09 August, 2017

Is ScanGuard Safe? Suggested After Windows 10 Creators Update?

Microsoft Security Essentials
Microsoft Security Essentials (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I run Windows 10 Creators Update. One of the first articles that are listed in Microsoft Edge is the supposedly 'a must' ScanGuard installation - to protect your PC.

I am not sure if this is the first time I hear or read about ScanGuard antivirus, so I did a quick search.

Surprise, surprise!

About a year ago, many people threw all kinds of negative comments on this product, many veered away without even touching it, and many to tried it anyway, ended up uninstalling it. Reason? Creates thousands of false positive alarms!

It was not a good antivirus product and the company who made it, well, is new. Not yet established in the playing field.

What's the suggestion then? Use Microsoft Security Essentials, or Windows Defender. Or Malwarebytes. Even the free version of MBAM will do. Personally, I use Malwarebytes, and I'm sticking with it. And long years before, I did use Windows Defender and was contented with it.

So why would Windows endorse such a kind of product? I wouldn't know.

But for now, I will be waiting and on the lookout for fresh developments. One year and there should be much progress, who knows?

I guess those who have anything to say, well, all are welcome to leave their comments here, thank you!

Till then!

28 July, 2017

Yahoo Bizmail SMTP Settings Configuration Problem

English: SMTP transfer model Blue arrows can b...
English: SMTP transfer model Blue arrows can be implemented by SMTP variations (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lately, yahoo bizmail SMTP settings or configuration throws error. The password is not being accepted. Despite confirming it to be correct!

And if you try to search for solutions and resolutions, all that will be offered is the usual procedure for setting up a new account, POP e-mail, IMAP e-mail, keying in the user name, full e-mail and password, and the servers:

pop.bizmail.yahoo.com, port 995, SSL security
smtp.bizmail.yahoo.com, port 465, SSL security, if not, TLS and SSL security

and the usual More Settings.

But despite entering, checking and verifying at least 3 times that all the entries are correct, only incoming mail goes okay and Test passes and is marked ‘Completed’, but not for incoming mail, which uses SMTP: it will keep on asking for your password, then eventually, is marked ‘Failed’.

So what really is the problem?

It could be Yahoo SMTP Server problem, as it happened to so many users.

But one solution that I found is this: register inetcomm.dll.

I also needed to use my personal laptop, which has my personal e-mail, so that I cannot touch. But being more comfortable using my own, I just wanted to ‘add in’ my work e-mail using the same application: Microsoft Outlook.

So, I just proceed to add a new account, entered everything correctly, key in my password, and naturally, ran into the SMTP ‘enter password’ issue.

I tried everything that I can find on the web, but nothing. Nada. Zilch. Still the same problem on the SMTP outgoing mail, asking for a password, even though it is the correct password already.

Then I found one article that threw a few possible suggestions, but on top is to register inetcomm.dll:

Open up an elevated-privilege command prompt session
1. Press Windows key + R
2. In the box, type cmd
3. Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter

Go to C:\Windows\System32
1. Type C: if you are not in C: drive
2. Type cd\ and press Enter
3. Type cd windows\system32 and press Enter (Windows\System32 also can)
4. Then finally, type regsvr32 inetcomm.dll and press Enter
5. An error will be reported, but just ignore that and close the opened box.

That’s it!

This is all that fixed the problem on the outgoing mails for Yahoo's smtp.bizmail.yahoo.com, using port 465. And I have confirmed it on my own account, as on other users. I am setting up a few laptops running Windows 10 64 bit and using Microsoft Outlook 2010. Mine is Windows 10 64 bit and Microsoft Outlook 2007.

Try it!

16 July, 2017

Remote data not accessible: Excel 2016

English: Illustration of subroutine in Microso...
English: Illustration of subroutine in Microsoft Excel that reads the x-column, squares it, and writes the squares into the y-column. All proprietary Microsoft art work has been cropped to leave a generic spreadsheet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Use of user-defined function in Micro...
English: Use of user-defined function in Microsoft Excel. All proprietary Microsoft art work has been cropped to leave a generic spreadsheet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
16 July 2017, 10:20 PM

Remote data not accessible:
To access this data Excel needs to start another application. Some legitimate applications on your computer could be used maliciously to spread viruses or damage your computer. Only click Yes if you trust the source of theis workbook and you want to let the workbook start the application. Start application 'SV.EXE'?  YES NO

I am working on PcVue data extraction using Excel 2016. That was the response thrown by Excel after I typed "=SV|DB!DATE" and pressed [Enter].

Of course, I clicked on YES, but then again, this is the result:

“Cannot run ‘SV.EXE’.  The program or one of its components is damaged or missing.”

Beats me!

This is another one of those DDE nightmares, where the support for a legacy system is required even when already using Windows 10 64 bit and Excel 2016.

I searched for more articles using the string "remote data not accessible" and well, I got some from Technet, and some from Microsft forums, and some scattered Q&A here and there, even in StackOverflow. And I think the solution was derived from one of the Microsoft forums Q&A.

The advice is to make Excel run as Admin. So I did that. I modified the shortcut of Excel 2016 to make it execute, 'Run as administrator'.

And yes, it worked! I was able to extract data from PcVue iNexus 10/11.2 into Excel using DDE!

Then the C# program wouldn't still work, though.

But getting the idea from what I did to Excel, I looked for the compiled program, set it also to execute and 'Run as administrator', well, what do you know?

It also worked!

So while I cannot make use of DDE through Visual Studio's Ctrl+F5. I just do a build, set the compiled exe file's property to 'Run ad administrator', and voila! It would be working like a charm!

I hope this helps somebody working on the same legacy system, DDE, and still make it work.

Till then!

How to remove Launchpage.org from Chrome, Firefox, IE and Edge

English: Browser usage share on Wikimedia Foun...
English: Browser usage share on Wikimedia Foundation projects on June 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
16 July 2017

Launchpage.org is another version of browser hijacker that seems to easily slip in without detection. And it took over my Maxthon browser's homepage. Fortunately, I have some other security settings turned on that checks for certificates. And this prevented my home pages from being replaced by launchpage.org.

Now I am not sure if there are installed programs that come with launchpage.org, but all I know is that the start icon is all that gets modified, specifying launchpage.org as the home page. So fixing that is all I will be discussing here.

Check that the Start page of your browser is not Launchpage.org. For Chrome, Firefox, Maxthon, that will be via Settings. For IE and Edge, that will be via Options.

Check also the shortcut of each and every browser. Right click on it, then on Properties, then change on Target. There should be nothing after the call to the program itself, for example, this is for Chrome:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe"

I have seen "launchpage.org..." something, something after "...\chrome.exe", so I removed that.

Do the same for the shortcuts of Firefox, Maxthon, IE and Edge, and whatever other browsers you use. On many occasions, checking on the browser's start page and the shortcut properties will already solve the problem and you would have already eliminated launchpage.org.

If not, then you do a check on installed programs via Control Panel, or by typing 'uninstall a program" or "programs and features" in the Windows Pearl 'Search Windows' box. Anything that doesn't seem to belong to a legit company, or anything that has a fishy name, or the company name is blank, you exercise your own judgment, and clean up and remove any of these programs.

Resetting the browser setting will reset everything, so to me, that is the last recourse that I will suggest.

Well, I hope that in this short article, you will be able to remove Launchpage.org from your browser, and you get your browser back.

Till then!

08 July, 2017

How To Remove Cleanserp.net Search Engine Hijacker From Chrome

Logo used from the start of the Chrome project...
Logo used from the start of the Chrome project until March 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
July 8, 2017

Recently I was plagued by cleanserp.net search engine taking over Google. I do a search and out comes cleanserp.net taking over Google.com, and that is even when you type Google.com in the web address!

I let this happen for a couple of days, until I got fed up. I was thinking that it was a bit difficult to remove this search engine browser hijacker, but my curiosity got the better of me.

So I did a search, and guess what? It is easy enough, easier than I expected, even if it were to be done manually.

I'm not telling anything anymore about what cleanserp.net is, of how it got into your computer, and what it does, and more.

So here are the steps:

1. Check the browser shortcut by doing right-click on it, then Properties. If after the .exe it shows "http://cleanserp.net", remove that. Then click on OK.

2. Change your startup page, it must not be "http://cleanserp.net".

3. Uninstall any program that may be related to anything rogue or questionable. Since you know your computer better, you know what you are installing, and anything that doesn't look like a legit program, you uninstall these.

Specific to Google Chrome, if changing the search engine throws out “This setting is enforced by your administrator”, try the following (this is what fixed my problem):

1. Open %WINDIR%\System32\GroupPolicy folder (just copy that path and paste into the address bar of Windows Explorer). Delete the contents of that folder.

2. Next, open %WINDIR%\System32\GroupPolicyUsers and delete all of its contents.

3. Finally, restart your computer.

There is a possibility that a few more minutes will be added than before to your computer's restart process, but that is just the first time reboot after doing the change. it would return to normal afterwards.

Some more info can be got here: How to Remove Cleanserp.net [Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge]

Hope this helps.

Thank you, and till then!