Wednesday, April 9, 2008


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Unable to Open Hard or USB Flash Drive ?????

In some situation especially when anti-virus program has cleaned, healed, disinfected or removed a worm, trojan horse or virus from computer, there may be error happening whenever users try to open or access the drive by double clicking on the disk drive icon in Explorer or My Computer window to try to enter the drive’s folder. The problem or symptom happens in hard disk drive, portable hard disk drive or USB flash drive, and Windows will prompt a dialog box with the following message:

windows script Host

Can not find script file autorun.vbs.

Sometimes you will be asked to debug the VBScript with error code of 800A041F - Unexpected ‘Next’.

Choose the program you want to use to open this file with:

In this case, the “Always use the selected program to open this kind of file” option is grayed out.
The symptom occurs because when autorun.vbs is created by trojan horse or virus. The virus normally loads autorun.inf file to root folder of all hard drive or USB drive, and then execute autorun.bat file which contains script to apply and merge autorun.reg into the registry, with possible change to the following registry key to ensure that virus is loaded when system starts:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
Finally, autorun.bat will call wscript.exe to run autorun.vbs.
When antivirus or security software detected the autorun.vbs file as infected, the file will be deleted or removed or quarantined. However, other files (autorun.*) and registry value still referring to autorun.vbs, and this document no longer exists, hence the error when users double click to open a drive folder.
To correct and solve this error, follow this steps:
Run Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Del or right click on Taskbar)
Stop wscript.exe process if available by highlighting the process name and clicking End Process.
Then terminate explorer.exe process.
In Task Manager, click on File -> New Task (Run…).
Type “cmd” (without quotes) into the Open text box and click OK.
Type the following command one by one followed by hitting Enter key: del c:\autorun.* /f /s /q /a
del d:\autorun.* /f /s /q /a
del e:\autorun.* /f /s /q /a
c, d, e each represents drive letters on Windows system. If there are more drives or partitions available, continue to command by altering to other drive letter. Note that you must also clean the autorun files from USB fllash drive or portable hard disk as the external drive may also be infected.
In Task Manager, click on File -> New Task (Run…).
Type “regedit” (without quotes) into the Open text box and click OK.
Navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
Check if the value name and value data for the key is correct (the value data of userint.exe include the path which may be different than C drive, which is also valid, note also the comma which is also needed): “Userinit”=”C:\WINDOWS\system32\userinit.exe,”
If the value is incorrent, modify it to the valid value data

Portable Apps for your USB Stick

What is a portable program ?

A portable program is a piece of software that you can carry around with you on a portable device and use on any other computer. It can be your email program, your browser, system recovery tools or even an operating system. The coolest part about it, is that all of your data and settings are always stored on a thumbdrive so when you unplug the device, none of your personal data is left behind.

Portable Office Software

Abiword (6.3 mb) - word processor (compatible with Microsoft word)
OpenOffice (65 mb) - free alternative to Microsoft Office (fully compatible with Ms Office docs)
PDF Viewers:
Sumatra (1.1 mb) , Foxit PDF Reader (1.8 mb)

Portable Email Programs

Mozilla ThunderBird (6 mb) - very good email client (built-in address book, import/export, tons of addons)
Quick Mailer [20kb] - tiny program for sending quick e-mail messages

Portable Text and Voice Messengers

All-in-One (Yahoo, MSN, ICQ, etc.): Gaim [6.9 mb], Miranda IM [1.2 mb], Trillian [Win]
Skype - exlpains how to make skype portable

Portable Media Tools (Audio / Video)

Audacity (2.4 mb) - simple audio editor and recorder

VLC (9.3 mb) - powerful media player that plays almost all popular audio and video formats

K-Lite Mega Codec Pack with Media Player - another powerful media player for playing all conceivable formats

Portable Graphics Viewers and Image Editors

GIMP (8.6 mb) - free alternative to Photoshop

IrfanView [1013kb] - fast graphic viewer with basic image editing features

XNView [Win, Mac, Linux] - image viewer and converter (supports more then 400 image formats)

Portable Browsers and Internet Tools (FTP, Torrent Clients…)

Firefox (5.8 mb)


FTP Clients: Filezilla [2.3 mb], FireFTP [0.1mb]

TrayURL - bookmark manager

uTorrent - popular torrent downloader

Portable Security Software

Antivirus: ClamWin [5.9mb], Dr.Web CureIt [5.5 mb]
Keepass Password [1mb] - securely store and manage your passwords
Omziff [0.5mb] - lets you encrypt/decrypt a file, using secure encryption algorithms. Also includes a password generator, file shredder, file splitter and some more tools.
LockNote - simple text file that lets you store sensitive info with 256bit password encryption.
RoboFor2Go - secure password manager and form filler
Smart Sniff [57kb] - lets you inspect network traffic that passes via your network adapter.

Portable Games

Sudoku - popular puzzle game
Bricks2000 - popular tetris clone
Logix - something similar to minesweeper
Gem Drop - fast-paced puzzle game
GeneRally - 2D racing game
Nagaskaki - chess game
NarkoMania - cool minesweeper clone
NeverBall - part puzzle, part action game

Other Portable Utilities

7Zip [1.1 mb] - file archiver and compressor, supports 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2, TAR, RAR and more
Registry Tweaker [1.52mb] - registry tweaking tool
Restoration [229kb] - handy program for recovering deleted (or formatted) files
YamiPod - powerful iPod manager (copy mp3/AAC files to and from your iPod, import/export playlists, search for songs, remove duplicates,..). More iPod tools
Drive Manager [1191 kb] - quick summary for each local and removable drive.
PStart - lets you organize and create menu-like list for quicker access to your portable programs.
SyncPAppX - script that syncs preferences between portable and local applications.
RQ Money - handy utlity to manage your credits and debts
SIW - a system analysis tool that tells you almost everything you need to know about a computer, i.e. hardware, configuration settings, etc.
WinAudit - one more analysis tool
Convert [155 kb] - fast metric unit conversion tool (distance, temperature, volume, time, speed, mass…)
UK Calender [321kb] - straightforward calendar with ToDo and reminders
CPU-Z - provides detailed info about your processor and other components
Country Codes [1358 kb] - a small database of country codes and additional information for all countries.
TreePad Lite [866kb] - personal database program, lets you store all your notes, emails, bookmarks, etc. into one well-structured file
StartupList [158 kb] - displays all items that are in any way related to your computer startup and are executed without any user interactions
eTextReader [279kb] - read plain text files provided by Project Gutenberg in a book-like manner.
Index Your Files [640kb] - provides an easy way to create index databases (of specified folders and drives) for quick file/term search
RockXP [768kb] - handy utility for retrieving Win XP’s product key
WhoisThisDomain [42kb] - view owner and registration info for any domain name

Portable Developer Tools (Techies Only)

Nvu (7.3 mb) - easy-to-use webpage editor. Simpler alternative to Dreamweaver and Microsft Frontpage
Server2Go - apache webserver (no configurations needed)
InstantRails[60mb] - contains Ruby, Rails, Apache, and MySQL, all preconfigured and ready to run.
Putty [0.9 mb] - lightweight telnet and SSH client
Follow-Me IP - displays your external IP address
XAMPP [25/17 mb] - integrated server package of Apache, mySQL, PHP and Perl. Just Unzip and Run
HTTP File Server - simple and easy-to-use file server for personal file sharing.
CurrPorts [46kb]- lets you view a list of ports that are currently in use, along with applications that use them
FTP Servers:
Quick’n Easy FTP Server [355kb],

All-In-One Packages

PortableApps Suite [89.5mb] - includes 7 programs for essential needs (office, email, IM client, etc.) + cool Startup manager and backup utility

Portable Operating Systems (’HowTo’ Articles)

Mac OS Classic 7
Portable Linux:
Knoppix, Ubuntu
Win XP

USB ThumDrive Tips

How to create a bootable USB key
Never Forget your USB Stick
QuickLaunch your USB workspace

That’s mainly it… In case you’re looking for something that wasn’t mentioned above, there are a couple of resources you may want to check out.

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Uninstall Symantec Norton Antivirus Client without Password

Norton AntiVirus Clients or Symantec AntiVirus Clients especially Corporate Edition Clients can be installed as managed network setup type by a Symantec AntiVirus Server. When a Symantec AntiVirus Client is managed, it will prompt for password when uninstalling client via local computer Control Panel Add or Remove Program applet. If you don’t know or forget the password, then the client is not able to uninstall or remove. And the SAV client uninstall password won’t work with server group password too, as if you enter that password, you will receive an invalid password message.

The client uninstallation password is different from the server group password, and it can be set by the administrator through the Symantec System Center for the client that is managed. If the client uninstallation password has not been set or changed specifically, it will still be the default password. Thus, first thing to try in order to successfully uninstall a Symantec Client Security program is by using the default password for the uninstalling clients, which is symantec.

In the cases where Symantec AntiVirus server has been taken down and no longer exist, or the client computer has no access to company network, or the default client uninstall password does not work, the following hack will enable you to remove Symantec Antivirus without using a password:

Open Registry Editor (regedit).

Navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\INTEL\LANDesk\VirusProtect6\CurrentVersion\Administrator Only\Security\
Change the value for useVPuninstallpassword key from 1 to 0.
Exit Registry Editor and now you can uninstall Symantec AntiVirus Client.
The trick should work on most version of Symantec AntiVirus client or Norton AntiVirus Client, including version 7, 8, 9 or 10.