Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How To Setup a USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 7 - How-To Geek

How To Setup a USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 7 - How-To Geek

How To Use Backup and Restore in Windows 7 - How-To Geek

How To Use Backup and Restore in Windows 7 - How-To Geek

How to Restore Safe Mode When it Gets Disabled by a Virus

Safe mode is a special way of booting Windows when there is a system-critical problem or a virus that interferes with its normal operation. The purpose of Safe Mode is to allow you to troubleshoot Windows and try to determine what causes it to not function properly. In safe mode, Windows will have reduced functionality, thereby allowing you to easily troubleshoot your system and attempt removal of viruses (many of them won't start when Windows is running in safe mode). Unfortunately, many computer viruses today such as Bagle, Virut, and Sality disable Windows' safe mode by deleting the SafeBoot registry key and its subkeys. Some even go far by continuously monitoring the registry and will delete the registry keys again as soon as you restore them.

Making use of a LiveCD, or scanning your system hard drive for viruses from a virus-free computer is still the best way. However, in case you don't have access to a LiveCD or another computer, you can do the procedures below:

- Run a program that will restore the SafeBoot registry with permission entries that will deny Administrators and System accounts to delete the key. This way, the virus can’t delete the keys because it lacks the permission to do so.
Extract and double-click "UndeletableSafebootKey.exe" to run the program.

- Restore the subkeys by merging the appropriate .reg file with the Windows registry.
Extract and double-click the .reg file appropriate for your system and click "yes" to merge it into the registry.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Free Ebooks: 7 Great Ebooks to Help You on Your Linux Journey

A complete guide to using Linux, taking you from beginner level  to an intermediate user with ease. It will show you how to install Linux, navigate around the desktop, use common software, add more programs and fix any problems you may encounter.  It's based around a slightly older version of Ubuntu Linux so there may  be some minor differences with newer releases, but you can always download  the latest version from or get a CD sent by post at

This hands-on guide will teach you everything right from logging in, basic file management, backup techniques up to the basics of networking. It is what you need if you are having difficulty figuring out how to get to that resume file you saved just now. The guide explains  the Linux file structure and introduces you to the basic commands and text editors as well.
A 160-page book geared towards people who are competent with using Windows, who have never attempted to use Linux but are interested in giving it a try.

A comprehensive 170-page ebook that will get you started with Ubuntu. Ubuntu is one of the most popular distributions, new users look up to when trying out Linux. This guide takes you from installing and configuring Ubuntu to adding and managing software and securing your system.

This guide is for anyone who is interested to learn about the tools (also known as commands) available to them when using their GNU/Linux based operating system. Why would you want to learn how to use the command-line (and available tools)? The Command Line-Interface (CLI), while difficult to learn, is the quickest and most efficient way to use a computer for many different tasks. The CLI is the normal method of use for most UNIX system administrators, programmers and some power users. While a GUI is better suited to some tasks, many operations are best suited to the CLI. Download this guide and learn how to use the command line in Linux to your advantage.

This one is not for the faint-of-heart! There is enough Linux juice in this book to keep even the intermediate to advanced users interested. The book begins humbly by presenting the basic commands and tools, however before you know it, you are learning everything from regular expressions to shell scripting to C programming to networking.

A must-have for every administrator that wants to learn about Gnu/Linux Networking. Beginners and experienced users alike should find the information they need to cover nearly all important administration activities required to manage a Linux network configuration.

Network-based Ubuntu Installation

This article, outlines how to install Ubuntu using the network installer. This utility allows you to install directly over the network, instead of using a CD or DVD image. It does require a small CD boot image, but beyond that, it is entirely network dependent.

These steps can be used to install over the WAN from a public Ubuntu repository, or over the LAN from an exported Ubuntu CD or private repository. Network installations are generally faster than CD based installations, particularly when done over a Local Area Network.

How to Install Support for MP3, Unencrypted DVD Playback, Microsoft TrueType Core Fonts, Flash Plugin, and Audio/Video Codecs in Ubuntu

ubuntu-restricted-extras is a software package for Ubuntu that allows the user to install essential software which is not already included due to legal or copyright reasons. Installing this package will pull in support for MP3 playback and decoding, support for various other audio formats (GStreamer plugins), Microsoft fonts, Java runtime environment, Flash plugin, LAME (to create compressed audio files), and DVD playback.

- Open  Ubuntu Software Center.
- Search for "Ubuntu Restricted Extras".
- Click "install"


- Open the Terminal
- Type  "sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras", and press the "enter" key.  

NVIDIA 196.75 Driver Alert

NVIDIA has hit some snags with their latest round of WHQL drivers. The drivers have been interfering with the fan operation on certain NVIDIA video cards, resulting in the GPU overheating. NVIDIA has taken down the drivers in question, and has asked to pass along the following message:

We are aware that some customers have reported fan speed issues with the latest 196.75 WHQL drivers on Until we can verify and root cause this issue, we recommend that customers do not download this driver. Instead, please stay with, or return to 196.21 WHQL drivers. Release 196.75 drivers have been temporarily removed from our website and we also are asking our partners and others to remove temporarily this 196.75 WHQL driver as well.

Here’s a link for instructions on how to roll back your driver. 

Driver Rollback/Removal Instructions

Option 1: Roll Back To Your Previous Driver:
If you installed your current driver without first uninstalling the previous version, you can simply roll back your driver to the previous version using these steps: 

Windows XP steps to roll back your driver:
Click Start
Click Control Panel
Click Performance and Maintenance and then System (in Category view) or System (in Classic view)
Select the Hardware Tab
Click Device Manager
Double-click on Display Adapters
Double-click on your NVIDIA GPU
Select the Driver Tab
Click on Roll Back Driver
Windows Vista or Windows 7 steps to roll back your driver:
Click Start
Click Control Panel
Windows Vista: Click System and Maintenance and then System or simply System (in Classic view). Windows 7: Click System and Security and then System.
In the left pane, click Device Manager
Double-click on Display Adapters
Double-click on your NVIDIA GPU
Select the Driver Tab
Click on Roll Back Driver

Option 2: Uninstall the Current Driver:
When you installed your current driver, if you first uninstalled the previous driver you won’t be able to roll back. In this case, follow the same steps that you previously used to uninstall your driver. Once complete, you can then download and re-install the recommended driver. 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Windows 7 - Native Support for ISO/IMG Disc Image Burning

An ISO image is an archive file (also known as a disc image) of an optical disc in a format defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It is basically a single (usually large) file with an ".iso" extension that represents the entire contents of a CD or DVD, and is a format often used to distribute large programs over the internet.

The most important feature of an ISO image is that it can be easily rendered or burned to a DVD or CD by using a media authoring or disc burning software. It can also be opened using archival applications such as 7-Zip file manager or the WinRAR shareware archiver. ISO burning is now typically a native feature of modern home and business computer operating systems.

In Windows 7, the new native support for ISO image burning addresses something that’s been on the wish list of many Windows users for a long time (before Windows 7, you have to download a third-party software in order to burn an ISO image to a CD or DVD).
To access this feature, double-click on the ".iso" file and a "Windows Disc Image Burner" dialog box will appear.

Software to Record Skype Audio and Video Calls for Free!

Skype is a great software application that allows users to make voice and video calls over the internet. You can make free PC to PC calls using Skype. However, you need third-party software applications (most of them aren't free), if you want to record those calls. This morning, I managed to come across this freeware that can record Skype audio and video calls:

Tapur for Windows 2000/XP/2003Server/Vista/7 -  An answering service, and voice/video call recorder for Skype.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Better(?) Font Appearance in Ubuntu and How to Install Windows Fonts

Everyone has their own preference when it comes to fonts, and some users, like me, are not happy with Ubuntu's huge default fonts.

1. Install Windows fonts (most websites will render nicely with these fonts installed).
In the Terminal, enter the following command:
sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts
sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer
2. Download this tar file for additional fonts (MacOS fonts):
click here to download
3. Navigate to your /home folder (~/) and press ctrl+h to show hidden files and folders.
4. Create a new folder named .fonts and extract the fonts from the tar file to this folder.
5. Setup your system fonts. Go to Preferences->Appearance->Fonts.
In my system, I have the following font settings:
 Application font: Bitstream Vera Sans Roman (8.6)
Document font: Aquabase (9)
Desktop font: Lucida Grande (9)
Window title font: Trebuchet MS Bold (9)
Fixed width font: Bitstream Vera Sans Mono Roman (10)
6. To change the font rendering settings, choose "subpixel smoothing (LCDs)" and click the "Details" button. Under "smoothing", choose "Subpixel", and choose "Slight", under "hinting."
 7. Reboot and enjoy. :)

Ubuntu's New Look

Canonical is updating Ubuntu's look and feel with a new style that departs from the popular Linux distribution's traditional brown theming.

Hands-on: a close look at Ubuntu's new non-brown theme

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Opera 10.5 vs. Google Chrome 4.0 vs. Mozilla Firefox 3.6

The full-release of Opera 10.5 just came out, featuring a redesigned user-interface and sporting the new Carakan JavaScript engine and Vega graphics library. Click here for more features.

I decided to test its new JavaScript engine using SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark and came out with the following results:

lesser is better
Opera = 606.0ms
Chrome = 958.2ms
Firefox = 1822.4ms
Winner = Opera 
System specs:
Lenovo Xuri Laptop
Intel Celeron M CPU 520 @1.6Ghz
Windows 7 32-bit Ultimate

Download Opera 10.5 here.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How to Create an Ubuntu-based Bootable USB Anti-virus Rescue Kit to Scan a Windows Drive

One thing I like about Linux is its versatility. It has no hardware restriction, unlike other operating systems. So versatile, in fact, that you can even install the whole system on a bootable USB flash drive.

One advantage of having a bootable Linux anti-virus rescue USB is that you can scan a malware-infested drive without booting into your native operating system. You can just boot from the flashdrive and scan the drive from there.

Step 1.   Create the Ubuntu Live USB.
Download Ubuntu ISO from here
Create the Ubuntu Live USB (from Windows)
Create the Ubuntu Live USB (from an Ubuntu Live CD)
Create the Ubuntu Live USB (Ubuntu Startup Disk Creator with screenshots)

Step 2.   Boot from your Ubuntu Live USB.

Step 3.   Open Mozilla Firefox and download Avira AntiVir Personal - FREE Antivirus for Linux.
Download Avira binary
Download License file for Avira

Step 4.   If the downloaded Avira tar file location is not in your /home/ubuntu (~/) folder, copy or move the file (together with the license file - hbedv.key) into that folder (for easier installation).

Step 5.   Extract the tar file by double-clicking (GUI) or using the terminal.
Launch the Terminal (Applications->Accessories->Terminal)
Extract the tar file "tar xvpzf antivir_workstation-pers.tar.gz"
You /home/ubuntu folder, after extraction, should contain the Avira installer

Step 6.   Using the Terminal, change current directory into the Avira installer folder/directory. "cd antivir-workstation-pers-"

Step 7.   Install Avira (follow on-screen instructions, but answer "n" when it prompts you to install dazukofs). "sudo ./install"

Step 8.   Change location to your /home/ubuntu directory ("cd ~/") and copy the license file to /usr/lib/AntiVir directory. "sudo cp hbedv.key /usr/lib/AntiVir"

Step 9.   Start avguard ("sudo avguard start"), then update the virus database (may take a while). "sudo /usr/lib/AntiVir/guard/avupdate --product=Guard"

Step 10.  Mount the drives you want to scan and run Avira with the following options. "sudo avscan --scan-mode=all -e -del /media". This will scan all files, try to repair the infected ones, and delete the ones it could not repair. Read the manual for more info (/home/ubuntu/antivir-workstation-pers-
Other advantages of using the Live USB:
- Recover or access data from a drive with corrupted operating system.
- Recover a damaged partition table.
- Resize or repartition a drive.
- Boot onto other computers that may be unsecure, unsafe, or may have virus/malware.
- Avoid keyloggers or other programs designed to steal information when logging into your important accounts such as a bank account.
- Diagnose various computer problems such as hardware and software issues.
- many more...

* Post updated to reflect latest Avira version (antivir-workstation-pers- as of July 28, 2010

Talk to Memnoch (A.I.)