Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) has been around for some time and has proved to be a popular, free anti-virus program. In this guide, I’ll show you how to configure MSE, what all the options mean, and some advanced tips to make the program run optimally for you.
- Windows Vista
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- Windows 7
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Windows Forums member and owner of Real Security, geohac, has updated his comprehensive guide to help users remove malware from their PC. In the guide, geohac covers steps you should take to prepare for removal such as disabling proxy servers (to give you a better chance at getting online and getting to the sites you need for virus removal software.) The guide then goes on to show you how to boot into safe mode to fight a virus (something we recommend ourselves) and then shows you which tools you should use to remove a virus (downloading these tools on a non-infected PC is the safest bet and making sure, if you have to use a USB drive to transfer the files, that you don’t put the same, now potentially infected, thumb drive back in the clean PC.)
Previously, we showed you how to download Windows 7 and Burn it to a disc/put it on a thumb drive.
Having the whole operating system on disc isn’t necessary if you just need to repair your Windows installation. Recovering or repairing your current installation of Windows is favorable because most recovery software that comes with brand name PCs will wipe your PC back to factory settings.You should have a repair disc on hand to deal with the following situations:
- You’ve made a change to your PC and it now won’t boot into Windows
- You get a message such as NTLDR is missing but your hard drive has not failed
- You get a virus on your PC and need command line access to fix the issue
- Windows starts to boot and then your PC power cycles
In this guide:
- How to make a Windows 7 repair disc yourself
- How to make a Windows 7 repair USB drive
- How to boot from a disc/USB drive and use it to repair your PC
Note: A repair disc cannot be used to install Windows and provides no functionality beyond that of a Windows installation disc. If you already have an installation disc, you can use that for system recovery.
In my last article (An Explanation of the Pros and Cons of Using RAID on Your Computer), we discussed the problem of heat build-up during the very hot Auckland summer months and how a RAID 5 configuration with 4 disks can sustain the failure of a single disk. RAID protections provide one part of what should be an overall strategy to protect your data and your computer from heat.
In this piece we divert a bit from our standard hardware/software fare and look at the computing environment as a whole. We will postulate that a tidy workspace is, in fact, a happy workspace and suggest a few tricks to make your work-space more productive and more comfortable.
The three biggest factors driving the design of my workspace are heat, noise and clutter. If I can minimise these three and maximize my computing power and productivity (all within family budget constraints, of course), I will have archived the objective.
A Live CD is an actual Windows Installation that you carry with you on a USB Flash Drive or CD/DVD. The Windows Installation is portable, meaning that you can have your own windows running on any PC you encounter. The Live CDs are most commonly used to repair computers that have crashed or to rescue data from a hard drive before doing a fresh installation. The great thing about a Live CD is that it does not alter anything on the computer you use (almost like a sandbox). You boot the computer as if it is your own (from the CD/DVD or USB). You can pre-install all the software you like, making it available no matter where you are. Sort of a Laptop, but without the hardware.
In the Linux World it has been around for years ( and as Windows XP). But Windows 7, well it’s been a longer road. You have of course been able to download illegal Windows Live Copies on the net for a while – but now at last I am able to show you have to create your own legal copy (for your personal use), provided you own a Windows Setup Disk and license.
Enough chit chat, let’s get on with it…
|Windows Guides’ Rating||Compatible with||System|
|4 out of 5|
|PROS: Easy. No Expertise needed, what so ever. Just run it, follow the wizard.
CONS: Still in Beta. But that’s about it
VERDICT: If you are looking for a simple solution to create bootable Setup disks. This is the tool for you. It takes no more than 5 minutes to complete.
VERSION REVIEWED: 0.7.0000 (BETA)
I know, there are many solutions on how to create a Bootable Installation Disk for Windows. In a post (not too long ago) Rich showed you how to do exactly that – “the old-fashioned way” (Read it Here). Now I bring you a great piece of freeware to do the job for you: WinToFlash. Don’t get me wrong, the “old school” still works, and good too. But if you feel uneasy using tools without a familiar GUI interface, then WinToFlash is the way to go.
Win2Flash is still in beta and does not (yet) come with an installation package. Simply Unzip the files to a folder and you are set.