Choose Theme

Find the Sexy Nerd Next Door? 

Otaku Chat “Generic PC Hardware discussion thread.” by Frito

item
Member
WWNSX 2 years ago on 01/03/12
Equipped: Bar of Soap named "1st Rule of OB Club:You Do Not Talk About OB Club!"
KHAAAAAAN!!!!!!!!!! said:
Well I'm wondering if I'm doing everything I'm supposed to be doing in terms of protecting my PC. I use Norton and the Norton INternet Security, and 360. I have a program that cleans up registry errors, and I use malwarebytes. Anything else I sho...


If you're keeping the hardware on your desk so it's not sucking in the carpet dust that's the first smart thing you're doing.

Norton has been bad since the 2002 version for me. I use Eset Smarty Security for firewall and anitvirus. For Spyware I use Spybot and superantispyware free every week to scan, and also SpywareBlaster.

I don't use MSE because it just looks too user friendly for me and I need to get to the advanced user settings besides having the program not use that much memory ESET Nod32/Smart Security does that for me.
item
Member
John Booty 2 years ago on 01/03/12
Equipped: Sparkledonkey's Gallbladder
Wow. You guys seriously run all that AV crap?

Man, that's the kind of stuff I put on old peoples' computers because they don't know not to click on .EXEs from Nigeria in their email. You guys ought to know better.

Serious question: how would you even get a virus?

I've been running DOS and Windows since before 3.1 and haven't gotten a virus since the early 90s when my friend gave me a floppy full of virus-infected games he downloaded from a BBS. Which sucked, because 4D Boxing looked awesome.

I actually have serious philosophical issues with antivirus/antimalware software; it's software built on terrifying the user.
item
Member
John Booty 2 years ago on 01/03/12
Equipped: Sparkledonkey's Gallbladder
How To Never Ever Have Security Issues

1.) Windows Firewall is fine. Seriously, blocking a port is not that complicated.

2.) Don't run questionable .EXE's.

3.) If you do download software from torrent sites (I do!) be very selective. For example, if you get it from Pirate Bay, only run stuff from VIP's and moderators with a lot of positive user feedback.

4.) Microsoft Security Essentials is fine. I keep it installed, with realtime scanning disabled. I run a manual scan on anything possibly dodgy I receive, like if a coworker mails me a Word doc or something. Occasionally I turn on realtime scanning while installing something questionable.

5.) Run something other than Internet Explorer. IE9 is actually quite good, but Internet Explorer is generally what malware authors target because IE still has like 50% market share.

6a.) Windows 7's backup tools are really nice. Throw an old hard drive into a $19 USB toaster dock and have continuous backups running "just in case."

6b.) Clone your boot drive now and then. Easiest way I've found: burn a bootable .ISO of Ghostzilla.



It all basically boils down to "don't do really stupid shit" and "have a backup in case you accidentally do something stupid, because we all do stupid shit once in a while."

It's fucking 2012. There is no need to shit up your PC with constantly-running "security" software that is designed to insult, confuse, and terrify the user.
PS: I initially didn't post this because I didn't want to insult anybody's intelligence but just in case it needs stating: stay current with everything Microsoft pushes down via Windows Update.
PS: The entire psychology of consumer-level antimalware software is literally straight out of Abusive Relationships 101. Think of every abusive male significant other you've ever seen in a relationship. It's all about the abusive dude hurting the woman over and over while simultaneously scaring her into thinking that she needs him, right?
item
Member
Kumba 2 years ago on 01/03/12
Equipped: Most Amazing Thing Ever!!!! named "Silmarils, gems of treelight"
Malwarebytes isn't that bad, but yeah, I'm also in the pool of people that simply do not run AV software at all. Though, unlike Booty, I don't even run backups right now. Eventually, I'll get this old HP StorageWorks 1/8 working to back some stuff up.

I'll add a few more tips:

1. Use this HOSTS files. It will shutdown a large majority of third-party sites from being reachable, including many advertising sites, trackers, and quite a few malware/adware-based places. If IE is the only browser you use, at least use this, as it'll protect IE to an extent.
http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm

2. It goes without saying that if you run Firefox, use AdBlock Plus (disable the new "non-intrusive" advertising feature), and the AdBlock Extensions bit. Other add-ons like NoScript, RequestPolicy, BetterPrivacy, etc, are optional depending on your level of paranoia/security.

3. On social sites, watch out for what you click on. Especially if it is a link that claims to go to some kind of "funny" video. It might be harmless link farming, or it could be malicious. You never know, so just simply don't do it. If you really have to, hover on the link and copy the domain down, then google the domain and see if any of the top hits suggest what its trustworthiness/reliability are.

4. Phishing and Spearphishing: basically e-mail messages that try to trick you into giving up personal information or execute shady attachments, including Office documents and PDF files (yes, PDF's contain active content, and yes, this content can potentially be malicious). If it looks bad or not legit, especially if it from your bank or sites like Facebook, Paypal, etc, then it probably is! If you think a family member or relative has been compromised and you received a suspect message something from them, let them know and make sure they reach out to anyone who might have also received such a message.

5. Smartphones: Malicious smartphone apps are making it through the security checks into app stores, so you need to be careful on what apps you download to your phone these days. Some are probably harmless in the sense that they provide a pointless game in return for unannounced location tracking or some other metric. Some might be more malicious than that. Not owning a proper smartphone, I am not real certain, but I have seen this issue crop up multiple times in tech media, so be vigilant.
PS: 4th paragraph should read: If it looks bad or not legit, especially if it claims to be from your bank or sites like Facebook, Paypal, etc, then it probably is!
item
Member
Rexall 2 years ago on 01/03/12
Equipped: Totoro Plushie named "when i think of you...ooooh..."
The only AV/Firewall software I run is Vipre Internet Security. I've been a big fan of theirs since 2010. It takes up low resources, which is a big plus in my book.

I'm not a fan of Windows Security Essentials or Windows Firewall. I just feel that since IE has so many loopholes, I can imagine once someone gets control of your computer, windows firewall & security essentials are not going to help.

I do like your idea of backups on an old hdd or a boot drive. I've never done either, I may reach out to you on that.
item
Member
John Booty 2 years ago on 01/03/12
Equipped: Sparkledonkey's Gallbladder
I said:
1.) Windows Firewall is fine. Seriously, blocking a port is not that complicated.


I forgot to mention. This assumes you're behind a router, since most routers do basic NAT/firewall stuff. In other words, it assumes you're not plugged straight into the cable modem.

Rexall said:
I'm not a fan of Windows Security Essentials or Windows Firewall. I just feel that since IE has so many loopholes, I can imagine once someone gets control of your computer, windows firewall & security essentials are not going to help.


Haha. Well, hmm. I totally agree with "once someone gets control of your computer windows firewall & security essentials are not going to help."

We're sort of getting into the philosophy of security here.

An infected file sitting on your computer isn't a problem until you try and run that file.

At that point, I consider everything on the hard drive toast because you really don't know what's happened and you're never 100% sure the damage has been repaired. Third-party AV software tries to sell you on the concept of "disinfecting" your PC, which is absurd.

So I don't have an opinion on what anybody should do once they're infected, or which software might handle it better. In my professional opinion the only realistic option is "nuke it from orbit."

Which is actually really painless these days - way less painless than disinfection.
item
Member
Beltane 2 years ago on 01/03/12
Equipped: Hide (Leopard Hat Ver.) named "He's not really dead, he's just resting!"
I'm proud to say that I've never had a computer virus, either!
item
Member
John Booty 2 years ago on 01/03/12
Equipped: Sparkledonkey's Gallbladder
Sorry, I accidentally posted the same thing twice. Reposting as a... single thing.

------

So in part two here I'll mention how to actually do the things I recommend. Shockingly (and I really am kind of shocked; that's not sarcasm) these guides from Microsoft are good:

Windows 7 backups:
http://...microsoft.com/...-US/windows7/Back-up-your-files

Windows 7 bootable system image backups:
http://...microsoft.com/...grams-system-settings-and-files

Ideally you use at least two drives ($19 USB toaster-style drive docks are your friend) and you keep the regular backups connected 24/7 so they can do their thing in the background, and then make a bootable system image once in a while. The idea here is that if your computer gets infected, any connected external drives are at risk as well. If you're less paranoid, you can just use one disk.

So that's my strategy. Common sense and simple anti-malware tools mean you'll probably get never get a virus, and your solid backup/restore setup means that a system restore is no big deal..
item
Member
tranoid no ki 2 years ago on 01/03/12
Equipped: Embarassing Yaoi Fanfiction by LostDecoy named "The Adventures of Junun and Dio"
I'm actually kinda in the same boat as you John. I really don't do stupid shit, it's kinda just there as a "Hey I might have fucked up, wanna check out this file real quick?" kinda thing. It's just become something automatically installed over time, like opening IE for the first time and going to www.getfirefox.com. I usually FORGET to set the damn thing up, but it's really just for scanning a few files, and when it DOES pop shit up, it's false positives anyway.
item
Member
Barney Stinson 2 years ago on 01/03/12
Equipped: Handcuffs named "For Police Chief Marth, controllin anime hooligans"
Where is Lewis? He should be in on this conversation giving his views on Norton!
 
Member
SuitJamas 2 years ago on 01/03/12
Ok to make Gavin happy I will. First of all let me state I don't know that much about this sort of stuff. For me, I feel there is no harm in using Norton. It might save me from a virus if I'm careless. Also, the newer AVs really are not a drain on resources anymore.
From what I hear NOrton on its own is not really worth paying for as there are AVs that are just about as good for free. They had a deal at Norton where u got AV, Norton Internet Security, and 360, for 40 bucks.
Norton doesn't seem to bother me that often to approve things, I think Windows 7 actually does that a lot more.
I do need to get into backing my shit up though. I'll probably buy an external drive to do that. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with my awesome new USB 3.0 ports, but I guess fast backup is one cool thing.
PS: Oh yeah, one last thing. What about cleaning up registry errors? Is this that big of a deal? I use Advanced Registry Registry Optimizer.
item
Member
John Booty 2 years ago on 01/04/12
Equipped: Sparkledonkey's Gallbladder
SuitJamas said:
Oh yeah, one last thing. What about cleaning up registry errors? Is this that big of a deal?

Scam, generally. It's another example of terrify-the-user software.

What is a registry error, anyway?

If the registry is corrupted and unreadable, Windows will revert to an earlier version.

There could be invalid entries in the registry. An invalid registry entry would be something like... suppose Microsoft Word had a registry key called ShowPolkaDotBackgroundOnThursdays. MSWORD.EXE expects the value of that key to be 0 or 1, but somehow you managed to make it have a value of Broccoli. What would a "registry fixing" program really be able to do about that? It doesn't really know what values every single program in the world is expecting for every single possible registry key.

What about unused registry entries, like from software you've uninstalled? Aren't those going to make your system "bloated?"

The short answer is no. The slightly longer answer is that Windows reads the registry into memory when you boot up. The registry is parsed into a tree that can be searched extremely quickly - the kind of thing where you'd have to double or triple the size of the registry to even begin to perceptibly affect the speed at which it can be searched. A few hundred or even a few thousand extra registry entries aren't going to slow your system down and aren't going to add more than a few kilobytes of memory usage.

For me, I feel there is no harm in using Norton. It might save me from a virus if I'm careless. Also, the newer AVs really are not a drain on resources anymore.


It's not so much "harm" as... just kind of a dishonest scare-the-user relationship and that fact that if a virus does slip through, you're still boned without a backup/recovery solution.

In general, Windows 7/2008 is really good at taking care of itself. I've been using 7 daily since the RC previews and I don't use any "maintenance" type software. There was actually little need for that stuff in XP/2003 either, especially since XP SP2.
item
Member
John Booty 2 years ago on 01/04/12
Equipped: Sparkledonkey's Gallbladder
Just as an aside, I always find the backups thing funny. OSX and Windows both have really good backup features built in - both can silently back up your changed files to an external drive quietly and seamlessly.

OSX's version is called Time Machine and the interface can only be described as some kind of Fisher-Price video game. Even those of us that like Macs think it's funny. But the really key difference is that if you don't have Time Machine configured, whenever you connect a new external hard drive OSX asks you, "Do you want to use this drive for Time Machine backups?" If you choose yes, you're all set and you never really have to think about it again. And if you answer no, OSX remembers that particular drive and won't ask you about using Time Machine on it again.

From a technical perspective, Windows' built-in file backup thing is at least as good and it's been around since XP. But prior to Windows 7 the interface was so horrible that nobody used it. Now with Windows 7 the interface is pretty good, but you're not prompted to use it by default, so people either don't know about it or assume that it still sucks.

The result is that there's a whole cottage industry of Windows backup software that exists solely to duplicate the pretty good backup software that ships for free with Windows except nobody knows about it. This is true for quite a few categories of "maintenance" software.

The moral of the story is not "Macs are better." The moral of the story is that Windows 7 is really good in quite a few ways that most people don't know about. Windows sucked for so long that we're all kind of conditioned to think that it needs a bunch of add-ons just to function properly, which it doesn't.

So now Microsoft is in the awkward position of knowing that a bunch of its largest software vendors (Norton, etc) make software that is largely irrelevant or redundant. But it doesn't want to, you know, fuck those companies over by talking about Windows 7's features too much.
item
Member
WWNSX 2 years ago on 01/04/12
Equipped: Bar of Soap named "1st Rule of OB Club:You Do Not Talk About OB Club!"
As far as registry cleans it's not necessary now on windows 7. even MS thinks so.

http://...microsoft.com/...Are-registry-cleaners-necessary

if you just have to use one then google ccleaner as it lets you review any entries you're going to delete and if you don't' understand them just leave it alone and don't delete anything.

Registry cleaning does nothing and speeds up nothing. as far as size mine takes up about 110mb which is not a lot

item
 
Killian 2 years ago on 01/04/12
Equipped: Spike Spiegel's Gun (Jericho 94) named "Big Bang"
John Booty said:
How To Never Ever Have Security Issues
6b.) Clone your boot drive now and then. Easiest way I've found: burn a bootable .ISO of Ghostzilla.


What is this exactly? Could you explain it more? I have an idea but I'm not sure and when I googled Ghostzilla I got a web browser that disguises itself.
item
Member
John Booty 2 years ago on 01/04/12
Equipped: Sparkledonkey's Gallbladder
Killian said:
What is this exactly? Could you explain it more?


Sure. When you clone your drive you're just making an exact bootable copy of it.

As opposed to just like, copying all the files from your C:\ drive over to an external drive. That wouldn't be bootable. Typically you clone your drive offline - ie, you boot up from something else (LiveCD, special Acronis TrueImage boot thingy, etc) to do the cloning. The reason for this is because it's tough to clone a Windows installation while it's running because of all the "special" files (registry, page file, etc) that are constantly in use.

Also, I mixed up the name of the thingy. It's Clonezilla, not Ghostzilla. http://clonezilla.org/ You download the Clonezilla .ISO, burn it, and boot from it. Then you have some fairly easy to use utilities for cloning.

There are alternatives to Clonezilla, free and non-free. I used Norton Ghost for years too. Same thing, really. I haven't tried them all.

Windows' built-in backup stuff apparently lets you make a bootable system image now. I don't know too much about that. It's possible that the need to clone will be obsolete at some point! In OSX, and maybe Linux, you can clone a running system.
item
Member
WWNSX 2 years ago on 01/04/12
Equipped: Bar of Soap named "1st Rule of OB Club:You Do Not Talk About OB Club!"
With Windows 7 easily breaking the 10GB installation mark you're probably better off getting a spare hard drive and cloning the install to that once hard drive prices lower.

Outside of that I think you'd be burning a ISO to multiple dual Layer DVD's or a dual layer Blu-ray if that's even supported.

My current windows directory alone clocks in at 20GB.
 
Member
SuitJamas 2 years ago on 01/04/12
Couldn't I burn a bootable Windows file to a thumb drive? Seems like a good excuse for me to finally do something with my USB 3.0 port. Also, in terms of Norton, isn't it of some value that when I'm surfing the web, Norton will identify the safe websites? Or is that just crap? Just wondering.
item
Member
WWNSX 2 years ago on 01/05/12
Equipped: Bar of Soap named "1st Rule of OB Club:You Do Not Talk About OB Club!"
You could make a bootable Windows 7 USB stick to use for installing it; I'm not sure if that would be a good idea for usage though.
item
Member
Chrispy 2 years ago on 01/05/12
Equipped: The Most Annoying Fairy Ever named "Hey! Listen! Hey! Hey! Listen!"
So, I've been having a rough time. My boot disk is a 60gb SSD, and it seems to run out of space WAY too quickly. I'm already using Steam Mover to push my Steam games onto an internal 2TB HDD. I'd do the same with my boot, but I really want the flashy quick boot an SSD provides.

Should I just bite the bullet and ghost the whole thing onto a bigger (and more expensive) SSD to make room for Diablo III? Or is there a way I can install many of my applications such as Open Office and Pidgin onto my HDD?

You need a paid membership to reply to this thread.

Paid memberships are four bucks a month or twenty bucks a year. Cheap!

However, creating an account is free. Members without paid accounts can use a lot of the site's features without ever paying anything.

Be awesome. Create an account!

Geek dating and social networking for awesome people.

Sign Up. Join OtakuBooty!

OtakuBooty is where smart, funny, sexy nerds meet. Creating an account is free. Full membership is $4/month or $15/year. Cheap!

Press People. Need material? Cover OB for your site, blog, podcast, magazine, or what-have-you.  More info »

Want Your Stuff Reviewed By OB? Just send us your press releases and requests to review your products.