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Intel Arc A770 GPU

intel's first gaming card that will hit the market soon has been shown in its innovation event, the Intel Arc A770. In its core ticks ACM-G10, coming with 32 Xe-cores and all the way up to 16GB of GDDR6 memory (the basic entry-level version will have 8GB of GDDR6). The card will support ray tracing and supersampling with Intel's XeSS.

intel arc a770

This is Intel's first gaming desktop GPU and after testing with some YouTube channels it turned out that the card itself sits somewhere between nVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti and an RTX 3070 so it will still be low in performance compared with the new RTX 4090 or AMD's new RDNA3 upcoming lineup. But as stated this is Intel's first gaming graphics card and having this kind of performance is no small feat for the first-time product.

One thing that is really great tho and that is going for Arc A770 GPU is its price! The Limited Edition card will cost $329 which is at this moment most cheapest GPU currently on the market in that performance range. nVIDIA is between $500 and $700 for comparison and if Intel can hold on to its performance with almost half the price card could be a great hit among gamers. GPU itself will launch on October 12th.

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EasyPDFCombine Complete Removal Guide

EasyPDFCombine is a browser extension by Mindspark Inc. This extension claims to offer users an easy and fast way to combine different PDF documents into a single file for easy access and sharing.

When installed this extension changes your default search engine to MyWay.com, it also hijacks your home page and new tab page, also changing it to search powered by MyWay. While browsing the internet with this extension you will see additional pop-up ads, injected ads in search results, and sponsored content throughout your browsing sessions. This extension has been marked as a Browser Hijacker by several anti-virus programs and it is not recommended to keep on your computer.

About Browser Hijackers

Browser hijack is a common type of internet fraud where your web browser settings are altered to allow it to carry out things you do not intend. Browser hijacker malware is developed for a variety of reasons. In general, browser hijacking is used for earning ad revenue from forced advert clicks and website visits. While it may seem harmless, these tools were created by malicious individuals who always look to take full advantage of you, so that hackers could make money from your naivety and distraction. They not only screw up your web browsers, but browser hijackers can also modify the system registry, making your computer susceptible to other malicious programs.

How to know whether the web browser is hijacked?

There are many symptoms of browser hijacking. Here are a few of them: 1. the browser’s homepage is modified 2. you find yourself regularly directed to a different webpage than the one you intended 3. the main web browser settings are modified and undesirable or insecure resources are put into the trusted sites list 4. you are finding new toolbars you haven’t witnessed before 5. you see a lot of pop-up ads on your computer screen 6. your web browser gets sluggish, buggy crashes often 7. Inability to navigate to certain websites, especially antivirus as well as other security software websites.

How browser hijacker infects computers

Browser hijackers attack computers via malicious email attachments, downloaded infected computer files, or by checking out infected sites. They may also originate from any BHO, browser extension, add-on, toolbar, or plug-in with the malicious objectives. Also, certain shareware and freeware can put the hijacker in your computer through the “bundling” technique. A good example of a well-known browser hijacker is the most recent Chinese malicious software known as “Fireball”, which has infected 250 million computers around the world. It acts as a hijacker but can be turned into a fully functioning malware downloader later on. The presence of any browser hijacker malware on your system can drastically diminish the web browsing experience, monitor your internet activities that result in severe privacy concerns, develop system stability issues and ultimately cause your PC to slow down or to a practically unusable condition. How you can remove browser hijackers Certain browser hijacking can be easily stopped by finding and removing the corresponding malware program from your control panel. At times, it could be a challenging job to identify and delete the malicious program because the associated file will be running as part of the operating system process. You should think of doing manual repairs only if you’re a tech-savvy individual since there are risks associated with tinkering around with the system registry and HOSTS file. Browser hijackers could be effectively removed by installing and running anti-malware software on the affected PC. Among the best tools for fixing browser hijacker infections is SafeBytes Anti-Malware. It helps you remove any pre-existing malicious software in your computer and gives you real-time monitoring and protection from the latest threats.

What you can do if Virus Stops You From Downloading Or Installing Antivirus?

Malware could potentially cause all kinds of damage when they invade your system, starting from stealing your personal details to erasing data files on your PC. Some malware is meant to hinder or prevent things that you’d like to do on your PC. It may not allow you to download anything from the web or prevent you from accessing a few or all websites, especially antivirus sites. If you’re reading this, odds are you’re stuck with a malware infection that is preventing you to download and/or install Safebytes Anti-Malware software on your PC. Follow the instructions below to remove malware through alternate ways.

Download the anti-virus in Safe Mode with Networking

If the malware is set to run automatically when Windows starts, entering Safe Mode may block this attempt. Since only the minimal programs and services launch in safe mode, there are rarely any reasons for issues to occur. The following are the steps you need to follow to start into the Safe Mode of your Windows XP, Vista, or 7 computers (check out Microsoft site for instructions on Windows 8 and 10 computers). 1) At power-on/startup, hit the F8 key in 1-second intervals. This would conjure up the Advanced Boot Options menu. 2) Choose Safe Mode with Networking using arrow keys and hit ENTER. 3) When this mode loads, you will have an internet connection. Now, get the malware removal application you need by using the web browser. To install the program, follow the directions in the setup wizard. 4) After installation, do a complete scan and let the software program delete the threats it discovers.

Utilize an alternate internet browser to download antivirus software

Some viruses might target vulnerabilities of a specific browser that block the downloading process. If you appear to have a virus attached to Internet Explorer, then switch to an alternate web browser with built-in security features, such as Firefox or Chrome, to download your favorite anti-malware program – Safebytes.

Install anti-malware on a USB drive

To successfully remove the malware, you should approach the problem of installing anti-virus software on the affected PC from a different angle. To run antivirus using a USB pen drive, follow these simple measures: 1) Download Safebytes Anti-Malware or MS Windows Defender Offline onto a virus-free PC. 2) Insert the USB drive onto the same computer. 3) Run the setup program by double-clicking the executable file of the downloaded application, with a .exe file format. 4) When asked, choose the location of the USB drive as the place where you would like to store the software files. Do as instructed on the screen to finish up the installation process. 5) Unplug the USB drive. Now you can utilize this portable anti-malware on the affected computer. 6) Double click the Safebytes Anti-malware icon on the pen drive to run the program. 7) Click on the “Scan Now” button to start the virus scan.

SafeBytes Anti-Malware - More Protection For You

In order to protect your PC from various internet-based threats, it is important to install an anti-malware program on your computer system. But with countless numbers anti-malware companies in the market, these days it is hard to decide which one you should purchase for your personal computer. A few are really worth your money, but many aren’t. While looking for anti-malware software, choose one that offers solid, efficient, and complete protection against all known viruses and malware. Among few good applications, SafeBytes Anti-Malware is the highly recommended program for the security-conscious individual. SafeBytes is a powerful, real-time antivirus application that is made to assist the common computer end user in safeguarding their PC from malicious internet threats. This program could easily detect, remove, and protect your personal computer from the most advanced malware threats including adware, spyware, trojan horses, ransomware, PUPs, worms, parasites as well as other potentially harmful software applications.

There are lots of great features you will get with this security product. Below are some of the features you may like in SafeBytes.

Live Protection: SafeBytes offers 100 % hands-free live protection and is set to observe, prevent and eliminate all threats at its very first encounter. It will continuously monitor your computer for hacker activity and also gives users superior firewall protection. World-class AntiMalware Protection: Using its enhanced and sophisticated algorithm, this malware removal tool can find and remove the malware threats hiding in your computer effectively. “Fast Scan” Abilities: This software has got one of the fastest and most efficient virus scanning engines in the industry. The scans are very accurate and take a little time to complete. Web Security: SafeBytes checks and gives a unique safety rating to every single website you visit and block access to web pages known to be phishing sites, thus protecting you against identity theft, or known to contain malware. Very Low CPU and RAM Usage: SafeBytes gives total protection from internet threats at a fraction of the CPU load because of its advanced detection engine and algorithms. Premium Support: SafeBytes gives you 24/7 technical support, automatic maintenance, and upgrades for the best user experience. SafeBytes can keep your personal computer protected from most advanced malware threats automatically with little or no input needed from you again. There is no doubt that your computer system will be protected in real-time as soon as you put this software program to use. So if you are looking for the best anti-malware subscription for your Windows-based PC, we suggest the SafeBytes Anti-Malware application.

Technical Details and Manual Removal (Advanced Users)

If you’d like to manually remove EasyPDFCombine without the use of an automated tool, it might be possible to do so by deleting the program from the Microsoft Windows Add/Remove Programs menu, or in cases of browser extensions, going to the browser’s AddOn/Extension manager and removing it. You’ll probably also want to reset your internet browser. Finally, check your hard drive for all of the following and clean your Windows registry manually to get rid of leftover application entries following an uninstallation. Please keep in mind that only experienced users should try to manually edit the system files simply because deleting any single vital registry entry results in a major problem or even a computer crash. Additionally, certain malware is capable of replicating itself or preventing deletion. It is advised that you carry out the removal process in Safe Mode.
Files: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\kpocjpoifmommoiiiamepombpeoaehfh %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\kpocjpoifmommoiiiamepombpeoaehfh %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\kpocjpoifmommoiiiamepombpeoaehfh %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\kpocjpoifmommoiiiamepombpeoaehfh %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\EasyPDFCombine_ce %LOCALAPPDATA%\EasyPDFCombine_ce %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\easypdfcombine_ceIE %USERPROFILE%\AppData\LocalLow\easypdfcombine_ce %PROGRAMFILES%\easypdfcombine_ceEI %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\eoijigimapijneedmehmjccmmdknkbef %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\eoijigimapijneedmehmjccmmdknkbef %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\kpocjpoifmommoiiiamepombpeoaehfh chrome-extension_eoijigimapijneedmehmjccmmdknkbef_0.localstorage %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\EasyPDFCombineTooltab %LOCALAPPDATA%\EasyPDFCombineTooltab Registry: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\AppDataLow\Software\easypdfcombine_ce HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Approved Extensions, value: 0D159187-1DDE-426D-8D17-74B6CEF7D9E3 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Approved Extensions, value: 1930D4C0-D0E6-4CF1-B6A4-A09140F88475 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Approved Extensions, value: 4E8A04A7-E70B-4391-9AF3-1C0CC98AE8DA HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\easypdfcombine_ceService HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\services\easypdfcombine_ceService HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet002\services\easypdfcombine_ceService HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, value: EasyPDFCombine AppIntegrator 32-bit HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, value: easyPDFCombine AppIntegrator 64-bit HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, value: easyPDFCombine EPM Support HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, value: EasyPDFCombine AppIntegrator 64-bit HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, value: EasyPDFCombine EPM Support HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, value: EasyPDFCombine Search Scope Monitor HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar, value: 4e8a04a7-e70b-4391-9af3-1c0cc98ae8da HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar, value: 4e8a04a7-e70b-4391-9af3-1c0cc98ae8da HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Browser Helper Objects\1930d4c0-d0e6-4cf1-b6a4-a09140f88475 HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Browser Helper Objects\1930d4c0-d0e6-4cf1-b6a4-a09140f88475 HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\LowRegistry\DOMStorage\easypdfcombine.dl.myway.com HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\DOMStorage\easypdfcombine.dl.myway.com HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\DOMStorage\easypdfcombine.dl.tb.ask.com HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\LowRegistry\DOMStorage\easypdfcombine.dl.tb.ask.com HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\EasyPDFCombine
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Can’t type in Win apps, Search, Cortana, etc.
If you are typing inside the Search bar, Cortana, Taskbar, Windows 10 apps, etc., and then everything seems invisible then read on as this post will guide you in fixing this issue. At first, you might think that something is wrong with your keyboard but it really has nothing to do with it. The problem actually lies with the apps from Microsoft Store. Thus, if you can’t type anything in any of the apps from Microsoft Store in Windows 10, refer to the options given below to fix them.

Option 1 – Ensure that ctfmon.exe is running

Ctfmon.exe is a Microsoft process in Windows 10 that controls the Alternative User Input as well as the Office Language bar. In other words, it enables end-users to control the computer using on-screen keyboard inputs, speech, and even pen for various languages. It would be better if you launch the program once by going to the C:/Windows/system32 folder. Doing so will ensure that whatever API is needed for the keyboard typing to work properly again. You also have to make sure that its startup status is not disabled. In addition, you can also try the following steps, alternatively.
  • Open the Task Scheduler.
  • Then go to Microsoft > Windows > TextServicesFramework.
  • And on the MsCtfMonitor, right-click and enable the task.
  • Now restart your computer.
This will ensure that all the text boxes will start to work again. And if the task MsCtfMonitor is missing from the list of tasks, you can import it with the XML file from basics.net. Then download and create a task to run it each time you log in to your PC.

Option 2 – Use the Windows Store Apps Troubleshooter

You might also try running the Windows Store Apps Troubleshooter as it can help in resolving issues with the Windows Store apps. This built-in tool can resolve most of the app-related problems. To use it, go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshooting > Windows Store Apps and from there, click the start the troubleshooter button. The Windows Store Apps Troubleshooter will scan the computer for any issues with the Windows store apps and will automatically fix them if it finds any.

Option 3 – Re-register all the Windows 10 UWP apps using PowerShell

  • First, make sure to close all the running applications on your computer.
  • Next, in the Start search, type in PowerShell and right click on the result, and select the “Run as administrator” option.
  • After that, type the following commands to re-register the Windows 10 apps. Make sure to hit Enter on each line:
    • reg delete "HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionTileDataModelMigrationTileStore" /va /f
    • get-appxpackage -packageType bundle |% {add-appxpackage -register -disabledevelopmentmode ($_.installlocation + "appxmetadataappxbundlemanifest.xml")}
    • $bundlefamilies = (get-appxpackage -packagetype Bundle).packagefamilyname
    • get-appxpackage -packagetype main |? {-not ($bundlefamilies -contains $_.packagefamilyname)} |% {add-appxpackage -register -disabledevelopmentmode ($_.installlocation + "appxmanifest.xml")}

Option 4 – Try to run the DISM tool

You can also run the DISM Tool as it 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” which could help in fixing the problem.
  • Open the Command Prompt with admin privileges.
  • Then type in the following commands and make sure to hit Enter right after you type each one of them:
    • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
    • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
    • 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.

Option 5 – Run the System File Checker Scan

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 to good system files. 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.
  • Restart your PC.
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Merge or Delete an OEM Partition in Windows
OEM Partition, also known as System Reserved Partition, is placed by the OEM to help users recover their computers or bring back the original state of the computer when it was bought. If you’ve observed that a part of your hard drive says “Healthy (OEM partition)” in the Disk Management and it occupies space in GBs, then this means that it’s normal and there’s nothing to worry about except that part of the storage space is not available and even when you right-click on it, the only thing it displays is the Help menu. Thus, in this guide, you will be guided on how you can merge as well as delete an OEM partition in your Windows 10 computer. Since the Disk Management tool in Windows won’t let you merge or delete the OEM partition, you can just use the built-in command-line tool known as Diskpart. Note that you have to be extra careful when you run the commands as it could mess your computer up and before you proceed with the instructions provided below, make sure that you create a System Restore point first. Once you have that covered, follow the instructions below. Step 1: Tap the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box and type “cmd” in the field and tap Enter to open the Command Prompt. Step 2: Next, execute this command to launch the Diskpart tool: diskpart Step 3: Execute this second command to view the list of the disks in your computer: list disk Step 4: Now select the disk you want to manage by executing this command: select disk x Note: In the command above, replace “x” with the letter of your disk. Step 5: After that, execute this command to display all the volumes or partitions: list partition Step 6: Now execute this command to select the partition you want to delete: select partition x Note: You have to replace “x” with the partition you want to delete. Step 7: Once done, execute this command to delete the selected partition: delete partition override Step 8: Afterwards, execute this command to merge the OEM partition with the adjoining value: Extend Note: if you only want to merge part of the partition, you need to use this command “extend [size=<size>]”. For instance, you want to extend its size by 5GB, then you need to type “Extend size=5000”. The size you set is the size you select from the OEM partition. This will extend the selected volume by size in MB or megabytes.
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Mfplat.dll is missing or was not found
One of the primary packages that install the Windows Media Player is the Media Feature Pack among other related files that are needed by the associated software products. And one of the essential DLL files in that package is the mfplat.dll file which is needed by various games and streaming services. So if this DLL file goes missing, you will most likely encounter any of the following error messages:
  • “mfplat.dll missing”
  • “The application failed to start because mfplat.dll was not found.”
  • “The program can’t start because mfplat.dll is missing from your computer.”
In other circumstances, the Media Feature Package does not come pre-installed with the main Windows package especially for those who use Windows N, thereby causing the error to pop up. The main cause of this problem is that users who use Windows 10 N do not have the Media Feature pack pre-installed with the installation package. Aside from that, the installation package could go missing after a few Windows Updates or if you have uninstalled it by accident. To resolve this problem, you need to check out each one of the given options below.

Option 1 – Try to enable Media Playback via Command Prompt

If you encounter the mfplat.dll missing error when you attempt to run PLEX or other similar streaming service and you’ve already verified that the Media Feature Pack is indeed installed, you might want to try enabling it using an elevated Command Prompt. There are cases when a particular Windows Update ends up disabling the feature and creates the grounds which results in the mfplat.dll missing error. Thus, you can have to enable the feature via Command Prompt.
  • Tap the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  • Then type “cmd” in the field and hit Enter to open an elevated Command Prompt.
  • Next, click on Yes if a User Account Control prompt pops up.
  • After opening Command Prompt, copy and paste the following command and hit Enter to execute it:
dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:MediaPlayback
  • Close Command Prompt and then open the app once again to check if the problem is now fixed.

Option 2 – Try installing the Media Feature Pack for Windows 10 N version

As mentioned, the Windows 10 N version does not come with Windows Media Player. Meaning to say, the Media Feature Pack is also not installed by default or won’t be updated by the Windows Update component. So if you are not quite sure what Windows 10 version you currently have installed, refer to these steps:
  • Tap the Windows key + S and then type “about” in the search box.
  • From the search results, click on the “About your PC” to open the About tab of the Settings app.
  • Afterward, scroll down to the Windows specifications and check your Windows version under Edition.
Note: If you have verified that your PC is using the Windows 10 N version, you need to install the appropriate Media Feature Pack for your computer. How? Refer to the steps below:
  • Click this link to download and install the Media Feature Pack from Microsoft’s official website.
  • Upon installation, select the edition you want to install using the drop-down menu and then click on Confirm. Take note that there are few reasons why you’d want to install the older version since most streaming services like PLEX and most games usually require version 1803.
  • After that, wait until the request is validated. The download should begin in a few minutes automatically.
  • Once the download is completed, open the installation executable file and follow the next on-screen instructions to install the Media Feature Pack on your computer.
  • Restart your computer. After your computer has rebooted, open the application where you’re getting the mfplat.dll missing error and then check if the problem is now fixed.

Option 3 – Try to extract a copy of the mfplat.dll file from the windows.old directory

If you encounter the error shortly after you just upgraded to Windows 10 from an older version, the best thing you can do to resolve the problem is to use windows.old directory to fetch an old copy of the mfplat.dll file. To do so, follow the steps below.
  • Go to the Windows drive and then look for the windows.old directory where it preserves a copy of your old operating system as well as associated files in case something goes out of hand during the upgrade process.
  • After that, open the windows.old folder and then go to the syswow64 folder.
  • Next, from the syswow64 folder, copy the mfplat.dll file and paste it to C:/windows/syswow64.
  • Restart your computer and check if the error is now resolved or not.
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Computer gets stuck on Preparing to configure
If you suddenly find your Windows 10 computer stuck on the “Preparing to configure” screen for quite a long time now after you run Windows Update, read on as you will be guided on how you can fix that issue in this post. During an update process, there’s a lot of things that go on in the background which is why Windows Updates take quite a while before it finishes. It can be at 25%, 50%, or even 100% but the only message you’re going to see on your screen is the “Preparing to configure Windows, Don’t turn off your computer”. However, if you notice that the Windows Update is taking a longer time than it’s supposed to, the first option is to wait some more but if it’s still the same, then there’s definitely something wrong. This kind of issue occurs when Windows Update fails to configure in short correctly download and install the update. When this happens, it will revert all the changes which are why you were advised to wait for a couple of hours. There are two possibilities why your computer is stuck on the “Preparing to configure Windows, Don’t turn off your computer” screen. The first one is that the Windows 10 operating system is installing any updates. The second one is when the user profile takes time to load or encounters an error. There are several options you can try to fix the problem. You can try running System Restore or boot your computer in Safe Mode or repair the corrupted profile via Registry Editor. You might also want to try using installation media to boot and repair your computer if the other options didn’t work.

Option 1 – Perform System Restore

  • Tap the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  • After that, type in “sysdm.cpl” in the field and tap Enter.
  • Next, go to the System Protection tab then click the System Restore button. This will open a new window where you have to select your preferred System Restore point.
  • After that, follow the on-screen instructions to finish the process and then restart your computer and check if the problem is fixed or not.
Note: If you can’t boot into the desktop of your computer, you can run System Restore in the Advanced Startup Options by following these steps:
  • Boot your computer into the Advanced Startup Options screen.
  • From there, you will see some options to troubleshoot when you can’t log in to Windows in the usual way.
  • Now select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt.
  • After that, type “rstrui” and hit Enter to execute the command which will start the System Restore process.
  • Once it’s done, restart your computer.

Option 2 – Boot your computer in Safe Mode

You can try to tap the F8 key if you have it enabled in your Windows 10 computer, as you start your system to boot into Safe Mode. Once your computer is in Safe Mode, you can access the Start Menu and the Mouse and Keyboard. Aside from that, you can also access your files and other built-in tools in Windows such as Command Prompt, PowerShell, Computer Manager, Device Manager, Event Log Viewer, and many more. On the other hand, if you haven’t enabled the F8 key, you can just go to the Advanced Startup options to boot your computer into Safe Mode. Once you’re there, select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart > Tap the number 4 key. After that, your computer will restart in Safe Mode. If you want to reboot into Safe Mode with Networking instead, you can tap the number 5 key and for Safe Mode with Command Prompt, tap the number 6 key. Once your computer is in Safe Mode, you can use any of the built-in tools to restore your computer or troubleshoot the problem that’s causing your computer to get stuck at the “Preparing to configure” screen.

Option 3 – Try to repair your corrupted profile via Registry

In this third option, you can try to repair the corrupted profile using the Registry but before you proceed, take note that you can only try this if you can boot into your desktop and if you can, make sure to create a System Restore Point and then follow the steps below.
  • Tap the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  • Then type “Regedit” in the field and hit Enter or click OK to open the Registry Editor.
  • Next, go to this registry key: ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionProfileList
  • Once you’ve opened the registry key, you should see a list of all the user profiles on your computer. Now click on each S-1-5 folder and look for the “ProfileImagePath” entry and double click on it to check which user account it is related to. You will see a path like “CUsersACK” where “ACK” is the username.
  • You should know which of the user account is corrupted. Just look for a key named “RefCount” and change its Value data to “0” and click OK. And if it isn’t available, simply right-click on the right pane and create it.
  • After that, double click on the key named “State” and make sure that the Value data is “0” and click OK.
  • Exit the Registry Editor and restart your computer to apply the changes made.

Option 4 – Try to use installation media to boot and repair your computer

Another thing you can try to resolve the issue is to use the Windows installation bootable media so you can boot and repair the operating system. To use it, follow these steps:
  • You need to first create an installation media which has the dame version of the operating system installed in your computer.
  • After that, once you reach the Install Windows screen, click on the “Repair your computer” link.
  • Wait until the repair is completed and then shut down your computer
  • Now once your computer has restarted, check if it can now boot properly.
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How to know if you have keylogger in Windows
Hello and welcome everyone, today we will be talking about dreaded keyloggers, why they are dangerous, and how to know if you might have one in your system. Keylogger is a malicious application placed in your system and hidden with only one goal in mind, to get information about what are you typing and by that means for a person who infected you to get information about your credit card information or other sensitive data. They can be introduced into your systems in various ways and often can not be detected easily. Modern antivirus applications have ways of detecting them and removing but this tutorial aims to teach you how to spot them all by yourself since new keyloggers are produced daily and sometimes relying on antivirus alone is not enough. Unlike viruses and trojans, keyloggers are not heavy on system resources and you will not feel slow down on your computer if you have one which makes them harder to sport with regular work. Some of them can be even tracking you on the website and not even be physically present on your computer. Generally, we could categorize keylogger into 4 categories:
  1. Web browser-based keylogger. Some websites would have CSS scripts, input web forms, or so-called man in the middle keylogger. Lucky for us even Windows defenders with the latest update can detect this type of keylogger and successfully deal with it and how keylogger itself is not present on our system we are safe.
  2. General spyware keylogger. This keylogger is present in your system, usually, it infected it via email attachment, social media download, torrent download, some malicious so-called fixer application, etc. Most antivirus applications and windows defenders can detect these types as well and remove them successfully.
  3. Kernel-level keylogger. This keylogger is a more dangerous type they tend to operate underneath Windows as a rootkit and can go undetected by antivirus and windows defenders.
  4. Hypervisor-based keylogger. This is the most dangerous keylogger, they use virtualization techniques to hide and mask themselves as a replica of the operating system and they scan all keystrokes by the user. These are very rare keyloggers but they do exist.
If you suspect that you have a keylogger or just want to check your system for precaution reasons follow these tips and guides and luckily you will solve your issue in no time and your data will be safe.
  1. Use Task Manager to find suspicious entries.

    Task manager is a great application implemented in Windows that is constantly monitoring and showing all services, applications, and processes currently running on your system and thus a great tool to monitor your system if you know how to use it. First, open task manager by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + ESC Then take a good look into it, try to find suspicious names, probably duplicate of running application, something like Windows logon application, or keylog or anything similar which seems out of ordinary. If you manage to find a suspicious running application right-click on it and close it. Also while you are in task manager jump into the startup tab and check to see are there some unusual applications starting with your Windows, if you find anything, disable it right away. This is the most simple and quickest way to get some information right away if you suspect to have some simpler keylogger in your system.
  2. Use the command prompt to monitor your network.

    In order to check connections to your computer and find potential suspicious ones start the command prompt in administrator mode, press ⊞ Win + X, and choose command prompt (administrator). type in netstat -b and press ENTER. All website and application connections to your computer are now visible. ignore svchost, edge browser, windows store, etc ad check the IP of the remaining ones using the internet.
  3. Use keystroke encryption.

    Install encrypting software and even if you have a keylogger, the application will encrypt each stroke and all that attacker will get is gibberish
Please remember to always download files from trusted sources, do not open unknown emails, and do not share your information publicly. Take common protection steps in order to protect yourself in the digital world.
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0x80070780, The file cannot be accessed
Error 0x80070780 is a particularly nasty error since it means we can not access files on our hard drive. This might be an important file from work or anything similar and it can be frustrating when we can access it. In this article, we will address solutions to this error so you can continue with your activities where you have left off. Follow the guide step by step in the given order to minimize file damage and find the solution quickly.
  1. Run File and Folder built-in troubleshooter

    The simple and clean solution, try first by running Windows built-in tools. Leave troubleshooter to scan and attempt repairs and try to access a file after that.
  2. Run disk checker

    Maybe the file is corrupted or slightly damaged but repairable, run a built-in Windows disk checker and let it scan and repair any error found. Try accessing your file after the scan.
  3. Try copying file

    If the file is under a bad sector or cluster on a disk drive that could be a reason why you can not access it, try copying the file to another location and then opening it, if the operation fails, boot Windows in safe mode and try to copy or move file then. If you are successful with copying files in safe mode, reboot your computer and try to open the file.
  4. Reinstall the driver for the hard drive

    Like when the driver for USB is not working and you can not access files same can happen on your hard drive. Go to the device manager and reinstall the driver for your hard drive.
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Applications you should remove from Windows
ApplicationsOver time Applications change, some for the better some for worse. Some of them even stop receiving updates and are old and vulnerable. Sometimes standards change and some file types are not used anymore. Software evolves along with technology and that is good. Keeping old and useless applications inside your Windows is not so good. From various exploits to simply taking up space, maybe even slowing down OS it is always wise and good to clean your Windows from unwanted old applications. In this article, we will be mentioning some relics of old and providing you with an explanation of why you should remove them from your system if by any chance you still have them on it.

Silverlight

Silverlight was meant to be a competitor for Adobe Flash, it is a WEB framework that enables rich media content inside your WEB browser. The issue is that it is not developed anymore and today's browsers do not support it. The only browser that actually can support it is internet explorer which itself is not supported and how there is practically 0 content on today's modern WEB that will require Silverlight, it is safe and recommended to remove it.

Adobe Flash

Speaking of Adobe Flash, you should remove it as well. Flash has stopped receiving support as of January 2021 and browsers have dropped support for it and even blocked it due to security issues. However, there still might be some local installation of Flash itself inside Windows along with the old Shockwave player that stopped receiving support in 2019. You should remove them both.

JAVA

Now this one is tricky, by itself JAVA does not present any security issues since browsers do not support it anymore and the desktop version is not really slowing down your computer. This one has simply put just another media runtime that is not used and simply takes up space and resources. However if you have some applications that you do use that rely on it (I can really just think of JAVA Minecraft at this point) leave it of course but in any other case, it is just purely not needed.

Quicktime

While we are at media runtime and stuff that just simply is not needed, Quicktime is one of them. Now this Apple Video player and codec is still pretty developed and active in Apple’s iOS environment, Windows version has not been updated since 2016 and it was discovered that it contains some critical vulnerabilities. Uninstall it and if you need a player that could play MOV files, just use a VLC player that can play them without any separately installed codec.

uTorrent

This one, the same as CCleaner was once a good application, as a matter of fact, it was the best torrenting application. Sadly it has fallen from its grace very low, from getting tons of ads in its interface to findings in 2015 that code of torrent client was packed with a crypto miner that used system resources of an installed computer to mine crypto without user’s awareness. You should uninstall this torrent client if you would like to get your PC back and not provide it for cryptocurrency mining for the company that developed it. Use qBittorrent or TIxati, open-source and free ones that have everything needed for any torrenting needs.

Toolbars and Browser extensions

There are a lot of toolbars for browsers and extensions that are malicious in nature or simply not updated providing security issues. It is very advisable to remove this as soon as possible.

WinRAR

WinRAR has gained its large popularity solely for the reason that you could download it from the official site like shareware and use it forever. The license never expired and you could use it indefinitely. Sadly not much has been improved in the application itself and it is slowly falling out in its range of what it can do. There are better open source and free options today like 7zip, PeaZip, ZIPvare, and more that are working the same as WinRAR if not even better.

Windows and manufacturers Bloatware

Yes, applications that come bundled with Windows and with some laptops that include manufacturers made software for different tasks like its own specific media players, calculators, etc. It is known that these applications are not better than their open-source rivals and there are too many of them including some that you will probably never use. It is the same as buying a new phone bundled with tons of applications that you do not need, did not ask for, and do not use. Delete all of them. Considering Windows there are also some Store application like Candy Crush Saga demo and other are safe to remove if not needed. That’s it, our advice for old and not needed applications so you can keep your PC safe and fast.
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Fix Windows defender 0x800700AA Error
Windows defender error 0x800700AA, service can not be started comes when the user is trying to run Windows defender scan on their system. This kind of behavior happens for two reasons mostly, third-party application conflict or corrupted system files. In this article, we will tackle both scenarios and provide you with solutions in both cases.

Third-party application conflict

In this rare scenario when Windows defender can not start scan due to conflict with installed service or application in the system solution is quite simple. Restart your PC into safe mode and run the scan from there. In a safe mode environment, minimum drivers and services are only loaded eliminating any conflicts that might occur when everything is booted. If Windows defender can not run the scan in safe mode and you get the same 0x800700AA error then you can eliminate application conflict as a reason and move to the next solution which will tackle corrupted system files. If you, however, managed to run a scan then you have a rare third-party application conflict, you can boot normally into windows and try to eliminate one by one to see which one is causing the issue. The safest bet would be to start with security software because most of the time that is what causes conflicts in running services and applications.

Corrupted system files

If the previous solution has not provided you with results then you have system file corruption that needs to be fixed. Move from one solution to another as presented below:
  1. Run SFC scan

    SFC scan is a built-in Windows tool for solving corrupted system files issues, it is fully automated and does not require from the user any kind of knowledge or information. To run it and scan the system do the following: Press ⊞ WINDOWS + X to open the secret menu Left-click on the command prompt (admin) In command prompt type SFC /SCANNOW and press ENTER Wait for the process to finish, do not interrupt it and once it is done, restart your computer
  2. Run DISM scan

    DISM scan is similar to SFC scan but it tackles different types of system file corruption and it is recommended to run it also after SFC has been completed. Please note that for DISM scan to be successful you will need a stable internet connection since DISM will replace corrupted files with new ones downloaded from Microsoft. To run it do the following: Press ⊞ WINDOWS + X to open the secret menu Left-click on the command prompt (admin) inside command prompt type: exe /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth followed by ENTER, then type: Dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth also followed with ENTER. Leave scan to finish and reboot your PC
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Fix Boot Device Not Found Error in Windows
If you encounter an error saying, “Boot Device Not Found” when you turn on your Windows 10 computer, then you’ve come to the right place as this post will guide you on how you can fix this problem. Apart from the error message, you will also see a message that states, “Please install an operating system on your hard disk, Hard Disk<xxx>”. You will then be asked to tap the F2 key to initiate the System Diagnostics. If you install the Windows operating system, it becomes the boot device, and when your computer boots, the UEFI or the BIOS looks for the operating installed on your drive and continues the process. So when you encounter the “Boot Device Not Found” error, this means that the UEFI or the BIOS wasn’t able to locate the drive where it can boot. There are several suggestions you can check out to resolve this error. You can try checking the connection with your boot drive or change the boot order. You can also fix the Boot Record from Recovery and see if the primary partition is active or not. But before you troubleshoot the problem, make sure that you have a bootable Windows USB drive ready since two of the options provided below will require you to boot into the Advanced Recovery mode. Once you have this covered, proceed to each one of the following options.

Option 1 – Try checking the connection with the boot drive

If you have a custom computer that comes with a cabinet, you might want to open it and remove any connected power supply, and then check the wires. As you know, drives are connected with the motherboard using a cable. So all you have to do is check if both ends are connected properly and make sure that the connection is not loose. You could also try to unplug the cable and plug it back in.

Option 2 – Try changing the boot order

You might also want to try changing the boot order of your computer. Each time a computer boots, the BIOS or the UEFI follows a boot order. It is the one that tells where to first look for the boot drive and if for some reason, a USB is connected to your computer and the first boot device found in the USB, then you have resolved the problem. All you have to do is to remove the USB device and boot or go into the BIOS and change the boot order yourself.

Option 3 – Try to rebuild the BCD files

The next thing you can do to resolve the issue is to Rebuild Boot Configuration Data or BCD files.
  • You can start by booting into the installation environment for Windows 10 from an installation media.
  • After that, click on Repair your computer and on the blue screen, select Troubleshoot and then select the Advanced options menu.
  • From there, select Command Prompt and once you open it, enter each one of the commands given below by sequence.
    • bootrec /FixMbr
    • bootrec /FixBoot
    • bootrec /ScanOS
    • bootrec /RebuildBcd
  • Once you’re done executing the commands given above, type “exit” to close the Command Prompt window and then restart your computer and see if it fixed the “Boot Device Not Found” error.

Option 4 – Try setting the System Partition to Active

Like the first given option, you also have to make sure that you have a bootable Windows 10 USB drive before you proceed to set the System Partition to Active. Once you have it covered, refer to these steps:
  • Boot your computer using the bootable Windows 10 USB drive.
  • Next, click Next when you get to the Welcome Screen.
  • Then click on Repair your computer located at the bottom left part of the window and select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt.
  • After opening Command Prompt, type the following command and hit Enter to start the Diskpart utility. It is a command line-based utility just like Command Prompt but has a UAC prompt once you provoke it. So if you encounter a UAC prompt, just click on Yes to proceed.
diskpart
  • Now type the following command:
list disk
  • From there, select your primary disk by typing the following command:
select disk number
  • After that, list all the partitions on the selected disk by entering the following command:
list partition
  • The command you just entered will list all the partitions created on your PC including both types of partitions that are visible to a normal user in the File Explorer as well as the ones created by Windows 10 by default which helps it in storing the boot files and other important system files.
  • Now type the following command to select the partition that is usually around 100 MB in size:
select partition number
  • Finally, type the following command to mark the partition active:
active
  • Then type the “exit” command to exit the disk part utility.
Once it’s done, the primary drive should now be active and you should now be able to boot into your computer without the “Boot Device Not Found” error.
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