Programs blocked when Vista starts

Stop Vista from preventing programs from running at startup.Fun with Task Scheduler!

So, we had a PC which has an unsigned EPSS.exe (Enterprise Pro Surveillance System CCTV DVR Client) file that is set to run when Vista boots up.

MSCONFIG keeps blocking the executable from running but we want it to run because we know it’s safe and it is needed to run on this PC. Clicking the ‘Allow this program to run’ option just allows it to run once.

MSCONFIG does not assume that it is safe to run it on every boot so we set off in search of a way to run it without restrictions and this is what we found out there…

Continue reading “Programs blocked when Vista starts”

Removing NetIntelligence from Home Access Laptops

Home Access from Becta Grant
Home Access Grant

After replacing the hard drives in their Home Access laptops, a number of people have contacted us (probably because of our popular Acer Extensa 5235 post) about an issue with the parental control software that is installed on these machines.

From what we gather, some of (perhaps all) the Home Access machines were bundled with NetIntelligence parental control software.

Here is an excerpt from an enquiry we received: Continue reading “Removing NetIntelligence from Home Access Laptops”

Parent Password for Home Access Laptop

Home Access from Becta Grant
Home Access Grant

At our Kent laptop repair shop, we recently did a complete system recovery on an Acer Extensa 5235 that had a dead hard drive.

This was one of the ‘Home Acess’ computers provided by Becta the now closed government funded grant scheme to help low-income families own a computer.

The client had neglected to make her recovery DVDs whiled the system was up and running.
Usually if we don’t have the recovery DVDs or CDs we can install an OEM version of Windows using the product key on the Windows sticker attached to the laptop, resulting in a nice clean Windows install without all the crap that the manufacturers install alongside Windows. However, the Home Access laptop in our care didn’t have a product key on the sticker.

The license sticker reads: “Windows 7 Pro Natl. Academic Only OA” with a few tracking numbers and bar codes on it. Not very useful for installing Windows!

Luckily we had created a set of 3 recovery DVDs on an identical model that had come in months ago – just in case!

So Windows installed – no problem there, but… When it was time to log into Windows, we were presented with two preconfigured user accounts – Learner and Parent. Learner had no password and was a ‘Limited Account’ which basically means we couldn’t install anything or even update Windows using that account. Parent was a password protected administrator account but we had no password since the client had misplaced the original documentation provided by Comet. Continue reading “Parent Password for Home Access Laptop”

Avast + Malwarebytes = ❤

Avast & Malwarebytes
Avast & Malwarebytes

Avast Free Antivirus is a very capable tool which I recommend to my clients.
I know many like AVG as their free antivirus solution but I find the more recent versions of AVG to be very resource hungry. If you stick it on a machine with a single core CPU, it’s like installing the software equivalent of a lead weight.  Avast 6 is still lightweight enough to make just a small impact on performance.

Malwarebytes is the tool to use if you want to clean up a nasty malware infection on your PC. It’s recommended by experts on all the malware help forums. Best of all, you can clean up your system for free! I was so impressed with the detection and removal capabilities of Malwarebytes that I decided I should buy the full version for our in-house PCs. The full version adds real-time detection and malware site blocking capabilities. (We’ve since become resellers of Malwarebytes!)

At the moment I use Avast (free) Antivirus and the full version of Malwarebytes on my main workshop PC. They compliment each other beautifully but they can get in each other’s way if you don’t set them up right. Here’s how to do it… Continue reading “Avast + Malwarebytes = ❤”