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 Post subject: Re: Can themes be infected with a virus?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:52 am 
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Gregory2001 wrote:
Jorge can explain it to you.

Greg, I'm tempted to think you are some kind of stakeholder in Stardock. ;)

Got the final report last night. Didn't quite understand all the tech details (computer bugs etc. not being one of my strong points), but it *was* some kind of weird bug that had buggered the bios so that the NumLock remained permanently set. And the tech bloke agreed that the most likely source was one of those files from WC, as they were the only thing that changed that day and the problem manifested within minutes of installing and loading them, and then deleting them and the original files and then logging out to switch accounts. Anyway, it seems it's a bug that's not detectable by ordinary AV software, so that's why ESET missed it.

Anyway, they cleaned out the disk, cleaned out and re-flashed the bios, installed Win 10 and ran it for the rest of the day without further problems. So I'll be getting it back about lunchtime, and then it's just a matter of restoring from system image and backup, and I'll be away again. :)

Proves the importance and value of frequent backups and good system security! The most serious bug or whatever out of the handful I've ever had in 30 years. Ah well....

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 Post subject: Re: Can themes be infected with a virus?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:19 pm 
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Well, the laptop's been back a couple of hours or so, restored system from image, than restored backup - all perfect and quite quick! And here I am on it again. :)

Everything's working as it should. Enabled NumLock, then disabled it again, just to check and be sure it wouldn't stick.

So, drama over, and I think we should perhaps delete this topic now.

Just one thing Jorge - I'm thinking of swapping to a larger HDD and I think you've managed to swap the whole system over before. Can you suggest what to use for this? MTIA.

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 Post subject: Re: Can themes be infected with a virus?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:04 pm 
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nexter wrote:
Just one thing Jorge - I'm thinking of swapping to a larger HDD and I think you've managed to swap the whole system over before. Can you suggest what to use for this? MTIA.


Whenever I switch to a new system, I always 'start over'. All new hardware, new version of Windows, re-install all the software, then copy over all the data I need to the new system. The old system always stays as a working 'backup' I can go back to, just in case.

Of course, this is not the same as simply switching to a newer HDD. In that case I would use some cloning software, but I haven't done that in YEARS. I remember you needed to be VERY CAREFUL not to boot with the old and newer drives active after the cloning process - you first needed to physically disconnect the older drive, otherwise Windows would make a GIGANTIC IRRECOVERABLE mess on both hard disks (something to do with unique signatures that also got cloned).

This said, and I know the price difference is still huge, but have you considered getting an SSD instead? These days, if you're coming from an HDD, it is the single most important upgrade you can ever make to your system - it really is night and day.

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 Post subject: Re: Can themes be infected with a virus?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:32 pm 
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winstep wrote:
nexter wrote:
Just one thing Jorge - I'm thinking of swapping to a larger HDD and I think you've managed to swap the whole system over before. Can you suggest what to use for this? MTIA.


Whenever I switch to a new system, I always 'start over'. All new hardware, new version of Windows, re-install all the software, then copy over all the data I need to the new system. The old system always stays as a working 'backup' I can go back to, just in case.

Of course, this is not the same as simply switching to a newer HDD. In that case I would use some cloning software, but I haven't done that in YEARS. I remember you needed to be VERY CAREFUL not to boot with the old and newer drives active after the cloning process - you first needed to physically disconnect the older drive, otherwise Windows would make a GIGANTIC IRRECOVERABLE mess on both hard disks (something to do with unique signatures that also got cloned).

This said, and I know the price difference is still huge, but have you considered getting an SSD instead? These days, if you're coming from an HDD, it is the single most important upgrade you can ever make to your system - it really is night and day.

Thanks for that Jorge. Yeah, have thought about SSD, I'm sure it would make a huge difference to the over-all speed of the system. But the cost for a seriously large SSD is still pretty high and, even if my friend could get me one at a discount, for me simply prohibitive these days. Whereas I can get a seriously large HDD at a fraction of the cheapest retail price and even cheaper for a "refurb". (Sure, in the old days I had the means to get just about anything and everything state-of-the-art, but alas times have changed and years of sickness and disability have left me in financially pecuniary circumstances.)

But, yes, SSDs are impressive. And to a laptop I'm sure they'd make an even bigger difference then in a desktop. Even this SATA drive seems to crawl compared to the speed of the external (3 1/2") USB drives, not to mention ethernet.

Sure, on a new system I too would always to a complete clean install of system and apps and always have done, and likewise jst copy over the data I'd need from an external drive.

Oh well, I'll have to haunt google for cloning apps. Thanks again. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Can themes be infected with a virus?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:34 pm 
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Jorge, having now seen the difference an SSD can make and as my friend is thinking of replacing their HDDs with SSDs, I've decided to follow your suggestion and wait till I can get an SSD. I could get one through my friend when he orders, but it would depend on capacity and of course price. I've seen new Western Digital 500GB ones, which would be quite adequate given Windows 10's propensity to offload more and more junk with each update but my storing very little data locally, from about £60, which I could just about save up for. (I could kill for 2 GB external SSDs! Longer life, more portable, less space, less energy, faster.....!)

Also, the recommended disk cloning/imaging app is Acronis True Image, which is what my friends suppliers use. Might get a free copy through my friend. (Also had a now older version with one of my USB disks I think.)

I think you can safely delete this thread now Jorge, as that bug was probably a fluke and must have been cleaned out on WC I would think.

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 Post subject: Re: Can themes be infected with a virus?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:29 pm 
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nexter wrote:
I think you can safely delete this thread now Jorge, as that bug was probably a fluke and must have been cleaned out on WC I would think.


I never delete threads, unless they're spam. :)

Anyway, look at the Crucial MX500 1TB SSD SATA drives. They are 'cheap' but also very good in terms of performance (I got one myself to replace one of my 1TB hard disks after reading about them).

Of course, the main system drive is made of two Samsung 830 SSDs in RAID 0.

This system is already 5 years old, but because it was 'top of the line' when I got it it is still pretty fast even in comparison to modern systems.

Been waiting for the next generation of nVidia GPUs to get a new system - that one is going to feature a 1TB Intel Optane 905P PCIE drive as the system drive. :) REALLY expensive, but the idea is for the new PC to remain top-of-the-line for the next 5 years.

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 Post subject: Re: Can themes be infected with a virus?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:21 am 
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winstep wrote:
nexter wrote:
I think you can safely delete this thread now Jorge, as that bug was probably a fluke and must have been cleaned out on WC I would think.

I never delete threads, unless they're spam. :)

Anyway, look at the Crucial MX500 1TB SSD SATA drives. They are 'cheap' but also very good in terms of performance (I got one myself to replace one of my 1TB hard disks after reading about them).

Will do, thanks.
winstep wrote:
Of course, the main system drive is made of two Samsung 830 SSDs in RAID 0.

This system is already 5 years old, but because it was 'top of the line' when I got it it is still pretty fast even in comparison to modern systems.

Been waiting for the next generation of nVidia GPUs to get a new system - that one is going to feature a 1TB Intel Optane 905P PCIE drive as the system drive. :) REALLY expensive, but the idea is for the new PC to remain top-of-the-line for the next 5 years.

Well, my old AMD X2 system is a fair bit older than that, yet still compares very favourably to this pretty well state-of-the-art i7 quad system and is actually faster in many respects. With less RAM and only USB 2 at present, it e.g. will open very large gfx files from external USB disk about 1.5-2x faster than the laptop, archive .rar or .zip files 1.5x + faster, and in general I see very little difference in performance over-all. (Granted, laptops are generally always slower than an equivalent desktop, but at least in theory these two are far from equivalent. No doubt different OSs - Win 7 and XP vs. Win 10 - and different apps play a part also.) Moore's Law has long broken down and performance gains tend to be relatively minor, so if I were to ever get to build another pc I'd expect it to last me the rest of my days, more or less. :) But then, the days of pcs are pretty much numbered except for users like us, and they'll get more expensive than they ever were in the past.

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 Post subject: Re: Can themes be infected with a virus?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:45 pm 
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Well Jorge, had a thorough look into that Crucial 1GB SSD. Alas, UK web retail prices are about the same as for a WD, and cheapest price is still almost 3x more than the 500GB WD. So for now totally out of my league I'm afraid.

Anyway, the 500GB should be sufficient for the laptop internal disk. Current C:\ space used, with most of my apps now installed, is about [shudder!] 43GB - even if that were to triple over say the next five years that would still be no problem at all. (Like I said, I keep zero data on C:\ except where unavoidable, as with Winstep themes etc.) Increase it 10x and it might become a bit problematic. Although I have a separate partition for temporary working data (thus not having to have the USB disks online most of the time except when updating them or changing working data) of around 70GB, I rarely use more than 10GB at a time, except when dealing with large photographic images. (And most of that I'll be doing on the AMD machine anyway. And I'm sorely tempted to treat that system to an SSD as soon as I can! :) )

Had been looking for my original OPENSTEP 4.2 Intel CDs in vain, but when I looked again the penny finally dropped - I never had any, the CDs have both the NeXT/M68K and Intel versions! Happy camper. :) Might set it up under Virtual Box and Win 7 on the AMD X2. Or wait till I can set up the old Athlon box. It used to run on that, alongside others. 4 SCSI UW 10GB disks, 3 SCSI UW 20GB disks, 1 SCSI Fast 80GB disk, 2 SCSI CD-RW and 1 DVD-ROM, IIRC. More than enough for Openstep 4.2, NeXTStep 3.3, Solaris 7 or 8, OS/2 Warp 3 and 4, NT 4, and perhaps even BeOS and/or QNX if I could be arsed. :) Amazed the old thing - which I had completely forgotten about - still worked after all that time! (Needs a good clean out though, and it's going to be a bit of a squeeze to get it near my desk - it's a massive server tower with 20 drive bays, 14 front and 6 back, ugly as hell and as noisy too with all the fans and drive cooling fans.)

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