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> System Rescue Software, because meltdowns do happen....
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Posted: Mar 25 2005, 07:20 AM
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Hi again, Nightshade! About this partition business. The emergency disk that was used to get me to the desktop asked for F drive! The disk was in A drive for the startup, but the files could only be accessed through C drive, where everything was stored.

I have files in here dating back to 1995 that are part of the original operating system. This tells us that Microsoft's "new" Windows aren't so new after all. The only things "new" are added features.

Files that I squirreled away are dated from the time I began using the system are still in here despite the fact that I downloaded Windows 5.5 SP2 and 6.0 SP1. EVERYTHING FROM THE BEGINNING that was ever programmed by Microsoft or filed by us is retained/hidden in Memory. It has its advantages, if only because your files can be reinstalled. Only the names of the OPs have changed...at least in Win\Me, which everyone who "owns" one will tell you it's the worst OP ever devised by Microsoft.

It is for the reason of the backdoors that foreign governments, that were running Microsoft computers, have changed their systems over to more foolproof systems after they discovered that their files could be accessed by our government. They wised up, so why shouldn't we? All of us must become a little more tech savvy than we've been. It' s been too easy to download "security" programs and call it a day when the backdoors remain open to Microsoft access through Shared Files, compromising our unused space by means of the keyword "CREG".

Maybe I wouldn't mind this so much if they asked permission and identified themselves. Who are these people whose files I have found? I know some are students, but the rest? I don't have a clue. Some are encrypted. As I said before, the last one was dated March 5, 2005, and took out the desktop after I deleted it. Hmmmmmm!

I have gone on long enough, but all has been a word to the wise. If it's happening to me, it's happening to you. I read somewhere that Microsoft bought out the best security programs. That's like the fox guarding the chicken coop. An Israeli company bought out ZoneAlarm last year, I think. ArchAngel reported that on GLP.

You were smart to change over to Linux, Nightshade. I lack the confidence you exhibit. There is so much I have yet to learn, like copying my files to a CD in order to save the research it took to get them, then do away with Windows. It would take so much time to recreate from scratch, some being very hard to come by. sadoriginal.gif

Because Vector Graphics didn't download and can't be tweaked to get it operational, Microsoft is mailing a CD for 6.0. Gee, I can't wait????????

Yes, Windows has a "system restore", which must have been activated by a command given by the techs to the emergency startup disk, which restored the desktop where other files could be accessed.

BJ



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Posted: Mar 25 2005, 10:26 AM
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I forgot to sign in. Sorry. Fooled myself...thought "guest" had posted after I did. smileNew4.gif

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Posted: Mar 25 2005, 07:47 PM
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Hi BJ smileNew4.gif

Drive F?? strange...do you have more than one CD drive (ie, a CD-ROM, CD-R etc)

still...that's quite a ways up, either you do infact have a partition that's HIDDEN (I'm not sure how to do that, but I'm certain it can be done).

Some rescue disks create RAM drives to load files and utilities that won't fit on the disk itself. A floppy disk can only hold a tiny bit of information, so often what they'll do is boot the system, then extract compressed utilities into your computer's RAM memory. My best guess is that this temporary RAM drive is the drive F it was talking about, although I'm not sure.

If that's the case, then it would make some sort of sense. The files would be accessed on C drive, because that's where they are, and the disk itself would be running on the temporary F drive.

I guess it never occured to Bill Gates that while letters of the alphabet sound nice and simple, a descriptive name makes more sense...

It took a little bit of getting used to, but I've really learned to like how my "C" drive is "hda1" (Hard Drive A, partition1), and everything else is described in the same way. It sure confused me at first though.

Heh heh..."new" Windows...it really amazed me just how much Windows3.1 things are stuffed into WindowsXP's registry. What's most annoying though is how everything important is seperated into WindowsNT and Windows9x.

Copying your files over to CD, or another hard drive is always a good idea. It drives me nuts that this thing doesn't have a CD burner, when I need it I have to tear Laz's out of his computer and plug it into mine.

If the files that you need to save are less than a gigabyte in size, I know that some people send them to their gmail accounts for safe storage while they tinker with their computers, or you could do the same if your ISP has provided you with webspace. Backing up data can be a creative process smileNew4.gif

If a friend that you trust has extra space on their hard drive, that would be another option. Either plugging your hard drive into their system (or theirs into yours) and transferring the files, or having them set their computer up as an FTP server would also be good solutions.

Hooking the two computers up with network cables and turning on local file sharing would also work, but it really is a lot easier to plug a hard drive in (not to mention easier to transport it!), once you get over the intimidation of all those cables and plugs in your computer staring at you!

It's definitely easier to be confident when you know that your files are safe and sound, no matter what tortures you inflict upon your computer (or, more often than not, what tortures your computer may inflict upon you...)

The only things that could really hurt your system PERMANANTLY if you do them wrong would be flashing or tinkering with important settings in your BIOS. Anything else can be fixed and doesn't matter much if your files are backed up somewhere else.

Doing a clean install of your operating system every now and then is usually a good idea, even if you aren't switching to something new or upgrading. Helps keep it clean of both bugs and lost remnants of uninstalled programs and other such things.

System restore is a bit of a double edged sword...while its wonderful to be able to get things back that have been deleted, more than a few viruses actually use it to resurrect themselves.

I found that one out the hard way...I'd been working for days to kill a virus and lots of files had become corrupted. I'd finally managed to get rid of the virus, did system restore to get the files back, when my virus scanner told me that I was infected all over again sadoriginal.gif

It's a neat feature and could be a wonderful thing, but since then I've always opted to keep it turned off.

Heh, it's actually more about having a good backup strategy than it is confidence on my part (and having another computer nearby to get help on the internet with if something goes terribly wrong!)

If you can get everything backed up, I'd highly recommend giving linux a try --Mandrake, SuSE or Redhat/Fedora are the more user-friendly ones (I'm running Mandrake 10.1), if its too strange or you don't like it then its just a matter of reinstalling Windows (your computer would probably appreciate the clean installation) and putting your files back in place.

If you have a large hard drive, then dual booting is also a nice option, as you can run both Linux and Windows on the same computer. This is actually what I originally wanted to do, but my hard drive is too small.

The fox guarding the chicken coop indeed...I knew about the ZoneAlarm buyout, but I wasn't aware that Microsoft was scooping up security programs.

I don't trust anything that isn't Open-source anymore! If I can't see the source code, it doesn't go on my computer smileNew4.gif




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Posted: Mar 25 2005, 09:43 PM
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Nightshade, I enjoyed your latest post! Gave me food for thought!

I have A drive for floppy disk and E drive for compact disk. I think you are somewhat right about the floppy. In this case, I was able to boot up without it, but couldn't access the desktop until commands were given to the floppy to get me there in order to access C drive. What the "F" drive is, no one knows.

As far as installing Linux side by side with Internet Explorer, I think there is enough room for both, seeing that the computer has 16 GB capacity and has 13 GB left. I'd need some handholding on that, though.

As good fortune would have it, my ISP offers 5 web pages (I think that many...maybe more, like 10) for free. That would be a dandy place to temporarily store the important files while a complete transition from Windows to another OS was taking place. Will check into that. A CD burner might be a better way to go, but I have much to learn in any event before attempting to do much more than skating along with Win\Me. By now, I'm getting better at it. Nothing high tech, though.

Don't you find it interesting that, through trial and error, we are learning how to navigate these computers on our own? You are way ahead of me on that score, and I appreciate your input. Thank you.

I haven't downloaded F-Prot antivirus program yet. Microsoft is sending a 6.0 CD and am undecided as to whether to wait until it's downloaded or get the antivirus program in here NOW. Vector Graphics isn't responding for some reason, although it has its file, and the techs think it better to have the CD so they can direct the installation while on the phone. The CD is being mailed with arrival in another week or so. Ah, decisions, decisions. Do want the F-Prot program in here ASAP and can hardly wait to get it! Must google to find the best firewall, too, then will have confidence that the computer will be secure against invasion/intrusion.

Adaware and Spybot downloaded OK, so maybe F-Prot would, too.

Having two computers is much better than having one! Alas, not all of us have more than one.

As for doing a clean install of the OS, spare me! I have to go through and delete so many unnecessary files that are reinstalled, like foreign languages (Swahili, Polish, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Finnish and more), logos, greeting cards galore, pictures, and more. Back in '93, I deleted 1000 files of such and freed up a million bytes, but it took me three days to do it, and still I didn't get all of them. Must be 50,000 files in here!

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Posted: Mar 26 2005, 05:07 PM
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Ahh...see, I'd made an assumption that your system was crammed full like mine was (18GB capacity and around 1 GB free)

If you're only taking up 3 Gigs, I wouldn't worry about clean installs.

(while MS still installs a lot of crap on your system, you can opt out of the Swahili greeting cards by hitting "Custom" during the installation. "Recommended" isn't a very well named option...

Drive E for compact disk? You may well have a partition in there after all...just out of curriosity, what happens when you hit Start-->Run and type in "d:"?

Regardless, with 13 GB's free, that's more than enough room to install Linux if you so choose. If you do, I'd be more than happy to help you through it.

Linux comes in many, many flavors (distros), so you should definitely shop around to find which one suits you best before mking any installations.

Mandrake and SuSE are probably the ones you'd want to pay the most attention to. I've never used SuSE so don't know much about it apart from it being one of the more user-friendly distros, but Mandrake is very nice...everything worked for me right after installation, installing it was actually EASIER than installing Windows, yet its user-friendliness doesn't lock you out like M$ -- you can still look under the hood and play around with the core of the system if you like PCpunch.gif

Using Linux does require a fair bit of using the command line, but there's lots of documentation out there to help you out when you're lost and once you start to get the hang of it, you'll find that its really nice to bypass things and get right to the source of what you want to do.

It also has a very neat tool for getting, updating and removing programs. When I want a program, more often than not, I just have to type it in, and the computer goes to fetch and install it for me.

Here's a couple screenshots of my desktop to give you an idea of the look and feel:
(the box at the bottom is where you use the command line, although in this shot its showing a readme file for something)
http://members.shaw.ca/nightshade72/pics/snapshot1.jpg
http://members.shaw.ca/nightshade72/pics/snapshot2.jpg

Everything's highly customizable, so it can of course look and behave quite differently, but I like to think that I've got a nice examply going!

I found a screenshot of my system running Windows (with a couple of third party programs and a few hacks here and there), so just for kicks, here it is too:

http://members.shaw.ca/nightshade72/screen.jpg

Er, don't mind the stuff in the To Do list, I'd cleared what was really in there prior to uploading it and felt like putting something in there, which ended up being Futurama quotes whistlingNEW2.gif

QUOTE
Don't you find it interesting that, through trial and error, we are learning how to navigate these computers on our own? You are way ahead of me on that score, and I appreciate your input. Thank you.

You're very welcome smileNew4.gif Any questions you might have, I'll try my best to answer.
Trial and error, I've found, is really the only way to learn these things. I suppose I should thank my husband for breaking the computer so frequently, although he nearly gave me a heart attack this morning when he came running into the bedroom yelling "Help! The computer won't boot, it can't find the boot record!!!"
It turns out he'd left a his CivilizationIII CD in the drive and it was trying to boot from that blinkNEW.gif

I view Microsoft as a sort of indoctrination... The message it sends to me is "Big Brother is watching you and in control, and its better that way. You don't need to know what's going on behind the scenes, you don't need to know what's going on because end users don't know what they're doing. Whoops, you didn't need that privacy, did you? "

I figure it's MY computer and MY data, so it's only natural that I should control how it runs.

Another reason for making the switch, besides not liking Windows and my opinion on Microsoft, is that I wanted to learn some hacking, I like understanding how it all works and I've always figured that if you want to build a good lock, you need to understand how they're picked. Learning to hack while running Microsoft has been compared to learning to dance while wearing a bodycast.

This post has been edited by Nightshade on Mar 26 2005, 11:16 PM




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Posted: Mar 26 2005, 07:44 PM
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Hello, Nightshade! smileNew4.gif

I have spent one hard day at this computer doing searches for good antivirus programs after I determined that maybe F-Prot wasn't for me. Turns out that the free version is for Windows in DOS. So much for that.

The second best one was Spyware Doctor, so I downloaded it. Rave notices. Found two bugs. The free version doesn't have the removal feature, so you have to go into regedit and delete the files, then go into search and delete them there, too. These were in the Tool Bar files! Trackers. Been there a looooooong time as they were installed by Compaq. Perezzz Software. Can't remember if I turned that function off.

Outlook Express has become unstable again. It was fully functioning, when overnight the little gremlins got into it and now I can't edit at all, exactly how it behaved before 6.0 SP2 was installed. I'm going coo-coo! coo-coo! Will see about getting another e-mail site after the CD gets downloaded. Safer that way, too.

Don't have a whole lot on Firewalls yet. Called it a day.

Thanks for giving some of the details of your Linux. On the first link, I loved this: "Installing these dependencies is distribution specific and we'll leave you to figure that out." Oh, dear.

The second link gave some of the appearance of the desktop, which looks like everything is right there. My desktop is painted over with icons, for easy access to programs, websites that I seldom visit, etc., 'til you can hardly see the picturesque background.

The third link that had a pic of your old Windows said "Page Not Found."

I went to run, typed in "d:" and came up with a whole slew of folders and files. All Compaq. Surprised me! I found that the capacity is 2.98 GB with 1.55 being free. Interesting. Imagine using a floppy in A drive to access D Drive to get the file out of C Drive that took me to the desktop. But the floppy asks for F Drive!

You are quite the computer "geek". Very capable. I don't think I want to get involved so much into the "hacking" part. To tweak it every now and then is OK. This thing is time-consuming as it is when it goes on the fritz.

Thanks for your offer of help. When I get ready to download Linux, I will take you up on your offer. I got a couple of chuckles out of your post. smileNew4.gif

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Posted: Mar 27 2005, 12:49 AM
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Hi BJ, the last link should work now smileNew4.gif I forgot a directory when typing the address.

Yes, I'm a self-admitted geek...heh heh.. On the plus side, many companies pay geeks big money to keep their network running smoothly and safe from crackers. I'll have to find one of them and see if I can get my foot in that door one of these days. Really, it all spawns from curiosity and a bit of a defiant personality -- I definitely won't take no for an answer from my own computer!

I also find that dealing with technology helps my mind relax when I've overloaded it with life and spiritual types of questions and seeking, things I love to think about but can only take so much of at one time. When I tinker with my system, it puts me in a sort of meditative zone where my thoughts are still and quiet.

While Outlook is throwing tantrums, you might want to check out Mozilla Thunderbird, it's an awesome little email cleint that puts you in control of how it handles junk mail, yet remains quite intuitive and easy to use. It won't fix Outlook, but it might help to keep your sanity intact!

http://www.mozilla.org/products/

Firefox has also been my browser of choice for quite some time. I've also tried the full Mozilla suite, which was nice but came with a lot more than I actually needed and wanted.

As far as firewalls go, I've seen a lot of good reviews about Sygate Personal Firewall, you might want to take it for a spin smileNew4.gif

Zone Alarm Pro is nice, but I find their free version to be frustratingly crippled, something which Sygate doesn't seem to suffer from. I've never tried it myself though.


Aha...so you DO have a partition on there!

If you boot from your startup disk and type "fdisk" at the prompt, it'll load up a partitioning tool. You can use it to see all of your partitions and their sizes.

I see hacking and tweaking as often being one in the same. At its base, all it really is is finding creative solutions to make a system perform in ways that you want it to, even if its not what it was designed for. The types of hackers who break into peoples systems for fun and send worms, viruses and trojans out to wreak havoc on the public are just a sad, malicious subsection. Most are primarily interested in problem solving to make machines and programs work, not to break them.

Anyways, that's my little schpiel on that smileNew4.gif




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Posted: Mar 29 2005, 10:17 AM
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Hi, finally again, Nightshade!!! I'm sorry about the delay in responding to your last post, but between the computer driving me nuts and the Terry Schiavo murder, I was mentally exhausted and needed a reprieve from one or the other.

Good news, Outlook Express is behaving as it should. I reset e-mail to HTML instead of Plain Text and voila! All editing buttons are back.

Thanks for updating the Windows pic of your computer. Awesome screen! Never saw one like it that shows the status of your computer on the desktop. What kind of Windows were you using? You have that same capability on your present desktop. Hmmmmm. Is it a unique sort of thing you do? Very impressive.

After the disk comes in the mail for 6.0 that has all of the components and is installed and everything running like it should, I will check out Sygate firewall and look into Mozilla Thunderbird links for e-mails; also, will type in "fdisk" to see where that takes me. If it's a partition, like we suspect it may be, it can't be very big as it has only 2.98 GB capacity with 1.55 GB being free. That is, being compared to the 16 GB original free space. Will let you know.

I agree that we need an outlet in order to get in touch with ourselves. Working on your computer gives you relaxation, where it consumes too much of my mental energies. With only one computer, I dare not make a bad mistake, so it really is an anxious time when it goes on the fritz, simply because I don't know enough about fixing it, having had so few problems. So I do other things which give me a change of pace.

Hope you and yours had a pleasant Easter under the circumstances in which we find ourselves, mentally and spiritually locked in this earthly battle of good v. evil. Thanks for sharing some of your thoughts, too.

BJ


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Posted: Mar 31 2005, 12:07 AM
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It's alright, I understand perhaps a little too well about the mental exhaustion, that's the reason that this is the only topic I've been posting on this past little while. I've never been one to post lots, but I am usually a little bit more chatty.

Glad to hear your e-mail's behaving itself now, one less headache to deal with is always a nice thing!

That was Windows XP, the system info is from a little program called Sysmetrix -- actually, not so little, it can be a major memory hog, depending on the theme you're running on it! It's nice to be able to see what you're computer's up to when it thinks you aren't looking. Most techies prefer a fast and "bare bones" look, but I find that kind of environment to be too sterile and depressing. Where they might see a misuse of resources, I see a necessity!

Easter was nice, although I've never really been one to celebrate the holidays much more than any other day. I hope yours was good smileNew4.gif




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Posted: Mar 31 2005, 01:04 AM
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user posted imageUhhh he can't read and stuff...he's like illegitimate or something user posted image 
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  Posted: Apr 1 2005, 10:03 AM
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For the past few weeks I have been having really bad slow down problems, frozen cursor, computer restarts, and sometimes I would just get a frozen screen of puke. My firewall, anti virus, anti spyware and anti adware programs were all coming up clean.

Pupp alerted me the other night that within 2 days my ip address had over 3000 hits on his site. I began shutting down everything on my computer that is when I discovered that Firefox Mozilla was the bad leak & allowing someone or multiple people through by using Firefox Mozilla browser.

Pleased to say now the computer is running just fine, it has been on now for over 5 hours. No more freeze ups, restarts or puke screens. If you use Firefox & have noticed that your computer has not been running as well as it used to then I suggest switching browsers and dumping any and all files in reguards to Firefox Mozilla.

I hope this helps some of you. smileNew4.gif




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Posted: Apr 1 2005, 02:34 PM
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Thanks for the heads-up! They've just released a new version mentioning something about it fixing a major security hole, I'd imagine that's probably the one they were talking about. I was putting off updating but now that I know just how bad it is, I don't think I can afford to be lazy about it.

Unless this is a problem in 1.0.2, in which case I might have to use Konqueror for a while...




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Posted: Apr 1 2005, 02:53 PM
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Well that was quick and painless, now I can't believe I'd been putting off updating the damn thing just because the linux version doesn't come with an update feature....took me literally less than a minute to delete the old and install the new!

Either it's my imagination, or it's considerably faster too scoping.gif




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Posted: Apr 1 2005, 03:32 PM
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I second Nightshade's thank you for the heads up, Parinthian. After this computer got 6.0 reloaded, I was thinking about getting Firefox. Think now it's best to hold off on that.

Some time ago, I sent my brother the website offering a browser called myie2. The website didn't say it was for Win\Me, so I didn't download it, but he did, and loves it! Sorry I don't have the website to give you.

His raves: " course i use myie2 for the browser and incredimail for the e-mail... myie2 is catchy .... no matter how many sites you visit it keeps them all open so you can just open them... don't have to "go back" or "forward".... the only problem i've got is somehow about 6 "xxx" sites showed up on favorites.... i delete and they show up the next time i log on to the computer.. it's only on microsoft, not myie2, but some things open automatically in explorer...."

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Posted: Apr 1 2005, 08:04 PM
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I wonder if Firefox is partly the reason for the enormous drain on the forum.

See my thread on "Why the forum is so slow"

Crowsnest even has a firefox link on their site... thus promoting it.





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