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Software Hell

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Ellen Brown, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Sorry, just trying to sort the NONSENSE
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    Owing to the fact that funds aren't there to run out and buy a bunch of new stuff, I'm just trying to understand the process here.

    I'm running win 10 on a newish HP all in one that has a i5 chip and about 12 meg of memory. I use CenturyLink and they say they provide about 20 mps.

    It's all been whirring away just fine until around 6 months ago. Without warning, after visiting about a dozen sites, the screen freezes. Inevitably, the only way to get out of this is to unplug it and start over. This HP takes 10 to 15 minutes to live again. It "seems" as if having more than one window open can cause it. Often it seems that this site often causes it.

    I can't rule out some sort of hostile ware, or someone loading little trackers on their site, which I pick up. None of my friends recommend any Virus software, saying what Windows Defender is enough. I've tried Malwarebytes, but they seem nutty to me. And, they've farmed out their billing to someone that is profoundly inept.

    I've got a new Dell Core i3, 7th Gen that I have not started up yet because I like the giant HP screen.

    I wonder if there is some buffer that is filling up or ...
     
  2. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Living Dead Girl

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    Purge Windows Defender like a demon and get something like Avast, AVG free, or another top-rated free anti-virus. Also don't run multiple anti-viruses at the same time, as it increases the chance of false positives and missing things.
    And Windows isn't Windows unless it gives you grief.
     
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  3. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    AVG is good. What browser are you using? Opera or Firefox are good.
     
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  4. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Pyrphóros ⚡ Lux Aeterna
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    It doesn't sound like an anti-virus problem. Windows Defender is pretty good on its own. Those free anti-viruses often come with bloat like ads and crap. Sounds like something is causing the system to crash. You might want to do a system refresh. It reinstalls the system files but leaves your personal files alone.
     
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  5. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity simple man
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    Slow startups and freezing do not automatically equal computer virus.

    Do not assume a virus or that Defender needs replacing. I use Defender. Its constantly updated by Microsoft with no nag screens, perfect for the user who is not a computer admin. I am not clear on something in the OP. Does your computer randomly open web sites?

    Slow startups can have several causes. For example it could mean that Windows is trying to get ready for a huge update. Perhaps some large program gets loaded every time you start up?

    Slow startups can mean that a software driver component has been mis-configured by accident. Your computer has many software drivers that activate in stages providing new levels of performance at each stage. If they are not configured properly then sometimes your hardware's full speed does not get used. This is an issue because of the great variety of hardware and because the Windows OS must be constantly updated, so that occasionally there are mistakes. There are other rare problems that can cause a software driver to become misconfigured, partly erased or otherwise nonfunctional.

    A slow startup can mean that there is a real hardware problem, but I cannot comment on that. If its a hardware problem then it suggests possible overheating. It could mean the computer is packed with dust for example. Computers have temperature and air flow sensors and will sometimes clamp down on performance to avoid overheating.

    In rare cases strange problems can be caused by a misbehaving peripheral like a printer or mouse, or there can be a problem with an electrical socket.
     
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  6. sun rise

    sun rise "Love pour forth from the heart of the universe."
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    Defender is better than nothing but I use Norton because it was a web site component that warns me if I'm going to a potentially hostile site.

    There can be things that get past anti-virus. Malwarebytes is a good product but can be a bit aggressive at times. I run it and look at all the recommendations carefully.

    If I were you, I'd enter those questionable web site URLs here Is This Website Safe | Website Security | Norton Safe Web to see if there might be something nasty.
     
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  7. Bob the Unbeliever

    Bob the Unbeliever Well-Known Member

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    I feel your pain. My current (and at the moment, only) machine is a Win10 Asus. And I'm on my 5th bare-metal re-install of Windoze 10. That seems to be the norm with this iteration of Micro$oft's OS.

    Fortunately, (for me) I have multiple external backup devices (drives, etc) so I lose nothing important. And I have made it easy, by obtaining a 16gig USB stick, on which I have a bootable Win10 image: Insert stick. Boot to the USB. Run the install, and there is a point where it asks me where to install, and that little interface lets me wipe out the C: drive in it's entire-- effectively destroying all the bloat, crap, errors, bad registry entries, etc, etc.

    A bit harsh, but darn if my 10 year old laptop doesn't fly after I do that.

    Too much? Yeah.

    Okay: Avoid Kpersky like the plague it is-- we know that many computer viruses come from Russia. Who would willingly install a Russian, allegedly anti-virus thing? Avoid that sucker.

    MalWareBytes IS flakey-- the secret? Dig a bit into their website, and get the stand-alone, FREE, run-once software. And run it. And run it a second time. In fact, run it until it gets "nothing found" two times in a row. Pro Tip: Start the run, JUST as you are putting your machine away for the night, so you are not inconvenienced by it taking over all your CPU cycles... Note-- don't bother saving this thing, I always go download a fresh copy, anytime I feel the need to run it. Which isn't that often, see above. ;) Your mileage may vary, as even the free one will update itself every time you run it.

    Anti-virus? Well, lots of good advice already, but I stick with Windoze Built-ins, as it creates about 100 times less overhead-- and I believe that Micro$oft does this deliberately. However...

    Use Chrome browser. Why? Because each open tab runs in a *separate* memory space-- as if you were on a different virtual machine. That effectively prevents cross-tab contamination. But wait! Chrome out of the box isn't remotely good enough.

    You need an Ad Blocker-- I use Adblock Plus. You can enable/disable selectively, so you can still support your favorite websites (like, say RF), but most of the time it blocks possible infections via unclean advertising.

    And? You need ScriptSafe. You really--really need ScriptSafe. This is because ALL virus infections you can get, via simple browsing? Come to your machine via a script.

    And with ScriptSafe? You can prevent scripts from running at all.

    And I have to warn you? It's a pain-in-the-donkey to use-- because it exposes ALL the third and fourth and fifth party servers that every stinkn' website redirects to .. .and you gotta figure out the bare minimum to allow to get to your content without getting hacked. *sigh*

    Yeah. Pain. But so worth it-- since I've been using some form of Script Control extension? (first, Firefox, and later Chrome) I have never had a single infection on my machine--ever.

    And I've been on some very questionable sites, in search of answers to questions.

    Notebook: If you elect to bare-metal re-install windows? One of the FEW things Micro$oft got right about WIn10? Is activation-- or more accurately, re-activation.

    My current laptop? The one that's on it's 5th install of Win10? Has only ever been Officially Activated the one time-- when I purchased it, and registered my legal copy of Win8. (which I used for about an hour--to register, and immediately get the update to Win10). Every single re-install? Self-reactivated as soon as I hit the interwebs. The first re-install of Win10? I had anticipated Trouble-with-a-T, and dug deep into the registry to wrestle out the Official Win10 Activation Key String. I needn't have bothered. Win10, unlike previous versions, is directly tied to your machine in some arcane way, but it just works-- at least for laptops, it works. All you gotta worry about, with a re-in? Is to preserve your precious data-- photos, emails, that extended meme collection, your recipe files, your kid's attempt at the Great American Novel, and so on. Easy enough to simply copy onto a USB stick, or external hard drive.

    Notebook: How To Get A Bootable Win10 USB Stick: easy. You use Windows Media Creation Tool. Download from Micro$oft. Choose "create media". Have a newish stick ready--it'll erase everything on it. (but sometimes that fails, so you instead create the ISO file somewhere on your machine--it's not that large, about 8gig for the 32/64-do-anything version (uncheck the "recommend for this machine" box, then choose 32/64 from the drop-down. Don't worry-- the installer is pretty smart.) If you download the ISO? you'll need to burn that to a DVD or use RUFUS (google it) media creator freeware (Linux, but runs on Windoze) to take the ISO file and slam it into that USB stick. I've done this also about 5 times-- I always download a fresh ISO image, because it contains all the pesky updates, already incorporated into the download -- a boon that is literally priceless.
     
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  8. Bob the Unbeliever

    Bob the Unbeliever Well-Known Member

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    Chrome does that too-- without the bloated overhead of Norton.
     
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  9. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    Also hit Cntrl+Alt+Delete to see which programs are taking the most processing time or RAM memory. Manually close the ones you can do without for that session. Also eliminate as many auto-startup programs as possible.
     
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  10. Duke_Leto

    Duke_Leto Member

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    If you don't specifically need Windows 10, would you be open to installing a Linux distribution? I find it's much easier to maintain, especially for people who don't know much about tech. If you wish, I'll be happy to walk you through the process and help as much as you need.
     
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  11. Notanumber

    Notanumber A Free Man

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    I understand that Linux Mint 19 is very good but I haven’t tried it yet.

    I would like to move away from Windows but I believe there is now some controversy in the Linux world that I need to look into.

    The problem I have is that a lot of the software that I use is not available in Linux.

    Is Linux safer for internet use than Windows and do you need anti-virus software?
     
  12. Shad

    Shad Well-Known Member

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    Update Windows. Update your hardware drivers via the HP site. If a driver is a year old look at the hardware's site. For example if HP does not have a recent NVIDIA GPU driver get one for the GPU from the NVIDIA site. If it is still crashing try a different browser.

    If you have a warranty use it.
     
    #12 Shad, Oct 12, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
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  13. Jumi

    Jumi Secular monotheist

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    It is good, I've used them since ten versions ago and have installed it for others. Haven't tried the latest, but they're quite consistent in being easily accessible and good quality.

    If you want to see how it works try downloading virtualbox and installing it there. After experimenting a bit you'll know if it's something you want to get into.

    Haven't noticed anything... and if there is controversy, how is it compared to Microsoft and Apple?

    That can be a real problem. Lots of DRMs don't even work in Linux, so they won't port that software over. If you need software that's not available for Linux, you're stuck with Windows or Mac. For some software you may use a virtual machine running Windows or Wine.

    Yes it's safer, but not bulletproof. I've never had any antivirus or a need to use one on Linux. Last time I checked, there was an anti-virus that you could use for finding Windows viruses so as to help Windows users not get infected.

    This is a rather balanced view on it:

    Why You Don’t Need an Antivirus On Linux (Usually)
     
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  14. Duke_Leto

    Duke_Leto Member

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    It is! Try it! My girlfriend uses it as her daily OS.

    The recent code of conduct is what I believe you're referring to. It's a completely manufactured controversy and nothing to worry about, especially if you aren't a kernel developer.

    Ah, what kind of software? There may be alternatives, depending on what you need. And yes, absolutely, it's safer. You stand virtually no chance of getting a virus, for various reasons. The main (and best IMO) reason is that Linux users rarely have to download software from the Web; instead, distributions provide software themselves and you download from them. As @Jumi said, you don't need any type of antivirus; just be careful and don't execute random commands you don't understand.

    If you want any help trying or installing any Linux distribution feel free to PM me and ask for help!
     
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  15. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Living Dead Girl

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    I'll second that. I use NoScript, and it's a pain at first, and pretty much always a pain, but eventually you get an idea of what scripts are safe to allow and which ones you should leave disabled. The extra time and effort is well worth the extra safety.
    The issue with Linux is compatibility. If hit-and-miss functioning is something you can work with, Linux is great, but if you need certain programs or peripherals there is a chance you're SOL with Linux.
    Myself, I run Windows on my tower for Word and games, and Linux on my laptop for everything else. But, without question Linux is unarguable far superior, especially when it comes to safety.
     
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  16. YmirGF

    YmirGF Bodhisattva
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    Hi @Ellen Brown

    Some great advice so far although, for the average user, recommending Linux is a bit over the top. My gut feeling on this is that you have a bunch of garbage software that loads as the machine boots up, hence, it take forever to boot. It IS tedious, but you pretty well have to track down every NON-Microsoft title that is loaded and determine if it is an old version. Also, many software programs are terrible at removing themselves from your system. Try to determine if you are loading software that is not longer needed. Are you loading more that one version of a given driver? Like, a mouse driver. Is your video software up to date. Are all MS Windows Updates done?

    You could also try a wonderful piece of software called
    CCleaner Professional | Try the world’s most trusted PC cleaner, free!

    It is simply one of the best "Swiss army knife" pieces of software I have ever had the pleasure to use and can fix a wide array of problems. Oh, and for the record, there are no known problems with Kaspersky Anti-Virus. It is not a Russian Trojan horse. Ignore the hysteria around Russia, LOL.
     
    #16 YmirGF, Oct 12, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
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  17. Woberts

    Woberts The Perfumed Seneschal

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    On a side note, don't get the October update for Windows 10 if you haven't already.
    It's been accidently deleting some files.
    Microsoft says they fixed it, and they're testing it now on Windows Insider.
    But they tested it before release (hopefully) and didn't catch the bug, so who knows?
     
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  18. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity simple man
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    Antivirus scanners are available for Linux as are rootkit scanners. I have been running it for a long time, and its mostly secure. Someone also gave me a laptop with Windows 10 on it.

    I think monetarily the difference between the two is that Windows costs zero dollars for home while for Linux you are going to need a little help getting started, so you will need a support license for the first year. If you run a server than Linux is relatively free while Windows costs yearly. There are some things you can do with linux, bsd or other unix that Windows cannot do because of its licensing restrictions. If you want to do any kind of server work the licensing of windows gets expensive very fast, and linux also has a performance advantage and smaller footprint.

    If you exchange word/excel/powerpoint/etc documents frequently with windows users you will need word, so you will need windows or a mac. Free software alternatives are quite good, but for some reason their documents never look the same in the windows software. It matters, then, how important perfect formatting is to you and whether you rely on word/excel/powerpoint documents. What Linux users typically do is to save files using open standards such as PDF, so that the documents look the same on any computer.

    Video games currently run better and faster on Windows, because open and free software standards have not kept pace with Microsoft's DirectX game language. There is a new game language for Linux (Vulkan), but it is just now going into use. Most games that run on linux rely on an other language called OpenGL. OpenGL is great and runs on everything but does not take advantage of current video hardware improvements. Therefore you may find that a game which runs fast and smooth on Windows will not run so quickly on Linux, particularly on older equipment. On the other hand, Linux has plenty of games to waste your time with, and they are super easy to install if you put steam on your system.
     
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  19. viole

    viole Metaphysical Naturalist
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    Move to Macs. And try to get more than 12 Meg RAM, if possible

    Ciao

    - viole
     
  20. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Sorry, just trying to sort the NONSENSE
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    Google
     
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