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Solutions: Offline booting tool helps stop virus' intrusion

I use Microsoft Security Essentials and Malwarebytes Antimalware. I was doing fine until a few days ago when I got a virus called XP Antispyware 2012. How does this virus penetrate MS Security Essentials and Malwarebytes Antimalware?

Chances are the virus was able to install because you installed it. Of course, it was disguised as a "Microsoft Antivirus" when it popped up and many people think the scan that is being requested is legitimate. I have seen many technically competent PC users get fooled. The "Antivirus 2012" is particularly nasty and very clever. My column on Dec. 23 gave detailed instructions on getting rid of Antivirus 2012 (see But let me take this opportunity to tell the readers of this column about another possible solution. There is a little-known Microsoft tool called Windows Defender Offline Beta that can be a lifesaver in these situations. It creates a boot CD (or USB drive) that will allow you to boot without starting Windows. This way the virus/malware/rootkit doesn't get a chance to start and disable your antivirus tools' attempts. Go to to read more about the Windows Defender Offline Beta and create your own CD.

When using Windows Live Mail in Windows 7 home edition, I sometimes get this message when opening an email: "A problem occurred while trying to open this message. Please try again." Sometimes I can go to an earlier message, open it and work back up to this new message, but it won't always work.

Try this: Click Start, Control Panel and click the Uninstall a program link. Find and select Windows Live Essentials 2011. Choose the "repair" option instead of the uninstall option.

All my desktop icons have disappeared. If I click the "show desktop" icon, nothing happens. A few icons, including the word "Desktop" have appeared on the task bar. If I go to a second option, "open file location," after seeing the blank desktop, many icon titles are there, including some email titles. This is exasperating.

Is your PC an Asus, by any chance? If so, this is a known issue. Go to Control Panel, Systems and Security, Power Options. If the selected power plan is "Power4Gear quiet office," change it to "Power4Gear high performance."

I am a Windows 3.1 to XP user, and just got Windows 7. I'm frustrated with trying to send articles from a Web page to my friends. In XP I just hit the file button and the send link and it went to my Outlook. These options are grayed out with Windows 7. I can't send anything and need help, please.

It sounds like you just need to set the default mail program for Internet Explorer 9. From within Internet Explorer, click Tools, Internet Options, Programs tab, Set Programs. This will open the Default Programs window in Control Panel. Click the Set Program Access and Computer Defaults link at the bottom, and then click the Custom option and expand it by clicking the double down arrow on the right. Make sure your mail client/handler is selected and click OK.

Solutions: Offline booting tool helps stop virus' intrusion 01/15/12 [Last modified: Monday, January 16, 2012 11:05am]
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