Tuesday, February 20, 2018
News Roundup

Solutions: Create a bootable CD to remove rootkit virus

I went to check my firewall settings and it was off. When I tried to turn it back on, I received error code 0x80070424. I went to advance setting, I received the following:

"There was an error opening the Windows firewall with advanced security snap-in. The Windows firewall with advanced security snap-in failed to load. Restart the Windows firewall service on the computer you're managing. Error code: 0x6d9."

That particular error is usually indicative of an active rootkit virus. These can be very tough to remove. Your current antivirus has probably been disabled by the virus. You need to boot to a stand-alone image outside of Windows before running any kind of antivirus. Microsoft Defender Offline allows you to do this by creating a bootable CD with the antivirus scanner built-in. Go to www.tinyurl.com/tbt11 to read more about this process and to make your CD.

SuperAntispyware free edition version 5.6 is not a true antivirus. It is an anti-spyware program. My recommendation once your PC is back to normal is to install Microsoft Security Essentials without adding SuperAntispyware.

I'm running Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 9. My computer is running too slow. It takes at least 5 seconds before IE boots up. Can you give some advice on what action I can take to speed it up? I see a bunch of programs that claim to accomplish this, however, I am afraid that they could cause more harm than good.

Run Internet Explorer in no-addon mode: Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Internet Explorer (No Add-ons). If it now starts up faster, you'll need to examine which add-ons are causing the issues. Go to Tools, Manage Add Ons and disable everything other than what is related to your antivirus. You can then re-enable them one at a time, restarting Internet Explorer in between to see which add-on is the problem. If you have any of those add-on toolbars, my recommendation is to uninstall them and remove them from your system. You may also want to think about updating to the latest Internet Explorer version 10. It runs more efficiently than the previous versions.

I used to do several preventive actions every day after logging on such as delete cookies, etc., to keep my computer running well. Can you tell me what I should be doing daily? Is it possible to delete cookies without also deleting saved passwords?

I wouldn't fixate on deleting cookies. They're not impacting your PCs performance in any measurable way, and the useful ones exist to make your Web activity more convenient. If you're concerned about "tracking cookies," go to Tools, Safety, Tracking Protection and add and activate one of the many tracking lists available.

Occasionally run the Windows Disk Cleanup tool to clear out various temp/cache and dump files. If your free disk percentage is low (less that 15 percent) you should also defrag your hard drive every now and then, but on a typical system with sufficient RAM and free disk space, speed improvements here are minimal. The best thing you can do to keep your PC running efficiently is to give it less to do. Make sure you're not starting any unnecessary programs at startup.

Send questions to [email protected] or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

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