Safe Mode & Spyware

Discussion in 'FUN and Sharing Forum for Non-Creator stuff' started by Flotsom, May 11, 2005.

  1. Flotsom

    Flotsom

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    Here's a tip from PC Guru Kim Komando on dealing with Spyware ... (I have left the entire email pretty much intact, with the exception of removing some sponsors ads for the sake of room. All of Kim's info for those interested in her spam free emails is at the bottom of her tip. -flot)

    Here's your free computer tip! You have my 100 percent spam-free guarantee. Your e-mail address will never be sold to anyone, ever. I guarantee it!
    [Kim Komando Show Tip of the Day -- Wednesday, May 11, 2005


    Safe Mode helps combat spyware


    Q. I built a computer for my brother 18 months ago. Lately, his system is running so slow that it hardly does anything. I can't even get it to complete an anti-spyware scan. It takes an hour just to open Task Manager! He's got 1 gigabyte of RAM, but it's all being used. I need to disable all possible tasks for Windows so I can fix this. Help!


    A. Unfortunately, there are many people in the same boat as your brother. It sounds like spyware has taken over your brother's computer. Argh! And it’s not that unusual for the spyware programs to be absent from the list of applications running as shown in the Windows Task Manager.


    Anti-spyware programs would probably take care of things. That is, if only they had enough room to do their work. So to give them that room, start your computer in Windows Safe Mode.


    Safe Mode starts only the resources necessary to run bare-bones Windows. Automatic start-up programs do not start. Network and Internet connections are left off. Extra gadgets aside from the keyboard and mouse are ignored. Even basics like sound and graphics cards are disabled.


    To start your computer in Safe Mode, first reboot the computer. You'll see the usual technical gibberish that shows before Windows starts. As soon as you see that gibberish, press the F8 key repeatedly. That tells Windows that you want to start up differently.


    You should see a plain screen of text entitled Advanced Options Menu. If not, reboot and try again. Windows is picky about your timing with the F8 key. In fact, that's the reason to press F8 repeatedly. It increases your chance of hitting it at the right moment.


    Use the arrow keys to browse the menu. Highlight "Safe Mode" and press Enter. You'll be prompted for the administrator password. If you don't have a password, just press Enter.


    You’re not in Kansas anymore. Windows in Safe Mode is not as pretty as normal mode. But you'll be able to run anti-virus and anti-spyware programs. You'll have to start them yourself. Safe Mode doesn't start automatic programs like virus scans. After your security programs do their work, restart Windows as normal.


    Once you’re back in Windows' normal mode, I would go ahead and remove his system restore points. These are snapshots of a Windows machine that allow you to go back in time. There are likely bad things in his computer’s restore points. I have a free tip on my Web site that shows you how to remove system restore points.


    How can your brother avoid these problems?


    Be sure his anti-virus software is up-to-date. The same goes for anti-spyware programs. I use several of those. You can't do that with anti-virus programs, because they conflict. But I have had no conflicts among anti-spyware software. Additionally, he should install a firewall. I have everything he needs on my Web site.


    Explain the rules of the road to your brother. He should avoid e-mail attachments that he hasn't requested. If it's from a friend, call and ask before opening it. Also, don't buy products advertised in spam. Many will install spyware, then try to sell you a product to remove it. Stick with the anti-spyware programs on my site.


    Be leery of ads that warn you have spyware on your computer. Again, you will be safest by sticking with the programs I recommend. I know they work.


    Heck, tell your brother and anyone else you know who has a computer to listen to my show! He can use the map to find me in his hometown.


    And a subscription to our newsletters will increase just about any computer user’s know-how. Invite your friends and family to try us out. You can enter up to eight e-mail addresses on my Web site.


    I'll see you tomorrow with another great tip!
    Kim :)

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