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10 Worst Computer Viruses in history

Computers viruses, worms, ransomware, etc. are kinds of malicious software that no user should take lightly. On several occasions, we have touched upon security steps that each user should take in order to protect its identity and data. Sadly sometimes even when all precautions are taken some malware can still slip through and wreak havoc. Today we are looking at some of the worst or the best, depending on your view that has indeed wreaked plenty of havoc.

viruses10 worst computer viruses in history

In the list of the 10 most famous computer viruses below, we show the costs, dates, reach, and other key facts. First a note about terms: we use the words “virus” and “worm” interchangeably because most readers search for them that way. But there’s a subtle difference that we explain after the list.

1. Mydoom – $38 billion

The worst computer virus outbreak in history, Mydoom caused estimated damage of $38 billion in 2004, but its inflation-adjusted cost is actually $52.2 billion. Also known as Novarg, this malware is technically a “worm,” spread by mass emailing. At one point, the Mydoom virus was responsible for 25% of all emails sent.
Mydoom scraped addresses from infected machines, then sent copies of itself to those addresses. It also roped those infected machines into a web of computers called a botnet that performed distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. These attacks were intended to shut down a target website or server.

Mydoom is still around today, generating 1% of all phishing emails. That’s no small feat considering the 3.4 billion phishing emails sent each day. By that figure, Mydoom has taken on a life of its own, infecting enough poorly-protected machines to send 1.2 billion copies of itself per year, 16 years after its creation.
Though a $250,000 reward was offered, the developer of this dangerous computer worm was never caught.
Wondering what makes the world’s most secure computers so safe? See the [email protected] guide: Upgrade to the World's Most Secure and Manageable PC

2. Sobig – $30 billion

The 2003 Sobig computer virus is actually another worm. It is second only to the Mydoom virus in its scope. The $30 billion figure is a worldwide total, including Canada, the U.K., the U.S., mainland Europe, and Asia. Several versions of the worm were released in quick succession, named Sobig.A through Sobig.F, with Sobig.F being the most damaging.
This cybercriminal program masqueraded as legitimate computer software attached to emails. It disrupted ticketing at Air Canada and interfered with countless other businesses. Despite its widespread damage, the creator of the successful bug was never caught.

3. Klez – $19.8 billion

Klez is a close third on the list of the worst computer viruses ever created. With nearly $20 billion in estimated damages, it infected about 7.2% of all computers in 2001, or 7 million PCs. The Klez worm sent fake emails, spoofed recognized senders and, among other things, attempted to deactivate other viruses.
As with other viruses and worms, Klez was released in several variants. It infected files, copied itself, and spread throughout each victim’s network. It hung around for years, with each version more destructive than the last.
Windows has come a long way since most of the computer viruses on this list hit the web. Thankfully, built-in protection with Microsoft Defender is always on the watch.

4. ILOVEYOU – $15 billion

The year 2000’s ILOVEYOU virus worked by sending a bogus “love letter” that looked like a harmless text file. Like Mydoom, this attacker sent copies of itself to every email address in the infected machine’s contact list. Shortly after its May 4 release, it had spread to more than 10 million PCs.
The virus was created by a college student in the Philippines named Onel de Guzman. Lacking funds, he wrote the virus to steal passwords so he could log into online services he wanted to use for free. He reportedly had no idea how far his creation would spread. This virus is also known as Loveletter.
Need to up your remote work security game before there’s another entry on the list of most deadly computer viruses? See our guide: How to Work Remotely and Securely

5. WannaCry – $4 billion

The 2017 WannaCry computer virus is ransomware, a virus that takes over your computer (or cloud files) and holds them hostage. The WannaCry ransomware ripped through computers in 150 countries, causing massive productivity losses as businesses, hospitals, and government organizations that didn’t pay were forced to rebuild systems from scratch.
The malware raged like wildfire through 200,000 computers worldwide. It stopped when a 22-year-old security researcher in the U.K. found a way to turn it off. Computers with out-of-date operating systems were hit especially hard. That’s why security experts always recommend updating your systems frequently.

Ransomware strikes again

In September 2020, one of the potentially largest computer virus attacks in medical history hit Universal Health Services. The U.S. hospital chain, which has more than 400 locations, was reportedly struck by damaging ransomware. The attack forced the cancellation of surgeries and made healthcare workers switch to paper records.

6. Zeus – $3 billion

The Zeus computer virus is an online theft tool that hit the web in 2007. A whitepaper by Unisys three years later estimated that it was behind 44% of all banking malware attacks. By then, it had breached 88% of all Fortune 500 companies, 2,500 organizations total, and 76,000 computers in 196 countries.
The Zeus botnet was a group of programs that worked together to take over machines for a remote “bot master.” It originated in Eastern Europe and was used to transfer money to secret bank accounts. More than 100 members of the crime ring behind the virus, mostly in the U.S., were arrested in 2010. It’s not as prominent today, but some of the virus’ source code lives on in newer botnet viruses and worms.

Zeus caused documented damage of $100 million. But the real cost in terms of lost productivity, removal, and undocumented theft is undoubtedly much higher. A $3 billion estimate, adjusted for inflation, puts this virus at a cost of $3.7 billion in today’s dollars.

7. Code Red – $2.4 billion

First observed in 2001, the Code Red computer virus was yet another worm that penetrated 975,000 hosts. It displayed the words “Hacked by Chinese!” across infected web pages, and it ran entirely in each machine’s memory. In most cases it left no trace in hard drives or other storage.
Financial costs are pegged at $2.4 billion. The virus attacked websites of infected computers and delivered a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the U.S. White House’s website, www.whitehouse.gov. In fact, the White House had to change its IP address to defend against Cod Red.
Can your printer get a virus? See our cool infographic: The State of Printer Security

8. Slammer – $1.2 billion

The SQL Slammer worm cost an estimated $750 million across 200,000 computer users in 2003. This computer virus randomly selected IP addresses, exploiting vulnerabilities and sending itself on to other machines. It used these victim machines to launch a DDoS attack on several internet hosts, significantly slowing internet traffic.
The Slammer worm hit banks in the U.S. and Canada especially hard, taking ATMs offline in many locations. Customers of Toronto’s Imperial Bank of Commerce found themselves unable to access funds. The attack reared its ugly head again in 2016, launching from IP addresses in Ukraine, China, and Mexico.

9. CryptoLocker – $665 million

Thankfully, ransomware attacks like the 2013 CryptoLocker virus have dipped since their 2017 peak. This malware attacked upwards of 250,000 machines by encrypting their files. It displayed a red ransom note informing users that “your important files encryption produced on this computer.” A payment window accompanied the note.
The virus’ creators used a worm called the Gameover Zeus botnet to make and send copies of the CryptoLocker virus. According to a report by security firm Sophos, the average ransomware attack costs a business $133,000. If we estimate that CryptoLocker hit 5,000 companies, that would put its total cost at $665 million.
Where will cybersecurity go next? See our guide: The Future of Cybersecurity

10. Sasser – $500 million

The Sasser worm was written by a 17-year-old German computer science student named Sven Jaschan. He was arrested at the age of 18 in 2004 after a $250,000 bounty was posted for the computer virus’ creator. A friend of Jaschan’s tipped authorities that the youth had penned not only the Sasser worm but also the damaging Netsky.AC attack.
Jaschan was given a suspended sentence after it was found he was a minor when he wrote the malware. The Sasser worm crashed millions of PCs, and though some reports put damages at $18 billion, the relatively low infection rate suggests a more likely cost of $500 million.
Other notable viruses

The top 10 worst computer viruses above are just the ugly tip of a gargantuan digital iceberg. With a million new malware programs popping up every 3 years, we may miss the forest for a few outstanding trees. Here are just a few more viruses that have wreaked havoc over the years:

Mimail: This worm tried to harvest data from infected machines to launch a string of DDoS attacks, but was relatively easy to remove.

Yaha: Yet another worm with several variants, thought to be the result of a cyber-war between Pakistan and India.

Swen: Written in C++, the Swen computer worm disguised itself to look like a 2003 OS update. Its financial cost has been pegged at $10.4 billion, but not reliably.

Storm Worm: This worm showed up in 2007 and attacked millions of computers with an email about approaching bad weather.

Tanatos/Bugbear: A 2002 keylogger virus that targeted financial institutions and spread to 150 countries.

Sircam: A computer worm from 2001 that used counterfeit emails with the subject line, “I send you this file in order to have your advice.”

Explorezip: This worm used fake emails to spread to every machine on thousands of local networks.

Melissa: The most dangerous computer virus in 1999, Melissa sent copies of itself that looked like NSFW pics. The U.S. FBI estimated cleanup and repair costs at $80 million.

Flashback: A Mac-only virus, Flashback infected over 600,000 Macs in 2012 and even infected Apple’s home base in Cupertino, Calif. In 2020, there’s now more malware on Macs than on PCs.

Conficker: This 2009 virus still infects many legacy systems and could do significant damage if it ever activates.

Stuxnet: This worm is reported to have destroyed Iranian nuclear centrifuges by sending damaging instructions.

If you like to learn and find out more about various Windows errors, and how to repair them go to our vast archive or use search to find articles that will explain and help you in solving your issue.
However, if you prefer to do things fast and with automatization then we are proposing to use an automated solution for your issues. The applications that we are recommending are RESTORO & DRIVERFIX.
RESTORO is a one-click solution that will take care of your whole system.  This program is a useful tool that could repair corrupted registries and optimize your PC’s overall performance. Aside from that, it also cleans out your computer for any junk or corrupted files that help you eliminate any unwanted files from your system.
DRIVERFIX is the ultimate solution for all of your driver's needs. It fully automates the process of keeping drivers up to date and keeping free from bad and corrupt drivers. With its lightning fast scans and hudge library it is only one click solution for all Windows PC driver needs.
Visit our RESTORO or DRIVERFIX Download pages to inform yourself about all the benefits of this software and get a free trial copy of it.
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Replace damaged files
Restore performance
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Remove Malware
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A Guide to Quick Fixing Error 10013

Error 10013 - What is it?

Error 10013 is a type of Socket Windows PC error. Socket error 10013 occurs when the attempt to access the server is denied. This indicates that the needed socket connection is denied which further implies that a port is blocked or unreachable.

Solution

Restoro box imageError Causes

The socket error 10013 can occur due to multiple reasons:
  • Antivirus or firewall software
  • Incompatible drivers
  • Registry corruption
  • Misconfigured files

Further Information and Manual Repair

To resolve the socket error 10013 on your PC, here are some methods that you can try:

1. Disable Firewall

To resolve this issue on your PC, you may have to temporarily disable Firewall. Sometimes Firewall can stop you from connecting to the server. Try doing this; it is most likely to resolve the error. If the Firewall is the reason for the denied access, turning it off will surely help.

2. Disable your Antivirus Software

If disabling the Firewall doesn’t resolve the issue, try disabling your antivirus software temporarily. If the error still persists, then try other solutions listed below.

3. Upgrade Drivers

Incompatible drivers could be a reason too for denied server access. Your server may no longer be using the drivers that you have on your PC which is why you may not be getting permission to access it. If this is the cause, then the best way to resolve it is to upgrade drivers. To find out about new drivers, visit the software manufacturer’s website for new drivers and then download them to your PC.

4. Registry Issues

Sometimes the underlying cause of the error could be registry issues and misconfigured files. If you don’t wipe out unnecessary and obsolete files from your systems like junk files, cookies, internet history, temporary files, and other files from your PC, it can damage and corrupt the registry and misconfigured files thereby causing socket error 10013 on your system. To resolve registry issues and repair your PC, download Restoro. It is an advanced, easy to use, and highly functional PC fixer embedded with multiple utilities including a powerful registry cleaner. It is deployed with an intuitive algorithm that scans and detects all registry issues in seconds. It removes all the unnecessary and obsolete files stored in your PC overloading your registry. This registry cleaner repairs the damaged and misconfigured files and restores the registry, thereby resolving socket error 10013 on your system right away. It has simple navigations and a user-friendly interface which makes it very easy for all levels of users to work around and use it to its maximum advantage.  Furthermore, it can be installed on all Windows PC. Restoro is compatible with all Windows versions. In addition to this, it also includes several other value-added features such as an antivirus, a system optimizer, and an Active X controls and class scanner. These utilities can be used to resolve numerous other PC-related errors. Click here to download Restoro today and resolve socket error 10013 on your PC right away.
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Show more/less details when copying/moving
When we initiate the copy or move files command we get a dialog that shows us the progress of the current operation, under that bar we can click on the little arrow to expand the bar into so-called more details view where we get more information like which file is being copied, more detailed graph, etc. Windows will remember the last option we had and next time when we start the same process it will open the last view. But what if we want to only have one view always open as default, even if we change it? Let's say that we always want to have a detailed view opened always as our default even if we switch to a minimal one? Well with some tweaks in the registry of Windows we can. Note that this guide will require changing things in the registry of Windows itself, it is always smart and recommended to make a safe backup of your registry, just in case.

FOR ALWAYS SHOW MORE DETAILS FOLLOW THIS GUIDE:

open notepad and paste the following code inside: Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\OperationStatusManager] "EnthusiastMode"=dword:00000001 Go to File > Save as... and once the file save dialog opens choose at the bottom all files under file type. Save the file with extension .REG naming it whatever you want. Right-click on file and choose Merge, confirm with YES and you are done, now each time when you start copy or move operation details view will be open.

FOR ALWAYS SHOW FEWER DETAILS FOLLOW THIS GUIDE:

open notepad and paste the following code inside: Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\OperationStatusManager] "EnthusiastMode"=dword:00000000 Go to File > Save as... and once the file save dialog opens choose at the bottom all files under file type. Save the file with extension .REG naming it whatever you want. Right-click on file and choose Merge, confirm with YES and you are done, now each time when you start copy or move operation minimal details view will be open.
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Fix BUGCODE_USB_DRIVER Error in Windows
This post will guide you in fixing yet another annoying Blue Screen of Death error, “BUGCODE_USB_DRIVER”. This particular BSOD error occurs due to some issue with usbhub.sys, winusb.sys, or usbport.sys system driver file. When you encounter this kind of Stop error on your Windows 10 PC, it indicates that an error has occurred in the Universal Serial Bus or USB driver. The USB driver is issued by Microsoft themselves and it comes along with the Windows 10 system which is why it is difficult to download its latest version using a web browser. Thus, you need to take some basic steps to resolve the problem. Carefully follow the given fixes below to fix the BUGCODE_USB_DRIVER Blue Screen error and before you proceed, you need to create a System Restore Point, this way you have some backup in case something goes out of hand.

Option 1 – Update the USB Controller Drivers

  • First, click the Start button and type “device manager”.
  • Then click on the “Device Manager” from the search results to open it.
  • From there, look for the “Universal Serial Bus controllers” option and then right-click on each one of the USB drivers and select the Update Driver from the menu.
  • Restart your PC and then click the “Search automatically for updated driver software” option.
You also have the option to update the motherboard and the USB driver from the manufacturer’s official website.

Option 2 – Check for any available Windows Updates

Another you can try is to check if there are any Windows Updates available to make sure that your Windows 10 PC has all the latest updates installed. All you have to do is go to Settings > Update &security. From there, just click on the Check for updates button.

Option 3 – Uninstall conflicting programs and services

There are certain programs like VMWare, Virtual Box, Hyper-V Virtualization services that might be in conflict with the USB port drivers on the parent operating system. Thus, you can try uninstalling the aforementioned programs and other similar ones to see if it fixes the BSOD error.
  • In the search box, type in “control” and then click on Control Panel (desktop app) among the search results.
  • After that, select Programs and Features from the list which will give you a list of all the programs installed on your computer.
  • From there, look for the concerned program and select it and then uninstall it.
Note: If you have downloaded the app from the Windows Store, you can simply right-click on it from the application list and then uninstall it. If uninstalling the programs mentioned above didn’t help, you might want to try putting your PC in a Clean Boot State to help you find the faulty program.
  • 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.)

Option 4 – Modify the Power Settings

  • In the Cortana Search box, type “power options” and then select Power Options from the search results.
  • After opening Power Options, click on Change plan settings for your selected power plan.
  • Next, click on Change advanced power settings.
  • Then look for USB Settings and click on it to expand it.
  • Now expand the USB selective suspend setting and then disable it.
  • After that, click on the Apply and then OK buttons to save the changes made.

Option 5 – Check for any hard disk errors

  • On your desktop, right-click on the “This PC” or computer icon and then select Manage to open the Disk Management. Here you get to check your drive’s health.
  • Next, click on Disk Management on the left side panel.
  • From there, check the state of your drives. If it shows that all your partitions are healthy then it means all is good and that the problem may have something to do with some physical issues with your hard drive.
You might also want to run the CHKDSK utility to help you fix any issues with your hard disk. 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 following command and hit Enter:
chkdsk /f /r
  • Wait for the process to be completed and then restart your computer.
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How To Fix The "Referenced Memory At" Error Code

Referenced Memory at - What is it?

0x Referenced Memory at 0x is an error code that occurs when the random memory addresses conflict. This error causes running programs or browsers to crash. Referenced memory at error code is considered as a service violation error. It is displayed as the following:

“The instruction at 0xf77041d24 referenced memory at 0×00000000. The memory could not be read.”

Solution

Restoro box imageError Causes

The ‘referenced memory at’ errors is either triggered by:
  • Hardware failure
  • Problems with the RAM and the registry
Hardware failure may result if the driver is not installed properly. The problems in the RAM indicate registry issues that occur due to data overload in the hard disk and poor PC maintenance. The registry saves all the information and activities you perform on your system on the hard disk. This includes the junk files, temporary files, invalid registry entries, and files of both installed and uninstalled programs.  These files accumulate and take over a lot of RAM space. Also, the referenced memory at error can be considered to be a form of memory leak where unknown third-party software can take up the memory space that has been reserved for a particular program. For example, if you have toolbars and add-ons installed in your browser, it can also lead to invalid registry storage in the registry. If you don’t clean the registry, these unnecessary files can overload your data and lead to hard disk/RAM damage and corruption triggering obscure error messages like referenced memory at error.

Further Information and Manual Repair

Referenced memory is a critical error; if not resolved it can lead to serious PC damages like a system failure. To avoid this, it is advisable to fix it right away. Here are a couple of ways to repair this issue on your system:

Cause: Hardware Failure

Solution: If the referenced memory at error is generated due to hardware failure then to resolve this error you must reinstall the driver that has caused the error to appear. Let’s say if the error pops up because of the printer driver, reinstall it. For re-installation of the driver, simply go to the control panel and click on the Device Manager option. Once you click it you will see a detailed page with a list of devices. Now click on the printer (the problematic driver in this situation) to reinstall the driver software. Double click on it to open the properties dialog box and then click the driver tab and update the driver. Once you have updated the driver, try using the printer. Check if it works. If it works and the referenced memory at the error code does not appear on the screen, this means the problem was with the hardware. However, if the error still pops up then this means the problem is deeper. It’s related to the registry.

Cause: Problems with the RAM and the registry

Solution: If the problem is with the RAM and the registry, then it is advisable to download Restoro. Restoro is a new, next-generation, and highly functional registry cleaner. It detects and removes all the registry issues, unnecessary and obsolete files saved in the hard disk taking up a lot of RAM space. It clears the RAM and cleans up the disk. Furthermore, it repairs the damaged files, fragmented disk, and the corrupt registry in seconds enabling you to resume the program that you were running before the error occurred. Restoro has a user-friendly interface and easy navigation. To run and operate this system you don’t need any kind of technical expertise. In just a few clicks you can resolve the critical referenced memory at error on your PC. It is compatible with all Windows versions Click here to download and install Restoro on your PC and fix the referenced memory error code now.
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Backup and Restore pinned Taskbar Items
Pinned Windows 10 Taskbar Items. One of the most used interfaces in the Windows environment is the Taskbar. It is where users like to pin their most-used programs as well as shortcuts with extra privileges and automated tasks. In fact, it’s a lot better than the Start Menu. So if any Windows Update messes up with your computer, or if you’ve just switched to a different computer, setting up the Taskbar with the very same set of programs you used to have is definitely not an easy task. But worry not as this post will guide you on how you can backup and restore the items on your Taskbar either manually or automatically.

Manual Backup:

  • Tap the Win + R keys to open the Run prompt.
  • Then type “%AppData%MicrosoftInternet ExplorerQuick LaunchUser PinnedTaskBar” in the field and hit Enter to open the folder where you can see all the shortcuts or pinned items in the Taskbar.
  • After that, copy all the files in the folder and paste them somewhere else as a backup. For instance, E:\Pinned Items Backuppinnedshortcuts.
  • Next, tap the Win + R keys to open the Run prompt once more, and then type “Regedit” in the field and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor. When the User Account Control dialog box appears, click Yes.
  • After opening the Registry Editor, navigate to this key – HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerTaskband
  • Then right-click on the Taskbar folder and select Export.
  • Now save the file with the .reg extension to another location like the E:\Pinned Items Backup folder and then name it.
  • Close the Registry Editor.

Manual Restore:

Make sure to copy all the files to one of the drives if you are using another computer and then refer to the following steps.
  • Tap the Win + R keys to open the Run prompt.
  • Then type “%AppData%MicrosoftInternet ExplorerQuick LaunchUser PinnedTaskBar” in the field and hit Enter to open the same folder where you just copied all the shortcuts. Make sure to keep it open.
  • Then open the backup folder where you saved all the pinned items and copy all the files there.
  • Next, go to the Taskbar folder (%AppData%MicrosoftInternet ExplorerQuick LaunchUser PinnedTaskBar) and then paste your files in there. If you encounter a problem while doing so, just replace it with your own set of files.
  • After that, go to E:\Pinned Items Backuppinnedshortcuts and then double click on tb-pinned-items.reg. If a User Account Control prompt appears, click Yes. This will add the registry file into the main registry hub. You will also get a dialog box that will confirm that data has been added to the registry successfully. Click OK.
  • You should now see the items on the Taskbar. You have to restart Windows Explorer. To do so, end its process in the Task Manager.

Automatic Backup:

Backing up and restoring the pinned Taskbar items in your Windows 10 computer can be done automatically as well. But before you get started on the process, you need to understand what’s going on behind the hood first. First, you need to create two bat files and name them “Backup Pinned Taskbar Items” and “Restore Pinned Taskbar Items”. After you have that covered, refer to the following steps:
  • Open the Notepad app and paste the following details and save it as “Backup Pinned Taskbar Items.bat.
REG EXPORT HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerTaskband “E:\Pinned Items Backuptb-pinned-items.reg” xcopy “%AppData%MicrosoftInternet ExplorerQuick LaunchUser PinnedTaskBar” “E:\Pinned Items Backuppinnedshortcuts” /E /C /H /R /K /Y
  • After that, run the newly created bat file with admin privileges.

Automatic Restore:

  • Open the Notepad app and paste the following details and save it as “Restore Pinned Taskbar Items.bat”.
REGEDIT /S “E:Pinned Items Backuptb-pinned-items.reg” xcopy “E:Pinned Items Backuppinnedshortcuts” “%AppData%MicrosoftInternet ExplorerQuick LaunchUser PinnedTaskBar” /E /C /H /R /K /Y
  • After that, run the bat file with admin privileges.
Note: Just so you know, there is a drawback to this process as we’ve noticed that any pinned apps that were downloaded from the Windows Store don’t appear in these places and any items downloaded and installed separately from the internet and then pinned.
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Fix Windows Update Error 0x8007001f – 0x20006
As you know, Microsoft’s Windows Media Creation Tool is a useful tool that helps you download and install the latest version of the Windows 10 operating system. However, there are times when it could encounter some problems during the update process. One of these programs is the following error message:
“0x8007001F-0x20006, The installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase with an error during REPLICATE_OC operation.”
The error pointed out the “Safe OS phase”. It is the phase that’s initiated to install all the required Windows Updates. Thus, the possible cause for this error could have something to do with an interrupted download, internet connection, and many more. Although this error could be caused by a lot of factors, fixing it shouldn’t be that hard. You can try to reset the Windows Update Components or delete the Windows Update cache. You could also disable both the Firewall and your antivirus program temporarily or run the Windows Update in a Clean Boot state, as well as run the Windows Update troubleshooter. To get started troubleshooting the error, follow each one of the suggestions provided below.

Option 1 – Try to reset the Windows Update components

Resetting the Windows Update components could help you resolve the Windows Update error 0x8007001f – 0x20006. How? Refer to the following steps:
  • Open Command Prompt with admin privileges.
  • After that, type each one of the following commands and hit Enter after you key in one after the other.
    • net stop wuauserv
    • net stop cryptsvc
    • net stop bits
    • net stop msiserver
Note: The commands you entered will stop the Windows Update components such as Windows Update service, Cryptographic services, BITS, and MSI Installer.
  • After disabling WU components, you need to rename both the SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2 folders. To do that, type each one of the following commands below, and don’t forget to hit Enter after you type one command after the other.
    • ren C:WindowsSoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
    • ren C:WindowsSystem32catroot2 Catroot2.old
  • Now, restart the services you’ve stopped by entering another series of commands. Don’t forget to hit Enter after you key in one command after the other.
    • net start wuauserv
    • net start cryptsvc
    • net start bits
    • net start msiserver
  • Exit Command Prompt and then restart your computer.

Option 2 – Try to delete the Windows Update Cache

You might also want to delete the Windows Update cache since there are times when existing corrupt or incomplete Windows Update files can cause some problems in downloading and installing Windows Updates. To achieve this, simply delete the “$Windows.~BT” & “$Windows.~WS” folders in your computer. Once you’re done, try to run Windows Update again and see if the error is now fixed.

Option 3 – 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 0x8007001f – 0x20006 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 4 – Run the Windows Update in a Clean Boot State

It is possible 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 run Windows Update 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 5 – Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

You might also want to run the Windows Update Troubleshooter as it could also help in fixing error 0x8007001f – 0x20006. 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.
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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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Cannot find a system image on this computer
If you are trying to restore your computer using a System Image that has been created by the Windows Backup and Restore tool but encountered an error message instead that says, “Windows cannot find a system image on this computer”, you’ve come to the right place as this post will walk you through in fixing this error. Here’s the complete context of the error message:
“Windows cannot find a system image on this computer, Attach the backup hard disk or insert the final DVD from a backup set and click Retry. Alternatively, close this dialog for more options.”
In the error message, you are offered two choices – to either Retry or Cancel the operation. You can try to select Retry to try again but you will most likely get the same error if you do so. This kind of error can occur if the name of the WindowsImageBackup folder or any of its sub-folders has been modified. On the other hand, this error can also pop up if this folder or any of its sub-folders have gone missing or have become corrupted. To resolve the error, you can try to move the WindowsImageBackup folder or check its sub-folders. You can also try to isolate the System Image file or rename the System Image folder or remove all the unwanted sub-folders as well as use Command Prompt in Repair mode.

Option 1 – Try to move the WindowsImageBackup folder

The WindowsImageBackup folder must be stored in the root of the volume where it is stored, in line with the functioning of the System Restore utility. For example, if the WindowsImageBackup folder is stored in the “C:/Backups/System Restore Backups/New” location, then you have to move it to the C: drive as well.

Option 2 – Try to check the subfolders of the WindowsImageBackup folder

The classification of folders and files plays an important part to restore in restoring a computer from a System Restore point. Thus, if have modified the names of any files or folders inside the WindowsImageBackup folder, then you need to set the defaults. After that, run System Restore again and check if it fixes the error.

Option 3 – Try to isolate the System Image file

If the System Image file is stored in a USB storage device along with various System Restore images, then it’s no wonder why you’re getting this error. To set things right, you have to make sure that the System Restore image you wish to restore your computer from, is the only one that’s present at the root of the USB storage device.

Option 4 – Try renaming the System Image folder

If you have renamed the System Image folder prior to running System Restore, then it is most likely the reason why you’re getting the “Windows cannot find a system image on this computer” error. This error pops up because the System Restore utility in Windows 10 looks out for the WindowsImageBackup folder so if you have renamed it, you need to change its name back to what it originally was to fix the error.

Option 5 – Try to remove all the sub-folders of the WindowsImageBackup folder

If you have stored some foreign files inside the WindowsImageBackup folder, you need to get rid of them right away and return the folder to its default state as this folder must be left alone and should not be meddled with if you want to run System Restore smoothly.

Option 6 – Try to use Command Prompt in Repair Mode

  • Open Command Prompt while your computer is in the Repair Mode.
  • Next, type and enter this command where you need to replace “<Partition Letter>” with your drive’s letter: dir <Partition Letter>
  • After you’ve found the WindowsImageBackup folder in any of the partitions, type and enter this command: dir <Parition Letter>WindowsImageBackup /s
  • The command you entered will display all the contents of the folder exceeding 10 GB in total size. You can check and confirm the integrity of the folder and if you find that the integrity is violated, then it is the reason why you’re getting the error.
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Windows 11 different sounds for dark theme
Windows 11 dark mode2Interesting information has come out from Microsoft, Windows 11 dark theme will include a different sound theme from its standard light one. When in dark mode on Windows 11, the system sounds generally become softer, and they echo a bit, creating a more soothing experience that matches the overall look and feel of the dark mode. Flipping back to light mode brings the system sounds back to their normal level. However, even though the light model has slightly louder sounds than the dark mode, Microsoft has taken great care to make sure the audio is more soothing, according to a report from CNBC. The designers of Windows 11 took inspiration from an approach called calm technology. Microsoft’s Christian Koehn and Diego Baca wrote about calm technology in a post on Medium. In it, they said, “Windows 11 facilitates this through foundational experiences that feel familiar, soften formerly intimidating UI, and increase emotional connection.” According to a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to CNBC, “The new sounds have a much rounder wavelength, making them softer so that they can still alert/notify you, but without being overwhelming.”
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How to switch to Dark mode in Windows 11
Dark modeWindows 11 is coming soon, from its typical view and color scheme, Windows 11 will natively support dark mode. The dark mode is very popular in many applications today, some large companies like Adobe, Autodesk, and many more have already adopted a dark color scheme for their software so it is logical for others to follow and Microsoft is aboard for it. The dark mode itself has its benefits, for people who work on computer for longer period of time dark mode inside applications will throw less white and blue light on their eyes making workhours easier and pleasant on them. As a person who does indeed spend a lot of time in front of the screen, I would advise you to switch to dark mode regardless of the time that you spend with a computer, your eyes will be grateful.

Switching to Dark mode in Windows 11

  1. Open Windows 11 Settings by pressing ⊞ WINDOWS + I
  2. Click on Personalization on the left sidebar
  3. On the right side click on Color
  4. In color options click on the drop-down menu right next to Choose your color
  5. Select Dark
Your choice will be applied right away and you can safely close settings.
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