Tag: Windows

Computer Virus

Computer Virus:  Like most people, you run a Windows-based operating system (or perhaps something else), you run anti-virus software. Perhaps you’re even diligent about keeping your virus definitions up-to-date. Are you completely protected against viruses?  Of course not. Let’s examine what viruses and Trojans are, and how they find their way onto your computer. We all have heard the terms Virus, Worms, Trojans and spyware but only a few of us know the difference between them. We generally consider everything that is detected by an antivirus as virus but this is not the case. All these can be harmful to your computer hardware and software. To differentiate all these terms from each other. let’s start with the introduction to viruses.

Virus: A virus is a self-replicating program that attaches itself to an executable file. When  the file is executed the virus automatically gets executed and enters into the system memory .Once it enters into the system memory it either searches for other files that can be infected or stays in the background and infects the files that  uses the virus infected program.

Worms: Worms are very similar to viruses but differ in way that they do not bind themselves to executable files instead they uses the network to replicate themselves. If you find excessive use of your network bandwidth then you may be infected by a worm. So, a worm does not require a user to execute any file for its execution it can work without user intervention.

Trojan horse: A Trojan horse is harmful program which may seem harmless to the user before its installation but instead it is programmed or reverse engineered to facilitate unauthorised remote access to the computer. Trojan’s do not replicate themselves.

  The name Trojan horse comes from that fateful episode in the novel The IliadThe limitation of Trojans is that the user needs to be convinced to accept/run them, just as the Trojans had to first accept the Greek gift of the wooden horse, in order for them to have their way. So they are typically mislabeled, or disguised as something else, to  fool the user into running them.

Spyware: A spyware is a program that secretly monitors and collects pieces of information. It usually runs in stealth mode and cannot be detected easily. Key loggers is a great example of spyware software. It is not limited to just spying but can also send data to remote computers.

Rootkit:  A rootkit is a collection of tools (programs) that enable administrator-level access to a computer or computer network. Typically, a cracker installs a rootkit on a computer after first obtaining user-level access, either by exploiting a known vulnerability or by cracking a password. Once the rootkit is installed, it allows the attacker to mask intrusion and gain root or privileged access to the computer and, possibly, other machines on the network.

A rootkit may consist of spyware and other programs that: monitor traffic and keystrokes; create a “backdoor” into the system for the hacker’s use; alter log files; attack other machines on the network; and alter existing system tools to escape detection.

If a rootkit is detected, however, the only sure way to get rid of it is to completely erase the computer’s hard drive and reinstall the operating system.

Botnets: Once users’ computers are infected with viruses, the computers are turned into “zombies”. These computers, serving as “Bots” controlled by hackers, are used to send a large number of forged data packets or junk data packets to the pre-defined target for launching a DOS (Denial-of-service ) attack. As a result, the attacked target breaks down.

 Grayware: The spyware and rogue software are software designed by certain immoral companies to collect users’ habits in browsing Web pages for working out their advertisement push policies. The grayware does not harm computers greatly. The privacy of victims, however, is compromised and collected by others. Once being installed, the gray-ware cannot be deleted or uninstalled normally. For example, advertisement software designed for the Internet Explorer can change and lock default homepages automatically, and load the toolbars of advertisement companies.

 Malware: Malware is mischief. Malware is not infectious, but can also lead to serious consequences. For example, when certain malware is run, hard disks are formatted automatically, which causes the great losses of users’ important data.

 Features of Computer Viruses:

  • Destructive  

               When a computer is infected with viruses, normal programs cannot be run, and important data may be damaged or stolen. Thus, huge losses are caused.

  • Infectious

                     Computer viruses are destructive as well as infectious. The infectivity is more harmful. Once viruses are reproduced or virus variations are generated, the spread speed is rather fast. The viruses are hard to be defended. Viruses can spread through multiple means such as storage media and networks. Among them, the network becomes a major means of virus spread.

  • Covered

                   Computer viruses are well-covered. For common users, computer viruses are difficult to sense.

  • Latent

                   Certain viruses have “latent periods”. These viruses burst out sometime in the future. For example, in 1999, CIH viruses damaged the BIOS. The CIH viruses burst out on April 26 every year. If latent periods of viruses are long, viruses can exist in systems for a long time. Thus, the infectious scale of viruses is large.

Basically, viruses are programs that the programmer designed to do something you generally would not want to have happen if you were aware of their function. These programs usually get onto your computer through some sort of trickery. They pretend to be something else, they’re attached to a program you wanted, or they arrive on media you inserted without knowing it was infected. They can also be placed by a remote attacker who has already compromised your security.

How does anti-virus software work? Before program execution can take place, the anti-virus software will scan the program or media for “bad things,” which usually consist of viruses, Trojans, and even a few potential hacker tools.

               Keep in mind, though, that your anti-virus software vendor is the sole determiner of what to check for, unless you take the time to develop your own signature files. Signature files are the meat of most anti-virus programs. They usually consist of pieces of code or binary data that are (you hope) unique to a particular virus or Trojan. Therefore, if you get a virus that does not appear in the database, your anti-virus software cannot help you.

             So why is the process so slow? In order to produce a signature file, an antivirus vendor has to get a copy of the virus or Trojan, analyse it, produce a signature, update the signature file (and sometimes the anti-virus program too) and publish the update. Finally, the end user has to retrieve and apply the update. As you might imagine, there can be some significant delays in getting new virus information to end users, and until they get it they are vulnerable. You cannot blindly run any program or download any attachment simply because you run anti-virus software. Not so long ago, anti-virus software could usually be relied upon, because viruses propagated so slowly, relying on people to move them about via diskettes or shared programs. Now, since so many computers connect to the Internet, that connectivity has become a very attractive carrier for viruses. They spread via Web pages, e-mail and downloads. Chances are much greater now that you will see a new virus before your anti-virus software vendor does. And don’t forget that a custom virus or Trojan may be written specifically to target you at any time. Under those circumstances, your anti-virus software will never save you.

Steps to remove virus from computers: 

    1. If the computer is on then restart. Keep tapping F8 and start the computer simultaneously and select “safe mode with networking” from the Advanced Boot Menu by using the arrow keys and press the “Enter” key on the keyboard.

Note: The reason we go to safe mode is because, most viruses do not function in safe mode.   

                 

2. Delete Temp (temporary) files.

For Windows XP – Click on “start” button from the desktop and select “Run”. In the run text box type “%temp%” and press “Enter”.

For Windows Vista and Windows 7 – Click on “Windows logo” and on the search box just above the Windows logo, type “%temp%” and press “Enter”.

Now the “Temp” folder will open. Select all the files and press Shift + Delete to delete the files.

3. Delete prefetch files.

For Windows XP – Click on “start” button from the desktop and select “Run”. In the run text box type “prefetch” and press “Enter”.

For Windows Vista and Windows 7 – Click on “Windows logo” and on the search box just above the Windows logo, type “prefetch” and press “Enter”.

Now the “Prefetch” folder will open. Select all the files and press Shift + Delete to delete the files.

4. In Windows XP , MS Removal Tool is running or keeps popping up, look for them in the task manager and close it. Also, you can disable them in services. To access services follow the steps below:

For Windows XP – Click on “start” button from the desktop and select “Run”. In the run text box type “services.msc” and press “Enter”.

For Windows Vista and Windows 7 – Click on “Windows logo” and on the search box just above the Windows logo, type “services.msc” and press “Enter”.

5. Download the free version of Malwarebytes and run a virus scan. Following the scan if there is any infection it will show and give you the option to delete . After you remove the virus, it may ask you to restart.

6. If Malwarebytes does not help, then try Hitman pro. Before downloading check whether the system is 32 bit or 64 bit as Hitman Pro has different version for 32 bit and 64 bit.

7. Try TDS Killer from Kaspersky. Download TDS Killer.exe file and run a scan for Rootkits.

8. Try Combofix. It is a freeware but  very good software to remove virus. It is available for free download. While you run Combofix you may lose Internet connection temporarily.

9. You may also try SuperAntispyware. You may try this only when none of the other software given here helped.

10. If you are unable to run or access the computer even in safe mode then create a new user account and login to that. Now start running the software. If they do not detect anything, go to the user account which is affected and look for suspicious files. Confirm with the user, if they are aware of such file, if not, delete it. Then try going to the affected user account and run the anti virus software.

11. If after virus removal, you face issues with file association or running .exe files on Windows XP, then try the tweaks from Kellys Korner XP.

12. If nothing works and severe damage is done. Then we have two options left:

  • If there is important data on the computer then you should take the hard disk to a local vendor to check if the data can be backed up. Then perform a clean installation of operating system. That is, you should format your hard drive and install your Windows OS again.
  • If there is no important data, then you can go ahead and do a clean installation of Windows OS.
source: Huawei Symantec,Hack Proofing Your Network,pctipstricks

UEFI:

UEFI: The acronym stands for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface and is designed to be more flexible than its venerable predecessor.

Wave goodbye to BIOS, say hello to UEFI, a new technology that will drastically reduce start-up times.

The next generation of home computers will be able to boot up in just a few seconds, as 25-year-old BIOS technology makes way for new start-up software known as UEFI.

BIOS technology, which has been used to boot up computers since 1979, was never designed to last as long as it has, and is one of the reasons modern computers take so long to get up and running.

By contrast, UEFI – which stands for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface – has been built to meet modern computing needs, and will soon be the pre-eminent technology in many new computers, enabling them to go from ‘off’ to ‘on’ in seconds.

Pronounced “bye-ose,” BIOS is an acronym for basic input/output system. The BIOS is built-in software that determines what a computer can do without accessing programs from a disk. On PCs, the BIOS contains all the code required to control the keyboard, display screen, disk drives, serial communications, and a number of miscellaneous functions.

The BIOS is typically placed on a ROM chip that comes with the computer (it is often called a ROM BIOS). This ensures that the BIOS will always be available and will not be damaged by disk failures. It also makes it possible for a computer to boot itself.

 Below are the major BIOS manufacturers:

When you turn on your computer, several events occur automatically:

  1. The CPU “wakes up” (has power) and reads the x86 code in the BIOS chip.
  2. The code in the BIOS chip runs a series of tests, called the POST for Power On Self-Test, to make sure the system devices are working correctly. In general, the BIOS:
    • Initializes system hardware and chipset registers
    • Initializes power management
    • Tests RAM (Random Access Memory)
    • Enables the keyboard
    • Tests serial and parallel ports
    • Initializes floppy disk drives and hard disk drive controllers
    • Displays system summary information
  3. During POST, the BIOS compares the system configuration data obtained from POST with the system information stored on a CMOS – Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor – memory chip located on the motherboard. (This CMOS chip, which is updated whenever new system components are added, contains the latest information about system components.)
        4. After the POST tasks are completed, the BIOS looks for the boot program responsible for loading the operating                         system.  Usually, the BIOS looks on the floppy disk drive A: followed by drive C:
        5. After being loaded into memory, the boot program then loads the system configuration information (contained in                the registry in a Windows environment) and device drivers.
       6. Finally, the operating system is loaded, and, if this is a Windows environment, the programs in the Start Up folder                  are executed.

            The BIOS has two fundamental weaknesses. Firstly, it is based on 16-bit assembly code and cannot directly address          the latest 64-bit hardware, and secondly, there are no set standards for specifications, so manufacturers come up with            their own versions.

The participants of the UEFI Forum wanted to set this straight. From the outset, each process has been precisely defined. Thus, the boot process or platform initialization (PI) is clearly described in phases. Immediately after powering up the PC, the Pre-EFI Initialization (PEI) is executed, which initializes the CPU, memory and chipset. This is then followed by the Driver Execution Environment (DXE). At this point, the rest of the hardware is initialized. This process saves the time required for booting because UEFI can integrate various drivers that need not be reloaded during booting. Thanks to these drivers, the user already has access to network card, including features such as network booting and remote assistance at the early stage of the boot process. With the graphics processor enabled, a fancy user interface is also presented.

However, biggest time-saving feature of UEFI is the fact that not all the installed hard drives will be scanned for the boot loader, since the boot drive is set during the installation of the operating system in the UEFI. The default boot loader is run without consuming much time searching the drives.

The faster boot time is not the only advantage of UEFI; applications can be stored on virtually any non-volatile storage device installed on the PC. For example, programs and diagnostic tools such as antivirus or system management tools can be run from an EFI partition on the hard drive. This feature will be very useful to original equipment manufacturers (OEM), who can distribute systems with extra functions in addition to the standard EFI firmware stored on the motherboard’s ROM.

UEFI fully supports 3 TB hard drives

The classic BIOS can access only up to 232 sectors of 512 bytes in size, which  translates to a total of 2 TB. So the upcoming 3 TB variants of Western Digital Caviar Green and Seagate Barracuda XT won’t be fully compatible with the current BIOS. Seagate uses larger sectors to make the full capacity usable on Windows, but the BIOS cannot boot from this drive.

UEFI, on the other hand, works with GUID partition table (GPT) with 64-bit long addresses and can handle up to 264 sectors that address up to 9 Zettabyte (1 zettabyte equals 1 billion terabytes).

The GUID Partition Table (GPT) was introduced as part of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) initiative. GPT provides a more flexible mechanism for partitioning disks than the older Master Boot Record (MBR) partitioning scheme that was common to PCs.

A partition is a contiguous space of storage on a physical or logical disk that functions as if it were a physically separate disk. Partitions are visible to the system firmware and the installed operating systems. Access to a partition is controlled by the system firmware before the system boots the operating system, and then by the operating system after it is started.

MBR disks support only four partition table entries. If more partitions are wanted, a secondary structure known as an extended partition is necessary. Extended partitions can then be subdivided into one or more logical disks.

GPT disks can grow to a very large size. The number of partitions on a GPT disk is not constrained by temporary schemes such as container partitions as defined by the MBR Extended Boot Record (EBR).

The GPT disk partition format is well defined and fully self-identifying. Data critical to platform operation is located in partitions and not in unpartitioned or “hidden” sectors. GPT disks use primary and backup partition tables for redundancy and CRC32 fields for improved partition data structure integrity. The GPT partition format uses version number and size fields for future expansion. Each GPT partition has a unique identification GUID and a partition content type, so no coordination is necessary to prevent partition identifier collision. Each GPT partition has a 36-character Unicode name. This means that any software can present a human-readable name for the partition without any additional understanding of the partition.

Below given Windows OS supports GPT:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2003 SP1
  • Windows Server 2003 (64-bit)
  • Windows XP x64 edition
Source: wikipedia, chip, MSDN

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

SQL Database Compression

SQL Database Compression :

Follow the following steps to compress the database:

Steps :

  1. Go to Start –> Programs –> Microsoft Server 2005 –>  SQL Server Management Studio; Click SQL Server Management Studio Connect to Server dialog box will appear (see Figure 1).
Figure 1

2.  Enter the password of the server in the Password field.

3. Click Connect. It will connect to the database server and Microsoft Server Management Studio window will refresh (see Figure 2).

Figure 2

4. Expand Databases subfolder (see Figure 3).

Figure 3

5. Select ‘WSS_Content_8888’ sub folder.

6. Click   .  A new query file will open.

7. Type the following query in the new query file. (see Figure 4).

Figure 4

8.  Click to execute the query (see Figure 5)

Figure 5

9. Once query is executed success fully, the following window will appear (see Figure 6):

Figure 6

10. The size of the ‘WSS_Content_8888’ before compression was shown below in (Figure 7):

Figure 7

11. The size of the ‘WSS_Content_8888’after Database compression will be as shown below in (Figure 8):

Figure 8

2nd Method In GUI :


  1. Go to Start –> Programs –> Microsoft Server 2005 –> SQL Server Management Studio, Click SQL Server Management Studio. Connect to Server dialog box will appear (see Figure 1).
Figure-1

2. Enter the   password of the server in the Password field.

3. Click Connect. It will connect to the database server and Microsoft Server Management Studio window      will refresh (see Figure 2).

Figure-2

4. Expand Databases sub folder (see Figure 3).

Figure-3

5. Select ‘WSS_Content_8888’ sub folder, right click –>properties  click on properties (shown in Figure 4)

Figure-4

6. In properties window  ( shown Figure 5), go to options , click options –> go to Recovery Model which by   default has value full ( shown in Figure 5)

Figure-5

7. Change the value in Recovery model to simple (as shown Figures 6 & 7), Click OK button.

Figure-6
Figure-7

8. Select ‘WSS_Content_8888’ –>right click  –> Tasks –> Shrink –> Files ( shown in Figure 8)

Figure-8

9. The following window will open ( see Figure 9)

Figure-9

10 . Click OK, it compresses database ‘WSS_Content_8888’ data (.mdf) file.

11. Click on the file type drop down menu (see Figure 10), and select LOG., Click OK button.

Figure-10

12 . It compresses LOG (.ldf) file. Final output shown below ( Figure 11):

Figure-11

13 . Once Database compression over, revert the Recovery model settings from Simple to Full (see Figure 12)

Figure-12


Computer Shortcut keys:

Computer shortcut keys provide an easier and usually quicker method for navigating and using computer software programs. Shortcut keys usually consist of an Alt key, Ctrl, and/or Shift key in conjunction with a single letter. The de facto standard for listing a shortcut is listing the modifier key, a plus symbol, and the single character. Or in other words, “ALT+S” means that you need to press the ‘Alt’ key and while continuing to hold the ‘Alt’ key, you need to press  the ‘ S’ key to operate the shortcut.

In addition to the shortcuts listed on this page, users can find the shortcut keys to their most popular program by looking for underlined letters in the program’s menus. For example, in the picture shown below, you can notice that the “F” in File underlined. You can press the ‘Alt’ key and ‘F’ to access the File menu.

BASIC SHORTCUT KEYS :

Basic shortcut keys

MICROSOFT WINDOWS SHORT CUT KEYS :

MS Windows shortcut keys
win

KEY SHORTCUTS :

Win keys

PC in PC

Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 allows users to run multiple operating systems conveniently on a single computer. Users can switch operating systems as easily as they switch applications on a mouse click. Each virtual machine acts like a standalone computer.

Since each VM runs its own operating system, users can install and run x86 operating systems.

Microsoft fully supports the following operating systems running in a virtual machine on Virtual PC:

But users can also install Windows 2000/2003 Server systems, Linux builds and other operating systems.

The operating system that runs on the physical computer is called the Host operating system and the operating systems that run on virtual machines are called Guest operating systems.

The main purpose of Virtual PC is to allow the user to run multiple guest machines on one real host machine.

The main advantages of VMs are:

  • Multiple OS environments can co-exist on the same computer, in strong isolation from each other.
  • The virtual machine can provide aninstruction setarchitecture (ISA) that is somewhat different from that of the real machine.
  • With “save state” option, you can hibernate the VM instead of completely shutting it down. That way, you can reactivate a VM without going through the lengthy boot up process.
  • With “undo disks” option, you can discard all changes to the VM when you close a session. That way, you can have the VM start-up exactly the same as it did the previous time.
  • To directly compare competing software products, you can use duplicate VMs to provide identical platforms.
  • The network adapter in a VM gets a different IP address than the host, so you can connect both guest and host to a home network. You can also setup and test a firewall or webserver without using another computer.
  • NIC traffic bypasses host’s firewall.

The main disadvantages of VMs are:

  • A virtual machine is less efficient than a real machine when it accesses the hardware indirectly.
  • The most glaring deficiency, though, is the lack of USB support in the virtual machines. Other than a mouse or keyboard, if you want to use a USB device with Virtual PC, you’re out of luck.
  • Does not support DVD iso images (Note: Does support real DVD disks in host’s DVD drive).

You can download Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 for free from the following link: Virtual PC 2007.

Installing Virtual PC:

1.       Click Setup. Welcome to the installation wizard for Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 screen appears (see Figure-1).

Figure-1

2.       Click Next. License Agreement screen appears (see Figure- 2).

Figure-2

3.       Click Next. Customer Information screen appears (see Figure -3).

Figure-3

4.    Click Next. Ready to Install the Program screen appears (see Figure-4).

Figure-4

5. Click Install. Installing Microsoft virtual PC 2007 screen (see Figure-5) followed by Installation Complete screen appears (see Figure-6).

Figure-5
Figure-6

6.       Click Finish to complete the installation.

7.       Go to Start >> All Programs>>Microsoft Virtual PC (see Figure-7).

Figure-7

New Virtual Machine screen appears (see Figure-8).



Figure-8

8.       Click Next. Options screen appears (see Figure-9)

Figure-9

9.       Select an option to create a new virtual machine.

10.       Click Next. Virtual Machine Name and Location screen appears (see Figure-10).

Figure-10

11.       Enter name of the virtual machine in Name and Location field.

12.       Click Next. Operating System screen appears (see Figure-11).

Figure-11

13.       Select an operating system that you are going to install from Operating System list that displays all the operating systems the Microsoft Virtual PC supports.

14.       Click Next. Memory (RAM Configuration) screen appears (see Figure-12).

Figure-12

15.       Set the RAM for the virtual machine.

16.       Click Next. Virtual Hard Disk Options screen appears (see Figure-13).

Figure-13

17.       Select ‘A new virtual hard disk’ option.

18.       Click Next. Virtual Hard Disk Location screen appears (see Figure-14).

Figure-14

19.       Click Next It prompts you to specify the path where new .vhd should be created and completing the New Virtual Machine Wizard screen appears (see Figure-15 ).

Note: This will be the same folder as where your .vmc file resides by default but all.vhd files are stored on a separate drive for best performance a folder named Virtual PC on drive D or E on the Host system.

Figure-15

20.  Click Finish. It creates new VM but no operating system is installed on it.



10 reasons why PCs crash

Fatal error: The system has become unstable or is busy,” it says. “Enter to return to Windows or press Control-Alt-Delete to restart your computer. If you do this you will lose any unsaved information in all open applications.”

You have just been struck by the Blue Screen of Death. Anyone who uses Microsoft Windows OS will be familiar with this. What can you do? More importantly, how can you prevent it happening?

1. Hardware conflict :

The number one reason why Windows crashes is hardware conflict. Each hardware device communicates to other devices through an interrupt request channel (IRQ). These are supposed to be unique for each device.

For example, a printer usually connects internally on IRQ 7. The keyboard usually uses IRQ 1 and the floppy disk drive IRQ 6. Each device will try to hog a single IRQ for itself.

If there are a lot of devices, or if they are not installed properly, two of them may end up sharing the same IRQ number. When the user tries to use both devices at the same time, a crash can happen. The way to check if your computer has a hardware conflict is through the following route:

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-System-Device Manager.

Often if a device has a problem a yellow ‘!’ appears next to its description in the Device Manager (see Image 2). Highlight Computer (in the Device Manager) and press Properties to see the IRQ numbers used by your computer. If the IRQ number appears twice, two devices may be using it.

image2

Sometimes a device might share an IRQ with something described as ‘IRQ holder for PCI steering’. This can be ignored. The best way to fix this problem is to remove the problem device and reinstall it.

Sometimes you may have to find more recent drivers on the internet to make the device function properly. A good resource is www.driverguide.com. If the device is a soundcard, or a modem, it can often be fixed by moving it to a different slot on the motherboard (be careful about opening your computer, as you may void the warranty).

When working inside a computer you should switch it off, unplug the mains lead and touch an unpainted metal surface to discharge any static electricity.

2. Bad RAM :

RAM (random-access memory) problems might bring on the blue screen of death with a message saying Fatal Exception Error. A fatal error indicates a serious hardware problem. Sometimes it may mean a part is damaged and will need replacing.

But a fatal error caused by RAM might be caused by a mismatch of chips. For example, mixing 70-nanosecond (70ns) RAM with 60ns RAM will usually force the computer to run all the RAM at the slower speed. This will often crash the machine if the RAM is overworked.

One way around this problem is to enter the BIOS settings and increase the wait state of the RAM. This can make it more stable. Another way to troubleshoot a suspected RAM problem is to rearrange the RAM chips on the motherboard, or take some of them out. Then try to repeat the circumstances that caused the crash. When handling RAM try not to touch the gold connections, as they can be easily damaged.

Parity error messages also refer to RAM. Modern RAM chips are either parity (ECC) or non parity (non-ECC). It is best not to mix the two types, as this can be a cause of trouble.

EMM386 error messages refer to memory problems but may not be connected to bad Ram. This may be due to free memory problems often linked to old Dos-based programs.

3.  BIOS settings :

Every motherboard is supplied with a range of chipset settings that are decided in the factory. A common way to access these settings is to press the F2 or delete button during the first few seconds of a boot-up.

Once inside the BIOS, great care should be taken. It is a good idea to write down on a piece of paper all the settings that appear on the screen. That way, if you change something and the computer becomes more unstable, you will know what settings to revert to.

Microsoft Windows is better at allocating IRQ numbers than any BIOS. If possible set the IRQ numbers to Auto in the BIOS. This will allow Windows to allocate the IRQ numbers (make sure the BIOS setting for Plug and Play OS is switched to ‘yes’ to allow Windows to do this.).

4. Hard disk drives :

After a few weeks, the information on a hard disk drive starts to become piecemeal or fragmented. It is a good idea to defragment the hard disk every week or so, to prevent the disk from causing a screen freeze. Go to

* Start-Programs-Accessories-System Tools-Disk Defragmenter.

This will start the procedure. You will be unable to write data to the hard drive (to save it) while the disk is defragmenting, so it is a good idea to schedule the procedure for a period of inactivity using the Task Scheduler.

Hard disks will slow down and crash if they are too full. Do some housekeeping on your hard drive every few months and free some space on it. Open the Windows folder on the C drive and find the Temporary Internet Files folder. Deleting the contents (not the folder) can free a lot of space.

Empty the Recycle Bin every week to free more space. Hard disk drives should be scanned every week for errors or bad sectors. Go to

* Start-Programs-Accessories-System Tools-ScanDisk

5 .Fatal OE exceptions and VXD errors :

Fatal OE exception errors and VXD errors are often caused by video card problems.

These can often be resolved easily by reducing the resolution of the video display. Go to

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-Display-Settings

Another useful way to resolve video problems is to go to

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-System-Performance-Graphics

Here you should move the Hardware Acceleration slider to the left. As ever, the most common cause of problems relating to graphics cards is old or faulty drivers (a driver is a small piece of software used by a computer to communicate with a device).

Look up your video card’s manufacturer on the internet and search for the most recent drivers for it.

6 .Viruses :

Often the first sign of a virus infection is instability. Some viruses erase the boot sector of a hard drive, making it impossible to start. This is why it is a good idea to create a Windows start-up disk. Go to

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-Add/Remove Programs

Here, look for the Start Up Disk tab. Virus protection requires constant vigilance.

A virus scanner requires a list of virus signatures in order to be able to identify viruses. These signatures are stored in a DAT file. DAT files should be updated daily from the website of your antivirus software .

7 . Printers :

The action of sending a document to print creates a bigger file, often called a postscript file.

Printers have only a small amount of memory, called a buffer. This can be easily overloaded. Printing a document also uses a considerable amount of CPU power. This will also slow down the computer’s performance.

If the printer is trying to print unusual characters, these might not be recognised, and can crash the computer.

Sometimes printers will not recover from a crash because of confusion in the buffer. A good way to clear the buffer is to unplug the printer for ten seconds. Booting up from a powerless state, also called a cold boot, will restore the printer’s default settings and you may be able to carry on.

8. Software :

A common cause of computer crash is faulty or badly-installed software. Often the problem can be cured by uninstalling the software and then reinstalling it. Use Norton Uninstall or Uninstall Shield to remove an application from your system properly. This will also remove references to the programme in the System Registry and leaves the way clear for a completely fresh copy.

The System Registry can be corrupted by old references to obsolete software that you thought was uninstalled. Use CCleaner clean up the System Registry and remove obsolete entries.

Often a Windows problem can be resolved by entering Safe Mode. This can be done during start-up. When you see the message “Starting Windows” press F8. This should take you into Safe Mode.

Safe Mode loads a minimum of drivers. It allows you to find and fix problems that prevent Windows from loading properly.

9 . Overheating :

Central processing units (CPUs) are usually equipped with fans to keep them cool. If the fan fails or if the CPU gets old it may start to overheat and generate a particular kind of error called a kernel error. This is a common problem in chips that have been overclocked to operate at higher speeds than they are supposed to.

One remedy is to get a bigger better fan and install it on top of the CPU

10. Power supply problems :

A power surge or spike can crash a computer as easily as a power cut.

If this has become a nuisance for you then consider buying a uninterrupted power supply (UPS). This will give you a clean power supply when there is surge, and it will give you a few minutes to perform a controlled shutdown in case of a power cut.

It is a good investment if your data are critical, because a power cut will cause any unsaved data to be lost.