Category Archives: Microsoft Windows

wmpnscfg.exe

The wmpnscfg.exe file is a part of the Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service Configuration application. This application is used by Windows Media Player to allow several users to access and save various types of media files in a device. The wmpnscfg.exe file is available in Windows Media Player 11. This file was developed by Microsoft Corporation and is bundled with its Windows Operating System.

The main function of the wmpnscfg.exe file is to notify the user if a new media device has been found in the network. Upon its execution, the wmpnscfg.exe file waits for signals from the network’s system that a device has been attached to one of the work stations. The file will display a pop-up on the user’s system tray. This pop-up contains information about the availability of the device found. When the user clicks on the pop-up on the system tray, the wmpnscfg.exe file will load Windows Media Player. This program will then ask the user whether or not he wishes to allow sharing with the device.

The wmpnscfg.exe file is commonly found in C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\. However, this may vary depending on the path which the user specified during installation. The start up entry for this file can be automatically started from a Run, RunOnce, RunServicesOnce, or RunServices entry in the registry.

The user must not terminate the wmpnscfg.exe file while the network sharing service of Windows Media Player is running. If the user is certain that he will not use the features of wmpnscfg.exe, he may unload it by going to the media sharing module of Windows Media Player and unchecking the option for the said file.

mstdc.exe

Mstdc.exe is an executable file. An executable file is a program that can be executed in the Windows environment.

Mstdc.exe or the Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator is a transaction manager included among the numerous Microsoft products. This file allows client applications to synchronize data sources used in a transaction, for example, updating a database with information from different sources.

The user can verify if msdtc.exe is running in the system. Pressing the key combination Control+Alt+Delete launches the Windows Task Manager. Upon loading of the Task Manager, the user can search for the file in the Processes tab.

Msdtc.exe is in C:\ Windows\ System32\. The user should not terminate the file during its operation to maintain the proper function of other applications.

Unless the process causes major problems, it should not be disabled. This process is not essential to system functions. However, ending this process negates the coordination functionality which may cause glitches in the applications using it. Deletion of this executable file may also render some software ineffective.

Spyware vendors and virus writers frequently spread malware under the disguise of mstdc.exe. This is due to the process being a valid executable file that comes with many Microsoft products and systems.

Some malware using the exact name as this process are stored in locations other than %SystemRoot%\System32. Other malicious files may use names similar to the legitimate executable file with slight variations in spelling or digits.

The following malware camouflage as msdtc.exe:

  • W32/Stap (%ProgramFiles%)

This mass-mailing worm spreads through open network shares.

  • W32/Hupigo-SJ (%SystemRoot%\System32\Com, %SystemRoot%\System32\Com\msdtc.dll)

This Trojan virus allows a remote user to attack an infected device. It registers as an MSDCT system driver service.

  • W32/Hupigo-SJ (%SystemRoot%\System32)

This Trojan virus communicates with a remote server through HTTP and allows a remote attacker to attack an infected device.

  • Troj/HaxDrop-A (%Temp%)
  • Troj/Bckdr-QKM (%SystemRoot%\System32)

Only one msdtc.exe should be running at a time. Multiple occurrences such as indicated above may signal malware infection.

Hyperterminal

Hyperterminal is a software tool that enables the user to connect his computer to other remote systems such as servers, bulletin boards, and other computers. It is also used to test whether or not a modem is working properly or is configured correctly.

Hyperterminal presents a user-friendly graphical interface. Its windows consist of edit fields, buttons, lists, and check boxes. These controls help the user to select his preferred options and perform specific tasks. The program also has non-complex confirmation and error messages that inform the user about certain events and procedures.

In addition to this, hyperterminal presents useful communication and data transfer features. Through the software’s scroll feature, the user can talk to the person using the computer or server he is connected to. This feature also enables the sending and receiving of text messages. It can be used to send and receive files such as spreadsheets, word documents, and applications as well.

Setting Up

Setting up a connection using hyperterminal can be done in a few steps.

  1. Open the hyperterminal. Provide the necessary information being asked in the Location Information dialog box.
  2. Go to the file menu and click on New Connection.
  3. An edit field will appear. Enter the name of the connection on this field.
  4. Select the icon desired for the connection and click OK.
  5. In the Connect To dialog box, select the modem to be used.
  6. Enter the phone number of the server or computer to connect to.
  7. Hit the Dial button and wait for the computer to accept the call.

dllhost.exe

The file dllhost.exe is an executable file belonging to the Microsoft Windows Operating System developed by Microsoft Corporation. The dllhost.exe file is more popularly known as Microsoft DCOM DLL Host Process.

DLL or Dynamic Link Library refers to a type of file containing a set of functions and codes. DLL files are used by programs housing them to provide information and interact with other applications during runtime.

The main purpose of the dllhost.exe file is to manage installed applications that use DLL files. When a specific application loads a .dll file, the dllhost.exe process monitors and stores pieces of information about the said file.

IIS and .Net Runtime are the most common programs using the dllhost.exe process. The file dllhost.exe is normally found in C:\ Windows\ System32\. Its file size is 5.0 KB and has the file version 5.1.2600.2180. Dllhost.exe is loaded during the Windows bootup process and is needed by Windows to start properly.

The dllhost.exe file is considered a background process because it runs and performs its task while the user carries out his own activities in the computer. In addition, the dllhost.exe file does not have a visible window.

Given its significance, the user must not alter or rename the dllhost.exe file. The said file should never be deleted unless the user is certain that it causes major problems. The dllhost.exe file must not be unloaded in the task manager utility of Windows. Doing so will cause certain applications or the Operating System to crash.

Registry

What is a Registry?

The Windows Registry is a database that stores all information regarding the computer and all software installed in it. Its primary purpose is to store the configuration of the different applications installed on the computer and the type of documents they create. It also functions as a storage for different hardware attached or installed to the computer, the ports they use, and the profile and other settings implemented by each user.

Why is it Important to Clean the Computer’s Registry?

After a while, the computer’s registry may be corrupted with viruses or spyware. It may also contain information no longer valid, such as when uninstalling a program without using the Add or Remove Programs function in the Control Panel. Bypassing this step will not completely remove the program from the registry. Eventually this unnecessary information would clog the registry and slow down the PC, potentially causing system errors and system crashes. It could also cause the computer to start-up slower than the usual.

Cleaning Up the Registry

The removal of registry items should only be attempted by someone who understands what those registry items mean. Important programs may cease to function or run effectively if essential registry entries are deleted.

There are two ways to clean up a computer’s registry:

1. using the Windows Registry Editor; and

2. using registry cleaning software.

Windows Registry Editor

The following steps illustrate the procedure for manually cleaning-up the registry:

  1. Click the Start button on the desktop.
  2. Click Run. A new window titled “Run” will pop up.
  3. Type “regedit,” and click OK.
  4. In the “Registry Editor” window, click “File” on the menu bar.
  5. Go down to “Export”.
  6. Type a name for the backup file. Click “Save.”
  7. After creating a backup for the registry, move to the left side of the registry window to view the computer’s configuration.
  8. Click on the plus (+) sign before “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.” to expand this section. This area is used to make changes on hardware and software.

Registry Cleaning Software

A registry cleaning software application is well-suited for anyone who has apprehensions in manually cleaning his computer registry. There are numerous registry cleaning programs available in the market. Some examples of registry cleaning software include:

  • TweakNow Regcleaner;
  • Registry Mechanic; and
  • Registry Healer.

Register DLL

You first have to register DLL (Dynamic Link Library) files before your programs can use them. Registering a DLL file entails procedures to introduce it into the system.

In this process, the DLL file is associated with the applications requiring it. When a .dll file is not registered, the program which needs it would not be able to access the file’s information. The program then may not be able to function properly.

There are two ways to register a DLL file

Manual Registration

You can register a DLL manually. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Find the exact location of your .dll file.

2. Click on the Start menu.

3. Select the Run option.

4. On the edit field of the Run dialog box, type regsvr32 followed by the complete path and file name of the .dll file. The path and file name should be enclosed in quotation marks.

Here is an example:

regsvr32 “C:\Windows\System32\abd.dll”

5. Make sure you have typed the information correctly and press enter. The system will include the .dll file in the registry.

6. You will see a message box telling you the DLL file has been successfully registered.

Self-Registering .dll Files

There are .dll files capable of registering themselves on the system’s registry. Normally, these .dll files perform the self-registering procedure during the installation of the software housing them. You do not need to do anything in this process. Once the said type of .dll files are registered, the application requiring them can immediately access their libraries. Self-registering .dll files are generally more common than those that require manual registration.

For more information on Register DLL read:

  • Register DLL
  • Register DLL
  • Register DLL
  • Delete index.dat Files

    The index.dat files are a type of storage utility used by MS Windows and Internet Explorer. These files store information about your activities in Internet Explorer and on your computer.

    The information in index.dat files include user data records, history, cookies, and Internet caches.

    Although generally useful, index.dat files can become a source of security threat to your PC. This is because any individual who can gain access to your index.dat files can view the information about your computer’s activities.

    It is therefore important to learn how to delete index.dat files from your computer. This process depends on the type of Windows Operating System you have.

    Windows ME and Windows 98

    If you have Windows ME, Windows 98, or any other lower version of Windows, you need to restart your computer in DOS mode. Once the DOS prompt has appeared, you can look for index.dat files in the following locations:

    C:\Windows\Profiles\[user name]\UserData\

    C:\Windows\Profiles\[user name]\History\History.IE5\MSHistXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX\

    C:\Windows\Profiles\[user name]\Cookies\

    C:\Windows\Cookies\

    Delete all the index.dat files you find in any of the above locations. You can then start the regular Windows bootup process.

    Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista

    If you are using Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Vista, you may need a specific software to delete index.dat files. An example of this application is Mil Shield. Other such software applications are available on the Internet.

    Instead of entirely deleting the index.dat files, these software programs clear the contents of index.dat files that could cause privacy threats. These programs also allow you to separate index.dat file contents which you think would not cause privacy threats.

    wmiprvse.exe

    Wmiprvse.exe is a component of the Microsoft Windows Operating System. It promotes the stable and secure running of the computer system. This computer software should not be terminated or disabled to maintain optimal functioning of the Operating System.

    The operations of wmiprvse.exe are based on the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI). This provides both control and management information in a business environment. It offers developers and managers the opportunity to perform the following actions:

    • to question various sets of networks, applications and information;
    • to set up information on desktop systems;
    • to generate event monitoring applications; and
    • to update consumers regarding key events.

    How Does It Work?

    In the past versions of the Windows Operating System, providers were loaded simultaneously with the Windows Management service (winmgmt.exe) under a single Local System security account.

    If a failure occurred while loading the provider, the entire WMI service would also fail to run. As a result, the next request would cause the WMI to terminate and restart the entire service.

    However, with the introduction of Windows XP, WMI is now located in a shared service host with several services. In addition, Microsoft created wmiprvse.exe to prevent the termination of any service when a failure in loading happens. It acts as a provider host program where providers and services are separately loaded at the same time.

    Wmiprvse.exe can operate all at once under different accounts, such as Local Service, Network Service, or Local System.

    The Windows Management service (winmgmt.exe) and the WMI core, on the other hand, are loaded in svchost.exe, which is a different shared service host in the Operating System.

    Where Is It Located?

    The wmiprvse.exe software is located in the Wbem folder. Its path is C:\WINDOWS\system32\Wbem

    Wmiprvse.exe – A Virus?

    It is important to note that some malicious software applications may disguise themselves as wmiprvse.exe. These are usually located in C:\Windows\system32 or C:\Windows folder, which is not the usual path for the legitimate wmiprvse.exe file.

    It is highly recommended to check whether the wmiprvse.exe process on your computer is a pest or not. You can use the Security Task Manager to verify your computer’s security.

    Additional Reading on wmiprvse.exe

    Runtime Error

    Runtime errors are computer errors that appear on your screen as a message box. These errors display codes together with their definitions.

    The first sign that your computer will soon have a runtime error is when it slows down. This normally happens before the error itself appears. After the error has been displayed and closed, the software that generated this error would normally freeze or close. Your computer may also restart on its own.

    Here are some of the reasons for this computer error and the necessary procedures to correct it.

    1. Problems with the TSR (Terminate and Stay Resident Program) and other applications currently running.

    Solution:

    • When this happens, you can use the “End Task” function of the Task Manager to solve the problem.

    2. Harmful applications such as computer viruses and other malicious processes are responsible in causing alterations to your computer’s settings.

    Solution:

    • You need to update your software security application. You can also scan your computer for any potential threats, as well as check the security of your private data and the stability of your system.

    3. Memory issues or problems.

    Solution:

    • When this is the cause of the problem, you need to first contact the developer of the software causing the runtime error. The software developer will be able to provide a possible set of solutions you can try.
    • However, if the solutions they have provided still don’t work, you need to contact the manufacturer of your motherboard or computer and request for a technician to assess your hardware.

    4. Software issues and problems.

    Solution:

    • You can correct it by visiting the developer’s website. Download and install all the updates and patches necessary for the smooth functioning of the software.
    • If you have downloaded and installed all the necessary updates and the issue is still not resolved, you can opt to uninstall and reinstall the program.

    Additional Reading on Runtime Error

    Uninstall DirectX

    DirectX is a group of programs used to handle a number of tasks related to playing or accessing multimedia files. It was developed by Microsoft to work on Windows Operating Systems. It has no normal uninstall method. If you need to uninstall the application due to problems that arise on your computer, what you can only do is to reinstall a previous or updated version of DirectX.

    For up-to-date versions of DirectX, you don’t have to uninstall DirectX to fix ActiveX related issues. These versions already have a repair facility incorporated with them. To solve issues that arise with these versions, just download and install the DirectX software over your current installed version. It is strongly advised not to remove DirectX unless you have no other alternative to fix the problem you are facing.

    Before installing DirectX, Microsoft will prompt you to make a “System Restore Point.” Through this, DirectX can be eliminated from your computer by restoring a previous configuration. If you were not able to make a “System Restore Point” before installing DirectX, you should not try the subsequent procedure. Remember that everything installed, prior to the creation of the system restore point to the time you undo the system changes, will be lost.

    To Remove DirectX Using System Restore:

    1. Go to the Start button of Windows.
    2. Click the Help and Support menu.
    3. On the “Pick A Task” section of the window, click “Undo Changes To Your Computer With System Restore.”
    4. On the right side of the System Restore window, click on the option “Restore My Computer to an Earlier Time.” Then, click Next.
    5. Click another Next button to confirm the restore point selection.
    6. Click OK button once the restore is done.

    You may come across procedures on the Net on how to uninstall DirectX with the use of the system registry editor. This may work, but the process may cause errors in the system. Removing the set of applications and programming services using the system registry tools would increase the possibility of system instability.

    You can also download uninstall tools in the Internet. Shareware tools are abundant on the Net and can help you if you were not able to create a system restore point. You can search for programs that can help in removing DirectX and choose the one that works best for you.

    Error 1721

    Error 1721 is an error commonly experienced when trying to uninstall a program using the Add or Remove Programs function in Microsoft Windows XP.

    This error generates a pop-up message identifying it as Error 1721. It explains that the problem is caused by an error with the Windows Installer package. This often means that a program needed for the removal of the program was not installed with the software. The message will also advise the user to contact the developer or distributor of the program they are trying to uninstall.

    How to Solve the Problem

    To solve Error 1721, you need to perform the steps in re-registering the Windows Installer service. If the problem persists, you can run a System File Checker.

    Re-registering Windows Installer Service

    If the Microsoft installation engine is internally corrupted or is experiencing malfunctions, you will not be able to remove any of the programs installed by the Windows Installer.

    When an Error 1721 occurs, it is important to unregister and then re-register the Windows Installer service to correct the corrupted parts of the engine. This can be carried out through the following steps:

    1. Start your computer in Safe mode. To do this:

    a. Restart the computer.

    b. After the BIOS information is displayed, press F8 repeatedly until you are presented the Safe Mode option.

    c. Select Safe Mode and Enter.

    d. Select your computer and Enter.

    2. Log on to the computer as local administrator.

    3. From the Start menu, select the Run option.

    4. In the pop up box, type CMD.EXE then click OK.

    5. Type misexec/unregister at the prompt. Press Enter to complete the unregister command.

    6. At the next prompt, type msiexec/regserver. Press Enter to complete the re-register command.

    7. Close the command prompt by typing Exit and pressing Enter.

    8. Try to uninstall the application again using the Add or Remove Programs function of the Control Panel.

    Running a System File Checker

    Sfc.exe or the System File Checker is intended to scan protected Operating System files. This validates whether it is the right version or not. It has the capacity of detecting corrupt files or incorrect versions then replacing them with the correct file from the Windows installation source files.

    This can be accomplished by performing the following steps:

    1. From the Start menu, select the Run option.
    2. In the pop up box, type CMD.EXE.
    3. Click OK.
    4. Type sfc/purgecache in the command prompt then press Enter.
    5. Now type sfc/scannow and then hit Enter. Note that steps 4 and 5 may require you to provide the Windows installation source files. The full process of running the command line may take several minutes to finish.
    6. Type Exit then press Enter to safely exit the command prompt.
    7. Remove the software program.

    DirectX

    Microsoft DirectX is a set of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for managing tasks associated to multimedia, usually in programming games and graphics. To install DirectX, you have to download its latest version from the Microsoft Web page.

    1. Open Internet Explorer and go to the download page of DirectX 9.0c End-User Runtime.
    2. Hit the Download button.
    3. Click the ‘Run’ button to run dxwebsetup.exe right away.
    4. Click the subsequent ‘Run’ button.
    5. Hit the circle beside “I accept the agreement” option, and then click ‘Next’.
    6. Click ‘Finish’.

    Updating Older DirectX Versions

    If you have previous versions of DirectX on your system, you can update your older DirectX version via two ways. You can uninstall the previous version in your system and then install the latest version. Another way to update your DirectX version is to utilize the Windows update feature.

    Checking the Installed DirectX version

    If you have DirectX installed in your computer, you can check which version is on your system. Use the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.

    1. Open the Start menu of Windows and go to Run.
    2. Key in “dxdiag” and then click OK. The DirectX Diagnostic Tool dialog box will then be displayed.

    In the first tab of the DirectX Diagnostic Tool dialog box, you can see the system information. It consists of your system’s details, such as the computer’s name, system model, memory, processor details, current date and time, and the version of the DirectX installed in your system.

    The second tab of the dialog box displays the details of the installed DirectX files.

    The next tab is the Display tab. It contains the features of the installed displayed drivers and devices. You should enable Direct3D (D3D) and/or Direct Draw acceleration. Also, on this tab, you can check the details of your DirectX’s D3D and Direct Draw. Just hit the “Test DirectDraw” or the “Test Direct3D” button.

    The Sound tab is shown in the fourth tab of the dialog box. On this tab, you can test the functionality of DirectX’s Direct Sound. Just hit the “Test DirectSound” button.

    Next in the dialog box is the Music tab. You can check the features or the functionality of Direct Music by hitting the “Test DirectMusic” button.

    The Input tab is seen on the sixth tab. This shows the direct input devices connected to your system, such as the mouse, joystick, or keyboard.

    The last tab is the Network tab. Hit the “Test DirectPlay” button to check Direct Play.