Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Missing security and other tabs from the properties of C drive

To fix this corruption of the OS run

At the run box or Command Prompt type "regsvr32 rshx32.dll"

Friday, October 10, 2008

Default Usernames and Password

Comcast Business Router - SMC8014
Username - cusadmin
Password - highspeed

Friday, October 3, 2008

How to fix the logon / logoff loop problem in windows xp

I am going to copy this article from another site firstly because it is written well and secondly I don't have the time right now to write it myself. Lastly I don't want to lose the information that it holds so read on..

Gleened from http://www.logicnest.com/archives/90

I’m writing this post with the hope that it will be helpful to people who face the same computer predicament that I did a few days ago. Here’s a little bit of background information: Last Tuesday I met John Chol Daau, who is from Sudan. He grew up as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, forced to leave his home and wander hundreds of miles through Africa to survive. If you don’t know much about this particular humanitarian issue, I suggest spending a small amount of time reading up on it. Anyway, John told me that his PC was experiencing a debilitating virus, and asked if I would look at it. I said that I would. After spending quite a bit of time reading through various website forums, here’s a short description of the problem and its solution:

Problem: The PC (which runs Windows XP with SP2) starts normally. The Windows splash screen appears correctly and then the login prompt correctly loads. You can then enter your user name and password like normal, but as soon as you try to login you are IMMEDIATELY logged back out again. The desktop doesn’t even load. It moves immediately back to the login window where you can then enter your user name and password again. No matter how many times you try to login you always experience this immediate logout. Even if you try to login to the computer in safe mode you still experience the same problem. This problem is documented on Microsoft’s website here.

Solution: I’m sure this behavior can be caused by many different problems, but the most common cause is a virus. If you’re familiar with the Windows registry, this virus changes a few registry key values that makes it impossible to login to your computer. If you’re not familiar with the registry, don’t panic. I’ll post links to a few articles that very clearly explain how to fix this problem. Basically, the virus makes two very simple changes to your computer that render it useless. In order to fix the problem, you have to change these two things back to the way they were while your computer was working.

Easy Fix: The “easy” solution to this problem can be found here. In order to use this fix you have to have your Windows XP install CD. This is the CD that contains the files necessary to install the operating system on your computer. You probably have this disk stashed in a drawer somewhere. You should note that there’s a difference between the Windows XP install CD and the recovery CD that may have shipped with your computer. It’s actually possible that when you bought your computer that it didn’t actually come with a Windows XP install CD. Sometimes computer manufacturers will only ship you a recovery disk, which is altogether different. You need your Windows XP install CD so that you can run an application called the Recovery Console. The link above should provide documentation on how to use the Recovery Console. Unfortunately, this fix didn’t work for John’s computer, but it may work for yours.

Slightly Harder Fix: This fix is the one that ended up working to fix John’s computer. A detailed explanation of this fix can be found here. It requires you to have access to another Windows PC with a CD burner (even if it’s a friend’s computer). You have to download a program called BartPE, which is one of the greatest recovery tools that exists. For this particular problem, BartPE will enable you to quickly change the two settings that the virus messed up. You may need a Windows XP install CD for this method as well. But it may be possible for the program to find what it needs from your friend’s computer without having to have access to this disk.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. The above links should give you the tutorials you need to fix the problem. And if you use a PC you should use a virus protection program! If you don’t, you’re asking for trouble! Good luck!

The two sections that he links to are here.

Logon - Logoff loop, also caused by BlazeFind

Another critical symptom caused by this malware: This malware modifies the Userinit area in the registry (replacing the userinit.exe with wsaupdater.exe) and Ad-Aware (with a particular definition update) removes the wsaupdater.exe file from the system, thus causing the Logon - Logoff loop. That is, when you login to Windows, the 'loading personal settings" verbose will appear, but suddenly it will logoff. This issue was documented clearly by Lavasoftusa in it's Lavahelp Knowledgebase.

Here is the solution to the logon - logoff issue in Windows XP.

Enter the Recovery Console

Boot the system using the Windows XP CD-ROM. In the first screen when the Setup begins, read the instructions press "R" (in the first screen) enter the Recovery Console. Type-in the built-in Administrator password to enter the Console. You'll see the prompt reading C:\Windows (Or any other drive-letter where you've installed XP)

Type the following command and press Enter.

(If that does not work, try CHDIR SYSTEM32)


Quit Recovery Console by typing EXIT and restart Windows.

You'll be able to login successfully as you've created the wsaupdater.exe file (now, a copy of userinit.exe)

Now, change the USERINIT value in the registry (see Phase II in this page) and change it accordingly.


How to edit the registry offline using BartPE boot CD ?
Published: Sep 28, 2005

Bart's PE is a bootable live Windows CD that can be used to recover your system when in a disaster. Some situations may require you to do an offline registry editing, or modifications to the file system when you're unable to boot into Windows even from Safe Mode or Recovery Console. In such situations, BartPE boot CD is your ticket.

BartPE (Bart Preinstalled Environment) is a bootable Windows XP/Server 2003 CD-ROM, created from the original Windows installation CD. BartPE is extremely an useful tool for system maintenance and recovery. Though you may not need it immediately, create one for you and store it safely. You'll definitely need it some day or the other.

Creating a bootable CD-ROM
Visit Bart's site. See section Getting started in particular. The information given there helps you build a basic BartPE CD quickly. If you like, you can also add additional plugins (such as the ones for anti-virus, anti-spyware, disk imaging tools etc..) along with the BartPE CD.

Scenario - Incorrect registry value preventing you from logging on to your user account in Windows XP ?
In this example, a basic BartPE CD without any Plugins, has been used for illustration purposes. You may add as many Plugins as you want, depending upon your needs.

Verifying and fixing the Userinit value in the registry
If your PC is a victim of the Malware discussed in this article, and unable to login to your profile, then you'll need to fix the registry as discussed there. As you're unable to login, registry modification can only be done from a remote system, or via offline registry editing. This article discusses about offline registry editing.

Insert the BartPE CD into the drive, and boot the system from the CD. Once the file loading phase is over, the Bart PE desktop will be visible, as shown in Figure 1.
Type Regedit.exe in the prompt, and press Enter. Select the HKEY_USERS hive
From the File menu, choose the Load Hive option. Browse to your Windows installation drive, for example the following location:

Select the file named SOFTWARE (the file without any extensions), and click Open
Type a name for the hive that you've loaded now. (Example: MyXPHive)
Now the SOFTWARE hive is loaded, and present under the HKEY_USERS base hive.
In order to fix the Userinit value in the loaded hive, navigate to the following location:
HKEY_USERS \ MyXPHive \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Winlogon

Double-click Userinit and set it's value correctly. Example: Set it's data as follows:

(Include the trailing comma also. The above assumes that Windows is installed in C:\Windows, and Userinit.exe file is actually present in the System32 folder. You may want to verify that as well.)

After entering the correct data, you MUST unload the Hive. To do so, select MyXPHive branch, and then in the File menu, choose Unload Hive. It's important to note that you'll need to select the MyXPHive branch first, before unloading it.
Quit BartPE and restart Windows. See if you're able to logon to your profile.
BartPE is an excellent recovery and maintenance utility. If this tool has helped you, you may consider a donation for their excellent work, and to support the development of PE Builder. See Donations section in their site. BartPE is Copyright (c) 2000-2005 by Bart Lagerweij.

How to fix a pst file that is broken and larger then 2gigs

I have run into this issue a number of times now and quite honestly the first time it happened I let the customer down and told him to suck it up and act like a man and think about emptying out his deleted next time. (meaning I gave up), by the way this does not mean I didn't try to fix it.. I spent a number of hours on it..

Well the next time I spent a little more time on the issue and found the answer I was looking for.

There are two tools used in this fix, one that is in your C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OfficeXX it is called scanost.exe or scanpst.exe depending on what type of file you are trying to fix. PST is standard outlook personal folders and OST is offline exchange created when you run exchange in cached mode.

The second tool that you need to use is available from Microsoft called the Oversized PST Recovery Utility

I will not go into a step by step on how to do the fix I don't think it is neccisary seeing that the principle is all that you need to understand. Take the oversized PST tool run it and shave the pst file in question down to where the scanpst.exe can fix it. I recommend small chunks so that you don't lose many emails along the way. (think 25 megs a pop. The last one I did I had to run the program 4 times at 25 megs a piece and I ended up shaving 100 megs of emails (in case you cannot do the math yourself).

If you have any questions feel free to post a comment.