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58 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2007 :  08:40:24  Show Profile
This should probably be under General since I expect I'll ramble a little. I have had many issues lately so--#1 I have always used Norton protection and up until last year I was happy with it. This year I got a chance for Norton Systems and Norton Firewall. Was pleased with the offer, got all my rebates, and trouble. This combination did a lot of seemingly nice things but it smothered me. It kept feeling like it wanted to intrude on everything. I finally had a real mess and had to have my hard drive re-formatted. The computer guy has been nothing but kind to me but he without asking took all Norton off and installed a virus protection CA free for this year. He thinks Norton was most of my problem. But--he didn't put any firewall on. He said I had one with Microsoft and one in the DSL modem. I'm very uneasy about that unless Microsoft is much better than it use to be. I still have a current Norton firewall--do I dare to use it?? #2 I have an external hard drive connected to USB port. So far I've only used it to clone my system but I will eventually use it for picture files I expect. I have been reading about careless disconnection from USB ports so--when the clone is done can I safely just turn the hard drive off? #3 Does anyone know any easy way to contact Hewlett Packard? I don't want to chat I just want to send an email.

Will appreciate any help.

XP2 professional 2002 AMD


1496 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2007 :  12:30:22  Show Profile  Visit Mick's Homepage
Just a couple of quick opinions...

The Microsoft firewall, at least so I have been told, is a fairly good firewall, except that it is a one-way gate keeper. It keeps a major class of intruders out but if they do manage to break in despite all defenses, it does not keep them from leaving with your stuff. I like the free Zone Alarm, and the Kerio firewalls for their bothway workings, but they do require a little tuning for personal preferences. Check "links" on the forum home-page. If your DSL modem has the capability to hook-up more than one computer, it is likely also a "router" (AKA "NAT router") which is a very good defense against inbound intruders.

2. There are some settings on most USB drives that make them not use, (I think its called) "Delayed Writing". If you do not use delayed writing, it slows the drive down a tiny bit, but should prevent MOST problems from quick removal of the port. It is ALWAYS good to use the little "safely remove" tool in the Sys tray.

3. Dont they have a page on HP.com, yeah, here it is

Ask again if these do not lead to something useful.


'Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.'
—André Gide


'No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you'll see why.' - Mignon McLaughlin
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1496 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2007 :  17:49:53  Show Profile  Visit Mick's Homepage
Just a little more detail on the remove-ability issue. I dug up the info on making a thumb-drive more remove-able. Normal, internal hard drives have a feature, on by default, that allows them to postpone writing any data from the computer memory to the drive--for performance purposes, they wait until it is convenient, and go about business with some of the data perhaps setting in memory, waiting to be written--if a drive is disconnected during this period of delay, the data is of course lost. But buried in the "Properties" of a drive (right-click, then Properties), you can find this:

So, on the Properties control window, select Hardware, then select the correct drive (In my case it was "Secure Digital Storage Device") then click the Properties there, and the "Policies" tab (puff puff, hey, I told you it was buried) then finally select-click the "Optimize for quick removal".

I still plan to select the little toolbar icon to "Safely remove hardware". But if you get in a hurry, or are a little forgetful, making sure this is checked, is probably a good idea...
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