computer starts up slow

I noticed that my computer was starting up slow.. SUPER slow!  I ignored it for a long time… months.  But I noticed each time I added new software, the system started up slower and slower.

Why your computer starts up slow?  These days when you install new software, its default setting is “autorun” which means, it is set up to start when your computer starts.  So if you notice 30 different applications are popping up when you boot up your system, that is why the system is slow.  Its starting each app.

If you computer starts up slow, here is how you can get it much faster.

computer starts up slow msconfig.exe

slow computer start use msconfig.exe

computer starts up slow – MSCONFIG

The first place to check out for slow reboots, is msconfig.

Go to Start | Run | type “msconfig” | Enter

“MSConfig (officially called System Configuration in Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 or Microsoft System Configuration Utility in previous operating systems) is a system utility to troubleshoot the Microsoft Windows startup process.”

Once you click Enter you will see the msconfig message box.  Once you are in msconfig, select the “Startup” tab and you will see all the software that is set to startup when the system starts up.

computer startup slow msconfig

computer startup slow msconfig

MSconfig show the root of the problem.  I had scores of proprietary applications starting up by default, not to mentions a dozen other applications that I had installed and left default.  This is why my system was taking anywhere from 3-5 minutes to be of any use.  I would often avoid turning off the system just so I did not have to wait each time for it to boot.. NOW THAT IS LAZY!!

Once in MSconfig, disable the applications you don’t want starting when the computer starts.  Once you are complete, click OK.

And you are done.

Here is another place you can check for application startups:

computer starts up slow Startup

computer starts up slow Startup

BONUS ROUND!! – Search Conduit – backgroundcontainer RunDLL

I had a pesky “RunDLL” file that kept trying to run when my computer was starting.  I did not see it in the Startup folder or in MSConfig.  But I noticed that it was from some adware called SearchConduit (my arch nemesis).  I had removed it months ago, but it is so aggressive, spammy and similar to malware that it leave hooks in the registry keys.

Here is how I removed it.

computer starts up slow RegEdit FIND RunDLL

computer starts up slow RegEdit FIND RunDLL

You will have to go to regedit – Start | Run | regedit

*I don’t recommend regedit unless you are comfortable with doing complex configurations on your PC.. if you don’t know what your doing, you can destroy you OS in regedit*

Once in regedit, click CTRL+F (find) and search for the key.  delete the key.  You will need to delete if from the left side of the regedit panel or you will get the error you see displayed.

If you did all of this, you cleared all irrelevant default starts from legit applications and removed any DLLs that are not supposed to be there and you computer is still slow, you may have a completely different issue:

  • defrag your hard drive
  • Maybe you have malware (i use webroot & spybot search and destroy)
  • You have very agressive (hidden) adware (spybot search and destroy.. it works)
  • Your computer is too old (try newegg, they have good prices)
  • Your computer needs more memory (RAM check Task Manager – check memory usage)
  • Your hard drive is jacked up (may hear a crunching or metal on metal sound)



System Recovery Disc 系统恢复光盘

System Recovery Disc 系统恢复光盘

This article has a brief description on how to create a Windows System Recovery disc.

This article has a brief description on how to create a Windows System Recovery disc (aka 系统恢复光盘).

What is the use of a System Recovery disc?


The disc contains Windows Recovery tools. It helps to restore the old setup of your computer before it started getting viruses and errors.


1. Click Start and select Control Panel.

2. Click System Maintenance or System Security.



3. Under System and Security, Select Back up and Restore

4.  On the left upper portion , Select Create a system repair disc (System Recovery Disc) and insert a blank CD disc .

5. Browse and choose the drive with the CD drive and Hit Create



6. Wait for some time to finish creating , label and keep your System Recovery disc for future needs.


Windows Password Recovery: ONTPRE

Offline NT Password & Registry Editor (ONTP&RE)

Did you lock yourself out of your Windows system?  Forgot your Windows password?  What is the best Windows password recovery?

The best way is to have a Windows Recovery disc ready.  But this is something you must do BEFORE you get locked out.



There are tools you can use to get into your system, but the first think you should try is to use “Administrator” as the user with no password.  “Administrator” is a default account on Windows systems.  On Windows 7 it is disabled by default but if someone has used the account you may be able to use it as backdoor into the system.

If their is not Administrator account and no Windows Recovery disc you will have to use a Windows password recovery tool.  ONTP&RE is a password recovery tool that allows quick access to windows systems.

Reset Password : Windows 7

1.  Download ONTP&E: First, download the Windows password recovery software from .

2.  Unzip ONTP&E:  Files are compressed into 1 folder named (  Unzip the file.

3.  Create CD with ISO:  Set the cd disc creator into ‘image to  disc’’. Burn the image to the cd.  Each CD burner software is different, so you will have to figure out how to create a CD from the ISO.  Sometimes its as easy as double clicking the ISO but it depends on the type of software.

4.  Reboot & Insert:  Actually, you need to make sure your Windows system is able to boot from the CD.  Once its done , insert the cd back to the CD ROM  and reboot your computer.

5.   Computer Boot from CD:  As your computer reboots, keep hitting F2 to go through the BIOS.  Select “Boot Options”.  Some versions of BIOS call this “Boot”.  But the idea is the same.  Go into the BIOS and make sure CDROM is on the top of the list for boot options.  This means that the computer first looks at the CD before going to the Hard Drive.  Instructions on modifying BIOS settings will be listed on the page.

6.  Boot into ONTRE:  Once the BIOS boot option is set, save and exit.  Your system will boot into your ONTRE disc.  Software will start running. Just follow the steps.  “Press enter” to boot into the “Offline NT Password & Registry Editor” CD.

windows password recovery

screen shot of Offline NT Password & Registry Editor

7.  Select an Account:  It will ask you to select an account.  If you hit “Enter” it will automatically boot into the [Administrator] account.

*note: Anything in [brackets] is the default value, so if you hit “Enter” it will auto-magically choose that [bracket] value.. its a linux thing.. you wouldn’t understand.

If you choose the “Administrator” account, you may need to Enable the account since the built-in Administrator account is  disabled by default in certain versions of Windows.

8.  Enable Built-in Administrator Account:  The Windows account  needs to be enabled.  Select 4  and enter ‘to Unlock and enable user Account’.

windows ontpre menu enable

windows ontpre menu

9.  Clear (blank) User Password:  After selecting 4-Unlock and Enable user account, you will be sent back to the User Edit Menu. If you want to clear the Administrator password (if it has one) then hit enter or type Administrator and Select 1 and “Enter” – to clear the user password.

10.  Save Changes:  Once you have made all the changes you want (enabled the Administrator account & cleared any passwords), you are ready for the next step.  Hit  ‘!’ and enter.

Windows Password save changes

Windows ONTP&RE password save change

On the screen it asks ‘What to do’?  hit q to quit. You will see:

Step FOUR:  Writing back changes

“About to write file(s) back.  Do it ?’’

Hit   Y  and enter to save changes.

11.  Last Step:  Hit “Ctrl-Alt-Del” to reboot and eject the cd quickly.  This will allow the system to boot into Windows on the Hard drive.

You can now login as “Administrator” with NO password.

Once you are in as Administrator you can change passwords of any local accounts in Control Panel | Users.

What is Autorun.inf?

What is AutoRun.inf?
What exactly is an autorun.inf? Is it a virus or just a file that needed by other application in our computer to run? Have you ever gotten alerted by your system anti-virus application that autorun.inf was detected as a threat to your computer?

AutoRun.inf is a primary instruction file associated with Autorun function. Autorun.inf is just a simple text-based configuration file that tells the operating system which executable to start or which icon to use. In other words, Autorun.inf simply tells the operating system how to deal on the programs or executable files and how the operating will treat the contents of a CD or any removable disks that is plug to your computer.

Autorun.inf is not a malware, but a virus might use autorun.inf to get access to your computer programs and files. Common virus like bacalid, ravmon.exe and even Trojan virus hides in autorun.inf to easily spread to your computer. These viruses save themselves in the root directory of the infected hard disks and will run themselves every time you double click the drive. Usually if a USB stick or a CD was infected by a virus, once it was plugged to your computer the device automatically runs itself especially with the device where autorun was enabled.

If autorun.inf was detected by your anti-virus as a threat to your computer but not yet tried to make an action then here are some tips to remove autorun.inf which are infected by virus.

You can disable autorun.inf for all drives by configuring the registry of your computer. First you need to open the registry by typing regedit.exe to the command prompt or you may execute it in run. Then look for this registry: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
Double-click the NoDriveAutorun DWORD entry and type the value HEX: FF (255 in Decimal). (If the NoDriveAutorun does not exists, you can create it by right-clicking the right side area of the regedit window, then click New->DWord Value -> type NoDriveAutorun) Close the registry and restart the computer. This procedure will disable all the autorun for all drives of your computer and at least will prevent the autorun function of infected USB drives or CDs and avoid the infection of viruses like the Bacalid and RavMon.exe.

Another procedure to disable or delete autorun.inf that has been infected by virus is by using the command prompt, type cd\ then press enter. You may type the letter of your USB drive or CD drive, for example F: then press enter. Type this attrib h r s autorun.inf then press enter, type del autorun.inf.Thats the easiest way to avoid spreading virus from your computer especially using sutorun.inf. If you have any questions, you can comment on this post, thank you!

Find an IT Security Jobs

So do you have any suggestions for someone starting out in IT Security? What certifications, knowledge, training, forums, do you suggest? They will pay for the A+ cert, Network + and Security + certification. Do you have any suggestions for someone just starting out in security? After CompTia what should I focus on. Although I’m not sure yet of my final career goals, I’d like to first get a job very quickly in IT security, hopefully with the government, state, or any local government; when I say quick I mean within the next few weeks Thanks Rob for whatever info you can suggest


If you want a job fast I would suggest checking out I would also put my resume out on, if you have not already done so. If you want a security job the security+ is the way to go, but also consider doing a search on monster and simplyhired to look at the skills and certifications that employers are looking for. Pay particular attension to keywords and phrases that they are using. You will know the keywords/phrase because they are repeated in nearly every resume for your chosen career path and/or job title.

How I get Jobs Fast
For example, in my career “system security engineer” and “information security officer” I see the following keywords/phrases over and over: security clearance, cissp, 8500, diacap. If noticed that when I have these keywords on my resume, I get calls almost DAILY from all over the US. Here is how you can do the same:
1) Find a good job title that fits what you do or what you want to do
2) Do a search for that job title [use google,,, or any other search engine/job database]
– Read through the job results and try to find keywords/phrases that seem to be in most or all of the jobs listed
3) Try to get as many of the applicable keywords/phrases in your resume
– Either have the skills required for the chosen job title or begin working toward them
– I am not suggesting that you put lies on your resume, you’ll have to look for job titles that you have experience & skills in
– Don’t mess with stuff that completely out of your league or level of expertise, be honest on your resume
– Sometimes employers will take you if you are willing to learn the skills or earn the require certification/degree in a certain time frame. Put that on your resume.
4) Put your resume [with keywords/phrases in place] online, as many places as you can

Research Employer Demand in certain locations
I am from California and I have been trying for years to find a decent job (for what I do) there. They’ve got them in southern California but almost none in Northern. California seems to be lacking jobs and then they don’t want to pay comparable to the cost of living there. I noticed that Cali has a LOT of networking jobs. If you type in CCNP in for Cali, you’ll find a lot of good paying jobs. The problem is that CCNP is a very difficult certification to get (or so I’ve heard).

I would recommend checking out what sort of IT skills employers are looking for in the area you want to work. For example, even though I have lots of certifications, most of the ones that I have [that are still active lol] won’t help me for moving back to Northern California. I researched it and found that they are mostly looking for Network Engineers [as of 2006-2010] and my Cisco routing and switching skills are still developing.

Play Capitalisms Game: Start a Business
Another option is to start your own business. This may sound daunting, but believe it or not my website qualifies as a business. It took me about 1 year to get it making money, but now it makes between $400 – 800/month without me even looking at it. It has made as much as 2k and I know people who make more in a month then many people make in a year with their blogs. It is becoming harder and harder to be an employee. Companies do the bare minimum to take care of employees, the economy goes in a recession (or worse) and hard working people can not find a job and the value of the dollar flutuates on a downward spiral. It seems the only way to be comfortable in this new “capitalism” is to have multiple streams of income.

If you are interested, start at your states business page and here

Rob E.

unixwiz: SQL Injection Attacks by Example

Found this site via  Pretty good post:

“SQL Injection” is subset of the an unverified/unsanitized user input vulnerability (“buffer overflows” are a different subset), and the idea is to convince the application to run SQL code that was not intended. If the application is creating SQL strings naively on the fly and then running them, it’s straightforward to create some real surprises.

SQL Injection @ unixwiz 

Hacking World of Worldcraft

Social Engineering a N00b Party

I had a level 11 Mage.  My level 20 friend (who happened to be female) was teaching me how to play the game.  Some level 43 guy started hitting on my escort.  Feeling playful, I challenged him to a duel.  He turned his back on me while I threw blows for like 10 minutes and had no effect. 

One spell did work though, Polymorph (only for about 5 seconds though).  I turned him into a sheep.  This must have really pissed him off because what he did next was devious.

He finally finished me off and then quickly made friends with our two person party.  He hung out with us for a little while, the whole time flirting with my friend.  Then he told her that I was talking shit about her to him on whisper mode.  Not true at all.  But worked.  She got really mad and disband from the party.

He tried to do other stuff to my character but I was just a trial account so all he had left to do was laugh at me: “Ha Ha I just scored with your friend.”

Here is a pretty good article addressing some cool hacks (cheats) that have been done on WoW.  The article is on theRegister and its called, Hacking WoW and the pursuit of knowledge

change a character’s X, Y and Z coordinates to give the illusion of flying or move to a more advantageous location

Automated Spawn Camping – code to automate a character’s task of camping outside a cave in wait of monsters and stabbing them when they appear. A player who runs the bot shortly before going to bed can awake to find the character has pocketed plenty of gold left behind by the felled beasts.

Create bot characters that can send you IMs to your cell phone


*atchung: some hacks such “spawn camping” will get you labeled a filthy cheater, a taboo as untouchable in the world of online gaming as a pedophile or 18th century horse thief.  hack at your own filty risk.

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