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Old 2008-05-02, 00:38   Link #1
KholdStare
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Using Vista, like watching Soft Subs on VLC

So yeah, my leet IT Support skills doesn't expand over Vista, which means I need some help. Note that I have spent 3-4 hours trying to figure this stuff out before asking. Yes, you have the right to call me stupid.

1) How do I make the icons on my desktop smaller? I'm using the highest display setting possible.

2) Is there a way I can uninstall Windows Media Player 11 (or downgrade it)?

3) Even with my administrator account, every freaking action I do requires confirmation, like double. Is there a way to turn that off? Yes, I do realize the risks associated with doing so, but I'll let my antivirus take care of that, thank you.

And thanks in advance for the responses.
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Old 2008-05-02, 01:11   Link #2
Sephi
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Only tried Vista for a very short time, so most of this info is googled up

1. link

2. Don't know this one.

3. I think UAC is what is bringing those confirmation msg.

- Go to Control Panel.
- Click Admin Tools.
- Click System Config.
- Click Tools.
- Disable UAC
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Old 2008-05-02, 01:36   Link #3
WanderingKnight
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Quote:
3) Even with my administrator account, every freaking action I do requires confirmation, like double. Is there a way to turn that off? Yes, I do realize the risks associated with doing so, but I'll let my antivirus take care of that, thank you.
I'd rather you get used to it. Even with my disdain for Windows and Microsoft in general, UAC was something needed long ago. Running in administrator mode, on any OS, is asking for trouble, even with all the virus scanners, routers and firewalls in the world. Forcing Unix-like security policies is probably the second best way to solve the huge malware issues we're having nowadays, the first one being user education (which is too much of a dream). Hopefully, UAC is not going away, and this time people coding apps on Windows will learn to implement user permissions right. What you're seeing right now is the natural consequence of having 90% of the world's PC userbase used to running on root by default--programmers didn't care about permissions, and thus almost every program will have conflicts with the security model UAC is trying to implement.

As I said, hopefully enough, people will learn to code safely. I'd really love everyone using Vista to get used to UAC, even if it's a pale imitation of the Unix security model. It won't stop granma from rootkiting her PC when opening funny-screensaver.exe, but at least it'll give the somewhat-literate users a cue for what's going on in their system.
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Old 2008-05-03, 00:47   Link #4
sa547
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2.) There's no way Media Player 11 could be uninstalled; unless you know precisely which files and registry keys that player is using before you surgically delete them, like IE7, WMP11 is totally integrated into Vista.
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Old 2008-05-03, 01:43   Link #5
jedinat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
I'd rather you get used to it.
Get used to clicking past confirmation boxes every 5 seconds? It's absolutely ridiculous. I constantly rename/move/copy/paste files/folders. I'm a neat freak on my computer, if not IRL. *glances at clothes shrewn about* I would simply go mad keeping UAC enabled.
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Old 2008-05-03, 01:49   Link #6
WanderingKnight
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Quote:
Get used to clicking past confirmation boxes every 5 seconds?
Look, putting it simple, if you don't enable it, you're giving leeway to anything entering your machine *without your knowledge* (through the many services enabled by default Windows has) to write wherever it wants to. That's the main problem behind the 20 minutes that it takes for an XP box to get owned on the net.

It is a sort of crappy implementation of the Unix security model, but the fault lies within MS itself for giving free way to sloppy coding practices for years. The only way of doing it is holding on and waiting for coders to finally realize what a security-conscious multiuser environment means.

Also, keep in mind that it matters to everyone whether your box is owned or not--I don't use Windows, but I get spam on my email everyday, and I partly blame MS and its stupid policies for that.
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Old 2008-05-03, 02:19   Link #7
Vexx
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google on the Storm and Kraken bot nets (keyword: Kraken Storm) and the literally millions of machines (mostly Windows) "pwned" by the botnet gods for spam generation, denial-of-service-attacks, and other purposes --- and perhaps some light on why there's such ire about the Microsoft programming culture may flicker on.
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Old 2008-05-03, 02:25   Link #8
jedinat
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I don't know about others, but I never really have any problems with viruses or spyware or whatever. I got a malignant spyware app entrenched in my pc a couple years ago--it took me a couple hours to get rid of. That's pretty much the only such issue I've had in--I dunno, as long as I can remember. Just keep a firewall and antivirus up. People are just stupid. UAC isn't exactly convenient to disable. If someone manages it, they're probably fairly equipped to not stupidly get their pc killed by some virus.
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Old 2008-05-03, 22:44   Link #9
KholdStare
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So here's my input for the thing:

1) Like jedinat says, you literally get confirmation messages every five seconds. I hated moving/deleting things, especially from the start menu (oh help me) with UAC enabled.

2) The other thing is the issue that WanderingKnight stated. According to him, every computer using Windows XP would get infected in some way. That may be true, but the real question is, does that affect anything? I've used XP since forever now, and I will say that it doesn't. If stuff's coming in and I don't want it to be, but it doesn't do me any harm, then I don't really care. Besides, there's nothing that I can't cure by a system restore.

3) I can't believe it took me 5 minutes to find out how to paste onto Microsoft Word. It kept giving me the warning about disabling modules, so I had to look it up and disable it. It still wouldn't work, and apparently I had to restart it. Okay. All I wanted was to paste a freaking picture, and apparently they can have harmful scripts, oh no.

All in all, Vista is overprotective. I'll admit that I'll be vulnerable to attacks, but I don't really care. I'll just backup and restore my computer if I feel like something's wrong with it. That's better than clicking "Okay, I give you permission" for the 12968355234th time.

Thanks for the responses.

EDIT: I just found something good about Vista: Windows Photo Gallery can play videos!

Last edited by KholdStare; 2008-05-04 at 00:17.
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Old 2008-05-04, 00:44   Link #10
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KholdStare View Post
So here's my input for the thing:

1) Like jedinat says, you literally get confirmation messages every five seconds. I hated moving/deleting things, especially from the start menu (oh help me) with UAC enabled.
In my experience with Vista the messages pop up more often than one would expect (and over things that you wouldn't expect), but it isn't as bad as people make it out to be. Then again, I don't use Vista as my primary OS, and I'm also used to having confirmation dialogues popping up frequently from firewalls. What I hate about UAC is that it'll dim the screen (so that you know there's a UAC dialogue) and either take a second or two to pop up, or I'll have to click it from the task bar because it won't come to the front on its own. I don't have SP1 installed.

Quote:
2) The other thing is the issue that WanderingKnight stated. According to him, every computer using Windows XP would get infected in some way. That may be true, but the real question is, does that affect anything? I've used XP since forever now, and I will say that it doesn't. If stuff's coming in and I don't want it to be, but it doesn't do me any harm, then I don't really care. Besides, there's nothing that I can't cure by a system restore.
Indeed, it's possible to keep XP secured, but it does require a fair bit of extra vigilance. It doesn't help that there's a slew of social engineering tactics targeting Windows. I remember visiting a forum that must have had some infected advertisements, because a window popped up, looking like Windows dialogues, acted as if it were doing a scan, showed me that it was finding infections, and then sent me an EXE to fix the problems. I wouldn't have run that EXE even if I could have, but even I, an experienced computer user, paused for a bit and wondered whether it had really detected anything - and I was on an OS X system. (It wasn't my own system, which is why I wondered whether there was security issues.) I thought it was a pretty cute stint, certainly the most sophisticated of those types that I've seen to date. (The fact that I was slightly fooled probably has more to do with my "paranoia" over systems security than being gullible, though.)

Anyway, what I really wanted to reply to was your statement in bold that system restore can cure virtually anything. System restore is useful for a few things, but it's definitely not a cure-all (although I'd imagine you know this). Viruses get lodged in with restore backup points, and I've heard that some viruses can even insert themselves into older restores - but I'm not sure if that's really true. Either way, I learned that system restore was limited back on Windows ME.

Some spyware, in updating itself, would kill some file critical to accessing the internet. System restore would revert that file back and I could access the internet, but then the spyware would update itself again and disable my internet. Cycle that as often as you like; not even my earliest system restore could save me from it, and at the time there was no tool to remove that bit of spyware (it was called "webhancer" - I still remember it with a burning hatred). I think that was the last time that I had to format my system and start from scratch.
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Old 2008-05-04, 02:26   Link #11
WanderingKnight
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Quote:
2) The other thing is the issue that WanderingKnight stated. According to him, every computer using Windows XP would get infected in some way. That may be true, but the real question is, does that affect anything? I've used XP since forever now, and I will say that it doesn't. If stuff's coming in and I don't want it to be, but it doesn't do me any harm, then I don't really care. Besides, there's nothing that I can't cure by a system restore.
As I said already, I get spam on my email everyday. That spam comes mostly from botnets, with infected machines acting as zombies, sending constant emails. I don't like spam, so it would be better for less machines to be infected, don't you think?
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Old 2008-05-04, 07:56   Link #12
Eviltape
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Quote:
1) How do I make the icons on my desktop smaller? I'm using the highest display setting possible.
No, don't think you can.

Quote:
2) Is there a way I can uninstall Windows Media Player 11 (or downgrade it)?
Use MPC, foobar/Winamp to use the filetypes WMP uses by default. It'll be like WMP11 never existed. (ffdshow/CCCP installs are the same as XP, fyi)

Quote:
3) Even with my administrator account, every freaking action I do requires confirmation, like double. Is there a way to turn that off? Yes, I do realize the risks associated with doing so, but I'll let my antivirus take care of that, thank you.
Just disable UAC; you're not an idiot that can't determine exactly what you are doing, unlike the rest of the world. See pic. Note that every time you'll get a little taskbar popup warning when you log in.



I kind of wish Vista would just ask for the root password instead of freezing everything onscreen and fading it into black while this shiny box asks if I'm sure I want to do something that I do every day. But then, I disabled UAC, so who cares.
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