Probz.com/WindowsReinstall.com Newsletter (Winrag) - ( 14th March 2005 )

 

Season 2 - Issue 10

 

 (c) www.Windowsreinstall.com, Mark Walmsley 2005

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Welcome

  

Welcome, its time for issue 10, season 2. A big thanks this month goes out to Kevin J. Vella of Uniblue Systems who supplied 3 articles for this months newsletter. If you have an article you wish us to cover, then feel free to send it us for possible inclusion in future issues.

Anyway that's enough for now, see you all next issue.  

Mark

  

If this is your first newsletter then feel free to read previous issues. Click here to go to the main index page.

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Anyway, we hope you enjoy this issue, if you wish to have a subject covered, wish to send feedback or have an article of your own you want featured then mail newsletter@windowsreinstall.com

 

    

Software Review - Wintasks

 

 

Why is WinTasks better than the Task Manager that comes with Windows or other task managers?

The Windows Task Manager provides some information about some processes. And that's all. With this limited information, you can stop those processes . . . maybe . . . some of the time. And not automatically. With the Windows Task Manager, you must guess which process you want to stop and click a button, every time you want to stop it.

WinTasks stops any process you want every time—quickly and automatically. WinTasks gives you complete control over each individual process running on your computer and allows you to prioritize those processes. You can set up each process to automatically run on system start-up too.

Check out the following comparison chart.

  

  
With WinTasks, you can do so much more. Other task managers can't match the power of our software or the tools:
  • You can instantly terminate any process. WinTasks stops and removes Trojans, spyware, and any other unwanted programs that you specify, quickly removing any potential security threats.
  • WinTasks increases your computer speed by blocking spyware, stopping all unnecessary processes, and running time-consuming jobs in the background. This allows your most important programs to use all available resources.
  • Block and allow lists provide maximum security. Choose which processes can run on your system and which processes are never allowed.
  • Automatic updates give up-to-the-minute protection. Spyware, malware, and adware change every day.
  • The WinTasks update feature ensures that you have all the latest process definitions and information—automatically.
  • Our process library helps you quickly investigate suspicious software. Quickly identify the processes that you don't want. You can easily search our process library, which is continuously updated, for any process by name or executable.
  • Detailed information helps stop infections already on your computer. WinTasks provides detailed information right at your fingertips—both in real-time and as activity logs. Our software lists all running processes, including invisible background processes, CPU and memory usage for each process, CPU and memory graphs for up to 24 hours, and more.
  • Startup viewer ensures maximum speed. WinTasks ensures that your computer starts faster by removing programs you don't want from the auto start lists. WinTasks displays simple explanations for all auto start programs so that you can easily determine which programs you want.
  • Real-time information and logs track every running process. To increase computer stability, WinTasks helps you easily identify the processes that you don't want. Our software lists all running processes, including invisible processes, CPU and memory usage for each process, detailed logs, and more.
  • Process descriptions help identify items you don't want. WinTasks ensures the best computer performance by helping you identify the processes you don't want or need. After searching our comprehensive, but easy-to-use library, you can then decide which processes to remove.

 

We have negotiated for you a 10% discount on this very useful software. Now you can get WinTasks 5 Professional for only $44.95 instead of $49.95!


 

 

 

   

2  Game Review - Star Wars Galaxies: Episode III Rage of the Wookiees

LucasArts and Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE) are thrilled to announce Star Wars Galaxies: Episode III Rage of the Wookiees as the next addition to the popular online Star Wars gaming experience. Episode III Rage of the Wookiees, available to current players two full weeks before the movie launches as a digital download, adds a whole slew of content taken directly from the highly anticipated Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith movie, including the adventure planet of Kashyyyk, home to the Wookiees.


 
On Kashyyyk, players will choose to defend the freedom of the Wookiees or to fight for their Imperial-backed Trandoshan enslavers in over 100 story-driven adventures. Players will also explore multiple locations of Star Wars interest, including Wookiee-controlled tree cities, Trandoshan slave camps and the safari lands of the affluent Rodians. New starcraft like a new Jedi Starfighter model flown by Anakin, along with creatures and mounts taken directly from Revenge of the Sith, will also debut in-game with the Episode III Rage of the Wookiees expansion.


 
Episode III Rage of the Wookiees also introduces a new type of game play: The lucrative but daring space mining adventures allow players to mine asteroids throughout space (including the new Kashyyyk space sector), collecting valuable raw materials for sale to ground-based crafters. Any starcraft can be modified for space mining, but dedicated miners will earn a sophisticated high-end ship, allowing them to traverse space while mining and fighting with up to 19 friends as shipmates!

Star Wars Galaxies: Episode III Rage of the Wookiees will be available for pre-order early April 2005 and available on May 5, 2005 via digital download. For more information, visit www.starwarsgalaxies.com!


 

 

  

 

 

 

 

  

 

   

 

 

  

3  True Story - The Need for Backup Part 2

  

By Kevin J. Vella
Public Relations Manager
Uniblue Systems
http://www.uniblue.com

 

So you’ve decided to backup your data but what is the next step? You must have a backup strategy irrespective of whether you are a home user or a business user. The depth of the strategy is the only variant between these two types of users.

As time goes by people and businesses are facing massive and ever-increasing amounts of data that are difficult to manage and that remain unprotected. In this light, the need for a backup strategy becomes critical. Let me just take email as an example: the 12/2004 issue of Smart Computing reports that 88% of adult PC users send and receive emails. The International Data Corporation reports that 16.8 trillion emails were transmitted in 2004 with this figure climbing to 19.7 trillion this year. According to Smart Computing, American businesses send about 9 billion emails a day. On average, home-users transmit around 435kb in email attachments every day. One other research firm estimates that typical corporations with 5000 employees accumulate 4 terabytes of emails every year. The size of my Outlook PST file for 2004 at work rested at 1.4Gb; at home it was 650Mb! And finally, Dataquest estimates that the total number of hard disk drives shipped in 2002 rests at 212.5m units representing around 8.5m terabytes of storage space.

Home-user data includes documents, audio and video files, scanned images, and digital photos. Businesses have marketing collateral developed and stored electronically, customer information stacked in databases, financial records posted in accounting packages, budgets and business plans recorded on network storage devices. As this list grows, the need for a backup strategy becomes even more obvious!

We usually advise customers to look at 5 key elements of any backup strategy:

1. Invest in good Backup Software: Read the reviews, visit the websites and look out for features and assurances that the product you are buying is reliable, fast and easy to use. Spend time reading the websites of the various suppliers. Some products cost no more than $40 but your data costs much more. Losing your data because the software you have bought is not effective means that you have thrown away an extra $40!

2. Plan Your Backups: Most software packages on the market have schedulers. Use these schedulers. It doesn’t take much time to set up a timetable for backups. Depending on how many times you use your PC you can schedule your periodical backups: at work, I backup every day at 9 a.m.. At home, I backup once a week.

3. Check the Integrity of your Restore: Even though you have backed up, what guarantee do you have that your data can be restored when disaster hits? The best way to ensure full “restorability” of your data is to buy a backup product that has bit-level verification (like WinBackup 2.0). Such a feature makes sure that while the product is performing your backup it checks all the data down to the level of bits and bytes. In essence, the software first backs up the data and then automatically performs a test restore to make sure that every single bit has been copied.

4. Check the Integrity of your Backup Medium: You can have the best software in the world and back your data every hour, however, if you do not have a good medium to store your archives, you are doomed. The second best way to ensure the restorability of your data is to choose good mediums and to do regular test restores from them.

5. Check your hard drives regularly and make sure you have good anti-spyware and anti-virus software. There is no harm in checking hard drives for errors and bad sectors as these drives do fail over time.

 

   

4   Computing - A Six Point Guide to Buying Backup Software, PART 1

    

By Kevin J. Vella
Public Relations Manager
Uniblue Systems
http://www.uniblue.com

Many people and businesses lose their data because the product they've bought doesn't live up to its initial promise. With hundreds of backup software vendors on the market, people usually perform searches on such generic keywords as "backup software" to find themselves with millions of documents to sift through before making an "informed" decision. With so many pages people would typically look at the first ten or twenty entries and either buy the first thing that comes near their budget, or give up or end up buying software that is too expensive for their needs.

Before buying backup software, you must first look at your real needs and make a list of product attributes and related features that will satisfy these needs. Second, look at the software vendors who are reviewed by computer magazines and compare their products across your needs list. Third, look at whether the vendors have been in the business for several years and whether they have a reputation for great customer support and product innovation.

The most difficult of these stages is building the attribute and features list. The Six Point Guide to Buying Backup Software should give you thorough knowledge of what attributes and features you should look for in any backup software. Due to constraints of space, I have split this guide in two parts. In Part One I will briefly describe each of the attributes while in Part Two, explain each attribute and detail all the related features.

  1. "Ease of Use": Ask, how easy is it to install the backup software? How easy is it to set up the first backup? How easy is it to use the backup software regularly and to create backup schedules? How easy is it to restore data?
  2. "Value for Money": this is rather subjective and does depend on your budget. However, don't just look at the price of the product. Think of how long does it would take to use the product. How long does it take to make backups and restores? As a home user, this may not be that important but as a business user, you wouldn't want to spend half an hour just to run your daily backups.
  3. "Reliability": Many backup companies focus only on the backup side of things rather on the restore. Just think, what is most important in backup is the ability to restore data without losing anything. Therefore, ask, can I install the product, set up a schedule and then rest assured that my data is being backed up with 100% accuracy?? What levels and types of data validation does the product have to guarantee restores?
  4. "Performance": Of course, you must have a product that is fast and that does not sacrifice reliability, value for money and ease of use for sheer raw power. Who would want to have a 100% accurate restore product that takes one hour to backup a few hundred megs of data!
  5. "Depth of Feature Set": What features does the product have? How does the product compare to other vendors? Many times you would have to draw up these comparison sheets unless the vendor has done it for you.
  6. "Breadth of Backup and Media Coverage": Finally, make sure that the product backs up your PC (or notebook) and supports a strong list of backup storage media including CD, Pen Drives, Zip Drives, etc

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Finally!!!
WinBackup 2.0 Standard has been released!

This week, in close partnership with Uniblue we are proud to give you one of the best offers of the year and help you secure your data in minutes!

 

You can now get
WinBackup 2.0 Standard
for only $49.95!

Buy it Now

Learn More

 

   

5  Passwords - Password Workaround for Windows XP

 

Why write an article like this ? Well there is two reasons, firstly there is nothing more frustrating than trying to fix a computer where someone has forgotten their password or set an admin password that they can't remember and the normal login does not work, but secondly and most importantly is to show you that your computer is not safe, and not to store important information on it in the belief that it will be 100% secure.

Method 1 - This is the easiest way to access someone's computer, boot into safe mode (Tap F8 on boot, before the Windows XP loading screen, select safe mode from boot menu), and select Administrator, surprisingly 90% of home computers will not have a password enabled here. From the Administrator login you can remove the user/s password, and then login into their account.

Method 2 - From the login screen on normal boot press "CTRL, ALT & DELETE", change the user to name to Administrator, surprisingly 90% of home computers will not have a password enabled here. From the Administrator login you can remove the user/s password, and then login into their account.

Method 3 - Download a file from here, http://home.eunet.no/~pnordahl/ntpasswd/bootdisk.html. Before using please read all info 100%, scary how easy it can be.

Method 4 - For all those who have a bit more knowledge on using Microsoft's Recovery console and commands and have access to a Windows 2000 CD will be glad to hear that they can simply boot of the 2000 CD, access the recovery console and login to Windows XP without the need for a boot disk.

This list is by no means complete and there are some more complicated ways around the passwords, so remember if your computer is in a public place, or even at home be aware that people can get access to your information, so try keeping important information like bank login details, or account details safely secured somewhere else.

 

 

6  Internet - Magical Websites

 

Check the sites below that will read your mind and give you the answer to their questions, without you telling them.

First The Mystical Golf Ball - http://www.mysticalgolfball.com/ . Read the instructions to play, and be amazed when the website tells you the answer.

Here is also a group of tricks which are great fun, I especially like the "Right Brain / Left Brain Conflict - 2" one, try it, it's very funny. http://www.richferguson.com/watch.html 

 

   

7  Registry - Remove Windows Messenger from Outlook Express

  

   

By default media player will show all recent played files. You can disable this as sometimes you do not wish other people to know what you have been viewing or listening to. 

First, before editing your registry remember to always back it up first, just incase you do something wrong. The registry when modified is an instant change and cannot be undone.    

BACK UP REGISTRY: So to open the registry editor click on "START", "RUN", then type "REGEDIT" (No speech marks). The registry editor will now open, click on "FILE" then "EXPORT". From the save window that appear type in a file name (ie regback.reg), now click on "SAVE". Your registry has now been backed up.

TO DISABLE RECENT FILES: Now on the left hand panel click on "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" , "Software", "Microsoft", then "Outlook Express"   Next search for "Hide Messenger" in the right hand panel. If it is not present then simply create it by doing the following: 

Right click on "Outlook Express" select "NEW" then left click on "DWORD". Name the new string value in right hand panel as "Outlook Express". 

Now to set the value, double click on the string value and set it's value to "2" for remove messenger. 

Disclaimer: This information is provided as is and we cannot guarantee that editing the registry will not cause serious damage. You use this information at your own risk.

  

 

8 Computing - A Six Point Guide to Buying Backup Software, PART 2

 

  

By Kevin J. Vella
Public Relations Manager
Uniblue Systems
http://www.uniblue.com

In Part One, I mentioned the six attributes that the backup industry uses to classify the various features of their products. In this second part, I will explain each attribute in greater detail so as to give you a thorough knowledge of what to look for in backup software.

Ease of Use: You need to ask a set of questions in relation to how easy it is to install and configure the software, to use the product to back your data and to use the product to restore your data. For example: Is the install interface clear and unequivocal? Are the steps written in plain English and do not leave any place for choosing the wrong options? Is the product easy to use and user friendly? Is the user interface built in a Windows-familiar environment? Are the user-interface and the commands intuitive? Does the product allow step-by-step backup and restore? Does the product allow non-technical users to make use of this product? How easily can the user browse around the various options to set up backups and restores? How easily can the user browse around the documents and application settings to set up backups? Are there any shortcuts to this data and settings? How easily can the user browse the backup archive to find and restore multiple or single files?

Value for Money: Money is always an issue, otherwise, we would all be living the life of the rich and famous! However, this may not always be the case with backup software. We usually advise people not to look at the price tag on its own but to make calculations as to the relationship between price and functionality and price and time spent on backup and restore. For example, does the vendor offer limited functionality with the "bare-bones" product and more functionality pricey "add-ons" that only together will the product provide the required protection? Does the product sacrifice performance and reliability for price? Are upgrades and patches available at a charge? In relation to the time factor, buyers must beware. Beware, some brands may be more costly than others to administer. If, for example, the compression technology of the particular product is not strong, it takes longer to perform backups the data backed up is spread over a larger number of media (taking up more storage space). Therefore, although a product may be less pricey, it may be more expensive to run in the long term.

Reliability: The issues of reliability are three-fold - (a) does the product deliver consistently a 100% accurate restore of the set of data that was backed up? This includes such aspects as reliable schedules, accurate reporting and fault logging features (whether you are alerted when and if things go wrong), and validation of data integrity. Data validation or verification is extremely important because there are certain technologies (e.g., bit level validation) that guarantee that your data restores are 100% accurate. (b) Does the product secure your data from prying eyes? Although, at face value, this may not be important to the user, think about whether you would like somebody else to steal your backup files and looking at (or distributing) your personal data. Therefore, ask whether the product has password protection and supports the best levels of encryption. (c) Is the vendor reliable? Does the vendor provide technical and customer support? Is the vendor slow to answer?

Performance: The product must be fast and it must not sacrifice sheer power for reliability, value for money, and ease of use. You must be able to backup your data securely and accurately in a few minutes and not spend a fortune on such basic functions.

"Depth of Feature Set": What features does the product have? How does the product compare to other vendors? The features that you should have are - compression, encryption, scheduling and reporting, popular media support, high data volume support (as few products have actually overcome the problem of memory leakage), validation or verification of data integrity, full and incremental backup feature, restore multiple or single files to original and to any location, and strong fault-logging.

"Breadth of Backup and Media Coverage": Finally, make sure that the product backs up your PC (or notebook) and supports a strong list of backup storage media including CD, Pen Drives, and Zip Drives.


One final tip: it is important to read the independent reviews on the various products published by magazines (e.g., PC World, Computer Shopper) and on technical and similar websites.

Finally!!!
WinBackup 2.0 Standard has been released!


This week, in close partnership with Uniblue we are proud to give you one of the best offer of the year and help you secure your data in minutes!

You can now get
WinBackup 2.0 Standard
for only $49.95!


  

      

Conclusion

 

Well that's it for this month, I hope you all enjoyed this issue, and we look forward to seeing you next month, 

Best Regards

Mark 

webmaster@windowsreinstall.com

 

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