Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • September 24, 2016, 10:41:17 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: Anyone using Blackbird?  (Read 6277 times)

Innuendo

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 2,255
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2016, 09:37:57 AM »
Now that people have the file, perhaps they can now review the program and let us know whether or not it does what it says it will do. :)

MilesAhead

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2009
  • **
  • Posts: 7,158
    • View Profile
    • Miles Ahead Software
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2016, 09:43:19 AM »
Now that people have the file, perhaps they can now review the program and let us know whether or not it does what it says it will do. :)

I don't know if it will do anything useful in a VM.  I only have the Laptop so I am reluctant to do much in the way of experimentation.  Especially when the software is vague about what it does at a low level.

If someone else posts their results I would be curious to read it though.  :D I have RollbackRX and Macrium Reflect to undo bad things that happen.  But as I noted often I am reluctant to use software of the "real time shield" variety.  It usually bogs the system in my experience.  Or if not a performance penalty flaky stuff happens.


Curt

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 7,041
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2016, 06:04:47 PM »
The 64-bits file can also be downloaded from MajorGeeks, like the 32-bits version can, so it already has earned the right to be classified as harmless. Otherwise MajorGeeks wouldn't host it. The majorgeeks link (on http://www.majorgeek...tails/blackbird.html) named "Download @ Author's Site  64-bits" goes to [http://www].majorgeeks.com/mg/get/blackbird,2.html, so it doesn't leave the major's house.

You may contact Blackbird via info(at)getblackbird.net for further inquiries

MilesAhead

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2009
  • **
  • Posts: 7,158
    • View Profile
    • Miles Ahead Software
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2016, 06:58:23 PM »
The 64-bits file can also be downloaded from MajorGeeks, like the 32-bits version can, so it already has earned the right to be classified as harmless. Otherwise MajorGeeks wouldn't host it.

Something changed somewhere.  I tried that download link using MDC WiFi and the Miami Public Library WiFi, and got the malware warning splash that others did or one similar.  Now it downloads without a squawk.  Maybe it was taken off the hit list.

Blackbird Dev

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2016
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Get Blackbird
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2016, 08:11:24 AM »
Hi guys, I realize this is an old-ish thread but I wanted to clear a few things up.

What's with the malware scares?
Initially we structured the Blackbird exe in a very lazy and suspect way and for some reason the 32bit version was singled out by antiviruses, our hosting provider, and yes, Google, as malware.
Google came into play about 10 minutes after Blackbird was made available on MajorGeeks, showing "Reported unwanted software" on our site when Chrome or Firefox users with checked "Block reported attack sites" option visited us.
That list is maintained by Google.

The only way to remove this is by logging in to your Google account, placing a google-supplied html file on your website's public root dir and letting them audit the site again. That whole process kinda struck us as strange but after confirming the Blackbird 32bit exe was the cause we decided to remove it from the site and asked MajorGeeks to help us out with hosting, which they kindly agreed to. This wasn't a viable option for the future since it's a mess to maintain and looks unprofessional, so we rewrote huge parts of Blackbird and released version 0.9.88 to solve such problems.

One more thing, Blackbird is not a realtime protection application, it doesn't run in the background. It's a Run-Once-And-Forget kinda deal.
Like a certain gentleman and scholar mentioned before, Blackbird is just a fancy script packed inside an exe. It uses "persistent routes" in a neat way to block freshly pulled IPv4/6 addresses.
Working on proper technical documentation for geeks as I type this.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2016, 08:32:37 AM by Blackbird Dev »

MilesAhead

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2009
  • **
  • Posts: 7,158
    • View Profile
    • Miles Ahead Software
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2016, 09:21:30 AM »
Hi guys, I realize this is an old-ish thread but I wanted to clear a few things up.


Glad you chimed in.  Thanks for the info.   :Thmbsup:

tomos

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,237
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #31 on: April 27, 2016, 07:50:13 AM »
The only way to remove this is by logging in to your Google account, placing a google-supplied html file on your website's public root dir and letting them audit the site again. That whole process kinda struck us as strange but after confirming the Blackbird 32bit exe was the cause we decided to remove it from the site and asked MajorGeeks to help us out with hosting, which they kindly agreed to. This wasn't a viable option for the future since it's a mess to maintain and looks unprofessional, so we rewrote huge parts of Blackbird and released version 0.9.88 to solve such problems.

FYI, TrafficLight extension (from Bitdefender) blocks your homepage with a malware warning. (Via PaleMoon) I get
chrome://trafficlight/content/alerts/malware/page_blocked.html?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.getblackbird.net%2F

Quote
Attention, malware!
This page contains viruses or other malware.

Web page:
http://www.getblackbird.net/
Take me back to safety
I understand the risks, take me there anyway

Bitdefender's false positives page is:
http://www.bitdefender.com/submit/
Tom

Curt

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 7,041
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #32 on: April 27, 2016, 02:35:41 PM »
yes, now I have used Blackbird - and I recommend it no, I don't!

Quote
Re: Win 10: the terrible CompatTelRunner is back!
« Last Edit: April 28, 2016, 03:10:29 AM by Curt, Reason: not recommended »

IainB

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,043
  • Slartibartfarst
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #33 on: April 27, 2016, 04:16:05 PM »
Thanks for posting about this - it sparked my interest.
As a result, I'm about to trial Blackbird  - from the documentation it seems it can do almost exactly what I was looking for, and more besides.
Will give some feedback on outcomes.

By the way, for the paranoid, Malwarebytes' realtime Malware and Malicious Website protection does not object to downloading the Blackbird proggie file from either MajorGeeks or getblackbird.net. The files have different checksums, because presumably, the latter's file version is slightly newer (MG=v0.9.88, B=v0.9.89).
« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 04:33:50 PM by IainB »

IainB

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,043
  • Slartibartfarst
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #34 on: April 27, 2016, 05:05:48 PM »
Whoops! Spoke too soon. Blackbird is a bit like a blunderbus! I think I shall avoid it.
This is what it does (per readme.txt):
Spoiler

Blackbird V6 (version 0.9) Readme
http://getblackbird.net
info@getblackbird.net


==WHAT BLACKBIRD DOES==

> Disables OneDrive
> Disables Cortana
> Disables Bing-integration
> Disables Wi-Fi Sense
> Disables Windows/Office Telemetry on all Windows versions
> Disables Xbox Live services
> Disables web content evaluation / URL check-in ("SmartScreen")
> Disables Windows Media Online DRM
> Disables Windows P2P Update sharing
> Disables all application metric-data collection agents
> Disables all AutoLoggers
> Disables Start menu ads
> Disables Windows Error Reporting
> Disables Diagnostic Tracking / "Connected User Experiences and Telemetry" service
> Disables WAP-push Message Routing service
> Prevents all location/contacts/handwritting/password sharing
> Prevents cross-device synchronization
> Prevents device meta-data collection
> Patches various data-leaks (IE/EDGE/Defender/Explorer/MRT)
> Removes Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA)
> Removes your unique Ad-ID tracking token and disables further Windows advertising profiling
> Removes GWX and all Windows 10 Upgrade triggers, icons, messages and other nagging
> Removes Windows 10 Upgrade setup files on Vista, 7, 8, 8.1
> Removes a bunch of Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 telemetry updates
> Blocks 130+ different tracking/telemetry/ad servers (supports IPv6/IPv4, Wifi/Eth)
> bonus (some) Youtube, Skype, Facebook ads blocked


==USING BLACKBIRD==

> Double-click blackbird.exe,
> Click Yes if prompted by UAC,
> Blackbird will perform a quick security scan (green means good - red means bad),
> Press any key to apply,
> Get some coffee (optional),
> Reboot the computer when it's finished. All done.


==SWITCHES==
You can also invoke Blackbird from CMD with the following command-line switches available:

blackbird -v   >  Verbose mode. Displays additional information on all changes as they're being made.
blackbird -s   >  Silent mode. No additional user interaction required, good for scripts
blackbird -r   >  Recovery mode. Restores all values changed by Blackbird to default Microsoft values.
blackbird -k   >  Kill Cortana completely (prevent searchUI.exe from loading) / can be unkilled using Blackbird Recovery mode.
blackbird -e   >  eMule LowID fix (experimental).
blackbird -f   >  Show frequently used programs in Start menu.
blackbird -x   >  Enable Xbox Live services.
blackbird -d   >  Disable Windows Defender.
blackbird -h   >  Disable Hibernation (deletes hiberfil.sys file from root).
blackbird -u   >  Disable automatic installation of updates / Sets to manual download and install only.
blackbird -m   >  Disable automatic installation of Malicious Removal Tool updates.
blackbird -?   >  Displays help information.

NOTE:
You can only run a single switch at one time.


==FAQ==

Q: Blackbird is stuck/hangs/crashes.
A: It takes a while (up to 1h on older CPUs) but if you're sure it's stuck, close blackbird, open cmd as admin, cd to the directory where you put the blackbird.exe file.
    Type "blackbird -v" (without the quotes). This should give you a more detailed view of what's going on.

Q: Blackbird shows errors like "access denied", "unable to read file", "system error"...
A: This is normal, especially under W10. Try closing and running Blackbird again, this somehow forces Windows to behave. Not sure why.

Q: My antivirus reports Blackbird as malware.
A: This mostly happens with the 32bit version but we assure you, it's a false-positive. Use the 64bit version if possible, AVs seem to like it better for some reason.
   We suspect this occurs because of the nature and relative obscurity of our software (registry editing,telemetry dismantling,..)
   Some files are extracted during usage but they are all deleted before you even exit the program.

Q: I don't like what Blackbird did to my computer. How do I change it back?
A: Start cmd as administrator, cd to the directory where you put the blackbird.exe file, type "blackbird -r" (without quotes) and press enter.
   This will run Blackbird in Recovery mode and will restore all changes made by Blackbird back to their default Microsoft values.
 


I killed the app. as it does all those things by default, and I don't want them all - e.g., I don't want OneDrive disabled.

Fortunately, you can use the command line to cause Blackbird to restore to windows default all those things it changes by default. I may have to run that now as I have no way of knowing whether I killed it in time before it had managed to make any changes. It doesn't seem to run a report or anything to tell you what it actually succeeded in doing.

Of course, restore to windows default is not necessarily the same thing as restore to what it had been before.

I'd recommend extreme caution as running this tool could arguably be a bit like sticking a screwdriver in amongst a bunch of live wires and trusting in the outcome. A black box approach.

...Use screwdrivers with insulated handles.

MilesAhead

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2009
  • **
  • Posts: 7,158
    • View Profile
    • Miles Ahead Software
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #35 on: April 27, 2016, 06:08:54 PM »
Of course, restore to windows default is not necessarily the same thing as restore to what it had been before.

I'd recommend extreme caution as running this tool could arguably be a bit like sticking a screwdriver in amongst a bunch of live wires and trusting in the outcome. A black box approach.

It may be the type of thing to test with a prophylactic program running.  Several free ones I know of are:
ToolWiz TimeFreeze, RollbackRX Home, ToolWiz Time Machine.

These programs that use Shadow Services to redirect disk writes or other mechanisms should be tried out before you rely on them.  Like disk image backup programs, they can run great and reliably on one system and have big problems on another.

ToolWiz Time Freeze redirect all writes that would go to the system partition, to a buffer file.  On my system it works pretty well for some things.  But naturally on anything disk intensive it will bog badly.

I have RollbackRX Pro and ran the Home before that.  The rollback is very convenient but you cannot do some things while it is installed such as system image backups, defrag etc..  But on my system it works well for backing off installs of programs I want to get rid of pronto(along with restoring registry and other settings, system partition contents etc..)


4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,394
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #36 on: April 27, 2016, 08:01:19 PM »
Whoops! Spoke too soon. Blackbird is a bit like a blunderbus! I think I shall avoid it.

You could use Shutup10 for selective disabling.  Or create a System Restore point, (or use something else), run Blackbird, then run Shutup10 to enable the services you want.

IainB

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,043
  • Slartibartfarst
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #37 on: April 27, 2016, 11:19:39 PM »
Whoops! Spoke too soon. Blackbird is a bit like a blunderbus! I think I shall avoid it.
You could use Shutup10 for selective disabling.  Or create a System Restore point, (or use something else), run Blackbird, then run Shutup10 to enable the services you want.
____________________________
Thanks. Those could be good suggestions for potential workarounds, but they don't address what seems to be the real issue - i.e., that the Blackbird tool needs to have these things built-in, and they are not.
It would seem to be just too risky to use, as it stands. Pity. It looked to be potentially a really useful tool.

Curt

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 7,041
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #38 on: April 28, 2016, 03:19:29 AM »
It's sad that I didn't notice the errors that I have today, when I first ran Blackbird, yesterday. But now I cannot access Explorer until it has given up on opening some program. Because of the lack of access, I don't even know what program that is - except the problem has to be due to Blackbird! Right now I am very disappointed - and very embarrassed for having lured others into this BlackHole.
Sorry!

edit: but read my final conclusion Re: Anyone using Blackbird?: "Blackbird must be okay"
« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 12:33:22 PM by Curt »

Blackbird Dev

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2016
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Get Blackbird
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #39 on: April 28, 2016, 08:28:30 AM »
It's sad that I didn't notice the errors that I have today, when I first ran Blackbird, yesterday. But now I cannot access Explorer until it has given up on opening some program. Because of the lack of access, I don't even know what program that is - except the problem has to be due to Blackbird! Right now I am very disappointed - and very embarrassed for having lured others into this BlackHole.
Sorry!

I'm sorry to hear about your experience.
We've had thousands of users with no issues, this seems strange. Can you provide some more details like the exact Windows version? (build number would be great)
Did you try running Blackbird in Recovery mode? While it may set everything back to Microsoft defaults all options can be customized to your preference after.
If you wish you can reach us at info@getblackbird.net, we'll get to the bottom of this.


Blackbird Dev

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2016
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Get Blackbird
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #40 on: April 28, 2016, 01:26:49 PM »
Whoops! Spoke too soon. Blackbird is a bit like a blunderbus! I think I shall avoid it.
This is what it does (per readme.txt):
Spoiler

Blackbird V6 (version 0.9) Readme
http://getblackbird.net
info@getblackbird.net


==WHAT BLACKBIRD DOES==

> Disables OneDrive
> Disables Cortana
> Disables Bing-integration
> Disables Wi-Fi Sense
> Disables Windows/Office Telemetry on all Windows versions
> Disables Xbox Live services
> Disables web content evaluation / URL check-in ("SmartScreen")
> Disables Windows Media Online DRM
> Disables Windows P2P Update sharing
> Disables all application metric-data collection agents
> Disables all AutoLoggers
> Disables Start menu ads
> Disables Windows Error Reporting
> Disables Diagnostic Tracking / "Connected User Experiences and Telemetry" service
> Disables WAP-push Message Routing service
> Prevents all location/contacts/handwritting/password sharing
> Prevents cross-device synchronization
> Prevents device meta-data collection
> Patches various data-leaks (IE/EDGE/Defender/Explorer/MRT)
> Removes Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA)
> Removes your unique Ad-ID tracking token and disables further Windows advertising profiling
> Removes GWX and all Windows 10 Upgrade triggers, icons, messages and other nagging
> Removes Windows 10 Upgrade setup files on Vista, 7, 8, 8.1
> Removes a bunch of Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 telemetry updates
> Blocks 130+ different tracking/telemetry/ad servers (supports IPv6/IPv4, Wifi/Eth)
> bonus (some) Youtube, Skype, Facebook ads blocked


==USING BLACKBIRD==

> Double-click blackbird.exe,
> Click Yes if prompted by UAC,
> Blackbird will perform a quick security scan (green means good - red means bad),
> Press any key to apply,
> Get some coffee (optional),
> Reboot the computer when it's finished. All done.


==SWITCHES==
You can also invoke Blackbird from CMD with the following command-line switches available:

blackbird -v   >  Verbose mode. Displays additional information on all changes as they're being made.
blackbird -s   >  Silent mode. No additional user interaction required, good for scripts
blackbird -r   >  Recovery mode. Restores all values changed by Blackbird to default Microsoft values.
blackbird -k   >  Kill Cortana completely (prevent searchUI.exe from loading) / can be unkilled using Blackbird Recovery mode.
blackbird -e   >  eMule LowID fix (experimental).
blackbird -f   >  Show frequently used programs in Start menu.
blackbird -x   >  Enable Xbox Live services.
blackbird -d   >  Disable Windows Defender.
blackbird -h   >  Disable Hibernation (deletes hiberfil.sys file from root).
blackbird -u   >  Disable automatic installation of updates / Sets to manual download and install only.
blackbird -m   >  Disable automatic installation of Malicious Removal Tool updates.
blackbird -?   >  Displays help information.

NOTE:
You can only run a single switch at one time.


==FAQ==

Q: Blackbird is stuck/hangs/crashes.
A: It takes a while (up to 1h on older CPUs) but if you're sure it's stuck, close blackbird, open cmd as admin, cd to the directory where you put the blackbird.exe file.
    Type "blackbird -v" (without the quotes). This should give you a more detailed view of what's going on.

Q: Blackbird shows errors like "access denied", "unable to read file", "system error"...
A: This is normal, especially under W10. Try closing and running Blackbird again, this somehow forces Windows to behave. Not sure why.

Q: My antivirus reports Blackbird as malware.
A: This mostly happens with the 32bit version but we assure you, it's a false-positive. Use the 64bit version if possible, AVs seem to like it better for some reason.
   We suspect this occurs because of the nature and relative obscurity of our software (registry editing,telemetry dismantling,..)
   Some files are extracted during usage but they are all deleted before you even exit the program.

Q: I don't like what Blackbird did to my computer. How do I change it back?
A: Start cmd as administrator, cd to the directory where you put the blackbird.exe file, type "blackbird -r" (without quotes) and press enter.
   This will run Blackbird in Recovery mode and will restore all changes made by Blackbird back to their default Microsoft values.
 


I killed the app. as it does all those things by default, and I don't want them all - e.g., I don't want OneDrive disabled.

Fortunately, you can use the command line to cause Blackbird to restore to windows default all those things it changes by default. I may have to run that now as I have no way of knowing whether I killed it in time before it had managed to make any changes. It doesn't seem to run a report or anything to tell you what it actually succeeded in doing.

Of course, restore to windows default is not necessarily the same thing as restore to what it had been before.

I'd recommend extreme caution as running this tool could arguably be a bit like sticking a screwdriver in amongst a bunch of live wires and trusting in the outcome. A black box approach.

...Use screwdrivers with insulated handles.

Hi IainB,
I'm gonna completely agree with you, Blackbird does mess around with A LOT of system-critical components (startup tasks,registry,services,system files,network config, to name a few..) and all the tweaks have to work in perfect unison to not disrupt normal usage.
Add in some false-positives and you've got yourself a highly suspicious exe. The irony being that Blackbird was written because we didn't trust the other tools.

We try to test each version extensively but things do slip by. A Windows update throws something off, a 3rd-party application gets in the way.. It's not easy and we have extremely limited resources.
To give you an idea, the Blackbird code has ballooned 5000% since the original version (v0.3) while our wallets have deflated by negative 20%.
Blackbird does offer a Verbose mode switch (blackbird -v) that shows all changes as they're being made. While not exactly a report, it shows exactly what's going on behind the progress bar in real-time.
The issue with Blackbird only restoring to Microsoft defaults is a problem we've been trying to figure out how to best implement a solution to but currently we can only safely offer the MS-defaults option. Working on it.

Not to get all emoticoni but we get nothing out of this. Our only motivation is trying to help because forced-anything is wrong in our opinion.
So since we've committed ourselves to this mess because apparently we're masochists deep-down, I'd like to invite all of you to tell us what needs improving.

We want to make Blackbird better for you.
If it turns out it causes more problems than it fixes we'll suspend the project and start from scratch. The last thing we want is to piss-off PC dudes.

Curt

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 7,041
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #41 on: April 28, 2016, 03:54:42 PM »
It's sad that I didn't notice the errors that I have today, when I first ran Blackbird, yesterday. But now I cannot access Explorer until it has given up on opening some program. (...)
I'm sorry to hear about your experience. We've had thousands of users with no issues, this seems strange. (...).

- Thank You for answering, so I was reminded to tell:

The problem I had with Explorer this morning, has gone! I don't understand what caused the problem. Since it's gone, I must conclude it was not made by Blackbird! The only reason I can see right now is, that maybe Agnitum Outpost Security Suite Pro for a moment forgot what was good and what was bad, because of the big Windows update. That update really was huge.

But the point is, I didn't change anything, and everything is working fine - so Blackbird must be okay.   
« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 12:35:07 PM by Curt »

Blackbird Dev

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2016
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Get Blackbird
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #42 on: April 28, 2016, 04:48:27 PM »
It's sad that I didn't notice the errors that I have today, when I first ran Blackbird, yesterday. But now I cannot access Explorer until it has given up on opening some program. (...)
I'm sorry to hear about your experience. We've had thousands of users with no issues, this seems strange. (...).

- Thank You for answering, so I was reminded to tell:

The problem I had with Explorer this morning, has gone! I don't understand what caused the problem. Since it's gone, I must conclude it was not made by Blackbird! The only reason I can see right now is, that maybe Agnitum Outpost Security Suite Pro for a moment forgot what was good and what was bad, because of the big Windows update. That update really was huge.

But the point is, I didn't change anything, and everything is working fine - so Blackbird must be okay.  :up:

That's great news! We'll sleep better tonight :) Have seen Windows 10 get stuck when updating before, seems to be a pretty common issue.

Curt

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 7,041
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #43 on: April 29, 2016, 02:35:11 AM »
The problem I had with Explorer this morning, has gone! I don't understand what caused the problem. Since it's gone, I must conclude it was not made by Blackbird! The only reason I can see right now is, that maybe Agnitum Outpost Security Suite Pro for a moment forgot what was good and what was bad, because of the big Windows update. That update really was huge. But the point is, I didn't change anything, and everything is working fine - so Blackbird must be okay.

This morning the problem was back!!  :o 

Hmm... Windows was open, but Explorer kept freezing. Suddenly it occurred to me that the only thing changed from the day before, should be time; the clock, and it was still displaying Windows' default clock, not my third-party T-Clock 2010! When I finally could enter Explorer, I looked into Outpost Security Center and realized that T-Clock wasn't mentioned anywhere in Outpost. Of course it should be, so I navigated Outpost to the file and clicked "Allow". I cannot tell until tomorrow if this has cured the patient - but I expect it has. /(no, it wasn't cured at all)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 12:43:16 PM by Curt, Reason: not cured »

MilesAhead

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2009
  • **
  • Posts: 7,158
    • View Profile
    • Miles Ahead Software
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #44 on: April 29, 2016, 08:09:51 AM »
The hazard with using any kind of tuner or performance enhancer that changes multiple settings is that every setting is a variable in the equation.  If something goes wrong it can take a long time to track it down.  It almost forces you to take a system snapshot and just back it off if something doesn't fix in a short time.  Like an hour or so.

For this reason I do not install updates to the OS unless I have a specific problem and find an update that fixes it.  The only exception I make is service packs.  At least there is some effort to test after installing the service pack to see that all the fixes play together nicely.  With weekly bundles of updates there's no time for testing.

Blackbird Dev

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2016
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Get Blackbird
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #45 on: April 30, 2016, 04:44:25 AM »
The hazard with using any kind of tuner or performance enhancer that changes multiple settings is that every setting is a variable in the equation.  If something goes wrong it can take a long time to track it down.  It almost forces you to take a system snapshot and just back it off if something doesn't fix in a short time.  Like an hour or so.

For this reason I do not install updates to the OS unless I have a specific problem and find an update that fixes it.  The only exception I make is service packs.  At least there is some effort to test after installing the service pack to see that all the fixes play together nicely.  With weekly bundles of updates there's no time for testing.


This is true, and we were aware of this before deciding to go public with the project. That's why the focus has always been on leaving the smallest possible footprint, meaning it's literally impossible to fuck up your PC using Blackbird beyond minor annoyances, which were all resolved quickly through our tech support mail - info@getblackbird.net - on a case-by-case basis.
Since November 2015 there have been a total of 8 issues raised through contacting us. All were resolved and fixed, if needed, in later Blackbird versions.

You can never use Blackbird and wind up not booting to your desktop on whatever version or edition of Windows you may run.
Maybe there's a slight chance of that happening when Blackbird removed KB updates and Windows is being rebooted/configuring updates while power is suddenly lost.. but that has never been reported or confirmed, just guessing here.
But we do encourage the use of snapshots, it's a smart move and its better to be safe than sorry.

This morning the problem was back!!  :o 

Hmm... Windows was open, but Explorer kept freezing. Suddenly it occurred to me that the only thing changed from the day before, should be time; the clock, and it was still displaying Windows' default clock, not my third-party T-Clock 2010! When I finally could enter Explorer, I looked into Outpost Security Center and realized that T-Clock wasn't mentioned anywhere in Outpost. Of course it should be, so I navigated Outpost to the file and clicked "Allow". I cannot tell until tomorrow if this has cured the patient - but I expect it has.


Keep us updated, if the problem persists don't hesitate to contact us, we got your back.

Curt

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 7,041
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #46 on: April 30, 2016, 01:52:10 PM »
My problems all came back.

But now running Explorer in safe mode, the problems are gone. I guess QTTabbar (http://qttabbar.wikidot.com/ ) could have been the sinner - it has of course not yet been updated to match Windows 10's big update - but there were other extensions. So maybe it was Quizo, and maybe it wasn't. However, I miss it.

Blackbird Dev

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2016
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Get Blackbird
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #47 on: April 30, 2016, 04:03:55 PM »
My problems all came back.

But now running Explorer in safe mode, the problems are gone. I guess QTTabbar (http://qttabbar.wikidot.com/ ) could have been the sinner - it has of course not yet been updated to match Windows 10's big update - but there were other extensions. So maybe it was Quizo, and maybe it wasn't. However, I miss it.

Tested the app on an up-to-date Windows 10 Home VM, but were unable to use it as Explorer did not load the extension.
Have you tried uninstalling QTTabbar? I'm guessing there's some sort of conflict with the Windows update and this application.

Curt

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 7,041
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #48 on: May 01, 2016, 02:55:52 AM »
QTTabbar is a series of DLLs, there is no executor. It doesn't force itself onto Explorer, when registered, but you have to activate it yourself via right-clicking in Explorer. "Explorer in Safe Mode" means QTTabbar is de-activated.



Blackbird Dev

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2016
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Get Blackbird
    • Donate to Member
Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« Reply #49 on: May 01, 2016, 06:19:40 AM »
Got QTTabbar (with every extra toolbar option enabled to be sure) running but can't recreate the issue. Explorer opens up normally after applying Blackbird.
Are you running any additional software that affects Explorer?
The only thing I could think of that might be causing problems is the "NoInstrumentation" reg-key created by Blackbird.

It can be easily disabled by running a switch (blackbird -f) or you can change it directly by deleting the following key in registry:
Path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\
Key: NoInstrumentation