How to Change Internet Browser Proxy Settings After a Malware Infection

If you have never had a computer virus or malware infection, you are an extremely rare individual. For the rest who have suffered a computer infection, you probably know all too well that it can break your internet connection. Below you will find screenshots and a video for a simple fix if your broken internet connection is due to proxy server settings.

Is My Web Browser the Internet?

Even after removing the infections, you still may not be able to open a web page with your web browser such as Internet Explorer and Firefox. Just so you know, there is a difference between not connecting to the internet and not being able to open a web page with your web browser. If you can’t connect to the internet, you certainly won’t be able to open a web page. But it is possible to connect to the internet, without being able to open a web page, because your browser is primarily using only 1 of thousands of available ports shared by your internet connection. Because of this, you might notice that you can still use other internet enabled programs such as your instant messenger and email (but not webmail of course).

Still Can’t Open a Web Page, Do I Call My ISP or a Computer Shop?

Just know that if you are getting an IP Address, you “are” connected to the internet, you just might not be able to view a web page because of some interference with your web browser. It makes a difference to know this. If you “don’t” get an IP Address, you could have a hardware or software problem with your network adapter, a problem with your modem or router or even your Internet Service Provider (ISP). If you “do” get an IP Address, you could have a Firewall problem, a broken Layered Service Provider (LSP) chain, or problems with your Internet Browser. To you, this could make the difference between who you are going to call for help first, your ISP or a Computer Repair Shop.

Another One of My Famous Analogies

When it comes to explaining the difference between not connecting to the internet and just not being able to open a web page with your browser, I like to explain it this way:

Think of internet browsers as “windows” to the internet, and think of the internet as “outside”.  Now if your curtains are closed or your windows are dirty, you may not be able to see outside. Now just because you can’t see the outside doesn’t mean it isn’t there. If your Internet Explorer browser window is dirty, try looking out of your Firefox browser window.

Checking if Proxy Server Settings is Your Problem

As for this post, if Internet Explorer says it cannot display the web page, or Firefox says it is refusing proxy server connections, it might be an easy problem to remedy by disabling any custom proxy server settings.  The screenshots below show how to browse to the proxy server settings for Internet Explorer and Firefox.


internet explorer proxy server settings

Internet Explorer (click for larger image)


firefox proxy server settings

Firefox (click for larger image)

If this is your problem (obviously not with the computer you are reading this post with), you will be surfing the internet in a matter of minutes with the help of the brief video below.


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Windows Troubleshooting – How to Boot to Safe Mode

What is the Safe Mode?

Safe mode is a troubleshooting option for Windows that starts your computer in a limited state. Startup programs don’t run in safe mode, and only the basic drivers and services needed to start Windows are installed. The words “Safe Mode” will appear in each corner of your monitor to identify which Windows mode you’re using.  Because of the limited capability of Windows in the Safe Mode, you will notice some visual differences (lower screen resolution), and that some programs and peripherals do not work. Below is a list of device drivers and services that start in the Safe Mode (if installed).

Safe Mode

Advanced Boot Options Menu (Vista-Win7)

Read More Here…


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Malware Removal – ESET Rogue Antivirus Cleaner

Rogue CleanerRogueAV Cleaner is a free Standalone Malware Removal Tool from ESET that is designed to remove “specific” Rogue Antivirus Programs. It is a very small program that can be downloaded and run very quickly, but is only effective for specific infections such as those listed under the video below. Read More Here…


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Can a Dirty Computer Be More Disastrous Than an Infected Computer

Hopefully you’ve learned a bit about how to keep your computer clean from infections. But clean software is only half of the picture, what about clean hardware?

One of the most common causes of hardware failure is heat. And while most computers have 2, 3 or more fans, if your heatsinks, fans, intake and exhaust vents are clogged with dirt, the temperature inside your computer is going to rise. Many computers have temperature protection settings you can set to trigger an emergency shutdown to protect your computer from overheating. You might even hear some continuous beeping or buzzing sounds to alarm you when your computer overheats, so don’t ignore these sounds. To be safe it may be a good idea to quickly save your work and shut your computer down immediately to investigate, otherwise you may end up with a problem that won’t care how clean your software is.

Anyway, many computers that operate in prolonged heat conditions (not necessarily critical temperatures) will eventually take its toll and cause intermittent problems. I typically see that the most neglected heat issues end up with either bad power supplies, fans, motherboards, and even hard drives where your precious data is stored.

Have Dust, Not Heat, But Still Bad

I routinely get computers in for repair that will not POST (no video from the computer) and the system may be beeping. Any video you may see would be a message generated by the monitor saying something like “No Signal”, “No Video Input” or “Monitor Going To Sleep”. These are classic symptoms usually related to memory problems. While the memory could literally be bad and need replacing, I often find that reseating the memory after a good cleaning with canned air and alcohol, usually corrects the problem. Just a little dust under the memory contacts may be enough to cause this problem. The overall cleanliness can be good and you can still have this problem, especially if you have moved the computer. The movement can cause slight flexing of some internal components such as the memory slots which might allow some dust to creep in, causing conductivity and corrosion problems.

Hopefully you won’t keep trying to use your computer when you have memory issues, because this can corrupt your Windows installation. So even after taking care of the memory issue, you might have an unstable, slow or unresponsive system, or worse yet, it may not boot up to Windows with Boot Loops or BSODs.

Does Your Computer Look Like This Inside?

When all is well, air is drawn in from the front and exhausts out the back of the case. So dust, carpet fibers, and pet hair will tend to accumulate on the front side of vents, heatsink fins, and fan blades. The bottom line is that Dirt = Heat and Heat is Bad. Watch the video below to get a feel how dirt caused the heat, which in-turn made the fan work overtime, which eventually caused the fan to fail. For this Dell, it uses a proprietary fan than you usually have to order online. Imagine having your computer down for repairs for a week or so waiting for a part as simple as a fan.

Below are a few tips to help control the heat around your computer:

  • Position computer at least 6 inches away from the wall
  • If installed in an enclosed area, ensure there is a vent cutout behind the computer
  • Keep area near intake and exhaust vents clutter free

Below are some general items to take care of about twice a year:

  • Clean interior of computer case
  • Clean intake vents behind the Front Panel bezel
  • Clean CPU Heat Sink and Fan blades
  • Clean Case Fan Blades
  • Clean Exhaust vents at rear of case
  • Clean vents and fans on Power Supply (it will be difficult to clean the fan blades through the grill. You should not attempt to disassemble the Power Supply unless you are a qualified service technician, you can receive an electrical shock even when the power cord has been removed)

Most cleaning can be done using a brush & canned air, and some Q-tips for the fan blades. When cleaning behind the front panel bezel, most cases have plastic latches that can be easily released to remove the bezel. As for safety precautions, make sure you shut-down your computer and disconnect the power cord before removing any covers or panels. Once you have the case open for cleaning, it would also be a good time to visually inspect the internal components.

Don’t be surprised if you see a few power connectors that are not connected to anything, because there are usually extras. If you do discover anything you think is a problem, don’t hesitate to call a PC Technician. Catching problems early is the key to correcting them before they become serious.

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Windows Updates – Things to Know Before Installing Windows Updates

Windows UpdateI often get asked about whether or not Windows Updates should be installed. While this post is mostly about Windows XP, the same concerns apply to both Vista and Windows 7. On the negative side of Windows Updates, some have first hand experience with software problems immediately after installing an update. While it doesn’t happen too often, it might happen to your computer if you don’t take any precautions before installing Windows Updates. Anyway, the video below will show how to recognize the proper Windows Update icon as well as a couple ways that you can begin a Windows Update. Read More Here…



How to Install and Use ESET Nod32 Antivirus Free 30 Day Trial

Down the page, you will find 4 brief videos that will show you the “meat” of downloading, installing, setting-up and using ESET’s Nod32 Antivirus on your computer. In these videos, we will be starting with the Free 30 Day Trial. Despite being a trial, it will be fully functional for 30 days, which will give you plenty of time to decide if you like it enough to switch and buy this product.

Click one of the banner images below to experience 30 Days of the Best Antivirus Product ever made. Read More Here…


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