Downgrade from IE8 to IE7

So you’ve tried Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) and you’re not impressed. Lucky for you there’s a quick solution to downgrade back to trusty old IE7!

Windows XP Solution
1) Click the Start menu, control panel
2) From the control panel select “Add/Remove programs”
3) Find Internet Explorer 8 and proceed to uninstall it.

After the uninstall is complete you’ll be able to use IE8.

Windows Vista Solution
1) Click the Start menu then select control panel
2) From the control panel select “Programs and Features” (Or Programs)
3) Click “View installed updates” on the left

(wait for it to load .. it does take a few minutes. Note the bar at the top of the screen)

4) Find “Windows Internet Explorer 8″, select it and use the “Uninstall button” at the top of the list.

uninstall-ie8-1

uninstall-ie8-2

uninstall-ie8-1

WinXP Taskbar Double

The problem:
Your windows XP taskbar is showing as two rows or it has doubled in size.

The solution:
Lucky for you, fixing this problem is dead simple.

First of all, make sure your taskbar is NOT locked.
1) Right click the taskbar (Make sure you “right click” a blank space, that is, don’t right click a running program)
2) Ensure that “Lock the Taskbar” is NOT ticked.

Now you need to reduce the size of your taskbar.
1) Seen the line to the right of the taskbar? (It’s either dotted or a straight line)
2) Put your mouse over this line until your mouse cursor shows <-->
3) Drag that sucker down!

It may take you a few times to get it right. Once you’ve got a single row task bar, you can re-arrange your toolbar sections (quicklaunch etc)

Windows Updates Won’t Install

I’ve seen this problem a few times, whereby you will be in the middle of doing a Windows Update and right after the updates have downloaded, they will refuse to be installed – often freezing and not showing any sign of further progress.

Here are a few solutions that are known to work.

Solution 1 – Reinstalling Windows Installer 3.1
Try installing a fresh new copy of Windows Installer 3.1. (Download it here). The Windows Installer is an application installation and configuration service, and is used by a number of Microsoft products to install applications on your computer.

Solution 2
If you are trying to install Updates via the Windows XP update agent (found in the start menu), try stopping the Agent service and then run Windows update through your web browser (Internet Explorer).

To do this, you must first stop the Automatic Update Server.

1) Click on your Start Menu, then Run
2) Type: services.msc
3) Find the row that says “Automatic Updates”, right click it and select “stop”.
4) Close the windows
5) Launch Internet Explorer and select the Tools menu, then “Windows Update”.
6) Proceed to run a Microsoft Windows Update

Good luck!

Google Chrome Error 0X00000005

You’ve heard the hype, seen the funky screenshots and want to get in on the action. So you download and install Google Chrome, only to find an error appear stating;

The application failed to initialize properly (0×00000005). Press Ok to terminate application.

Solution 1
This error is most likely caused due to your system not having the Microsoft.NET framework. Download it here.

Solution 2
It’s also been noted that this problem occurs to an issue with Chrome and Symantec Endpoint Protection. Try removing Symantec Endpoint Protection via the “Add/Remove Programs” control panel section, and see if the error goes away.

Cannot remove ytoolbar_title_my_add_disable

If you’ve noticed a weird bar that sits on your screen and mentions something like “ytoolbar_title_my_add_disable”, and you can’t seem to remove it; the you’ve most likely have a broken yahoo toolbar. The best remedy is to simply remove the Yahoo Toolbar.

There’s a few things you can do.

1) If you use Firefox; click the tools menu > then Extensions > Scroll until you see “Yahoo! Toolbar extension”, select this item and click “Uninstall”. Then restart Firefox”.

2) If you use Internet Explorer, you may also uninstall the Yahoo Toolbar by visiting your computers “Add/Remove Programs” section under the Control Panel.

Preview Bittorrent Video Files

If you’ve ever downloaded video files from BitTorrent before, you would be well aware that trying to preview them when the download hasn’t finished can be quiet annoying, if not impossible. However, there are a few different methods you can try;

If you’re downloading an entire season, but the complete series hasn’t finished yet (legal downloads of course) – you may be tempted to just watch the episodes that have been downloaded.

The one program that managed to work is called RepairVideo – and claims to fix ASF, AVI, RM and WMV files. Even when video editing programs can’t detect the file type, RepairVideo will let you select a similar file so that it can reconstruct the filetype. Genius I say.

Check it out here;
http://www.repairvideo.com

How To Remove Spyware using AdWareAlert and NoAdware

Weird popups? Porn? Messages advising you to purchase products? Internet Explorer homepage keep changing? Did you wallpaper disappear? System running slow?

All of the above are symptoms of spyware, which may have been introduced to your machine via various methods – which include activeX downloads and software you installed on your PC (such as Kazaa and other p2p programs).

You did not authorize these applications to install onto your PC – so why are they there?

For a bit of fun and games, I decided to be the test dummy. After firing up VirtualBox running a clean install of Windows XP, I proceeded to install various ‘known’ applications that included spyware. These included Kazaa, Performance Optimizer, Bonzi Buddy and XP Antivirus 2008.

After I had installed these applications, I was infected with spyware – there was no doubt about it. Here’s a few screenshots of my system;

XP Antivirus 2008 informing me that I have a ton of viruses :) .. *cough* fake!

Who likes my new wallpaper?

Internet Explorer Hijacked!

Some funky looking Windows processes

Removing them all

If you performed a Google search for “Anti-Spyware”, you will be bombarded with hundreds of applications which promote “Greatest protection”, “Instant spyware removal” and “Free scan now”. I decided to give two programs a whirl and there were;

NoAdware and AdwareAlert

NoAdware

NoAdware is a lightweight antispyware application designed to dig deep within your system to find traces or spyware, dialers and adware. It also has a number of PC Shields, designed to lock down certain parts of your system so that spyware cannot perform any modifications. This includes locking down your IE homepage, IE favorites and your windows hosts file.

While NoAdware managed to remove the majority of spyware found on my dummy PC, it wasn’t able to fully remove AntiVirus 2008 – which as I mentioned before is a NASTY spyware application designed to try and sell you products, whilst providing FAKE virus results.

Download NoAdware

AdwareAlert

The thing that impressed me the most about AdwareAlert is that it actually detected XP Anti-Virus in its scan results, where as NoAdware didn’t. The software promotes its “3 way protection” system, whereby AdwareAlert Scans, deletes and protects your system – pretty straightforward really. AdwareAlert also has an inbuilt quarantine system and the ability to add programs to an ignore or white list.

Overall AdwareAlert was able to clean the system and restore my dummy system to its former state.

Download AdwareAlert

Erase your Browsing History

A friend of mine traveling in Italy recently asked me how they could clear the browsing history from the computer they were using in an Internet Cafe.

The best way to erase your browsing history is to use Firefox and the “Clear Private Data” tool that ships with it (ctrl + shift + delete). However if you are using Internet Explorer or you want to make 100% sure that all history is deleted then its best to leave it up to an application to search through your system and delete any trace that you were even there!

The program I recommended is called “WINCLEAR”, and is able to clean up your tracks from a number of browsers and Internet applications. (Such as Firefox, Opera, Netscape, AOL etc)

Give Winclear a whirl!

Free Firewall Suites (For windows)

Windows XP firewall not cutting it? Then its time to move on to something more powerful. The thing about firewalls these days is that your most likely already covered by your workplace firewall, otherwise you know that little router/modem that you have at home? That’s already blocking inbound requests for you.

However there are times when a software firewall is needed in order to stop potential attacks whilst roaming public networks such as those found in airports and cafe’s. Listed below are a few FREE windows firewall suites that may be able to offer you protection whilst in roaming mode.

Comodo Free Personal Firewall

A firewall suite designed to not only protect against hackers, but also prevent unauthorized programs from being installed. Acts almost like a spyware removal tool, with full firewalling support built in.
Download

Firewall Gold

24/7 technical support (that’s a first?) and seems to be advertised heavily on CNN and CNET etc. Provides the user with a full firewall component, designed to restrict network traffic in both directions.
Download

PCTools Firewall Plus

PCTools have developed a free firewall solution (since when do they release free products??) designed to not only protect your PC from malicious hacker attempts, but also provides real-time protection and I quote, “Intelligent automatic protection” which includes an auto-updater system – designed to automatically update firewall rules.
Download

Outlook free/busy error

Having troubles adding appointments or printing a shared calendar? Visit the persons computer who is SHARING the calendar and perform the following.

  • Click start, run
  • Type “outlook.exe /cleanfreebusy”

That should do the trick.

MSN 80072efd error

I had a problem with MSN not signing in when using MSN 8.0 or 8.1 BETA. It kept giving the error code 80072efd.

To fix it I had to download and install MSN 7.5 and it fixed the problem.

It is available from here:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=0B88CCBF-4C52-4347-AA71-87184A13AC1C&displaylang=en

Error 1714. The older version of QuickTime cannot be removed. Contact your technical support group

I went to install iTunes 7, as iTunes 6 informed me that there was a new version. Then the following error occured;

Error 1714. The older version of QuickTime cannot be removed. Contact your technical support group.

Solution
Search the registry for “quicktime.msi” and “itunes.msi”. Delete the folder ABOVE where this key lies.

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