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Best VR headsets in 2021 so far

Virtual Reality is slowly becoming standard in gaming. More and more affordable headsets are coming out lowering entry prices and making them affordable for all. But in a sea of new VR headsets, it is important to at least purchase a decent one that will perform nicely and hopefully last longer.

Therefore in today’s article, we will address some of the best options currently available on the market,

Oculus Quest 2

occulus quest 2 VRWith its Rift model, Oculus set itself as a big player in VR. Now the company is slowly bowing out of the dedicated, tethered VR headset with its latest Quest 2 designed to primarily be a standalone headset.

In case you do not know, tethered headset means that the headset itself is connected to your PC and is using its power to drive your VR experience.

Now technical specifications of Quest 2 are pretty OK and it can drive stuff pretty decently and if you want you can purchase the dedicated cable to connect it to your PC for the full experience of games requiring more capable hardware.

Oculus Quest 2 is the cheapest headset on this list and with its stable performance, is highly recommended.

Valve Index VR

valve index vrAlthough the headset itself is nothing revolutionary or special its controllers are. They can track individual finger movements, making games (that take advantage of them) much more immersive than the standard trigger grips on other controllers.

The Index's higher refresh rate makes for smoother action, as well, which is another nice bonus. If you already have an HTC Vive or Vive Cosmos Elite, and their base stations (not the regular Cosmos), you can buy only the controllers.

Sony PlayStation VR

playstation vrThe PlayStation VR is compelling thanks to Sony backing its development, plus the PlayStation 4's affordability and availability compared with gaming PCs. All you need is the headset, a PlayStation 4, and a PlayStation Camera (now included with most PlayStation VR bundles).

Not really the best of the bunch but still one of the top ones for console gaming. Sony is working on a new PlayStation VR system for the PlayStation 5, with redesigned controllers. The new headset hasn't been revealed yet, but the company has released a preview of the new controllers.

HP Reverb G2 VR

HP Reverb G2HP headset is one which you get if you want the best image quality in VR headset, sadly controllers did not follow the same quality of headset itself. But this is still a pretty decent headset overall and worth the purchase.

HTC Vive Cosmos

HTC Vive CosmosHTC's Vive Cosmos is the upgraded version of the Vive. It features a higher resolution and replaces the external base stations with outward-facing cameras for motion tracking. It's a comprehensive package for whole-room VR.

HTC recently released the Vive Pro 2, a high-end VR headset targeting both enterprise users and consumers. This new headset features a 2,448-by-2,448 resolution display for each eye, making it the highest-resolution headset currently available. It's also more expensive than the Cosmos Elite.

Sadly one thing that is bringing this headset down is the price.

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Mobile Hotspot does not show up or detected
As you know, the Mobile Hotspot feature is used to share the internet connection with other devices using Wi-Fi signals. These Wi-Fi signals are later caught by other devices using their Wi-Fi and then the internet connection is shared once they are connected. However, recently, some users reported that their devices weren’t able to see the Wi-Fi network even if their Wi-Fi is on. This kind of problem could be caused by several factors but one of the main ones include the frequency at which the Wi-Fi network is being broadcasted. If you are one of the users who are currently facing this problem, read on as this post will guide you on what you can do if the Mobile Hotspot or Wi-Fi connection does not show up or is not detected on your Windows 10 device. In most cases, there are only two frequencies at which a Wi-Fi network is broadcasted. They are broadcasted either at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The ones that are broadcasted at 5 GHz need specific hardware since it is a newer technology compared to the ones at 2.4 GHz. There are several other pieces of equipment as well as electrical appliances that operate at 2.4 GHz that includes microwaves as well which causes disruption in the signal strength of the Wi-Fi network. Moreover, aside from signal interruption, this issue with the mobile hotspot might also have something to do with the network-related drivers in your computer. Thus, to fix the problem, here are some suggestions you should follow.

Option 1 – Try toggling the Network band or the frequency at which the Wi-Fi network is broadcasted

  • First, open the Windows 10 Settings app and then navigate to Network & Internet > Mobile hotspot.
  • From there, click on the Edit button located under the Network name, Network password, and Network band.
  • After that, set the Network band to be at 2.4 GHz and then click on the Save button.
  • Once done, restart the Mobile hotspot in your Windows 10 device as well as the Wi-Fi connection of the device that’s trying to connect to the hotspot.

Option 2 – Try running the Network Adapter Troubleshooter

If the first option didn’t work, you might also want to run the Network Adapter Troubleshooter. You can use it to troubleshoot the problem with the Mobile hotspot, to run it, follow these steps:
  • Open the Search bar on your computer and type in “troubleshoot” to open the Troubleshoot settings.
  • Next, scroll down and select the “Network Adapter” option from the right pane.
  • Then click on the Run Troubleshooter” button.
  • After that, your computer will check for any possible errors and will pinpoint the root cause of the problem if possible.

Option 3 – Try updating the Network adapter driver

As mentioned, the problem could also be due to the network-related drivers. So it probably might be the reason why you’re mobile hotspot did not appear or was not detected. That’s why it is recommended that you update the Network adapter driver and to do it, refer to these instructions: Follow the steps below to update your Network Adapter Driver:
  • Tap the Win + R keys to launch the Run window and then type in the “MSC” command and hit Enter to open the Device Manager window.
  • From there, expand the list of all the network drives and update each one of them.
  • Restart your PC and see if it helped in fixing the issue with the mobile hotspot.
Note: If updating the network drivers didn’t help in fixing the problem, you can also try to uninstall the very same drivers and restart your Windows 10 PC. After that, the system itself will reinstall the drivers you just uninstalled. Alternatively, you can also download and install the drivers from the manufacturer’s website directly.
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Making your own Minecraft server in Windows
Minecraft has taken the world like a storm and if you tried it, you could tell why, procedurally created worlds, various modifications available and fun gameplay are just some of the things this game offers and it is non wonder why kids and adults are enjoying it. Minecraft is even more fun when you play with your friends on dedicated servers, where you all can adventure and build together. Sadly as everything costs, so does the Minecraft servers as well. Lucky you can create your own Minecraft server on your computer so your friends can join and play with you free of charge with just a little time you need to spend reading this guide and building one for yourselves. Without further delay let's dive right into it.

1. Install the most recent Java version

In order to run your personal server, you will need to own and have Minecraft: JAVA edition, not Windows 10 one. If you have this version of the game and it is already running it means that you already have JAVA as well but we will need to check to see if it is the latest version of JAVA, to check this do the following:
  • Press Windows and type in configure java followed by ENTER
  • Under the update tab, click on the update now button
  • If you have the latest version you are all good, if not follow the onscreen instruction on how to update it.
If by any chance you do not have JAVA installed you can get it here.

2. Prepare a dedicated location for your Minecraft server files

You can use any folder you like for your Minecraft server folder but it is highly recommended to create a new folder whose sole purpose will be to hold and run Minecraft server files. this will be very beneficial in the future when server files need to be updated or configured. Having things in one isolated space is always a good idea and keeping things organized is also a good idea.

3. Download, install and start the Minecraft: Java Edition server file

It is now time to download server files, you can get them here. Download the server.jar file and place it inside your server folder. Once everything is downloaded and prepared do the following:
  • Run the server.jar file, the first time it runs, the file will create some configuration files.
  • After additional files appear, there should be a text document called eula.txt. Open it with a text editor then change eula=false to eula=true.

4. Enable port forwarding on your router

This sep is required if you want to have people to play with you that are outside your router network, for example, if you want them to connect to your server from their home. If you do not wish to do this and want only people on your serves from your router network you can skip this step. Unfortunately, to enable port forwarding, you’ll need to make your computer on your local network to be accessible by other computers over the internet via a router. This will effectively make your port to be an open portThis can make your system vulnerable to malicious attacks. Once you’ve enabled it, set the default server port to 25565. You’ll need the Server IP address, which you can get by opening Command Prompt or PowerShell and run ipconfig. Your IP address is usually listed as IPv4 or IPv6 Address.

5. Run the Minecraft server

Simply double-click the server.jar file to run the server. If you want to have more control over it, use the command line.
  • Navigate to your Minecraft server directory using file explorer.
  • We will be using PowerShell instead of Command Prompt to enter commands. Hit Shift + Right-click on the directory window and select “Open PowerShell window here.
  • Once you are in the right directory, write the following command:
java -Xms1024M -Xmx1024M -jar {server file name} nogui
  1. Replace the {server file name} with the full name of .jar file. The command above will make the server run with no Graphical User Interface (GUI) and use 1024MB of allocated RAM space.
  2. If you want to enable the GUI, remove the nogui command. Additionally, you can edit the memory allocation for the server by changing the Xms and Xmx value.
  3. After the server is up, invite your friends to play by sharing your local or public IP address, depending on whether you are using a local or public network. For a local network, you can give the IPv4 or IPv6 Address earlier. For public networks, go to Google and type “what is my ip” to get the address.
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Windows 10 Power Toys detailed guide
Hello and welcome everyone, today we will be talking about power toys, a great, completely free, open-source, Microsoft-supported Windows project which aims to provide Windows itself with powerful features not found natively in it. We will explore power toys completely here and explain each module and its features. The first thing is of course to download power toys themselves. You can find them here. After you download them, double click on the downloaded file and install. Start power toys, you will find them at the bottom of the taskbar, note that power toys need to be active in order to use their features. power toysWhen opened you will be greeted with general settings window. These are settings for power toys themselves, Here you can check for updates, change the looks of power toys, run it on system startup and run them as administrator. Set them up so they best suit your needs.

Color Picker

Moving down next tab we have is Color picker. power toys colorpicker hex editorThe color picker will let you as the name suggests pick colors, it will sample colors from running applications and windows, snap their values, and place them in the clipboard. A useful application if you are working as a graphic designer, want to create some cool word document, or just want to compare the difference between colors. After the Color Picker is activated, hover your mouse cursor over the color you would like to copy and left-click the mouse button to select a color. If you want to see the area around your cursor in more detail, scroll up to zoom in. The copied color will be stored in your clipboard in the format that is configured in the settings (HEX by default). The editor lets you see the history of picked colors (up to 20) and copy their representation in any predefined string format. You can configure what color formats are visible in the editor, along with the order that they appear. This configuration can be found in PowerToys settings. The editor also allows you to fine-tune any picked color or get a new similar color. Editor previews different shades of currently selected color - 2 lighter and 2 darker ones. Clicking on any of those alternative color shades will add the selection to the history of picked colors (appears on the top of the colors history list). Color in the middle represents your currently selected color from the history of the colors. By clicking on it, the fine-tuning configuration control will appear, which will let you change the HUE or RGB values of the current color. Pressing OK will add newly configured color into the history of the colors.

Fancy Zones

Moving down, we have fancy zones. power toys fancy zonesFancyZones is a window manager utility for arranging and snapping windows into efficient layouts to improve the speed of your workflow and restore layouts quickly. FancyZones allows the user to define a set of window locations for a desktop that are drag targets for windows. When the user drags a window into a zone, the window is resized and repositioned to fill that zone. When first launched, the zones editor presents a list of layouts that can be adjusted by how many windows are on the monitor. Choosing a layout shows a preview of that layout on the monitor. The selected layout is applied automatically.

File Explorer

Next, File Explorer. power toys settings file explorerOnly 3 options here but maybe some are important to you. This extension lets you enable SVG file preview in File Explorer, enable Markdown preview, and enable SVG thumbnails. Turn on each one you might need.

Image Resize

Next down the line, we have Image resize. power toys image resizeImage Resizer is a Windows shell extension for bulk image-resizing. After installing PowerToys, right-click on one or more selected image files in File Explorer, and then select Resize pictures from the menu. You can specify your own sizes if you want, you can resize when dragging files, you can overwrite files or make new copies of new sizes, and many more options. A very useful tool I am sure plenty of users can use since this eliminates the need for pictures or any other image application for common resizing tasks.

Keyboard Manager

The keyboard manager is the next tab in power toys. power toys keyboard shortcutsThe PowerToys Keyboard Manager enables you to redefine keys on your keyboard. For example, you can exchange the letter A for the letter D on your keyboard. When you select the A key, a D will display. You can also exchange shortcut key combinations. For example, the shortcut key, Ctrl+C, will copy the text in Microsoft Word. With the PowerToys Keyboard Manager utility, you can exchange that shortcut for ⊞ Win+C). Now, ⊞ Win+C) will copy text. If you do not specify a targeted application in PowerToys Keyboard Manager, the shortcut exchange will be applied globally across Windows. PowerToys Keyboard Manager must be enabled (with PowerToys running in the background) for remapped keys and shortcuts to be applied. If PowerToys is not running, key remapping will no longer be applied.

Power Rename

Nex we have a very cool and powerful Power Rename power toys power renamePowerRename is a bulk renaming tool that enables you to:
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  • Perform a search and replace on a targeted section of file names.
  • Perform a regular expression rename on multiple files.
  • Check expected rename results in a preview window before finalizing a bulk rename.
  • Undo a rename operation after it is completed.

Run Utility

Power Toys Run utility follows next. power toys run warningPowerToys Run is a quick launcher for power users that contains some additional features without sacrificing performance. PowerToys Run features include:
  • Search for applications, folders, or files
  • Search for running processes (previously known as WindowWalker)
  • Clickable buttons with keyboard shortcuts (such as Open as the administrator or Open containing folder)
  • Invoke Shell Plugin using > (for example, > Shell:startup will open the Windows startup folder)
  • Do a simple calculation using the calculator

Shortcut Guide

Last but not least we have a Shortcut guide. power toys shortcut guide largeThis guide uses PowerToys to display common keyboard shortcuts that use the Windows ⊞ key. Windows key keyboard shortcuts can be used while the guide is being shown and the result of those shortcuts (active window moved, arrow shortcut behavior changes, etc) will be displayed in the guide. Releasing the Windows ⊞ key will make the overlay disappear. Tapping the Windows ⊞ key will display the Windows Start menu. Hey, you made it till the end, thank you for reading and I hope to see you soon.
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What is USB Kill Kit

USB Kill, a USB device is able to fry and damage your computer, mobile phone, router, etc. This device is quite dangerous and can kill electronics the moment it is inserted into an available port. By now people should know that they should not put unknown USB sticks into their devices because of potential virus and malware threats but this raises using unknown sticks to a whole new level.

usb kill kit

Kill kits are not really new to the market, they have existed before but lately, technology really progressed and the latest USB sticks are really good, their success rate is around 95% which is pretty high and should not be taken lightly.

The second thing that you really should not play with strange USB sticks is that they dropped in price really hard, although top Kill kits will still go as high as around 300 USD, there are really cheap ones lurking in Ali Express that are just 6 USD!!! that makes them affordable devices for the mass market.

The device is made to take energy and current from the port it is plugged in, multiply it and release its charge back into the device, successfully frying some components immediately. Some more professional Kill sticks can even fry devices even when the device itself is not powered and can be even started remotely.

The point of this article is to make you aware that you should not in any kind of circumstances use and plug-in USB sticks into your devices that you do not know where they come from, especially from the mail!!

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How to Fix Error 0x80073712 in Windows
There are times when system files get corrupted and if the Windows Update process finds the system’s integrity questionable, chances are, the update, upgrade or the installation may fail and you will only be getting an error code 0x80073712 instead of completing the process. The error code 0x80073712 indicates that a file needed by the Windows setup or the Windows Update is most likely missing or damaged. To resolve the problem, here are some suggestions you can try.

Option 1 – Try running the DISM Tool

Running the DISM Tool helps in repairing the Windows System Image as well as the Windows Component Store in Windows 10. Using this built-in tool, you have various options such as the “/ScanHealth”, “/CheckHealth”, and “/RestoreHealth”.
  • Open the Command Prompt as admin.
  • Then type in this command: exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
  • Do not close the window if the process takes a while as it will probably take a few minutes to finish.
After you run this tool, a log file is created at C:WindowsLogsCBSCBS.log. On the other hand, if the Windows Update client is already broken, you will be prompted to use a running Windows installation as the repair source or use a Windows side-by-side folder from a network share, as the source of the files. Although the chances of this happening are less, if it turns out to be the case, you need to run an advanced command in the DISM tool to repair a broken Windows Update. Just repeat the process above but use the following command instead:
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:RepairSourceWindows /LimitAccess

Option 2 – Try running the System File Checker

System File Checker or SFC is a built-in command utility that helps in restoring corrupted files as well as missing files. It replaces bad and corrupted system files with good system files that might be causing the error 0x80073712. To run the SFC command, follow the steps given below.
  • Tap Win + R to launch Run.
  • Type in cmd in the field and tap Enter.
  • After opening Command Prompt, type in sfc /scannow
The command will start a system scan which will take a few whiles before it finishes. Once it’s done, you could get the following results:
  1. Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.
  2. Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them.
  3. Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them.

Option 3 – Try running the Chkdsk utility

You can also try running the Chkdsk utility to resolve the Windows Update error 0x80073712. If your hard drive has issues with integrity, the update will really fail as the system will think that it’s not healthy and that’s where the Chkdsk utility comes in. The Chkdsk utility repairs hard drive errors that might be causing the problem.
  • Open Command Prompt with admin privileges.
  • After opening Command Prompt, execute the commands listed below, and don’t forget to hit Enter right after you type in each one of them and if you have installed Windows to some different directory, you must replace “C” with the name of the drive you’ve installed Windows with.
  • chkdsk C: /r /x
  • chkdsk C: /f
Note: The Chkdsk function might take a while before it finishes its operations so you need to be patient and wait until the entire process is completed.

Option 4 – Try running the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Running the built-in Windows Update troubleshooter could also help you resolve the Windows Update error 0x80073712. To run it, go to Settings and then select Troubleshoot from the options. From there, click on Windows Update and then click the “Run the troubleshooter” button.

Option 5 – Try running Microsoft’s online troubleshooter

You also have the option to run Microsoft’s online troubleshooter which could help you fix Windows Update errors.
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Microsoft blocking Office users
Microsoft Office 365 banerMicrosoft starting as of today will block its Office 365 users if they are using Internet Explorer or early versions of Edge browsers. So if you are using older non Chromium Edge versions of Microsoft browsers you can no longer access Office services until you switch. Now normally I would fully support this kind of decision since Internet explorer is a slow and vulnerable browser and the edge is similar in that regard. The new edge browser is great and it should be used but the issue I have is that Office 365 is not free, it is a premium feature and I am wondering how Microsoft plans to deal with people that have already paid for service but suddenly cannot access it anymore.
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Perform Voice Activation Troubleshooting
One of the smoother things that Microsoft did with the Windows 10 operating system is to separate Cortana from Search. This means that Cortana is strictly now a voice assistant and many users have seen it coming since not everyone uses Cortana. In addition, it also paved the way for other virtual assistants like Alexa to get on board with Windows 10. And now in the newly released Windows 10 v1903, Windows has brought the Voice Activation under Privacy. In this post, you will be guided on how to perform the Voice Activation troubleshooting on your Windows 10 computer. To use Voice Activation in Windows 10, follow, in the Start Search, type “voice activation” and click on “Voice activation privacy settings” listed in the search results. And from there, you can choose to allow apps to use Microphone, like listen in the background as well as select which app can access it. Each time enabled voice assistants continue to listen via microphone for the voice keyword, the app will activate itself for the keyword and will react depending on what you ask it. So if you are using a voice assistant and it didn’t respond when you speak the keyword, just go to Settings > Privacy > Voice Activation and follow these steps:

Option 1: Check the App permission to use the voice activation feature.

You have to make sure that the toggle button for the Voice activation feature is turned on globally. It can be found under the “Allow apps to use voice activation” section. You also have to ensure that the microphone is available for apps that use this feature.

Option 2: Voice activation is not working under the lock screen.

If you tend to use the voice assistant even when your computer is locked, Microsoft has a specific setting that you have to turn on. You need to make sure that the toggle button for the “Allow apps to use voice activation when this device is locked” option is turned on. However, keep in mind that the voice assistants are not locked to only recognize your voice as they also answer to anyone who will use the voice keyword.

Option 3: Check the individual permissions of apps.

If the voice assistant is not working, you have to check each one of the apps’ permissions for voice keyword, and the option to work under locked condition works.

Option 4: Run the Microphone troubleshooter.

If you’ve verified that the settings are in place, then you have to run the Microphone troubleshooter by simply going to Settings > Privacy > Microphone. From there, make sure that the toggle button for the following options is turned on:
  • Allow apps to access your microphone
  • Enable microphone access for the voice assistant
And if it’s a desktop app, you have to enable the toggle on at the end.
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Fix Windows Update Error 0x80072EE2
If you got an error code of 0x80072EE2 while trying to download a Windows 10 update then it could be that something is blocking the Windows Update service on your Windows 10 PC and is preventing it from connecting to the Microsoft server. In addition, the error code 0x80072EE2 also indicates “ERROR_INTERNET_TIMEOUT” and together with this message, you might also see a message as Windows Update encountered an unknown error or you might also find it hard to search for new updates. So in this post, you will be guided on how you can fix the Windows Update error code 0x80072EE2. Make sure to follow the steps below carefully.

Option 1 – Restart your computer and try installing the Updates again

You can restart your computer and then try installing the updates once again. There are instances when a simple restart resolves Windows Update errors. Aside from that, it would also be better if you make sure that your internet connection is working and that it’s stable. And so after you restart your computer, check for updates once again and see if you’re still getting the error or not.

Option 2 – Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Running the built-in Windows Update troubleshooter is one of the things you can first check out as it is known to automatically resolve any Windows Update errors like error code 0x80072EE2. To run it, go to Settings and then select Troubleshoot from the options. From there, click on Windows Update and then click the “Run the troubleshooter” button. After that, follow the next on-screen instructions and you should be good to go.

Option 3 – Try to disable your antivirus program

Disabling the antivirus program or any security software installed in your computer is always a good idea you can try when the Windows Update process does not go smoothly. So before you try updating your computer again, make sure to disable the antivirus or security program and once the Windows Update is done, don’t forget to enable the antivirus program back again.

Option 4 – Try to restart the Background Intelligent Transfer Service

The Background Intelligent Transfer Service or BITS is a part of the Windows Update service and is the one that manages the background download of Windows Update, as well as scans for new updates and so on. And if Windows Update is experiencing some problems, you can try restarting BITS but make sure that you have admin privileges to do so.
  • Tap the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  • Next, type “services.msc” in the field and hit Enter to open Windows Services.
  • From the list of Services, look for the Background Intelligent Transfer Service and double-click on it to open Properties.
  • After that, you need to set the Startup type to “Automatic (Delayed Start) and click on Apply.
  • Now click the Stop button to stop BITS and then click the Start button to restart the service.
  • Click OK to save the changes made and then restart your PC.

Option 5 – Try installing the updates in a Clean Boot State

It could be that some third-party application is the one that’s causing the problem so it’s best if you put your computer in a Clean Boot state. During this state, you can start the system with a minimum number of drivers and startup programs that will surely help you in isolating the root cause of the issue.
  • Log onto your PC as an administrator.
  • Type in MSConfig in the Start Search to open the System Configuration utility.
  • From there, go to the General tab and click “Selective startup”.
  • Clear the “Load Startup items” check box and make sure that the “Load System Services” and “Use Original boot configuration” options are checked.
  • Next, click the Services tab and select the “Hide All Microsoft Services” check box.
  • Click Disable all.
  • Click on Apply/OK and restart your PC. (This will put your PC into a Clean Boot State. And configure Windows to use the usual startup, just simply undo the changes.)
  • After that, try to install the Windows app again.
Note: If you are able to install the app without any trouble at all then it means that the error is caused by some third-party application on your computer. You need to look for the culprit and uninstall it once you found it.

Option 6 – Run Microsoft’s online troubleshooter

Running Microsoft’s online troubleshooter might also help you fix the Windows update error code 0x80072EE2. This online troubleshooter is known to help in fixing Windows Update errors, it scans your computer for issues that might be causing the problem and then fixes them automatically.
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Remove ChatZum from Windows

ChatZum is a Potentially Unwanted Program that installs a Toolbar into your browser. This program allegedly allows users to zoom in on photos without clicking on them, however, upon further research, it was discovered that this function does not work on the latest version of browsers.

From the Author: ChatZum is a Browser add-on (toolbar) that enables its users to hover over images in Major Social network's websites and view a larger version of an image.

While installing this toolbar will track user web browsing sessions and will record website visits, clicks, and sometimes even personal information. This information is later used to display targeted ads to the user. To allow easier user tracking, the program changes the browser home page and default search engine to Nation Search Advanced, which injects additional advertisements and tracks user activity.

Several anti-virus applications have marked this program as Potentially Unwanted, and it is not recommended to keep it on your computer, especially considering the fact it will most likely not work on your browser.

About Potentially Unwanted Applications

If you have ever installed a free application or shareware, chances are high that the computer will get installed with a bunch of unwanted applications. A Potentially Unwanted Program, also called PUP, in short, is actually software that contains adware, installs toolbars, or has got other hidden objectives. These types of programs are generally bundled up with a free application that you download from the internet or may also be bundled inside the custom installers of many download websites. PUPs aren’t always viewed as “pure” malware in the strictest sense. A fundamental difference between PUP and malware is distribution. Malware is normally dropped by silent installation vectors like drive-by downloads while PUP gets installed with the consent of the computer user, who knowingly or unknowingly approves the PUP installation on their computer system. But, there is no doubt that PUPs remain bad news for PC users as it could be quite dangerous to your computer in many ways.

The damage PUPs can do

The unwanted programs after installation display numerous annoying pop-up ads, trigger fake alerts, and sometimes even forces a computer owner to pay for the software. PUPs that come as browser add-ons and toolbars are commonly recognizable. These toolbars alter your homepage and your search engine in the installed web browser, track your web activities, modify your search results with redirects and sponsored links, and eventually slow down your browser and diminish your browsing experience. Potentially unwanted programs use aggressive distribution methods to get onto your computer. The worst part of setting up a PUP is the adware, spyware, and keystroke loggers that could lurk inside. Even if the PUPs really aren’t inherently malicious, these applications still do practically nothing good on your PC – they’ll take valuable system resources, slow down your PC, weaken your computer security, making your PC more vulnerable to malware.

How to avoid ‘crapware’

• Read the EULA thoroughly. Look for clauses that state that you have to accept advertising and pop-ups or bundled applications from the company. • Always opt for the custom if you’re offered an option between “Custom” and “Recommended” Installations – never ever click Next, Next, Next thoughtlessly. • Use a good anti-malware application. Try Safebytes Anti-malware which can find PUPs and treat them as malware by flagging them for deletion. • Be alert if you download and install freeware, open-source applications, or shareware. Do not ever install software applications that seem shady or malicious. • Always download applications from the original website. The majority of PUPs find their way onto your laptop or computer is via download portals, so steer clear of it altogether. Remember the fact that even though PUPs could potentially cause damage and hinder the proper functioning of the PC, they can’t enter into your system without your consent, so be alert not to provide them with it.

How One Can Get rid of Malware that is Blocking Websites or Preventing Downloads

Malware could potentially cause many kinds of damage to PCs, networks, and data. Some malware goes to great lengths to stop you from downloading or installing anything on your computer, especially antivirus software. If you’re reading this article, odds are you’re stuck with a malware infection that is preventing you to download or install the Safebytes Anti-Malware program on your PC. Even though this sort of problem can be tougher to circumvent, there are some steps you can take.

Make use of Safe Mode to resolve the issue

If the malware is set to run automatically when Microsoft Windows starts, stepping into safe mode could block the attempt. Just minimal required programs and services are loaded when you boot your computer in Safe Mode. To launch your Windows XP, Vista, or 7 computers in Safe Mode with Networking, do as instructed below. 1) Tap the F8 key repeatedly as soon as your PC boots, however, before the big Windows logo or black screen with white texts come up. This would invoke the Advanced Boot Options menu. 2) Choose Safe Mode with Networking with arrow keys and hit ENTER. 3) When this mode loads, you should have the internet. Now, obtain the malware removal program you want by utilizing the web browser. To install the program, follow the guidelines in the installation wizard. 4) Right after installation, do a full scan and allow the software program to get rid of the threats it detects.

Switch to an alternate internet browser

Some malware mainly targets certain browsers. If this is your situation, employ another internet browser as it might circumvent the computer virus. When you suspect that your Internet Explorer has been hijacked by a trojan or otherwise compromised by online hackers, the best thing to do is to switch over to an alternate internet browser such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Apple Safari to download your chosen security program – Safebytes Anti-Malware.

Create a portable USB antivirus for eliminating viruses

Another technique is to download and transfer an antivirus application from a clean computer to run a scan on the infected computer. Follow these steps to run the anti-malware on the affected computer. 1) Download the anti-malware on a virus-free PC. 2) Connect the flash drive to a USB slot on the clean computer. 3) Double click on the exe file to run the installation wizard. 4) Choose the USB stick as the location for saving the file. Follow the instructions on the screen to finish off the installation process. 5) Now, transfer the flash drive to the infected computer. 6) Run the Safebytes Anti-malware directly from the USB drive by double-clicking the icon. 7) Click the “Scan Now” button to start the virus scan.

Protect your PC from Malware With SafeBytes Security Suite

If you are looking to install an anti-malware program for your PC, there are lots of tools in the market to consider nonetheless, you just cannot trust blindly anyone, regardless of whether it is a paid or free program. A few of them are great but there are several scamware applications that pretend as authentic anti-malware programs waiting around to wreak havoc on your PC. You have to pick a company that develops industry-best anti-malware and it has earned a reputation as reliable. One of the highly recommended applications by industry analysts is SafeBytes Anti-Malware, the safest program for Microsoft Windows. SafeBytes can be described as a highly effective, real-time antivirus application that is made to assist the average computer user in protecting their PC from malicious internet threats. Through its cutting-edge technology, this software will help you protect your computer against infections brought on by various kinds of malware and other internet threats, including spyware, adware, trojans, worms, computer viruses, keyloggers, ransomware, and potentially unwanted program (PUPs).

There are many wonderful features you’ll get with this particular security product. Listed below are some of the features you will like in SafeBytes.

Active Protection: SafeBytes offers a completely hands-free active protection and is set to observe, block, and kill all computer threats at its very first encounter. It will check your PC for suspicious activity at all times and its unrivaled firewall shields your computer from illegal entry by the outside world. Robust, Anti-malware Protection: Using a critically acclaimed malware engine, SafeBytes offers multilayered protection which is made to catch and remove threats that are concealed deep inside your PC. Web Security: Safebytes allots all sites a unique safety ranking that helps you to get an idea of whether the webpage you’re just about to visit is safe to view or known to be a phishing site. Extremely Speed Scanning: SafeBytes’s virus scan engine is among the fastest and most efficient in the industry. It's targeted scanning significantly increases the catch rate for viruses which is embedded in various computer files. Lightweight: SafeBytes is really lightweight software. It consumes an extremely small amount of processing power as it runs in the background which means you will not observe any computer performance difficulties. 24/7 Support: For any technical concerns or product assistance, you may get 24/7 expert assistance via chat and email. To sum it up, SafeBytes Anti-Malware offers outstanding protection combined with an acceptable low system resources usage with both great malware detection and prevention. You now may realize that this particular tool does more than just scan and remove threats from your computer. You will get the best all-around protection for the money you pay on SafeBytes AntiMalware subscription, there’s no question about it.

Technical Details and Manual Removal (Advanced Users)

If you wish to do the removal of ChatZum manually rather than using an automated software tool, you can follow these simple steps: Navigate to the Windows Control Panel, click the “Add/Remove Programs” and there, choose the offending application to remove. In case of suspicious versions of web browser plug-ins, you can easily get rid of it through your web browser’s extension manager. You might also want to reset your home page and search providers, as well as delete browsing history, temporary files, and cookies. If you choose to manually remove the system files and Windows registry entries, use the following list to make sure you know exactly what files to remove before undertaking any actions. Please note that only advanced users should try to manually edit the system files mainly because removing any single vital registry entry results in a serious problem or even a PC crash. In addition, certain malware is capable of replicating itself or preventing its removal. Doing this malware-removal process in Safe Mode is recommended.
Files: Search And Delete: tbcore3.dll arrow_refresh.png basis.xml chatzum.dll info.txt inst.tmp loaderie.js suggestion_plugin.dll TbCommonUtils.dll tbcore3.dll tbhelper.dll TbHelper2.exe uninstall.exe uninstaller.exe update.exe Folders: C:\Program Files\ChatZum Toolbar\ C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\gb5e8gtn.default\extensions\staged\ADFA33FD-16F5-4355-8504-DF4D664CFE83 Registry: Key HKLM\SOFTWARE\ChatZum Toolbar Key HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\ChatZum Toolbar
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Fix Windows Updates and MS Store, 0x80240438
If you were trying to update your Windows 10 computer and failed due to Error Code 0x80240438, then you’ve come to the right place as this post will give you a couple of suggestions you can check out to resolve this error. You can encounter Error Code 0x80240438 not just in Windows Updates but also in Microsoft Store. This is due to the fact that the delivery mechanism for both Windows Updates and Microsoft Store is common and interdependent. This is why a lot of Windows Update and Microsoft Store error codes are similar. And so fixing them won’t be that hard as well since most methods are basically the same. When you encounter this kind of error in Windows Update or Microsoft Store, you will see the following error message on your screen:
“There were some problems installing updates, but we’ll try again later. If you keep seeing this and want to search the web or contact support for information, this may help – (0x80240438).”
To resolve Error Code 0x80240438, here are some potential fixes you need to check out:

Option 1 – Try to run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

The Windows 10 Store Apps Troubleshooter will help you in fixing the Error Code 0x80240438. This is a great built-in tool from Microsoft that helps users fix any app installation issues. So this is worth a try to solve the problem. This built-in tool also helps you fix the Windows 10 Store if it isn’t working. To use the Windows Store Troubleshooter, follow the steps below.
  • Tap Win + I keys again to open the Windows Settings panel.
  • Go to Update & Security and then go to Troubleshoot.
  • Under the Troubleshoot section, on your left-hand side, scroll down to find Windows Update and then click on Run the troubleshooter option and follow the on-screen instructions and then see if it fixes the problem.

Option 2 – Try to temporarily disable anti-virus and Windows Defender Firewall

As mentioned, the error could be due to the antivirus program or the Windows Defender Firewall installed on your computer. Thus, disabling them or any security software installed in your computer is always a good idea you can try when you’re not able to access the shared drive on your computer. There are times when you encounter problems like Error Code 0x80240438 due to interference of antivirus or security programs. Thus, you have to disable both your antivirus program and Windows Defender Firewall for the meantime and check if it fixes the error or not.

Option 3 – Disable the Proxy server

You can also try to disable the Proxy server for your LAN to fix Error Code 0x80240438 especially if your computer was attacked by some malware or adware recently. In such cases, there is a chance that the malware or adware has changed your network settings in order to generate intrusive advertisements. Thus, you have to disable the proxy server and you can do that by following these steps:
  • Tap the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  • Then type “inetcpl.cpl” in the field and hit Enter to pull up the Internet Properties.
  • After that, go to the Connections tab and select the LAN settings.
  • From there. Uncheck the “Use a Proxy Server” option for your LAN and then make sure that the “Automatically detect settings” option is checked.
  • Now click the OK and the Apply buttons.
  • Restart your PC.
Note: If you are using a third-party proxy service, you have to disable it.

Option 4 – Try modifying the “Remove access to use all the Windows Update features” Policy

  • Start by tapping the Win + R key combination to open the Run utility.
  • Then type “gpedit.msc” in the field and tap Enter to open the Group Policy Editor.
  • Once you’ve pulled up the Group Policy Editor, navigate to this setting: User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update
  • Next, double click on the “Remove access to use all the Windows Update features” policy and set its radio button to “Not Configured”. As you can see, this policy setting has the following description:
“This setting allows you to remove access to Windows Update. If you enable this setting, all Windows Update features are removed. This includes blocking access to the Windows Update Web site at http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com, from the Windows Update hyperlink on the Start menu, and also on the Tools menu in Internet Explorer. Windows automatic updating is also disabled; you will neither be notified about nor will you receive critical updates from Windows Update. This setting also prevents Device Manager from automatically installing driver updates from the Windows Update Web site.”
If you enable this policy setting, you can configure one of the following notification options:
  • 0 = Do not show any notifications: This setting will remove all access to Windows Update features, and no notifications will be shown.
  • 1 = Show restart required notifications – This setting will show notifications about restarts that are required to complete an installation.
  • Now you need to exit the Group Policy Editor and restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Option 5 – Try resetting the Windows Update folders

Resetting the Windows Update folders can also help in fixing the error in both Windows Update and Microsoft Store. All you have to do is delete the contents in both the SoftwareDistribution folder and reset the Catroot2 folder as well.

Option 6 – Try downloading and installing the Windows Updates manually

Error Code 0x80240438 might be due to a Windows Update that has failed. So if it is not a feature update and only a cumulative update, you can download the Windows Update and install it manually. But first, you need to find out which update has failed, and to do so, refer to the following steps:
  • Go to Settings and from there go to Update and Security > View Update History.
  • Next, check which particular update has failed. Note that Updates that have failed to install will be displayed under the Status column which has a label of “Failed”.
  • After that, go to the Microsoft Download Center and look for that update using its KB number and once you find it, download and then install it manually.
Note: You can also use the Microsoft Update Catalog, a service from Microsoft that provides a list of software updates that can be distributed over a corporate network. With the help of this service, it can be easier for you to find Microsoft software updates, drivers as well as fixes.
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