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Mike's Window

Mike's 'unwanted additions' warning service..

Foxit Reader (good) is currently attaching Search Protect by Conduit (not good). Uncheck the option because it is a pest.

Java (marginal, but a necessary evil for far too many things) is attaching the Ask Toolbar and associated junk. Uncheck it if you value decent Internet searches.. . 

ImgBurn (Good), but you have to be on your toes to stop the unwanted stuff. Basically, uncheck anything that isn't for ImgBurn, and go for the custom install each time that it is offered to you to ensure that you get to uncheck and skip the junk.. 

A commonly held 'view.. '

 "Well, it worked in Windows 95!"

MVP Award years

2005 - 2006 - 2007

2008 - 2009 - 2010

2011 - 2012 - 2013


The original MVP logo

My Favourite Utilities

Speedfan is a great hardware monitor which can automatically control fan speeds, warn when temperatures are rising in the case, and do a SMART scan of your hard drives. A 'must have'.. 

Piriform Speccy tells you what is inside the box and with great accuracy..

Networx shows download/upload bandwidth used..

Piriform Recuva is probably the best file recovery utility around and is free too.. 

Treesize shows you what you have got, where it is, and how much space it is all using..

Windows 8 alternative start menus.. Classic Shell..

Stardock Start8..

Aomei Partition Assistant is the best free utility of its type..


.. is a disk utility which shows very clearly indeed the health of your hard drives, be they internal or external.. See here..


It isn’t the world’s most useful disk utility ever in that it doesn’t have any tests other than what it runs when starting up. However, it does contain useful info:

  1. Model number – now you can easily determine which hard drive tools to use (they are not all the same).
  2. Serial number – useful if you want to check the warranty status without having to remove the drive.
  3. Drive letters allocated to the partitions on the drive.
  4. Basic health – see the blue rectangle?
  5. Temperature – always good to know how hot is is in there.

OK so far? Do you want CrystalDiskInfo?

Whenever I see a useful utility, I take a look, and invariably there is a download manager in charge. MajorGeeks doesn’t have a download manager, so to get this, I search for ‘CrytalDiskInfo MajorGeeks’ and hey presto, I land on the MG website and there is CrystalDiskInfo.

Now this is weird. MG usually provides three sources, but this time, there is only one, the software author website, but I press ahead, download the file and run it.

There is a check box for Conduit which I ensure is marked appropriately such that I DON’T get it, and the install proceeds.

CrystalDiskInfo installs and then auto starts, but there is more. When I start IE 11, guess who the search provider is. If you answer with anything OTHER than ‘Search Conduit’, you are WRONG.

Changing your homepage back to what you want is a waste of time because Search Conduit sets itself up as ‘protector’ to your home page, the home page which Search Conduit wants you to have.

It can be removed:

  1. Go to Control Panel > Programs and Features
  2. Look for Search Conduit
  3. Highlight and select it, then click on ‘uninstall’
  4. Reboot the computer.
  5. Now run Malwarebytes which will list 12 or more nasties installed by Search Conduit.
  6. Select all of the entries and DELETE them
  7. Reboot the computer.
  8. Reset the home page to what you want..

You now have a fairly useful disk utility and NO search re-director, you lucky boys and girls..


BTW, the ‘list of seven’ is useful as a weekly check for any malware that creeps into the system.

Posted Wed, Dec 18 2013 8:05 by Mike Hall
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