Posts filed under ‘computers/tech’

Dell Data Vault

Best practices for resolving DellDataVault issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with DellDataVault. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using 1cleanmgr and 2sfc /scannow, 3uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using 4msconfig) and enabling Windows’ 5Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.

Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the 6resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, executing the 7DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the DellDataVault.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: ASecurity Task Manager displays all running Windows tasks, including embedded hidden processes, such as keyboard and browser monitoring or Autostart entries. A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware or a Trojan. BMalwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.


That’s an excerpt from and I have noticed on one computer a definite oddity in performance lately.  I am NOT going to uninstall it, just disable it (Avira’s System Speedup Pro is good at solving problems without creating them.  I believe I had that problem on my Windows Insider machine (not using it for production makes my learning the latest update less than timely, but I simply had to stop using my production computer–Dell XPS 2720 One AIO [I had to reload Windows; I was also using it for beta testing; BAD idea, barely better than testing the old adage of never use more than one cleanup program at once, which somehow damaged the MBR beyond repair]–and I’m now using my ancient HP laptop which is still running nicely.  I added that last because I got this computer for less than a hundred dollars because of the prior owner’s inability to keep on trying through all the error codes.  One last note; if you’re having problems installing Windows 10 (it doesn’t like hard drive replacements and you have to buy another copy if you replace the motherboard or probably the PC CPU as well; while you can can almost undoubtedly fight through them it isn’t worth it; at the very least buy one of the disks from Amazon which is made for correcting Win 10 errors or upgrading to it, and the options are vastly easier to reach) buy a copy of Windows.  I’ve done both ways, and I will never fight with Windows again if it tells me I’m attempting to reuse a serial number.  Ten dollars is what that disk cost me. Going the other route (and having to use more than one option) on other computers has generally taken at least five hours, and the commonest error on installation has to do with firewalls and AV systems.  It will most likely demand (if doing this over the internet) that you shut down both; on 1 to 10 of dangerous that’s 10; at least burn an *.iso file onto thumb drive or disk and go from there if you get one of those errors, and Google [don’t use the encrypted version of that search app, even] any and all errors; don’t automatically use Microsoft solutions and make sure to research your computer (via Google) vis-a-vis known errors and problems. Luck

January 15, 2019 at 1:23 pm Leave a comment

About Attempted Fraud

Do you ever reply to those phishy texts?  Don’t.  That’s the advice of police now.  No jokes, nothing; block them.  Why?  For one thing, they know it’s a real number and you have provided part of a pattern–people are effectively patterns of perception/definition/response=protocols.  Programming is becoming pattern-sensitive.  That was a mistake I made for many years; now I can’t make it anymore.


Were I the astute reader (and this isn’t just my idea or just the police; this is security agencies of various kinds), I would do as I’ve done; quit replying to the unknown.  Which also means, my friends…you don’t post negative things about Trump and friends in particular.  A putsch is openly being prepared.  IP addresses are even available from comments on places like Yahoo…Facebook…and WORDPRESS. 

October 1, 2017 at 12:55 pm Leave a comment

About Our Beloved Cell Phones

‘OMG. Who really cares? They’re plastic pieces of crap that dominate our lives anyway. Now they’re dominating our virtual lives and conversation! Machines already rule the world, it’s just like pets; “Look what I just got MY human to do!!”‘


My part in a thread where people were arguing intensely about the utter perfection of either Android or Apple phones–cell phones, yes.  It is arguable that we’re seeing the birth of artificial intelligence precisely through the mass interaction with computers that also act in a cloud, just as it’s arguable to say that human intelligence is solely social because it’s maintained through the given language.


As for the malice–a bit over 40 years ago; “I hate computers and I hate programmers worse!”  It wasn’t true, but it was and is appropriate.  With the birth of the ‘C’ series, bear in mind that it is difficult to impossible to avoid premade short snippets of logic [truly intrinsic to the statement; see a textbook for an explanation that could be more understandable], one of the reasons for the progression.


…Dedicated to Felicity, my 16-year old cat, who…hates computers.  They take far too much attention from her!

September 17, 2017 at 6:02 pm 1 comment

New Firefox

Improved security.  Go to options by clicking the ‘hamburger menu’ [the geeks call it that because it looks something like a hamburger…], click on the question mark/help, click on About.  It’s also quicker but if Mozilla is hyping it for more security it’s time to get it, now.


It is absolutely noticeably faster.  I’m going to look at how many ‘hooks’ are set, now, which I discovered was my problem with Chrome.  It was always running in the background.  No, I only see one exec file with Process Explorer (a useful tool from Microsoft/Sysinternals; not all of the tools in there work on 10 to say the least but this still does, and software gotten from there should be safe [and scanned before installing regardless]; think of Task Manager on steroids and to genius from average.

August 8, 2017 at 12:59 pm Leave a comment

Have You Ever Formatted A Nice Big Flash Drive To…

a horribly tiny one?  Have you then wondered what on Earth you could do, short of driving to the nearest computer service and either admitting your mistake or trying to stammer your way into “Well, Windows made me do it!” [which is somewhat reminiscent of something constantly recurring right now, just can’t manage to think of what (Trump) it might be that it’s reminding me of (Trump)], I wonder (Trump) why my fingers keep typing that… [Enough of “Trump made me do it!!” for today, lol…]


I did.  Or else when Windows was formatting the flash memory drive for a recovery drive (I had my mind turned firmly OFF, using anything too big for a recovery drive is asinine) it did turn most of it into a reserved–therefore unusable–partition.  However, as I recall, there was simply a default and I mindlessly accepted it.


What on Earth, you say, is the solution? THAT THIS IS NOT HTTPS.  Scan the download with the antivirus that I know you have before even dreaming of presuming to install it, as I know you do with every download.  Why, I even know you’re looking at VPN offers right now.


Rufus turned a 128 GB flash drive that had been turned into a 32 GB flash drive by formatting…right back into a 128 GB flash drive.  I was using Windows 10.  It was fast.  I also did the scan first, for damaged sectors.  At that point it showed only one unused partition.  So I aborted the process and tried to use it.  Windows told me it had to be formatted (! the thing I wanted !).  So I formatted it to 128 GB and it worked very smoothly.  [120 GB, actually, is usable; 8 GB overhead for tracking files, folders and dates for storage, modification and the lack.


Tomorrow I’ll turn a 32 GB external hard drive back into 3 TB (as I recall, could just possibly have been 2 TB) and make another entry as to the program I used.  I also need to give notes on recovery of the XPS 2720 Dell that took so bloody much time, the Dell 3020 that got hit by a virus among other things, the Alienware and the network that turned alien on it [to be precise, how I optimized something to see how much damage I could do and it was considerable], the NAS (Network Attached Storage, storage for the entire network through the router) that failed because of the RAID setting and appropriate RAID settings for such things, and at some point setting up the VPN on an ASUS RT-AC68U router (that’s what the RT stands for).  That’s not quite all that happened to me while I was virtually (virtuously? whatever) silent…but it may be all I tell.  Whatever.  It was indeed interesting.



July 31, 2017 at 8:44 pm Leave a comment

Free Access to Searches

I made a comment earlier today about authorities’ free access to internet searches.  It also occurred to me that many people might actually think “Well, why not?”


The problem is that there is an internal inference, that interest in a subject necessarily indicates future activity with it.  My earliest encounter with that was as a teenager, although indirectly.  The librarian mentioned [a subject with which I was already familiar, and I’d assumed that I would encounter its ramifications] a list she was now required to keep, if individuals read a great deal particularly on given subjects (like good ol’ Chairman Mao) and how I was on it and what the FBI could make of it.  I was merely an anomaly at my high school already.  I didn’t have a 4.0 but I did have the knowledge at least equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in college (which was confirmed many years later).  I was a ‘loner’ and either read at prodigious speeds (as fast as I could turn the pages) or else pretended, and someone was actually given the job of asking that particular question.  [“How come you read that fast?” “I can’t turn the pages any faster.” Yes, it was considerably later that it occurred to me that it was a complete non sequitir on my part; it followed to me.]


To an extent, it’s true.  Prison is the ____’s college.  The ‘straight’ world–without drugs, sex without labels and social roles, adapted to consistent personas and reflecting impossibly unreal oceans of unmeant values–is in many ways to a certain class of intelligence absolutely unbearable.  The main way to describe that class is to say first of all to presume that it is a “class” or even some sort of order allowable in a ‘conservative’s eyes’.  [*A ‘conservative’ is someone who abhors the very idea of adaptation unbearable, and who regards the current social order particularly with regards to relative value and right to goods (and power) as the prime value, if not the only.


With each assumption that someone makes about “people like you”, YOU commit whatever act that is, each and every day–even though and if that assumption involves an act you would never commit.


Every time we accept someone’s statement about causes in a particular case and they aren’t that someone, we accept the right of someone else to judge US in that exact, particular way.


Ah, you say.  You’re exaggerating.  It’s just made up.  No to both.  It’s real.


I had a seizure while driving.  People, apparently, who have been using crystal meth have seizures, maybe especially while driving; I actually wouldn’t know.  Regardless of that and the fact that there wasn’t anything but pot (medical, from the night before) and oxycodone (prescribed, from the night before or even further), I was convicted of criminal mischief because I’d obviously been snorting or smoking or whatever [I’ve heard all three stories about its usage, and more] speed.  I was under treatment for epilepsy at the time, by the way, and was taking the drugs.  The Public Pretender is now a judge.  The sheriff actually attended the trial.  Then…never mind.  This is a new century, let alone a new decade or two.


It’s too late by far to correct and we knew it was coming.  Get your VPN and start using TOR and anonymizers and anonymous search.  CLEAR YOUR BROWSER HISTORY; EVERY EVERY EVERY TIME go into settings and do the same old tiresome things.  If you’re not on a Mac you should probably use Firefox because of privacy.  If you’re using Commodo Dragon consider Commodo Ice Dragon–it’s Firefox amped up.  I’m yielding to the primary temptation of the user, and the most unacceptable one; the laziness of retaining that comfortable old interface, insecure as it is…but I have continually made the decision rather than relying on ease for the judgment call.  If I weren’t otherwise committed I would quite possibly switch to Commodo over that.  I will experiment, and I won’t even tell them until I’m done.  There’s no way they can influence me save to reject me as a customer…


July 25, 2017 at 3:59 pm Leave a comment

Personalized Searches

Or “I want to stick with only what I know, I absolutely am not looking for anything I don’t know or have, and I certainly don’t want to know about a service or product that I haven’t just searched for, unless I want my entire search history to be kept permanently.”


The day just arrived, for me.  Do a Google, and examine the choices.  Then don’t forget to check “all” as many times as necessary, and if it’s every time–QUIT USING GOOGLE.


This is the first in an unending series of violations (think sodomy rape) gifted on us by our [Republican] Congress.  You have no right to privacy.  It is not an accident that we have the highest per capita amount of prisoners and that it will rapidly increase.


Funny story, I once thought I had prevented this from happening.


At least they’re protecting the world from threats like welchers, right?  Well, poor ones anyway.  I mean, terrorists.  [That amounts to an implicit comment on motivation in this case and I stand by it.  Through experience and research and I cannot elaborate.]


Welcher; fairly ancient slang for someone who doesn’t pay debts.  Incorrectly noted on the web except in origin; it was part of sailor slang through the mid-70s and lived on after that in the slang of certain types of criminals in certain areas.

July 25, 2017 at 12:55 pm Leave a comment

An Update

Well, for the second time I’m reinstalling Windows on my ‘old’ Dell XPS 2720 One.  It’s the 3rd time for the machine, on this version of Windows.  The computer is about 2 years old, as I recall.

Should you have an XPS 2720 One whose C: drive has just expired, the easiest thing by far is (yes) replace the hard drive with its equivalent, which will be a Seagate of some size (500 Gig, 1 TB, 2TB)–I vastly prefer WD because of long experience with which tends to last longer.  Because it’s a Windows 8 machine ‘Restore’ won’t work [to bring it back to Win 10; that little recovery drive is for Windows 8] and there tend to be vast difficulties in activating it in Windows 10.  I’ve read and heard varying hypotheses.  The solution that worked was an improvement anyway; buy a new Win 10 Pro 64 bit. I’m throwing that in because it’s the only posted solution to that particular problem that worked.  I couldn’t find any because no one said it did, but MS did sort of indicate (in its peculiar way) that was probably the easiest solution.  Ex officio so to speak.


So, anyway, that happened.  My Acronis backup failed but my data backup didn’t.


I was gradually reloading software onto the machine (I had wanted it to be a clean install of Windows and nothing else, but my files were left on it, which made it quite a bit more complicated because they didn’t understand my methods, any more than my instructions–evidently–to JUST INSTALL WINDOWS) when suddenly all real time protection on the machine was turned off.  Windows Defender couldn’t be turned on.  It was time to abandon ship.


I did a refresh.  Now.  There may have been a rootkit planted.  If so, it evaded a lot of protective software.  [Something in System32–a Windows directory–started attempting to inject code into other software.  I found this out because Ashampoo Antivirus started catching it in the act.]  It evaded a scan by Ashampoo Antivirus and by Windows Defender and…not long ago, it turned off realtime detection.


There has been no ransomware involved as yet anyway.  This is merely an alert.  There’s something new out there, almost certainly gotten through the Yahoo! website in this case, that has evaded the software.  It’s botware.  It didn’t have much info to steal and I’m about to seal that one.


BE WARY.  I’m paranoid and I got caught.  I also sealed that potential leak.  Before I even completed this.


The online Windows Defender scan found nothing.  Now I’m doing an offline Windows Defender scan.  That’s a link to a MS resource.  Technically offline should be highlit too but frankly I’m stressing out a trifle on this one.  It’s been many years since I’ve been had like this and I was in places I won’t even name now.  [There are laws regarding “attractive nuisances”.]

July 1, 2017 at 6:51 pm Leave a comment

How to Keep a Neat Desktop Program List (All Windows Versions)

Some easy tricks with Windows that only started with the neat Program List.

Continue Reading October 31, 2015 at 1:28 am Leave a comment


My apologies for the title; I couldn’t resist*.  This is a rehash, because Mil Millington’s Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About actually started the whole deal, and was hysterically funny.  Yes, in fact, if nothing else I do expect you to follow the second link, or at least do the search on Google or whatever.  It is also a book.  The book is fictional.  The website is not, or not entirely.  I can assure you that both characters are well, characteristic of the breed.  I used to have an e-mail subscription to the site, so I assume Mil quit updating it.  I did communicate with him.  I think he might have been taken slightly aback by my bizarre sense of humor (nah, don’t ask).

The point is, too, that as the article actually points out “Tom Sawyer” used “this method” to plan out books.  “Mark Twain” (I’m sorry, I don’t remember his real name right off and I’m too lazy too research it) is more likely to be the subject, since Tom Sawyer was one of his characters, and he did write books based on the audience’s reaction to his travelling road show comedy gig.  We might just finally mention that the method itself wasn’t particularly new; it’s just that the writer was an American, and therefore automatically prejudiced (no matter the color involved–and the green dudes are really weird).


April 19, 2009 at 1:47 pm Leave a comment

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