Absolutely Tech

[HowTo] Open thumbs.db and extract thumbnails from it

Thumbs.db is a file used to store thumbnail data of a folder in Windows. It makes loading of thumbnails significantly faster, however it has some privacy issues. Like if you delete an image, its thumbnail might still be there in thumbs.db file which would allow you to view it.

There’s an open source python script called Vinetto available to extract all the thumbnails in open.db to a folder. It works on Linux, Windows and Mac OS. You can download the script from here.

On Ubuntu, you can use apt-get to install vinetto:

sudo apt-get install vinetto

To extract thumbnails:

vinetto -o ./thumbnails ./thumbs.db

This will extract all the thumbnails inside thumbs.db to thumbnails folder.

Cheers!

[SOLVED] UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME upon booting in Windows 7

I was fixing my friend’s computer hard drive whose partition structure had gone corrupt. I restored the partition structure using testdisk. However, on booting through this hard drive, BSOD appeared. It said UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME. The hard drive was perfectly healthy, so the error looked a bit out of place. I looked into google and found that most of the people who had this error had 2 SATA drives. My friend had 2 SATA drives too.

So, I switched the cables (connected HDD1 with HDD2′s cable and vice versa) and voila! It worked!

If that doesn’t work for you, you can remove the other drive completely and see if the problem is really with having 2 drives. You can also try replacing the cables with new one.

Cheers!

[HOW-TO] Restore recovery partition on Asus 1005HA

A friend of mine who has Asus 1005HA deleted his recovery partition to free up disk-space. He didn’t knew what the consequences could be. He felt the need of recovery just few days after it and he realised that he couldn’t use the recovery mode anymore. He gave me his netbook. It took me a while to figure out how to restore the partition.
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[How-To] Change default application installation location on windows xp

So, you just want to keep a partition for Windows XP and another partition for all your applications that you install. You can change it in all the installations manually but changing the default location is a much better idea. And there are also some applications which don’t let you change the default path.

XP uses the C:\Program Files directory as the default base directory into which new programs are installed. However, you can change the default installation drive and/ or directory by using a Registry hack.

Run the Registry Editor (regedit)and go to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
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Re-detection of DMA mode in windows xp

My desktop computer was running extremely slow but it wasn’t like this before. Even formatting didn’t help, so I knew for sure that there was a problem with hardware. I was right on that, DMA mode wasn’t being detected by XP.

For your knowledge, DMA (Direct Memory Access) is a mode supported by modern hard-disks/DVD drives for much faster access times to device. To check if your HDD’s working on DMA mode, follow these steps:
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Edit registry without windows

Many a time you will want to edit your registry when you get your windows screwed and it refuses to boot up.
You know what changes should be made in the registry to fix the problem, but you don’t have any way to fix it. I had a similar problem and I used this tool to edit registry:
http://home.eunet.no/pnordahl/ntpasswd/main.html

This is a non-GUI bootable app. You should be familiar with the command-line and how it works before using it otherwise you may get into deeper problems.

This is another tool which I found while googling:

http://www.pcregedit.com/

I hope this helps all you people who are thinking to reformat your computer because of registry errors.

Peace!

[HowTo] Remove almost any kind of viruses from Windows

Being attacked by many viruses in the recent times, I thought why not make people learn from my experience. Having faced about a dozen of different viruses in past 2 weeks, I have experience enough to write this guide. I faced trojans, trojan downloaders, rootkits and what not. So here’s my little guide which will help you get rid of your virus.

We’ve got a huge amount of viruses floating over the internet. New viruses are being made by evil programmers daily. Due to this innocent computer users are being infected and suffering from infected system which results in compromising of private data, destruction of data, unusability of computer etc. For non techy people virus removal is a tough task. Fortunately, for tech-savvy people its not so difficult.

I am writing this guide so as to help people from removal of viruses from their computer.

A brief introduction about viruses. A virus is generally a malicious software which tries to steal personal information from your computer or uses your computer for other malicious activities like spamming, used as proxy from illegal activities, spreading malware etc.

Computer can be infected from virus through many means. You can get infected from a mail you opened from unknown person, some software installation, a friends pen-drive which you just inserted in your computer etc.

Until now, only Microsoft Windows have been known to be infected by viruses. Linux and Mac OS remains unaffected. There are only few known viruses for them. Windows on other hand has thousands of viruses with new viruses being produced everyday.

To protect yourself from viruses you will need to have good combination of security tools.
Tools required:

1. Sysinternals Process Explorer.
2. Good anti-virus software (preferably Kaspersky, NOD32, or Norton).
3. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
4. Registry Fix.
5. Task Manager Fix.
6. UnHackMe.
7. Lavasoft Ad-Aware latest 2009 version. (Older version has many drawbacks)
8. HijackThis
9. Spybot S&D. (Optional)

Most of the viruses won’t let you know when they install themselves on your computer. You won’t even notice them unless they do something noticable like use internet extensively which draws your attention etc.

When you get infected by a virus and you are sure about it:
You know that you have been infected by a virus and you don’t know what to do. Just bear with me and you will find quick solutions to your answers.

To check if virus is using the internet:

1. First of all check if it is using internet. Go to Start Menu-> Run -> Type “cmd” without quotes and enter.
2. Then type “netstat -b” without quotes in the console and press enter.
3. On the left hand side, you will see a list of executables and right to that, you will see the sites it is connecting to. If you see any unknown executable connecting to any unknown site. It means that it is using your internet. In this case, I recommend disconnecting from internet to protect yourself.

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Why not to encrypt your files using EFS or any other encryption

EFS or NTFS encryption can turn out to be your life’s worst nightmare in case you don’t fully read about it. I advice everyone not to use it unless you really know what you are doing and backup your certificates.

I had many folders of mine encrypted and I forgot about them completely as encryption is transparent to user who encrypted the file. It was a usual day. I was working on my computer when I wanted to access some files from ‘My Documents’ (yes, I encrypted whole My Documents folder, idiot me.) and was denied access. I thought it might be with just that file. I tried accessing other files, other folders but it gave same error. It dawned upon me. In an instant, I knew what was going on. I was shocked and confused at the same time. I didn’t know what was happening.
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[Solved] Windows XP login logoff loop caused by a virus

Yesterday, I was infected with probably the ugliest breed of virus in computer history (atleast, for me). What it did was nothing serious. I downloaded something off the internet and ran it. Spybot gave me a warning about a registry entry and I knew it was virus. I simple denied it. It again popped up after few minutes. It confirmed that it was a virus because no other software would prompt again for the registry entry. I denied again and no matter how many times I denied, it came back again after a few minutes. So, I knew it was a time for scanning. I scanned and deleted atleast 12 virus executables created in various system folders. I deleted them all. I think the virus injected itself into some system executables too. And I deleted those files too. Everything was going fine. The virus was listed as Win32/Kryptic.AA trojan and WIN32/Rootkit.Agent by my NOD32 AV.
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