SuperAntiSpyware better than Malwarebytes Anti-Malware?

The answer to this question depends on which type of spyware or malware your PC has been attacked by. Recently, a variant of the Vundo trojan blocked me from installing Malwarebytes and that never happened before. So, I remember reading on Technibble an article about another spyware removal tool called SuperAntispyware. I installed this new tool and immediately, it detected the Vundo variant plus about 200 other issues. SuperAntiSpyware is free to install and use and is now being added to my personal tool list for spyware and malware removal. Of course, the free version does not auto-protect the computer so you would need to purchase the Professional addition to enable that support. But from all of the reviews on Technibble, it is definitely worth it.

Here is a link to download either version: SuperAntiSpyware

Windows 7 for $30

I just came across a website that has partnered with Microsoft to sell Windows 7 for only $29.99. Only requirements is that you be currently enrolled in an approved list of colleges or universities. Microsoft will verify that you are a student so I suggest not trying to sneak your way in to purchasing Windows 7 for only $30. Make sure your PC can handle Windows 7 before deciding to purchase it.

Purchase Windows 7 for $30

Degree vs Certification: Part 2

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article about whether or not getting a college degree was better than getting some IT certifications. This is part two of that thought process. Its been almost two years since I wrote about getting a degree vs certification and I mentioned in the article that I was going to go back to school to finish my degree. Well, I am almost done, this should be my last semester. I will graduate with an Associates Degree in Computer Networking Technologies. It might be considered a basic degree but none the less, I finished. Now I need to decide if I am also going to get some certifications. I am pretty sure that I will, I just need to figure which path to take. Microsoft or Cisco? Or both? Well, I found an article that discusses the topic of possibly getting both, a degree and certifications. And I think I finally agree. Getting both will help me in the long run and I would only need to continue updating my certifications when they expired. My degree will never expire, it will always be there on my wall somewhere showing that I finished it. IT Certifications expire as fast as the technology changes. Study hard folks.....

Here is a link to the article from Microsoft's Born to learn blog: Born to Learn

Troubleshooting screen flicker

I was going to title this article, "The case of the flickering LCD" but I figured I just title it something simple and to the point. Plus, that title kind of sounded like the article might be related to some criminal activity or some Sherlock Holmes type is what happened:

I recently came across an HP laptop that had an LCD that would flicker after a few minutes of being turned on. It was on a docking station, plugged into a power strip with the original A/C adapter for the docking station. So I began trying to troubleshoot the issue and began narrowing down what I could to determine if there was a power issue or an LCD issue. It really could only be either one of those problems, there is not much else that can cause a screen to flicker.

So, I first decided to troubleshoot the power situation. I removed the laptop from the docking station and at the same time, decided to plug the laptop directly into a wall outlet with the original laptop A/C adapter (not the docking station one). Result: LCD still flickers. The only common item at this point is the laptop. I tried another wall outlet, no help. I tried another A/c adapter, LCD still flickered.

Next step, I took the laptop to a completely different area in the office.....guess what, it stopped flickering. (Don't get too excited yet). I proceeded to get with our office maintenance to have them check the cubicle for electrical issues. They actually came back to tell me that they found some loose wires which they repaired. (Again, don't get too excited). I tried the laptop again at the client's desk....LCD began to flicker again, but not right away like before.

To make a long story short......when the laptop was at my desk, it did eventually flicker, it just took longer. Not sure why. After waiting 45 minutes or so, it did begin to flicker. So, my last option was to assume that there was an issue with the LCD. One interesting thing is that the laptop LCD NEVER flickered while it was on battery power!!! Very interesting and HP had no idea about this.

The solution that HP stated they repaired was the LCD, a fan (not sure which one) and they replaced the laptop battery. Luckily, all of this was still covered under warranty.

Do you have any laptop LCD flicker stories?

Bluescreen error? Use this tool to view details.

Sorry for the long break in posting. I've been very busy in the past few weeks. Mostly moving into my very first home! Well, back to business, I have had some interesting computer problems at work lately so I will be posting the computer troubleshooting steps I took to fix them.

In the meantime...checkout the cool tool that was posted on Technibble this week. Bluescreens happen, period....there is no way to not get one if you are using any Microsoft Windows flavor. From windows 95 to Windows 7, bluescreens happen. The below listed tool may help figure out what caused the bluescreen which might help you troubleshoot the issue further to resolve the problem.

Check out the article here: BlueScreenView

Publisher 2007 hotfix now available

As promised, Microsoft finally released the Publisher 2007 hotfix. The fix is due to an issue that Microsoft actually "broke" while releasing Office 2007 SP2. In my opinion, this issue should have been fixed sooner but Microsoft would rather you uninstall SP2 while waiting for them to work out the details with the hotfix. Why would you want to uninstall a Service Pack, which is usually includes security updates? By doing so, we (the Office 2007 users) could potentially corrupt our PCs or make them vulnerable for attack because of an issue that Microsoft themselves caused in the first place? I know, they have to cover themselves, but at least they could have acknowledged the fact that there was an issue.

Anyway, enough ranting... here is the link to the hofix: Publisher 2007 hotfix.

Are you tired of issues like this? There are free office suites out there. Check them out if you are not happy with Microsoft Office.

Office 2007 SP2 breaks Publisher files

I know what you are thinking, "Why would Microsoft release a major Service Pack that might cause an issue?" It does happen every so often and its not usually known in the public because of course that would make the company look bad. But that is not even the issue here, let me give you the whole story:

Within the past month, Office 2007 SP2 was released through Windows Updates. Most likely, everyone installed the update without any trouble. But suddenly, you attempt to open one of your MS Publisher files and get an error message like this: "Publisher can not open the file." You click OK and then the application closes. Apparently, the Office 2007 SP2 install has somehow denied the ability to open Publisher files, including a brand new file that you save. Once that new file is saved and you attempt to open it again, NOPE, it doesn't open. Of course I started the usual google search for this problem and I came across a forum (actually its the Microsoft Technet forum) and beginning around the end of May is when people starting complaining.

Well almost a month has gone by and yup, you guessed it, no public word from Microsoft on the issue. So I contacted them and this is exactly what they said: "We are aware of the Office 2007 Publisher issues after installing SP2. This issue will be resolved and released into Windows Updates by the end of June." The end of June??? That is basically 2 weeks from now! The only possible workaround they mentioned was to remove SP2 but then it will just reinstall itself again through Windows Updates unless you block it until the fix is released.

I understand things break sometimes, but just be honest about it. The fact that Microsoft has not publicly responded just shows that they could care less about customer service. Not to mention we (the Office 2007 users) have to wait for a fix that they broke to begin with. Maybe its time to be reminded of other office suites, free ones for that matter.

Has the installation of Office 2007 SP2 affected you at all? Let me know.

Update: Microsoft has released the Publisher 2007 hotfix

PC Maintenance tip of the week: Defrag PC

Is it time to defrag your PC? Overtime, files get fragmented due to copying & moving files around, deleting files or installing applications on the hard drive. For example, let's say you had lots of music on the hard drive but decided to delete it. Now, all of the space where the music was is empty and ready for more files to be stored. Problem is that depending on how big the next program or file you attempt to install is, it may just not "fit" into the empty space vacated by the previous music files. Windows may have to find the next available space to finish the install of the program or file. This is what causes the fragmentation of the hard drive, which can cause the PC to respond slower because it has to work harder to find all of the files related to the program or application you are trying to access.

Solution: Defrag PC on a regular basis if you do alot of moving, copying or deleting of files or programs. On Windows XP, you can schedule a defrag or start one manually. Windows Vista attempts to automatically defrag when the PC is idle (but it is also scheduled to defrag as well by default).

HP System Recovery Actually Works

Most name brand PCs out there come with some type of System Recovery feature. I recently repaired a co-worker's PC by using the HP system Recovery option by pressing F10 during the initial HP boot screen. Basically, it was a last resort option for me. I tried every computer troubleshooting technique that I knew to fix this problem which happened to be the fact that the PC would not boot completely to the desktop. No icons or shortcuts, just a desktop background and that's it. I tried safe-mode, last-known good configuration, XP System Restore and nothing worked. I even tried creating a new user profile......same problem. I knew that I could still run the HP System Recovery option so I went ahead and backed up all of the data on another hard drive. I always back up the data first, just in case something goes wrong.

The next step was to restore the data. I reinstalled the hard drive, then powered on the PC. I pressed F10 to begin the HP System Recovery process. During the process, I was reminded that the data would be lost Windows XP would be reinstalled along with any original HP applications that came with the PC during initial purchase. All other applications would have to be reinstalled. The whole process took one hour from start to finish.

Then to my surprise, when I returned to check the PC, all of the data was still there! And the
System Recovery process completed successfully. Maybe I did not read the entire warning message correctly but I thought the data would be deleted. It saved my 3 hours of restoring the data. Everything was then back to normal. My co-worker was happy and so was I!

Have you had any success restoring PCs? Let me know.

IE8 SmartScreen Filter blocks malware

Windows XP or Windows Vista users who have their automatic software update turned on will be notified that Internet Explorer version 8 is now available for download.

The new version runs faster and smoother than version 7 according to the author of the article at The Washington Post.

One of the new features is called SmartScreen Filter. This feature blocks phishing sites but the article mentions that this does not work well against the top sites that distribute rogue anti-virus products. Of course Microsoft believes otherwise, take a look at what they say the filter does:

SmartScreen’s malware protection focuses on identifying and blocking sites on the web that are distributing malicious software. As a reputation-based feature, SmartScreen can block new threats from existing malicious sites, even if those threats are not yet blocked by traditional anti-virus or anti-malware signatures. In this way, the SmartScreen filter complements traditional anti-virus products by providing additional dimensions for both identification and protection. For comprehensive protection from malware, we highly recommend that users also install traditional anti-virus products and keep them up to date.
You can read more about Internet Explorer 8 and its SmartScreen filter here: IE8

Privacy Policy

This website/blog uses third-party advertising companies to serve ads when visiting this site. These third parties may collect and use information (but not your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, you can visit Google's Advertising and Privacy page.

If you wish to opt out of Advertising companies tracking and tailoring advertisements to your surfing patterns you may do so at Network Advertising Initiative.

Google uses the Doubleclick DART cookie to serve ads across it's Adsense network and you can get further information regarding the DART cookie at Doubleclick as well as opt out options at Google's Privacy Center


I respect your privacy and I am committed to safeguarding your privacy while online at this site. The following discloses how I gather and disseminate information for this Blog.

RSS Feeds and Email Updates

If a user wishes to subscribe to my RSS Feeds or Email Updates (powered by Feedburner), I ask for contact information such as name and email address. Users may opt-out of these communications at any time. Your personal information will never be sold or given to a third party. (You will never be spammed by me - ever)

Log Files and Stats

Like most blogging platforms I use log files, in this case This stores information such as internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), referring, exit and visited pages, platform used, date/time stamp, track user’s movement in the whole, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses etc. are not linked to personally identifiable information.


A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user’s computer tied to information about the user. This blog doesn't use cookies. However, some of my business partners use cookies on this site (for example - advertisers). I can't access or control these cookies once the advertisers have set them.


This Blog contains links to other sites. Please be aware that I am not responsible for the privacy practices of these other sites. I suggest my users to be aware of this when they leave this blog and to read the privacy statements of each and every site that collects personally identifiable information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Blog.


RChase Computer Consulting uses outside ad companies to display ads on this blog. These ads may contain cookies and are collected by the advertising companies and I do not have access to this information. I work with the following advertising companies: Google Adsense, BlueHost, and possibly Project Payday. Please check the advertisers websites for respective privacy policies.

Upgrading template today

Today, RChase Computer Consulting is under going an upgrade. Things make look funny throughout the day......hopefully, if all goes well, the new template will be in place by tomorrow morning. Stay tuned for future posts relating to Windows XP, Windows Vista and computer troubleshooting.....

Print jobs Backwards After SP3 Installed

Today, I came across a client that had some print jobs that were printing out backwards. Never having seen this before, I had to make sure she was telling the truth so I printed a test page from her HP Officejet printer at her desk. Sure enough, the test page printed out backwards. I had no idea why this happened. The only thing that was different in the past few days was that we (meaning the IT dept) did a mass install through WSUS of Windows XP SP3. Apparently, SP3 was the culprit although I am not sure why but here is what happened:

On the print preferences tab of the print queue, there was an option called "mirror image". Somehow, it much have been turned on which causes print jobs to come out backwards. I turned the feature off and printed another test page with no issues. This did not seem to affect network printers, just her local desktop printer.

To give proper credit, I found the solution here: Microsoft Technet

Apparently, this may only be happening if its an HP Officejet printer. Has this happened to you? Do you know why SP3 may have caused this change? Let me know.

HP Officejet Installation issues again

A few months ago, I wrote about having some installation issues with an HP Officejet 7680. Well, I might as well go on record to say that these installation issues occur with most HP Officejet models. I attempted to install an Officejet 6310 today and the same HP installation issues occurred.

At about 25 minutes into the 6310 install, the installer got stuck at 96% and stayed there for another 20 minutes or so before I gave up. This should not be the case. So I decided to unplug the USB cable, and suddenly, the installation finished!. But I was very suspicious so I opened the HP Solution Center and of course, I get the following message:

No HP devices detected. HP solutions Center will close now.

(So basically, the 6310 installation is now corrupt.)

Here is what did to fix the installation issues for the Officejet 6310, you can try it for the Officejet 7680 too, but good luck!

1) Remove all HP software from add remove programs.(in both cases, the client had older printers & scanners installed previously).

2) End any remaining HP****.exe tasks running in task manager.

3) Delete all HP and Hewlett Packard folders located in these areas:
c:\program files\hp
c:\program files\hewlett packard
c:\program files\common files\hp (or hewlett packard or both)

4) Delete all HP & Hewlett Packard registry entries found (do at your own risk).

5) Download latest full software package from for the correct model Officejet device.

6) Reboot PC and then install HP Officejet 6310 again using the file you just downloaded and not
the install CD.

I can not guarantee this will work for you, but nothing else I found online worked.

Did you have success? Let me know.

error 53 not enough storage

Computer troubleshooting usually involves time and patience when you get such errors as in the title of this article. Yesterday, on a PC with Windows XP SP3, a client received the following error while working in a Sharepoint website:

Error 53, not enough storage to complete the command.

While troubleshooting this error across multiple IT forums, I found the following suggestions that did NOT work:

1) Problem is due to not enough RAM (not true, PC has 2GB of RAM which rarely goes past 1GB during daily use)

2) Move the paging file to another hard drive. (Did not try this because it sounds stupid for the above error message)

3) Try upgrading Internet Explorer to IE7 or IE8. (I did this, but it did not solve the issue.

4) The last thing recommended was to remove .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 which also did not help.

I said all of the above to help the next person having the same error 53 message....I am 99% certain that the ONLY issue is that the person's Windows profile became corrupt. Usually, when this happens, you can not un-corrupt the profile.

To fix it, create a new profile and move the data back from the old to the new profile.

That's it, simple as that. I came across this solution because I decided to logon to the PC myself and I tried exactly what the client was doing at the time and I did not get the error 53 message. I then renamed his windows profile and had him logon like he was a new user and just like that, the error was gone.

Moral of the story....when weird stuff happens like this, just try making a new Windows profile first or logon to the PC as another user to see if the same errors still happen with that profile. If they do, then something else is wrong, but if not, its safe to say the Windows profile became corrupt.
Has something like this happened to you recently?

Windows 7: Build 7048 is here

Windows 7, build 7048, which incorporates many noticeable changes since the previous versions especially when compared to the public beta build 7000 has already been leaked online. I honestly think Microsoft "lets" this happen on purpose so they can get beta testers trying it out faster.

Build 7048 was said by some sources to be the Release Candidate build, which is currently scheduled for sometime in April. So we could possibly be seeing the Release Candidate for Windows 7 if you can get your hands on one but you will have to get it from one of the popular torrents.

Perhaps the most notable change of all is the ability to uninstall and exclude Windows staples such as Windows Media Player, Windows Media Center, Windows DVD Maker, Windows Search, Handwriting Recognition, Windows Gadget Platform, Fax and Scan, XPS Viewer, and yes, Internet Explorer 8. Without Internet Explorer 8 installed, users will have to install some other browser for any hopes of accessing the World Wide Web.

Even so, build 7048 looks to be as close to a Release Candidate as Microsoft can get. Any more changes and they'll have to change the name again. What are your thoughts about this release?

WhoCrashed tool diagnoses BSOD

During a recent Blue Screen of Death, (a.k.a BSOD), I was doing some research in Google when I came across a repair tool called WhoCrashed. When a system crashes, it leaves behind something called a “crash dump” usually in the form of a BSOD, (which means Blue Screen of Death). This crash dump contains information about what happened and in order to read it on a system you need to download and install Microsoft's debugging tools, its dependencies called “symbols” and run some commands. WhoCrashed is designed to read the crash dump files with a single click. Just open it, press “Analyze” and it will tell you what driver/hardware caused the BSOD.While it wont tell you exactly what happened, it lists a hardware error message or a driver file that failed which you can Google and find the cause of the BSOD.

Download from Official Site -716kb

More information:

Unable to burn ISO image to DVD

In the past, I've used Roxio (now Sonic) Easy CD Creator to burn CDs/DVDs for audio and data. But yesterday, I needed to burn an ISO image of the new Windows 7 beta to a DVD. Every time I tried with Easy CD Creator, it would tell me to insert a blank DVD even though it was blank! I tried 3 different brands of DVDs which were all new and never used. Apparently, some CD/DVD burning applications are not too user friendly depending on what you are trying to do.

So, I found a trial version of an independent ISO burner called ImTOO ISO Burner. I was able to burn the ISO on the 1st try with no issue. It recognized the same DVD that I was trying with the Roxio application.

I'm sure there are other independent ISO burners out there but ImTOO ISO burner did the trick. You can download it here:
ImTOO ISO burner

Download Windows 7 Beta

Just wanted to write a quick post about the new Windows 7 Public Beta that is available from Microsoft beginning today at 12pm (PST). Of course, there are traffic load issues at the download site, but luckily, here at work, we have an MSDN subscription where I've previously downloaded Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. I am exciting about continuing to play with Windows 7 on an old laptop and also in my Microsoft Virtual PC lab.

Be sure to visit the Windows 7 website beginning at 3pm EST (12pm PST) if you would like to be one of the 2.5 million people to get the Windows 7 beta.

Are you going to download Windows 7? Leave me a comment...

RChase Computer Consulting 2009 Goals

I thought I'd start this year out with a list of goals I would like to accomplish for RChase Computer Consulting. I did not do this last year and I think that may be why I did not accomplish what I set out to do. Let me first start out by saying that the main goal for this blog is to help computer users all over the world with their computer troubleshooting by providing information about the latest Windows operating systems currently in use: Windows XP and Windows Vista SP1. I also randomly post interesting articles relating to computer upgrades and computer consulting. For only being operational since March 2008, I already have a most searched page and it relates to an HP 7680 printer and the issues I had with installing it at work. This page searched daily and its exciting to know that I am potentially helping someone make a decision on a purchase or troubleshoot a printer issue.

So, here are my 2009 goals for RChase Computer Consulting:
1) Post at least once a week.

2) Post more about computer troubleshooting since this seems to be what is searched the most by people.
3) Introduce a PC tool of the week that I may find useful. (I will only do this if I actually use the product)
4) Purchase a domain name for RChase Computer Consulting (need to figure out the best way to do this)
Thanks for being a reader and enjoy the site in the coming days and months of 2009.

If you have any suggestions for this year, please comment below.
Computer Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory My Zimbio Privacy Policy