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digitalmars.D - Windows woes

reply "Walter Bright" <newshound digitalmars.nospamm.com> writes:
A few days ago, Outlook Express starting acting flaky - my account names 
were forcibly converted to 1, 2, 3, etc., and retyping in the correct ones 
refused to stick. Then, windows update started failing with useless messages 
consisting of 8 digit hex numbers.

So I thought I'd try Microsoft update tech support (which is free for update 
failures). They asked me to send them logs, which I did. Then, came an 
endless series of "try this ...", which usually involved unregistering a 
dozen dlls, rebooting, starting/stopping services, reregistering them, 
renaming system files, booting in safe mode, wiping directories, deleting 
files, rebooting, rebooting, all to no avail (except the 8 digit hex number 
would change).

Then came the exhortation to run a virus scan, with a couple links. The 
symantec virus scan crashed after a half hour. The other one completed, and 
found nothing.

At this point, it was apparent that tech support had no idea why this was 
happening, and I was beginning to worry there was either a rootkit 
installed, or there was just creeping corruption going on. I gave up on 
Microsoft tech support, and decided to reinstall Windows.

Do you know it takes THREE HOURS to install Windows from scratch? Gads, you 
install XP from the CD which requires rebooting several times, then again 
from the XP SP2 update CD (rebooting n more times), then you log in to 
Windows update and update/reboot 4 or 5 more times. Why can't Windows Update 
download everything at once and reboot only once?

So now I've got Windows reinstalled. Now comes the dance of reinstalling 
everything else. The worst is, of course, Outlook Express which completely 
loses track of everything after a reinstall. I have a crib sheet of most of 
the settings, but even so, there's no way to restore which newsgroup files 
are read/unread. I also use the undocumented method of finding which 
gawdawful directory O.E. squirrels the files away in (all in deeply nested 
hidden directories with 80+ character tty noise filenames) and 
saving/restoring the dbx files manually.

Most of the other apps aren't too bad, if you were smart enough to keep a 
crib sheet of all the serial numbers, registration numbers, and funky 
passwords. The whole job takes about 12 hours.

Morals of the story:

1) Keep a crib sheet of all the settings, passwords, serial numbers, 
registration follderalls, etc.

2) If you're going to provide an update program, fer cryin out loud, make it 
a monolithic program that doesn't depend on everything else in the OS 
working perfectly. After all, when you need it, it's probably because the 
rest of the system isn't right. And if the update program itself is 
corrupted, then tech support can just send you a new one.

3) If you're writing an app, don't require it to be reinstalled if Windows 
is reinstalled. DM programs don't need to be. Store your configuration in 
some text file that can be saved/restored. Please!

4) If you're going to need to muck about with the system registry, do it 
like Quicken does. Quicken has a menu item "Backup" which, amazingly enough, 
backs up all its settings and crud to a file you specify. Then, I reinstall 
Quicken from the CD, hit "Restore" and give the file name, and it fixes 
itself. Quicken is full of horrible design choices, but at least they got 
that right. No other app I've used does that.

5) Never, ever install anything with DRM on it on your work computer. DRM 
often involves rootkits, installing new drivers that destabilize your 
system, etc. This includes most game software. Use a separate computer for 
DRM, one that you won't mind regularly reinstalling Windows on.

There, I feel better now <g>. 
Mar 29 2006
next sibling parent Aarti_pl <Aarti_pl_member pathlink.com> writes:
In article <e0dmeo$2cmk$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Walter Bright says...

Morals of the story:

1) Keep a crib sheet of all the settings, passwords, serial numbers, 
registration follderalls, etc.

2) If you're going to provide an update program, fer cryin out loud, make it 
a monolithic program that doesn't depend on everything else in the OS 
working perfectly. After all, when you need it, it's probably because the 
rest of the system isn't right. And if the update program itself is 
corrupted, then tech support can just send you a new one.

3) If you're writing an app, don't require it to be reinstalled if Windows 
is reinstalled. DM programs don't need to be. Store your configuration in 
some text file that can be saved/restored. Please!

4) If you're going to need to muck about with the system registry, do it 
like Quicken does. Quicken has a menu item "Backup" which, amazingly enough, 
backs up all its settings and crud to a file you specify. Then, I reinstall 
Quicken from the CD, hit "Restore" and give the file name, and it fixes 
itself. Quicken is full of horrible design choices, but at least they got 
that right. No other app I've used does that.

5) Never, ever install anything with DRM on it on your work computer. DRM 
often involves rootkits, installing new drivers that destabilize your 
system, etc. This includes most game software. Use a separate computer for 
DRM, one that you won't mind regularly reinstalling Windows on.

There, I feel better now <g>. 

6. Change your main system to Linux :-) After hard time with configuring everything (in www.kubuntu.org) I don't miss windows any more :-) BR Marcin Kuszczak
Mar 29 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Aarti_pl <Aarti_pl_member pathlink.com> writes:
In article <e0dmeo$2cmk$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Walter Bright says...
Morals of the story:

1) Keep a crib sheet of all the settings, passwords, serial numbers, 
registration follderalls, etc.

2) If you're going to provide an update program, fer cryin out loud, make it 
a monolithic program that doesn't depend on everything else in the OS 
working perfectly. After all, when you need it, it's probably because the 
rest of the system isn't right. And if the update program itself is 
corrupted, then tech support can just send you a new one.

3) If you're writing an app, don't require it to be reinstalled if Windows 
is reinstalled. DM programs don't need to be. Store your configuration in 
some text file that can be saved/restored. Please!

4) If you're going to need to muck about with the system registry, do it 
like Quicken does. Quicken has a menu item "Backup" which, amazingly enough, 
backs up all its settings and crud to a file you specify. Then, I reinstall 
Quicken from the CD, hit "Restore" and give the file name, and it fixes 
itself. Quicken is full of horrible design choices, but at least they got 
that right. No other app I've used does that.

5) Never, ever install anything with DRM on it on your work computer. DRM 
often involves rootkits, installing new drivers that destabilize your 
system, etc. This includes most game software. Use a separate computer for 
DRM, one that you won't mind regularly reinstalling Windows on.

There, I feel better now <g>. 

6. Change your main system to Linux :-) After switching to Kubuntu (www.kubuntu.org) I had a hard time with configuration, but now I don't miss Windows at all. Who can say that Windows is still User Friendly? :-P BR Marcin Kuszczak
Mar 29 2006
parent reply BCS <BCS_member pathlink.com> writes:
In article <e0dnt0$2ecg$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Aarti_pl says...

Who can say that Windows is still User Friendly? :-P

BR
Marcin Kuszczak

if the only thing you do is notepad. Unix, is novice hostile... Windows, is expert hostile.
Mar 29 2006
parent David L. Davis <SpottedTiger yahoo.com> writes:
In article <e0ef6h$c29$1 digitaldaemon.com>, BCS says...
In article <e0dnt0$2ecg$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Aarti_pl says...

Who can say that Windows is still User Friendly? :-P

BR
Marcin Kuszczak

if the only thing you do is notepad. Unix, is novice hostile... Windows, is expert hostile.

Stick with your vi editor if you'll like, as Unix based OSs aren't for everyone. Also, I really don't agree with your "Windows, is expert hostile" comment, but to each his own. David L. ------------------------------------------------------------------- "Dare to reach for the Stars...Dare to Dream, Build, and Achieve!" ------------------------------------------------------------------- MKoD: http://spottedtiger.tripod.com/D_Language/D_Main_XP.html
Mar 29 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Juan Jose Comellas <jcomellas gmail.com> writes:
At some point in the past, the only way to be able to be certified
"Windows-logo compatible" was if you used the registry to save your
program's settings. I guess they wanted to make it really difficult to
switch computers without reinstalling. The registry is probably the worst
abomination to come from Redmond and it's the cause of most of the problems
Windows has.


Walter Bright wrote:

 A few days ago, Outlook Express starting acting flaky - my account names
 were forcibly converted to 1, 2, 3, etc., and retyping in the correct ones
 refused to stick. Then, windows update started failing with useless
 messages consisting of 8 digit hex numbers.
 
 So I thought I'd try Microsoft update tech support (which is free for
 update failures). They asked me to send them logs, which I did. Then, came
 an endless series of "try this ...", which usually involved unregistering
 a dozen dlls, rebooting, starting/stopping services, reregistering them,
 renaming system files, booting in safe mode, wiping directories, deleting
 files, rebooting, rebooting, all to no avail (except the 8 digit hex
 number would change).
 
 Then came the exhortation to run a virus scan, with a couple links. The
 symantec virus scan crashed after a half hour. The other one completed,
 and found nothing.
 
 At this point, it was apparent that tech support had no idea why this was
 happening, and I was beginning to worry there was either a rootkit
 installed, or there was just creeping corruption going on. I gave up on
 Microsoft tech support, and decided to reinstall Windows.
 
 Do you know it takes THREE HOURS to install Windows from scratch? Gads,
 you install XP from the CD which requires rebooting several times, then
 again from the XP SP2 update CD (rebooting n more times), then you log in
 to Windows update and update/reboot 4 or 5 more times. Why can't Windows
 Update download everything at once and reboot only once?
 
 So now I've got Windows reinstalled. Now comes the dance of reinstalling
 everything else. The worst is, of course, Outlook Express which completely
 loses track of everything after a reinstall. I have a crib sheet of most
 of the settings, but even so, there's no way to restore which newsgroup
 files are read/unread. I also use the undocumented method of finding which
 gawdawful directory O.E. squirrels the files away in (all in deeply nested
 hidden directories with 80+ character tty noise filenames) and
 saving/restoring the dbx files manually.
 
 Most of the other apps aren't too bad, if you were smart enough to keep a
 crib sheet of all the serial numbers, registration numbers, and funky
 passwords. The whole job takes about 12 hours.
 
 Morals of the story:
 
 1) Keep a crib sheet of all the settings, passwords, serial numbers,
 registration follderalls, etc.
 
 2) If you're going to provide an update program, fer cryin out loud, make
 it a monolithic program that doesn't depend on everything else in the OS
 working perfectly. After all, when you need it, it's probably because the
 rest of the system isn't right. And if the update program itself is
 corrupted, then tech support can just send you a new one.
 
 3) If you're writing an app, don't require it to be reinstalled if Windows
 is reinstalled. DM programs don't need to be. Store your configuration in
 some text file that can be saved/restored. Please!
 
 4) If you're going to need to muck about with the system registry, do it
 like Quicken does. Quicken has a menu item "Backup" which, amazingly
 enough, backs up all its settings and crud to a file you specify. Then, I
 reinstall Quicken from the CD, hit "Restore" and give the file name, and
 it fixes itself. Quicken is full of horrible design choices, but at least
 they got that right. No other app I've used does that.
 
 5) Never, ever install anything with DRM on it on your work computer. DRM
 often involves rootkits, installing new drivers that destabilize your
 system, etc. This includes most game software. Use a separate computer for
 DRM, one that you won't mind regularly reinstalling Windows on.
 
 There, I feel better now <g>.

Mar 29 2006
next sibling parent "Jarrett Billingsley" <kb3ctd2 yahoo.com> writes:
"Juan Jose Comellas" <jcomellas gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:e0dtb1$2mld$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 The registry is probably the worst
 abomination to come from Redmond and it's the cause of most of the 
 problems
 Windows has.

Hehe, true. It has some benefits, but for the most part, it just makes it easier to lose all settings for all programs at once. My registry was corrupted once during a crash. It was terrible. Half the programs I had just had to be reinstalled; the rest lost all their settings and/or thought they were unregistered. And all my Windows settings too. Woo.
Mar 29 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply pragma <pragma_member pathlink.com> writes:
In article <e0dtb1$2mld$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Juan Jose Comellas says...
At some point in the past, the only way to be able to be certified
"Windows-logo compatible" was if you used the registry to save your
program's settings. I guess they wanted to make it really difficult to
switch computers without reinstalling. The registry is probably the worst
abomination to come from Redmond and it's the cause of most of the problems
Windows has.

Here's how I look at it. The registry works fantastic for a few things: 1) Making explorer do file type magic 2) OLE/Drag-and-Drop interoperability (more file type registration and metadata) 3) COM registry 4) Application initalization .. but design wise it has the following drawbacks: 1) Behaves as its own entity in memory (can you say "cache-thrashing"?) 2) Has its own LRU algorithm and behavior 3) Is prone to bloat, as applications abuse it in various ways Now if I were to ask a linux/unix guru "does the operating system have any kind of universal configuration storage medium, that is both fast and optimizable?", the answer would be "the filesystem, duh." I think the registry's #1 problem is that it has put on the winNT kernel, the responsibility of maintaining two separate "filesystems", with completely different interfaces and use characteristics. As a result, the two compete for the same resources (CPU, Cache, RAM and Disk Bandwidth) rather than cooperate. Another way to look at it is: what happens to the registry if you're using a program that doesn't talk to it? Yep, it's still in RAM waiting to be used. Why they didn't just come up with a universal configuraiton file tree ( /etc anyone? ), with filesystem drivers that feature superior or tree-specific caching, I'll never know. In every possible way, it would have provided a more stable configuration, for about half as much engineering. - EricAnderton at yahoo
Mar 29 2006
next sibling parent reply Sean Kelly <sean f4.ca> writes:
pragma wrote:
 
 Now if I were to ask a linux/unix guru "does the operating system have any kind
 of universal configuration storage medium, that is both fast and optimizable?",
 the answer would be "the filesystem, duh."

For what it's worth, MS appears to be moving away from the registry as the place to store things. The .NET API uses XML formatted files for such things.
 Why they didn't just come up with a universal configuraiton file tree ( /etc
 anyone? ), with filesystem drivers that feature superior or tree-specific
 caching, I'll never know.  In every possible way, it would have provided a more
 stable configuration, for about half as much engineering.

MS seems to be built on the idea of finding the most complex solution possible for simple problems. Sometimes I think they do it so they can farm out contract work. Sean
Mar 29 2006
parent pragma <pragma_member pathlink.com> writes:
In article <e0eant$65v$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Sean Kelly says...
MS seems to be built on the idea of finding the most complex solution 
possible for simple problems.  Sometimes I think they do it so they can 
farm out contract work.

Its funny you mention that. I was watching a program on the history of the space station this morning; it went through the Russian and American programs and compared them side-by-side over the decades. To paraphrase: "The Russians tended to devise the simplest possible solution to a problem and then never change it except when needed. In constrast, the Americans tended to create the most sophisticated solution possible so that in theory it could never break; they would revise and improve upon those solutions only after they were proven to work." The similarities between this and the OS wars just floored me. Your mention of contract work around Windows just takes the cake. :) - EricAnderton at yahoo
Mar 29 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent Rémy Mouëza <Rémy_member pathlink.com> writes:
 ...
Now if I were to ask a linux/unix guru "does the operating system have any kind
of universal configuration storage medium, that is both fast and optimizable?",
the answer would be "the filesystem, duh."

I think the registry's #1 problem is that it has put on the winNT kernel, the
responsibility of maintaining two separate "filesystems", with completely
different interfaces and use characteristics.  As a result, the two compete for
the same resources (CPU, Cache, RAM and Disk Bandwidth) rather than cooperate.

Another way to look at it is: what happens to the registry if you're using a
program that doesn't talk to it?  Yep, it's still in RAM waiting to be used.  

Why they didn't just come up with a universal configuraiton file tree ( /etc
anyone? ), with filesystem drivers that feature superior or tree-specific
caching, I'll never know.  In every possible way, it would have provided a more
stable configuration, for about half as much engineering.

- EricAnderton at yahoo

I think it's because Windows 95 and 98 were based on a DOS subsystem. Such systems could not support real multi threading. Therefore to make an efficient configuration file tree, a threaded FS would have been a better solution than a good ol' DOS system call. As one of MS' policies is (or was ?) to be backward compatible, and as win95 and winNT were developed at the same time, the registry has been kept in winNT. Win2K was based on winNT and winXP is based on win2K ( to speak in very simple terms ). Hence the registry survival. That concludes the murder (suicide ?) of Walter's windows installation. - Rémy.
Mar 29 2006
prev sibling parent reply =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Jari-Matti_M=E4kel=E4?= <jmjmak utu.fi.invalid> writes:
pragma wrote:
 In article <e0dtb1$2mld$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Juan Jose Comellas says...
 At some point in the past, the only way to be able to be certified
 "Windows-logo compatible" was if you used the registry to save your
 program's settings. I guess they wanted to make it really difficult to
 switch computers without reinstalling. The registry is probably the worst
 abomination to come from Redmond and it's the cause of most of the problems
 Windows has.

Here's how I look at it. The registry works fantastic for a few things: 1) Making explorer do file type magic 2) OLE/Drag-and-Drop interoperability (more file type registration and metadata) 3) COM registry 4) Application initalization .. but design wise it has the following drawbacks: 1) Behaves as its own entity in memory (can you say "cache-thrashing"?) 2) Has its own LRU algorithm and behavior 3) Is prone to bloat, as applications abuse it in various ways

IMO the worst thing is that you really can't separate all the per-user settings from the system-wide configuration. That makes it impossible to backup your personal data without 3rd party programs. In *nixes it's damn easy to backup your home directory without any problems and restore all data to another system in a breeze. Even a newbie can do that.
 Why they didn't just come up with a universal configuraiton file tree ( /etc
 anyone? ), with filesystem drivers that feature superior or tree-specific
 caching, I'll never know.  In every possible way, it would have provided a more
 stable configuration, for about half as much engineering.

FAT-file systems used to have bad space efficiency. Currently a complex registry would require you to have at least reiserfs4 to work fast enough. -- Jari-Matti
Mar 29 2006
parent reply S. Chancellor <dnewsgr mephit.kicks-ass.org> writes:
On 2006-03-29 09:19:27 -0800, Jari-Matti Mäkelä <jmjmak utu.fi.invalid> said:

 pragma wrote:
 In article <e0dtb1$2mld$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Juan Jose Comellas says...
 At some point in the past, the only way to be able to be certified
 "Windows-logo compatible" was if you used the registry to save your
 program's settings. I guess they wanted to make it really difficult to
 switch computers without reinstalling. The registry is probably the worst
 abomination to come from Redmond and it's the cause of most of the problems
 Windows has.

Here's how I look at it. The registry works fantastic for a few things: 1) Making explorer do file type magic 2) OLE/Drag-and-Drop interoperability (more file type registration and metadata) 3) COM registry 4) Application initalization .. but design wise it has the following drawbacks: 1) Behaves as its own entity in memory (can you say "cache-thrashing"?) 2) Has its own LRU algorithm and behavior 3) Is prone to bloat, as applications abuse it in various ways

IMO the worst thing is that you really can't separate all the per-user settings from the system-wide configuration. That makes it impossible to backup your personal data without 3rd party programs. In *nixes it's damn easy to backup your home directory without any problems and restore all data to another system in a breeze. Even a newbie can do that.

Much of the registry is stored in data files in your documents and settings folder.
 
 Why they didn't just come up with a universal configuraiton file tree ( /etc
 anyone? ), with filesystem drivers that feature superior or tree-specific
 caching, I'll never know.  In every possible way, it would have provided a more
 stable configuration, for about half as much engineering.

FAT-file systems used to have bad space efficiency. Currently a complex registry would require you to have at least reiserfs4 to work fast enough.

That is absolutely not true. Not to mention that they use NTFS now. If you're talking about storing a file for each variable, you missed the point of the original comment. Switching to everything used per-app XML files would simply require changing the behavior of the Registry function calls. -S.
Mar 31 2006
parent Jari-Matti Mäkelä <Jari-Matti_member pathlink.com> writes:
In article <e0ks5g$1h7j$2 digitaldaemon.com>, S. Chancellor says...  
  
On 2006-03-29 09:19:27 -0800, Jari-Matti Mäkelä <jmjmak utu.fi.invalid> said:  
  
 pragma wrote:  
 In article <e0dtb1$2mld$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Juan Jose Comellas says...  
 At some point in the past, the only way to be able to be certified  
 "Windows-logo compatible" was if you used the registry to save your  
 program's settings. I guess they wanted to make it really difficult to  
 switch computers without reinstalling. The registry is probably the worst  
 abomination to come from Redmond and it's the cause of most of the  




 Windows has.  

Here's how I look at it. The registry works fantastic for a few things: 1) Making explorer do file type magic 2) OLE/Drag-and-Drop interoperability (more file type registration and metadata) 3) COM registry 4) Application initalization .. but design wise it has the following drawbacks: 1) Behaves as its own entity in memory (can you say "cache-thrashing"?) 2) Has its own LRU algorithm and behavior 3) Is prone to bloat, as applications abuse it in various ways

IMO the worst thing is that you really can't separate all the per-user settings from the system-wide configuration. That makes it impossible to backup your personal data without 3rd party programs. In *nixes it's damn easy to backup your home directory without any problems and restore all data to another system in a breeze. Even a newbie can do that.

Much of the registry is stored in data files in your documents and settings folder.
   
 Why they didn't just come up with a universal configuraiton file tree  



 anyone? ), with filesystem drivers that feature superior or tree-specific  
 caching, I'll never know.  In every possible way, it would have provided a  



 stable configuration, for about half as much engineering.  

FAT-file systems used to have bad space efficiency. Currently a complex registry would require you to have at least reiserfs4 to work fast enough.

That is absolutely not true. Not to mention that they use NTFS now. If you're talking about storing a file for each variable, you missed the point of the original comment. Switching to everything used per-app XML files would simply require changing the behavior of the Registry function calls.

Hmm, I think I said "they _used to_ have bad space efficiency". For example the block size was ~64 kB on a "large" hard disk back then (1991-1995). Another solution was to use smaller blocks, but a huge FAT-block. Win-3.1 programs didn't have cool installshield wizards and stuff like that. They stored per-application data in separate .ini-files to c:\windows and never removed any .ini-files of removed programs. Having thousands of separate small files in the same directory was and is a pain in a FAT-system. Back then hard drives were quite small and 2000 files * 64 kB/file was 128 MB! XML is very cool and per-app xml files in user home directory is a working solution on modern *nix systems, but certainly you realize that XML 1.0 was introduced in 1998 and registry was already widely used in Windows 95. It's hard to change that with some backwards compatibility in mind. NTFS may be somewhat better than FAT, but it's still slower than reiserfs4. Many friends of mine use FAT32 because it's faster than NTFS in some cases. The problem with per-app configuration files is that they should be in a strict directory hierarchy to work well on non-reiser4-systems. One big file or many small files in a same directory are both bad options on traditional file systems. -- Jari-Matti
Apr 01 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Tom <Tom_member pathlink.com> writes:
I used to work as a computer technician and have PLENTY hundreds of hours (or
thousands of them maybe) making backups, restoring program settings, saving mail
data from Outlook Shit-Express and others, cleaning
viruses/trojans/spyware/adware, configuring network and reinstalling/tuning
Windows 95/98/2000/XP (of weak users that broke their systems in a week/month
basis). It's the worst crap you can ever do and I hate the job, though I made
pretty much cash with it. I agree, the registry is the worst design decision
I've ever seen.

Linux is a beautiful system (and also is FreeBSD) but they both have their
problems such as for example: they're hard to configure, they lack drivers, they
lack applications for some professional enviroments (eg. autocad, 3dsmax, games,

many others), they are TOO complicated for regular people, without an Internet
connection they're hard to learn, etc.

The morals of the story: computers ARE NOT for everybody yet now in the 2006,
even with dumb-oriented systems as Windows XP. You choose with which harshness
you want to live with when choosing an OS depending on the time you have and the
tasks you'll be performing on the system.

What Walter has been through is something every Windows user has to pass once in
a while, a pain in the ass.

In article <e0dtb1$2mld$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Juan Jose Comellas says...
At some point in the past, the only way to be able to be certified
"Windows-logo compatible" was if you used the registry to save your
program's settings. I guess they wanted to make it really difficult to
switch computers without reinstalling. The registry is probably the worst
abomination to come from Redmond and it's the cause of most of the problems
Windows has.


Walter Bright wrote:

 A few days ago, Outlook Express starting acting flaky - my account names
 were forcibly converted to 1, 2, 3, etc., and retyping in the correct ones
 refused to stick. Then, windows update started failing with useless
 messages consisting of 8 digit hex numbers.
 
 So I thought I'd try Microsoft update tech support (which is free for
 update failures). They asked me to send them logs, which I did. Then, came
 an endless series of "try this ...", which usually involved unregistering
 a dozen dlls, rebooting, starting/stopping services, reregistering them,
 renaming system files, booting in safe mode, wiping directories, deleting
 files, rebooting, rebooting, all to no avail (except the 8 digit hex
 number would change).
 
 Then came the exhortation to run a virus scan, with a couple links. The
 symantec virus scan crashed after a half hour. The other one completed,
 and found nothing.
 
 At this point, it was apparent that tech support had no idea why this was
 happening, and I was beginning to worry there was either a rootkit
 installed, or there was just creeping corruption going on. I gave up on
 Microsoft tech support, and decided to reinstall Windows.
 
 Do you know it takes THREE HOURS to install Windows from scratch? Gads,
 you install XP from the CD which requires rebooting several times, then
 again from the XP SP2 update CD (rebooting n more times), then you log in
 to Windows update and update/reboot 4 or 5 more times. Why can't Windows
 Update download everything at once and reboot only once?
 
 So now I've got Windows reinstalled. Now comes the dance of reinstalling
 everything else. The worst is, of course, Outlook Express which completely
 loses track of everything after a reinstall. I have a crib sheet of most
 of the settings, but even so, there's no way to restore which newsgroup
 files are read/unread. I also use the undocumented method of finding which
 gawdawful directory O.E. squirrels the files away in (all in deeply nested
 hidden directories with 80+ character tty noise filenames) and
 saving/restoring the dbx files manually.
 
 Most of the other apps aren't too bad, if you were smart enough to keep a
 crib sheet of all the serial numbers, registration numbers, and funky
 passwords. The whole job takes about 12 hours.
 
 Morals of the story:
 
 1) Keep a crib sheet of all the settings, passwords, serial numbers,
 registration follderalls, etc.
 
 2) If you're going to provide an update program, fer cryin out loud, make
 it a monolithic program that doesn't depend on everything else in the OS
 working perfectly. After all, when you need it, it's probably because the
 rest of the system isn't right. And if the update program itself is
 corrupted, then tech support can just send you a new one.
 
 3) If you're writing an app, don't require it to be reinstalled if Windows
 is reinstalled. DM programs don't need to be. Store your configuration in
 some text file that can be saved/restored. Please!
 
 4) If you're going to need to muck about with the system registry, do it
 like Quicken does. Quicken has a menu item "Backup" which, amazingly
 enough, backs up all its settings and crud to a file you specify. Then, I
 reinstall Quicken from the CD, hit "Restore" and give the file name, and
 it fixes itself. Quicken is full of horrible design choices, but at least
 they got that right. No other app I've used does that.
 
 5) Never, ever install anything with DRM on it on your work computer. DRM
 often involves rootkits, installing new drivers that destabilize your
 system, etc. This includes most game software. Use a separate computer for
 DRM, one that you won't mind regularly reinstalling Windows on.
 
 There, I feel better now <g>.


Tom;
Mar 29 2006
parent reply Fredrik Olsson <peylow treyst.se> writes:
Tom skrev:
 I used to work as a computer technician and have PLENTY hundreds of hours (or
 thousands of them maybe) making backups, restoring program settings, saving
mail
 data from Outlook Shit-Express and others, cleaning
 viruses/trojans/spyware/adware, configuring network and reinstalling/tuning
 Windows 95/98/2000/XP (of weak users that broke their systems in a week/month
 basis). It's the worst crap you can ever do and I hate the job, though I made
 pretty much cash with it. I agree, the registry is the worst design decision
 I've ever seen.
 
 Linux is a beautiful system (and also is FreeBSD) but they both have their
 problems such as for example: they're hard to configure, they lack drivers,
they
 lack applications for some professional enviroments (eg. autocad, 3dsmax,
games,
 
 many others), they are TOO complicated for regular people, without an Internet
 connection they're hard to learn, etc.
 
 The morals of the story: computers ARE NOT for everybody yet now in the 2006,
 even with dumb-oriented systems as Windows XP. You choose with which harshness
 you want to live with when choosing an OS depending on the time you have and
the
 tasks you'll be performing on the system.
 

<snip> // Fredrik
Mar 30 2006
parent reply =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Anders_F_Bj=F6rklund?= <afb algonet.se> writes:
Fredrik Olsson wrote:

 The morals of the story: computers ARE NOT for everybody yet now in
  the 2006, even with dumb-oriented systems as Windows XP. You
 choose with which harshness you want to live with when choosing an
 OS depending on the time you have and the tasks you'll be
 performing on the system

I beg to differ, we have Mac OS X. A unix for pretty much everyone.

Mac OS X is only partly UNIX, though ? And not for the poor ;-) There are *several* reasons to chose one of the alternatives... Linux, FreeBSD, OpenSolaris, etc. One is the lack of open source, or choosing your own hardware. Another is the recent number of security issues, on Mac OS X ? I happen to like Macs, but they're clearly not for everyone... Mac OS X is something of a strange hybrid (MacOS and OPENSTEP) So nowadays, I'm platform agnostic. Fortunately, GNU and Linux runs fine on both of my machines, so I can always dual-boot into that when I tire of OS X / XP ? I think it's sad, really. Computers *should* be for everyone. And here I think that Mark Shuttleworth is on the right way... --anders PS. I remember when Apple introduced the Xserve. One slide said: "simplicity and elegance of Unix, power and stability of Mac" I found that particular translation (to Swedish) was hilarious.
Mar 30 2006
next sibling parent reply Lucas Goss <lgoss007 gmail.com> writes:
Anders F Björklund wrote:
 I think it's sad, really. Computers *should* be for everyone.
 And here I think that Mark Shuttleworth is on the right way...

Shuttleworth on the right way... definately!
Mar 30 2006
parent =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Anders_F_Bj=F6rklund?= <afb algonet.se> writes:
Lucas Goss wrote:

 I think it's sad, really. Computers *should* be for everyone.
 And here I think that Mark Shuttleworth is on the right way...

Shuttleworth on the right way... definately!

To be specific, I was talking about the Ubuntu Manifesto: "The Ubuntu community is built on the ideas enshrined in the Ubuntu Philosophy: that software should be available free of charge, that software tools should be usable by people in their local language and despite any disabilities, and that people should have the freedom to customise and alter their software in whatever way they see fit." Don't think that defending freedom means that you *can't* charge for it. Just because the source code is available, doesn't mean that you can't sell a packaged and supported version of the software. Works for RedHat? (and you can still build and customise their software, as you see fit) I might not use Debian or Python myself, but that's different :-) --anders
Mar 30 2006
prev sibling parent reply Fredrik Olsson <peylow gmail.com> writes:
Anders F Björklund skrev:
 Fredrik Olsson wrote:
 
 The morals of the story: computers ARE NOT for everybody yet now in
  the 2006, even with dumb-oriented systems as Windows XP. You
 choose with which harshness you want to live with when choosing an
 OS depending on the time you have and the tasks you'll be
 performing on the system

I beg to differ, we have Mac OS X. A unix for pretty much everyone.

Mac OS X is only partly UNIX, though ? And not for the poor ;-) There are *several* reasons to chose one of the alternatives... Linux, FreeBSD, OpenSolaris, etc. One is the lack of open source, or choosing your own hardware. Another is the recent number of security issues, on Mac OS X ?

source projects out there works on OS X as well. The hardware and price I agree on, mostly because I chose Mac not for the hardware but purely the software :/. As for the security issues I have a feeling that the press have blown it out of proportions. With not a single virus in the wild for five years, the first one is big news. But comparing that to the thousands available for "other operating systems" is not quite fair :).
 
 I happen to like Macs, but they're clearly not for everyone...
 Mac OS X is something of a strange hybrid (MacOS and OPENSTEP)
 
 So nowadays, I'm platform agnostic.
 

Linux as my main workstation, and had it working for close to a year. I think it was best phrased by BCS: "Unix, is novice hostile... Windows, is expert hostile" I find that OS X positions itself in the middle; easy enough to get the what ever the daily routine puts in front of me, and hard core enough to do the tweaking when I like to. I think most peoples trouble with OS X and "not unix enough" is that they are familiar with Linux, and OS X have more BSD roots.
 Fortunately, GNU and Linux runs fine on both of my machines,
 so I can always dual-boot into that when I tire of OS X / XP ?
 
 
 I think it's sad, really. Computers *should* be for everyone.
 And here I think that Mark Shuttleworth is on the right way...
 
 --anders
 
 
 PS.
 I remember when Apple introduced the Xserve. One slide said:
 "simplicity and elegance of Unix, power and stability of Mac"
 I found that particular translation (to Swedish) was hilarious.

Mar 30 2006
parent =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Anders_F_Bj=F6rklund?= <afb algonet.se> writes:
Fredrik Olsson wrote:

 One is the lack of open source, or choosing your own hardware.
 Another is the recent number of security issues, on Mac OS X ?

source projects out there works on OS X as well.

I meant for the operating system itself... That *other* projects work on it is not really a major feature of OS X, but it is rather useful ? (I still miss a few of the major ones on Mac OS X... Like GTK+ 2.x ?) A few the core components are still open source, but far from the most.
 The hardware and price I agree on, mostly because I chose Mac not for 
 the hardware but purely the software :/.

I am actually rather happy with the older Apple hardware I have owned.
 As for the security issues I have a feeling that the press have blown it 
 out of proportions. With not a single virus in the wild for five years, 
 the first one is big news. But comparing that to the thousands available 
 for "other operating systems" is not quite fair :).

No, but Apple could *quickly* have a scenario just like Microsoft's...
 I find that OS X positions itself in the middle; easy enough to get the 
 what ever the daily routine puts in front of me, and hard core enough to 
  do the tweaking when I like to.

I changed my dual-boot Mac OS 9 and Linux into a Mac OS X workstation, which has worked pretty good. But now I am thinking about changing back.
 I think most peoples trouble with OS X and "not unix enough" is that 
 they are familiar with Linux, and OS X have more BSD roots.

Many people that were used to NextStep and OpenStep also had problems with that OS X is not Unix enough. They don't understand the Mac side. I don't think the threat for Mac OS X users is less than any other OS. And unless it is taken seriously, it could lead to some serious grief. --anders
Mar 30 2006
prev sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound digitalmars.com> writes:
Juan Jose Comellas wrote:
 At some point in the past, the only way to be able to be certified
 "Windows-logo compatible" was if you used the registry to save your
 program's settings. I guess they wanted to make it really difficult to
 switch computers without reinstalling. The registry is probably the worst
 abomination to come from Redmond and it's the cause of most of the problems
 Windows has.

The registry problem also prevents me from upgrading to new versions of Windows. Microsoft complains that a lot of people refuse to upgrade Windows, but this is a big reason why. After all, if you've been running for years and you've lost your original install CDs or the registration code, you'll *lose* your apps when you upgrade.
Mar 29 2006
parent Georg Wrede <georg.wrede nospam.org> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:
 Juan Jose Comellas wrote:
 
 At some point in the past, the only way to be able to be certified
 "Windows-logo compatible" was if you used the registry to save your
 program's settings. I guess they wanted to make it really difficult to
 switch computers without reinstalling. The registry is probably the worst
 abomination to come from Redmond and it's the cause of most of the 
 problems
 Windows has.

The registry problem also prevents me from upgrading to new versions of Windows. Microsoft complains that a lot of people refuse to upgrade Windows, but this is a big reason why. After all, if you've been running for years and you've lost your original install CDs or the registration code, you'll *lose* your apps when you upgrade.

That's why it's likely that once my W2k doesn't cut it anymore, I'll throw Windows entirely out. I will miss the overall smoothness, Word outlining (which I'm probably the only person on earth to seriously depend upon), Excel UI with all the small details ok, and some Windows-only old apps I still use. But XP is too much for me, and certainly their next Windows apalls me. Besides (at least for an IT pro), the amount of new stuff to learn will approach that of switching to Linux anyway. And once on Linux, the stuff you learn is usable decade from decade. (But hey, this is like trying to explain what's the big deal in using an HP calculator.)
Mar 31 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Joel Lucsy <jjlucsy usol.com> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:
 A few days ago, Outlook Express starting acting flaky - my account names 
 were forcibly converted to 1, 2, 3, etc., and retyping in the correct ones 
 refused to stick. Then, windows update started failing with useless messages 
 consisting of 8 digit hex numbers.

Ever thought about running Thunderbird? I've been running it since it first came out and have never had corruption that wasn't my own fault. -- Joel Lucsy "The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn't have a space program." -- Larry Niven
Mar 29 2006
next sibling parent Nic Tiger <g_tiger progtech.ru> writes:
Joel Lucsy wrote:
 Walter Bright wrote:
 A few days ago, Outlook Express starting acting flaky - my account 
 names were forcibly converted to 1, 2, 3, etc., and retyping in the 
 correct ones refused to stick. Then, windows update started failing 
 with useless messages consisting of 8 digit hex numbers.

Ever thought about running Thunderbird? I've been running it since it first came out and have never had corruption that wasn't my own fault.

I also started using Mozilla Thunderbird recently, and it seems *very* convenient. Furthermore, I configured it to look as OE (which I couldn't with other 4-5 newsreaders I tried last week) while it is much more useful and reliable (and it doesn't have unread-message-count bug which I was unable to defeat with OE several days ago). So, consider using Mozilla Thunderbird as a better replacement for OE. (I used OE (mail & newsgroups) for 3 years and not used it last 2 years because of switching to The Bat due to big security problems in OE)
Mar 29 2006
prev sibling parent Kyle Furlong <kylefurlong gmail.com> writes:
Joel Lucsy wrote:
 Walter Bright wrote:
 A few days ago, Outlook Express starting acting flaky - my account 
 names were forcibly converted to 1, 2, 3, etc., and retyping in the 
 correct ones refused to stick. Then, windows update started failing 
 with useless messages consisting of 8 digit hex numbers.

Ever thought about running Thunderbird? I've been running it since it first came out and have never had corruption that wasn't my own fault.

Thunderbird has worked well for me as well.
Mar 29 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply pragma <pragma_member pathlink.com> writes:
In article <e0dmeo$2cmk$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Walter Bright says...

There, I feel better now <g>. 

I feel your pain Walter. I knew something was fundamentally wrong with Windows when I once told a friend that my (former) windows 98 installation was up and running (and under heavy use) for over 3 years. His face was aghast as he quipped "how the hell did you do *that*?" "Blood, sweat and many tears", I replied. - EricAnderton at yahoo
Mar 29 2006
parent reply "John C" <johnch_atms hotmail.com> writes:
"pragma" <pragma_member pathlink.com> wrote in message 
news:e0e546$30mt$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 In article <e0dmeo$2cmk$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Walter Bright says...

There, I feel better now <g>.

I feel your pain Walter. I knew something was fundamentally wrong with Windows when I once told a friend that my (former) windows 98 installation was up and running (and under heavy use) for over 3 years. His face was aghast as he quipped "how the hell did you do *that*?" "Blood, sweat and many tears", I replied. - EricAnderton at yahoo

Poor Windows. It does take some stick. Shall I be the only one to come to its defence and say I've never had so much as a crash since Windows 2000? Honestly, all this fuss...
Mar 29 2006
next sibling parent reply pragma <pragma_member pathlink.com> writes:
In article <e0e770$21p$1 digitaldaemon.com>, John C says...
"pragma" <pragma_member pathlink.com> wrote in message 
news:e0e546$30mt$1 digitaldaemon.com...
 In article <e0dmeo$2cmk$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Walter Bright says...

There, I feel better now <g>.

I feel your pain Walter. I knew something was fundamentally wrong with Windows when I once told a friend that my (former) windows 98 installation was up and running (and under heavy use) for over 3 years. His face was aghast as he quipped "how the hell did you do *that*?" "Blood, sweat and many tears", I replied. - EricAnderton at yahoo

Poor Windows. It does take some stick. Shall I be the only one to come to its defence and say I've never had so much as a crash since Windows 2000? Honestly, all this fuss...

Oh, don't get me wrong. If there's one thing that Windows does well, it manages to wrangle an absolutely *huge* hardware compatibility listing. Throw in on top of that the mind-boggling size of the matrix created by drivers, hardware, patches hotfixes and locales, and its a wonder that it doesn't blow up more often than it does. BTW, I hope to come back to it all by running XP in a vmware environment when I get the chance. I still need a flexible test platform after all. :) My major contention with Windows is that it lacks a good failure mode for a lot of stuff that linux/unix users take for granted. If you happen to touch on a bad combination of the facets mentioned above, you don't boot at all, or get a pretty blue-screen when you least expect it - Safe Mode doesn't always get you back out that mess. Also, linux is not without its warts too. I'm having a hell of a time trying to get it to support Nforce3 from a floppy install - AFAIK, it can't be done w/o some serious hacking or using a CD instead. - EricAnderton at yahoo
Mar 29 2006
next sibling parent reply Lars Ivar Igesund <larsivar igesund.net> writes:
pragma wrote:
 
 Also, linux is not without its warts too.  I'm having a hell of a time
 trying to get it to support Nforce3 from a floppy install - AFAIK, it
 can't be done w/o some serious hacking or using a CD instead.
 
 - EricAnderton at yahoo

That is more of a case of nVidia sending out cease and desist orders to those trying to create open drivers. Instead you have to use their binary blob that's usually less stable (and definately harder to debug for the communities.)
Mar 29 2006
parent reply pragma <pragma_member pathlink.com> writes:
In article <e0e94k$41o$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Lars Ivar Igesund says...
pragma wrote:
 
 Also, linux is not without its warts too.  I'm having a hell of a time
 trying to get it to support Nforce3 from a floppy install - AFAIK, it
 can't be done w/o some serious hacking or using a CD instead.
 
 - EricAnderton at yahoo

That is more of a case of nVidia sending out cease and desist orders to those trying to create open drivers. Instead you have to use their binary blob that's usually less stable (and definately harder to debug for the communities.)

Ahh, hence why the "forcedeth" for Nforce3 (the netboot driver disk has it for Nforce2) seems strangely absent from things. And I thought they simply turned their heads while it was being developed? I tried mucking around with that download, but it looked like it wanted to build a new kernel, rather than just spit out a module to use. I found that quite odd. - EricAnderton at yahoo
Mar 29 2006
parent Georg Wrede <georg.wrede nospam.org> writes:
pragma wrote:
 In article <e0e94k$41o$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Lars Ivar Igesund
 says...
 
 pragma wrote:
 
 Also, linux is not without its warts too.  I'm having a hell of a
 time trying to get it to support Nforce3 from a floppy install -
 AFAIK, it can't be done w/o some serious hacking or using a CD
 instead.
 
 - EricAnderton at yahoo

That is more of a case of nVidia sending out cease and desist orders to those trying to create open drivers. Instead you have to use their binary blob that's usually less stable (and definately harder to debug for the communities.)

Ahh, hence why the "forcedeth" for Nforce3 (the netboot driver disk has it for Nforce2) seems strangely absent from things. And I thought they simply turned their heads while it was being developed? I tried mucking around with that download, but it looked like it wanted to build a new kernel, rather than just spit out a module to use. I found that quite odd.

It seems they have to have a change of boss -- and a serious decline in sales, before they understand that it's _cooperation_ with Linux folks that will save their butt. The day comes, only let's hope it's sooner tha later.
Mar 31 2006
prev sibling parent reply James Dunne <james.jdunne gmail.com> writes:
pragma wrote:
 In article <e0e770$21p$1 digitaldaemon.com>, John C says...
 
 [snip]
 
 Also, linux is not without its warts too.  I'm having a hell of a time trying
to
 get it to support Nforce3 from a floppy install - AFAIK, it can't be done w/o
 some serious hacking or using a CD instead.
 
 - EricAnderton at yahoo

I set up my dual-boot XP/Gentoo machine at home using VMWare since I have an nForce motherboard. I can't really do a network install booted into Linux without drivers for the network card... so VMWare to the rescue. I set it loose to use the physical hard drive so I can install Linux onto my HD and boot into it later, *after* I download the nVidia drivers for my system. I decided to leave it installing in a VM because it takes a helluva long time to install Gentoo (compiling, compiling, compiling...). I think I had it running for > 2.5 days before I had a minimally working system. Now I barely use it and just use XP as the regular OS. -- -----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK----- Version: 3.1 GCS/MU/S d-pu s:+ a-->? C++++$ UL+++ P--- L+++ !E W-- N++ o? K? w--- O M-- V? PS PE Y+ PGP- t+ 5 X+ !R tv-->!tv b- DI++(+) D++ G e++>e h>--->++ r+++ y+++ ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------ James Dunne
Mar 29 2006
parent reply =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Jari-Matti_M=E4kel=E4?= <jmjmak utu.fi.invalid> writes:
James Dunne wrote:
 pragma wrote:
 In article <e0e770$21p$1 digitaldaemon.com>, John C says...

 [snip]

 Also, linux is not without its warts too.  I'm having a hell of a time
 trying to
 get it to support Nforce3 from a floppy install - AFAIK, it can't be
 done w/o
 some serious hacking or using a CD instead.

 - EricAnderton at yahoo

I set up my dual-boot XP/Gentoo machine at home using VMWare since I have an nForce motherboard. I can't really do a network install booted into Linux without drivers for the network card... so VMWare to the rescue. I set it loose to use the physical hard drive so I can install Linux onto my HD and boot into it later, *after* I download the nVidia drivers for my system. I decided to leave it installing in a VM because it takes a helluva long time to install Gentoo (compiling, compiling, compiling...). I think I had it running for > 2.5 days before I had a minimally working system. Now I barely use it and just use XP as the regular OS.

So true.. except that it only takes ~8 hours to compile the base system on an Athlon XP. You can download all the necessary drivers to a FAT-partition before starting the installation. That way you can run things natively. -- Jari-Matti
Mar 29 2006
parent reply Kyle Furlong <kylefurlong gmail.com> writes:
Jari-Matti Mäkelä wrote:
 James Dunne wrote:
 pragma wrote:
 In article <e0e770$21p$1 digitaldaemon.com>, John C says...

 [snip]

 Also, linux is not without its warts too.  I'm having a hell of a time
 trying to
 get it to support Nforce3 from a floppy install - AFAIK, it can't be
 done w/o
 some serious hacking or using a CD instead.

 - EricAnderton at yahoo

have an nForce motherboard. I can't really do a network install booted into Linux without drivers for the network card... so VMWare to the rescue. I set it loose to use the physical hard drive so I can install Linux onto my HD and boot into it later, *after* I download the nVidia drivers for my system. I decided to leave it installing in a VM because it takes a helluva long time to install Gentoo (compiling, compiling, compiling...). I think I had it running for > 2.5 days before I had a minimally working system. Now I barely use it and just use XP as the regular OS.

So true.. except that it only takes ~8 hours to compile the base system on an Athlon XP. You can download all the necessary drivers to a FAT-partition before starting the installation. That way you can run things natively.

If you want fast installation, wth were you doing using gentoo? You want a mandrake, fedora, or ubuntu.
Mar 29 2006
parent =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Jari-Matti_M=E4kel=E4?= <jmjmak utu.fi.invalid> writes:
Kyle Furlong wrote:
 Jari-Matti Mäkelä wrote:
 James Dunne wrote:
 pragma wrote:
 In article <e0e770$21p$1 digitaldaemon.com>, John C says...

 [snip]

 Also, linux is not without its warts too.  I'm having a hell of a time
 trying to
 get it to support Nforce3 from a floppy install - AFAIK, it can't be
 done w/o
 some serious hacking or using a CD instead.

 - EricAnderton at yahoo

have an nForce motherboard. I can't really do a network install booted into Linux without drivers for the network card... so VMWare to the rescue. I set it loose to use the physical hard drive so I can install Linux onto my HD and boot into it later, *after* I download the nVidia drivers for my system. I decided to leave it installing in a VM because it takes a helluva long time to install Gentoo (compiling, compiling, compiling...). I think I had it running for > 2.5 days before I had a minimally working system. Now I barely use it and just use XP as the regular OS.

So true.. except that it only takes ~8 hours to compile the base system on an Athlon XP. You can download all the necessary drivers to a FAT-partition before starting the installation. That way you can run things natively.

If you want fast installation, wth were you doing using gentoo? You want a mandrake, fedora, or ubuntu.

Their package repositories is a bit smaller. Gentoo is always ready to compile everything you might ever need and it's hard as a rock in terms of both stability and security. -- Jari-Matti
Mar 29 2006
prev sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound digitalmars.com> writes:
John C wrote:
 Poor Windows. It does take some stick. Shall I be the only one to come to 
 its defence and say I've never had so much as a crash since Windows 2000? 
 Honestly, all this fuss... 

XP rarely self-destructs on me. This is the second time in about 3 years. But when it does, you're in for a full day or two of work, presuming you have all your crib sheets and install disks ready. The only reason I had them this time is because last August it failed on me, and it took me about a week to get everything sorted out (and some stuff was lost for good), including contacting some companies and begging them to give me a new registration code :-(. I'd forgive Windows for needing a reinstall now and then *if* it separated applications from the operating system, and *if* it provided reasonable ways to back up and restore things like O.E. The only way to back up Windows is to mirror the drive.
Mar 29 2006
next sibling parent reply Ant <duitoolkit yahoo.ca> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:

 XP rarely self-destructs on me. This is the second time in about 3 
 years.

I don't think that's reasonable but many windows users find it natural. Ant
Mar 29 2006
parent reply David L. Davis <SpottedTiger yahoo.com> writes:
In article <e0er40$qdv$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Ant says...
Walter Bright wrote:

 XP rarely self-destructs on me. This is the second time in about 3 
 years.

I don't think that's reasonable but many windows users find it natural. Ant

I don't find your comment reasonable either, but natural for a non-Windows users. :P David L. ------------------------------------------------------------------- "Dare to reach for the Stars...Dare to Dream, Build, and Achieve!" ------------------------------------------------------------------- MKoD: http://spottedtiger.tripod.com/D_Language/D_Main_XP.html
Mar 29 2006
parent Ant <duitoolkit yahoo.ca> writes:
David L. Davis wrote:
 In article <e0er40$qdv$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Ant says...
 Walter Bright wrote:

 XP rarely self-destructs on me. This is the second time in about 3 
 years.

Ant

I don't find your comment reasonable either, but natural for a non-Windows users. :P

I think we proved each other points. :) Ant
Mar 29 2006
prev sibling parent "Rioshin an'Harthen" <rharth75 hotmail.com> writes:
"Walter Bright" <newshound digitalmars.com> wrote:
 John C wrote:
 Poor Windows. It does take some stick. Shall I be the only one to come to 
 its defence and say I've never had so much as a crash since Windows 2000? 
 Honestly, all this fuss...

XP rarely self-destructs on me. This is the second time in about 3 years. But when it does, you're in for a full day or two of work, presuming you have all your crib sheets and install disks ready. The only reason I had them this time is because last August it failed on me, and it took me about a week to get everything sorted out (and some stuff was lost for good), including contacting some companies and begging them to give me a new registration code :-(. I'd forgive Windows for needing a reinstall now and then *if* it separated applications from the operating system, and *if* it provided reasonable ways to back up and restore things like O.E. The only way to back up Windows is to mirror the drive.

Maybe that's the reason I don't like Windows - although I have to use it, both at work, and at home. (I'm dual booting into XP Pro or Fedora 4) During the time I've had this computer (since September 2004), I've had to reinstall Windows no less than 10 times - usually about two months between reinstalls, shortest has been 2 days after I managed to finally install all the software I need. Installing all the software I use is not a task for the faint-hearted. It takes me about a week, working 8-12 hours a day, to get all the software back in shape. Everything from 3dsmax to visual studio, sql server, etc. And not forgetting to, after installing Windows, to go into the control panel and add/remove programs for the needed Windows components it does not want to install by default. Why, oh why doesn't Microsoft let us select *during* install what features we want? I always hate having to go into the control panel and add IIS etc. to the system...
Mar 29 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent "Unknown W. Brackets" <unknown simplemachines.org> writes:
I'm just waiting for not the DRM rootkit from Sony, but the DRM virus 
from Mr. Hacker that makes it so all my files are processor-enforced 
going to expire in three days, and can no longer be copied off my hard 
drive.  That will make my life interesting.  Then, I will finally switch 
my primary machine to Linux.

As for Windows reinstallation... I've done it enough times I already do 
all those things ;).  Windows 98 was so much worse than XP too... with 
XP, depending on how you do it, you can usually keep the registry. 
Unless of course it's corrupted, that is.

Hope things work out more favorably with after all this mess.  For what 
it's worth, many other newsgroup clients - like Thunderbird, which I'm 
using now, and Opera - don't use the registry and have a directory you 
can just backup or copy over :).

-[Unknown]


 A few days ago, Outlook Express starting acting flaky - my account names 
 were forcibly converted to 1, 2, 3, etc., and retyping in the correct ones 
 refused to stick. Then, windows update started failing with useless messages 
 consisting of 8 digit hex numbers.
 
 So I thought I'd try Microsoft update tech support (which is free for update 
 failures). They asked me to send them logs, which I did. Then, came an 
 endless series of "try this ...", which usually involved unregistering a 
 dozen dlls, rebooting, starting/stopping services, reregistering them, 
 renaming system files, booting in safe mode, wiping directories, deleting 
 files, rebooting, rebooting, all to no avail (except the 8 digit hex number 
 would change).
 
 Then came the exhortation to run a virus scan, with a couple links. The 
 symantec virus scan crashed after a half hour. The other one completed, and 
 found nothing.
 
 At this point, it was apparent that tech support had no idea why this was 
 happening, and I was beginning to worry there was either a rootkit 
 installed, or there was just creeping corruption going on. I gave up on 
 Microsoft tech support, and decided to reinstall Windows.
 
 Do you know it takes THREE HOURS to install Windows from scratch? Gads, you 
 install XP from the CD which requires rebooting several times, then again 
 from the XP SP2 update CD (rebooting n more times), then you log in to 
 Windows update and update/reboot 4 or 5 more times. Why can't Windows Update 
 download everything at once and reboot only once?
 
 So now I've got Windows reinstalled. Now comes the dance of reinstalling 
 everything else. The worst is, of course, Outlook Express which completely 
 loses track of everything after a reinstall. I have a crib sheet of most of 
 the settings, but even so, there's no way to restore which newsgroup files 
 are read/unread. I also use the undocumented method of finding which 
 gawdawful directory O.E. squirrels the files away in (all in deeply nested 
 hidden directories with 80+ character tty noise filenames) and 
 saving/restoring the dbx files manually.
 
 Most of the other apps aren't too bad, if you were smart enough to keep a 
 crib sheet of all the serial numbers, registration numbers, and funky 
 passwords. The whole job takes about 12 hours.
 
 Morals of the story:
 
 1) Keep a crib sheet of all the settings, passwords, serial numbers, 
 registration follderalls, etc.
 
 2) If you're going to provide an update program, fer cryin out loud, make it 
 a monolithic program that doesn't depend on everything else in the OS 
 working perfectly. After all, when you need it, it's probably because the 
 rest of the system isn't right. And if the update program itself is 
 corrupted, then tech support can just send you a new one.
 
 3) If you're writing an app, don't require it to be reinstalled if Windows 
 is reinstalled. DM programs don't need to be. Store your configuration in 
 some text file that can be saved/restored. Please!
 
 4) If you're going to need to muck about with the system registry, do it 
 like Quicken does. Quicken has a menu item "Backup" which, amazingly enough, 
 backs up all its settings and crud to a file you specify. Then, I reinstall 
 Quicken from the CD, hit "Restore" and give the file name, and it fixes 
 itself. Quicken is full of horrible design choices, but at least they got 
 that right. No other app I've used does that.
 
 5) Never, ever install anything with DRM on it on your work computer. DRM 
 often involves rootkits, installing new drivers that destabilize your 
 system, etc. This includes most game software. Use a separate computer for 
 DRM, one that you won't mind regularly reinstalling Windows on.
 
 There, I feel better now <g>. 
 
 

Mar 29 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply dennis luehring <dl.soluz gmx.net> writes:
 Do you know it takes THREE HOURS to install Windows from scratch? Gads, you 
 install XP from the CD which requires rebooting several times, then again 
 from the XP SP2 update CD (rebooting n more times), then you log in to 
 Windows update and update/reboot 4 or 5 more times. Why can't Windows Update 
 download everything at once and reboot only once?

it is nearly possible (you can speedup the installation) 1. copy your xp-installation cd onto your harddisk 2. slipstream your xp-cd-copy with the sp2 (permanently) (http://www.helpwithwindows.com/WindowsXP/winxp-sp2-bootcd.html) ca. 15min 3. use an update-tool (there are many out there - try google) to update your xp-cd-copy with all other hotfixes (http://www.ryanvm.net/msfn/updatepack.html) (http://sereby.german-nlite.de/) ca. 10min (4. you can write back this updated xp version back to an cd) 5. install xp using the xp-cd-copy folder (it is a very fast method: because of the harddisk-speed and the not needed internet updated) ca. xyz min (i don't know) ciao dennis
Mar 29 2006
parent reply Alex Stevenson <ans104SPAM ISBADcs.york.ac.uk> writes:
dennis luehring wrote:
...
 2. slipstream your xp-cd-copy with the sp2 (permanently)
 (http://www.helpwithwindows.com/WindowsXP/winxp-sp2-bootcd.html)
 ca. 15min

Slipstreaming service packs onto CD saved me a lot of time on my XP reinstalls - you can also set up an automated install so you don't have to go through all the guff of entering keys, time zones and localisation settings every time.
Mar 29 2006
parent Kyle Furlong <kylefurlong gmail.com> writes:
Alex Stevenson wrote:
 dennis luehring wrote:
 ...
 2. slipstream your xp-cd-copy with the sp2 (permanently)
 (http://www.helpwithwindows.com/WindowsXP/winxp-sp2-bootcd.html)
 ca. 15min

Slipstreaming service packs onto CD saved me a lot of time on my XP reinstalls - you can also set up an automated install so you don't have to go through all the guff of entering keys, time zones and localisation settings every time.

Theres even a handy tool which will do it all for you! http://www.nliteos.com/ Nlite also allows you to remove ANY part of windows that you wish. For instance, I dont use any sort of printer, so I removed ALL printer support from the OS. Maybe I'm just a speed freak though... :-)
Mar 29 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Sean Kelly <sean f4.ca> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:
 
 So now I've got Windows reinstalled. Now comes the dance of reinstalling 
 everything else. The worst is, of course, Outlook Express which completely 
 loses track of everything after a reinstall. I have a crib sheet of most of 
 the settings, but even so, there's no way to restore which newsgroup files 
 are read/unread. I also use the undocumented method of finding which 
 gawdawful directory O.E. squirrels the files away in (all in deeply nested 
 hidden directories with 80+ character tty noise filenames) and 
 saving/restoring the dbx files manually.

It's probably not an option if you have so much archived, but I've found Thunderbird to be a capable email client, and all the old settings can be picked up by saving/restoring the proper folder in Application Data.
 Most of the other apps aren't too bad, if you were smart enough to keep a 
 crib sheet of all the serial numbers, registration numbers, and funky 
 passwords. The whole job takes about 12 hours.

I've found Password Safe to be invaluable for this sort of thing. It's free, secure, and you can find out about it here: http://www.schneier.com/passsafe.html
 Morals of the story:
 
 1) Keep a crib sheet of all the settings, passwords, serial numbers, 
 registration follderalls, etc.

Definately. I have an emergency sheet locked away with such information on it.
 3) If you're writing an app, don't require it to be reinstalled if Windows 
 is reinstalled. DM programs don't need to be. Store your configuration in 
 some text file that can be saved/restored. Please!

Hear hear! For me, reinstalling Windows isn't so bad, but reinstalling the apps takes days. Life would be so much easier if I could simply archive program directories.
 4) If you're going to need to muck about with the system registry, do it 
 like Quicken does. Quicken has a menu item "Backup" which, amazingly enough, 
 backs up all its settings and crud to a file you specify. Then, I reinstall 
 Quicken from the CD, hit "Restore" and give the file name, and it fixes 
 itself. Quicken is full of horrible design choices, but at least they got 
 that right. No other app I've used does that.

Aye. Quicken is fantastic.
 5) Never, ever install anything with DRM on it on your work computer. DRM 
 often involves rootkits, installing new drivers that destabilize your 
 system, etc. This includes most game software. Use a separate computer for 
 DRM, one that you won't mind regularly reinstalling Windows on.

Sadly, I have a SecuROM folder in my user data--probably from games. I'd delete it, but that sounds like an invitation for trouble. Sean
Mar 29 2006
parent reply pragma <pragma_member pathlink.com> writes:
In article <e0ea8l$5q8$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Sean Kelly says...
Walter Bright wrote:
 1) Keep a crib sheet of all the settings, passwords, serial numbers, 
 registration follderalls, etc.

Definately. I have an emergency sheet locked away with such information on it.

I've found that taping an envelope to the inside of your case (if you wind up in there as much as I do) is about as fail-safe as it gets for keeping this safe from any clutter or whatnot in your lab. - EricAnderton at yahoo
Mar 29 2006
parent Walter Bright <newshound digitalmars.com> writes:
pragma wrote:
 In article <e0ea8l$5q8$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Sean Kelly says...
 Walter Bright wrote:
 1) Keep a crib sheet of all the settings, passwords, serial numbers, 
 registration follderalls, etc.

on it.

I've found that taping an envelope to the inside of your case (if you wind up in there as much as I do) is about as fail-safe as it gets for keeping this safe from any clutter or whatnot in your lab.

Also, for every app or bit of hardware I buy, I put all its CDs, manuals, and miscellaneous bits into its very own ziplock bag. This has saved me numerous times.
Mar 29 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply David L. Davis <SpottedTiger yahoo.com> writes:
In article <e0dmeo$2cmk$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Walter Bright says...
...

Do you know it takes THREE HOURS to install Windows from scratch? Gads, you 
install XP from the CD which requires rebooting several times, then again 
from the XP SP2 update CD (rebooting n more times), then you log in to 
Windows update and update/reboot 4 or 5 more times. Why can't Windows Update 
download everything at once and reboot only once?

...

Most of the other apps aren't too bad, if you were smart enough to keep a 
crib sheet of all the serial numbers, registration numbers, and funky 
passwords. The whole job takes about 12 hours.

...

happen once in a while to everyone. And even moving to another non-Windows OS won't save anyone from having to rebuild their OS from time to time. And giving up computers all together isn't an option...so "no pain, no gain." Plus Windows XP is the best version of Windows that Microsoft has ever put out. Well I'm glad to hear you're back up and running. :) David L. ------------------------------------------------------------------- "Dare to reach for the Stars...Dare to Dream, Build, and Achieve!" ------------------------------------------------------------------- MKoD: http://spottedtiger.tripod.com/D_Language/D_Main_XP.html
Mar 29 2006
next sibling parent Lucas Goss <lgoss007 gmail.com> writes:
David L. Davis wrote:
 Yep! It's like someone else pointed out in another message, these things will
 happen once in a while to everyone. And even moving to another non-Windows OS
 won't save anyone from having to rebuild their OS from time to time. And giving
 up computers all together isn't an option...so "no pain, no gain." Plus Windows
 XP is the best version of Windows that Microsoft has ever put out. Well I'm
glad
 to hear you're back up and running. :)

Well I'm not saying that it won't happen, but so far it's saved me. I haven't had to (or wanted to) rebuild my Linux system yet, and saving all my files is cake. I fix a whole bunch of Windows machines all the time because most people don't know how to keep it protected (when I ran it I didn't have as many problems). But with all the spyware/adware/virus/trojan/etc. most people are sitting ducks, whereas they have no problems with a Linux system in this area. Only things they have problems with are, "how do I open this file someone sent me?", which I get the same amount of questions with Windows. So while this may happen once in a while to everyone, I think it happens more often to most non-tech users (which is probably most users). I echo the registry sentiment already mentioned, but I also think the whole integration of the web browser into the operating system, as well as the active x fiasco was a huge mistake. I have heard they are finally fixing this in IE 7... but I'm kinda stuck on Linux now. Lucas
Mar 29 2006
prev sibling parent reply Fredrik Olsson <peylow treyst.se> writes:
David L. Davis skrev:
 In article <e0dmeo$2cmk$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Walter Bright says...
 ...

 Do you know it takes THREE HOURS to install Windows from scratch? Gads, you 
 install XP from the CD which requires rebooting several times, then again 
from the XP SP2 update CD (rebooting n more times), then you log in to 
 Windows update and update/reboot 4 or 5 more times. Why can't Windows Update 
 download everything at once and reboot only once?

 ...

 Most of the other apps aren't too bad, if you were smart enough to keep a 
 crib sheet of all the serial numbers, registration numbers, and funky 
 passwords. The whole job takes about 12 hours.

 ...

happen once in a while to everyone. And even moving to another non-Windows OS won't save anyone from having to rebuild their OS from time to time. And giving up computers all together isn't an option...so "no pain, no gain." Plus Windows XP is the best version of Windows that Microsoft has ever put out. Well I'm glad to hear you're back up and running. :)

with OS X 10.1. Since then I have not reinstalled once, unless you count the upgrades to 10.2, then 10.3 and last spring to 10.4. I also upgraded from 40gig hard drive to 120gig, but no reinstall, simply copied the disk and kept running. And I have tortured that poor installation :), tried about every app I have crossed. I am curious by nature, and experience showed me I no longer have to be afraid. For Windows I must say that Windows 2000 is the best OS Microsoft have put out there. Quite stable, and much more lean than XP, that always caught me as a resource slurping Telletubies edition of Windows 2000. I think there is a reason why Windows 2000 identifies itself as Window NT 5.0, and XP as NT 5.1... // Fredrik
 David L.
 
 -------------------------------------------------------------------
 "Dare to reach for the Stars...Dare to Dream, Build, and Achieve!"
 -------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 MKoD: http://spottedtiger.tripod.com/D_Language/D_Main_XP.html

Mar 30 2006
parent David L. Davis <SpottedTiger yahoo.com> writes:
In article <e0g4n2$1ts9$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Fredrik Olsson says...
For Windows I must say that Windows 2000 is the best OS Microsoft have 
put out there. Quite stable, and much more lean than XP, that always 
caught me as a resource slurping Telletubies edition of Windows 2000. I 
think there is a reason why Windows 2000 identifies itself as Window NT 
5.0, and XP as NT 5.1...


// Fredrik

Fredrik, since I've only used Windows Pro 2000 at work, and I've used Windows (Home and Pro) XP for both home and work, it's been my experience that 2000 died too often and needed to be rebooted, plus it ate up main memory very quickly, boot times were longer, and etc. Plus, I'm very much into PC games, first on the C64, then on MS DOS v4.01+ and above, with Windows v3.0+ installed. So I've been very slow to be pulled into the NT side, and when Windows 2000 was released I stayed with Windows 98 SE, and held out for Windows ME (boy was that a mistake!). Anyway, in my mind Windows XP is the best of both the DOS based Windows and NT, and it's great for playing games! David L. ------------------------------------------------------------------- "Dare to reach for the Stars...Dare to Dream, Build, and Achieve!" ------------------------------------------------------------------- MKoD: http://spottedtiger.tripod.com/D_Language/D_Main_XP.html
Mar 30 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply John Demme <me teqdruid.com> writes:
*trying to resist... trying to resist...* *breaks under the pressure*

I've found the key to using Windows is to not.

Walter Bright wrote:

 A few days ago, Outlook Express starting acting flaky - my account names
 were forcibly converted to 1, 2, 3, etc., and retyping in the correct ones
 refused to stick. Then, windows update started failing with useless
 messages consisting of 8 digit hex numbers.
 
 So I thought I'd try Microsoft update tech support (which is free for
 update failures). They asked me to send them logs, which I did. Then, came
 an endless series of "try this ...", which usually involved unregistering
 a dozen dlls, rebooting, starting/stopping services, reregistering them,
 renaming system files, booting in safe mode, wiping directories, deleting
 files, rebooting, rebooting, all to no avail (except the 8 digit hex
 number would change).
 
 Then came the exhortation to run a virus scan, with a couple links. The
 symantec virus scan crashed after a half hour. The other one completed,
 and found nothing.
 
 At this point, it was apparent that tech support had no idea why this was
 happening, and I was beginning to worry there was either a rootkit
 installed, or there was just creeping corruption going on. I gave up on
 Microsoft tech support, and decided to reinstall Windows.
 
 Do you know it takes THREE HOURS to install Windows from scratch? Gads,
 you install XP from the CD which requires rebooting several times, then
 again from the XP SP2 update CD (rebooting n more times), then you log in
 to Windows update and update/reboot 4 or 5 more times. Why can't Windows
 Update download everything at once and reboot only once?
 
 So now I've got Windows reinstalled. Now comes the dance of reinstalling
 everything else. The worst is, of course, Outlook Express which completely
 loses track of everything after a reinstall. I have a crib sheet of most
 of the settings, but even so, there's no way to restore which newsgroup
 files are read/unread. I also use the undocumented method of finding which
 gawdawful directory O.E. squirrels the files away in (all in deeply nested
 hidden directories with 80+ character tty noise filenames) and
 saving/restoring the dbx files manually.
 
 Most of the other apps aren't too bad, if you were smart enough to keep a
 crib sheet of all the serial numbers, registration numbers, and funky
 passwords. The whole job takes about 12 hours.
 
 Morals of the story:
 
 1) Keep a crib sheet of all the settings, passwords, serial numbers,
 registration follderalls, etc.
 
 2) If you're going to provide an update program, fer cryin out loud, make
 it a monolithic program that doesn't depend on everything else in the OS
 working perfectly. After all, when you need it, it's probably because the
 rest of the system isn't right. And if the update program itself is
 corrupted, then tech support can just send you a new one.
 
 3) If you're writing an app, don't require it to be reinstalled if Windows
 is reinstalled. DM programs don't need to be. Store your configuration in
 some text file that can be saved/restored. Please!
 
 4) If you're going to need to muck about with the system registry, do it
 like Quicken does. Quicken has a menu item "Backup" which, amazingly
 enough, backs up all its settings and crud to a file you specify. Then, I
 reinstall Quicken from the CD, hit "Restore" and give the file name, and
 it fixes itself. Quicken is full of horrible design choices, but at least
 they got that right. No other app I've used does that.
 
 5) Never, ever install anything with DRM on it on your work computer. DRM
 often involves rootkits, installing new drivers that destabilize your
 system, etc. This includes most game software. Use a separate computer for
 DRM, one that you won't mind regularly reinstalling Windows on.
 
 There, I feel better now <g>.

Mar 29 2006
parent reply John Demme <me teqdruid.com> writes:
John Demme wrote:

 *trying to resist... trying to resist...* *breaks under the pressure*
 
 I've found the key to using Windows is to not.
 

I aplogize... I try to not post anything not constructive, but I can't resist some times... That being said, there is one thing I really like about Unix: home directories. I've been through countless Linux installs over the past 6 years, but I've kept the same home directory, and thus all of my application's preferences. Even when I upgrade drives, I copy my home dir and everything works. I've (a few times) acidently nuked my system drive and had to do a full reinstall... WHILE the re-install is going, I'll be using a Linux boot CD with my home dir (on a different drive) and most of the applications will work with my preferences. I used to keep my home directory on an NFS share so I could log into the same environment for all the machines in the house (then I moved into a small apartment and junked all the machines.) Flexbility: yes! Personally, aside from modularity and a kick-ass command line, I feel this is the one of best advantages that Unix has over Windows. Yes, yes.. I know windows has user home directories, but since most applications use the registry instead, it's not worth much. Trying to bit a bit constructive to make up, John Demme
Mar 29 2006
parent reply Walter Bright <newshound digitalmars.com> writes:
John Demme wrote:
 Yes, yes.. I know windows has user home directories, but since most
 applications use the registry instead, it's not worth much.

The bug with the Windows home directories, and why I don't use them, is they insist on putting spaces in the directory names. This hoses us command line users.
Mar 29 2006
next sibling parent reply Sean Kelly <sean f4.ca> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:
 
 The bug with the Windows home directories, and why I don't use them, is 
 they insist on putting spaces in the directory names. This hoses us 
 command line users.

It's possible to move home directories with a bit of hacking, though some programs do seem to hard-code path names when they shouldn't. I tried renaming "Program Files" as well, but with less success. Even MS apps seem to expect stuff to live there no matter what the registry says. Ultimately, I just gave up on the whole experiment as too complicated to be worthwhile. Sean
Mar 29 2006
next sibling parent reply Fredrik Olsson <peylow treyst.se> writes:
Sean Kelly skrev:
 Walter Bright wrote:
 The bug with the Windows home directories, and why I don't use them, 
 is they insist on putting spaces in the directory names. This hoses us 
 command line users.

It's possible to move home directories with a bit of hacking, though some programs do seem to hard-code path names when they shouldn't. I tried renaming "Program Files" as well, but with less success. Even MS apps seem to expect stuff to live there no matter what the registry says. Ultimately, I just gave up on the whole experiment as too complicated to be worthwhile.

the path to home directory as everyone else does. But as I understand it Windows Vista should come with better support for command line users, hopefully a shortcut to the home directories is in there (But probably not ~\ just for spite). // Fredrik
Mar 30 2006
parent Georg Wrede <georg.wrede nospam.org> writes:
Fredrik Olsson wrote:
 But as I understand it Windows Vista should come with better support
 for command line users, hopefully a shortcut to the home directories
 is in there (But probably not ~\ just for spite).

Ever since Windows 2.0, each new version of Windows has been hyped up like the best marketed blockbuster movies. Months or years of it. "It's simply a must-have!" "It'll be an answer for all you ever wanted, and in addition it'll tell you the meaning of life!" And not long after the release they start talking of the next version that'll do the stuff already promised for this one. It's like the guy that lends money from you, and always when it's payback time he'll have this amazing story on where the money went, and you end up lending more to him. I've already learnt that the meaning of life is, reboot, reboot, reinstall, reboot, reboot, lose stuff, reboot. For M$ users, that is. If we always had only had Macs and Linuxes (and now to an increasing degree Intel-Solaris), and Microsoft came out with (say XP), I don't think anyone would use it after the couple of first reinstalls. The other systems you can run continuously powered on for as long as it takes to need to totally reinstall one's Windows. Some difference.
Mar 31 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Deewiant <deewiant.doesnotlike.spam gmail.com> writes:
Sean Kelly wrote:
 Walter Bright wrote:
 The bug with the Windows home directories, and why I don't use them,
 is they insist on putting spaces in the directory names. This hoses us
 command line users.

It's possible to move home directories with a bit of hacking, though some programs do seem to hard-code path names when they shouldn't. I tried renaming "Program Files" as well, but with less success. Even MS apps seem to expect stuff to live there no matter what the registry says. Ultimately, I just gave up on the whole experiment as too complicated to be worthwhile. Sean

I've renamed Program Files, and it's actually rarer than I would have thought that programs want to install to C:\Program Files. Of course, this requires that you change some registry keys to point to your directory instead of the default. The one "big" case I remember was that the ATI Catalyst video drivers wanted to put something there - I can't remember what it was - and they also tended to pop up with errors when I tried to force them into my D:\Programs directory. This was reason enough for me to switch to the third-party Omega drivers, which have worked fine. Other than that, only one or two programs have wanted, by default, to install to C:\Program Files, but it's hardly troublesome to just manually tell the installation program where you want it. Using a different path for My Documents is far more painless. Even Microsoft's own Tweak UI (for Windows XP) lets you change that: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx The only trouble is that you still end up with "My xxx" in your My Documents folder, regardless of what you name the latter. Nothing's forcing you to use those directories for anything, though.
Mar 30 2006
parent Sean Kelly <sean f4.ca> writes:
Deewiant wrote:
 
 I've renamed Program Files, and it's actually rarer than I would have thought
 that programs want to install to C:\Program Files. Of course, this requires
that
 you change some registry keys to point to your directory instead of the
default.
 
 The one "big" case I remember was that the ATI Catalyst video drivers wanted to
 put something there - I can't remember what it was - and they also tended to
pop
 up with errors when I tried to force them into my D:\Programs directory. This
 was reason enough for me to switch to the third-party Omega drivers, which have
 worked fine.
 
 Other than that, only one or two programs have wanted, by default, to install
to
 C:\Program Files, but it's hardly troublesome to just manually tell the
 installation program where you want it.
 
 Using a different path for My Documents is far more painless. Even Microsoft's
 own Tweak UI (for Windows XP) lets you change that:
 http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx
 
 The only trouble is that you still end up with "My xxx" in your My Documents
 folder, regardless of what you name the latter. Nothing's forcing you to use
 those directories for anything, though.

I did this quite a while back (in windows 2000 IIRC) so things have likely improved since then. At the time, I was trying to replicate a Unix type layout in Windows, so "Documents and Settings" was renamed to "home" and "program files" was renamed to "bin." It *almost* worked, but enough things broke to make it inconvenient. I'd be willing to give it another shot, but not until I have reason to reinstall Windows :-) Sean
Mar 30 2006
prev sibling parent reply Bruno Medeiros <daiphoenixNO SPAMlycos.com> writes:
Sean Kelly wrote:
 Walter Bright wrote:
 The bug with the Windows home directories, and why I don't use them, 
 is they insist on putting spaces in the directory names. This hoses us 
 command line users.

It's possible to move home directories with a bit of hacking, though some programs do seem to hard-code path names when they shouldn't. I tried renaming "Program Files" as well, but with less success. Even MS apps seem to expect stuff to live there no matter what the registry says. Ultimately, I just gave up on the whole experiment as too complicated to be worthwhile. Sean

I think trying to rename those directories after an installation is too tricky. It's asking for trouble. The best and safe way is to change them as a Windows installation option. I did this manually through the unattended install options for my XP installation, 2 years ago, making C:\Program Files -> C:\Programs, and C:\Documents and Settings -> C:\Home . I planning a new XP installation when I do a PC upgrade, somewhere in the summer, and for that I'm planning to use http://www.nliteos.com/ (Kyle mentioned it too). It's *very* convenient, as it can create an installation CD setup with those unattended options, with service pack and hotfixes streamlined, with various windows options pre-configured (like options for file explorer, IE, search, theme, etc.), and some other features too. -- Bruno Medeiros - CS/E student http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi?BrunoMedeiros#D
Mar 30 2006
parent Sean Kelly <sean f4.ca> writes:
Bruno Medeiros wrote:
 
 I think trying to rename those directories after an installation is too 
 tricky. It's asking for trouble.
 The best and safe way is to change them as a Windows installation 
 option. I did this manually through the unattended install options for 
 my XP installation, 2 years ago, making C:\Program Files -> C:\Programs, 
 and C:\Documents and Settings -> C:\Home .

Very cool. I didn't know this was an option in the unattended install.
 I planning a new XP installation when I do a PC upgrade, somewhere in 
 the summer, and for that I'm planning to use http://www.nliteos.com/ 
 (Kyle mentioned it too). It's *very* convenient, as it can create an 
 installation CD setup with those unattended options, with service pack 
 and hotfixes streamlined, with various windows options pre-configured 
 (like options for file explorer, IE, search, theme, etc.), and some 
 other features too.

This would reduce reinstall time a great deal. Thanks for the tip. Sean
Mar 30 2006
prev sibling parent reply John Demme <me teqdruid.com> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:

 John Demme wrote:
 Yes, yes.. I know windows has user home directories, but since most
 applications use the registry instead, it's not worth much.

The bug with the Windows home directories, and why I don't use them, is they insist on putting spaces in the directory names. This hoses us command line users.

I never understood Windows command line users... You're all just screaming for bash or some other nice Unix shell and apps... Every time the Windows command line comes up, it should be accompanied with a giant ad for Unix. Even on the rare occastions when I program for Windows, I do all the development in Linux then run the compiler and program in VMWare! ~John Demme
Mar 30 2006
parent pragma <pragma_member pathlink.com> writes:
In article <e0h9cu$1kf$1 digitaldaemon.com>, John Demme says...
Walter Bright wrote:

 John Demme wrote:
 Yes, yes.. I know windows has user home directories, but since most
 applications use the registry instead, it's not worth much.

The bug with the Windows home directories, and why I don't use them, is they insist on putting spaces in the directory names. This hoses us command line users.

I never understood Windows command line users... You're all just screaming for bash or some other nice Unix shell and apps... Every time the Windows command line comes up, it should be accompanied with a giant ad for Unix. Even on the rare occastions when I program for Windows, I do all the development in Linux then run the compiler and program in VMWare! ~John Demme

For what it's worth, I've gotten by with the win32 GNU utils for a while now (*highly* reccomended for windows devs). If for no other reason, it helps me stay to a unix command set rather than type 'ls' and wonder why nothing is happening. And then there's always cygwin, but that's a bit overkill under most circumstances. As for the issues with spaces in file/directory names, cmd.exe (NT shell) understands using "foo bar" for delimiting text when all else fails. I've found the above to be a big enough "band-aid" to get around without having bash or tcsh to use. I spend most of my time in an editor anyway. ;) - EricAnderton at yahoo
Mar 30 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent "Tony" <ignorethis nowhere.com> writes:
I strongly recommend that you invest in a copy of Symantec Ghost (or 
equivalent).

Install Windows, download all the Windows Update patches, configure it, then 
create a ghost image.

An operating version of Windows can then be restored from the ghost image in 
(generally) under 10 minutes.

I keep a series of ghost images:
1. With just Windows
2. As above, with patches, configuration
3. As above, with basic suite of applications

Saves an enormous amount of time in the long term.

Couple of things to remember:
1. When you create the ghost image, leave the password blank.  Just assign 
one after you have restored the image.
2. Dont forget to patch the Windows installation after restoring from a 
ghost image (at least via Windows Update).

Hope this helps.

Tony
Melbourne, Australia (tonysZ-mailbox at hotmailZ.com) (remove the Zs) 
Mar 29 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent Dylan <Dylan_member pathlink.com> writes:
A fundamental flaw with windows is the use of the registry - which microsoft
developers now admit.

However, this is a core component of the NSA data collection system distributed
as an operating system. 
Mar 29 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent Bruno Medeiros <daiphoenixNO SPAMlycos.com> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:
 
 3) If you're writing an app, don't require it to be reinstalled if Windows 
 is reinstalled. DM programs don't need to be. Store your configuration in 
 some text file that can be saved/restored. Please!
 

I totally agree. I never got why applications feel compelled to use the registry all the time, and I abhor those who pollute the system by unnecessarily installing dlls and whatnot on the system. If someone thinks that's only practical for small/simple apps, I point them to the fine example of Eclipse. -- Bruno Medeiros - CS/E student http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi?BrunoMedeiros#D
Mar 30 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound digitalmars.com> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:
 At this point, it was apparent that tech support had no idea why this was 
 happening, and I was beginning to worry there was either a rootkit 
 installed, or there was just creeping corruption going on. I gave up on 
 Microsoft tech support, and decided to reinstall Windows.

Turns out, I did have a trojan rootkit on my system. arrgh!
Mar 31 2006
next sibling parent reply Paolo Invernizzi <arathorn NOSPAM_fastwebnet.it> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:

 Turns out, I did have a trojan rootkit on my system. arrgh!

It's more and more problematic... from Slashdot today. http://it.slashdot.org/it/06/03/31/0741221.shtml As a test, I've a rootkit installed on an Windows machine from 3 years, and it's still undetected. ;-( If you are running a business, THAT is a BIG REAL concern for Microsoft... --- P
Mar 31 2006
next sibling parent reply =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Anders_F_Bj=F6rklund?= <afb algonet.se> writes:
Paolo Invernizzi wrote:

 It's more and more problematic... from Slashdot today.
 http://it.slashdot.org/it/06/03/31/0741221.shtml
 
 As a test, I've a rootkit installed on an Windows machine from 3 years, 
 and it's still undetected. ;-(

Some of the newer VM-based rootkits are *impossible* to detect from within the system. You need some other means... (I've found that booting from a Live CD usually works OK.)
 If you are running a business, THAT is a BIG REAL concern for Microsoft...

But it seems that neither Microsoft nor Apple is up for it ?!? I'm not sure I would bet my business on any one single company. --anders
Mar 31 2006
parent reply Paolo Invernizzi <arathorn NOSPAM_fastwebnet.it> writes:
Anders F Björklund wrote:

 But it seems that neither Microsoft nor Apple is up for it ?!?
 I'm not sure I would bet my business on any one single company.

Sorry for my poor english... What I was meaning is that I'm starting to feel nervous storing sensible data on a Windows machine... --- P
Mar 31 2006
parent =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Anders_F_Bj=F6rklund?= <afb algonet.se> writes:
Paolo Invernizzi wrote:

 I'm not sure I would bet my business on any one single company.

Sorry for my poor english...

No, I found it to be perfectly readable.
 What I was meaning is that I'm starting to feel nervous storing sensible 
 data on a Windows machine...

Only just now ? Felt that way for years. --anders
Mar 31 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound digitalmars.com> writes:
Paolo Invernizzi wrote:
 Walter Bright wrote:
 
 Turns out, I did have a trojan rootkit on my system. arrgh!

It's more and more problematic... from Slashdot today. http://it.slashdot.org/it/06/03/31/0741221.shtml As a test, I've a rootkit installed on an Windows machine from 3 years, and it's still undetected. ;-( If you are running a business, THAT is a BIG REAL concern for Microsoft...

Mine was Trojan.AbWiz.F. It's a big concern for me. If my system hadn't started to misbehave, I never would have suspected it.
Mar 31 2006
parent Georg Wrede <georg.wrede nospam.org> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:
 Paolo Invernizzi wrote:
 
 Walter Bright wrote:
 
 Turns out, I did have a trojan rootkit on my system. arrgh!

It's more and more problematic... from Slashdot today. http://it.slashdot.org/it/06/03/31/0741221.shtml


So now we have "yy/mm/dd" in addition to the already ambiguous "mm/dd/yy" and "dd/mm/yy". (Greetings to the guy doing the date library!)
 As a test, I've a rootkit installed on an Windows machine from 3 
 years, and it's still undetected. ;-(
 
 If you are running a business, THAT is a BIG REAL concern for 
 Microsoft...

Mine was Trojan.AbWiz.F. It's a big concern for me. If my system hadn't started to misbehave, I never would have suspected it.

I've had a principle (since 1991) that Serious Production Stuff that needs to be on a Windows machine, is disconnected from the net. Like Physically. Then I have 2nd tier, 3rd tier stuff, that is on various other computers, some more, some less "disconnected". And I've used the ZoneAlarm firewall since I don't even know when. On all of them. Actually, if I ever install Windows on a machine, (anybody's,) I do it from the (or a) CD, install ZA, configure it, and only then connect the lan cable. I've removed IE from any menus or the desktop, ever since Win95, I don't allow any scripts or popups, I don't visit "questionable sites", or actually any sites mentioned in spam (those I visit with Linux(!), damn, I must be a bastard pedophile... or a prescription medicine stalker ( :-) ), but since all my girls (since teen-age) have been polite, at least I don't have to visit the Goliathizing sites), and as a result, it's been quite a while (better knock on wood here) since I last had trouble. But it's a lot of drudgery. All of which _should_ not be needed. (Windows???? Nyet, it's Computers, Da? Right.) I've run a few tests on how often all kinds of baddies knock on the "cow's behind" (made famous by this ugly named guy from Holland) or other "private" parts of my windows, and I've come to the conclusion that between the time I've got a "go" from the Windows Install, and the time I'd then have the firewall copied and installed, on average 350 tries on my integrity are received through the wire. Figure that! PS, AbWiz souds like something you see after-hours on TV, when you're too tired to touch the red button on your remote. And there's always a gorgeous woman demonstrating it.
Mar 31 2006
prev sibling parent reply Georg Wrede <georg.wrede nospam.org> writes:
Paolo Invernizzi wrote:
 Walter Bright wrote:
 
 Turns out, I did have a trojan rootkit on my system. arrgh!

It's more and more problematic... from Slashdot today. http://it.slashdot.org/it/06/03/31/0741221.shtml As a test, I've a rootkit installed on an Windows machine from 3 years, and it's still undetected. ;-(

That made a thought cross my mind. If I were the *head* of a three-letter government agency [you name it, or then it's one whose name we don't even know] today, I'd sure as heck tell B. Gates to install a for-me-only backdoor to Windows, such that if "we" really feel threatened, then I can shut down all the Windowses in the [non-free] world. Or hopefully, a more accurately defined selection. Yes, yes, this is not serious, so please no flames from anyone. I'm just jotting down corollaries to the thought. Anyhow, we all see the trend: computers are becoming more and more essential -- for _anything_ these days. One day (be it next year, or 200 years from now) some bad-butt _will_ launch a major attack upon somebody else (not even necessarily the U.S.). It would be pretty reasonable to hope that there's something we [the "defenders of the Free World", or whoever -- no offense] can do about it. And nukes are no match for a global digital assault. Next season's "24" might do well to belabor this thought. Seriously. ---- Frankly, I'm not even sure I'd be against such a back door. (Not that I'm for it either, but building a solid opinion on it should not be done off-hand. There are too many implications, pros and cons involved. And the issue is way too important to just dismiss to either side.) Their [the afore-not-mentioned three-letter agency] problem of course is Linux and BSD. But I would not be surprised if this issue didn't come up somewhere (secretly or publicly) within the next 10 years. Like laws in every single country stating that Internet Cafes using Linux have to have such a backdoor explicitly installed, lest they face huge fines. ---- No idea where this thought is leading, and I really don't care or know. But thought it'd be appropriate to write it _somewhere_ as soon as it came up. ---- Hmmm. After proofreading, seems Windows is not enough. "I" should go talk with Cisco Systems too. (Routers, backbone HW.)
Mar 31 2006
next sibling parent reply Dylan <Dylan_member pathlink.com> writes:
In article <442D6DD7.8050204 nospam.org>, Georg Wrede says...
Paolo Invernizzi wrote:
 Walter Bright wrote:
 
 Turns out, I did have a trojan rootkit on my system. arrgh!

It's more and more problematic... from Slashdot today. http://it.slashdot.org/it/06/03/31/0741221.shtml As a test, I've a rootkit installed on an Windows machine from 3 years, and it's still undetected. ;-(

That made a thought cross my mind. If I were the *head* of a three-letter government agency [you name it, or then it's one whose name we don't even know] today, I'd sure as heck tell B. Gates to install a for-me-only backdoor to Windows, such that if "we" really feel threatened, then I can shut down all the Windowses in the [non-free] world. Or hopefully, a more accurately defined selection. Yes, yes, this is not serious, so please no flames from anyone. I'm just jotting down corollaries to the thought. Anyhow, we all see the trend: computers are becoming more and more essential -- for _anything_ these days. One day (be it next year, or 200 years from now) some bad-butt _will_ launch a major attack upon somebody else (not even necessarily the U.S.). It would be pretty reasonable to hope that there's something we [the "defenders of the Free World", or whoever -- no offense] can do about it. And nukes are no match for a global digital assault. Next season's "24" might do well to belabor this thought. Seriously. ---- Frankly, I'm not even sure I'd be against such a back door. (Not that I'm for it either, but building a solid opinion on it should not be done off-hand. There are too many implications, pros and cons involved. And the issue is way too important to just dismiss to either side.) Their [the afore-not-mentioned three-letter agency] problem of course is Linux and BSD. But I would not be surprised if this issue didn't come up somewhere (secretly or publicly) within the next 10 years. Like laws in every single country stating that Internet Cafes using Linux have to have such a backdoor explicitly installed, lest they face huge fines. ---- No idea where this thought is leading, and I really don't care or know. But thought it'd be appropriate to write it _somewhere_ as soon as it came up. ---- Hmmm. After proofreading, seems Windows is not enough. "I" should go talk with Cisco Systems too. (Routers, backbone HW.)

If? Thats a good one. If you seriously analize the components of windows - from the context of a data collection system - everything that didnt make sense, begins to make completely perfect sense. Windows is a government data collection device masquerading as an Operating System.
Mar 31 2006
parent Georg Wrede <georg.wrede nospam.org> writes:
Dylan wrote:
 In article <442D6DD7.8050204 nospam.org>, Georg Wrede says...
 
 Paolo Invernizzi wrote:
 
 Walter Bright wrote:
 
 
 Turns out, I did have a trojan rootkit on my system. arrgh!

It's more and more problematic... from Slashdot today. http://it.slashdot.org/it/06/03/31/0741221.shtml As a test, I've a rootkit installed on an Windows machine from 3 years, and it's still undetected. ;-(

That made a thought cross my mind. If I were the *head* of a three-letter government agency [you name it, or then it's one whose name we don't even know] today, I'd sure as heck tell B. Gates to install a for-me-only backdoor to Windows, such that if "we" really feel threatened, then I can shut down all the Windowses in the [non-free] world. Or hopefully, a more accurately defined selection. Yes, yes, this is not serious, so please no flames from anyone. I'm just jotting down corollaries to the thought. Anyhow, we all see the trend: computers are becoming more and more essential -- for _anything_ these days. One day (be it next year, or 200 years from now) some bad-butt _will_ launch a major attack upon somebody else (not even necessarily the U.S.). It would be pretty reasonable to hope that there's something we [the "defenders of the Free World", or whoever -- no offense] can do about it. And nukes are no match for a global digital assault. Next season's "24" might do well to belabor this thought. Seriously. ---- Frankly, I'm not even sure I'd be against such a back door. (Not that I'm for it either, but building a solid opinion on it should not be done off-hand. There are too many implications, pros and cons involved. And the issue is way too important to just dismiss to either side.) Their [the afore-not-mentioned three-letter agency] problem of course is Linux and BSD. But I would not be surprised if this issue didn't come up somewhere (secretly or publicly) within the next 10 years. Like laws in every single country stating that Internet Cafes using Linux have to have such a backdoor explicitly installed, lest they face huge fines. ---- No idea where this thought is leading, and I really don't care or know. But thought it'd be appropriate to write it _somewhere_ as soon as it came up. ---- Hmmm. After proofreading, seems Windows is not enough. "I" should go talk with Cisco Systems too. (Routers, backbone HW.)


 If? Thats a good one. If you seriously analize the components of
 windows - from the context of a data collection system - everything
 that didnt make sense, begins to make completely perfect sense.
 
 Windows is a government data collection device masquerading as an
 Operating System.

Heh, yeah, that I read a couple of messages back. It must've still been in the back of my mind. (Ehh, please spell it like "analyze", lest lewd people get ideas.) All I can say is, I promise not to raise an eyebrow when somebody prooves that. :-)
Mar 31 2006
prev sibling parent Kevin Bealer <Kevin_member pathlink.com> writes:
In article <442D6DD7.8050204 nospam.org>, Georg Wrede says...

If I were the *head* of a three-letter government agency [you name it, 
or then it's one whose name we don't even know] today, I'd sure as heck 
tell B. Gates to install a for-me-only backdoor to Windows, such that if 
"we" really feel threatened, then I can shut down all the Windowses in 
the [non-free] world. Or hopefully, a more accurately defined selection.

I work for a gov. agency, but all our code is public domain - I don't think it's one of the ones you are referring to. So I have no knowledge of the following, but that said... With all the back doors, side doors, tunnels, and hacks that are already built into windows now (i.e. Sony *accidentally* installed one...), I'm not sure what difference one more would make. The biggest problem for said agency or agencies is probably that their agents are constantly tripping over and being trampled by all the Sony executives, hackers, phrackers, citibank employees, encyclopedia salesmen, and ordinary catburglars that are the normal traffic through those doors now. Seriously, a system that lets *any application* install drivers UNDER the cd-rom is not even trying to implement security. This is what happened in the Sony instance as I understand it -- a Sony-procured software agent was slipped under the CDROM driver to keep an eye out for assorted naughtiness. In reality, the Sony debacle happened when their sub-contractors waltzed in through the *front door*. The "hack" they did went through a supported and documented Microsoft API, being used more or less for its intended purpose. [ In fairness, as a Linuxoid, I should point out that most Linux dists. install all software as root, which could almost have the same effect. The primary difference then, is that the software on Linux systems is usually open source and from the Linux or distribution people, whereas in MS-land it is closed and from various vendors. ] ( Perhaps the pertinent observation here is one of human nature. A prison is confining, but a navy submarine is probably even more confining than a prison. However, most people would much rather be on a navy submarine. Because the critical question in life is not where you are but who you're with. Corporate and anti-corporate politics aside, most of the difference is that you can trust Torvalds, Stallman, de Icaza, and so on, further than the fellow at Sony. ) Kevin
Mar 31 2006
prev sibling parent reply Dave <Dave_member pathlink.com> writes:
In article <e0io88$22jc$2 digitaldaemon.com>, Walter Bright says...
Walter Bright wrote:
 At this point, it was apparent that tech support had no idea why this was 
 happening, and I was beginning to worry there was either a rootkit 
 installed, or there was just creeping corruption going on. I gave up on 
 Microsoft tech support, and decided to reinstall Windows.

Turns out, I did have a trojan rootkit on my system. arrgh!

Any idea how that happened / made it onto your system? (it has me worried that virus scanning didn't pick it up). - Dave
Mar 31 2006
parent reply Walter Bright <newshound digitalmars.com> writes:
Dave wrote:
 In article <e0io88$22jc$2 digitaldaemon.com>, Walter Bright says...
 Walter Bright wrote:
 At this point, it was apparent that tech support had no idea why this was 
 happening, and I was beginning to worry there was either a rootkit 
 installed, or there was just creeping corruption going on. I gave up on 
 Microsoft tech support, and decided to reinstall Windows.


Any idea how that happened / made it onto your system? (it has me worried that virus scanning didn't pick it up).

I have no idea how it got on. Being a trojan, I must have run something. I'm usually very careful about not running anything I am not sure of, careful enough that this is the first virus/trojan I've had in 10 years. I'm almost to the point of using a separate sacrificial machine for web surfing.
Mar 31 2006
next sibling parent reply Alex Stevenson <ans104SPAM ISBADcs.york.ac.uk> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:
 Dave wrote:
 In article <e0io88$22jc$2 digitaldaemon.com>, Walter Bright says...
 Walter Bright wrote:
 At this point, it was apparent that tech support had no idea why 
 this was happening, and I was beginning to worry there was either a 
 rootkit installed, or there was just creeping corruption going on. I 
 gave up on Microsoft tech support, and decided to reinstall Windows.


Any idea how that happened / made it onto your system? (it has me worried that virus scanning didn't pick it up).

I have no idea how it got on. Being a trojan, I must have run something. I'm usually very careful about not running anything I am not sure of, careful enough that this is the first virus/trojan I've had in 10 years. I'm almost to the point of using a separate sacrificial machine for web surfing.

VMware provide a "Browser Appliance" prebuilt virtual machine, I think it's just a minimal Ubuntu Linux plus Firefox. A VM just for web apps seems a little extreme to me, but it's probably not as extreme as using a dedicated machine and it's cheaper, VMware Player being free.
Mar 31 2006
parent reply Walter Bright <newshound digitalmars.com> writes:
Alex Stevenson wrote:

 VMware provide a "Browser Appliance" prebuilt virtual machine, I think 
 it's just a minimal Ubuntu Linux plus Firefox. A VM just for web apps 
 seems a little extreme to me, but it's probably not as extreme as using 
 a dedicated machine and it's cheaper, VMware Player being free.

Have you tried this?
Mar 31 2006
parent reply Lars Ivar Igesund <larsivar igesund.net> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:

 Alex Stevenson wrote:
 
 VMware provide a "Browser Appliance" prebuilt virtual machine, I think
 it's just a minimal Ubuntu Linux plus Firefox. A VM just for web apps
 seems a little extreme to me, but it's probably not as extreme as using
 a dedicated machine and it's cheaper, VMware Player being free.

Have you tried this?

It worked for me. I have heard accounts of it being faster than native IE ;)
Mar 31 2006
parent reply Sai <Sai_member pathlink.com> writes:
I used browser appliance only when I need to do lengthy high-risk browsing. Even
though it needs huge chunk of memory (256MB out of 785MB) and is definitely slow
than native IE, its worth the security.

However for quick and safe browsing, I use Firefox natively with NoScript
extension. Its works well for me. Until now I have no complaints in either case.

Sai



In article <e0k4ha$gkk$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Lars Ivar Igesund says...
Walter Bright wrote:

 Alex Stevenson wrote:
 
 VMware provide a "Browser Appliance" prebuilt virtual machine, I think
 it's just a minimal Ubuntu Linux plus Firefox. A VM just for web apps
 seems a little extreme to me, but it's probably not as extreme as using
 a dedicated machine and it's cheaper, VMware Player being free.

Have you tried this?

It worked for me. I have heard accounts of it being faster than native IE ;)

Mar 31 2006
parent Sean Kelly <sean f4.ca> writes:
Sai wrote:
 I used browser appliance only when I need to do lengthy high-risk browsing.
Even
 though it needs huge chunk of memory (256MB out of 785MB) and is definitely
slow
 than native IE, its worth the security.
 
 However for quick and safe browsing, I use Firefox natively with NoScript
 extension. Its works well for me. Until now I have no complaints in either
case.

Another option is to set up a user account with very low privileges and to browse via that login. Since XP supports session switching, this allows everything to be done simultaneously but is also more seamless than the VM-based method if data sharing is needed. Sean
Mar 31 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Georg Wrede <georg.wrede nospam.org> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:
 Dave wrote:
 
 In article <e0io88$22jc$2 digitaldaemon.com>, Walter Bright says...
 
 Walter Bright wrote:
 
 At this point, it was apparent that tech support had no idea
 why this was happening, and I was beginning to worry there was
 either a rootkit installed, or there was just creeping
 corruption going on. I gave up on Microsoft tech support, and
 decided to reinstall Windows.

Turns out, I did have a trojan rootkit on my system. arrgh!

Any idea how that happened / made it onto your system? (it has me worried that virus scanning didn't pick it up).

I have no idea how it got on. Being a trojan, I must have run something. I'm usually very careful about not running anything I am not sure of, careful enough that this is the first virus/trojan I've had in 10 years. I'm almost to the point of using a separate sacrificial machine for web surfing.

You _should_! I do. Some Really In-The-Know people do. And they're not even paranoid. This has not come up, but now having thrown OE for Thunderbird, would you like to consider Firefox for IE? Rumors tell me that merely visiting hostile sites can install a rootkit, without you even touching a "link" on the page. On IE, that is. --- PS, D might not feel like any Military Grade, High Treason, National Secrets. (At least I wouldn't feel like it if I had developed it.) But, to others, (ask the spooks or the Pygmy's guys,) D stuff might really be Important Stuff. (Or at least a trophy.) Not to mention that even if (!) we all (!) do consider D as a lot safer [than the others], a yellow-paper headline telling the world that the Afganisthans stole the D back-end source code, would be an irreparable dent. In the Public Image of the "D Programming Language" anyway. Right? ------------- Oh and please, don't _ever_ install a firewall or a NAT box at home!!!!!!!!! (Trust me, I know what I'm doing! (Quoted from the TV show, I forget the name.)) ONLY have EACH individual computer protected with it's OWN firewall!!!
Mar 31 2006
parent =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Jari-Matti_M=E4kel=E4?= <jmjmak utu.fi.invalid> writes:
Georg Wrede wrote:
 Oh and please, don't _ever_ install a firewall or a NAT box at
 home!!!!!!!!! (Trust me, I know what I'm doing! (Quoted from the TV
 show, I forget the name.))
 
 ONLY have EACH individual computer protected with it's OWN firewall!!!

What do you mean? I have a dedicated proxy/NAT/firewall-PC and it surely does not let anyone unauthorized to login or do something bad.
Mar 31 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply BCS <BCS_member pathlink.com> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:
 Dave wrote:
 
 In article <e0io88$22jc$2 digitaldaemon.com>, Walter Bright says...

 Walter Bright wrote:

 At this point, it was apparent that tech support had no idea why 
 this was happening, and I was beginning to worry there was either a 
 rootkit installed, or there was just creeping corruption going on. I 
 gave up on Microsoft tech support, and decided to reinstall Windows.

Turns out, I did have a trojan rootkit on my system. arrgh!



How did you pick up on this?
 Any idea how that happened / made it onto your system? (it has me 
 worried that
 virus scanning didn't pick it up).

I have no idea how it got on. Being a trojan, I must have run something. I'm usually very careful about not running anything I am not sure of, careful enough that this is the first virus/trojan I've had in 10 years. I'm almost to the point of using a separate sacrificial machine for web surfing.

Next time you upgrade a computer, use the old one (or get one from a second hand store). I have seen computers for about $20-30 (US) that would do just fine, particularly if you can turn off all that useless # $%# that you won't need to run Fire fox/T-bird Georg Wrede wrote:
 Actually, if I ever install Windows on a machine, (anybody's,) I do it
 from the (or a) CD, install ZA, configure it, and only then connect the
 lan cable.

I have heard stories of people who did that and still got hacked befor they could download all of the new patches.
Mar 31 2006
parent Walter Bright <newshound digitalmars.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 Walter Bright wrote:
 Dave wrote:

 In article <e0io88$22jc$2 digitaldaemon.com>, Walter Bright says...

 Walter Bright wrote:

 At this point, it was apparent that tech support had no idea why 
 this was happening, and I was beginning to worry there was either a 
 rootkit installed, or there was just creeping corruption going on. 
 I gave up on Microsoft tech support, and decided to reinstall Windows.

Turns out, I did have a trojan rootkit on my system. arrgh!



How did you pick up on this?

Microsoft tech support eventually suggested it, as apparently other people had the same symptoms.
Mar 31 2006
prev sibling parent reply Kevin Bealer <Kevin_member pathlink.com> writes:
In article <e0jqoa$20i$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Walter Bright says...
Dave wrote:
 In article <e0io88$22jc$2 digitaldaemon.com>, Walter Bright says...
 Walter Bright wrote:
 At this point, it was apparent that tech support had no idea why this was 
 happening, and I was beginning to worry there was either a rootkit 
 installed, or there was just creeping corruption going on. I gave up on 
 Microsoft tech support, and decided to reinstall Windows.


Any idea how that happened / made it onto your system? (it has me worried that virus scanning didn't pick it up).

I have no idea how it got on. Being a trojan, I must have run something. I'm usually very careful about not running anything I am not sure of, careful enough that this is the first virus/trojan I've had in 10 years. I'm almost to the point of using a separate sacrificial machine for web surfing.

Apologies if you already explained and I missed it - how did you test for a rootkit / vm? Kevin
Mar 31 2006
parent reply Wang Zhen <nehzgnaw gmail.com> writes:
Kevin Bealer wrote:
 In article <e0jqoa$20i$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Walter Bright says...
 
Dave wrote:

In article <e0io88$22jc$2 digitaldaemon.com>, Walter Bright says...

Walter Bright wrote:

At this point, it was apparent that tech support had no idea why this was 
happening, and I was beginning to worry there was either a rootkit 
installed, or there was just creeping corruption going on. I gave up on 
Microsoft tech support, and decided to reinstall Windows.

Turns out, I did have a trojan rootkit on my system. arrgh!

Any idea how that happened / made it onto your system? (it has me worried that virus scanning didn't pick it up).

I have no idea how it got on. Being a trojan, I must have run something. I'm usually very careful about not running anything I am not sure of, careful enough that this is the first virus/trojan I've had in 10 years. I'm almost to the point of using a separate sacrificial machine for web surfing.

Apologies if you already explained and I missed it - how did you test for a rootkit / vm? Kevin

I don't know how Walter detected the rootkit on his machine, but I would recommend SysInternals' excellent freeware RootKitRevealer, available at http://www.sysinternals.com/utilities/rootkitrevealer.html
Mar 31 2006
parent Walter Bright <newshound digitalmars.com> writes:
Wang Zhen wrote:
 I don't know how Walter detected the rootkit on his machine, but I would 
 recommend SysInternals' excellent freeware RootKitRevealer, available at 
 http://www.sysinternals.com/utilities/rootkitrevealer.html

Rootkitrevealer crashes on my system. :-( Maybe I have yet another rootkit installed.
Mar 31 2006
prev sibling parent S. Chancellor <dnewsgr mephit.kicks-ass.org> writes:
I Have to wonder why you were using Outlook Express in the first place...

-S.

On 2006-03-29 00:57:14 -0800, "Walter Bright" 
<newshound digitalmars.nospamm.com> said:

 A few days ago, Outlook Express starting acting flaky - my account 
 names were forcibly converted to 1, 2, 3, etc., and retyping in the 
 correct ones refused to stick. Then, windows update started failing 
 with useless messages consisting of 8 digit hex numbers.
 
 So I thought I'd try Microsoft update tech support (which is free for 
 update failures). They asked me to send them logs, which I did. Then, 
 came an endless series of "try this ...", which usually involved 
 unregistering a dozen dlls, rebooting, starting/stopping services, 
 reregistering them, renaming system files, booting in safe mode, wiping 
 directories, deleting files, rebooting, rebooting, all to no avail 
 (except the 8 digit hex number would change).
 
 Then came the exhortation to run a virus scan, with a couple links. The 
 symantec virus scan crashed after a half hour. The other one completed, 
 and found nothing.
 
 At this point, it was apparent that tech support had no idea why this 
 was happening, and I was beginning to worry there was either a rootkit 
 installed, or there was just creeping corruption going on. I gave up on 
 Microsoft tech support, and decided to reinstall Windows.
 
 Do you know it takes THREE HOURS to install Windows from scratch? Gads, 
 you install XP from the CD which requires rebooting several times, then 
 again from the XP SP2 update CD (rebooting n more times), then you log 
 in to Windows update and update/reboot 4 or 5 more times. Why can't 
 Windows Update download everything at once and reboot only once?
 
 So now I've got Windows reinstalled. Now comes the dance of 
 reinstalling everything else. The worst is, of course, Outlook Express 
 which completely loses track of everything after a reinstall. I have a 
 crib sheet of most of the settings, but even so, there's no way to 
 restore which newsgroup files are read/unread. I also use the 
 undocumented method of finding which gawdawful directory O.E. squirrels 
 the files away in (all in deeply nested hidden directories with 80+ 
 character tty noise filenames) and saving/restoring the dbx files 
 manually.
 
 Most of the other apps aren't too bad, if you were smart enough to keep 
 a crib sheet of all the serial numbers, registration numbers, and funky 
 passwords. The whole job takes about 12 hours.
 
 Morals of the story:
 
 1) Keep a crib sheet of all the settings, passwords, serial numbers, 
 registration follderalls, etc.
 
 2) If you're going to provide an update program, fer cryin out loud, 
 make it a monolithic program that doesn't depend on everything else in 
 the OS working perfectly. After all, when you need it, it's probably 
 because the rest of the system isn't right. And if the update program 
 itself is corrupted, then tech support can just send you a new one.
 
 3) If you're writing an app, don't require it to be reinstalled if 
 Windows is reinstalled. DM programs don't need to be. Store your 
 configuration in some text file that can be saved/restored. Please!
 
 4) If you're going to need to muck about with the system registry, do 
 it like Quicken does. Quicken has a menu item "Backup" which, amazingly 
 enough, backs up all its settings and crud to a file you specify. Then, 
 I reinstall Quicken from the CD, hit "Restore" and give the file name, 
 and it fixes itself. Quicken is full of horrible design choices, but at 
 least they got that right. No other app I've used does that.
 
 5) Never, ever install anything with DRM on it on your work computer. 
 DRM often involves rootkits, installing new drivers that destabilize 
 your system, etc. This includes most game software. Use a separate 
 computer for DRM, one that you won't mind regularly reinstalling 
 Windows on.
 
 There, I feel better now <g>.

Mar 31 2006