Easily remove adware and malware with the Junkware Removal Tool

Doing virus removal I get allot of calls from people who believe their computer is infected. It's usually a program or browser toolbar that they don't know where it came from, it just showed up one day. And sometimes it turns out to be adware / malware. One of the best tools I've found for removing programs like these is the Junkware Removal Tool by Thisisu.

Junkware Removal Tool main screen
The main screen for the Junkware Removal Tool

Junkware Removal Tool (JRT) is no frills, bare-bones program for removing some of the more popular and notorious junkware / adware programs out there. JRT uses just a command prompt window for a user interface, no features or options here. It first creates a backup of the registry and then scans the system processes / services, files / folders, registry keys / values and browser plugins. And when done, it creates a text report on the desktop and opens it up.

Here are just a few of programs JRT removes:

24×7 help, Advanced System Protector, Ask Toolbar, Blekko, Browserprotect, Browsersafeguard, Conduit, Driver Pro, Driver Cure, Inbox Toolbar, Incredibar, MoboGenie, MyPC Backup, MyWebSearch, NewTab, Omniboxes, OoVoo Toolbar, PC MightyMax, PC Optimizer Pro, PC Performer, PC Speed, Maximizer, PC Speed Up, PCFixSpeed, PCSafeDoctor, Search Protection, Strongvault, SysTweak, TopArcadeHits, Visualbee, Wajam and Yontoo.

JRT requires no installation, just download and run. And it automatically checks for a new version every time you run it, so you will always have the latest version. JRT is freeware, so if you find it useful, please make a donation via PayPal. Just click on the Donate button at the bottom of JRT's homepage.

For more information on JRT, just follow the links below.

Junkware Removal Tool
Download the latest version of Junkware Removal Tool

Creating panoramic images with Image Composite Editor 2

One of the things I like to do when I go on vacation is taking panoramic photos. Since my camera doesn't actually take panoramic photos, I have to use software to stitch images together. One of the best image stitchers I have found yet is Image Composite Editor 2 from Microsoft Research Computational Photography Group.

Image Composite Editor 2

Image Composite Editor (ICE) can take photos taken from a single location that overlap and create stunning panoramic images from them. Using techniques from the field of computer vision, ICE scans the images for similarities to each other and then estimates the vantage point for each photo. ICE can even create panoramic photos from videos too.

Sample ICE 2 panoramic image without auto complete
Sample ICE 2 panoramic image without auto complete
Sample ICE 2 panoramic image with auto complete
Sample ICE 2 panoramic image with auto complete

Microsoft Research Computational Photography Group recently released a new version of ICE. The following is quote from the ICE website of changes included in ICE 2:

  • Redesigned user interface
    ICE has a new look that makes all the features more understandable and easier to use.
  • Automatic image completion
    ICE can now fill in any missing pixels around the edges of your panorama, making a smooth boundary even in cases where you missed a shot.
  • Improved workflow
    ICE now guides you through the steps required to make a great panorama. And you can back up a step to change settings, then see the effects of those changes without having to start over from scratch.
  • Full-resolution preview
    Panorama previews are no longer limited by your screen resolution. ICE now allows you to zoom in to see every detail of your stitched panorama, no matter how big, before you export.
  • Built-in Photosynth uploader
    ICE no longer requires the installation of a separate application to upload a panorama to the Photosynth web site. You can now upload and share your panorama directly from within ICE.


Panoramic image of Jasper Forest inside of the Petrified Forest National Park

ICE will work on 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 or Windows 8 / 8.1. For more information on Image Composite Editor from Microsoft Research Computational Photography Group, just follow the links below:

ICE Homepage
ICE Support Forums

How to replace a CD/DVD/BD drive in your desktop computer

When it comes to desktop computer repair, one of the most common hardware failures are CD/DVD/BD drives. If you're having problems with getting the disk tray to eject or disks are not being recognized, it may be time to replace it. Here's how to replace a CD/DVD/BD drive in your desktop computer.

How to replace a CD/DVD/BD drive in your desktop computer

So you're tired of trying to get your old desktop CD/DVD/BD drive to work and are ready to replace it with a new one. Having to use a paper clip to manually eject your computer's CD/DVD/BD drive tray can get old really quick. Replacing a desktop CD/DVD/BD drive is fairly easy; you just have to make sure you get one with the correct connections and dimensions.

Find a new drive

The majority of CD/DVD/BD drives on the market nowadays will have SATA (Serial ATA) connectors for data and power. But there are still quite a few older systems that still use PATA (Parallel ATA) for data and 4 Pin Molex for power. SATA type drives are the de facto standard, so finding PATA replacement drives can be tricky. Newegg and TigerDirect are good places to find these older style drives.

SATA and PATA drive connections
PATA and SATA drive connections

Desktop CD/DVD drives have standard width and height dimensions, so all you have to do is check the depth of your existing drive. Sometimes you have room to put a deeper drive in and sometimes you don't. Always check to see what kind of space you have available before purchasing a replacement drive.

Uninstall the old software

Once you have your new CD/DVD/BD drive you will need to uninstall the software that came with your old CD/DVD/BD drive. It's usually a version of Nero or PowerDVD and it is branded to your old drive. Once you remove the old drive, the software that came bundled with it won't work anymore. Your new drive should have come with its own disk burning software.

Install the new drive

From here we need to turn the computer off, disconnect the power cord from the back of the system and open up the case. Now there are two possible ways of mounting the CD/DVD/BD drive in the case: screws or quick release rails. You may have to remove the front bezel from the case to get the CD/DVD/BD drive, as it will need to come out the front of the case. Make note of the connections and remove the old drive and replace with the new one.

Drives attached by screws and quick release rails
Drives attached by screws and quick release rails

Install the new software

Once you get the system back together, power it up and let Windows discover the new CD/DVD/BD drive. Windows may require a restart to finalize the setup. After that you are ready to install the software that came with the new drive.

Eliminate spam from your inbox with MailWasher Pro 7.5

When it comes to communication, e-mail is by far the fastest and easiest way to exchange thoughts and ideas. But it can also be one of the fastest ways to spread viruses / malware too. But you can protect yourself and your computer by using MailWasher Pro 7.5 by Firetrust.

About screen inside MailWasher Pro 7.5

MailWasher Pro is an anti-spam program that allows you to view your e-mail without worrying about setting off a virus. How does it work? It simply downloads only the text of the e-mail, not any of the links and/or attachments. It then allows you to delete any unwanted e-mail right then and there. That way spam e-mail never makes its way into your inbox.

View of Inbox inside of MailWasher Pro 7 dot 5
View of Inbox inside of MailWasher Pro 7.5

MailWasher Pro also has some great built-in tools to help you figure out what is good e-mail and what is spam. The Origin of spam tool checks blacklist databases for known spam servers (you can edit the list). MailWasher Pro also checks the FirstAlert online database for known spam e-mails.

Origin of spam shows this mail came from a blacklisted IP
Origin of spam shows this e-mail came from a blacklisted IP

MailWasher Pro also has a Friends list and a Blacklist, which allows you to specify which individual e-mail address are good or spam. And with Filters, you can create wild-card rules to even further screen out the junk e-mail. MailWasher Pro 7.5 includes improvements in the way it handles IMAP mail accounts.

There is a free version of MailWasher Pro called MailWasher Free that has a limited feature set. MailWasher Pro allows you to use multiple e-mail addresses, has a recycle bin, a full preview pane and technical support. And if you use the MailWasher Mobile app you can sync e-mail accounts, friends list and blacklist from MailWasher Pro. Both versions work with Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, G-mail and every other mail program.

For more information on MailWasher Pro or MailWasher Free, just follow the links below.

MailWasher Pro
MailWasher Free

Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes 2015

Come join us on November 7, 2015 as we walk and raise funds for the American Diabetes Association’s signature fund raising event, Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes. So many lives are touched by diabetes. Chances are your life is too. You can help make a difference in those lives. Join us or donate - either way, you can change lives. And feel good doing it!

Step Out Walk to Fight Diabetes 2015

We’re committed to walk and raise money in this inspirational event not because 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, but because we personally know some of them, and want to do something about it.

And this year is more special than ever because it’s the 75th Anniversary of the American Diabetes Association. No better time than now to join us in celebrating 75 years of continuous progress working to improve the lives of people with diabetes through research, advocacy and education.

If diabetes touches your life, then you belong with us. When we bring together dedicated team members and generous donors, the power we have as a group far outweighs what any of us could do alone.

To help support our efforts, please click one of the links below to donate or join our team.

So what are you waiting for? Time to join us and make an impact in the fight against diabetes.

Geeks in Phoenix Team Page
My Personal Page
Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes

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