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Johnnymushio
10-17-2007, 09:57 PM
these are all start up files for my vista laptop.

i wanna delete some of them to make startup faster, but i dont know what these ones are. do you?

C:\Windows\system32\userinit.exe

C:\Windows\explorer.exe (if i removed this, would i not be able to open windows?)

C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\WMPNSCFG.exe

C:\Program Files\Windows Defender\MSASCui.exe

C:\Windows\AGRSMMSG.exe

C:\Program Files\Atheros\Wireless\Utility\WlanUtil.exe

C:\Windows\system32\hkcmd.exe

i know what some of these are, kind of. but if they are safe to delete at startup i dunno. i dont careif it makes the program start up faster later on. :confused:

C:\Windows\system32\igfxpers.exe

thetestingsite
10-17-2007, 10:07 PM
C:\Windows\system32\userinit.exe

I believe this is the initiation script for user logins and whatnot. A semi-important file that I believe would cause windows to crash if removed.



C:\Windows\explorer.exe (if i removed this, would i not be able to open windows?)


You could still open windows, you just wont be able to do anything. explorer is the main shell for windows and all programs.




C:\Program Files\Windows Defender\MSASCui.exe


That is your default antivirus or something like that.



C:\Program Files\Atheros\Wireless\Utility\WlanUtil.exe


That is for your wireless lan adapter.




C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\WMPNSCFG.exe

C:\Windows\AGRSMMSG.exe

C:\Windows\system32\hkcmd.exe


Not sure what these are, but hope this helps.

djr33
10-17-2007, 10:15 PM
WMPNSCFG -- windows media player NS [dunno] ConFiG, I'd guess.


Don't go deleting stuff you don't know. Not smart if it could be crucial to the system.

Twey
10-17-2007, 10:31 PM
I doubt the Windows Media Player entry is crucial. The hkcmd.exe process allows user control of Intel multimedia chipsets (something like the NVIDIA control panel) and AGRSMMSG.exe has something to do with your modem. None should be necessary on startup (unless you use your modem, of course).

tech_support
10-18-2007, 07:17 AM
If you delete something important, Vista will restore it. (Even XP, too)

jscheuer1
10-18-2007, 08:11 AM
If any of those files are compromised beyond the system's ability to repair them by virus and/or malware, you are probably best off salvaging what you can and reinstalling.

Even an unimportant file, once compromised beyond the system's ability to repair it, can restore itself if deleted and then go on to compromise other vital files.

If any of this is relevant, you may be able to recover with the right sort of anti-malware, and anti-virus tools. However, especially with malware, the attackers tend to stay a step or so ahead of the defenders. The best defense is to not get compromised to begin with.

Twey
10-18-2007, 08:21 AM
The best defense is to not get compromised to begin with.In XP's case, that's rather tricky. Last time I looked, the average time of infection for a networked Windows XP PC was fourteen minutes, which is (usually, I guess someone could have a very fast processor and internet connection) less time than is required to download and install the patches that would prevent said infections.

jscheuer1
10-18-2007, 08:35 AM
In XP's case, that's rather tricky. Last time I looked, the average time of infection for a networked Windows XP PC was fourteen minutes, which is (usually, I guess someone could have a very fast processor and internet connection) less time than is required to download and install the patches that would prevent said infections.

I guess I'm lucky again. I've had it since before that was the case and always keep it updated. Although, I'm not sure your figures are accurate. Speed of infection would depend upon many of the same access concerns that govern speed of updating to the current patches.

I also take prudent steps like not surfing with IE or using any MS software for regular web interface chores like email.

I do use Media Player for some things infrequently, but keep it updated. I used to prefer Win Amp (which I bet is much better than it used to be), but Player is really a nice piece of software these days.

Twey
10-18-2007, 09:03 AM
Although, I'm not sure your figures are accurate. Speed of infection would depend upon many of the same access concerns that govern speed of updating to the current patches.Malware tends to be a lot smaller than an OS update.

http://www.sophos.com/pressoffice/news/articles/2005/07/pr_uk_midyearroundup2005.html
http://itvibe.com/news/2834/
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2005/06/windows_survival_time_on_the_r.html
http://www.crn.com/security/165700440

tech_support
10-18-2007, 09:10 AM
You still could get your XP CD slipstreamed so all the updates are already on there.

jscheuer1
10-18-2007, 09:59 AM
In at least one case, those are stats from anti-virus companies that want to scare people. If you read a little:


The longstanding Zafi-D worm accounts for more than a quarter of all viruses reported to Sophos so far this year. Dominating the top of the monthly virus charts for the first four months, this Hungarian worm uses the guise of a Christmas greeting to trick users into opening its infected attachment.

Ho, Ho, Ho . . . Now, that's gonna take more than 12 or 15 minutes to infect, never on my system. That's even without any updates or anti-virus/anti-malware programs.

Twey
10-18-2007, 04:46 PM
You still could get your XP CD slipstreamed so all the updates are already on there.That's one solution. Another (the one I usually use) is to put all the updates and some anti-malware software on a USB drive and install them before connecting the machine to the internet.
In at least one case, those are stats from anti-virus companies that want to scare people.SANS, however, is objective and professional.
Ho, Ho, Ho . . . Now, that's gonna take more than 12 or 15 minutes to infect, never on my system. That's even without any updates or anti-virus/anti-malware programs.I believe the tests were done on PCs just left standing; that is to say, with no user interaction. Obviously a poor user can screw up a system pretty quickly; heck, who needs a virus? All you'd have to do is send 'em an email telling them they'll get free **** if they go into a command prompt and format c:.

boxxertrumps
10-18-2007, 05:41 PM
If you want to have your computer boot up faster, go into msconfig*, the startup tab, and uncheck everything that doesn't have to do with your antivirus, video/audio drivers or wireless internet connection**.

* Start -> Run or OSkey+R then type "msconfig"
** assuming that's what you use.

tech_support
10-19-2007, 06:33 AM
That's one solution. Another (the one I usually use) is to put all the updates and some anti-malware software on a USB drive and install them before connecting the machine to the internet.
How time consuming. And not really a solution if the user only has one computer. Also, avast doesn't have an option to do that.

I believe the tests were done on PCs just left standing; that is to say, with no user interaction. Obviously a poor user can screw up a system pretty quickly; heck, who needs a virus? All you'd have to do is send 'em an email telling them they'll get free **** if they go into a command prompt and format c:.
And they will tell you that they are getting a denied message. :p

I can't believe everyone's blaming Micro$oft/Windows for basically anything. It's all up to the end user. If he/she decides to visit crack, ****, and other stupid sites, obviously they'll get some sort of a virus.

This same thing applies to Linux. If Linux were more popular, and home users started to use it, virus makers/hackers will just send an e-mail saying "make your linux faster!" and point the link to some bash script.

I would think it'll be easier to hack Linux than Windows, actually. It's just that Windows is so much more popular, that the hackers will go for the biggest target.

Don't believe me?

Where do terrorists go if they want to plant a bomb. Middle of the desert? Or in the middle of a busy shopping center.

Twey
10-19-2007, 07:03 AM
Covered this one a long time ago. Linux servers vastly outweigh their Windows counterparts, so Linux servers should get compromised more often than Windows by your reasoning. Strangely, this doesn't hold true :)
I would think it'll be easier to hack Linux than Windows, actually.Why on Earth would you think that?
I can't believe everyone's blaming Micro$oft/Windows for basically anything. It's all up to the end user. If he/she decides to visit crack, ****, and other stupid sites, obviously they'll get some sort of a virus.And as I've just said above, the tests were performed on unmanned machines: that is to say, no end-user intervention at all, just a machine, an internet connection, and the default setup. Not to say that Linux can't be compromised by the stupidity of the end user, we all know that's not true. The reasoning doesn't work in reverse though.

Also, how did this thread end up being an OS debate? o.@

tech_support
10-19-2007, 07:06 AM
Why on Earth would you think that?

Windows offers Windows File Protection. If one file gets messed, they'd replace it. I tried to remove iexplorer.exe once, it didn't let me.

Linux however, one sudo then your system's basically gone. No automatic restoring of the files, basic system restoration etc. Not even a system recovery tool on the disc.

jscheuer1
10-19-2007, 08:29 AM
Covered this one a long time ago. Linux servers vastly outweigh their Windows counterparts, so Linux servers should get compromised more often than Windows by your reasoning. Strangely, this doesn't hold true :)

Here you go with that server argument again. Servers are not PC's and the situations are not comparable even in that environment. It is fairly likely that proportionately more Windows users in both the server and the PC environment are less computer savvy to begin with. This completely skews the data that you are referring to. And I don't care what the number of installed OS's is in either environment. Hackers (the malicious variety) just have it in for MS. It's the company you love to hate. This is true even for the non-malicious hackers, and the public in general.

tech_support
10-19-2007, 09:07 AM
And plus Linux was never meant for desktop PCs, and are still struggling to make the ideal desktop operation system. Windows on the other hand, was built for the desktop, not for the server.

Twey
10-19-2007, 04:56 PM
Windows offers Windows File Protection. If one file gets messed, they'd replace it. I tried to remove iexplorer.exe once, it didn't let me.

Linux however, one sudo then your system's basically gone. No automatic restoring of the files, basic system restoration etc. Not even a system recovery tool on the disc.The overall effect of this is to make it harder to accidentally destroy one's own system. In Linux, the permissions system functions in roughly the same way. However, it doesn't have much of a bearing on malicious users who know what they're doing and want to delete the files. There's no "system restore" utility because the package managers can handle that on their own.
Here you go with that server argument again. Servers are not PC's and the situations are not comparable even in that environment. It is fairly likely that proportionately more Windows users in both the server and the PC environment are less computer savvy to begin with. This completely skews the data that you are referring to. And I don't care what the number of installed OS's is in either environment. Hackers (the malicious variety) just have it in for MS. It's the company you love to hate. This is true even for the non-malicious hackers, and the public in general.This is a nice hypothesis, but where is the data to back it up? Also, why are the situations not comparable? There is really little difference these days between a server and a PC other than the software it runs. Both tend to have roughly the same hardware, perhaps with a few specialisations in either direction.
And plus Linux was never meant for desktop PCs, and are still struggling to make the ideal desktop operation system. Windows on the other hand, was built for the desktop, not for the server.Windows was built for the non-networked workstation. When Microsoft realised that TCP/IP networks were the next big thing, they yoinked a (now old) version of the BSD networking stack and stuck it in their OS so as to stand a chance of competing, but Windows has never been designed from the ground up to be networked like UNIX and Linux have. XP took a big step in the right direction here, and Vista even moreso, but it's still somewhat held back by its past and Microsoft's unwillingness to break backwards compatibility.

jscheuer1
10-19-2007, 05:36 PM
Here you go with that server argument again. Servers are not PC's and the situations are not comparable even in that environment. It is fairly likely that proportionately more Windows users in both the server and the PC environment are less computer savvy to begin with. This completely skews the data that you are referring to. And I don't care what the number of installed OS's is in either environment. Hackers (the malicious variety) just have it in for MS. It's the company you love to hate. This is true even for the non-malicious hackers, and the public in general.

This is a nice hypothesis, but where is the data to back it up? Also, why are the situations not comparable? There is really little difference these days between a server and a PC other than the software it runs. Both tend to have roughly the same hardware, perhaps with a few specialisations in either direction.

There is no reliable data that I am aware of to support either position. Reports of attacks can be tailored by the reporting agency to suit their outlook and later skewed in interpretation by the reader to support any viewpoint. Figures don't lie, but you can lie with figures.

Face it, (evil hacker type) mammals just like going after Windows. :p And Windows owners are generally not as savvy as those people who take the trouble to learn other server and/or PC OS's.

Twey
10-20-2007, 02:03 PM
There is no reliable data that I am aware of to support either position. Reports of attacks can be tailored by the reporting agency to suit their outlook and later skewed in interpretation by the reader to support any viewpoint. Figures don't lie, but you can lie with figures.I don't see any way the results from the experiment I linked above can be skewed without downright lying. There were only three machines, it's not like they went into descriptive statistics or anything. Plus, personal experience does seem to back this up (although admittedly I was browsing the Web [safe sites] using Internet Explorer before my Firefox download finished, so this may not be as reliable as the machines without interaction).
Face it, (evil hacker type) mammals just like going after Windows.You're still being overly vague here. Sure, you've got your (semi-)ethical hacker types who just like breaking security for the fun of it, or perhaps to promote a political ideal. I can certainly imagine these thinking "ooh, we all hate Microsoft, let's go after some Windows boxes." But the type we're primarily discussing here are for-profit crackers. They don't care about having fun or scorning their least favourite corporation, they just want an easy crack that they can add to their botnet and use to make some cash. They, like script kiddies, the two factions that compose most of what the media would term today's "hacker" faction (that is to say, the most visible portion), will take the easiest target with the biggest yield. A server is much more valuable than a PC in terms of monetary yield, so the only factor left to decide (in someone who's already decided to crack a server) is which would be easier to crack.
And Windows owners are generally not as savvy as those people who take the trouble to learn other server and/or PC OS's.We're talking server owners here. These are primarily big hosting companies or other institutions with dedicated insert-Microsoft-certification-here qualified professionals. They'll know as much about Windows and Windows security as any admin can be reasonably expected to know.

jscheuer1
10-20-2007, 03:22 PM
Actually we were talking primarily about PC's here. Any statistics though are open to interpretation. They mean nothing in and of themselves. The reasons for the observed results must be determined, and these may or may not be immediately apparent. Ready explanations might or might not actually be the true determining causes.

As an example, in this country abortion, STD, and single motherhood rates are often cited as proof that a given public policy is working or not. However, the factors governing these trends cannot be guaranteed to be significantly affected by any one given policy shift. And, in the politically charged atmosphere of such discussions here, even the data is questionable to begin with.

Getting back on point -

Even with servers though, the individual who uses Windows because he or she cannot be bothered to even investigate other options, we need to wonder about that person. In my role as webmaster, I have met some pretty clueless hosts. Guess which OS they were running.

BLiZZaRD
10-20-2007, 03:49 PM
Any statistics though are open to interpretation. They mean nothing in and of themselves.

Did you know that 93.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot? :D

Twey
10-20-2007, 05:20 PM
Even with servers though, the individual who uses Windows because he or she cannot be bothered to even investigate other options, we need to wonder about that person. In my role as webmaster, I have met some pretty clueless hosts. Guess which OS they were running.They are, however, thankfully a minority -- their servers don't tend to stay up very long, and they certainly don't provide any particularly visible service.
Actually we were talking primarily about PC's here. Any statistics though are open to interpretation. They mean nothing in and of themselves. The reasons for the observed results must be determined, and these may or may not be immediately apparent. Ready explanations might or might not actually be the true determining causes.This is certainly true, but can you give a confounding variable for so simple an experiment? It seems to me that the setup was so minimal that there is little or nothing that would cause it. I suppose one of the machines could have been on a different IP address interval that a superior cracker just happened to prefer, but I think the chances of that are highly unlikely, and while the other figures may be unreliable enough to lack weight in themselves, they certainly seem to corroborate this experiment.

jscheuer1
10-21-2007, 07:11 AM
This is certainly true, but can you give a confounding variable for so simple an experiment?

I'm truly sorry to do this to you in this way, Twey. But I'm so busy at the moment that it would be very helpful to me if you could repost a link to the specific information you are talking about, so that I could be certain of what data we are talking about.

That said, I can imagine at least one thing that would skew any such results (assuming I have the general thrust of the data you are talking about right in my mind). I have already alluded to it, but unfortunately it really isn't readily quantifiable. I'm referring to the mood in the 'evil mammalian hacker community', and how it might be responsible in small or in large part for the observed results.