Archive for the ‘windows xp’ Category

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Glary Utilities – All in one Utilities suite

February 5, 2008

Wouldn’t it be good if you could have one program that would do several useful things for your computer? Things such as optimizing it, cleaning it, and improving speed, reliability, privacy and security?

If this sounds good to you, then you might want to take Glary Utilities for a test drive. While the name may not sound too exciting, it seems to be a very good, well programmed, well thought out, and most importantly of all, useful piece of software.

Its an all in one utilities suite that has some very useful things that most computer users are sure to find useful at some stage. This includes a disk cleaner for scanning for and removing junk temp files from your computer to free up valuable space. It also has a registry cleaner which so far seems pretty good compared to most ones i’ve tried out, just be careful and try not to delete anything you’re not absolutely sure about. If in doubt, you can make a backup first. Other features enable you to delete empty folders and dead shortcuts.

More features include :

  • A startup manager ; for managing which programs run on startup;
  • A context menu optimizer; very handy for removing unused options from the context menu;
  • Tracks Eraser; Erases web browser tracks, history, cookies etc;
  • File Shredder; Deletes files permanently and irrecoverably;
  • File Undelete; for attempting to undelete accidentally deleted files;
  • File Encrypter and Decrypter; added privacy for sensitive or private files;
  • Disk Analysis; shows you the disk space usage of your files and folders;
  • Duplicate Files Finder; basic but somewhat effective tool for finding duplicate files, checks by name and file size;
  • File Splitter and Joiner; for splitting large files into smaller manageable files, and rejoining them;
  • Process Manager; useful tool to see what’s running on your computer, good to know so that you can find dangerous or unnecessary programs;
  • Internet Explorer Assistant; for managing or removing browser helper objects.

On top of all this, its available in a totally freeware version. The only difference between the free and paid version seems to be that the “One click maintenance” option can’t be set to run automatically in the free version.

I recommend this to anyone looking for a simple way of maintaining their computer, that works and delivers as promised.

Go check out the homepage here for more info and the download.

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How to remove the Vista RDP Prompt

October 4, 2007

You know what I’m talking about. That pesky authentication check when you RDP to a pre-Vista machine. Sick of that? Well, so am I. And luckily, one of my fellow engineers discovered this. Here’s the fix!

You know, this one:

The registry key is a DWORD value at \\HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client\AuthenticationLevelOverride

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/895433 

Here are the 3 possible values, at least in Windows Server 2003:

Set the authentication level value to one of the following values:

•    0 This value corresponds to “No authentication.”
•    1 This value corresponds to “Require authentication.”
•    2 This value corresponds to “Attempt authentication.”

I experimented and found that 2 is the default now.  I tested the 3 modes and found that:

0 -> Doesn’t prompt. 
1 -> Gives a similar message but doesn’t allow me to continue.  This is the strictest.
2 -> Gives the message but allows me to accept and continue.

In my case, I don’t even want the prompt so I set AuthenticationLevelOverride to 0 and I’m able to log into my Remote Desktop sessions without that extra prompt.

Warning: this is a decrease in security so should only be changed if you are aware of the what and why of this change.

OR

You could use Visionapp’s vRD or RoyalTS – two amazing RDP managers. Then you don’t have to worry about all that stuff either. Just store your credentials and go!

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Pano Logic’s Pano: virtual XP or Vista in a box

August 27, 2007

Check it CIOs, Pano Logic just announced their new Pano virtualization device which brings XP and Vista to your users without the need of a PC. According to the feisty startup, their new virtualization solution can cut your Total Cost of Ownership by 70% for a promised savings of $3,200 per desktop over three years. While you can ace the desktop PC, you’ll still have to make the initial investment of $20 per month per device (one per user) with perpetual licenses available. The Pano device has no CPU, memory, operating system or drivers — at least not in the way those items are typically perceived by your IT staff. A “Pano Logic chip” manages the virtualization. In other words: no client-side malware or hiccups for fewer deskside visits — everything is managed centrally from your VMWare Server installation. The device does pack the required jacks for a VGA display (up to 1600 x 1200 pixels supported), USB keyboard and Mouse (3x total USB), 10/100Mbps Ethernet, and a pair of mini-jacks for audio in/out. Of course, the system is entirely dependent upon lickity quick, uncongested pipes so if you’re sporting a latency above 5-ms, you can forget about Pano’s virtualization. Check out the business minded, ass-end of the Pano after the break.

[Via PCMag]

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Restart XP (or Vista) without restarting your BIOS!

August 17, 2007

This has been posted everywhere… but it’s too damn cool to pass up. Thanks <codejacked>!

Restarting Windows Vista

A modern PC with Vista Home Edition takes about one and a half minutes to boot. An older machine with XP is about the same. That’s 30 seconds for the PC itself (the BIOS) to boot up, plus a minute for the Windows operating system to boot. Sometimes, you need to reboot Windows (e.g. when installing new software), but there is no need to restart BIOS, too. However, the default is to reboot both. (That’s called doing a “cold boot,” rather than a “warm boot.”) There’s a trick that works on both XP and Vista to get it to do a warm boot instead, thus saving you 30 seconds per cycle.

The trick is to hold down the SHIFT key when invoking the restart.

Windows Vista: Select Start, then hover over the right arrow that is to the right of the padlock icon until the pop-up menu appears that contains “restart” as one of it’s choices. Hold down the SHIFT key while clicking on the “restart” choice.

Windows XP: Select Start. Select “Shut Down…”. Change the drop-down combo box under “What do you want the computer to do?” to “Restart”. Hold down the SHIFT key while clicking on the “OK” button.

Restarting Windows XP

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Need to remove items out of the Add/Remove Programs list?

July 8, 2007

Ever uninstall something and its still listed in the Add/Remove programs list? Or maybe a rogue program showed up in the list and has since been removed with an anti-malware utility. But it keeps showing up in the list! Here’s how to remove it in Windows 2000/XP/2003:

1.
Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then press ENTER.

2.
Locate and click the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall

3.
After you click the Uninstall registry key, click Export Registry File on the Registry menu.

4.
In the Export Registry File dialog box, click Desktop in the Save in box, type uninstall in the File name box, and then click Save.

5.
Each key under Uninstall represents a program that appears in Add/Remove Programs. To determine which program that each key represents, click the key, and then view the following values:

DisplayName – the value data for the DisplayName key is the name that is listed in Add/Remove Programs
-and-
UninstallString – the value data for the UninstallString key is the program that is used to uninstall the program

6.
After you identify the registry key that represents the program that is still in Add/Remove Programs, right-click the key, and then click Delete.

7.
After you delete the key, click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.

8.
In Control Panel, double-click Add/Remove Programs.

9.
In Add/Remove Programs, verify that the program for which you deleted the registry key is not listed.

10.
If the program list is not correct in Add/Remove Programs, you can double-click the Uninstall.reg file on your desktop to restore the original list of programs in the registry.

11.
If the program list is correct in Add/Remove Programs, you can right-click the Uninstall.reg file on your desktop, and then click Delete.

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Hacking 101: Cain & Abel

June 20, 2007

I came across this awesome utility at work today. Someone needed to desperately crack a Word document for a customer. So he sent out an email to all of the engineers asking if we had any tools (preferably free) to help him crack this document.

A few ideas came up – but by far, this has been the best idea. It may have not helped him out in his case, and that I’m not sure of. But I became curious and checked this tool out myself.

Cain & Abel is a free password recovery tool for Microsoft OS’s.

From their website:

Cain & Abel is a password recovery tool for Microsoft Operating Systems. It allows easy recovery of various kind of passwords by sniffing the network, cracking encrypted passwords using Dictionary, Brute-Force and Cryptanalysis attacks, recording VoIP conversations, decoding scrambled passwords, recovering wireless network keys, revealing password boxes, uncovering cached passwords and analyzing routing protocols. The program does not exploit any software vulnerabilities or bugs that could not be fixed with little effort. It covers some security aspects/weakness present in protocol’s standards, authentication methods and caching mechanisms; its main purpose is the simplified recovery of passwords and credentials from various sources, however it also ships some “non standard” utilities for Microsoft Windows users.

Cain & Abel has been developed in the hope that it will be useful for network administrators, teachers, security consultants/professionals, forensic staff, security software vendors, professional penetration tester and everyone else that plans to use it for ethical reasons. The author will not help or support any illegal activity done with this program. Be warned that there is the possibility that you will cause damages and/or loss of data using this software and that in no events shall the author be liable for such damages or loss of data. Please carefully read the License Agreement included in the program before using it.

The latest version is faster and contains a lot of new features like APR (Arp Poison Routing) which enables sniffing on switched LANs and Man-in-the-Middle attacks. The sniffer in this version can also analyze encrypted protocols such as SSH-1 and HTTPS, and contains filters to capture credentials from a wide range of authentication mechanisms. The new version also ships routing protocols authentication monitors and routes extractors, dictionary and brute-force crackers for all common hashing algorithms and for several specific authentications, password/hash calculators, cryptanalysis attacks, password decoders and  some not so common utilities related to network and system security.

Some of the new features of this release are:

– Automatic Certificate Collector for FTPS (implicit), IMAPS and POP3S protocols.
– FTPS Man-in-the-Middle Sniffer and password collector.
– POP3S Man-in-the-Middle Sniffer and password collector.
– IMAPS Man-in-the-Middle Sniffer and password collector.
– Added Windows Mail (Vista) Password Decoder for POP3, IMAP, NNTP, SMTP and LDAP accounts.
– Added PTW WEP cracking attack.
– Added Windows Vista support in Wireless Password Decoder.
– Wireless Password Decoder now uses DLL injection under XP.

Download Cain & Abel v 4.9.4 today (works on NT, 2000, and XP). Not sure if Vista is supported, according to the website, it’s not listed so I’m not sure.

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Safari on Windows; Yes it’s REALLLY fast

June 12, 2007

I’m currently running Safari 3 Beta on my Windows XP Pro box at home.

Holy crap. This is so great. I mean, really great.

safari

It’s really really great that it’s on Windows now. We get to enjoy all the same features regardless of whether it’s on Windows or Mac. I love the interface… I have had limited time with Mac’s and have always enjoyed Safari. Now I can really enjoy it without using a Virtual Machine. I’m a really happy man now.

It’s got your typical browser capabilities, such as tabbed browsing, password database, pop-up blocking, built-in RSS, etc.

It also sports an integrated Find banner that resides below the bookmarks bar, the ability to drag and drop tabs just like bookmarks, and resizable text fields. Once final, Safari 3 will also feature a toolbar button that activates the Web Clip feature for creating Dashboard widgets.

I haven’t had too much time to play with it. But I have it installed at work on my new dual-core system… so I’ll use it tomorrow, I’m excited! I never thought this would be available on the Windows platform.