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Fix VSS Error Code 0x8004231f in Windows 10

VSSControl: 2147467259 Backup jobs failed. Cannot create a shadow copy of the volumes containing the writer’s data. VSS asynchronous operation is not completed. Code: [0x8004231f]

This message pops up when you are creating a snapshot system restore, usually, the issue is tied with insufficient space or service stopping. We will go into detail about how to fix both so you can finish the operation without any issue.

  1. Check Volume Shadow Copy Services

    Easier and faster fix than the next one. Launch Services from the Start Menu, look for Volume Shadow Copy, double-click on it, and check the Service status. If it is stopped, click on the Start button. If it’s running, restart it by clicking Stop > Start.

  2. Increase Shadow Storage Space

    If the first fix didn’t resolve the issue then you need to increase Shadow Storage Space. Launch Command Prompt as an administrator. Now, type the following command to check your Shadow Storage Space.
    vssadmin list shadowstorage
    Now, type the following command to allocate more storage (you can change 10GB with the amount of space you want to allocate)
    vssadmin resize shadowstorage /For=C: /On=C: /MaxSize=10GB

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Hot to get rid of DiscoverAncestry from your PC

DiscoverAncestry is a Browser Extension for Google Chrome developed by Mindspark Inc that presents itself as a web tool to discover the origins or meanings of particular family names. When installed this extension changes your default new tab page to search by MyWay, as well as your default search engine to Search.MyWay.com

While active, DiscoverAncestry logs user browsing information, recording clicked links, visited websites and viewed products. This information is later used to better target personal ads. Browsing the internet with this extension active will result in injection of additional ads, sponsored content and even pop-up ads throughout the browsing sessions.

DiscoverAncestry is usually found bundled with other potentially unwanted software, this combined alongside its aggressive ad injection is why DiscoverAncestry has been marked as a Browser Hijacker, and it is recommended to remove it from your computer.

About Browser Hijackers

Browser hijacking is regarded as the web’s constant risks that target web browsers. It’s a type of malware program that redirects web browser requests to other suspicious websites. Basically, most browser hijackers are made for advertising or marketing purposes. It redirects you to the sponsored websites and inserts adverts on your internet browser which helps its developer generate income. It might seem naive, but the majority of such websites aren’t legitimate and can pose a significant risk to your on-line safety. In a much worst case, your internet browser could be hi-jacked to download malware that will do a lot of damage to your computer.

Browser hijacking signs and symptoms

There are several symptoms that could indicate a browser hijacking: 1. your homepage is reset to some unknown site 2. bookmark and the new tab are also changed 3. default online search engine is modified 4. you’re getting browser toolbars you haven’t witnessed before 5. you will find random pop-ups start showing regularly 6. your internet browser has instability issues or exhibits frequent errors 7. you are blocked to access the websites of antivirus solution providers.

How does a computer get infected with a browser hijacker?

Browser hijackers can get into a computer by some means or other, for instance via file sharing, downloads, and email also. Many web browser hijackings originate from add-on applications, i.e., toolbars, browser helper objects (BHO), or extensions added to web browsers to give them extra features. A browser hijacker may also come bundled-up with some free application that you inadvertently download and install, compromising your PC security. Common examples of browser hijackers include CoolWebSearch, Conduit, Coupon Server, OneWebSearch, RocketTab, Snap.do, Delta Search, and Searchult.com. Browser hijackers may record user keystrokes to gather potentially valuable information leading to privacy issues, cause instability on systems, drastically disrupt user’s browsing experience, and eventually slow down the computer to a stage where it becomes unusable.

Removal

Some browser hijacking can be simply reversed by discovering and eliminating the corresponding malware software through your control panel. However, many hijackers are really tenacious and need specialized applications to remove them. Also, manual removals demand deep system understanding and thus can be quite a difficult task for novices. Professionals always suggest users eliminate any malicious software including browser hijackers by using an automatic malware removal tool, which is easier, safer, and faster than the manual removal procedure. To remove any kind of browser hijacker from your laptop or computer, you should download the following certified malware removal tool – SafeBytes Anti-Malware. Along with anti-virus software, a system optimizer tool, similar to Total System Care, will help you repair Windows registry errors, get rid of unwanted toolbars, secure your online privacy, and stabilize programs installed on your computer.

Learn How to Get rid of Malware that is Blocking Websites or Preventing Downloads

Viruses may cause a lot of damage to your computer. Some malware sits in between your PC and the internet connection and blocks some or all internet sites that you really want to visit. It will also prevent you from adding anything to your PC, particularly antivirus applications. If you’re reading this article, you probably have affected by a virus that prevents you from downloading a security program like Safebytes Antimalware on your PC. There are some actions you can take to circumvent this issue.

Install anti-malware in Safe Mode with Networking

In the event the malware is set to run at Windows start-up, then booting in safe mode should avoid it. Just bare minimum required programs and services are loaded when you boot your PC in Safe Mode. Here are the steps you need to follow to start into the Safe Mode of your Windows XP, Vista, or 7 computers (check out the Microsoft website for instructions on Windows 8 and 10 computers). 1) At power on, press the F8 key while the Windows splash screen begins to load. This should bring up the Advanced Boot Options menu. 2) Choose Safe Mode with Networking using arrow keys and hit Enter. 3) Once you get into this mode, you will have an internet connection again. Now, obtain the malware removal program you need by utilizing the web browser. To install the program, follow the directions within the setup wizard. 4) Right after installation, do a complete scan and allow the software eliminate the threats it finds.

Utilize an alternate browser to download antivirus software

Some malware only targets certain browsers. If this sounds like your situation, utilize another internet browser as it can circumvent the malware. The ideal way to avoid this problem is to opt for a internet browser that is known for their security features. Firefox contains built-in Phishing and Malware Protection to keep you safe online. Create a portable USB antivirus for removing viruses Another method is to download and transfer an anti-malware application from a clean PC to run a virus scan on the infected computer. To run antivirus using a USB drive, follow these simple measures: 1) Make use of another virus-free computer system to download Safebytes Anti-Malware. 2) Plug the USB drive into the clean computer. 3) Double-click the executable file to open the installation wizard. 4) When asked, choose the location of the USB drive as the place where you want to store the software files. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish the installation. 5) Transfer the flash drive from the clean computer to the infected computer. 6) Double-click the anti-malware software EXE file on the pen drive. 7) Run Full System Scan to identify and clean-up up all sorts of malware.

SafeBytes Anti-Malware: Lightweight Malware Protection for Windows Computer

If you are looking to purchase anti-malware for your desktop, there are numerous brands and packages for you to consider. A few are well worth your money, but most aren’t. When looking for an antivirus tool, select one which provides dependable, efficient, and comprehensive protection against all known computer viruses and malware. On the list of highly recommended applications by industry leaders is SafeBytes Anti-Malware, well-known security software for Windows computers. SafeBytes is a powerful, real-time anti-spyware application that is made to assist everyday computer users in safeguarding their computers from malicious threats. Once you’ve got installed this software, SafeBytes advanced protection system will make sure that absolutely no viruses or malicious software can seep through your PC.

There are lots of amazing features you’ll get with this security product. The following are some typical features present in this software program:

Active Protection: Malware programs aiming to get into the system are discovered and stopped as and when detected by the SafeBytes real-time protection shields. This utility will always keep track of your computer for any suspicious activity and updates itself continuously to keep current with the latest threats. World-class AntiMalware Protection: Built upon a highly acclaimed antivirus engine, this malware removal tool can find and get rid of various obstinate malware threats such as browser hijackers, PUPs, and ransomware that other typical anti-virus applications will miss. Fast Multi-threaded Scanning: SafeBytes’s virus scan engine is one of the fastest and most efficient within the industry. It's targeted scanning tremendously increases the catch rate for viruses which is embedded in various computer files. Web Protection: SafeBytes provides instant safety rating about the webpages you’re about to visit, automatically blocking dangerous sites and to make sure that you’re certain of your online safety while browsing the net. Lightweight Utility: This software is lightweight and will work silently in the background, and will not impact your PC efficiency. 24/7 Customer Service: You can obtain totally free 24/7 technical support from their IT experts on any product queries or computer security issues. SafeBytes has created a wonderful anti-malware solution to help you conquer the latest computer threats and virus attacks. Now you may realize that this particular software does more than just scan and eliminate threats from your computer. So if you are searching for the best anti-malware subscription for your Windows-based computer, we strongly recommend SafeBytes Anti-Malware software.

Technical Details and Manual Removal (Advanced Users)

If you don’t want to use an automated tool and prefer to eliminate DiscoverAncestry manually, you might do so by going to the Windows Add/Remove Programs menu in the control panel and deleting the offending software; in cases of web browser plug-ins, you can remove it by visiting the browsers Add-on/Extension manager. You might even want to reset your web browser settings, and also delete temporary files, browsing history, and cookies. To ensure complete removal, manually check your hard disk and registry for all of the following and remove or reset the values accordingly. Please remember that this is for skilled users only and may be challenging, with wrong file removal leading to additional system errors. Furthermore, certain malware keeps replicating which makes it tough to eliminate. You are suggested to do this process in Windows Safe Mode.
Files: %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\DiscoverAncestry_chIE %USERPROFILE%\AppData\LocalLow\DiscoverAncestry_chIE %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\DiscoverAncestry_ch %USERPROFILE%\AppData\LocalLow\DiscoverAncestry_ch %PROGRAMFILES(x86)%\DiscoverAncestry_chEI %PROGRAMFILES%\DiscoverAncestry_chEI %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\icmiidhlbncmcphhngimjmggjiionjpe %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\icmiidhlbncmcphhngimjmggjiionjpe %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\icmiidhlbncmcphhngimjmggjiionjpe %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\icmiidhlbncmcphhngimjmggjiionjpe %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\pakhopeeieecchbhooipmmgjkfajbpkl %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\pakhopeeieecchbhooipmmgjkfajbpkl Registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Approved Extensions, value: 8EAFF39E-95FA-48E7-B465-74F985754E6C HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Approved Extensions, value: D9712913-5FE6-4956-B291-7A6689170736 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Browser Helper Objects\8eaff39e-95fa-48e7-b465-74f985754e6c HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Browser Helper Objects\8eaff39e-95fa-48e7-b465-74f985754e6c HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Browser Helper Objects\d9712913-5fe6-4956-b291-7a6689170736 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Browser Helper Objects\d9712913-5fe6-4956-b291-7a6689170736 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar, value: 6ffa4cac-5ad4-42f5-bd18-7cd228761d1a HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, value: DiscoverAncestry EPM Support HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, value: DiscoverAncestry Search Scope Monitor HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, value: DiscoverAncestry Search Scope Monitor HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, value: DiscoverAncestry EPM Support HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, value: DiscoverAncestry AppIntegrator 64-bit HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, value: DiscoverAncestry AppIntegrator 32-bit HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\DiscoverAncestry_chService HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\services\DiscoverAncestry_chService HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SYSTEM\ControlSet002\services\DiscoverAncestry_chService HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\WebBrowser, value: 6FFA4CAC-5AD4-42F5-BD18-7CD228761D1A HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\DiscoverAncestry_ch
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Fix CompareExchange128 error
During Windows 10 installation, you will see all the beautiful user interfaces, however, what’s more, important are the drivers, your processor, and free storage disk in order for the installation to be successfully completed. So if you are getting the CompareExchange128 error during the installation of Windows 10, this means that the CPU lacks a very important instruction known as “CMPXCHG16B”. Thus, if you don’t have CMPXCHG16B, then it will result in the CompareExchange128 error when you install Windows 10. In fact, CMPXCHG16B, PrefetchW as well as LAHF/SAHF is a criterion for you to be able to use Windows 10 64-bit version when upgrading from an earlier version of Windows. So what exactly is the CMPXCHG16B instruction? The CMPXCHG16B instruction is the one that performs an atomic compare-and-exchange on 16-byte values. This instruction can also be referred to as “CompareExchange128”. The atomic compare-and-exchange means that the CPU compares the contents of a memory location with a given value. So if the values are the same, it modifies the contents of that memory location to a new given value. Note that this kind of issue only happens to the 64-bit Windows 10 version and the only way to resolve it is by getting an update on the hardware level from the OEM. On the other hand, if nothing really works, it’s maybe time for you to get a new CPU but before you resort to that, in the meantime, you can try following the options given below to fix the CompareExchange128 error during the installation of Windows 10.

Option 1 – Try to update the BIOS and Chipset Drivers

One of the best things you can do to fix the CompareExchange128 error is by updating the BIOS and chipset drivers which is why you need to check if your OEM has an update available for your computer’s BIOS as well as the related chipset drivers. But before that, you need to first check the BIOS version. To do so, follow these steps:
  • Type “msinfo32” in the search bar and hit Enter to open the System Information Tools.
  • After opening the System Information Tools, check the BIOS version.
  • Then take note of that BIOS version. You also need to use the BIOS utility that came with your computer and use it for the upgrade. Note that it is different for every computer and if you don’t have it, you can just go to the OEM website and see if there is an option to download it there.

Option 2 – Try to downgrade to the 32-bit Windows 10 version

If option 1 didn’t work as the BIOS update is not available, you can also try downgrading to the 32-bit version of Windows 10. Keep in mind that this will bring restrictions on the amount of RAM installed and other places but that won’t be a problem as you can still switch.

Option 3 – Try buying a new hardware

If none of the first two options didn’t work for some reason then maybe it’s time for you to purchase new hardware especially if your computer is way too old. In such cases, it’s better to buy new hardware or better yet, a new computer that can keep up for the next couple of years.
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Fix Windows Update Error 0x800F081F – 0x20003
If you are trying to upgrade your computer but encounter the Windows Update Error 0x800F081F – 0x20003 instead, then read on as this post will guide you in fixing this Windows Update error. This kind of error is commonly encountered when upgrading your copy of Windows 10 and is caused by errors with various developer-related settings that are being enabled in the system. When you encounter Windows Update Error 0x800F081F – 0x20003, you will see either of these error messages:
“We couldn’t install Windows 10. The installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase with an error during INSTALL_UPDATES operation: Error 0x800F081F”  “The installation failed in the Safe_OS phase with an error during apply_image operation: Error: 0x800f081f – 0x20003”
To fix this kind of Windows Update error, you need not use external programs but you can try to disable the Developer Mode, run the Windows Update troubleshooter or restart all the Windows Update-related services and components. For more details, refer to the options provided below.

Option 1 – Try to disable Developer Mode

You might have to disable Developer Mode to fix the Windows Update Error 0x800F081F – 0x20003. How? Refer to these steps:
  • Tap the Win + I keys on your keyboard to open the Settings app.
  • Next, go to Update & Security > For Developers.
  • From there, select the toggle for Sideload apps or Microsoft Store apps located on the right-side panel.
  • If you get any prompt, just click on Yes.
  • After that, navigate to Apps > Apps & features and then click on Optional features on the right-side panel.
  • Then scroll down to locate the Windows Developer Mode entry and select it and click on Uninstall.
  • Once you’re done uninstalling the Windows Developer Mode component, close the Settings app and restart your computer to apply the changes made.

Option 2 – Try to run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

You should also try to run the built-in Windows Update troubleshooter as it could help you resolve the Windows Update Error 0x800F081F – 0x20003. To run it, go to Settings and then select Troubleshoot from the options. From there, click on Windows Update and then click the “Run the troubleshooter” button. After that, follow the next on-screen instructions and you should be good to go.

Option 3 – Try restarting various Windows Update-related services and components

  • Tap the Win + X key combination and select Command Prompt (Admin) to open Command Prompt with admin privileges.
  • After opening Command Prompt, copy and paste each one of the commands listed below one by one and tap Enter right after you enter each command.
    • net stop wuauserv
    • net stop bits
    • net stop appidsvc
    • ren %systemroot%SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.bak
    • ren %systemroot%system32catroot2 catroot2.bak
  • Once you’ve entered all the commands given above, they will stop all the Windows Update services that are running on your computer as well as clear the SoftwareDistribution folder, and reset the Catroot2 folder. Now you have to start all these Windows Update services you’ve just stopped by executing the following commands:
    • net start wuauserv
    • net start bits
    • net start appidsvc
    • net start cryptsvc
  • After that, restart your computer and try to run the setup again, and see if the error is now fixed.
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Media Creation Tool Error 0x80042405-0xA001A
As you know, the Windows Media Creation Tool is a great utility in Windows that helps lots of users in installing Windows on their PCs. However, just like any other program in Windows, it also experiences a couple of issues every now and then. So in this post, you will be guided on how you can resolve a particular issue in the Media Creation Tool which is the error 0x80042405-0xA001A. You can encounter this error while creating a USB installation media used in installing Windows 10. When getting this kind of error in the Windows Media Creation Tool, you will see the following error message on your screen:
“We’re not sure what happened, but we’re unable to run this tool on your PC, Error code 0x80042405 – 0xA001A”
The error 0x80042405 – 0xA001A occurs while creating a bootable USB installation drive. This is a common error faced by many users and it has something to do with the USB hardware. To get this issue fixed, here are some suggestions you could check out.

Option 1 – Try to reformat the USB drive

Reformatting your USB drive might help in fixing error 0x80042405 – 0xA001A.
  • Open This PC and right-click your USB drive from there then select Format.
  • Next, select FAT32 as the drive type and uncheck the “Quick Format” option.
  • After that, try to run the Windows Media Creation Tool again and check if the error is fixed or not. But hopefully, it should work since formatting the drive as FAT32 will give the driver a proper type and would resolve any minor issues in the drive.

Option 2 – Copy the Windows Media Creation Tool to the USB drive

If the first option didn’t work, you might want to copy the latest version of the Media Creation Tool to the USB drive. After you do that, you can run it from inside the drive. This is actually a working fix and can definitely get the USB drive to run with Windows inside it so it should resolve the error 0x80042405 – 0xA001A on the Windows Media Creation Tool.

Option 3 – Run CHKDSK to check the drive for errors

When it comes to some issues concerning the hard drive or removable devices, there is a utility in Windows that might help which is called “chkdsk”. This error check utility can help with several issues in the system including the “Diskpart failed to clear disk attributes” error.
  • Tap the Win + S keys to open the Search box.
  • Then type “command prompt” in the field and from the search results that appear, right-click on Command Prompt and select “Run as administrator”.
  • After opening an elevated command prompt, copy and paste the following command and hit Enter:
CHKDSK [volume [[path] filename]] [/F] [/V] [/R] [/X] [/C] [: size]]
Note: In the command given above, “[/F]” will try to fix the system errors while “[/R]” will be the one to fix the bad sectors.
  • Now if you are prompted to run CHKDSK after your reboot your PC, just tap Y and reboot your PC.
  • If CHKDSK is not able to find any errors, tap the Win + E keys and navigate the access window. From there, right-click on the concerned drive and click on Properties.
  • After opening Properties, click on the tab Tools and then click on the “Check” button under the Error-checking section.
  • Wait until the process is completed and then restart your computer.

Option 4 – Try checking the hardware components

On the other hand, it is also possible that the issue has something to do with a hardware problem and so you need to check the hardware components on your computer to determine that.
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How to Turn On or Off Tailored Experiences
In this post, you will be guided on how you can turn on or turn off the Tailored Experiences feature in Windows 10 using three methods – via Settings, Registry Editor, and Group Policy Editor. The Tailored Experiences feature in Windows 10 helps Microsoft in delivering recommendations about Microsoft Products. The diagnostic data that comes with it allows Microsoft to know about its consumers’ experiences as well as collect feedback. To simply put it, tailored experiences are personalized tips, ads, and recommendations that enhance Microsoft products and services for consumer needs. And when you enable this feature, Windows will collect information from your browser, apps, features, and many more. After collecting information, it will offer contents that are tailored based on the data gathered on the lock screen of your computer, Windows tips, and other related functions. On the other hand, the diagnostic data is the one that allows Microsoft to get feedback from the customer. So if you’ve noticed some prompts when you use Windows that ask you about the experience, that’s actually a part of the diagnostic data. A lot of users find this feature useful. However, there are also skeptical ones that don’t share the same sentiments. If you are one of the skeptical ones, you actually have the option to turn this feature off if you do not want Microsoft to show ads, recommendations, and so on. It is also recommended that you enable the Diagnostic Data collection as you can choose to delete any collected data, as well as control the feedback frequency from Automatic to Once a day, or once a week, or to never. As mentioned, there are three methods you can choose from to either turn on or turn off Tailored Experiences. You can do it via Settings, Registry Editor, and the Group Policy Editor. To get started, follow the options provided below.

Option 1 – via Settings

To turn on or off Tailored Experiences using Settings, refer to these steps:
  • Go to Settings and here, click on Privacy.
  • Next, go to Diagnostic and Feedback.
  • From there, toggle off the control under the Tailored experiences option to turn it off or toggle it on, if you want to turn it on.

Option 2 – via Registry Editor

To turn on or off Tailored Experiences via Registry Editor, follow the steps below.
  • Tap the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box and type “Regedit” in the field and then tap Enter to open the Registry Editor.
  • Next, navigate to this registry path: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPrivacy
  • After that, look for the DWORD named “TailoredExperiencesWithDiagnosticDataEnabled” and change its value to 0 if you want to turn it off or 1 if you want to turn it on.

Option 3 – via Group Policy Editor

To turn on or off Tailored Experiences using the Group Policy Editor, here’s what you have to do:
  • Tap the Win + R keys to open the Run prompt and type “gpedit.msc” in the field and hit Enter to open the Group Policy Editor.
  • Next, navigate to this policy setting: User ConfigurationAdminstrative TemplatesWindows ComponentsCloud Content
  • Here, double click on the “Do not use diagnostic data for tailored experiences” option and select Enabled. Once you do that, you will see the following description:
“This policy setting lets you prevent Windows from using diagnostic data to provide tailored experiences to the user. If you enable this policy setting, Windows will not use diagnostic data from this device (this data may include browser, app, and feature usage, depending on the “diagnostic data” setting value) to customize the content shown on the lock screen, Windows tips, Microsoft consumer features, and other related features. If these features are enabled, users will still see recommendations, tips, and offers, but they may be less relevant. If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, Microsoft will use diagnostic data to provide personalized recommendations, tips, and offers to tailor Windows for the user’s needs and make it work better for them. This setting does not control Cortana tailored experiences, since there are separate policies to configure it.”
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Remove HowToSimplified PUP Removal Tutorial

HowToSimplified is a browser extension developed by MindSpark inc. This extension offers users easy access to DIY tutorials, guides, and websites just a few clicks away. There is also a top video selection with the most popular DIY videos at the moment.

This extension, though it may look useful in the beginning, hijacks your browser's default search provider, it changes your default home page to HowToSimplified, powered by the MyWay search engine. During your browsing sessions, it will record your website visits, collect information, clicks, and sometimes even personal data. This information is later used to deliver ads that are injected into your browser search results. Aside from sponsored links, and additional unwanted ads that this extension displays, it also may from time to time display pop-up ads during your browsing sessions.

Multiple anti-virus scanners have detected HowToSimplified as a Browser Hijacker and are therefore not recommended to keep on your computer for security and privacy reasons.

About Browser Hijackers

Browser hijacking means that a malicious program code has control over and altered the settings of your internet browser, without your approval. Almost all browser hijackers are made for marketing or advertising purposes. In most cases, browser hijacking is used for earning ad revenue that comes from forced advert clicks and site visits. It could seem naive, but most of such sites aren’t legitimate and could pose a severe threat to your online safety. In a much worst case, your browser can be hijacked to download malware that can do a lot of damage to your computer system.

How you can recognize a browser hijack

There are many symptoms that indicate your browser has been highjacked: home page is changed; bookmark and the new tab are also changed; the default web engine is changed and your browser security settings have been cut down without your knowledge; find new toolbars that you simply didn’t add; unstoppable flurries of popup advertisements show up on your personal computer screen; your internet browser has become unstable or starts running sluggishly; you can’t navigate to certain internet pages, like computer security software related websites.

How they invade PCs

Browser hijackers infect computer systems through malicious email attachments, downloaded infected documents, or by visiting infected websites. They can also be deployed via the installation of a web browser toolbar, add-on, or extension. Other times you may have accidentally accepted a browser hijacker as part of an application bundle (generally freeware or shareware). An example of some notorious browser hijacker includes Babylon, Anyprotect, Conduit, DefaultTab, SweetPage, Delta Search, and RocketTab, but the names are regularly changing. Browser hijacking can lead to severe privacy issues and even identity theft, disrupt your browsing experience by taking command over outbound traffic, drastically slows down your personal computer by consuming a lot of resources, and cause system instability as well.

Browser Hijacker Malware – Removal

The one thing you can try to get rid of a browser hijacker is to find the malware inside the “Add or Remove Programs” list of the Windows Control Panel. It might or might not be there. When it is, uninstall it. However, many hijackers are harder to track down or remove since they might get themselves associated with some critical computer files that enable it to operate as a necessary operating-system process. Amateur computer users shouldn’t ever attempt the manual form of removal methods, since it requires detailed system knowledge to carry out repairs on the computer registry and HOSTS file.

How One Can Eliminate a Virus that is Blocking Websites or Preventing Downloads

Practically all malware is detrimental and the extent of the damage will vary greatly depending on the type of malware. Some malware is meant to hinder or block things that you want to do on your computer. It may well not let you download anything from the web or it will prevent you from accessing a few or all internet sites, especially the anti-malware websites. If you are reading this article right now, you may have perhaps realized that a malware infection is the cause of your blocked internet connectivity. So how to proceed if you need to install an anti-malware program like Safebytes? There are a few actions you can take to get around this problem.

Install the anti-malware in Safe Mode

The Windows operating system comes with a special mode referred to as “Safe Mode” where just the minimum required applications and services are loaded. If the malware is obstructing the internet connection and affecting your PC, starting it in Safe Mode allows you to download anti-malware and run a diagnostic scan while limiting potential damage. To enter into Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking, press the F8 key while the PC is starting up or run MSCONFIG and look for the “Safe Boot” options under the “Boot” tab. Once you’re in Safe Mode, you can attempt to install your anti-malware software application without the hindrance of the malicious software. At this point, you can actually run the antivirus scan to get rid of viruses and malware without interference from another malicious application.

Obtain the anti-malware program using an alternate web browser

Web-based viruses can be environment-specific, targeting a particular internet browser or attacking specific versions of the web browser. If you seem to have a trojan attached to Internet Explorer, then switch to a different browser with built-in security features, such as Firefox or Chrome, to download your favorite anti-malware program – Safebytes.

Install and run anti-malware from the USB drive

Another solution is to create a portable anti-malware program on your USB thumb drive. Try these simple measures to clear up your infected PC using portable anti-malware. 1) Download the anti-malware on a virus-free computer. 2) Plug the Thumb drive into the uninfected computer. 3) Double-click the Setup icon of the antivirus program to run the Installation Wizard. 4) Choose a thumb drive as the place when the wizard asks you where you want to install the application. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. 5) Transfer the USB drive from the uninfected PC to the infected PC. 6) Double-click the EXE file to run the Safebytes software right from the thumb drive. 7) Click on “Scan Now” to run a complete scan on the affected computer for viruses. If, after all of these methods, you are still having troubles with the possible infection, feel free to write to us with your question, through chat or email. If you are unsure which method to employ, simply call our toll-free number 1-844-377-4107 to speak to our technical support team. Our experts can walk you through the virus removal process on the phone and fix the computer remotely.

Protect Your Personal Computer From Viruses and Malware With SafeBytes Security Suite

Nowadays, an anti-malware tool can protect your laptop or computer from various kinds of internet threats. But exactly how to choose the best one amongst the many malware protection software that is available on the market? Perhaps you might be aware, there are several anti-malware companies and products for you to consider. A few of them are great but there are lots of scamware applications that pretend as authentic anti-malware software waiting to wreak havoc on the computer. You must be careful not to choose the wrong product, especially if you purchase a paid application. When thinking about trustworthy programs, Safebytes AntiMalware is certainly the highly recommended one. SafeBytes anti-malware is a powerful, highly effective protection tool designed to assist users of all levels of IT literacy in detecting and eliminating malicious threats from their PC. This tool can easily detect, eliminate, and protect your PC from the most advanced malware intrusions including spyware, adware, trojan horses, ransomware, parasites, worms, PUPs, as well as other possibly damaging software programs. SafeBytes has great features when compared to other anti-malware programs. A few of them are listed as below: Best AntiMalware Protection: Built on a highly acclaimed anti-virus engine, this malware removal application has the capacity to identify and remove various obstinate malware threats such as browser hijackers, potentially unwanted programs, and ransomware that other common anti-virus software will miss. Live Protection: SafeBytes provides real-time active monitoring service and protection against all known computer viruses and malware. It’ll constantly monitor your computer for hacker activity and also gives users superior firewall protection. Web Protection: Safebytes allots all websites a unique safety score that helps you to have an idea of whether the webpage you’re about to visit is safe to view or known to be a phishing site. “Fast Scan” Features: SafeBytes Anti-Malware possesses a multi-thread scan algorithm that works up to five times faster than any other protection software. Very Low CPU and RAM Usage: SafeBytes is a lightweight application. It uses up a really small amount of processing power as it works in the background therefore you won’t notice any computer performance difficulties. 24/7 Customer Support: You will get 24/7 technical support to quickly resolve any concern with your security tool.

Technical Details and Manual Removal (Advanced Users)

If you wish to manually remove HowToSimplified without the use of an automated tool, it may be possible to do so by removing the program from the Windows Add/Remove Programs menu, or in cases of browser extensions, going to the browsers AddOn/Extension manager and removing it. You will likely also want to reset your browser. To ensure the complete removal, manually check your hard drive and registry for all of the following and remove or reset the values accordingly. Please note that this is for advanced users only and may be difficult, with incorrect file removal causing additional PC errors. In addition, some malware is capable of replicating or preventing deletion. Doing this in Safe Mode is advised.

The following files, folders, and registry entries are created or modified by HowToSimplified

Files: C:DOCUME1USER1LOCALS1Tempnsu1.tmp C:76681c9c0f70e45328483cc27310678c28751a66f9849aa13f34d2e7f8c650 C:DOCUME1USER1LOCALS1Tempnsf2.tmp C:DOCUME1USER1LOCALS1Tempnsf2.tmpnsDialogs.dll C:DOCUME1USER1LOCALS1Tempnsf2.tmpSystem.dll C:DOCUME1USER1LOCALS1Tempnsf2.tmpnsDialogs.dll C:DOCUME1USER1LOCALS1Tempnsf2.tmpSystem.dll C:Program FilesHowToSimplified_8e Registry: Key: HKCUSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerBrowser Helper ObjectsValue: Verizon Broadband Toolbar Data: A057A204-BACC-4D26-8398-26FADCF27386 Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRun Value: Hoolapp Android Data: C:usersuserappdataRoamingHOOLAP~1Hoolapp.exe Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRun Value: ctfmon.exe Data: C:Program Files3rundll32.exe C:Program Files3lni28.dat,FG00
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Fix cannot open IPv4 Properties in Windows 10
Many Windows 10 users often change the IP addresses of their computers’ network adapter in order to connect to the internet or network they belong to in times when there is no automatic connection for their computers. In most cases, access to modifying this setting is restricted for some odd reason even if you are an administrator. So if you are one of the users whose Windows 10 VPN IPv4 Properties are not working, this post can help you remedy that so that you can open and edit the IPv4 Properties on your Windows 10 PC. The common way to change IP settings is by going to Settings > Network and then to Internet > Change adapter options > Select Network adapter > right click and open Properties. From there, you can select TCP/IP 4 and modify it. If you aren’t able to do this, refer to the instructions laid out below to troubleshoot the problem in accessing the IPv4 Properties.

Option 1 – Try using PowerShell to manually set the IPv4 properties

As you are not able to set it using the interface, you can do so using PowerShell instead. Note that this option will only work for you if you run PowerShell with administrator privileges. After opening PowerShell, according to many users, you have to run the this command – set-DnsClientServerAddress -InterfaceAlias “Ethernet” -ServerAddresses xxx.xx.xxx.xxx,x.x.x.x,xxx.xx.xxx.xxx,x.x.x.x Usually, Ethernet is the name of your network adapter which is set by default. If you want to see the actual name of your network adapter, you can just type this command and tap Enter after doing so – Get-NetAdapter -physical | where status -eq 'up' After entering the given command, you will see a list of active Ethernet adapter in your computer as you can see on the image above. Note that the 4 sets of X like the one on the image below should match with the sequence:

Option 2 – Try editing the rasphone.pbk files

The rasphone.pbk files stores property for the connections and since you are not able to access the IPv4 properties, it is most likely that it has been disabled here. The good thing is that you can open these files and edit them using Notepad. Refer to the steps below to do so.
  • Open the Windows Explorer and then enable the show hidden files option.
  • After that, look for the files at this location – C:Users <username>AppDataRoamingMicrosoftNetworkConnectionsPbk_hiddenPbkrasphone.pbk
  • Then right-click on it and select the “Open with” option and choose the Notepad app.
  • After opening the file, look for “IpPrioritizeRemote” from the long list.
  • Once you found it, set its value from “1” to “0”.
  • After that, look for “IPInterfaceMetric” and set its value to “1” and tap Ctrl + S to save the changes you’ve made, and then exit and try accessing the IPv4 properties again. It should work, but if you’re still unable to access it, try the next option below.

Option 3 – Enable the Split Tunneling if you use VPN

All data goes back and forth when you are using a VPN service on your computer. And since you are using VPN, it could be that it disables the IPv4 interface. If that’s the case, you need to stay connected with both the local network and VPN and to do so, you have to enable Split Tunneling. How? Follow these steps:
  • Open PowerShell with administrator privileges.
  • Next, type in “Get-VpnConnection” and tap Enter. After doing so, it will give you the exact name of your VPN.
  • After that, type in “Set-VpnConnection -Name “yourVPNName” -SplitTunneling $True” and tap Enter. Once you enter the command, it will free your IPv5 settings so that you can change it to connect with your local network if you prefer it to.
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Software review series: HWiNFO
HWiNFO (Hardware Information) is a professional hardware information and diagnostic tool supporting the latest components, industry technologies, and standards. It's targeted to recognize and extract the most possible amount of information about computer hardware which makes it suitable for users searching for driver updates, computer manufactures, system integrators, and technical experts too. Retrieved information is presented in a logical and easily understandable form and can be exported into various types of reports. System health monitoring and basic benchmarking available too. If you would like to read more helpful articles and tips about various software and hardware visit errortools.com daily.
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Windows Update Keeps Turning Off in Windows
Keeping your system updated is a must and Windows updates are definitely a great way to do that. These updates are essential since they provide important security and various fixes for bugs in your Windows 10 computer. However, there are plenty of instances when you encounter issues with Windows Updates and one of them is when the Windows Updates turn off automatically at random times. Some users reported that they saw a notification about Windows Updates being turned off. Note that the issue is not with the update itself since many users turned on the Windows Update and the system was properly updated. The issue is that the Windows Updates turned off all by itself. There could be several reasons why the Windows Updates turned off by themselves. It could be due to the antivirus program installed on your computer. Antivirus programs are known to cause issues with other programs, Windows updates components included. This can occur due to false positives as well as odd compatibility issues. Aside from antivirus programs, the Windows Update service itself could also be the root cause of the problem. There could be a corrupted file in the Windows Update folder or it could be that the Windows Update service wasn’t started properly. Any of these issues can be resolved by following the troubleshooting options given below. Make sure to follow each one of them carefully for better results.

Option 1 – Try to disable your antivirus program

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

Option 2 – Try to make some changes in the Registry

  • Tap the Wins key once and type in “command prompt” in the field.
  • From the search results, right-click on Command Prompt and select the “Run as administrator” option to run it with admin privileges.
  • Next, type the following command and tap Enter:
reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdateAuto Update" /v AUOptions /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
  • After that, type the following command and hit Enter again:
sc config wuauserv start= auto
 The command you entered will set the Windows Update to auto so you should be good to go.

Option 3 – Try to reset the Windows Update components

If by any chance that the second option didn’t work, resetting the Windows Update components could also help you resolve the problem. 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
  • Next, 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
  • Close Command Prompt and reboot your PC.

Option 4 – Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Running the built-in Windows Update troubleshooter is one of the things you can first check out as it is known to automatically resolve any Windows Update errors. 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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What is Windows Terminal and should you use it
Windows TerminalWindows Terminal is a new free Microsoft terminal sort of application. When you open either Power Shell or Command Prompt in Windows they will be opened in different windows, and if you want several of each you will have several windows of each on your screen. Windows Terminal fixes this by opening each of the Instances of Command Prompt and Power Shell as separate tabs inside itself making it much easier to manage multiple instances of named applications. You can also run both Power Shell and Command prompt tabs in the same Windows Terminal. Luckily running command prompt and power shell in different tabs is not the only thing you can do. Windows Terminal lets you choose your own theme, it has emoji support, GPU rendering, split panes, and many more customizable options. Windows 11 will have Terminal as the default command-line environment for opening Power Shell or Command prompt, even Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

Setting Windows Terminal as the default application

If I was successful I have managed to show you that Windows Terminal is something that you should use even if you do not or cannot upgrade to Windows 11. You can use it inside Windows 10 also. First thing is to download and install it. You can get Windows Terminal from the official Microsoft website here: Windows Terminal page After download and installation are completed, open the Terminal app and select the down arrow menu, click Settings. Alternatively, you can use CTRL + + shortcut. Inside Settings by default Default Terminal application would be set to Windows Console Host Click on the Default Terminal application to bring a drop-down menu and choose Windows Terminal from the list. Now by default once opened Windows Terminal will use Power Shell as the default profile, however, you can change this by clicking on the drop-down for the default profile where you can choose between Command Prompt, Power Shell, Windows Power Shell, or Azure Cloud Shell. Pick one that you prefer, click on Save and it will be opened as default on the next run.
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