note: if DBAN is unable to recognize your SATA hard disks, configure your system BIOS to use IDE mode rather than AHCI mode.

 Now that you have the right tools for the job, you can feel confident in knowing that your data has actually been removed from your hard disk and will no longer be recovered by anyone (not even by you).

Happy computing!! 🙂

Source: labnol, makeuseof, mini tool-drive wipe, Gizmodo, PC world,

A handy, portable system information tools

A handy, portable system information tools:

Speccy:

Speccy is an advanced System Information tool for your PC. Need to find out what’s inside your computer? Speccy will give you all the information you need.

Speccy gives you detailed statistics on every piece of hardware in your computer, including CPU, Motherboard, RAM, Graphics Cards, Hard Disks, Optical Drives, and Audio support. Additionally Speccy adds the temperatures of your different components, so you can easily see if there’s a problem!

Speccy may seem like an application for system administrators and power users. It certainly is, but Speccy can also help normal users, in everyday computing life.

If you need to add more memory to your system, for example, you can check how many memory slots your computer has and what memory’s already installed. Then you can go out and buy the right type of memory to add on or replace what you’ve already got.

Note: Speccy requires Windows XP or later, and does not currently support Mac OS X or Linux.

To download the Speccy click on the URLhttp://www.piriform.com/speccy/download/standard

CPU-Z:

CPU-Z is a freeware utility that gathers information on some of the main devices of your system. CPU-Z does not need to be installed, just unzip the files in a directory and run the .exe. In order to remove the program, just delete the files. The program does not copy any file in any Windows directory, nor write to the registry.

CPU

  • Name and number.
  • Core stepping and process.
  • Package.
  • Core voltage.
  • Internal and external clocks, clock multiplier.
  • Supported instructions sets.
  • All cache levels (location, size, speed, technology)

Mainboard

  • Vendor, model and revision.
  • BIOS model and date.
  • Chipset (northbridge and southbridge) and sensor.
  • Graphic interface.

Memory

  • Frequency and timings.
  • Module(s) specification using SPD (Serial Presence Detect): vendor, serial number, timings table.

System

  • Windows and Direct X version.

To download the CPU-Z  click on the URL:  http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html

source: piriform,cpuid

Windows XP default wallpaper

Ever wonder where the Windows XP default wallpaper came from?

One of the most famous wallpaper images is undoubtedly the default Windows XP image, showing a blissfully relaxing vista of green rolling hills and a bluer than blue sky. The wallpaper, probably one of the most viewed images of all time, is aptly named ‘Bliss.’ Do a Google image search for just the word ‘bliss,’ and the first result is the Windows wallpaper.

Bliss as seen in a clean Windows XP desktop

Have you ever stopped to wonder where the image was taken, or who took it? In fact, the image is so crisp you might have assumed it wasn’t real at all.

‘Bliss’ is the name of a Windows bitmap image included with Microsoft Windows XP, produced from a photograph of a landscape in Sonoma County, California, southeast of Sonoma Valley near the site of the old Clover Stornetta Inc. Dairy.

The man behind the camera is American photographer Charles O’Rear (born 1941)

The photo was taken in 1996, years before Windows XP launched, and before the area was converted into a vineyard. In fact, a photo taken 10 years later from exactly the same spot where Bliss was shot, shows a disappointingly, dreary view:

The same location November 2006

So how much did O’Rear get for taking what is considered one of the most famous photos of all time? A non-disclosure agreement prevents him from revealing the actual figure, but according to Napa Valley Register, O’Rear stated that it was:

“extraordinary” and second only to that paid to another living, working photographer for the photo of then-President Bill Clinton hugging Monica Lewinsky.

Taken with a medium format camera, the most surprising fact about the image is that O’Rear claims that it wasn’t digitally manipulated.

Source: wikipediathenextweb

Enable multiple concurrent remote desktop connections-or-sessions in Windows Xp

Enable multiple concurrent remote desktop connections-or-sessions in Windows Xp:

Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) have Remote Desktop (RDP) service that allows the computer to be remotely connected, accessed and controlled from another computer or host. However, Windows XP machine only allows one concurrent remote desktop connection from a single user been connected to it with no multiple remote desktop sessions or connections support.

Whenever there is a remote user who uses Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) client to connect to a Windows XP host, the local user is disconnected with the local console screen locked, with or without his or her permission. Remote Desktop, unlike Terminal Server Services in Windows 2000, Server 2003 and Server 2008, is designed for single user use only, no matter its local or remote user.

Here’s a hack to unlock the single user limitation and enable multiple concurrent remote desktop connection sessions support in Windows XP Professional and Media Center Edition, using a either a patched termserv.dll or old patched cracked termserv.dll build version 5.1.2600.2055, so that unlimited users can simultaneously connect to a computer via Remote Desktop.

  1. Download a copy of patched termsrv.dll (in ZIP file) which has the Remote Desktop connection limitation deactivated for your version of Windows XP:

Windows XP RTM, SP1 and SP2: termsrv.dll (version 5.1.2600.2055)
Windows XP SP3: termsrv.dll (version 5.1.2600.5512)

For information, the termsrv.dll patch normally has the following HEX code bits overwritten with following value:

00022A17: 74 75
00022A69: 7F 90
00022A6A: 16 9

2.    Restart the computer and boot info Safe Mode by pressing F8 during initial boot up and select Safe Mode. This step is only required if you’re currently running Windows Terminal Services or Remote Desktop service, and System File Protection has to be skipped and bypassed, else it will prompt the following error message to restore the original termsrv.dll.

3. Go to %windir%\System32 and make a backup copy (or rename) the termsrv.dll.

4.      Rename or delete the termserv.dll in the %windir%\System32\dllcache folder.

5.       Copy the downloaded termsrv.dll into %windir%\System32, %windir%\ServicePackFiles\i386 (if exist) and           %windir%\System32\dllcache.

6.      [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Terminal Server\Licensing Core]

7.      “EnableConcurrentSessions”=dword:00000001

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
“EnableConcurrentSessions”=dword:00000001

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
“AllowMultipleTSSessions”=dword:00000001

Then download and run the ts_multiple_sessions.bat (in ZIP file) to merge the registry value into registry, or you can     run Registry Editor to manually add the following registry value:

7.     Click on Start Menu -> Run command and type gpedit.msc, follow by Enter to open up the Group Policy Editor.

8.   Navigate to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Terminal Services.

9.   Enable Limit Number of Connections and set the number of connections to 3 (or more). The setting allows more than one users to use the computer and logged on at the same time.

10.  Ensure the Remote Desktop is enabled in System Properties’ Remote tab by selecting the radio button for Allow users to connect remotely to this computer.

11. Enable and turn on Fast User Switching in Control Panel> User Accounts -> Change the way users log on or off.

12. Restart the computer normally.

Note that if you cannot replace or overwrite termserv.dll with access denied or file in use error, turn off the “Terminal Services” in “Services” control panel of “Administrator Tools”. Besides, each connecting physical connections must have their own user account in the target host, and must authenticate with corresponding own user name and password credential.

To uninstall and revert back to original termsrv.dll, simply delete the patched version, and rename the backup copy back to “termsrv.dll”. You probably have to do it in Safe Mode if the Terminal Services is enabled and running.

If the Windows XP computer is connected to a domain on local networks, Windows will set the value of the regkey “Allow Multiple TS Sessions” to “0″ every time the computer is restarted. To ensure that multiple or unlimited Remote Desktop connection sessions is allowed in AD domain environment, the value data for “Allow Multiple TS Sessions” has to be set to “1″ on each system startup. To change the value, simply rerun the ts_multiple_sessions.bat every time the computer is started. Alternatively, put the ts_multiple_sessions.bat at C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup folder so that it will be automatically run on first user with administrative privileges that logs on to the desktop. Another workaround is to install additional service or define a sub-key in

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run registry branch that run the registry batch file automatically on boot up, and this is useful if the computer won’t be logged on by anybody, but still requires the hack to allow unlimited Remote Desktop users to work.

Another issue is that if user closes the remote connection instead of logging off, when he or she tries to log back in, an error message related to TCP/IP event ID 4226 may occur. To resolve the issue, download and apply the Windows XP TCP/IP connection limit and Event ID 4226 patch, and set the connections to at least 50.

Source: My digital life





Installing Adobe CS4 on Windows 2003

Installing Adobe CS4 on Windows 2003

Everything installs but Illustrator and Sound booth.  I found a few articles of people having the same issue and adobe says only compatible with XP.

I found these instructions on the net on how to install CS4 :

1 – copy the complete setup DVD or unpack the .iso file
to any location on your HDD.

2 – in the folder that contains your CS4 setup locate the subfolder
named ‘payloads‘ that contains the payloads, and in that folder locate
the following files

payloads\AdobeIllustrator14mul\AdobeIllustrator14mul.proxy.xml – for
illustrator
payloads\AdobeSoundbooth2All\AdobeSoundbooth2All.proxy.xml – for sound booth

3 – you  have to edit both of the files using notepad in the
following way:
locate the text that says: ‘”Server2003″:{“Exclude”: true}’ and
replace it with (a very logical one  ‘”Server2003″: {“Require”: true}’

4 – when you have edited and saved both of the files locate and run
setup.exe in the folder to which you have unpacked the .iso file.

How to Remotely Enable Remote Desktop (Terminal Services or RDP) via Registry in Windows 2000/XP/2000/Vista/2008

Remote Desktop or RDP service is a free yet useful tool to remotely log on to remote computer and gain full access and privileges as if user is in front of local console. Remote Desktop is also known as Terminal Services. It’s useful if the server, or PC, is located miles away in remote location and frequent trips to the site to troubleshoot, configure or manage the system is not a viable option.

Although most versions of Windows operating system such as Windows 2000, 2003, 2008, XP and Vista do come packaged with Remote Desktop, it’s disabled by default. Turning on and enabling the Remote Desktop via local console is easy, where Microsoft provides similar GUI (graphical user interface) in all editions of Windows.

However, if an off-site server needs to be accessed via Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) client immediately, when the Remote Desktop is not enabled on the server, then it will be a headache. Luckily it’s possible to remotely enable and turn on the Remote Desktop service on a remote PC or server by remotely editing its registry.

To remotely enable Remote Desktop on another computer, follow these steps:

  1. Login to theworkstationwith administrator credentials.
  2. Run Registry Editor (regedit).
  3. Click on File menu.
  4. Select the Connect Network Registry in the pull down menu (see Figure 1).
Figure 1

5.    A “Select Computer” dialog search box is opened. Type the host name of the remote computer in the text box, or browse Active Directory to locate the remote server, or click on “Advanced” button to search for the remote computer (see Figure 2).

Figure 2

6.   Click OK after the remote computer is selected. A node for the remote computer network registry will be displayed in the Registry Editor with HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (HKLM) and HKEY_USERS (HKU) hives (see Figure 3).

Figure 3

7.   Navigate to the following registry key for the remote computer:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server


8.   In the right pane, locate a REG_DWORD value named fDenyTSConnection. Double-click on fDenyTSConnection and change the value data from 1 (Remote Desktop disabled) to 0 (Remote Desktop enabled) (see Figure 4 & Figure 5)

Figure 4
Figure 5

9.   Reboot the remote machine by issuing the following command in Command Prompt:

shutdown -m \\hostname -r

10 .  Replace host name with the actual computer name of the remote host.

Once host pc/server is restarted, you can connect through RDC.

Source: My digital life

How to Block Websites without Hardware or Software

It’s a simple technique.

The user just needs to modify one “Host” file.

The user who is going to modify “HOST” file should have administrative privileges

1.] Browse C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc

2.] Find the file named “HOSTS

3.] Open it in notepad

4.] Under “127.0.0.1 localhost” add 127.0.0.2 www.sitenameyouwanttoblock.com , and that site will

no longer be accessible.

5.] Done!

-So-

127.0.0.1   localhost

127.0.0.2 www.blockedsite.com

–> www.blockedsite.com is now inaccessible

The host file will have the following line 127.0.0.1 local host (it will be there by default) in all three operating systems windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

In the next line, we have to add 127.0.0.2 www.blockedsite.com127.0.0.3 www.abc.com

127.0.0.1   localhost

127.0.0.2 www.blockedsite.com

127.0.0.3 www.abc.com

127.0.0.4 www.xyz.com

Above example is for Windows XP.

In the Windows Vista and in the Windows 7 we have to add websites without #.

Example shown in Windows 7 image given below.

I have pasted host file to show how it looks in Windows XP, Windows Vista and in Windows 7 operating systems:

Windows XP Host File is shown below:

Windows XP

Windows Vista Host file is shown below:

Windows Vista

Windows 7 Host File is shown below:

The users will be able to browse other sites; they would not be able to browse the sites which are all added in the host file.