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  1. #1
    iNET Interactive
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    LANGALIST PLUS

    Recover from a disastrous hard-drive crash


    By Fred Langa

    Losing Windows' file names can be almost as bad as losing the files themselves.Getting all your data back the way it was may be possible, but it'll take some serious digging.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/2010/09/09/05 (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by revia; 2011-01-19 at 15:41.

  2. #2
    New Lounger
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    Fred wroteL
    > Windows' System Configuration utility can help.
    > It's called MSCONFIG and is included in all versions of Windows.

    Actually, it is NOT included in Windows 2000 or NT. However, it works if you copy and paste msconfig.exe from an XP machine to your W2K machine.
    Copy the "msconfig.exe" file in the "C\Windows\System32" folder. It works in exactly the same manner as in the other flavours of XP.
    Or, you could use WinPatrol.
    kk

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    A great tool for dealing with leftovers from some malware you got rid of is CCleaner. Sometimes when you have deleted malware files, a registry entry still tries to run it on startup. When Windows can't find the deleted file, it generates an error message. CCleaner is terrific at getting rid of those registry entries that no are longer tied to anything. Better yet, it's a free download from Piriform: http://www.piriform.com/.

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Re. WS item "More strange startup files mystery .dlls", I'm adding two more useful free apps to help >>

    Malware Bytes Antimalware > http://www.malwarebytes.org/

    Superantispyware > http://www.superantispyware.com/

    Both will detect AND remove malware.

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    With regard to "More strange startup files", I see peculiar startup files on other people's computers from time to time. I see them after I've installed Winpatrol, and can disable them and reboot before doing a virus check. Also the paid version of Winpatrol has a database of common files against which peculiar names can be checked to see if they might not be a problem after all.

  6. #6
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    RE: Files recovered but given meaningless names

    Ai yai. I can hardly believe Mr. Langa is not advocating the wonder that is TrID.
    http://mark0.net/soft-trid-e.html

    TrID scans the internal contents of files and will estimate the probability that a given file is one of the many different file types in its database. It is a command line tool so it is just a teensy bit difficult to use. (But really, byte by byte scanning of files with a hex editor!? I am headdesking here!)

    And there is likewise no point in using MSConfig to manage startup items instead of the vastly superior Autoruns from SysInternals.

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    MSCONFIG? As usual, MicroSoft has the slowest, least user-friendly, and near-useless "free" program. Everything that MSCONFIG does -and several things mentioned in the article - and a lot more are available in Bill Pytlovany's WinPatrol.

    WinPatrol is the best free program I ever bought. Actually, I upgraded to the Plus+ edition, and that is worth every penny and more.

    • Strange DLL? Ask Scotty, the program's mascot.
    • Rearrange & even defer startup programs - tell Scotty what you want (that feature is in the free version!!!).
    • Want to know what junk programs have loaded on to your computer? Ask the mutt.
    • Find hidden files, cookies, and so on... you guessed it.
    • Need Tech Support or have suggestions? The program's author will personally help you.
    • You can have Scotty warn you if some program is trying to tamper with your system.
    • The terrier can protect any or all portions of the registry.


    I install the free version on all of my client's PCs, and encourage them to cough up a few bucks to make it easy to do troubleshooting and to improve system performance.

    http://www.winpatrol.com/

    Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with BillP Studios. I'm just a long-time enthusiastic customer.

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    Re Diagnosing strange .exe start-up files
    I occasionally search the internet for files I see running in my system however it seems that most of the hits I get in Google are to sites that are trying to sell me their software for fixing problems on my hard drive. The useful information is limited and the "use our software to scan and fix your problems!!!" language is plentiful. Can you recommend some sites that are particularly useful for this kind of research?

  9. #9
    5 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Erickson View Post
    Re Diagnosing strange .exe start-up files
    I occasionally search the internet for files I see running in my system however it seems that most of the hits I get in Google are to sites that are trying to sell me their software for fixing problems on my hard drive. The useful information is limited and the "use our software to scan and fix your problems!!!" language is plentiful. Can you recommend some sites that are particularly useful for this kind of research?
    Hi Jeff - This site might help ...
    What's Running is a product that gives you an inside look into your Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/Windows 7 system

    Scroll down the page to see Top Ten, Ten Latest, etc.

  10. #10
    New Lounger
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    I've been using NOD32 and malwarebytes both personally, at my computer shop, and for clients for many years. if these two programs don't find and remove files like randomly-named dll files you may need to acquire combofix.exe [only from bleepingcomputer.com] here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/comb...o-use-combofix

    Reboot in safe mode with networking and click combofix. Note: it is not for 64-bit systems. For best protection license NOD32 and Malwarebytes and enable their active protection.

  11. #11
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    Recover from a disastrous hard-drive crash in the worst case occurrence you need a good disk imaging program if you can not recover from a crash.
    I looking for a good disk imaging program, when ever I want a good program the first place I stop and have a look is in Lounge best free programs However, in the Disk management section no matter what file you click on for information, you get good information on firewalls.
    What I'm looking for is a good disk imaging program preferable to be free
    Jimmy

  12. #12
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    Hello Jimmy - have you tried Macrium?
    The fastest disk imaging software is now available as a free edition

    Also, check out the lounge topic "Security and Backups"

  13. #13
    New Lounger
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    I use and recommend "process quick link 2" from uniblue systems

    free app that places a link for every process running....click and it goes to www to explain etc.

    I run it when I need it, not at startup

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