Bergesch Computer Services, Inc.
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January '17

Opinions, suggestions, recommendations or ideas found on our site are applied at your own risk. 


The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.  - William H. Borah


PLEASE - Do not give control of your computer to ANYONE unless you are absolutely certain who they are!  For more information see our Self Help > Scams!   So with that out of the way...

I see I forgot to include the link for some of you - Sorry!
But apparently you knew how to get here anyway :-)

In this newsletter

Scams

As we discussed last newsletter, scammers seem to have infiltrated even the manufacturer support. 

To further that assertion: We recently had a customer with McAfee protection.  Having problems with it, she used the (legitimate) online support but when they could not resolve the problem, the (McAfee) support person gave her another number to call and guess what...  It was a takeover scam demanding $299. 

Grin!

Just before posting this newsletter we received a call from iYogi (unknown caller ID on the phone) informing us they need to access our computer again as they were detecting problems with the Antivirus. 

"Again?" I asked.  "Yes, last September, you don't remember?" he replied.

So we held him online as long as we could saying the computer was starting - then restarting again and again.  He apparently had no idea how to fix that problem and finally hung up on us.   :-)

Online scams

More and more websites are becoming revenue generators laden with advertisements, popups, signups and the like. But the problem is, these sites do not aggressively screen their advertisers' links.  While reading an article at www.activistpost.com (Symantec approved as safe), this took over the page while we were reading (without us clicking anything).

  Scam

Needless to say, it's crap!  Google Chrome (and all the browsers) will normally update automatically but certainly never via a third-party site.  When you have this happen, simply "X" out of the browser completely. 

But sometimes, the takeover is so hostile you can't even do that.  See our Scams article and Kill.bat (below).

There's just no protection

Even the biggest of the big can't protect themselves (or you) from this increasingly unsecure Internet...

Google accounts hit with malware -- a million and growing and Android malware steals million Google accounts

And speaking of infected Androids: They may take over your router's DNS settings (discussed last newsletter).   The article.

Hanging Internet browsers

As we discussed last newsletter, we are seeing an occasional hanging of the Internet Explorer's processes, i.e., we "X" out of the browser but the process does not end.  As a result, that continuing process chews up processor cycles and makes the computer run slower.  We still experience this (very erratic) problem.  Since we have not pinned down why this occurs, we have given up looking (for now) and simply run a small batch file killing all browser processes when we are done on the Internet.

To create a batch file: Open Notepad (using the Run command / Windows key+R), enter the 2 lines as shown below, then Save as... Change the Save as Type to All files and type a file name to include the ".bat" extension, e.g., Kill.bat

That batch file contains two lines:

C:\Windows\System32\taskkill.exe /im iexplore.exe /f
C:\Windows\System32\taskkill.exe /im chrome.exe /f

If you use Firefox or someother browser, simply add another line with that browser's process name.

Hint:

We have moved our kill.bat file from the Desktop to the root (C:\) drive.  That way, in case of a complete takeover, we can still get at it using the Windows run command (Windows key+R).

RunKillbat

Windows 10, something useful?

We have not found a lot we like about Windows 10, at least from our support perspective, but did find something very useful.  It is the ability to (quickly) reset the network when there are problems. 

Click the network Icon then Network Settings, which opens the screen shown below.

There, click Status (top left) then Network reset near the bottom.  When done it will want to reboot the computer...

Note:  If your computer has a static IP assigned or other special network settings, they may be reset as well and would have to be manually changed again.

Network settings

Reset netwrok

Other Windows 10 network fixes found here.

Quickies

Know where you're going!

Don't assume you know a destination web address.  All three of these are incorrect for the presumed site and lead to trouble sites: www.mn.taxes.us, annandale.k12.mn.us.COM and whitehouse.COM

The correct addresses for those are:

If you're not absolutely sure, enter the desired address in Google search but look very carefully at the results. 

Other stuff

Computer really slow?  We've found some antivirus applications causing problems:

Our over-dependence on the Internet is shown once again.  Outages all over the U.S.

Yahoo: Over a Billion accounts hacked.

If you want to create a system recovery image, run the manufacturer's utility, but you may also want to have Windows create one by running the command sdclt.exe  (More on system recovery here.)

Fees, fees and more fees...

HP Defective Recovery media. Recently we purchased HP recovery media for a customer's computer.  Try as we might, the media would not work.  After spending about an hour on the phone with HP's (poorly speaking) support team, they could not resolve this issue either, telling me I would have to ship them the computer and for a fee they would recover Windows.   The customer decided to scrap the computer instead and HP agreed to credit our account for the media.  Now going on three weeks, we still have not seen credit for the HP recovery media.

Don't forget!  Make the recovery media as soon as you get a new computer!

Earthlink email:  One of our customers has had an Earthlink email address for years, but with recent Xfinity/Comcast changes, he would lose that email account.  We contacted Earthlink (again poorly speaking support) who told us he could keep the email address for a monthly fee.  The fee was only $4.95 a month so well worth it to him, but here's the rub:  Because he would not sign up for automatic payments via a credit card (instead opting to pay by check), there is an additional $4.00 monthly fee.

Opinion

It's not just media bias!  Facebook spins news

Revisionist history or perhaps bias in the school systems?  Millennials believe George W. Bush killed more people than Stalin

Did we really need a "study" for this: Study of bat vocalizations shows they are communicating with one another

No matter which way the November election went, we're screwed!  Hopefully just a little less as it turned out.  With that in mind... 

Liberal: Open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.
(Apparently discarding common sense as well as simple mathematics.)

California's actual wall of debt is $443 billion. The state's complete and growing Wall of Debt reflects unsustainable budgeting practices.

 

Leaving you with

Election humor:


Remember...

Thanks for all the help over these years, Jeff...