Protect Yourself From Tech Support Scams
May 11, 2020
Protect Yourself From Tech Support Scams
Tech support scams are an industry-wide issue where scammers trick you into paying for unnecessary technical support services. Additionally, some scammers may try to identify themselves as a Microsoft MVP.
Which method are you using to install the Service Pack, Windows Update or .exe download from Microsoft Downloads?
If possible, boot into Safe Mode, and do a System Restore before you installed the Service Pack and reference the information I have provided below with instructions about how to install Windows 7 SP1.
Microsoft released the first beta back in June 2010 followed by a Release Candidate late October 2010 and the final RTM availability (February 16 2011 MSDN/TechNet subscribers) and public Availability (February 22 2011). Unlike previous Service Packs, Windows
7 SP1 does not contain any major improvements; it’s basically a rollup of updates that have been released for the operating system since it went to manufacturing July 22 2009. If you have been diligently updating your computer through Windows Update since
then, you basically have all that SP1 has to offer.
Windows 7 SP1 is provided in two ways, either as a full .ISO file download weighing in at 2.4 GBs or as an update available through Windows Update. The .ISO file contains SP1 code for different processor architectures such as x86, x86-x64 and Itanium systems.
Because I have a mixture of 32 and 64 bit systems, I went with the .ISO file. Whichever method you choose, here are some tips for ensuring a smooth installation.
* Getting Windows Update errors with Windows 7 SP1? MS notes "inconsistencies," provides fix: http://is.gd/22brle
* 1. Click on Start > Programs > Accessories, and right-click on Command Prompt.
2. Choose Run As and select an Administrator account.
3. At the command prompt, type net stop cryptsvc and wait for the service to stop.
4. Type CD\ and press Enter.
5. Type CD windows\system32 and press Enter.
6. Type ren catroot2 catroot3 and press Enter.
1. Make sure you install the latest updates for Windows 7, your applications and device drivers. This can ensure a smooth experience I noticed, although Windows 7 SP1 is minor, you don’t want to take any chances. If you are updating through Windows Update,
it also guarantees a smaller update since only missing patches will be applied.
2. Backup – you can never go wrong with backing up; this is something you should do often even when you are not making major changes to your computer. Windows 7 has made it very easy tobackup your computer . The built in system imaging and backup and restore
center makes it convenient to back up the operating system and all your critical data. In fact, I used this to test the beta and RC releases of SP1 on my production system. This method carried its risks, but at least I knew my RTM installation was safely backed
up and tucked away from pre-release code.
3. Don’t do it during a major project, if you have something you are working on at the moment on your computer or in the middle of an assignment or work related project which you might need your PC for, don’t install the Service Pack right away. Do it in
your off time, such as on the weekend or when you know you can leave your PC while it installs itself automatically. My installation took over 2 hours.
4. This brings me to another point, which is, don’t install SP1 on a laptop on battery power, it’s a CPU intensive task and will use up most of your battery power. So make sure your laptop is connected to power. For desktop users, I strongly recommend you
have a UPS connected, you just don’t know when the unexpected can occur. You might just be in the last lap of completing the 2 hour installation and lose power.
5. Disable your Antivirus, I remember installing the SP1 beta with Microsoft Security Essentials version 1 installed and received an error that my Antivirus is not compatible. Although this was resolved, your experience might vary. I haven’t experienced
the issue in the RTM code although I am running Microsoft Security Essentials version 2. Someone reported receiving an error message about Forefront Client Security not allowing the Service Pack to install. The recommendation is to disable Forefront which
is based on the same core scanning engine as MSE or make sure you at least have the latest version of Forefront client security installed.
6. Another thing you should do is a clean boot before installing the Service Pack, you can do this by:
* Click Start, type msconfig in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
* Accept User Account Control permission
* If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.
* On the General tab, click Selective Startup.
* Under Selective Startup, click to clear the Load Startup Items check box.
* Click the Services tab, click to select the Hide All Microsoft Services check box, and then click Disable All.
* Click OK.
* When you are prompted, click Restart.
* After the computer starts, proceed with the installation.
7. Another task you should try is to check your hard disk for errors:
* Click Start
* Type: CMD, from the results, right click CMD
* Click ‘Run as Administrator’
* At the Command Prompt, type: chkdsk /r /f
When you restart your system, your computer will be scanned for errors and attempts will be made to correct them.