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Freeware Security Suite


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#1 scratcher

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 04:00 PM

For those who may be wondering about Win 7 security here's how I do it.

My current free Security and Anti-Malware setup contains the following:

ANTI-VIRUS ----------------- avast! FREE ANTIVIRUS v.5.1.889

FIREWALL ------------------- Comodo Firewall

ANTI-SPYWARE --------------- SuperAntiSpyware 4.48.0.1000; SpywareBlaster v.3.5.1

REGISTRY PROTECTION -------- MJ Registry Watcher v.1.2.4.7

FIREFOX ADDONS ------------- Adblock Plus 1.3.3; BetterPrivacy 1.48.3; Ghostery 2.4.2; NoScript v.2.0.9.8

CLEANING TOOLS ------------- CCleaner v.1.33.382; Eraser 6.0.8.2273

BLOCKINGING TOOLS ---------- Hoster v3.5; MVPS Hosts File

EMERGENCY TOOLS ------------ Unlocker 1.9.0; ERUNT v1.1j Registry Backup and Restore


When things go wrong it's often because of a problem in the Registry. For those who may not know it, the last item, ERUNT, is short for "Emergency Recovery Utility NT" and has saved my neck innumerable times.

ERUNT safely, easily, and quickly restores an earlier copy of the Registry made when the computer was problem-free. I've used it for years, it has never failed, and it continues to work in Win 7.

Look for the latest version at: http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt

Edit: Moved topic from Win 7 to the more appropriate forum. ~ Animal

* HP Pavilion dv7 *  2.20 gigahertz AMD Phenom II N850 Triple-Core *  4.0 GB RAM  *  Windows 7 Home Premium (x64) *   Firefox 3.6.17 * Thunderbird 3.1.11 *  Comodo Firewall  *  Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.50.1 Pro *  avast! Free Anti-Virus 2014.9.0.2007  *  Erunt  *


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#2 dc3

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 01:30 AM

CCleaner has some properties which can be useful, even though you can perform most of these using Windows applications, but it is also a registry cleaning tool



Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:

• Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.

• Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.

• Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.

• Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.

• The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in unpredictable results.

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.

* Ed Bott's Webog: Why I don’t use registry cleaners
* Do I need a Registry Cleaner?

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#3 scratcher

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 07:00 AM

Very good advice - for the raw beginner.

I myself, however, use CCleaner (formerly called Crap Cleaner) for cleaning out crap and not the registry, and you will note that I have not included any dedicated registry cleaners in my suite. As for the registry cleaner in CCleaner, I find it extremely conservative and highly unlikely to cause damage.

Also, before I do anything at all (such as installing new programs, etc.) I always make a backup of the registry using ERUNT.

BTW - my avatar isn't really a picture of me.

Edited by scratcher, 18 February 2011 - 09:18 AM.

* HP Pavilion dv7 *  2.20 gigahertz AMD Phenom II N850 Triple-Core *  4.0 GB RAM  *  Windows 7 Home Premium (x64) *   Firefox 3.6.17 * Thunderbird 3.1.11 *  Comodo Firewall  *  Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.50.1 Pro *  avast! Free Anti-Virus 2014.9.0.2007  *  Erunt  *


#4 quietman7

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 08:21 AM

I recommend Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Pro) and taking advantage of the Protection Module in the full version which uses advanced heuristic scanning technology to monitor your system and provide real-time protection to prevent the installation of most new malware. This technology runs at startup where it monitors every process and helps stop malicious processes before they can infect your computer. The database that defines the heuristics is updated as often as there is something to add to it. Keep in mind that Malwarebytes does not act as a real-time protection scanner for every file like an anti-virus program so it is intended to be a supplement, not a substitute. Enabling the Protection Module feature requires registration and purchase of a license key that includes free lifetime upgrades and support. After activation, Malwarebytes can be set to update itself and schedule scans automatically on a daily basis. The Protection Module is not intrusive as it utilizes few system resources and should not conflict with other scanners or anti-virus programs.

If any conflicts between Malwarebytes' and another security program are reported, suggested solutions are usually provided in the Common Issues, Questions, and their Solutions, FAQs thread. I know and have worked with some members of the research team so I can attest that they make every effort to resolve issues as quickly as possible.


I recommend using SUPERAntiSpyware Free as a separate stand-alone on-demand scanner. The free version does not provide real-time protection or scheduled scanning so there is no need for it to run at startup and waste system resources. You can always update the database definitions through the program's interface or manually download them from here. This gives you another tool to use in the event malware disables some of your other tools.
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#5 scratcher

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 09:02 AM

Thank you.

I've taken your advice and have just now purchased and installed MB Pro.

* HP Pavilion dv7 *  2.20 gigahertz AMD Phenom II N850 Triple-Core *  4.0 GB RAM  *  Windows 7 Home Premium (x64) *   Firefox 3.6.17 * Thunderbird 3.1.11 *  Comodo Firewall  *  Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.50.1 Pro *  avast! Free Anti-Virus 2014.9.0.2007  *  Erunt  *


#6 quietman7

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 09:07 AM

You're welcome.
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#7 garybear

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 02:05 PM

Hello!
Thanks for all the great advice.I use CCleaner and it has never caused me any problems using the register cleaner.
I run XP3. I use to use ERUNT, but now I use a freeware program called Macrium Reflect to back up my OS at least once a month or when I make any changes.
I'm a bit of a risk taker and I use RegSeeker on occasions, but I can restore my entire OS with a Linux Rescue CD and Macrium Reflect.
It's real good advice not to mess around with the register unless you know what your doing.
I agree 100%
MBAM and SAS are excellent programs and I recommend them also. Mabm in real time and SAS on demand.
Great thread and great reply's!!
PS I also recommend WOT add-on for Firefox!!

Edited by garybear, 18 February 2011 - 02:07 PM.


#8 scratcher

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 07:40 PM

Hi!

Nice post. I used an older version of CCleaner for years as a general cleaner for cleaning out junk temp files, etc., and wasn't aware that it had a registry cleaning function until I updated to the latest version recently. Of course, (ahem!) I NEVER USE IT TO CLEAN THE REGISTRY (cough! cough!) but I have found its preliminary analyses to be extremely conservative.

As for WOT, I've used similar programs in the past but tend to be wary of them these days as I suspect that many, if not most, have private agendas and want to steer people away from sites, not necessarily because they are "dangerous", but because, for reasons best known to them, they don't want you looking at.

Happy computing!

* HP Pavilion dv7 *  2.20 gigahertz AMD Phenom II N850 Triple-Core *  4.0 GB RAM  *  Windows 7 Home Premium (x64) *   Firefox 3.6.17 * Thunderbird 3.1.11 *  Comodo Firewall  *  Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.50.1 Pro *  avast! Free Anti-Virus 2014.9.0.2007  *  Erunt  *





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