Why Power Failures Always Lead To Data Loss

You've taken every precaution against data loss. You do regular backups, which you've carefully planned (and even tested).

But, what happens to your precious data when there is a power outage?

Will your file system recover? Properly? Are you sure?

Will you have to resort to your backup, just to be safe?

Maybe you need a UPS. Then again, maybe not. Either way, reading this article will help you to make that decision.

Colin Receveur
SmartBox, LLC

Survival Time of an Un-Patched Windows Computer?

Interestingly enough, the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Center site is estimating the time to infection of an unpatched Windows machine on the Internet.. is currently about 4 minutes. This is based on an un-patched Windows machine that is not behind a firewall or router of any kind (directly connected to the internet).

As many of my current clients know, I've pushed routers (in conjunction with other security measures) upon all of them for security reasons. A few have called me paranoid, so it's nice to see a study backing up my paranoia! While they were more expensive several years ago, routers have come down to a point where even the simplest of home users can afford to have one protecting their computer system.

Concludes the ISC's Hutchinson: "While the survival time varies quite a bit across methods used, pretty much all agree that placing an unpatched Windows computer directly onto the Internet in the hope that it downloads the patches faster than it gets exploited are odds that you wouldn't bet on in Vegas."

Tweaking Your Windows Startup Routine

You probably have asked yourself before "What is all this crap that starts up when I turn my computer on?!"

You're not alone. 3rd party vendors load all kinds of junk software onto your computer. These programs all serve legitimate purposes, and are not intended to bog down your system, but they do. AIM, Antivirus programs, all of the little programs sitting in your task bar, and some programs you can’t see all contribute to the performance of your system.

Disabling unused Windows Startup Applications

The following steps will teach you how to remove programs and services from the startup sequence. Doing this will free up RAM memory, since those programs will not be running any more. It will also dramatically increase the time that your computer takes to turn on. To use this feature make sure you are logged in as an administrator.

  1. Click Start, then Run, and type msconfig in and press OK. A small System Configuration Utility dialog box will appear with many options like General, System.ini Win.ini, Boot.ini, Services, Startup and Tools. For now, we're going to ignore all of them except the Startup tab.

  1. Click on the Startup tab and uncheck the applications that you want to disable from your Windows startup sequence.

  1. Now click on Apply button to implement the changes, and restart your computer to put the changes into effect.

Go through the list and look for any familiar programs and disable those first, then go back and look at the unfamiliar programs and try to find out what application they belong to, Google the process name like ctfmon.exe and it should come up with a detailed use for the program in the listings and if it’s harmful or just a system program.

Voila! When your computer restarts, you will receive a notice that there were changes made to your startup sequence. This is normal. Check the "Do not show me this again" box and click OK!

Could You Imagine Still Being on Dial-Up Internet?

Oddly enough, according to a new study released shows that 62% of current dial-up users have NO interest in going to broadband!

When asked what it would take to tempt them to switch, 35% said the price of broadband would have to fall, while almost a fifth said that nothing would tempt them to upgrade, suggesting many die-hard dial-up users simply don't see the need for the higher speeds that are available.

About 3.5% of the visitors to our website are still on dial-up as well.

You can read more of this article over on PCPro

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