Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How do you remove the BetterSurf malware from your computer?

BetterSurf is a nasty program and when it gets into your computer, your browsing experience hits the bottom. Any slight movement of your cursor on the page may bring up unrelated information as it is based on advertisements. You will be seeing text highlighting, pop-up and pop-sideways windows coming every time you scroll down. The advertisements are from respectable institutions like the Cancer Society and such.
This is how a page looks like with this malware in the computer.

But this is how it should look.
How do you find it is in your computer?
One way is to look in the registry. If you search your computer (or Task Master) for BetterSurf you may not be able to find it, but in the Windows Registry you have a good chance as shown for two of the popular browsers. I had just  then had the IE 10 disabled when I looked at the registry.
How do you remove BetterSurf?
There are third party programs. But quite a lot of them bring in other problems, like some unwanted program or that you need to pay in order to take the malware out.
The one I used is totally free and it is from Microsoft. It's Microsoft Security Essentials' safe free antivirus software and is also called by other names: Microsoft Security Client User Interface; Microsoft Security Client, etc.
You can download it from here:
In 4 or 5 wizard steps you can install the program.
The executable program is called msseces.exe

I removed the antivirus program from the Add/Remove program list. I think it was AVS toolbar (?).

When it is finished it brings up the user interface as shown

The malware is detected and you can choose to remove it. That's what I did. You may need to reboot the computer.

When this is completed you should see this,
Only after rebooting you will see that  that the computer is protected.  There are many other options and there is a lot more to Microsoft Security Essentials than posted here. This isj ust to remove that blasted BetterSurf.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What is PING?

Definition of PING:

The length of time in milliseconds that it takes to send a message to an URL (internet, intranet, or web address) and get a response. There is no message but if you get a reply it means you can successfully contact the URL.

Why do you need PING?

When you want to test connectivity over the internet, you ping(Packet Inter-Networking Groper).

How do you 'Ping'?

In Windows 7 type cmd in the search box that you open when you click Start.
Click the Program cmd that is found.
It opens up the window for cmd.exe (the DOS window)
Type in ping and hit return
You will see the following:
Pinging with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms ttl="128<br">Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms ttl="128<br">Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms ttl="128<br">Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms ttl="128</p">Ping statistics for
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms
This means your network card is working as it should
You get the reply after which you Ping
You get these replies
Pinging [] with 32 bytes of data:
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Ping statistics for
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss),
Pinging [] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from bytes=32 time=63ms TTL=53
Reply from bytes=32 time=61ms TTL=53
Reply from bytes=32 time=60ms TTL=53
Reply from bytes=32 time=62ms TTL=53
Ping statistics for
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 60ms, Maximum = 63ms, Average = 61ms
This shows you could get to but not
In any case, if you are trouble shooting connectivity issues try pinging your own network card at

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How do you copy an ASP.NET website on one Hosting company to a site on another?

Sometimes you change your website hosting from one vendor to another. You want to transfer your site content from the old hosting provider to the new hosting provider. The general idea is the same but in this case we are considering moving from one ASP.NET hosting provider to another.

Domain Name:
First of all there is a consideration of domain name. You can buy a new domain name or you can use your existing domain name. In this case we are assuming that the existing domain name will be used and only the site content is moved.

Steps in moving to another:
1. Do not close the account with your old hosting provider as this may result in the loss of your content

2. Buy a new hosting account with the new hosting provider. If you are looking for a ASP.NET hosting you should choose one that hosts ASP.NET

Note: The above site was picked at random and the blogger has no interest in the above or any of the others that may get mentioned.

3. After you opened the account you will can get a temporary website (also an FTP site, email, etc. )Create your password for the various items (email, FTP, HTTP, etc.).

4. Download and install the free version of Visual Studio 2013 Express for Web (in this case Microsoft Visual Studio Express  2013 for Web). With this tool you can FTP your site content from the site on your old Hosting Provider to the temporary ftp site on the new hosting provider. The transfer itself may take considerble time depending on the amount of stored content.

  • After launching VS 2013 Express, clicking on File | Open Web Site... opens the following display.

  • Enter the ftp site of the previous hostings provider and enter your credentials.
The site contents will be displayed in the Solutions Explorer
Now the WEBSITE menu item gets displayed.
  • Click on WEBSITE and click Copy Web Site... as shown.

The FTP screen opens as shown.

  • In the above screen click on Connect, the connect to remote site is activated and the Open Web Site window is displayed again. Now enter the ftp site and credentials for the new hostings provider.
Both the source and target gets displayed as shown.
  • All that remains is highlight the items from your old site on the left(Source) to the target site using the arrows (watch directions) in between source and target.
The time it takes to transfer will depend on many factors that includes the network connectivity and the amount of data.

You may be wondering whether the new site created from the previous hostings site will function as it did earlier. This will depend on a lot of factors as the technology might have progressed and the elements (databases,user accounts, transacted items etc) may not be compatible versions. However you may be able to recreate most if not all of the features. Patience.

Before you make the ftp transfer you should have username and password for the old hosting account and the new recently purchased hosting account.
Also make sure,
  • You can ping both sites
  • Run tracert from the command window for the new hosting provider to make sure their router can be reached.
  • Make sure telnet is enabled in your computer.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What is a MySQL Workbench?

It is a graphic user interface with which you can connect to a MySQL Server running on your computer. This is very similar to SQL Server Management Studio for Microsoft SQL Servers. There are some common features but you can only use it with MySQL server. You can create database, tables; run queries; create stored procedures; etc. The present version is 6.0.9 and you can download an msi file from here:

you may need to register.

Here is what it looks like:

I have connected to MySQL server installed using XAMPP using two Local\NamedPipes and Standard TCPIP. You can access all the shortcuts on the right to interact with various MySQL related resources.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

On Installing Apache on Windows 7 64bit

The best way to install APACHE or the LAMP stack is to use the XAMPP cross-platform web server solution stack XAMPP. All you need to do is to downlaod, extract and start.

You can download XAMPP form here. You can install version 1.8.3 for Windows from the indicated link. XAMPP was howevver download from here:

The two latest versions are,

XAMPP is documented as a very easy program to install and run, but sometimes if your computer is running other programs like IIS, Skype, SQL Server Reporting Services, Oracle etc as it does on my computer you could get into a situation that makes it hard to install the XAMPP bundle.

The first mistake I made was to download XAMPP to a folder on my desktop. The recommended one is to use C:\XAMPP folder. As I installed on the desktop, the registration in my Windows Services,  the file for the service to run location here:
C:\Users\mysorian\Desktop\xampp\xampp\apache\bin\httpd.exe" -k runservice

Any number of install/uninstall operations did not change this path for the executable.

Later I installed XAMPP to C:\XAMPP but took 'apache/bin' contents to the path shown (above figure) in Apache2.4 Properties page.

The downloading and installing from CNET link was quite easy. Here are some screen shots. The next screen is dispalyed when you double click the XAMPP executable.

Click OK.

Click Next.

Click Next to indicate the location of the installation folder.

Click Next.

Click Next.

Click Finish

This completes the installation. Now you can double click xampp-control.exe in the installation directory that brings up the XAMPP Control Panel as shown. You can Start, stop and configure the packged programs Apache, MySql etc.

The problem that I encountered were the highlighted error messages reagrding Port 80 and Port 443. These ports are used by default by Internet Information Services and Skype. 

I managed to change the ports of Skype. Click here to see how it was done.
In spite of changing the SKYPE's Port 80 to something different and that of IIS binding to a different port, still the errors continued.

Since I could not succeed keeping 80 for APACHE, I decided to change APACHE to listen to a different port (8081) and reverted my IIS bound to its defult 80. I thought I could succeed and XAMPP control continued sending out error messages. 

I started apache service from Windows Services and the apache started without any problem after I made adjustment for bin/apache location as mentioned in the beginning.

------5:00:55 PM  [main] Initializing Control Panel
5:00:55 PM  [main] Windows Version: Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
5:00:55 PM  [main] XAMPP Version: 1.8.3
5:00:55 PM  [main] Control Panel Version: 3.2.1  [ Compiled: May 7th 2013 ]
5:00:55 PM  [main] You are not running with administrator rights! This will work for
5:00:55 PM  [main] most application stuff but whenever you do something with services
5:00:55 PM  [main] there will be a security dialogue or things will break! So think
5:00:55 PM  [main] about running this application with administrator rights!
5:00:55 PM  [main] XAMPP Installation Directory: "c:\xampp\"
5:00:55 PM  [main] Checking for prerequisites
5:00:55 PM  [main] All prerequisites found
5:00:55 PM  [main] Initializing Modules
5:00:55 PM  [Apache] Apache Service detected with wrong path
5:00:55 PM  [Apache] Change XAMPP Apache and Control Panel settings or
5:00:55 PM  [Apache] Uninstall/disable the other service manually first
5:00:55 PM  [Apache] Found Path: "C:\Users\mysorian\Desktop\xampp\xampp\apache\bin\httpd.exe" -k runservice
5:00:55 PM  [Apache] Expected Path: "c:\xampp\apache\bin\httpd.exe" -k runservice
5:00:55 PM  [Apache] Problem detected!
5:00:55 PM  [Apache] Port 80 in use by "Unable to open process" with PID 4!
5:00:55 PM  [Apache] Apache WILL NOT start without the configured ports free!
5:00:55 PM  [Apache] You need to uninstall/disable/reconfigure the blocking application
5:00:55 PM  [Apache] or reconfigure Apache and the Control Panel to listen on a different port
5:00:55 PM  [Apache] Problem detected!
5:00:55 PM  [Apache] Port 443 in use by "C:\Program Files (x86)\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe" with PID 2624!
5:00:55 PM  [Apache] Apache WILL NOT start without the configured ports free!
5:00:55 PM  [Apache] You need to uninstall/disable/reconfigure the blocking application
5:00:55 PM  [Apache] or reconfigure Apache and the Control Panel to listen on a different port
5:00:55 PM  [Tomcat] Problem detected!
5:00:55 PM  [Tomcat] Port 8080 in use by "C:\oraclexe\app\oracle\product\11.2.0\server\BIN\tnslsnr.exe"!
5:00:55 PM  [Tomcat] Tomcat WILL NOT start without the configured ports free!
5:00:55 PM  [Tomcat] You need to uninstall/disable/reconfigure the blocking application
5:00:55 PM  [Tomcat] or reconfigure Tomcat and the Control Panel to listen on a different port

The XAMPP -Control contiues to show errors,

My guess is that this control has a problem. It is not related to the configuration of this controller.
But the XAMPP site working at
as shown.

Note: I also had MariaDB which was interfering with XAMPP's MySQL. I removed MariaDB which allowed me to run MySQL error free.

Summarize the important points:

1. Install XAMPP to C:\XAMPP folder
2. Do not try to change IIS bindings, but change the httpd.config file and choose Apache ports different from that of IIS and Skype.
3. Do the same for other contentions as well.

Do you want to change the ports that Skype use?

The ports that Skype (version 6.11)  uses are 443 and 80 by default. These ports are also used by other programs like IIS, XAMPP etc. Some times you may need to change the port that skype uses to some other port.

You can change the ports that Skype uses by first launching SKYPE,

Click Tools and then Options.... Now you see the defaults when you click Advanced and followed by clicking Connection as shown.

Uncheck the check box and choose a different port. The new ports will become acctive when you start SKYPE next time. I had to quit the program and login again to display the changed conditions.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How do I connect to SQL Anywhere 16 using LibreOffice4.2?

It is quite easy and very similar to the following:

The steps are here,
1. Start the SQL Anywhere 16 Server. Here I am starting a demo server.

When you install SQL Anywhere 16 it comes with a 'demo' database and incidentally this has not changed from the earliest version to which I was exposed.
You can connect to the 'demo' server and create an ODBC connection as shown in the next image (note that you will be using a 32-bit driver):

2. Launch LibreOfffice 4.2 from its shortcut and open the Base Database item in the suite. This opens the Database wizard as shown. Click on the third option, Connect to an existing database as shwon.

3. Choose ODBC and click Next.
In the displayed screen, click Browse to display all the ODBC connections. SAP16 is a ODBC connection to SQL Anywhere 16. For details refer to my previous links.

4. After highlighting SAP16 click OK. Click Next.

In the Set up the user authentication page displayed enter dba in the User Name box and place a check mark for the Password Required check box as shown.

5. Click Next. You can hit Test Connection and the Authetication Required window will be displayed with Userr Name as entered in the previous step. Enter the password sql and click Ok.
You should get a LibreOffice Base message that the connection was successful.

6. Click OK. You will move to Save and Proceed step as shown.

7. Accept the defauls and click Finish.
Provide a name for the ODF database and click save. The database file will be saved to the location.

The 'demo' database is now displayed as shown. Double clicking Customers table brings up the data in the Customers' table as shown (only some clolumns shown in the image).

8. You can use the menu 'insert ->Record' to insert a new row in the table which gets updated to the server as shown. The record       was entered in the above Customers table. You can verify that it is updated in the Server as shown.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

What is a hardware-assited detection tool and how to get it?

If you want Windows Virtual PC  you should have processor in your computer which is capable of hardware-assisted virtualization. Also in your BIOS you should have HAV turned on for the following: AMD-V™, Intel® VT or VIA® VT. This is because if your computer does not support HAV, then you cannot run Virtual PC. This is the first step for running windows Virtual PC.

Microsoft has a tool to check this called havdetectiontool.exe(180 KB). The tool not only checks this but also finds whehter it is enabled in the BIOS.

You can download this tool from here:

Supported platforms:
The HAV detection tool ONLY supports the following operating systems and editions/versions:

Windows Vista Service Pack 1, 2 (Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, Ultimate)
Windows XP Service Pack 3 (Professional), Windows XP Service Pack 2 (Professional)
Windows 7 (Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate).

I checked this on my Toshiba Satellite P775. Here is the result from running this executable on the Windows 7 (x64) Ultimate.