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Messages - patteo [ switch to compact view ]

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Hi Mouser,

Thanks for the reminder email. Wow, I made the lost sheep list. Didn't even realized I made that many posts previously.

I do return to Donationcoder every so often, lurking around, so not really lost. Just not posting as much as in the past.

I'm still using Windows as my main OS, just that my time is split with Android devices as well.

I certainly did learned a lot and still learning about useful software from everyone here and really appreciate that.

Thank you for starting this great site and leading the community.

Regarding the activation question, if you decide to rebuild anyway, now or down the road, you'll most likely need to give Microsoft a call for the activation. But you have a legal license - presumably not an OEM license - so they should accommodate your request.  (An OEM license is only for use on the hardware it came with.)

It's not an OEM license but a retail one.

I suppose another way to avoid the hassle of having to call Microsoft and be at their mercy is to make/keep a copy of the created virtual computer that has already been activated, just like making an image of a physical harddisk.

But I could not find a copy command in the VMPlayer menus.

I suppose I can just use File Explorer or DOPUS to find the directory and make the copy of the necessary folder. Hope this method of copying the image works.

Any thoughts? Thanks.

Are you looking to pay for this?  Or are you looking for something free?

something free would be ideal, but if I have to pay a reasonable amount, it would be okay

Browser Scripting, Data Extraction and Web Testing by iMacros
Use iMacros® 9 to create solutions for web automation, web scraping or web testing in just five minutes.

There's a free Firefox Add-in

and Chrome Add-in

I finally took the plunge from Windows XP to Windows 8 earlier this year, altogether skipping Vista and Windows 7.

Along the way, I kept my old Thinkpad running Windows XP because I had a couple of legacy programs that refused to launch in Windows 8 despite using different suggestions in the Microsoft Compatibility Troubleshooter.

Unfortunately the the program author has long abandoned the program.

So that left me with only one key alternative (since using the Thinkpad is such a pain - too slow.) - run Windows XP in virtual mode.

After doing quite a bit of research, I finally ended with two possible ways.

1. Run Windows XP Mode in VirtualBox
2. Run Windows XP Professional in VMPlayer

There is a thread here talking about WindowsXP Mode in Windows 7 Professional which has some relevance but not applicable.

It seems that Windows XP Mode is meant only for Windows 7 Professional, yet I could download and extract VirtualXP.vhd from Microsoft via my Windows 8 after validating my Windows 8.

There's also quite a lot of conflicting information about how I can run it, via Virtualbox, via VMLite etc

For those interested in Running Windows XP Mode in VirtualBox there's an interesting post here


Some other information here as well

So I decided to go the other route with VMPlayer (which is free for personal use) since I already owned another licensed Windows XP Professional that's just gathering dust.

I installed this Windows Professional and it works. Naturally, it requires activation (within 30 days).

In the process of setting up Windows XP Professional in VMPlayer, there were several options that I had to decide on like the amount of Ram, the size of the virtual disk, USB3 drivers etc.

I was just wondering, if anyone knows if I activate my Windows XP Professional and then decided that my particular setup is no good, like maybe I should have used 1GB Ram instead of 512Mb, I may have to delete that VMplayer that I created and restart another Windows XP Professional installation.

When I try to activate my 2nd installation in a VMPlayer with Windows XP Professional (now with 1GB Ram and now maybe having a larger Virtual Disk), will I be unable to activate since I would be viewed as having already activated on another computer, that being the VMPlayer I had just deleted.

On another related thought: Virtualization

I used to use Altiris from Symantec when I was using Windows XP.

This appears to create a sandbox like virtual environment that I could test new software in very safely.

Is there a good alternative for Windows 8 as I don't think Altiris works in Windows 8.

Just a little update on going nuclear and the aftermath.

I should add for the benefit of others that uninstalling Java did not remove the persistent virus.

1. You kind of obliterate everything and it's great to start afresh again, sort of. I looked through what I had previously installed and really, some of those I don't really use so I did some spring cleaning as well. The process is painfully slow, partly because I'm also taking my time. But the laptop seems to runs faster.

2. I decided to just as a matter of practice, exercise much greater caution when installing programs. Whenever possible, I upload each exe (limitation of 64mb) to or at least scan the url of the website before I download.

Better an ounce a caution than to have to go Nuclear again.

I wish there was a way of automating the process a bit more, like rightclick a url and send the url to be scanned at Or a way for me to right click a file and send the exe to be scanned at

3. Started wondering about a disk imaging solution. Used to use Ghost on XP.

Any suggestion of a reliable free imaging solution that works well with Windows 8 ?

4. Right now, for anti-virus, I use Windows Defender, Malwarebytes and also Web Of Trust (WOT - addin for Firefox).

Just wondering if I should add anymore armor besides being much more cautious about where I surf and what I click on. Any suggestions, apart from disconnecting myself from the internet ?

5. I also have noscript enabled on Firefox.

Thanks for any suggestions.

If it were me I would just go nuclear - even if you think you have cleared things you can never be 100% certain you got everything.

Thank you Carol for your thoughts. I appreciate your validation of what has been going through my head. I'm hoping against hope.

This is exactly what I'm feeling, seeing how hard it is to detect.

Even if it appears that it has been removed, I can never be 100% certain.

So I'll just have to bite the bullet, go nuclear and learn to be far more careful.

This is the first time in many years that I have been tripped up by a virus.

I guess, the biggest danger is really complacency had set in for me.

Completed scan by Sophos Virus Removal Tool.

I was not surprised that it detected nothing of consequence relating to the Trojan Dropper:MSIL/Livate.A.

I may try a couple of others of the suggested methods before going Nuclear.

Does anyone know how I may remove Trojan Dropper:MSIL/Livate.A ?

I would call for help to

Someone already asked your same question:
(are you Zatiac?  :) )

And this is the solution of Zatiac (of course I don't know if that applies for you too):

Thanks for the heads up about the solution.

From Zatiac
"Thanks for the response but I got it solved, I reset internet explorer and uninstalled java....that got all traces of the dropper off my laptop :D  I suspect the dropper is how the fbi moneypacks ransom got on my laptop as well. "

I'm right now scanning with Sophos Virus Removal Tool overnight to see if it detects anything.

Then I may Zatiac's "solution" and test out to see if the solution "works".

I may still go for the "Nuclear method".

I rang up Asus and they took me through the process of Rebooting and Reinstalling the Windows 8 OS from the hidden partition to reset everything to as per factory.

They told me I cannot Recreate the Recovery disk from another identical Laptop as it would have a different Windows 8 key.

They advised that a factory type Reset by Reinstalling and formatting is the surest method to ensure that the virus is removed, although it takes several hours because essentially, it reformats and recreates the partitions.

Naturally this is the sure fire though time consuming way.

But it's also an excuse for me to refresh everything, make the laptop run a bit faster (hopefully) and probably junk a lot of useless stuff on my laptop.

I'm of course a little bit concerned if some of the software that requires activation will reactivate properly. But they probably should since I'm not changing any hardware.

But in the process, I thought I may as well test out a couple of these suggested Virus Removal Tools in this thread first. I wouldn't be surprised if they found nothing. Sigh!

While I'm on this subject, I might as well mention that in future, before I access some new sites or install some programs, I'll make better use of, whether to check out a URL or an exe first, besides using Malwarebytes and Hitman Pro

A ounce of prevention is worth a megaton of going Nuclear to clean up a laptop.

This process is going to proceed rather slowly, but if I come across any further useful lessons, I'll certainly post on this thread.

Thanks to all who have posted their thoughts.

Donationcoders are such a group of helpful people.

Thats a nasty one.

Google "Kapersky Rescue Disk". Download and burn it to a CD (or USB key)? Then boot and allow it to grab the most recent updates? Then disinfect from that.

Haven't run into anything this hasn't been able to squash.

AVG and Avira also have similar bootable scanners if it doesn't.

Luck! :Thmbsup:

I will probably give this a shot before going "Nuclear" with the Windows  Reinstall.


Probably best and quickest to go for the clean install - assuming Windows Recovery hasn't got infected!

Yes, that's a concern.

I have an additional identical ASUS laptop (call it Laptop A that also came pre-installed with Windows 8). This one is not infected.

Just wondering if you know whether if I create an installation recovery disk from it Laptop A, it will install correctly fresh install on my infected laptop (Laptop B) since, I assume the Windows activation process checks for some hardware identifier on (Laptop B) which has already been licensed on their Windows activation server.

The lesson learned is that I should have created a recovery disk when I bought Laptop B before anything like that happened.

Thanks for any thoughts on this.

Does anyone know how I may remove Trojan Dropper:MSIL/Livate.A ?

I have had this Trojan hiding in my laptop for the better part of 3 months now.

Windows Defender detects it whenever it tries to do something, and this generally happens only when I start a new Firefox session or a new Internet Explorer session.

Windows Defender then detects it and quarantines it. You can see it in the attached picture.

After I instruct Windows Defender to remove it, Windows Defender deletes it and after making sure I update the signatures on Windows Defender, I do a complete entire harddisk scan and it finds nothing and then everything seems to be OK for a few days and then when I start a new Firefox session or a new Internet Explorer session, the Trojan is detected and quarantined by Windows Defender.

I have also bought the pro version of Malwarebytes but its complete and full scan reveals no such Trojan.

Likewise, I have runned Hitman Pro and it also finds no such Trojan.

Yet it keeps resurfacing and being stopped by Windows Defender but somehow not being completely removed when it is deleted.

The next thing I do was to apply the Windows 8.1 update in the hope that it would somehow rid my laptop of this Trojan.

No such luck.

Short of completely fresh install of Windows 8.1 on my Laptop, does anyone knows of a solution ?

A Google Search did not come up with a clear solution.

Thanks for any help or advise.

General Software Discussion / Re: mp3 audio to text
« on: August 08, 2013, 10:13 AM »
I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 Premium.

Yes, Dragon NaturallySpeaking allows you to Transcribe a recorded audio file. See the attached image.

However, let me warn you that the results are not what you would expect or hope for. There is likely to be several errors, missed words, mis-recognized words and if you want a reasonably good transcription, I think you would be disappointed.

I have tried it several times to get a reasonably good MP3 to be processed into text by Dragon NaturallySpeaking without human intervention, but the results contain far too many errors and the subsequent correction process to tidy it up simply takes too long.

The reason for this is multifaceted; the voice model of the speaker may not be available to you (ie - it is not trained to his voice), the MP3 quality may have a lot of background noise, or the microphone was not of a good enough quality or it may be too far away from the speaker's mouth, or he may be speaking too close or too directly into it and it's capturing his breathing sounds and he may slur his speech, or not pronounce words carefully  (ie the speaker is not speaking specifically for speech transcription). There are many factors that contribute to accuracy or lack of accuracy.

Although Dragon NaturallySpeaking has really come of age and doesn't really require that much training in version 12, it does require that you enunciate the words reasonably carefully, without speaking too fast but rather speaking naturally and of course you need a fast laptop as it is quite CPU intensive.

Those people who have used speech transcription will tell you that the most accurate and efficient and effective method is really listen and read back. What that means, simply is that you listen to what the speaker is saying on the MP3 for example and then you speak into a good quality microphone, ie you act as a go between. If you do it this way, then Dragon NaturallySpeaking will give you outstanding results.

However, please take note, it takes approximately about an hour to transcribe 10 minutes of MP3 if you used the listen and read back method.
It is also Critical to make sure that you use a high quality microphone that is attached to a good quality sound card or a good quality USB sound pod.

Another way, is to pay for someone to transcribe for you. Just Google for transcription services.

After all is said and done, you perhaps may still want to just try using Dragon NaturallySpeaking to process the MP3 to see the  whether the results are adequate enough for you.

1. Rollback Rx Eats Space
2. Rollback Rx Eats Space again
3. Why is my snapshot so big?

There's a discount of 65% for a price of $24.15 today.

But unfortunately the above links about it eating up space are dead as I was wondering about that issue.

Could not find the links on that their site with Google.

"RollBack Rx
A Virtual Time-Machine!
RollBack Rx
Tools & Utilities

*** Due to the overwhelming response Horizon DataSys Corporation has agreed to extend this deal for another day - Enjoy! ***

RollBack Rx is a powerful utility that enables home users and IT professionals alike to easily restore their PC to exactly how it was at a specific time before a system crash or other catastrophe.

Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?"

I shall answer my own dumb question.

Just File Save as :

My first instinct was to do a Google search and because I asked the Google the wrong question , it gave me a list of some paid software to do the conversion.

So naturally I assume that one had to have a third party software to do this.

But it was right under my nose in the File Save As:

I have an Microsoft Excel 2003 file consisting of a list of Names and Titles that I would like to convert to a Dbase 3 file so that I can use it to print name tags. The program I am using to print the labels require the Database to be in a Dbase 3 format.

Can anyone suggest a freeware program that I can use to accomplish this ?


I'm wondering if disk defragmentation programs like PerfectDisk, Diskkeeper etc takes the thoughts expressed in the articles below into consideration when defragging and deciding where to place files.

Most people keep less than 80 GB of data, including the operating system and their applications, on their hard drive. So why should they buy a 500 MB, 1 or even 2 TB hard drive?

One simple reason: speed. That big hard drive will give you this snappiest performance this side of a solid-state disk.

For many applications, even faster than a costly SSD. For a lot less money.


A related article here :

Hard disks *do* get slower with use

Posted by Robin Harris @ 12:33 pm

Does the discount code apply to upgrades as well ?

Guys, please check the FAQ. For the majority of European countries, and many more, including Germany, France and the United Kingdom, you will be paid in your local currency:

Yes, I have read and I think Tomos and I are referring to the same thing.

The point is that unless the local currency check is issued by your LOCAL bank or the LOCAL branch of the Foreign bank, you are still at the mercy of your local bank and the foreign bank involved.

For example, say in a country like Australia, unless your A$39 check is issued by say WestPac or Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which are Australian based banks, or say Bank of America (Sydney Branch) rather than a A$39 issued by Bank of America (ie drawn on a US bank say Los Angeles Branch), you are still subjected to unnecessary bank charges I'm referring to.

So perhaps the pertinent question is will the local currency payment be a local check issued by the local bank or the local branch of the US bank ?

This determines if the recipient receives the equivalent of US$39 or US$39 less bank commission & other charges.

Just thought I will weigh in on this from another angle. And this is not to cast aspersion on the rebate system but to help others recognize the pitfalls.

If you are someone who is buying from other than from the USA, I think you are basically out of luck even if the rebate system is reliable.

Basically, you will get a check Drawn on a US Bank, let's say US$39 in this case for yaTimer.

Now, what are you going to do ?

Go to your local bank of course.

Now if you understand this aspect of the international payment system, you will know or soon find out that your local bank through some round about process, have to exchange this check with a US based bank and in the process, you will find that the amount you get will magically disappear because of Bank commission, exchange commission, etc some of which there is a minimum sum and your final receipt after you have queue up at your bank and paid your parking charges etc is not really worth your trouble.

You may end up with US$10, maybe US$5, maybe more, maybe less. Who knows - you are at the mercy of the local and international banks for the various charges they wish to deduct.

I suggest you ask you local bank what sort of charges is involved in when you cash a US check if you are not in the USA. You may even find that your local bank give you a non-committal answer saying it depends of which bank it comes from.

Unfortunately, when this happens, there will be some rather unhappy people who unwittingly became victims of the "system" and who is going to get blamed. Certainly not the banks.

Now, mind you, this is just the "system" of clearing an International Checks from another country that is not your own country - ie whether you are in Australia, getting a UK or US check.

But if the 100% rebate is for a US$390 software, what is US$20 or even US$50 for bank charges to help pay the fat cats on Wall Street.


I just read that for certain countries (in their FAQ) , the check will be sent in the local currency. But do note that if again the check is drawn on a US bank, the back and forth thing between your local bank and the US Bank continue to apply and that means the bank commission charges.

Do correct me if I'm wrong.

The offer is on today.

"Tools & Utilities
Sandboxie Personal License
Keep Your Applications In Safe, Secure Containers
Sandboxie creates safe space for unsafe activities, offering increased security, easy clean-up, and file management with ease. "

No, favorites or changed data is not lost until you clear the sandboxie your were using.  And you can recover *any* file created during the sandboxie session.  You can't easily, however, recover registry keys, which can be sometimes useful.

So am I correct to say that any updates to PowerFavourites (the NON sandboxed program) capturing a url say this current thread from Firefox (the Sandboxed program) will be lost when I clear the Sandboxie Firefox session ?

Sometime ago, I use to use Stumbleupon and decided to stop for a couple of reasons

1. It was addictive
2. It was potentially unsafe - I was wondering if you could stumble upon a malware infected site.

So Sandboxie may actually remove reason 2.

But ha ha, that still leaves Reason 1 unresolved other than through discipline.

Just wondering, if I had IE or Firefox running in Sandboxie and then saved a few bookmarks to Firefox or a 3rd party program like PowerFavourites (either through a button on IE  or Firefox or a Rightclick context menu selection), would closing the Sandboxie make me lose the save bookmarks in say Powerfavourites (which is not Sandboxed) or Firefox favourites.

I got these comments which were quite helpful explaining the nuances compare with programs like Returnil from

"# Cyndi Queen Says:

How does Sandboxie differ from Power Shadow. With Power Shadow, if you put the computer into "shadow mode," you can go to dangerous websites or install questionable software to try out, and as soon as you reboot the computer, all traces are gone. The one bad thing is that if you want to know how a piece of software will affect the boot process or whether it will slow down the computer after you've rebooted, you can't tell with Power Shadow. Is that true as well of Sandboxie? Does Sandboxie offer advantages over Power Shadow?
Jan 15 2009 11:44am
Website Visitor Jay G. Says:

Cyndi, PowerShadow is like Faronics Deep Freeze or Returnil where the entire system drive is "virtualized" or sandboxed, meaning while they're on, all the changes to the system drive are virtualized and erased on reboot. Not only can't you install software that requires a reboot, updating a program typically requires rebooting the PC, having the sandboxer off, then running the update. Likewise, personal documents have to be saved to something other than the system drive/partition before a reboot, or they'll be lost forever.

With Sandboxie, only the programs that you run inside it are sandboxed, meaning that you can run the majority of your programs unsandboxed, and only run potentially vunerable programs (web browsers) or questionable programs inside the sandbox. So you can update Windows and your AV program running outside Sandboxie, make and save documents, but run your web browser within Sandboxie so that any potential malware that it is attacked by is stuck inside the sandbox.

Resetting in Sandboxie is different too, since to clear out a sandbox you usually just have to close all the programs running inside of it and then "delete contents." Everything inside the sandbox is erased, no reboot required.

Sandboxie also allows you to "recover" files that are sandboxed. So say you download a file in your sandboxed web browser, Sandboxie will give you the option of copying the file out of the sandbox.

Sandbox contents also stay there until manual erasure, even after a reboot. This can be a good thing, as you can test software over a period of time within the sandbox. However, since the erasure isn't automatic, if a piece of malware infects the sandbox, it stays in there until you remember to clear the sandbox, making protection a bit less "automatic" than hard drive virtualizers like Power Shadow.

Sandboxie doesn't support driver installs, so any program that installs a driver can't be installed withing Sandboxie, while they may be able to be installed with a hard drive virtualizer activated.

There is a freeware version of Sandboxie available on the publishers site if you want to try it out.
Jan 15 2009 12:20pm
Website Visitor Jay G. Says:

Some additional notes:

Since with Sandboxie you're going to be running a mix of sandboxed and non-sandboxed programs at once, Sandboxie adds
  • brackets to the titles of windows running sandboxed. For example, a sandboxed Firefox will show at the top of it's window the title:
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • .

Also, you have to explicitly run programs within Sandboxie in order for them to be sandboxed. To do this, you either start them from within Sandboxie Control, or right-click on the program and select "run sandboxed". Programs installed inside Sandboxie can only be run sandboxed. The personal license offered here allows you to force certain programs to always run sandboxed, even if you don't do the steps above and try to run it like normal.

Finally, you can create multiple sandboxes in Sandboxie and run different applications in each. For example, you can run your web browser in one, then install a program into its own sandbox. That way you can erase one sandbox without affecting the program in the other sandbox. The freeware version limits you to only using one sandbox at a time, but the personal license lets you use as multiple sandboxes at once."

It's on sale again on 20 Oct 2009

Sandboxie Personal License
Keep Your Applications In Safe, Secure Containers
Sandboxie creates safe space for unsafe activities, offering increased security, easy clean-up, and file management with ease. "

Are there anyone here actively using this and find it useful, stable ?

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