Free Anti-Virus or Anti-Spyware Programs

Last time I wrote a post about fixing folders become shortcuts problem which is right caused by those annoying virus or Trojans (which hide the real files and folders on an external storage device). Besides, they can also cause your PC to run slow. Today I am going to share with you several free anti-virus or anti-spyware programs to let my readers have more choices when facing similar problems.  

Note: what I am talking here is free anti-virus (not only anti-virus freeware), there are some difference between the two concepts. For example software producers may provides both free version and professional version. But sometimes free version is quite enough for personal usage. 

Microsoft Security Essentials 

The program provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. It is a free download from Microsoft that is simple to install, easy to use, and always kept up to date so you can be assured your PC is protected by the latest technology. It’s easy to tell if your PC is secure — when you’re green, you’re good. It’s that simple. 

Malwarebytes Free edition 

It is a surprisingly effective freeware antimalware tool. It's a relatively speedy malware remover, with the quick scan taking about 8 minutes even with other high-resource programs running. The app has some nice features rolled in, too. It supports multiple drive scanning including networked drives, context menu options including a scan-on-demand for individual files, and the FileAssassin option under the More Tools section for removing locked files.

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 

It is a memory-friendly free antivirus program that comes with lifetime free access to virus definition updates. Highlights include automatic update, real-time protection, free virus database updates, and some more. The new AVG Free has sped up its installation process, although it's not as zippy as the minute-long installations that some of AVG's paid competitors offer.

SuperAntiSpyware Free Edition

The program will remove all the spyware, not just the easy ones. Quick, complete and custom scanning of hard drives, removable drives, memory, registry, individual folders and more. Includes trusting items, and excluding folders for complete customization of scanning. Detect and remove spyware, adware, malware, Trojans, dialers, worms, key loggers, hijackers, parasites, root kits and many other types of threats. 

Spybot Search & Destroy 
Search & Destroy detects and removes spyware, a relatively new kind of threat not yet covered by common anti-virus applications. Spyware silently tracks your surfing behaviour to create a marketing profile for you that is transmitted without your knowledge to the compilers and sold to advertising companies. It can also clean usage tracks, an interesting function if you share your computer with other users and don't want them to see what you have been working on.

Enjoy those free anti-virus programs! :) 

Card Locked Error – Common Memory Card Error Fix (2)

Update: I've written another guide to fix other types of memory card errors, in case you are interested, check out the post here.

If you have a memory card equipped with your digital camera, camcorder or cell phone,  when you connect it to your PC via a card reader or slot but it comes out with card locked error while you attempt to access files in it. Detailed symptoms about this kind of errors include:

  • You receive the message "Memory Card Error" and "Card Locked" underneath it.    
  • You can’t format the card properly.    
  • Go to the Properties, it says 0 bytes.    

Perhaps you'll think the memory card is corrupted or damaged, however most of the time it isn't. It’s probably the tiny piece of trick on your card reader (or card slot) that playing a joke on you.

Check the card reader or slot you are using, pay attention to the little button on the side (it is called lock tab usually with white color). You are able to switch it to two positions “Locked” or “Unlocked”. You can see the photos below more clearly.

Memory card "locked" position

Memory card "unlocked" position 

See? You must have accidentally switched it to the “locked” position when connect it to your computer, thus the card error occurred. The solution is simple: switch the little tab back to “unlocked” state and try access it again. The previous locked error message should be eliminated.