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Computer Help 


Elusive letters    Web surfing    Windows updates    Secure sites    Hijackware    IE6 & OE6 fixes    winsock repair    winsock2    Content Advisor    Microsoft bug    Squid proxy

Versions of these pages are also available at this site for those on the internal University of Queensland network.

Web surfing hints for Windows computers

On each computer:-

Please load all security updates.
Only use MS Internet Explorer if you can not view a particular web site using an alternative browser.
Only use MS Outlook or Outlook Express if you really need to, there are plenty of other email client that do not have as many security issues.
Install an anti-virus program, keep this up to date.
Install a software firewall that also checks outgoing data and email, keep updated.
Install anti-spyware software, keep updated.
Load security updates for all of the software loaded on the computer.

A typical home computer setup:-

MS Windows operating system, Auto-Update enabled.
Default Browser is Mozilla Firefox (free).
Default mail client is Mozilla Thunderbird (free).
Symantec AntiVirus loaded, update set to run every day (not free but there is free software available).
ZoneAlarm (free version) loaded for the firewall.

SpyBot, SpywareBlaster and Adaware loaded for anti-spyware software (free versions).

If you have a number of computers on a network or you use broadband you will also need to use a hardware firewall or at least a computer running a Linux solution such as Smoothwall (GPL project).

Back up your important data regularly so if something does go wrong you will not lose all your data.

Elusive letters

Have you ever tried to write up a document and can't find that special character you need? The little circle after a temperature in degrees or the funny accented 'e'; in café, these issues and others like it weigh heavily on the minds of our readers, well despair no more!

Extended symbols are a part of the normal ASCII code. You can access them with the numeric keypad on the right hand side of any keyboard.

First make sure your NUM LOCK button has been pressed so that Numeric keypad lock is ON. Hold down your ALT key with your left hand, enter a three digit code on the numeric keypad, then release the ALT key and the special character will be inserted. All ASCII codes can be generated in this way.
For example ALT 13 makes an ENTER command.

Useful ones are: ALT167 for degrees ALT130 for accented e or é ALT-171 for one half ½ ALT172 for one quarter ¼ ALT156 for pounds £ Stirling, ALT157 for the Yen symbol ¥ and so on.

Another bunch of characters are available in Microsoft Word with the standard font 'Symbol' . When you get to the tricky character, change from your normal font to the Symbol font, type in your special letter, then return to your previous font to continue.

In this way Ohms and Microfarad symbols can be the way nature intended them to be.

VK3BUF/GGREC Newsletter (apcnews December 4 2002)

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Windows updates

If you go to the windows update site and click on Personalize Windows update, there is an option to display Windows Update Catalog. Enable this option, which puts the Windows Update catalog down the left hand side menu.
If you go to this you are able to search for updates for the different versions of windows and save them locally, where they could then be stored on a shared drive or cd and used on other computers. Doing this, you only have to download the updates once and then they can be distributed to other machines.

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Can not access secure sites

Microsoft help page    http://www.windows-help.net/WindowsXP/troub-10.html

Dealing with Hijackware:


Ad-Aware and Spybot

You *must* seek updates for Ad-Aware, Spybot, etc. before each and every use, even "right out of the box".  But even then, they can't catch everything.

When all else fails, HijackThis    (http://www.merijn.org/files/hijackthis.zip) is the preferred tool to use.
It will help you to both identify and remove any hijackware/spyware.

Post your files to http://forums.spywareinfo.com/ or the Spyware forum at http://forum.aumha.org/ for expert analysis.

Microsoft help    http://www.microsoft.com/security/protect/

Also update your virus definitions and then run a full system scan.


Other help

Ad-aware : http://www.lavasoft.de/software/adaware/


HijackThis :

KL-Detector : http://dewasoft.com/privacy/kldetector.htm

SpyBot-S&D : http://spybot.eon.net.au/en/index.html

Trojan Remover : http://www.simplysup.com/

X-Cleaner Free : http://www.xblock.com/download-freeware.shtml

More IE6 and OE6 fixes

Try running System File Checker, this will take some time, maybe hours.
Click [Start] [Run] and type sfc /scannow in the [Open] box.
(Note that there is a space between sfc and /scannow)

You will be prompted to insert the Windows XP CD ROM so you will need to have this on hand.


Info on repairing Outlook Express 6:

I would try the IE6 repair tool first, then delete the user profile and make another one while logged on as Admin. Make sure you do not delete the only admin account!


Another method

Another method to try and correct any problems involves editing the registry and reinstalling Internet Explorer 6. If you are not experienced with editing the registry find some that is. Backup the registry first.

If you are having problems only with Internet Explorer 6, proceed as follows:

[Start] [Run] [Regedit]
Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed
Modify/Create the Value Data Type(s) and Value Name(s) as detailed below.
Data Type: DWORD // Value Name: IsInstalled
Setting for Value Data: [Change the Value from 1 to 0]
Exit Registry

If you are having problems only with Outlook Express 6, proceed as follows:

[Start] [Run] [Regedit]
Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed
Modify/Create the Value Data Type(s) and Value Name(s) as detailed below.
Data Type: DWORD // Value Name: IsInstalled
Setting for Value Data: [Change the Value from 1 to 0]
Exit Registry

If you are having problems with both Internet Explorer 6 and Outlook Express 6, proceed as follows:

Change the values in both of the registry keys as outlined above.
Exit Registry

Once you have made the appropriate registry changes download and install Internet Explorer 6. The Internet Explorer 6 download includes Outlook Express 6. Reboot and test for proper operation.  IE6 can also be found on many computer mag CDs, this will save the download.

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More winsock repair information and IE fixes

IE Repair

Description of the Internet Explorer Repair Tool

How to Reinstall or Repair Internet Explorer and Outlook Express in
Windows XP

Repair Internet Explorer 6


Windows Winsock2 Repair

Winsock2 Fix (Windows 98, 98SE, or Windows Me)     http://www.bu.edu/pcsc/internetaccess/winsock2fix.html

WinsockXPFix (Windows XP) WinsockXPFix.zip

LSP-FIX - Winsock 2 repair utility   http://cexx.org/lspfix.htm

Check out links on this site:  Counterexploitation    http://www.cexx.org/


To determine if the symptoms are caused by a problem with the Winsock2 key:

Method 1: Use Netdiag

To use Netdiag the Support Tools must be installed
Use a retail XP CD and follow the following steps to install the Support
 A) Insert the CD and browse to the Support\Tools folder
 B) Double-click on the setup file
 C) Go through the prompts until you get to the "Select An Installation
 D) Select Complete and click Next

Once setup completes or if the Support Tools are already installed:
A) Open a command prompt.
B) Type "netdiag /test:winsock" (without the quotes) and press Enter

It will return the test results for several network components including the Winsock.
For more details on the test, use /v at the end of the command.

Method 2: Use Msinfo32

NOTE: This method should only be used if they do not have a retail XP CD and the Support Tools are not installed.

Start Msinfo32 from the Run line
Expand Components, then Network and click on Protocol
You will have ten sections inside Protocol and the section headings will include
the following names if the Winsock2 key is clean:
1.)   MSAFD Tcpip [TCP/IP]
2.)   MSAFD Tcpip [UDP/IP]
3.)   RSVP UDP Service Provider
4.)   RSVP TCP Service Provider
5.)   MSAFD NetBIOS [\Device\NetBT_Tcpip...
6.)   MSAFD NetBIOS [\Device\NetBT_Tcpip...
7.)   MSAFD NetBIOS [\Device\NetBT_Tcpip...
8.)   MSAFD NetBIOS [\Device\NetBT_Tcpip...
9.)   MSAFD NetBIOS [\Device\NetBT_Tcpip...
10.) MSAFD NetBIOS [\Device\NetBT_Tcpip...

If the names are anything different from above, we either have corruption or a third-party add-on such as proxy software. If it is a third-party add-on, it will be named in the first two sections in replacement of the letters: MSAFD.

If there are more than ten sections, then there are third-party additions, if there are less then ten sections, we have information missing. 

NOTE: The above entries represent an installation with only the TCP/IP protocol installed.  You can have a working winsock and see additional entries if another protocol is installed.  For example, if you install NWLink IPX/SPX, you will see 7 additional sections, for a total of 17.  Below is an example heading of one of the new sections:
  MSAFD nwlnkipx [IPX]
Also note that each of the new sections created by installing NWLink IPX/SPX start with MSAFD, so there are still just two sections that do not begin with those letters.

If the Netdiag test fails or it is determined there is winsock corruption by looking at Msinfo32, we should repair the winsock2 key by following the steps below.

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How to Recover from Winsock2 corruption

Reinstall of the TCP/IP protocol to restore Winsock functionality

Step 1: Delete registry keys

A) Open Regedit from the Run line
B) Go to both of the following keys, export each of them, and then delete them:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Winsock  and
C) Restart the computer

NOTE: It is important to restart the computer after deleting the Winsock
Doing so causes the XP operating system to recreate shell entries for
those two
keys.  If this is not done, the next step does not work correctly.

Step 2: Install TCP/IP on top of itself

A) Open the properties window of the network connection
B) Click Install
C) Click Protocol, then Add
D) Click Have Disk
E) Type the path to the nettcpip.inf file, for example: c:\windows\inf, and click
OK (if you try to click Browse, then browse to the \inf folder, it may not show up in the list).
F) You should now see "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" in the list of available
protocols.  Select it and click OK.
G) Restart the computer

When the computer reboots you will have functional Winsock keys.

NOTE: If the network connection properties contained more than the following three items: Client for Microsoft Networks, File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks, and TCP/IP, then the additional items may need to be removed in order to restore browsing.  If those items are needed they can be reinstalled.
 The reason for removing them is due to those items placing entries into the Winsock keys and those entries will no longer be there.

Side effects and possible problems:

This method will restore basic functionality to the Winsock keys, but is not a complete rebuild. On a default install of Windows XP the registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Winsock2\ParametersProtocol_Catalog9\Catalog_Entries-will have 11 sub-keys. When applying this method, the Catalog_Entries will only have three sub-keys.  However, it works and there does not appear to be any side effects.  The missing entries relate back to the:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces key.
Also, third-party proxy software or firewalls may need to be reinstalled.

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How to Remove the Content Advisor Password in Internet Explorer

The following steps will remove any password set in the Internet Explorer Content Advisor and allow you to reset the program to
its original state. Seems to work in IE 3.xx through 6.xx

Click on Start and choose Run.
Type in RegEdit and select OK.
Now click on the little plus sign to the left of H_KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
Continue to drill down, always clicking on the plus sign at the left of the named key, through [+]Software, [+]Microsoft, [+]Windows, [+]Current Version and [+]Policies.
Now click on the Ratings folder.
In the right pane of the RegEdit window, you'll see an icon called Key.
Click on it and press Delete.
Next, choose Registry and then Exit to exit RegEdit. You've just deleted your original Content Advisor password.
Restart the computer and run Internet Explorer again.
Choose View and then Internet Options (or Options for IE version 3.x)
Click on the Content tab and click on Disable. When asked for a password, don't enter anything; just click on OK. This will disable Content Advisor because there's no longer a password.

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Microsoft bug

Microsoft bug    http://craznar.com/bug.html

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Squid proxy servers

Information about Squid

Why URLs with spaces in them will not work

Squid handles spaces in a URL according to the standard http specifications which is for all spaces to be represented as %20.
Some browsers allow spaces in URLs but this is not the standard so even if your browser has accepted spaces previously, the Squid proxy does not.
If you wish to access a URL which contains spaces, you need to replace all spaces with %20 when you type it in. If you have bookmaked any URLs which contain spaces you will need to bookmark them again or manually edit the URL stored in the bookmark. Your browser's help files should provide instructions on manually editing bookmarks.

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