Support Monthly Newsletter
May 2001 Issue:
Inside this issue:
1) Notes from the editor
2) Virus Protection
3) Computer Virus Help
4) Helpful Websites
5) Hard Drive Cleanup
6) Questions & Answers
7) Windows 95/98 Tips
8) Internet Explorer Tips
9) Contact Information
 Notes from the editor:
I first want to welcome the new technicians to the 5 Star Support team.
1) Christopher Bates
2) Stuart Crawford
3) Troy Robinson
4) Clark Jewell
5) Tauseef Khan
You can read a little about each of these techs and the others at:
Welcome aboard you all. The guests that visit for help sure are lucky to
have such a talented bunch of people here giving up some of their free
Welcome to all subscribers, I hope you will benefit from the articles
herein. If you find this newsletter helpful, please help support it by
sending it to your friends and colleagues. Thanks for your support!
 Virus Protection:
by Jenny Sciborski
5 Star Support Tech
One of the most important pieces of software that should be on everyone’s
computer especially these days, is a good virus protection software. This
is probably just as important as your operating system, and most people do
not really know much about this type of software, or which ones to pick,
since there are a lot of them out there.
Working with tech support for the past few years, viruses cause so many
problems, and just about all of the time these can be avoided. Viruses
can do harmless actions, such as creating a pop-up box for you to keep
clicking on, or it could very easily delete all of the information off of
your hard drive, and destroy your entire computer, and most people do not
take this seriously enough.
Depending on how often you receive emails and go on the internet, there
might not be a high chance of getting a virus, but there is always a
chance to get one. So, you need to be protected. In helping many users
with different assorted virus issues, I keep going back to two different
products to do this effectively, and they are both FREE.
The first application that is a very effective fight against viruses is
called HouseCall online virus scanning. The site for this is:
http://housecall.antivirus.com/ This does require either Internet
Explorer 3 or newer, or Netscape Navigator version 3.01 or higher. This
scanning service DOES NOT INSTALL ANYTHING on your computer, but rather
uses Active X and Java to scan your hard drive(s) to check for viruses.
This is a big plus for users that either cannot or choose not to install
software on their machines. Also, this software is ALWAYS up to date, so
you don’t have to worry about if you have the most current version of this
The second software that I prefer over any other virus scanning software
is called InoculateIT, and it can be found at the following site:
http://antivirus.cai.com/ This software is very easy to use and to update
(the updates are free as well as the application download). This software
does a much more effective job cleaning and protecting your computer than
other such software as McAfee or Norton’s, at least in this tech’s
experiences. Also, it is very easy to customize this software so that it
works for you. This software is compatible for Windows 95/98 and NT.
Of course there are other choices out there, but these are two really
great choices, and best of all, both of these choices are FREE! Now, you
have absolutely no excuse not to have a virus scanning software on your
machine right now! Just don’t forget to update the software as much as
you can, there are always new viruses ready to attack your machine!
 Computer Virus Help
by Henri Delger
Preventing Virus Problems
Back up essential files
Keep a log of what you do to learn which applications are most important
to you. Although you can restore them from their installation CDs, that
does not mean they'd work the way they do now. So if you have
re-configured any, you'd need to find out how and where they store that
data, in order to back it up.
Make backup copies of files on your hard disk. All hard disk files would
be best. Some files may already be backed up (in effect) on original
installation disks, but most important are the files you create with your
applications. Business records, spreadsheets, manuscripts, and other
important files that take tremendous work to produce can be lost in an
instant--if no other copy exists. Do not take that risk--make copies of
Visit a computer store, and ask about a tape backup system, or a
high-capacity drive, such as a CD-R, DVD-R, or other large capacity drive.
If a second hard drive is used instead, remember that having both drives
in the same PC leaves one exposed to viruses and Trojans that are
programmed to destroy data on all drives, and to fire and theft, natural
disasters, like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and lightning.
Off-site storage of at least one backup is highly recommended.
Delete e-mail file attachments
The only 100 percent safe e-mail file attachment is the one you delete.
Clicking on everything, as some users do, is very unsafe, because an
E-mailed virus or worm can send a copy of itself to everyone a user knows,
often disguised as something innocent. If you open a file attached to an
e-mail, even from someone you know, you are always taking a risk, however
Since worms (like KAK) can be concealed in the body of an e-mail, close
the preview pane of your e-mail program, because that is what opens the
e-mail message (but not attachments) automatically. Also, turn the Windows
98 Scripting Host off:
1. Click on Settings, then Control Panel, then Add/Remove Programs
2. Then click on the Windows Setup tab, then Accessories and if it is
3. Uncheck Windows Scripting Host and Click "OK" to save changes -- or
click CANCEL if it was not checked.
Note: Web pages that use scripts may not load properly with the Windows
Scripting Host disabled, or you may be redirected to alternative pages,
that don't use scripts. If you find that inconvenient, you can put the
check mark back later (you may need your Windows CD to do that). For
Windows 95 and ME, instead of doing the above, locate winscript.exe and
rename it, or delete it from the hard disk (after you first copy it to a
floppy disk, in case you want to restore it later).
Prepare an emergency system boot disk
Once you have checked for viruses, create a Windows 95/98 system boot disk,
and keep it write-protected, in case you have to remove a Win32 virus.
1. Place a floppy disk in A> drive,
2. open "My Computer,"
3. click the (right) mouse to select the A> drive,
4. under "File," click to select "Format,"
5. click to select "Full Format,"
6. under "Other Options," check "Copy System Files."
7. lock (open) the write-protect "window."
8. label the floppy and put it in a safe place.
Since this disk will not start Windows, it is ideal for dealing with Win32
viruses. (If Windows was started, such a virus could be active in memory,
and could not be removed, because infected files would be in use by
Block Word Macro viruses
Since only Microsoft Word can open (run) macros that might be embedded in
a MS-Word DOC file, those who use Word can enhance their safety by viewing
DOC files sent to them by others using a free Viewer, available by
download from Microsoft's Web site. Another safety enhancement would be
sharing Word files that are saved in Rich Text Format, instead of Word
Document format, because files in RTF format do not contain macros, and
thus cannot harbor a macro virus. Word 2000 users should also make sure
that macro virus protection (under Tools/Macro/Security) is set to High.
Word 97 users should make sure that macro virus protection (under Tools,
Options, General) is turned on (checked), and consider password-protecting
1) Exit Word97, then delete Normal.Dot
2) Start Word, then use Alt-F11 to start the VisualBasic editor
3) Press Ctrl-R to open a window in the upper left corner (if necessary)
4) Click Normal in that window
5) From the Tools menu, select Normal Properties, then Protection
6) Check "Lock project for viewing" and enter a password
7) Click OK, then press Alt-Q to exit the editor
Remember the password, because while this procedure protects Normal.dot
from viruses, you will need the password if you want to modify Normal.dot,
to record your own macros, for example.
Protecting LANs (Local Area Networks)
In the business world (and elsewhere), networked computers are at greater
risk from viruses than stand-alone computers, because computers connected
via a local area network risk exposure to a virus or worm on a computer
elsewhere on the LAN, if security is breached.
Proper antivirus security means minimal write-access privileges for users.
One infected computer is bad enough, but a thousand can spell disaster.
Therefore, only those who need full write-access privilege, such as the
Administrator, should be able to access a server with write intent. And
they should only be able to do it from their own secure computer, and not
from anyone else's (possibly infected) system.
In addition, there should be no transitive flow path between users:
Executable files written on one user's computer should not be readable on
another user's. Also, any computer that can write to another (especially
to a server) requires careful monitoring; don't use disks from any other
PC in such a computer. Finally, users should avoid swapping disks at all
costs--if it's unavoidable, the recipient should scan the disk before use,
regardless of its source.
It's important to remember that even if users precisely follow all the
above rules within the LAN environment, each disk or e-mail file
attachment coming in from off-site always presents a risk. If allowed at
all, disks from home, school, and vendors, and especially "outside"
service technicians should be treated with great suspicion, and scanned
before use. E-mail file attachments, especially executable files and
documents with potential macros, present a special risk, whether from
someone known or unfamiliar to the user.
Virus protection belongs on both servers and workstations, because both
can serve as entry points for a virus that can spread over the network.
There have been many incidents where major firms have been forced to shut
down, despite all kinds of sophisticated and up-to-date Anti-virus
software, because no scanner can detect every worm/virus, especially one
newer than the software.
User awareness and common sense can contribute much to LAN security. And
management can enhance those by providing encouragement and proper
training, which can be cheaper than downtime, with computer users being
paid, but unable to work.
Other Things to Consider:
1. Obtain software only from trusted sources.
2. Use a safe Web browser and e-mail client.
3. Install Anti-virus software, and keep it updated.
4. Scan all newly obtained disks, programs, and files.
5. Install a firewall program, especially if on cable or DSL.
 Hard Drive Cleanup
By Brad McBeth
A utility included in Windows 98 and Windows Me called Disk Cleanup helps
you free up space on your hard drive. Disk Cleanup searches your drive for
temporary files, Internet cache files, and unnecessary program files that
you can safely delete. To start Disk Cleanup:
Click on the Start button and select Programs
Select System Tools
Click on Disk Cleanup
In general, when you're cleaning out your hard drive, these files are safe
temporary files (.tmp)
backup files (.bak)
Internet history and cache files
Erasing the files in your Web browser's caches will free up hard-drive
space. To delete cache files in Netscape:
Go to Edit, Preferences, Advanced, Cache.
Hit the Clear History button.
Hit the Clear Cache button.
To delete cache files in Internet Explorer:
Go to View, Internet Options, General tab.
Hit the Delete Files button (under Temporary Internet Files).
Hit the Clear History button (under History)
You can also help unclutter your hard drive by emptying your trash folder
(right-click on the Recycle Bin and select Empty Recycle Bin) and deleting
all your temporary files (.tmp) in the Temp Folder in Windows. Do not
delete programs or executables. Sometimes you may not even be able to
delete these files if you try. In general, you should only delete what's
mentioned above, unless you are an advanced user and know exactly what
each file is.
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 Questions & Answers
My computer says I am missing file NSPMM.DLL how can I get this back?
Follow this path:
1) Control Panel
3) Device Manager
4) Sound, video and game controllers
5) Intel Virtual Audio Device
7) Disable in this hardware profile
Another side affect of this for many of us is having two "VRTWD.386" and
"VIASPOXD.VXD" boot up error messages. You need to remove them from the
Registry (START, RUN, "REGEDIT", EDIT, FIND).
As posted to the "Solution Center" form:
Recurrent invalid page fault at KERNEL32.dll at 0167:bf caused most often
by Internet Explore, but also occurred off line, and caused by other
programs. As time went on, the frequency occurred more and more. At first
it was occasional. Lately I would be shut down numerous times during the
day. I noticed that huge amounts of data were being received, thousand of
bytes per second, at times when there was no reason for any but minimal
activity in that all windows were closed.
Tech suggested virus check and a site to download free version of
inoculatiT. Virus scan found Win32.Hybris virus in my wsock32.DLL and
found the Hybris worm in some other files. It eliminated the infected
files and I have been trouble free ever since.
As posted to the "Solution Center" form:
I have too many icons on my taskbar. How can I get some of the icons off.
Gary told me to go to Start, Run and then type in msconfig then ok. On
the popup menu go to start up and uncheck anything you do not want to run.
as posted to the "Solution Center" form:
My father's computer would crash every time he inserted a CD in the player.
The DMA box was checked in profiles for the CD player under device
manager. Everyone that I talked to (including here) had no idea except to
as posted to the "Solution Center" form:
Monitor looks like it has a half moon cut out on either side.
Possible cell phone interference from house next door.
as posted on the "Solution Center" form:
Error Applying Transforms
Here is a possible fix for this:
(Make sure you back up your registry prior to making changes.)
1. Run regedit.
2. Right click in the left pane and choose "Find" In the text box, enter:
.mst (make sure the boxes for Keys, Values, and Data are
3. It will find a transform entry with a long string of letters and
numbers in the data.
4. Delete the transform entry.
5. Find again.
6. Delete the second transform entry.
7. Exit regedit.
8. Make sure the Recycle Bin is empty.
It should work now. (The .mst transform files are configuration
databases that Windows Installer uses. There is a bug in Office 2000
that causes it to want nonexistent .mst files.)
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 Windows 95/98 Tips:
<>CHANGING FILE EXTENSIONS:
Caution should be taken when you change the extensions as you could
possibly render the file unreadable. The application needs to have an
extension that can understand its format. But if you're sure you need to
change a file extension, here's how:
1) Open a folder and go to View, Folder Options.
2) Click the View tab and uncheck the box that says Hide File Extensions
For Known File Types.
3) When you rename a file from that point forward, you can type a period
and three letter characters to give it a new extension.
<>MISSING TASK BAR:
Once in a while, I get a question from a guest who is complaining that the
taskbar has suddenly disappeared. This behavior occurs when you have the
auto-hide option turned on AND you've manually shrunk the Taskbar down to
nothing (by clicking and dragging it downward--most likely by mistake). To
fix this; hold your mouse pointer over the Taskbar's edge, and when the
pointer changes to a double-pointed arrow, click and drag upward until the
Taskbar appears at normal size.
If you are not happy with the spacing between your icons on your desktop,
this is easily fixed in Desktop Properties. Right-click on the Desktop
and choose Properties. Click the Appearance tab. Under Item, choose Icon
Spacing (Horizontal) or Icon Spacing (Vertical), and then increase or
decrease the number under Size. When you're finished, click OK.
<>MUTE YOUR MODEM:
Go to Start, Settings, Control Panel, and choose Modems. Select your modem
in the upper box and then click Properties. Click the Connection tab and
then the Advanced button. In the Extra Settings box, type;
Note: The last character is a zero, not the letter "O." This modem string
setting instructs your modem to remain quiet during the dialing process.
Click OK twice and then Close to exit.
 Internet Explorer Tips:
<>CLEARING THE AUTO COMPLETE HISTORY:
Go to "TOOLS", "INTERNET OPTIONS", click on the "CONTENT" tab. Click the
"AUTOCOMPLETE" button to clear your history and/or view other options.
<>DISABLE AUTO COMPLETE:
Open IE, go to "TOOLS", "INTERNET OPTIONS", click on the "CONTENT" tab.
Click the "AUTOCOMPLETE" button. Uncheck the items you would like to
disable. Select "OK". Select the "ADVANCED" tab. Scroll down to "use
inline autocomplete for web addresses" box or "use inline autocomplete in
windows explorer". Uncheck the box to disable.
<>PUT A RADIO ON YOUR TOOLBAR:
This is for IE 5.0 or later. You should be able to right click the IE
toolbar and click on "RADIO" to activate the radio toolbar. Another way
to access the toolbar is to go to "VIEW", "TOOLBARS", then click on
"RADIO". Cruise around the web while listening to your favorite tunes with
this handy feature. To find a radio station, just choose Radio Stations
from the Radio bar. If you are not able to access the radio toolbar then
you do not have the latest version of Microsoft Media Player installed.
You can download it here: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/
<>REPAIR INTERNET EXPLORER (IE5.x):
In the event Internet Explorer 5.x has become corrupted, here is how to
repair the installation: Go to "START", "SETTINGS", "CONTROL PANEL",
double click "ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS", choose "Microsoft Internet Explorer 5
and Internet Tools". Click the "ADD/REMOVE" button, check "Repair Internet
Explorer". Click on "OK".
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