malware

DIY Computer Repairs

I come from a time, as many who live at the Heads do, when most blokes (and some ladies) did their own car repairs.

DIY Computer repairsHours spent lying on cold concrete floors battling with unyielding bolts, swearing and covered in grease and dirt. Fixing the Holden or Ford us gave much satisfaction and the money (sometimes) saved helped the family budget. Once chips – silicon ones, not the dead remnants of lunch at the beach – found their way into cars, things changed. Using a strobe light to set the timing and tinkering with carburettors soon became impossible when they were replaced by electronic ignition and fuel injection and we had to rely on workshops with the right gear to do the specialised work for us. Continue reading

Registry Cleaners – are they worth using?

registry cleanerI’ve been using Windows in all it’s flavours since the days of Windows 2.0. Not a wonderful piece of software I think everyone around in those days will agree, but it started the whole ‘gui’ thing off – at least for PC users!

The Windows registry first made it’s appearance with Windows 3.1 and it was intended to tidy up the profusion of .ini files that had previously been used to store configuration settings for programs running under Windows.

Registry cleaners are software utilities whose usual purpose is to remove redundant or unwanted items from the Windows registry. These redundant items are often left behind after uninstalling software, either by using their own (and sometimes faulty) uninstalltion programs or by simply deleting program directories – which is definitely NOT recommended! Continue reading

Fixing malware infections is causing pain

by Andy Turner
Coastal Computers & Design

I usually get a handful of systems a year that I have to completely wipe and do a clean reinstall of Windows after serious malware infections, but I have noticed – as have many computer techs – that this more drastic cure is needed more often now to completely eradicate the problems.

The writers of this dangerous junk have become far more adept at ensuring that their ‘products’  often worm their way so far into the operating system that complete removal is near impossible. I now advise my customers that I will attempt removal for a certain amount of time but after that it simply becomes uneconomic to continue and we have to shift to a ‘backup your data and start from scratch’ approach. In consequence, the more usual hour to ninety minute job ends up as a 2-3 hour exercise. Also, the end result is usually more work when the customer gets the computer back home again – reinstalling printers and other software that they require. Continue reading

Just What The Heck Is Spyware, Anyway?

by Scott Drinkard

What Is Spyware?
It goes by different names. Spyware, adware and malware are some of the more popular monikers. It really doesn’t matter what you call it, though. The bottom line is that you don’t want it on your computer. First of all, let me state for the record that I think the internet is a wonderful thing. I think a majority of people would agree that the World Wide Web has made life for all of us a little more convenient. Whether it’s reserving a hotel room, buying music online, checking the local weather or any number of thousands of useful sites (did I mention email?) we all have gotten a little bit spoiled with having all this information right at our fingertips. Continue reading

PLEASE don’t click on fake security alerts!

by Andy Turner
Coastal Computers & Design

I’ve just spent the last 2 hours attempting to clear another ‘Smitfraud’ spyware variant. They are notorious buggers to clear completely, hopefully this one has gone for good – but I won’t hold my breath! Update: Nope – this system has a ‘rootkit’ infection as well… more work!

Ninety-nine percent of infections like this are caused by downloading an infected ‘codec’ to watch a particular type of video or a ‘drive-by’ spyware attack – but once you have been infected, please, please don’t ignore it or try to remove this yourself unless you know what you are doing. Continue reading

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