Frequently Asked Questions


Technical Terms

Not sure what something means when you run across it in a day at work, home, or at play? Be it an encountered article or conversation, you can go to this neat little website and get a thorough explanation: http://whatis.techtarget.com/

It will display your search results as they have been returned from various search engines and databases.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask your local computer nerd. :)

All purpose downloads

You can download many free (and decent) programs from various sites for many tasks, including: Antivirus tools, Video Codecs (to play any video file on the Internet), Hardware Diagnostics, All the major instant messenger clients, Spy and Adware removal programs, and Windows XP tools.
If you are looking for something in particular contact me and I'd be happy to give you any insights I may have.

Antivirus Tools

If you suspect your system has been infected with a virus or worm, visit http://www.symantec.com to search for any symptoms which may be occuring on your system. Many times they have free removal tools available for download for specific viruses which can be found at http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/tools.list.html

If you want to download the newest version of a compact virus scanning program visit http://vil.nai.com/vil/stinger/

For a great free Antivirus program visit http://www.free-av.com/

Security Threats

To learn about computer security risks & threats, and how they effect you; click HERE

Slow PC / Slow performance:

Most of the slowness you experience in your PC on a daily basis can be attributed to a few things, including:

To enhance your PC performance if you are running Windows XP, ME, 98 you can do the following:

You can also take the following steps in order to help optimize your PCs performance further:

Spyware / Adware issues:

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"

Preventing the installation of Spy/Adware initially can save you lots of time and heartache. Many "free" games or screensavers you download from the Internet install something that transmits details about your web browsing habits to a server owned by an advertising company (if you're lucky). This process will tailor ads (often pop-ups) to your interests, but it may also bring a flood of spam. Such programs are installed with little or no warning and are a pain to remove. And that's just the "legitimate" stuff. Related programs are Trojan horses that steal passwords and open network back doors into your PC for exploitation. Some even turn your computer into a sender of spam!

Try going to Google and type the program name followed by the word spyware. If spyware or adware is associated with it you'll find plenty of websites which have users explaining the pain it has caused them after installing the product.

However, not all spyware is installed from another application; it may come from a website. A pop-up may ask you want to install something and make it appear that it's a condition of entry. Don't click YES. Better, use a pop-up stopper utility, or an alternative web browser like Mozilla Firefox. Personally I use Avant Browser which keeps all the functionality of Internet Explorer, but also has added features like a built in pop-up blocker, Flash blocker, and Autofill options for frequently visited websites. It also now includes a RSS feed viewer http://www.avantbrowser.com.

IE6 has 2 options that you should disable in order to help stop a lot of adware.
Bring up IE > select Tools > Internet Otions > click on Advanced Tab > uncheck "Install on demand (Internet Explorer)" and "Install on demand (other)" > click OK.

Many spyware/adware programs will go to great lengths to keep you from uninstalling their software, so your best bet is to keep it from being installed in the first place. If this isn't something you can accomplish, or you already have spyware installed see below for information regarding spyware/adware removal tools.

Always use caution when installing programs on your computer from the internet boasting increased performance and pop up blocking. Always research a program before installing it on the fly.


A good program that you can download made specifically for removing browser hijackers is called Hijack This, and can be downloaded (freeware) at Major Geeks

The Major Geeks forums are an excellent source for ways to remove Spyware and other Malware.
An excellent tool to accomplish this is the Secure Shredder in Spybot S&D. If you load the 3 templates and delete those files it will not only help remove spyware files, but also clean up temporary internet files that are not usually cleared out. To get to this function you must go to the Mode Menu > select Advanced > On the bottom left select Tools > select Secure Shredder > and load each template individually and clean the files one template at a time (this also may take some time as there are thousands of small temporary files on a typical PC).

Like Antivirus software, Ad/Spyware removal tools must have up to date definitions to be the most effective in removing and preventing spyware attacks. I know the preceding is an arduous process, but one last thing you can try before going through all of this is to run a Spybot S&D scan in Safe Mode from the PC. This allows all possible extra services which may be running on a regular boot to be circumvented. To get to safe mode reboot your PC and repeatedly tap the F8 key as it starts until you receive a menu, you will be able to select safe mode here.

Windows Critical Updates:

Don't forget to download and install your updates! Click HERE to go directly to Microsoft's update site.

A common problem with running windows updates after you've been hit by a virus is that you can't install the updates! The following Microsoft Knowledge Base article explains this and how to fix it: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;822798

If none of the preceding topics covered have helped you in solving your problem, fill out a
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Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved - Tom Hoffman Jr. - Last Updated 11/12/2008.

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