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I'm back! :O)(8 posts)

I'm back! :O)Live Steam
Jan 7, 2004 9:08 AM
What a pain in the a$$! No virus was detected, so I really don't know what caused the problem. I had to strip down the system, reformat and reinstall everything. One of the possible causes could have been the system was getting low on disk space. It's amazing how much crapola that one collects even in bits and bites :O) I was contemplating putting in a new HD, but since cleaning house I freed up about 20gigs. That should hold up for a while.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a utility that cleans out the hidden places XP stores all the junk that is accumulated over time? I regularly use the built in utility to dump temp files and old restore points and the rest of the stuff XP allows access to. but there must be something better out there that helps rid the system of stuff that bogs it down. Software suggestions and good housekeeping proceedures are appreciated :O)
consider a second hard drive anyway.dr hoo
Jan 7, 2004 9:53 AM
HDs are cheap. It makes it easy to back things up. Plus, that way you can keep all of your settings and data on the non-C drive and when you have to reinstall the OS, getting back to normal is a lot less of a PITA.

No suggestions for utilities, I don't use them.
May do just that, but ...Live Steam
Jan 7, 2004 10:38 AM
I already have my HD partitioned and store all data on the D: partition just because of these problems. The one thing that I really hate is how certain MS products store data - such as Outlook 2000. The data files are defaulted to a hidden folder in the "Documents and Settings" folder. I thought I saved it before performing the reformatting, but it appears that I missed it somehow. Not really sure how as I backed up the entire contents of that folder. I lost some contact info and a lot of saved emails with subscriber info, etc. I have an older backup that I am working off of now.

How do you keep your system "clean"? I used some of the recommended shareware programs such as Spybot, but they may have done more harm than good. I have to say that everyone out there is looking for space on our computers and most software hogs disk space and memory. Old registry entries also seem to slow things down. Uninstalling software usually leaves lots of remnants that clogs up the works. I need to do some research to find something reliable and unobtrusive to monitor the system.

So you wanted my IP address hey? What kind of havoc could you have reaped with that :O)
How do I keep it clean? Practice.dr hoo
Jan 7, 2004 2:00 PM
Telling you what I do would take longer than it would be worth.

Keep in mind that I have been dealing with computers all my life (I was taking special classes at IBM in 5th grade), so I am pretty good at picking up new tech when needed. I know the fundamentals (not the basics, but the fundamentals). I don't install much software, and when I do I track what it puts on my machine so I can clean it up later. Linux server in the basement, and offline machines for my REALLY critical data.

Even with all of that background, it's getting to be more trouble than it's worth. That's why I have REAL geek friends. And I do regular reinstalls on my MS machines. Even with all that, I have had the occasional problems when I am late patching Micro$haft. Not damage (considering my overkill security set up) but problems.

BTW, those that use outlook deserve what they get.

What could I do with your IP address? Nothing, if your system is secure. IP is no big deal.

What would I have done? Nothing, for that would be wrong.

What COULD I have done? In theory if your system is not secure?

Whatever I wanted. Read and copy files, delete files, add trojans, use your machine as a zombie to attack other systems, put kiddie porn on the hd and call the FBI on you... heck the possibilities for fun are ENDLESS.

So is your system secure?

If you are sitting behind a router, the answer is probably yes. If you don't have file sharing turned on, all patches are up to date, run a firewall, run up to date antivirals, and you don't run an account with administrative privledges for normal operations, the answer is probably yes.
So even if I am the only user on my home machine ...Live Steam
Jan 7, 2004 8:40 PM
I should not use the administrator account when logged on? Should I create a seperate user and use that for daily access?

I had been using McAfee Pro, but just switched to Norton Internet Security Pro 2004 based on a few recommendations.

I have to say that, though usually not planned, I do reinstalls about once a year. Even when doing regular housecleaning chores such as purging temp files and some registry cleaning, the system alway slows down after a while. A clean install brings things back to speed.

Say what's wrong with Outlook? I use it because it worked with my PDA and phone. I am open to suggestions for an alternative. What do you use for contact management?

Thanks for the help!
Outlook is the source of all evil.dr hoo
Jan 8, 2004 6:40 AM
Go ahead and keep using it, especially as it is working with your other stuff. The problems with it relate mostly to virus propagation. If you have all the active stuff in your preview window locked down, no problem.

YES you should create another account and use that for daily purposes. If you are on your admin account and pick up a trojan or virus, all sorts of trouble comes your way as your account (which is used by the virus/trojan) allows new software to be installed and executed. If you are on a limited user account, far far fewer bad things can be done. You are also more likely to notice something when you get a "you don't have sufficient privledges to blah blah blah, contact your administrator". This ability to run as less than administrator is a HUGE security improvement in MS OSs over the "everyone is an admin" model of win9x... so long as you use it.

Oh, and different partitions are good, but hard drives fail. So as long as your hd lasts, you are in good shape, but when it fails all your data and settings will be lost. A second HD is cheap insurance.
oh, and if you like your settings....dr hoo
Jan 8, 2004 6:43 AM
.... you can create another admin account, then turn off the administrative privledges of your current account. That way your daily account will be set up as you like it from the start.
i use a combo ofrufus
Jan 7, 2004 2:01 PM
Spybot Search and Destroy, and JV 16 Power Tools. Spybot deals with the adware and spyware, and Power Tools for deleting old registry entries, checking for duplicate and broken files, etc.