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Category: Windows

Enable Anti-Ransomware Feature in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Posted in How-to Guides, and Windows

A new type of ransomware named Bad Rabbit has emerged and is currently spreading across Europe.  In light of this, it’s understandable that users would want to take efforts to protect themselves from being infected (as let’s face it, a machine compromised with ransomware will need to be formatted and re-installed).

Windows 10 users have the option of enabling a hidden security feature which prevents ‘unfriendly’ applications (and most known strains of ransomware) from modifying files within protected folders and I will show you how to enable it.

In case you aren’t aware, ransomware is a strain of malware that encrypts system files as well as your personal files and ‘holds them ransom’ by demanding payment for decryption.  Needless to say, should you be foolish/desperate enough to actually pay the money there’s absolutely no guarantee that you will receive the decryption key.

By enabling Controlled Folder Access, the malware will be blocked from making changes within known locations, it’s a nifty feature that is turned off by default but can easily be enabled.

Prerequisites:

Ensure Windows 10 is updated with the latest Fall Creators update (1709).

Ensure Windows Defender Security Center real-time protection is enabled – unfortunately, the Controlled Folder Access feature does not work with 3rd Party virus protection.

Open Windows Defender Security Center and scroll down to Controlled Folder Access, and toggle to switch to on:

You can also add your own folders to the list by selecting Protected Folders > Add a protected folder:

And finally, should you need to white-list a flagged app you can select Allow an app through Controlled folder Access > Add an allowed app:

Should you decide that the Controlled Folder Access feature is not for you, you can easily toggle the option back to off.

Remove Dead Share Folders

Posted in How-to Guides, and Windows

I make use of a Raspberry Pi running Kodi (OpenELEC) media centre which has access to various share folders from my main PC running Windows 10.  Recently I’ve moved a lot of data from one hard drive (drive :D) to another (drive :I), after which I deleted the empty Movies share from Windows. Then, when I wanted to remove the empty share from OpenELEC I was unable to do so.

It seems that after moving the information in Movies to another drive and deleting the share folder thereafter, I created a dead share.  Even though the Movies folder had been deleted from Windows, when I tried to share the information again using the same name (Movies) on another drive (drive :I), Windows renamed it to Movies2 and stated that there is already a share of the same name residing on drive :D.

Needless to say this was incredibly frustrating, thankfully though after several attempts at correcting the problem I was able to find a solution.

Open regedit and navigate to the below path, once in shares, locate the dead share folder and delete the entry.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Shares

After deleting the registry entry, the dead share no longer showed on OpenELEC and I was able to freely re-create the share on drive :I in Windows.

How to create a shortcut for locking your PC in Windows 7 – 10

Posted in How-to Guides, and Windows

If like me, you find yourself in a situation where you need to quickly lock your screen, and the Win+L keyboard shortcut isn’t an option – in this case the SteelSeries keyboard I’m using has its own logo-key (pictured below) instead of the traditional Windows key and using the Win+L shortcut doesn’t work, then there’s a very simple workaround available.

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Simply, right-click wherever you want to create the shortcut, Right-click > New > Shortcut.  Enter the following text into the shortcut text box:

rundll32.exe user32.dll, LockWorkStation

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And finally, just rename the shortcut to whatever you please, in this case I named it LockMe, click Finish and you’re done.

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Windows 10 | How to delete the Windows.old Folder

Posted in How-to Guides, and Windows

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If you have Windows 10 installed you may be aware that the first big update for Microsoft’s latest operating system has just been made available.  What is essentially a service pack, Windows 10 Pro, version 1511, 10586 (pictured above) will require a sizable chunk of hard drive space in order to be installed and what’s worse is that once the installation is complete, a new folder called Windows.old will be lurking beneath the normal Windows directory in the C:\ drive.  The Windows.old folder uses about 15Gb of additional space and can’t be deleted by conventional means as Windows considers the contents to be system files.  There is really no need for this folder (it’s basically a copy of your old operating system files) so I’m going to show you how to get rid of it, or at the very least empty it.

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Windows 10 retains a copy of your old system files after upgrading to version 1511, 10586.

Step 1Locate ‘Clear disk space by deleting unnecessary files’, typing “free up disk space” should allow the option to populate in ‘Search’.

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Step 2The Disk Cleanup box will prompt you to select the drive you want to clean, by default it should be set to C:\ drive.

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Step 3Select ‘Clean up system files’.

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Step 4The Disk Cleanup box will pop-up once again, click ‘OK’, at the next screen and ensure that ‘Previous Windows Installation(s)’ is selected and click ‘OK’ again.

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The only reason mine is showing as 216KB is due to having completed this deletion prior to this how-to guide, in actuality the folder is around 15.5Gb.

Step 5Click ‘Delete Files’ when prompted to do so and then click ‘Yes’ on the next screen to confirm your decision.

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The contents of the Windows.old folder have now been deleted but oddly enough the empty directory remains visible and I couldn’t remove it.  However, the Windows.old folder will reportedly be removed automatically after a month. While that remains to be seen, there’s nothing stopping you from making the empty folder hidden in the meantime.