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Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Look Back "I hate iTunes / iPod!"

iPod Touch, 2nd Gen, Mac Genius, Broken Touch, Sleep / Wake button

Its always good to go back and read (at least for me it is) what has been written in the past. In this post I hate iTunes / iPod!" I had more of a problem with music transfer from an older iPod to a new iPod where the music was lost on the computer it was syncing with.

Now my problem is different.



My experiences in the past with Apple consisted of High school clunky looking dingy white Macintosh Plus that I don't recall ever being turned on.






Image Courtesy of Wikipedia


The School administration staff was ecstatic with the introduction of the new computer. But that quickly wore off.

So about 8 months ago .. maybe more was some time after Christmas last year my interests peaked on this whole Apple experience. After playing with the iPods my girls received as gifts over the holidays I started to warm up to the design of Apple products. (OMG.. this coming from a PC guy)And it started with the Cross over to the dark side Mac OS X and just rolled on from there .. but that is another post entirely.

As a gift I was blessed with a second generation iPod Touch 8GB. This is a really cool little toy. (yes toy, boy's and their toys lol) I really love the wi-fi capabilities, bluetooth, and Videos.. It has replaced some of my time that was usually spent on a laptop cruzin the web and watching videos. All in a very neat compact user friendly design. Even with the failings of iTunes and one way transfers. (hmmm.. may have to look in to the jailbreak stuff folks are talking about)
I was a happy camper for a very long time till OH NO!!!!! for some reason the button at the top they call it the Sleep / Wake button stopped functioning. At first I had to press harder and harder to get it to work. And one day it just would not work at all anymore..

Back to the internet once again research is my friend...

I have found a conciderable amount of posts regarding this issue but no fixes other than trying to reset it back to factory default with iTunes.. With nothing to lose (this time anyways) I had every thing backed up and all of my apps are in iTunes.

Hit the reset ... Well that didn't work.

I am a little aprehesive about going to or speaking with any representative of any computer or electronics repair outlets much less going straight to an Apple Store.

Due to a few reasons (and please don't take it that I am being Mightyer Than Thou this is not the way I want it to apper) But 9 times out of 10 I know more about their product than the kid behind the counter does and I try to be calm when they ask if I have "rebooted, reinstalled, or if I know where the (spelled out) O N / O F F switch is ... or there is a PEBCAK (Problem Exists Between Chair and Keyboard)".

Unfortunate for me I am Tech Support not just for my family but for more than I can count.

So off to the Apple Store I go with my 5 year old in tote. Nervious as hell cause its my Touch and I have no paper work proving I own it .. it was a gift and all I have left of the packaging is bits of broken plastic ground in the carpent some where in the house..

** side note **(might just be me but can't ever seem to get every little bit of glass or broken items out of carpet even months later a shard of glass will come up and bite me in the foot)

This place is packed .. there are people every where .. slowly I start backing out .. not to disturb the sleeping animal.. Bam "Hi can I help you with something" A very nice gentelman askes me. Not at all like the pimple faced kid at the local BuyMore (lol.. did not want to put out really who they are and I do like Chuck)

UUUmmm yeah I produce my Touch and proceed to show him that it won't work. "Oh you need to see a Genius do you have an appointment?"

**rant**
(at this point all of the bells, wistles and sirens go off in my mind.... WHAT you have got to be kidding me!! I have to have an APPOINTMENT to see one of your SO CALLED GENIUS people ... just to tell me I'm SCREWED. Of all of the AUDACITY, IDIOCY...........)

Well I really don't have much time to..... "Wow, you are very luck I am showing an open appointment in 5 min can you wait that long?" he interupts very happily. Well yes I can wait that long.. He lead me over to a terminal and proceded to log my appointment had me put in my email and confirm the appointment.

Not 5 min later I was talking to a Genius gingerly handing over my Touch explaining what was going on.. He looked it over .. pressed it a couple of times .. asked me if had it backed up? yes its backed up do what you need to I backed it up before trying a restore again last night. He was going to do the very same thing and then grabed a flash light .. (quick look up the tail pipe??) No not really but they do have to check for water damage .. in the head phone jack it will turn pink if there is the slightest amount of water that has entered the Touch. No issues there .. now he starts clicking away on the keyboard .. turns around grabs another Touch more clicking and hands it to me .. "your warantee will continue with this one and you can extend it with apple care before it expires. Is there anything else I can help you with?"
What?? .. your just giving me a new one no questions asked... Now this is service..

I talk with him a bit about Snow Leopard .. and in a daze walk out of the store with the 5 year old in towe..

I'm impressed .. astounded ... Falbergated .. Never has it been that easy to get Warantee work or replacement ... Kudos.. APPLE you just got your self a very happy long term customer.




Wednesday, September 9, 2009

RansomeWare

As Defined in Wikipedia

Ransomware, or extortive malware that holds users' data to ransom.

By the way so far .. have not had any of these issues with OS X.. Not to say Apple is better But... OS X is a variant of *nix operating systems. So loop holes are not as accesable and wide spread as MicroSoft Operating systems.

Basically is software or code that is designed to require you to purchase their software to get your computer back.. This could disable items via your registry including but not limited to Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, Anti-Spyware, Task Mananger, Regedit, and even msconfig. In effect entirely disabling your system from usage until you pay for their product. (even though it was their application that caused the problem in the first place) Nice huh? Actually it's a brilliant way to make $$ till they get caught.. (at least I hope they get caught).

As posted earlier today I had a run in with How to Fix Windows Police Pro

This is a nasty little program that reminds me of the commercials from Apple as follows.. Which by the way make me laugh my A$$ off.

Thank you APPLE for the Video's

video




And here is the rest of it.

I am not Immune

How to remove Windows Police Pro, how to remove Spyware, How to remove Malware, How to remove Ransomeware, How to remove Virus

How to remove Windows Police Pro
or
How to clean up Windows Police Pro SpyWare, anti-spyware, ransomeware, virus, malware.


As the title implies, I am not immune to any of these issues be it SpyWare, anti-spyware, ransomeware, virus, or malware threats.

** Scroll to the bottom for the Video I mention later in the post **

I am the system administrator (among other titles) for a small company that requires computers for their daily business, as well I have been in the computer industry since before the dreaded year 2000 issues. I have also been using and configuring computers from the TRS-80 days (some of you may remember they were called Radio Shack Trash 80’s) and the 8088 days.

With all of this in mind I still have
problems.


I keep being reminded of the Apple computer ad’s: “I want a PC with out all of the issues of spyware and virus’s” and PC walks away.


Unfortunately every time I see the ad’s they make me laugh and cry at the same time.


I have been using Mac’s for the last 8 months starting out with the old iBook’s quickly moving up to finally what I have now currently which is a MacBook Pro.


The biggest reason I have found a final use for the MacBook Pro is due to the capabilities of running OS X (a Unix variant Very Stable) and Windows XP Pro side by side with BootCamp and Paralles.


This has given me the best of both world’s.


Back to the issue at hand just like any normal day I walk in to work plop my work laptop (a Windows based computer… still can’t get away form multiple computer systems ;) ) on its docking station and proceed to wake it up from hibernation.


And up pops “Your Computer is infected!!!!” in all the Anti-Virus mannerisms of McAffe or Norton’s Symantec Endpoint Protection.


Kudos to the folks that have written this very malicious software (not in a good way!) they have put a considerable amount of time and effort in to the coding and appearance of the ransomeware to make a person think that it is truly a good antivirus software.


But don’t be fooled this is a very bad piece of software.


I am not sure exactly where or when I have picked this up, as I surf the internet all of the time, from Craigslist (picking up parts or pieces and cheap computers) to looking for code for web design.


This crafty software not only embeds itself in to the operating system but also disables various items that would allow even the savviest of users the capability stopping the application and its processes.


Once it popped up my first jerk reaction is to three finger salute (ctrl-alt-delete) to bring up the task manager (taskmgr.exe) and kill the Processes that were associated with this nasty little program.


But there has been a registry change that has disabled Task Manager as well as MalwareBytes and McAffe from ever running again.


This is all to force you in to purchasing the software that caused the problem in the first place.


The first course of action is to enable Task Manager this will be a task in it self due to the fact that regedit.exe has also been disabled.


But here is the registry key that has been modified:


HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System] Data Type DWORD “DisableTaskMgr”=1


The DWORD =1 disables the Task Manager if you can change it to 0 (zero) then you will be able to use the Task Manager.


There are 2 ways to get around this issue.


Copy the following in to note pad and save as fixPolice.reg


REGEDIT4


[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]


“DisableTaskMgr”=-


then right click the file and select Merge.


This will replace the entries in your registry to allow the use of task manager.


Or your second option is to go to right click save as to your desktop fixtm.reg


Thank you bleepingcomputer.com.


And do the same right click Merge.


Then either crtl – alt – delete or open the run and type “taskmgr” with out the quotes.


Once in Task Manager you will need to find under the


Processes tab:


Find: Windows Police Pro.exe highlight it and End Process this will kill the process


And Svchast.exe or svchasts.exe and end that process as well


***BE CARFULL***


There are svchost.exe processes that are real system processes that are required to run the operating system don’t end these make sure it matches the above svchasts.exe or svchast.exe


Now that you can use your system again I use MalwareBytes it can be downloaded from cnet’s www.download.com here is the direct link MalwareBytes and save to you desktop.


Once that is done double click the mbam-setup.exe (MalwareBytes) and install the software let it do its updates and run..


This will take awhile to run and will ask you to reboot to finish cleaning up your system.


On the first reboot it is recommended to run it again (I know this is tedious and time consuming but it is for your benefit) and if it asks let your system reboot once again.


This should effectively clean up your computer and you should be back on your way happily surfing again.




Thank you APPLE for the Video's



video



Actualy this one is more fitting and funny as hell


video



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