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Archive for the ‘Windows 7 issues’ Category

My Windows 7 rig has always been dual monitor since day one … in October 2009, within days of the official release of Windows 7.

It is an asymmetrical setup with two different size monitors, with different aspect ratios. [There is also a big difference in vintage. My smaller left-hand size monitor, a Gateway, is 7 or 8 years old.]

I don’t often see the ‘stretched’ desktop since I fire up applications as soon as Windows comes up. I sit there, with my finger on the mouse … waiting for the desktop to appear so I can get going.

Last Saturday, however, I got a chance to look at my desktop. It was a particularly nice desktop image and I stopped to admire it. Then I noticed something strange. Later on I took a screen shot, of both monitors, using Print Screen (Prt Scr), to share it with you — albeit with a different desktop image … but one that is as good to show the oddity.

So here is the screen shot (converted into a JPEG using Snipper — Prt Scr >> paste into PowerPoint >> re-size >>Snipper >> JPEG).

You should be able to tell which monitor is which. The ‘smaller’ left-hand one has the BLACK edging at the bottom. [I don’t see that. That is Prt Scr compensating for the two different screen sizes. You can also, if you look hard enough see the vertical desktop icons … marking the left-hand edge of the bigger, 24″, main monitor]

Anyway, look at the two desktops. Notice the ‘volcano’ puffing dark smoke you can see on my main monitor … to the right of the desktop icons. There is even a little red hill below it. Now look at the left-hand monitor. No volcano!

Basically the desktop image is CROPPED on the smaller monitor.

Not a big deal. Dual monitor works fine. I don’t know. I somehow didn’t think that Windows would CROP the desktop. So don’t panic. All is well. Just an oddity. As far as I know, I can’t change this. There is only one setting for the desktop and Windows 7 uses it for both monitors. If you have any thoughts let me know.

Thank you. Good luck.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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Last night, thought it was April Fool’s Day, I still checked for updates. [Sorry about the prank I pulled on you folks re. KB971033. I gave you enough hints that it was a joke].

To my surprise there was an Important Update — albeit just another Windows Defender Definition Update. I am surprised that Microsoft is ‘geeky’ enough to release Windows updates on April Fool’s day. No sense of humor. Or, maybe they do. I guess, as Windows’ users the joke is always on us. That is the fourth Windows Defender Update in a week. The last one was just three days ago on March 29.

All the Windows Defender Updates for Windows 7 are labeled KB915597. But next to it there is a definition number. The number for the April 1 update was 1.79.953.0.

Today, for the first time I went looking for what these definitions contained. So here is the list of the malware included in 1.79.953.0.

On a whim I checked the first new definition in that update: TrojanDropper: Win32/Alobtoe.A. [Just click on Microsoft’s hotlink … on the definitions page.] It says it was NOTED as of July 16, 2009. That is nearly 9 months ago. We are just getting an update for it on April 1, 2001?

This Windows Defender update thing gets even more interesting. On the right hand side … where it says “Change Definition Version” … click that and have a look.

We already have three UNINSTALLED definitions.

Now, as we know Avast (that I use) and AVG (that my wife uses) provides at least one update every 24 hours. Microsoft doesn’t. But, now I see that they have a backlog. In essence, IF Windows Defender is all you use, you are already UNPROTECTED. This is crazy.

I have Avast 4.8 Professional. So to me Defender is a joke. I run it just to see if it finds anything. It never has. I don’t trust Microsoft. For all I know, Defender is checking my licensing and whether I use FireFox. I am totally resigned that I have no privacy on my PC. So this is just heads up.

All the best. Good luck.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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FireFox 3.6.2 continues to test my patience and mettle. Crashed again last night. Second crash in 48 hours. Both times was when I was trying to upload a file via a pop-up window. I do this most days. One is from my online GoDaddy file backup site, the other at Typepad.com (where I have www.popes-and-papacy hosted).

Playing around on my XP machine I noticed that there is a difference between FireFox 3.6.2 and FireFox 3.6 rc2. So I reinstalled FireFox today. Not sure whether it will help. Install finished normally. BUT, when I went to restart Windows 7 for the Windows 7 Update … I got a message that FireFox was not installed properly and needs to complete its installation. It did that. Not sure what that was all about.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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Windows Update KB980182 was a cumulative security update for IE 8 for Windows 7. Here is a list of the security exploits it supposedly fixed. I rarely, if ever, use IE … but decided to install this update for the rare occasions I fire-up IE.

Last night I also installed KB915597 — the latest Windows Defender definition updates. That is the second one in four days, and the seventh during the month of March. Wow.

So far, so good. KB980182 insisted on a restart. So I restarted. I am still alive. So, so far so good.

Just to let you know. We probably will get more updates next Tuesday … since we will be in April.

Good luck. All the best.

Cheers
Anura Guruge

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There are a couple of ‘security’ conferences taking place right now where professional hackers from around the world are showcasing their considerable talents to win cash prices and kudos.

A couple of them managed to hack past IE 8 and get into Windows 7, maliciously, with ease. But, other hackers also managed to skirt past security on FireFox running on Windows 7. So that is not good. As far as we know none of these ‘exploits’ are being exploited right now to hack into Windows 7 systems. All it means is that there are people out there who know how to do it, IF they wanted to.

No updates from Microsoft or Mozilla as yet.

So just a heads up. Here are two good links you may want to read: < link1> & <link2>.

All the best.

Cheers
Anura Guruge

P.S. No Windows 7 updates today, i.e., March 26, 2010

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Since I now appear to be the arbitrator of Windows 7 updates, I checked too see if there were any … today … a Thursday.

There were TWO. I was surprised. One was a new Windows Defender Update. Qu’est-ce que c’est passe?

We had one yesterday, and another today. Is Windows 7, like Democrats, under attack? Don’t get it.

Also an OPTIONAL update for the Realtek PCIe GBE controller. That is what I have on my ASUS motherboard.

That also happens to be the second in 4 days. What is cooking? I guess the update is OK. My Ethernet is still working … otherwise I would not be typing this.

Not good. Just a heads up.

Good luck. All the best.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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Just two Windows 7 updates this week, i.e., March 24, 2010.

One was the usual Windows Defender Definition Update, the 5th in March … and the other KB980302, Update for IE8 Compatibility View List [i.e., an update to the list of Web sites that look ‘better’ in IE 8 despite not meeting the latest and greatest Web design guidelines].

I installed them both. System is still up. I haven’t restarted. Didn’t have to. Might restart soon. I am BUSY again.

I did this for YOU folks, just to make sure the updates are OK.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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