Helpful PC Utilities
With savemybutt.com apparently stuck in WordPress configuration hell, Steve King (formerly of WGNRadio) asked me to don my cybersquad tiara and come up with a list of helpful PC support resources.
My new, stand-in favorite PC help site is Lawrence Abrams' "Bleeping Computer" site at http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/. According to the site's Wikipedia article (!), "[i]t is a resource site for answering computer, security, and technical questions. All services to the public are free, including malware and rootkit cleanup of infected computers and removal instructions on rogue anti-spyware programs. Bleeping Computer caters especially to the new computer user. The site is a featured Microsoft Expert Zone Community and has been recommended in PC World magazine."
So, yeah, you should bookmark http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/
But what about all of those helpful software on Mike D's website? Those (and more) can be found on Bleeping Computer. In fact, here is a HUGE list of helpful tools for fixing most Windows PC problems (courtesy of Reddit guru Jessek):
- rkill (if needed)
RKill is a program that was developed at BleepingComputer.com that attempts to terminate known malware processes so that your normal security software can then run and clean your computer of infections. When RKill runs it will kill malware processes and then removes incorrect executable associations and fixes policies that stop us from using certain tools. When finished it will display a log file that shows the processes that were terminated while the program was running.
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/combofix/ ComboFix is a program, created by sUBs, that scans your computer for known malware, and when found, attempts to clean these infections automatically. In addition to being able to remove a large amount of the most common and current malware, ComboFix also displays a report that can be used by trained helpers to remove malware that is not automatically removed by the program.
- Unhide (if needed)
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/unhide/ Unhide is a program that reverts back the changes made to your files and Windows Registry by the rogue.FakeHDD family of rogue anti-spyware program. This family of malware pretends to be a hard disk repair and system optimization program for Windows. In reality, though, these programs are computer infections that deliberately hide your files and change certain settings in the Windows Registry to make it appear that you have lost data on your hard drive. It will then prompt you to purchase the program to restore the data.
- Hijack This
Publisher: Trend Micro
HijackThis is a program that can be used to quickly spot home page hijackers and startup programs that you do not want to start automatically. This program is a not anti-virus program, but rather a enumerator that lists programs that are starting up automatically on your computer as well as other configuration information that is commonly hijacked
- MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Cleanup Tool
The Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Cleanup Tool allows you to completely uninstall Malwarebytes Anti-Malware in the event that you are unable to uninstall it properly from the Windows control panel.
- Spybot S&D
Spybot Search & Destroy (S&D) is a spyware and adware removal computer program compatible with Microsoft Windows 95 and later. It scans the computer hard disk and/or RAM for malicious software
- Microsoft Security Essentials Removal Tool
The Microsoft Security Essentials Removal Tool can be used to remove all traces of Microsoft Security Essentials from your computer in the event that you are unable to remove it normally via the Windows control panel.
CCleaner is a program that will scan your computer for temporary files or private browser and deletes it from your computer. This allows you to keep your computer running efficiently, while protecting your sensitive information.
- PC Decrapifier
PC Decrapifier is a program that scans your computer for programs that are commonly installed on new computers, otherwise known as crapware, and allows you to easily remove them. PC Decrapifier will scan your computer for common preinstalled programs and other products that are considered crapware. You then have the ability to select the programs you wish to uninstall and with the click of a button automatically uninstall them.
Use Defraggler to defrag your entire hard drive, or individual files - unique in the industry. This compact and portable Windows application supports NTFS and FAT32 file systems
Copyright © 2014 Patrick Crispen. Contents licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license. All other rights reserved.