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About Laz

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  • Main System Specs:
    Gigabyte GA-8KNXP Ultra 2.8M Pentium 4 Windows XP
  1. Interestingly I got the same link via email from PC Tools. That was a surprise, as the link indicated all their competitors, without mentioning PC Tools. A somewhat unusual move I thought.
  2. It's quite a tribute to his integrity. He knows we are already datamined to death, and he drew a line. Wish there were more like him amongst the developers.
  3. Thanks for the excellent link Striker. I'm off to reload Windows!
  4. Thanks for the reassurance Corrine, but something is amiss. Yes I can connect to those sites with Firefox, but why does Internet Explorer take a dive with the same sites, and only those sites. Seems like even if the computer is ok, IE is not.In itself this is not a problem, as I only use IE for the MS updates, but it's a curiouscoincidence don't you think?RegardsLaz
  5. Well, I jumped through the hoops they provided with mixed results.At first I thought all was well, as I could reach ca.com and symantec.comwithout any problems using Firefox. Just for the **** of it I then tried the same with IE7. Although I could get to Windows Updates OK, attempting to contact thesecurity pages resulted in a crashed IE every time. SInce this was supposed to bethe Litmus test, I concluded that my system was infected. Not so according to theBit Defender removal tool, which was also recommended by Livingstrom. Incidentallythat utility was downloaded on the same machie through Firefox. Ambiguous don't you think? I'll try again using the Symantec removal tooltomorrow. All my patches are up to date, and autoplay has been demonstrablydisabled. It's a good thing I have drive images from better times that will allowme to restore to pristine conditions if I don't get conclusive evidence of a clean bill of health.RegardsLaz
  6. The wizard can be annoying, but it does slow down after a while. Personally I prefer to know what is taking place to watching the activily LED and wondering why. OA also alerts to any changes in the programs, which I like. As well, I appreciate the banking mode, which makes a lot of sense.Version 3 has some growing pains, but all in all I find it worthwhile.
  7. Tried it, love it, bought it. The "Banking mode" and "Safer Surfing" features alone are worth the price of admission as far as I'm concerned.To date, the program works well with Spyware Doctor, which is another bonus. I'm glad you made the suggestion. Thank you.
  8. It would not hurt to disable some of the services that are not required bythe individual user, such as SERVER, REMOTE DESKTOP, REMOTE DESKTOP HELP SESSION MANAGER, REMOTE REGISTRY, all of which can provide a back door opportunity. These can be controlled from "START / RUN / SERVICES.MSC
  9. I had a somewhat similar problem caused by a virus which created a hidden partition on the drive. I used a free utility called DBAN from Source Forge to clear it. This utility does a multi step overwrite of the entire disk, after which you can use the manufacturer's setup disk to prepare the drive for use. The download file creates a bootable floppy written in Linux, which allows it to ignore any Windows related ills.
  10. I agree, although it isn't the firewall portion that's causing it. The firewall on its own would be fine, but the virus checker brings it down. Pity.
  11. I did that in the end. It took some time because of the three components involved. I bounced around until I found out that all three had to be cleaned.1. Used MSDOS 6.22 debug to clean the BIOS, and witpe the HD.2. With only a floppy disk and the DVD drive attached, I over wrote the firmware.3. Re-formatted the HD, and loaded the systemany one or even two of the above proved insufficient, as the third item would infect everything all over again. The 10.x.x.x hop proved to be a red herring, as it was put in place by my service provider to identify my "new network" which disapeared after I cleaned everything. I still don't have a clue as to how I caught this thing, and thus feel vulnerable as I can't prevent a re-occurence.At least I can spot it and remove it though, which is a plus.
  12. A truly superior product. It has never let me down.
  13. Thanks for the link, I will have a good look. I'm going to say "bye" to Comodo. When I tried to turn off my computer last night, I was greeted with a message that Comodo could not be terminated.This was followed up by a non-responding application message. To all outward appearences Comodo was active, and there is no telling at what point during the day it crashed. This is not a feature I can admire in a firewall.
  14. Inspite of all the protection on my computer, (Comodo 3, Spyware Doctor, Fix-It Utilities (Trend Micro), Spybot S&D) aside from Microsoft's array of tools, something crawled in, and established a VM that can't be detected by anything, including various rootkit detection programs. I first noticed something was wrong as I watched a program installation bar proceed across the screen just after boot-up, and before Windows started. On successive restarts, new symptoms appeared. The BIOS indicated that it was starting from the DVD drive, although there was no media in the drive. (The activity LED remained on constantly.) This was followed up by an indication that the disk drive had a fault, and Windows insisted on analyzing it. From this point on Spyware Doctor was unable to get updates, producing an error code. This phase has ended now, some two weeks later, and the only indication of a problem is that an extra hop has been added between my computer and the DNS server. All external communications are filtered through A "WhoIs" check only provides that this is called a "Black hole" for private use in the INA database. This is where my investigation has stalled, there is no further information available to me. If anyone knows what this is about, government or hacker, I'd love to find out.
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