Subject: E-mail Virus Protection
I am a member of HAL-PC and I have a question concerning the HALNet E-mail Virus and Spam Filtering. I understand that if I subscribe to the Virus Protection Assistant program I will be protected from virus and spam coming in from the Internet.
If I am using the Virus Protection Assistant program, is my computer protected if I bring a floppy or a CD from an outside source and it is infected?
Editor: The Postini Virus Protection Assistant blocks malicious viruses from reaching your inbox, and threatening your computer. Virus-infected messages are quarantined and safely stored on a web-based Message Center where you can review their content without threatening your system. Since 80% of computer viruses are distributed by e-mail, this is the most convenient and affordable way to be protected from ever-increasing e-mail viruses. A second component of the service provided by HALNet allows you to block unwanted spam as well. For $2 per month, it's a real bargain. In the first 24 hours of the recent Mydoom attack, Postini intercepted 3.5 million copies of the virus, with an infection rate of 1 in 24 e-mails.
But in order to scan and protect your local PC from viruses when you copy or open files that reach you by other sources, you should use antivirus software with current updated virus signatures, which can be purchased from several good companies - among them are Symantec's Norton Antivirus, Network Associates' McAfee Antivirus, Trend Micro, Sophos, and others. There are even a couple of free antivirus programs, AVG ( www.grisoft.com ) and AntiVir ( www.free-av.com ). Check out some other links for free and on-line scanners at www.freebyte.com/antivirus/.
Subject: Recovering Deleted Photo Files
I just read an article concerning a product called PhotoRescue. It sounds like a very interesting program. We have a situation where this might be useful. We have a young man at our house that does not read yet. He was taking pictures the other day with our digital camera and decided he did not want the picture that he had taken. Our camera uses the Compact Flash card. He decided to erase the picture like he had seen his older brother and sisters do. He chose the wrong settings and erased the entire bunch of pictures. We have set this card aside until we can see if there is a program to recover these pictures. The article in which I referred to above makes Photo Rescue sound like a program that we might need to recover these pictures.
In looking into it further, we see that we need to plug the camera into the USB port. Our particular camera has a 15-pin connector to access the computer. Do you think this will work, as the article and information do not address this type of connector? I have also located a similar product named File Rescue Plus. Do you know of this product? If so, can you advise me?
Editor: Both products can restore the deleted files for you with good results, particularly if you've done nothing to the card since the accidental erasure. The PhotoRescue product demo ( www.datarescue.com/photorescue/ ) can be used for free to determine if the data can be recovered, and it doesn't write anything to your media. If you are satisfied with the preview, then you can pay $29 for the software by phone, mail, or on-line to complete the restoration. It's available for both PC and Mac platforms. You can try to read your card directly from the camera, but if that method doesn't work, you may have to use a card reader (which normally has a USB connection).
The other product, FileRescue Plus ( www.file-rescue.com/ ) can restore 2 of your files for free, and then you can purchase it for $39 to recover the rest. This program is available for the PC (Windows) platform only.
Subject: I need help!
The TCP/IP connection was unexpectedly terminated by the server. (Account 'mail.hal-pc.org', POP3 server:"mail.hal-pc.org', Error number: 0x8000ccc0f).
I can't get my messages unless I go to the HAL-PC website. And then to reply to them, I have to go the website or to a hotmail account.
I tried to send you a message by clicking on your link from the website under a troubleshooting area. When I click on your e-mail address, it opens a new message in Outlook Express. I typed the message and hit send. I got the following message: Your server has unexpectedly terminated the connection. Possible causes for this include server problems, network problems, or a long period of inactivity. Account: 'mail.hal-pc.org', Server: 'mail.hal-pc.org', Protocol: SMTP, Port: 25, Secure(SSL): No, Error Number: 0x800CCC0F
I would appreciate any light you could shed on these problems.
Editor: Here is the response from the HALNet Support Desk.
This is usually from a corrupted header in an email that was sent to you. To fix this see the following:
Please see the User Support page ( www.hal-pc.org/support ) and see "When You Receive Multiple Repeat Emails". This is usually caused by a "corrupt" email that was sent to you. You will need to log-in to the HALNet Web Based Email program and delete the problem email: Go to: webmail.hal-pc.org (or the HAL-PC home page and click on the HALNet Web Based Email program).
Put in your email address (in small letters) and your password then click "Enter."
In the Web Based Email program you can see all your mail residing on the server. If you see the offending email or an "odd looking email" delete it. You may want to delete ALL the emails you possibly can to make sure you get the one that's causing the problem and any email you do not want while you are there.
Once done, log out of the Web Based email program, and then check your mail with your email program. If it retrieves your mail properly, then you fixed it. If not, then you still may have a corrupted email residing on the server. You will have to go back and continue deleting emails and testing with your email program until you remove the problem email.
Many of these problems occur from HTML/JAVA emails. You might want to use "Plain Text" and have your friends do the same. See: "What is wrong with sending HTML or MIME messages?" www.expita.com/nomime.html
Also NOTE, Norton AntiVirus can sometimes cause a connection to fail. See: support.microsoft.com/?kbid=813514
Please note there may still be issues that need "hands on" repair. If the above does not help, you may need to make an appointment for the PC Troubleshooting Group, which meets on Friday Mornings. Call HAL-PC at 713-993-3300 for help or information.
The following links address MANY troubles we are getting from Norton Antivirus (some are already posted in our User Support area under Outlook Issues).
If you have the Norton antivirus e-mail feature enabled, you may have to do additional configuration to use Outlook or Outlook Express with the Norton antivirus e-mail feature.
Is it legal to sell an activation-free full version of Window XP Pro? I received an E-mail and somebody is trying to sell me a (decoded) activation free version. I don't want to purchase this item if I will get in to legal trouble. Thank you for your time and sorry for bothering you.
Editor: All legal copies of Windows XP require activation. The so-called activation-free version is not legal, and you will be unable to get updates and patches for it. That would be a very big problem in view of all the worms and viruses that take advantage of security holes in Windows, because patches are being issued frequently by Microsoft to correct them. The last version of Windows that was activation-free was Windows 2000.
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We look forward to hearing from you! Send your questions or comments for this column to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Email Bag” in the subject line. Names and addresses are printed only with permission, so please indicate your preference.