Malware that restarts your computer (Legacy API shutdown, 0×80070000)

On 6/6/2013 I had my first case of this malware that restarts your computer without asking. I believe it was a drive-by download that did it and when the computer rebooted the file was gone. Here is what was in the Event Log:

The process C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Temp\notepad.exe (computer name) has initiated the restart of computer computer name on behalf of user computer name\user for the following reason: Legacy API shutdown
Reason Code: 0×80070000
Shutdown Type: restart

That notepad.exe is obviously malware, but it’s not there after restarting. I can’t find any other evidence of infection. I suspect that it was trying to write to the Master Boot Record (MBR), but due to encryption software it may not have gotten the job done.

I’m posting this here hoping that other researchers and IT support folks will find this and do some more investigating. Please comment here.

[SOLUTION] Adobe Flash updater with Internet Explorer Script Error

A client was trying to update Adobe Flash to 11.4 (down with Adobe and their rage-inducing update policy), but she got a pop-up windows in the final phase of the update:

Internet Explorer Script Error

An error has occurred in the script on this page.

Line: 1

Char: 18292

Error: Object expected

Code: 0

URL: http://127.0.0.1:1821/app/_js/index.js

What this means — I don’t know. But here is how I worked around it – visit this page:

http://helpx.adobe.com/content/help/en/flash-player/kb/installation-problems-flash-player-windows.html#main-pars_header

On this question in the Adobe help there is a download link for Flash Player for ActiveX. I ran that and it updated fine.

Please comment if this did or didn’t help.

 

Dell Latitude E6420 & E6520 weight

I’ve found it very difficult to find the weight of Dell Latitude laptops because what I’ve found on Dell’s website says that it is with an empty CD drive bay and a 4-cell battery (which isn’t even available to buy with the computer).

I just weighed a standard configuration E6420 (6 cell battery, DVD burner) and it is 5 lbs 4 oz.

A standard configuration E6520 (6 cell battery, DVD burner) is 6 lbs 2.5 oz.

If you’d like to add the 9-cell battery to either one, add 6.1 ozs.

FOR SALE: 2012 Kaplan Pocket Tables

[OLD YEAR] STILL IN STOCK NOW (3/9/2013):  Kaplan’s 2012 Pocket Tables, or as some people call them, Tax Tables. I currently have a large quantity in stock.

All orders include free shipping to the US only.  Email (brian AT brianmorristech.com) or Comment below if you want me to send them and bill you.

2004 Jeep Liberty problems – listed

I have a 2004 Jeep Liberty and it sounds like many others have had these same issue I’ve had, so I figured why don’t I list what I’ve figured out so you don’t have to! (I haven’t listed normal maintenance items like brake pads or fluids). Comment on others things you’ve learned and how to fix them!

88,000 miles, 8/2009 – Replaced battery. Five years from OEM battery – sounds reasonable, although Consumer Reports notes this as a trouble spot

91,500 miles, 12/2009 – Water pump, belt, tensioner. Water pump froze, which destroyed the belt. Consumer Reports listed this as a common problem.

95,000 miles, 2009 – CD player. My model has a 5-CD changer. It mostly does not return the CDs when I ask. It is crap. Consumer Reports lists this as a trouble spot.

99,800 miles, 6/2010 – Left outer tie rod. Needed to complete an alignment.

107,500 miles, 12/2010 – Rack & pinion, power steering pressure line. This was a nightmare. My power steering fluid reservoir kept emptying out, but nothing was leaking on the ground (baffling!!). Upon my mechanic friend’s inspection, he found that the boots on the ends of the rack & pinion were blown up like a balloon. We had the hardest time getting the rack out and putting the new one back in. The key is to just keep taking things apart — there’s no easy way to sneak it out. It took us eight hours.

115,000 miles, 6/2011 – Exhaust gasket. My tire/service shop couldn’t figure out how to repair the exhaust leak that slowly grew louder and louder over a six month period. They said they couldn’t find a gasket to fix it. My mechanic friend was successful in finding a gasket from the dealer. I subsequently was at a Jeep dealer and was chatting and he asked it I replaced the exhaust gasket yet. This must be very common. The gasket was a piece of soft metal that fits near the catalytic converter where the leak was. If you find a part number, please comment.

120,200 miles, 10/2011 – Blower motor resistor. The fan motor has been getting weaker and weaker over the last few years to the point of which setting 1 hardly has any airflow. I even replaced my A/C coolant twice thinking that was the problem. I searched online and found this was yet another common problem and a part number was listed (Consumer Reports lists this as a common problem as well as the A/C compressor). I went to the dealer and they said I needed Part Number 5139719AA for my 2004 Liberty (not 5066552AA which I found in a search). If you determine that this is the right part, here it is on Amazon. See my post on how to replace the resistor.

120,200 miles, 10/2011 – Emergency brake swivels. I asked my tire/service shop to check the emergency brake since it stopped working all together (it hasn’t worked well since we bought it). They said they had the same issue some up on another Liberty lately and they needed to recondition the emergency brake swivels. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but it cost me $190. I see that AutoZone has a $32 parking brake kit — maybe someone can enlighten us on whether something could be easily replaced.

126,300 – Check engine light (oxygen sensor). It started to come on during the exhaust leak (see above). I replaced the oxygen sensor behind where the leak was and it fixed the light.

128,000 – Hood lift supports. Yeah, my hood won’t stay up anymore. I’m going to try these.

133,000 — AND THE JEEP IS OFF TO A NEW HOME! A 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee has taken its place..

Consumer Reports also lists issues with the windows. I haven’t had any problem..so far.

QUIRKS:

For those of you thinking of buying this year, here are some annoyances:

  • The car automatically locks the doors at a low speed. When you turn off the car, it doesn’t unlock them. I worked with the dealer to fix the programming and they said it just wasn’t an option.
  • This is one key hole on the whole car. If that freezes up or breaks and the battery is dead, you’re toast.
  • There is no back window open button in the car. The only way to do it is with the remote. This is just STUPID. It you open the back door without opening the window with the remote, the window will not shut. (In the manual it says to pull the handle half way and the window will open, but mine doesn’t do that.)
  • There are multiple types of four-wheel drive systems. Make sure to know which one you are buying.
  • ABS and traction control were not standard in 2004.
  • The glovebox is the smallest I’ve ever seen.

[SOLUTION] Traffic not appearing on Garmin nuvi 1690

I’m really liking the Garmin nuvi 1690 with nuLink, which I hope to write a review for Amazon soon. One problem that I experienced was that I couldn’t get the traffic icon to show up on the screen and I couldn’t figure out how to turn it on in the settings. I finally downloaded the owner’s manual (http://static.garmincdn.com/pumac/nuvi1690_OwnersManual.pdf) and found this:

Go to Tools > Settings > Security and change the Position Reporting to On. This certainly should have been on a sticker on the screen, or at least in the Quick Start Guide, but it’s not. How many people will figure this out??

I also found that after parking the car for a few hours and heading out again, the traffic icon many times does not appear, even after the cell signal is 5 bars for a half hour. I found that I can get the traffic icon back by holding in the power button for over 10 seconds and letting go – if the Garmin logo comes up, the GPS is rebooting. This has worked for me. I just updated the GPS software from the my.garmin.com website, so I’ll see if that fixes the missing traffic icon issue.

Adobe Reader 9 & Reader X print garbage

I’ve dealt with Adobe Reader 9 printing garbled characters/garbage for a few years now with my clients and I’ve never found an actual fix. It is happening with Adobe Reader X as well. My best answer has been to leave the document open until printing is complete and it seems to prevent the problem, but how can this go on for so long on so many computers? I’m talking about multiple computer makes, models, ages, various printers.

Maybe I can get some answers by showing up on Google and working with others! Please comment if you have suggestions.

Printer/copier cost per page

I’ve found it very difficult to compare printers over the years because printer manufacturers seems to not want to make it easy to compare cost per page numbers.  This is one of the most important factors in my recommendations, but most consumers just look at the price of the printer and maybe the toner or cartridge.

I intend on doing much more work on this in the future, but in the meantime, I will put rough estimates in this blog post.

Canon imageCLASS D340 Laser Copier/Printer – $300;  Toner S35 – $126;  Toner yield – 3500 pages = cost per page of 3.60 cents.

Canon imageCLASS D1120 Laser Copier/Printer/Scanner – $500; Toner 2617B001AA- $168; Toner yield – 5000 pages = cost per page of 3.36 cents.

NOTE: These page yields are from the manufacturer, so they are most likely may too high, but at least it should give you a good comparison with printers from the same maker.  Toner prices are as found on officedepot.com (as linked).

Webroot Antivirus with Spy Sweeper 2011 makes Vista freeze?

I did work on a computer this morning that was freezing 2-4 times per daily; usually when the screensaver was active.  The freeze was a total screen and mouse freeze, in which the power button needed to be held in.  It is a Dell Inspiron tower with Vista SP2 32-bit.  I looked in the event log and found that the freezing began almost immediately after Webroot Antivirus w/Spy Sweeper updated to version 7 (2011 is the marketing name).

I uninstalled Webroot and installed Microsoft Security Essentials temporarily to see what happens.  Please comment here if you are having similar experiences.