Stuck at “Preparing to configure Windows”

How do I reset Windows Update components?


Once the Windows Update components are reset, try installing the updates again. To do so,

1. Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button, clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Update.

2. Click on the Change settings option in the navigation bar on the left. You will now be at a screen where you will be able to set up how Windows Vista will download and install updates on your computer.

3. Select the option Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them. When you are done configuring the options as you wish, press the OK button to save these settings. You will now be back at the main Windows Update screen.

4. In the left pane, click Check for updates, and then wait while Windows looks for the latest updates for your computer.

5. You may then download the updates one or two at a time.

6. Click on install updates to install the currently selected updates.

7. Repeat the steps 5 and 6 till you get all the updates you want on your PC.

Security lessons from the 2013 Verizon Data Breach Report

Verizon’s latest report on data breach statistics offers security pros a guide to the most persistent threats and where attention should be focused to defend against them.

Verizon has released the 2013 edition of their Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), an analysis of the data obtained from breach investigations that they and other organizations have performed during the previous year. The data for this report includes incidents from Verizon’s own investigations and 18 other organizations around the world, for a total of 621 confirmed data breaches and over 47,000 security incidents.

The report contains a wealth of information that paints a clear picture of the motives and techniques used by attackers to compromise their target organizations. It’s an interesting read and there are many lessons that can be found within.;blog-list-river

Android Threats Growing

The Android threat landscape is growing in both size and complexity with cybercriminals adopting new distribution methods and building Android-focused malware services, according to a report from Finnish security vendor F-Secure.

How do I tell who’s access my Windows Server 2008 server?

If you have a server hosting user profiles or home directories, you can check the output of NET SESSION from its console – this will give you the list of all computers and users connected to it.

Or NET SESSION > c:\sessions.txt to save this info to a text file.

Setup NTP server in Windows Server 2008 R2

Run these commands from a command prompt:

Stop the time service
net stop w32time

Set the manual peer list external servers
w32tm /config /syncfromflags:manual /manualpeerlist:”,,,”

Set the connection as reliable
w32tm /config /reliable:yes

Start the time service back up
net start w32time

Test the configururation
w32tm /query /configuration

How do can I filter email addresses in Excel 2007/10

  1. From the Data menu, select Filter and then AutoFilter. This will add a drop-down list box to each of your columns.
  2. Click the down arrow control in the top right of the column containing your email addresses.excelemail1
  3. From the drop-down menu, select (Custom…).excelemail2
  4. In the Custom AutoFilter dialog, enter in two filter criteria using the “does not contain” selection. Make certain to use the Or radio button option.excelemail3
  5.  Click OK.

Once you click OK, Excel will show the emails that don’t have either the @ sign or a period. These are the problem records. You can either delete them or try to make corrections. The rules aren’t perfect as you may still get some incorrect ones slip through such as anne.h@examplecom. In this example, both the period and “at sign” are present, but it is still invalid since a second period is needed between example and com.

After doing this exercise, I did see some other patterns. For example, some people would type some combination of “do not send email”. This tends to happen if the input form doesn’t do field validation. Other times, the reverse would happen where people used “shift 2” or [at] instead of the “@ sign”. This is a tactic some people use online to prevent email bots from scraping their address.

Shamoon virus alert upgraded

Shamoon virus alert upgraded

Virus’ seemingly anti-American creator still at large; copycats are a concern

Blackberry Messenger moves to iPhone and Android

Lots of news around BlackBerry in today’s roundup. Not only is BlackBerry expanding the popular Messenger service as an app for Android and iOS, but it also is giving Messenger a social-media twist with BBM Channel

Thank you!


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Outlook Web Access with Internet Explorer 10

If you experience issues in Internet Explorer 10 logging in and accessing emails with Outlook Web Access try the following:

Run Outlook Web Access in Internet Explorer compatibility view and see if it helps.

a: Click Tools  present at the top right corner in internet explorer.
b: Now Select Compatilbility view with the Website opened.

Thank goodness for plain old Excel

Google apps work for the average user but for complicated spreadsheets or place with no Internet, thank goodness for plain old Excel.

Digital VoIP Phone Systems

Is your business looking to take advantage of the Internet for calls and teleworkers? Do you work from home or remotely and need access to all the features of your office phone system?

NCOL.NET is a licensed and trained partner of Allworx Systems. Allworx phone systems are loaded with features that small businesses need and big businesses take for granted, including features that cost extra on other VOIP hybrid PBX systems. And unlike phone company services such as voicemail or call forwarding, with an Allworx VOIP hybrid phone system, you don’t pay extra every month! With all digital handsets, an web interface for easy adds, moves and changes, Allworx and NCOL.NET can reduce your monthly phone bill and support costs.

Best tech gifts for mom

Surf report: best tech gifts for Mom

For the lovely woman who always put you first, we have a few gift suggestions.

To view this story, click the link or paste it into your browser.

Snapchat research

Snapchat images recoverable

In the digital world, few things are ever truly deleted or destroyed. Not if you have the money to get them back. That’s why one company is making hay out of a new service Thursday that offers to recover Snapchats — those supposedly self-destructing pics beloved by teens and twentysomethings — from the recipient’s phone. For a cool $300 to $500 per device.

Hey, check this out from CNN:

Keep your taxes off my Internet

Senator demands DOJ, FBI seek warrants to read e-mail

Last month, Sen. Mark Udall and a handful of other privacy-focused politicians persuaded the IRS to promise to cease warrantless searches of Americans’ private correspondence.

Senator demands DOJ, FBI seek warrants to read e-mail

Last month, Sen. Mark Udall and a handful of other privacy-focused politicians persuaded the IRS to promise to cease warrantless searches of Americans’ private correspondence.

Google Aims To Patent Policy Violation Checker, Potentially Revolutionizing Email Snooping

BEWARE!!! Google Aims To Patent Policy Violation Checker, Potentially Revolutionizing Email Snooping

Hey, check this out from CNN:

Smartphone maps behind wheel are illegal?

According to a judge in California it is.

A comprehensive guide to Google Analytics

Do you know what’s driving leads/sales to your website? Google Analytics can tell you.
The trouble is many small businesses struggle to get Google Analytics set up, let alone use it to pull out meaningful data. This easy to follow guide will take you through the set-up process and help you understand how your website’s performing.

Symantec – File System Auto-Protect is malfunctioning

File System Auto-Protect is malfunctioning


Try these Steps as well.

1) Go to services.msc

2) Stop all the symantec services

3) Open task manager

4) Kill rtvscan.exe and smc.exe

5) Again, restart the service

6) If that does not fix, repairing from add/remove programs should fix the issue.

WordPress Secrets that Enterprise CMS Vendors Don’t Want you to Know

25+ WordPress Newsletter Plugins

Email marketing may taste a bit old fashion right now when everyone talk about social media marketing. However, it is not to be underestimated and still counts as one of the most important online marketing channels.

Cyber attack on daily deal site Cyber attack on popular daily deals site The attack impacts 50 million customers of the daily deal site.

5 things this week in tech

The week in Tech: 5 must-know things

Here’s what you need to know about the week in Tech.

Hackers send bogus tweets from ’60 Minutes’ account

The Twitter accounts for CBS News programs “60 Minutes” and “48 Hours” were used by hackers earlier today to send out messages accusing the U.S. of aiding terrorists, the network confirmed. bogus-tweets-from-60-minutes-account/

Security certificate problem trips up Bing Web site

A security certificate problem triggered warnings not to use Bing over a secure Web connection Friday, and Microsoft said an issue with network service provider Akamai is to blame.

Browsers displayed prominent error messages and warnings at about 9 a.m.

eBay CEO enlists users’ aid to defeat online sales tax bill

Vudu resets user passwords after hard drives lost in office burglary

Video service Vudu began warning users today that it has instituted a systemwide password reset following an office break-in last month.

A burglary March 24 resulted in the loss of hard drives that contained users’ sensitive personal information, including names, e-mail addresses, postal addresses, phone numbers, account activity, dates of birth, and the last four digits of some credit card numbers, Vudu Chief Technology Officer Prasanna Ganesan informed customers in an e-mail. He said no complete credit card numbers were stolen because the company does not store that information.

Raspberry Pi Inventor Sets Out To Change The World With $25 Mini-Computer: via HuffPost

Raspberry Pi Inventor Sets Out To Change The World With $25 Mini-Computer: via HuffPost

If you ask Eben Upton what he does for a living, he will simply say that he “designs chips,” but with his charity the Raspberry Pi Foundation,he’s actually changing the world — and, in essence, the future.

Upton started his career as a physicist before becoming an engineer, and later a computer scientist. He eventually got his MBA, and in addition to working at companies like Intel, IBM and Broadcom, he became a teacher. That’s when he realized there was a problem

Six Android apps you’ll thank me for (you’re welcome)

As a reviewer of Android apps, it’s my role to sniff out what’s hot and interesting on Google Play. I make it a point to try out apps old and new, as well as big-name apps, apps from startup shops, and everything in between.

As PC sales tank, what’s Microsoft’s Plan B?

When market analyst IDC last week noted the sharp 13.9 percent quarterly drop in worldwide PC sales, it placed much of the blame on the “radical” user interface changes of Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system.


Users the interface bulky and hard to navigate. Was this to radical of a change?

Rule your computer with a laser beam.

Rule your computer with a laser beam

Why You Shouldn’t Upgrade to Windows 8 Yet |

5 Windows 8 Apps to Bring Back the Start Menu

To copy the window or screen contents

To copy the window or screen contents

To make a copy of the active window, press ALT+PRINT SCREEN.
To copy the entire screen as it appears on your monitor, press PRINT SCREEN.


To paste the image into a document, click the Edit menu in the document window, and then click Paste.

See how Group Policies are applied

Run gpresult /v

GPRESULT, or otherwise known as Resultant Set of Policy Queries is a tool used to provide client end information of Group Policy settings.
The utility ships with all current versions of Windows and is used to aid administrators in troubleshooting group policy problems. The policy is very similar between all versions of Windows, however Windows Vista and Windows 7 requires elevation.

The commands below are examples that i use frequently.

Windows XP

This provides verbose log of current logged on user on local PC

1 gpresult /v > gp.txt