Latest changes
Aug 7, 2020
Daily driver
My Primary device
Operating system
Windows 10 Home
OS version
2004
System type
64-bit operating system; x64-based processor
Security updates
Manually check for updates
Windows UAC
Default - Notify me only when programs try to make changes to my computer
Firewall protection
Microsoft Defender Firewall
Account privileges
Administrator account
Account type
Sign in with associated Microsoft ID
Account log-in
  • Account Password
  • Exposure to malware
    No malware samples are downloaded
    Real-time Malware protection
    MS Defender w/self-sandbox, CFA and PUP det. enabled
    H_C Firewall Hardening
    SmartScreen for chromium Edge
    RTP configuration
    Controlled Folder Access (d/l, pictures, docs)
    Core Isolation enabled
    Periodic scanners
    HitmanPro subscription--detection and removal
    My Windows ISO on a USB--removal
    MS Defender Quick Scan only
    AdwCleaner (rarely)--detection and removal
    Browser and Add-ons
    Edge release: uBlock Origin, Privacy Badger ClearURL
    Opera: uBlock Origin, Privacy Badger
    Privacy tools and VPN
    Cloudflare DNS for speed
    2FA for Steam and utilities
    uBlock Origin, Clear URL and Privacy Badger
    Password manager
    Nope
    Search engine
    DuckDuckGo
    Maintenance tools
    Windows built-in/System Maintenance run weekly
    Windows built-in Storage plus manual cleanups
    Jotti for .exe, url and hash analysis
    Tree Size for bulk and to scan for leftover folders
    Photos and Files backup
    Manually to external and enclosed HDD which are then taken offline
    File Backup schedule
    Once or multiple times per month
    Backup and Restore
    Easus ToDo Backup Free/64 GB USB drive
    Backup schedule
    Once or more per year
    Computer Activity
  • Playing computer games
  • Browsing the web and checking emails
  • Regularly installing new software every week
  • Streaming movies, TV shows and music from the Internet
  • Downloading files from different websites
  • Recording and editing video or photos
  • Computer Specifications
    Cpu: i9 9900 @ 3.1 GHz 1.16 volts
    Cooler: Noctua U12S Chromax
    Gpu: NVIDIA Gtx 1080 Founders Edition blower-type
    MBd: ASUS Prime Z390A
    RAM: 2x8GB GSkill TridentZ @3200 mHz (16-18-18-38)
    Case: Fractal Design Meshify C
    Drive: Samsung 970 EVO Plus 256GB boot drive
    Storage: 3x old 5400 rpm HDDs in offline enclosure
    Machine has no internal SATA drives
    PSU: EVGA SuperNova G2 Gold-rated 650 watts
    Your changelog
    removed: Vivaldi, PrivaZer
    added: Opera
    added: Tree Size folder identification software

    plat1098

    Level 20
    Verified
    I added about 10 exploit guards to Opera without hampering its performance. At least two guards prevented Opera from launching, these being Arbitrary code guard and Disable Win32k system calls
    Disregard this. Nothing like a fresh boot to reveal your crimes against your innocent machine. Edge and Opera had all guards removed and both browsers reset due to improper page loading and not opening, whatever. Now I have DEP and Control Flow Guard, just those two. I guess you have to play around with this and enable, restart and repeat in order to weed out the ones that impact the browser.

    I've had this problem for well over a year: issues with restart function--freezing and/or restarting twice, which I narrowed down to a corrupted extra recovery partition Windows installs whenever there's a new build. I've replaced the nvm-e, reformatted the drive multiple times, played around with Aomei partiion software, and so on, with the same cycle happening every time.

    Now I've deleted the extra recovery partition via diskpart and just have the unallocated space. The system restart was freezing every time, which is not viable, especially when you have to update Windows (it'll roll back, trust me, if you have to use CTL/ALT/DEL during the first working-on-updates phase). Now it restarts twice alternating with a normal restart, which is workable. Can someone with experience with partitions confirm that you can't merge that unallocated space with the primary partition? How the restart got that way in the first place is a total mystery.

    Thanks for any help and advice.

    disk unallocated.PNG
     

    harlan4096

    Moderator
    Verified
    Staff member
    Malware Hunter
    Check these links, maybe some may help You:



     

    plat1098

    Level 20
    Verified
    Thank you Harlan, this is a lot of info. I have to comb thru it. The partition I deleted in order to Restart properly is CONTIGUOUS with the active C partition. I have learned the hard way and tried previously to merge the unallocated space to C and as experts will know very well: the OS is then kaput. Have to clean-install. There was another recovery partition adjacent to the EFI one, which I'm scared to mess with. I don't want to damage the MBR. Again, I have to read thru everything, there's likely something I missed and I'm not very knowledgeable with this issue. :unsure::coffee: Something is damaging the firmware or something. It happens regardless of SSD brand: Samsung or Western Digital. Very mysterious....

    @Zero Knowledge (how ironic for me in this context :ROFLMAO:) here are my ASR rules that I've been using successfully for several months without issue. OSArmor seems to be the first responder most if not all of the time but these ASR rules do no harm.

    asr rules.PNG

    The corresponding values are shown in this link.

    My OSArmor RULES file is loaded on my data disk which is currently offline. Right now, the machine is installing the latest Insider build 19608.1000. I will retrieve this later and see if it's viable to post. (y)

    Edit: here's a snip of the current C drive. I only have one drive installed in the machine. I guess I'll just leave it like that, just won't get that 400+ MB back.

    disk c.PNG

    wall of text, sorry. Also, I wasn't linked into any alerts about responses to this thread so I apologize very much for not responding sooner.
     
    Last edited:

    plat1098

    Level 20
    Verified
    OK, Insider build 19608.1000 is now installed. Changelog. It took maybe 10 minutes this time, much improved. My desktop wallpaper was replaced by a black screen which initially is scary but turned out to be nothing major at all. Let's hope that's it. Watermark is back, so I'll remove it.

    Sadly, I had to remove Sandboxie when reinstating Insider previews but it was no surprise. The overall system was slowed down and the browser Opera was usable but very, very slow to open.

    It seems a former Sophos engineer who has worked on Sandboxie's kernel is now putting his efforts behind open-source SBIE, in conjunction with the developer of a privacy application, DavidXanatos. This is really good and hopeful news. Here is the relevant part of the thread if anyone's interested. This is where to watch for upcoming SBIE developments. (y)

     

    plat1098

    Level 20
    Verified
    OK, does anyone have this issue depicted in this screenshot, re: the latest driver download for NVIDIA GPUs?

    nvidia dwnlod site.png

    The driver page doesn't load and I gave up after several minutes. It's the same in Edge and Vivaldi. So, I got the driver from here with absolutely no issue. Download is safe and sound, used a US server, but this is annoying. :mad:
    Anyone have any info on this? I'm refusing to install GeForce Experience or supply my system info. It shouldn't have to be required to get the driver. Also disabled all my extensions, no cigar.
     

    Spawn

    Administrator
    Verified
    Staff member
    Noticed you have zero account security to protect your user data & files on your PC.

    The driver page doesn't load and I gave up after several minutes. It's the same in Edge and Vivaldi.
    Did you try with Incognito mode or disabled extensions?

    Loads OK with Chrome, new Edge and Brave.
     

    plat1098

    Level 20
    Verified
    Re: zero account security: well, I feel like I got caught on surveillance camera doing shoplifting or something. But anyway, sometimes I use my Microsoft account to log in. But not often enough to justify making it a formality on my config. I offload my data onto my external hard drives as-needed. It's good.

    OK, this is very useful, so theoretically, the downloads page works. Just not for me. Yes, turned off Sandboxie, reset network adapter, flushed dns, changed dns, disabled extensions. I'm stumped. Luckily it's not a daily need so hopefully it's sorted somehow in the near future.
     

    plat1098

    Level 20
    Verified
    Alright-y so my config was in dire need of a clean-out, so I did that. (I'm such a Schlampe in these matters)

    The combined total disk space for the three third party supplements to Defender are a whopping 30-ish mb. cpu/ram use--neglible.

    Enabled Controlled Folder Access again for another try. (y)

    Since Defender is set pretty well, I chose to focus on hardening some peripheral stuff like the Firewall and browsers. So now I have TinyWall to supplement the Windows one which allows everything almost willy-nilly by default. uBlock Origin got a re-do of filter lists and it's a work in progress.

    Tiny programs, big security. I like it!
     

    plat1098

    Level 20
    Verified
    Removed OSArmor.

    H_C is installed but nothing's configured (yet). Something caused it to crash and this is not good, obviously. I'm finding TinyWall to be quite powerful in its own right so I may winnow out some more things and depend more on TW. CFA is still enabled so that's another reason to not keep some other real time stuff around. Too much, right?
     

    plat1098

    Level 20
    Verified
    Thank you for responding, Andy Ful. Your reply to this issue in the H_C thread made a lot of sense, namely that another security program might have interfered. If only I knew which one. That's the primary reason I took OSA off--maybe when Andreas makes good on his word to release some updated software, I'll try it again sometime. I don't know.

    No, this was a one-time occurrence. Since it's so very stable and solid otherwise, I felt it was necessary to mention it, though. :unsure:
    Edit: I recall messing with the "run as administrator" setting.
     

    plat1098

    Level 20
    Verified
    Ditched the corrupted Windows backup image and redid with Easus ToDo Backup Free on my USB drive. The image is build 19041.388, which at this point is running very similarly to v. 1909 with far less # of errors/warnings compared to initial install.

    Removed Vivaldi and PrivaZer, prob. permanently. Both have rather complicated and cluttered Uis plus PrivaZer contained too much jargon and had TRIM enabled as default on version 4.07. Goodbye. 👋 Maybe Wise or something else. Window built-in suffices for now plus manual removal.

    Welcome back, Opera!

    Screenshot (1).png

    Any suggestions are sincerely appreciated. Also, if there are any current Insiders around, please let me know how the latest build is!
     

    plat1098

    Level 20
    Verified
    Added Tree Size for assistance with manual deletion of junk files and folders. Its footprint is about 11 MB--chicken feed compared to third party cleanup utilities, which admittedly are much more convenient and probably more thorough. Hey, whatever's good for you. Still running System Maintenance 1x/week. I use Disk Cleanup and the Storage app as well.

    By choice, I only have one internal drive and it's not comparatively cheap, so I'd like to be in control of what happens to it. I don't like it if a application does things beyond the parameters I believed were already in place, even though it's touted to be safe and sound. It's a matter of being caught off-guard.

    If I'm ever in the market for an optimizing software, I will get one.
     
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