How To Remove Internet Security 2010 Malware

A number of our computers in the office has been infected with this stupid “Internet Security 2010” malware that poses as an anti-virus software informing the user that their computer has been infected and needs to be inoculated and cleaned for a low, low price of $50. According to the site where I found the solution, BeepingComputer.com, “It will then scan your computer and display numerous infections, but will not remove anything until you purchase the program. These infections, though, are all fake and are only being shown to trick you into thinking you are infected so that you then purchase the program. It goes without saying that you should definitely not purchase this program.”

© BleepingComputer.com

This particular malware is really annoying as it brings your computer to a grinding halt as well as prevent you from opening up or running any programs easily. So far I’ve only seen this hit Windows XP computers, but I’m sure other Microsoft OS are vulnerable.

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Great. So how do we get rid of it? Very easy. Download and install the free version of Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware (MBAM) here. Do the quick scan first to get rid of the problem, it’ll ask you to reboot, and then run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware again and do a full-scan to make sure everything is gone. I haven’t found it to be any more or less effective installing and running MBAM in Windows Safe Mode or not. Either way seems to get rid of the virus.

Problem solved.

Problems With Boot Camp 3.0 and Windows XP and How To Fix Them

It has been a long time since I last installed Microsoft Windows OS on a Mac and then because it was more convenient, I started using Parallels for my “Windows Needs”, but eventually axed that in favor of a dedicated Windows workstation in favor of saving hard drive space. After many issues with our big bosses Dell laptops here at work, my manager decided to bite the bullet, purchase two 13″ MacBook Pros and have me load them with Microsoft Windows XP as the full-time operating system. I’m sure some of you might be wondering why not just run Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and install Parallels for their Windows Needs. Simple, we’re not  a Mac environment and we do not officially support Macs. Plus the end users have never used the Mac OS before and the time to get them up to speed would be quite difficult and time-consuming given their already hectic schedules.

Since it has been a while since I last used Boot Camp, I had forgotten most of the details and haven’t kept up with the changes. Since Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, Boot Camp 2.0 comes pre-installed with the OS ((http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1656)). When Snow Leopard was released, a new version of Boot Camp, 3.0 was introduced and integrated with the new OS ((http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3777)). So what are some of the problems that I experienced with trying to install Windows XP on a MacBook Pro?

Disk Error

Apparently this is a fairly common issue. You go through all the installation steps:

  1. Run Boot Camp Assistant in the Applications > Utilities folder
  2. Specify a size for your new Windows partition (which in my case was to devote 90% of the hard drive to Windows XP since the people who will be using these two MacBook Pro won’t be using the Mac OS at all) and then the Mac OS creates and configures it.
  3. Then put in a Windows XP SP2 CD and click Start Installation, the system reboots and Windows XP installation screen appears and you go through the motions.
  4. Once Windows XP finishes installing and reboots to finish the setup, you get the black screen with: “Press any key to boot from CD…” you let that one go and then immediately: “Disk Error. Press any key to restart.” but the system stalls. The keyboard doesn’t work and you’re force to do a hard power down.

Apple’s Knowledge Base support article TS1722 isn’t of much either, I tried it and it didn’t work for me. The big issue is with Step 8:

Format the Windows partition named ‘BOOTCAMP’ before continuing with the rest of the Windows XP setup process. Important:  Do not use the “Leave the current file system intact (no changes)” or “Convert the partition to NTFS” options.

I never got any option to format the Windows partition. By default, Boot Camp Assistant configures the Windows partition to be FAT32. If you select to install Windows XP on that partition you will get the “Disk Error issue”. It doesn’t matter how many times you re-do the steps (I did it 5-times), the same problem arises when Windows tries to do the last setup after reboot. I also tried deleting the Fat32 partition and create a new NTFS partition and got this error message upon reboot:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: <Windows root>system32hal.dll. Please re-install a copy of the above file.

I also tried three different Windows XP OEM installation CDs, but nothing worked. So what fixed the issue for me? I had to find the “right” Windows XP SP2 CD. When I put that CD in and clicked Start Installation in Step 3 from above, and when it came to select the Windows partition to use, I selected the FAT32, it immediate went to a screen with three options: Convert the partition to NTFS (Quick), Convert the partition to NTFS, and Leave the current file system intact (no changes)! I selected the Convert the partition to NTFS (Quick) and everything worked fine after that. You can read this great thread on MacNN Forums where other people had the same problem with different solutions. Also make sure the CD you are using is a Windows XP full-version with Service Pack 2 or it won’t work.

20100112-Boot-Camp-Windows-XP-003

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I Can’t Install Service Pack 3 on a Boot Camp Windows XP!

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Try and install the Service Pack 3 add-on and you’ll get this message:

An error occured while copying file osloader.ntd.  Cannot copy file to destination directory.  Click Retry to retry the operation or click Cancel.

According to Apple KB article HT3841, the issue is that “Windows is attempting to write to the first partition it sees to install the update” and the first partition is the Mac OS partition, which Windows cannot write to. This issue only affects Boot Camp 3.0 because of the new feature in which you can access you Mac OS partition from Windows. The fix is rather simple (copied verbatim from Apple KB):

  1. Click Start, then My Computer.
  2. Double-click on the BOOTCAMP (C:) drive At the These files are hidden screen, click on Show the contents of this folder.
  3. Double-click on the Windows folder. At the These files are hidden screen, click on Show the contents of this folder.
  4. Double-click on the System 32 folder. At the These files are hidden screen, click on Show the contents of this folder.
  5. Double-click on the drivers folder.
  6. Locate the file AppleMNT (it is a .sys file) and rename it to something like AppleMNT_keep.
  7. Click Start, then click on Shut Down.
  8. Click Restart to restart Windows XP.

Then you do the Service Pack 3 installation, which should complete successfully, and then reenable this feature:

Note: Don’t let your computer restart in the middle of this step. Click on Restart Later if you get a Restart dialog.

  1. Click Start, then My Computer.
  2. Double-click on BOOTCAMP (C:), double-click on Windows, double-click on System32, double-click on drivers.
  3. Locate the file you renamed earlier, and change the name back to AppleMNT.
  4. Click Start, then Shut Down.
  5. Click Restart to restart Windows XP.

And problem solved.

How Do I Create A Boot Camp Windows Driver CD?

With Boot Camp versions prior to 3.0, you had an option in the Boot Camp Assistant to create a Driver CD that had all the necessary drivers for Windows. With version 3.0, they changed that and now you insert your Mac OS 10.6 Installation CD when in Windows and it will install all the necessary drivers for you.

Windows XP on MacBook Pro Full-time

So I’m not entirely sure how well this will work out, but I imagine it can’t be any worse than a PC running Windows XP. I’ll report back with problems I notice and observations as time goes on.

Windows 7 Enterprise On A Netbook

I own an Asus Eee PC 1000H netbook purchased from Costco sometime ago that was pre-loaded with Windows XP Home edition. One of the first things I did was to reformat it to Windows XP Professional to take advantage of features such as better networking tools and Remote Desktop.  That worked great for all my needs: web surfing and watching Anime videos at the gym during cardio workouts.

I knew early on I was not going to upgrade to Windows Vista on the netbook given the resource hog that Vista is, but when Windows 7 was announced, I was interested; more so when I learned that Windows 7 would be designed to work better with netbooks than Windows Vista. Continue reading Windows 7 Enterprise On A Netbook

How To Access A Mac From Vista Machine

Introduction

My Mac is my primary machine and all my documents, pictures, and everything is stored on it but because I do use a PC also, I need a conduit to share files back and forth with each other. I know some people utilize external hard drives for this, but I’m sure there are other people in the same situation as me.

With Windows XP, it was a simple task. From the “Run” console or in the address bar of Internet Explorer, you could enter “ipaddress” of your Mac and enter your login credentials and have read/write access to the files stored on your Mac OS X.

With Windows Vista, by default, you can no longer do that. When you try, the login window appears, but when you enter your correct credentials, it doesn’t accept it. The reason is that Microsoft has stepped up security on Vista, Lanman and NLTM (which Macs still utilize for smbd) are no longer enabled and in place instead is NLTMv2, which Macs currently do not support.

But there is a way to “fix” it so you can. One word of warning though, from a security standpoint, this may not be a good idea. Although in most cases, I don’t think it would be too much of an issue (yet).

How Do I Fix It?

The fix comes from linux-watch.com.

  1. Click Start, and in the “Start Search” field, type secpol.msc.
  2. Navigate to Local Policies > Security Options > Network Security: LAN Manager authentication level.
  3. Select “Send LM & NTLM – user NTLMv2 session security if negotiated”.

You should be able to use your Windows Vista machine to access your Mac now.

Alternative Solution?

There is an alternative solution posted by Jon Belanger which is supposed to be a more secure way of doing it. I have not tried it and cannot verify whether or not it works.

Using Windows 7

I can confirm that the steps above work for Windows 7 also. I’m currently using x86 and x64, both Enterprise, and have done these steps and it works like a charm.

World of Warcraft and MacBook Pro

So my nephew installed World of Warcraft on my MacBook Pro to test how fast WOW would run, and we must say it is definitely phenomenal! Originally on the PowerBook I had, WOW ran quite laggy and the graphics were choppy and unexciting; essentially WOW worked on the PowerBook, it just wasn’t very satisfying to play on it. The MacBook Pro, on the other hand, seemed to be day and night difference, of course to be expected since the video card is better, dual core processor, and so on. I will post up the in-game settings once I get them. I wanted to test WOW on the WinXP partition on the MacBook, but unfortunately I only have 5GB total partitioned for Windows and only have 1.5GB left (WOW requires at least 4GB).

Parallels: WinXP inside Mac OS X

In other news…Parallels has released new beta software that will allow WinXP to run inside the Mac OS. While this may be seen as a copy of VirtualPC, that is not entirely the case because VirtualPC is emulation software, whereas Parallels’ is virtualization software. Virtualization utilizes “Intel’s ‘Virtualization Technology’ ? a feature built into the new Core Duo chipset used by Apple?s current Intel-based offerings ? in order to function.” In other words, it talks to the Intel processor similar to BootCamp which should produce dramatic speed results compared to VirtualPC. I’m tempted to try this out…Read the full story from this link to Macworld.

WinXP on MacBook Benchmarks

In regards to this previous post about WinXP on the MacBook Pro, PC World has conducted a benchmark review in comparison of WinXP running on: a 2.0GHz Duo Core iMac, a 2.16GHz Duo Core MacBook Pro, a Dell Inspiron 2.0GHz Duo Core E1705 laptop, a HP Compaq 2.16GHz Duo Core laptop, and a HP Pavilion 2.0GHz Athlon 64 a1250n Media Center desktop. In most cases such as multitasking, Roxio VideoWave, Adobe Photoshop 7.0.1, and Microsoft Office 2002 SP-2, the MacBook clocked the best times. The categories that the machines were competing in were: WorldBench 5 Score, Multitasking, Windows Media Encoder 9, Roxio VideoWave, Adobe Photoshop 7.0.1, and Microsoft Office 2002 SP-2. The HP Compaq nx9420 has the best WorldBench 5 score with the MacBook Pro coming in second. The complete article can be found here on Macworld’s site.

[Edit: Removed pargraph on Parallels and created new post for it.]

Windows XP on Mac?! Say what?!

It has been speculated for some time, even before the release, the possibility of running Windows XP on the Intel core processor Macs. Some of the Apple people I had spoke with had said this probably wouldn’t be possible because the Mac Intel processors were utilizing EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) and Win XP depends heavily on EFI (i.e. Bios) and Microsoft even went so far as to say that the next generation OS (Vista) wouldn’t support EFI either. There had been a reported case in which a person had won an award for being able to install Win XP on a Mac Intel machine as reported by ZDNet.

Apple as of today released what they call Boot Camp, a downloadable program that allows Win XP to run on the Mac Intel machines. I would never have guessed that, of all people, Apple would release this. Apparently this software is still in beta and is unsupported, but Leopard (Mac OX 10.5) would have Boot Camp and more functionality of that built in natively. I’m heavily debating whether or not to try it because I only have about ~9GB left of hard drive space (of 80GB) and it calls for at least 10GB (not sure why). Although I spoke to someone who works at Apple and has said that the people in our Book Store has successfully been able to install, configure, and run Win XP on one of their Mac Intel machines as demo. I’m going to check that out when I can.