Auto-starting Viruses

Published Date
01 - Apr - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Apr - 2005
Auto-starting Viruses
My computer was infected by the W32.Passma virus, so I loaded Norton AntiVirus 2004 Professional and even updated it, but to no avail. Norton detects the virus and deletes files but does not clean the virus out. Help me get rid of this infection!

Removing autostart entries from the registry prevents the malware from executing during startup. Here's what you need to do:
Log on as Administrator and open the 'Registry Editor' by going to Start> Run, typing 'regedit', and pressing [Enter]. In the left panel, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWARE MicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRun and locate and delete the entry 'Service Manager = "%System%SERVICEMGR.EXE"'. Close the Registry Editor.

The next thing you need to do is turn off system restore by pressing [Windows] [Pause/ Break] to go to system properties, click on the System Updates tab and check the 'Turn off System Restore on all drives' box. Click 'Apply' and then click 'OK'.

Start Norton AntiVirus, scan all drives and let it delete infected files. Reboot the computer after the scanning is done and then, if you want, re-enable System Restore.

Overheating Blues-Again
Q. I have an original Intel 865 GBX motherboard with an Intel Pentium 3.0 GHz processor, 256MB of DDR RAM and an 80 GB HDD. I use an I-Box compatible cabinet. The problem is, my system heats up very quickly. I check the temperature using active monitor; immediately after being switched on, the system temperature rises in no time. I have installed an additional fan and also got the internal cables neatly fixed to a side, but the problem persists. Please suggest what I should do.

It is extremely likely that your CPU fan is not mounted properly, and that the thermal paste has not been applied correctly. If that is not that case, then you have to check and make sure that your cabinet is properly ventilated. Simply adding extra fans won't necessarily solve the problem-the ventilation may not be adequate, and it is possible that your fans are circulating the same hot air inside.

An ideal setup would be where a front fan sucks in fresh cool air from the outside, and a rear fan sucks the air out from the rear of the cabinet, thereby ensuring there is cross ventilation in the cabinet. This is gauranteed to keep the temperature at acceptable levels.

Mismatched Modules
Q. I have a Pentium 4 2.26 GHz and a Mercury motherboard with two memory slots. Each slot can hold a 1 GB RAM stick. There's 128 MB DDR RAM installed in one slot. I would like to install a 256 MB stick in the vacant slot. Would there be a problem if I have two memory slots with memory modules of different capacities?
Goutam Ghosh

There should be no problem with putting in RAM modules of different capacities. However, you might encounter problems if the RAM frequencies are different.

If you would like to check your RAM frequencies, download a software called Everest from Insert one module at a time and check for the core frequencies. If they match, you will most probably not face a problem.

However, it is not a sure-shot testing method, as different CAS (Column Access Strobe) latency timings might conflict. If the core frequencies match, you can put in the chips and test your system for stability. If the system is stable, keep them inserted, else discard the 128 MB module.

CD vs VCD vs DVD
Q. I recorded and saved a TV programme using Pinnacle PCTV, and did a bit of editing using Virtualdub. I saved the file as a .avi file, and then compressed it to Windows MPEG. After that I burnt it onto a CD. Unfortunately, the CD does not play on my Philips DVD player, but it does play on my PC. Why?
K N Prasad

Your DVD player probably does not support MPEG videos. To view it using your DVD player, burn a VCD rather than a regular CD. Your CD-burning software will then convert the file to a VCD-compatible format. You should be able to play the VCD on any regular VCD or DVD player.

However, keep in mind that depending on your specifications of your computer, the encoding process can take quite some time.

I Changed My Mind…
Q. I recently downloaded a BIOS update from Intel's Web site. But now, I would like to roll it back. I want to know if there is a  way to uninstall or remove the update? I have a P4 1.7 GHz computer, and the board is an Intel D845GLLY.
Bishesh Bhatta

It is possible to roll back your BIOS by re-flashing it with an older version. If you have saved your previous BIOS, you can simply flash it from that particular file. If you didn't save your previous BIOS, you will need to download that version of the BIOS from the manufacturer's Web site.

Please be very careful while flashing your BIOS as it can render your motherboard unusable if done incorrectly.

Old Is Gold
Q. I own a P4 3 GHz CPU on an Intel motherboard. There are two 40 GB partitions on my HDD. I use Windows XP on  the C drive, and Win 98 SE on the D drive. My current default OS is Windows XP, but I would like to set Windows 98 as my default boot OS.
I would also like to modify the default time for which the boot menu is displayed.
Sanjay Kapoor

As it happens, you don't need to go into the BIOS for this. You can do this right through Windows XP, by keeping XP in control of what happens during the boot process. Boot into XP, and under My Computer>Properties, go to 'Advanced', and click on the settings button in 'Startup And Recovery'. Under the default operating system drop-down menu, you can choose the operating system you would like to boot into by default.

In the same window, you can also set the time limit for displaying the boot menu.

Rolling Back DirectX
Q. I am using Windows XP with SP1. I recently installed DirectX 9.0c from the Digit DVD. Can I uninstall it? Or can I simply install an older version over the newer version? Will this affect my system in any way?
Raj Pratap

It is not recommended that you roll back or uninstall DirectX, as it is closely integrated with your video drivers. Also, you will not be able to roll back to a previous version at one go. You will need to download a utility called DirectX Uninstaller, located at This lets you uninstall your DirectX version 9.0c, and if you want, you may then install an earlier version.
Spyware Blues
Q. I run Windows 98 SE, and every time I open Internet Explorer, I am taken to a site called Even while browsing, I am often taken to this page. What do I do?
Via E-mail

Your computer has been infected with spyware from companies such as Smiley Central. For some reason, the makers of Spybot Search and Destroy have deemed this particular piece of spyware a safe application, which means you cannot use that software to uninstall this application. You will have to remove it manually.

Go to Start>Run and type in "appwiz.cpl", which opens Add/Remove Programs. Find the application called "My Web Search (Cursor Mania)"-it should be there in the list-and then uninstall it.

Also look through the application list for programs from FunWebProducts, such as "My Web Search", "My Way Speedbar", "Search Assistant", and possibly others.

You can download HijackThis from and run it. Also go to C:Program Files, and delete all the folders that FunWebProducts, MyWebSearch  and other similar Web sites created. This should rid you of your problem.
Windows Is Not Windows
Q. I copied the Windows XP SP2 final file from the Digit September 2004 DVD. When I tried to run it, the application extracts all the files but then displays "The core system file (Kernel) used to start this computer is not a Microsoft Windows file. The service pack will not be installed." Setup then aborts. How can I install SP2? I have a Pentium III 1.14 GHz and 256 MB of SDRAM running Windows 98 and XP Professional.
Ram Kishore

This happens when your computer has a modified version of the Ntoskrnl.exe file that uses the /KERNEL switch in the Boot.ini file. This is due to a third-party application, such as BootXP or LogonUI Boot Randomiser, which customises the graphics that are displayed when your computer starts up.
To solve this problem, go to Start>Run, type in "appwiz.cpl" and press [Enter]. Select the program name you installed that customises startup graphics, and click 'Remove'. Now restart your PC and try and install SP2. If this still doesn't work, press [Windows] [Pause/Break] and go to the Advanced tab and click on the 'Settings' button under 'Startup and Recovery'. Under 'System Startup', click 'Edit'-this will open the 'boot.ini' file in Notepad. Locate and delete the line containing "/KERNEL =", and save and close the boot.ini file. Restart the computer, and you should be able to install SP2.

Modem Madness

Q. I own an AMD 2400 based PC with an Asus motherboard and 256 MB of DDR RAM. Recently, I installed XP and a modem (Motorola SM65). I didn't have the XP drivers for it, so I installed the Windows 2000 drivers. My PC restarted just as the installation was about to complete. It kept restarting during the POST period. I thought it was a hardware problem, so I removed the modem, and the PC started.
I then downloaded the XP drivers, and again put on the modem. This time the PC started-then, just as I was installing the drivers, the PC restarted yet again, and it kept restarting until I disconnected the modem. Is this a hardware problem? If so, why does it happen only after I try installing the drivers?
Via E-mail

Download your modem drivers from the Motorola Web site at Now, go to My Computer>Properties. Under the 'Hardware' tab, click on 'Device Manager'; your modem should be listed. Click and uninstall it completely. Reboot your PC and re-install the modem. If the problem persists, try installing the modem on a different computer; if it installs there, then you need to extract your modem driver files into a folder, go to 'Device Manager', select your modem, and under the 'Driver' tab, click 'Update Driver'. Give the location as that of the folder into which you extracted your drivers. It should work now.

The Sound Of Linux
Q. I have a Pentium III 800 MHz with 256 MB of SDRAM. I also have an Xwave QS3000A PCI sound card. The problem is my sound card does not work under Red Hat Linux 9.0. I have searched and asked all the technicians I know for various solutions, but none seems to be working. Is there any way I can use my sound card with Linux, or will I need to go in for a new one?
Sanjeev Prakash

Red Hat Linux 9 by default does not come with bundled drivers for your particular make of sound card. But your Linux-specific drivers are available at Download the following from the main page: library, utilities and tools. Now, uncompress the files and recompile the Linux kernel with the new drivers. Your sound card should work now.

Partitioning Woes
Q. I have a Pentium 4 3.2 GHz processor with 512 MB of DDR RAM and an 80 GB HDD. I have been using Windows 98, and now want to install windows XP Pro. I would also like to keep Windows 98. However, my hard disk is not partitioned, and I do not want to format it. Is there a way to partition a disk without formatting it? Or, can Windows XP and 98 SE be installed on the same partition?
Nitesh Kumar

You can install Windows XP and 98 on the same partition by specifying different installation folders. This, however, can lead to various conflicts as the two OSes use entirely different drivers and system file versions. The best way to do it is to install the OSes on different partitions.

One of the best softwares that will let you accomplish this is Partition Magic 8.0. You can download it from

Note that you will need to purchase the software, as the demo version only shows you the partition creating process and will not actually create any partitions.

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