Optimize Windows 11 Services with PC Services Optimizer 4.1

We at Smart PC Utilities are thrilled to announce the release of a new version of our Windows services management and optimization solution, PC Services Optimizer. The new release would allow you to optimize Windows 11 services besides bringing several UI enhancements, feature improvements, and bug fixes that aim to make optimizing unnecessary Windows services easy, safe, and straightforward.

You can download the new release from the PC Services Optimizer download page.

In this post, we will highlight features, enhancements, and bug fixes brought by PC Services Optimizer v4.1.1388. You can view the complete list of changes on the PC Services Optimizer release notes page.

What is New in PC Services Optimizer v4.1.1388:

New Features

  • Added support to optimize Windows 11 services.
  • Added Spanish UI localization.
  • PC Services Optimizer can now automatically create system restore points before optimizing Windows services. Therefore, you can undo any undesired changes made by PC Services Optimizer to your Windows services configuration.
  • Added an option to disable Windows telemetry services.
  • Added an option to allow the verification of the service image files digital signature in the Services Manager.
  • Added an option to highlight services by digital signature status in the Services Manager.
  • Added an option to search VirusTotal for service image file information in the Service Manager.

Improvements

  • The core services management module has been improved.
  • Improved Windows services listing and management in the Services Manager.
  • Minor License Manager improvements and bug fixes.
  • Improved the user feedback and error reporting module.
  • Improved the PC Services Optimizer Debug Mode.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed minor UI glitches that affected the User Profile window.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented the application from saving specific user preferences in the Registry.

Removed Features

  • Removed the Services Snapshot creation notification.
  • Removed the options to disable Internet and Wireless networking services from the User Profile.

Anti-Ransomware CryptoBuster v1.0.935 Beta 2 Released

We at Smart PC Utilities are very excited to announce the release of the second beta of our anti-ransomware software CryptoBuster. This new update brings a small but important set of changes and bug fixes that aims to improve the software’s performance and reliability, therefore, the user experience.

You can download the new CryptoBuster version from the CryptoBuster download page.

In the following notes, you will get a summary of features, enhancements, and bug fixes brought by CryptoBuster v1.0.935. You can view the complete list of changes on the CryptoBuster release notes page.

What is New in the Anti-Ransomware Solution, CryptoBuster v1.0.935:

New Features

  • Added the ability to filter the CryptoBuster security events by their status in the Security History.
  • Added an option in the CryptoBuster settings that allows to turn off and disable all CryptoBuster’s features.

Enhancements

  • Improved the CryptoBuster dashboard.
  • CryptoBuster uninstaller can now delete all honeypots created by CryptoBuster.
  • CryptoBuster can now show alerts about license expiration.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed a critical bug that caused the CryptoBuster service to crash on computers using languages other than English.
  • Fixed bugs in the CryptoBuster licensing system.
  • Several bug fixes.

CryptoBuster v1.0.823 Beta 1 has a known issue that affects the updates installer module; this will prevent CryptoBuster from installing this update automatically, so you will have to download and install the new version manually.

Game Fire v6.8 – Improved Game Booster with Epic Games Support

We at Smart PC Utilities are very proud to announce the release of Game Fire v6.8. This fresh release of our game booster brings official support for Microsoft Windows 11 and Epic Games, new system optimizations, improved user interface, functionality enhancements, and minor bug fixes. With this update, you will have the best possible gaming experience in one click.

You can download the new Game Fire update from the Game Fire download page, or you can use the Game Fire updater app included in the Pro edition to download and deploy this update automatically.

In the following notes, I will give you a summary of features, enhancements, and bug fixes introduced in Game Fire v6.8. You can view the complete list of changes in Game Fire 6.8 release notes.

What is New in the PC Game Booster, Game Fire v6.8:

User Interface

  • Added support for Russian localization in the user interface, thanks to our user Alex. Users can contribute to Game Fire localization, see the Software Translation page for more details.
  • Improved the Flat UI Framework with new software UI components redesigned to use this UI framework; this aims to support the dark style through all the software UI.
  • Minor UI improvements and bug fixes.

My Games

  • Added support for Epic Games so that you can manage and launch all games available in the Epic Games Store, including exclusive titles like Fortine, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and Crysis.
  • Improved the My Games widget.
  • Improved the games loading speed in My Games and the My Games widget.
  • Fixed issues related to hiding/unhiding the listed games in My Games.

Other Changes

  • Added support for Microsoft Windows 11.
  • Added new Windows service optimizations in the Game Mode Profile.
  • Improved the License Manager, also users are now required to confirm their email addresses before activating the Game Fire Pro trial.
  • Improved the Debug Mode and extended it to support the Game Fire update installer.
  • Minor improvements and bug fixes.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed issues when handling file paths containing invalid characters.

System Requirements

  • Microsoft Windows 11 v10.0.22000 and later.
  • Microsoft Windows 10 (32-Bit and 64-bit).
  • Microsoft Windows 8/8.1 (32-Bit and 64-bit).
  • Microsoft Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 (32-Bit and 64-bit).
  • Microsoft Windows Vista with Service Pack 2 (32-Bit and 64-bit).
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.2 and later

For more information, see the Game Fire page

Ransomware: How to Detect and Stop them with Honeypots?

Ransomware is a type of malware that can encrypt the victim’s files, databases, or applications, and hold them for ransom. Once the ransomware finishes encrypting the victim’s files, the victims will be asked to pay the ransom (usually in Bitcoin) so that they can recover their encrypted files. Recent ransomware strains can take a copy of the victim’s data before encrypting them then threaten to expose the data to the public if the victim refuses to pay the ransom.

Ransomware attacks are on the rise. According to SonicWall, ransomware volume jumped from 115.8 million attacks in Q1 to 188.9 million attacks in Q2. The top three ransomware strains seen in the wild by SonicWall are Ryuk, Cerber, and SamSam with the United States being the most targeted country. For that reason, knowing how to detect and stop ransomware becomes more critical than ever before.

Source: SonicWall

Most users and companies already utilize software solutions such as anti-virus software to defend against ransomware; however, they may fail to provide full protection against ransomware as many ransomware strains nowadays can evade such solutions; that is why using only antivirus software is no longer enough to keep your machine malware-free and there is a need to use additional techniques to form a second line of defense. One of those techniques is the Honeypots.

What Is Ransomware Honeypot?

Honeypots is an effective technique to detect and stop ransomware attacks, thus protecting the user’s important data from permanent damage. Anti-ransomware honeypots are decoy files that users can create and deploy in various system locations that no program nor user would ever tamper with. The system will monitor the created honeypots, and it will react if it detects any changes made to the honeypots. Since ransomware encrypts all files in every relevant folder, it would naturally also encrypts the honeypot files, thus alerting the system that a program is tampering with the honeypot.

To increase the effectiveness of honeypots in detecting and stopping ransomware; honeypots should have the following criteria:

  • Create honeypot files with file extensions that are commonly targeted by ransomware like text files, Microsoft Office documents, PDF.
  • Create honeypot files with random names and content so that ransomware won’t bypass them.
  • Create honeypots with file names that would allow ransomware to target them before targeting the user’s real files.
  • Create honeypot files in folders to minimize the chance of accidentally changing them by legitimate users or programs.
  • Create honeypot files in as many system locations as possible.

You can easily create honeypot files by yourself; however, you will need a program that can monitor the created honeypots, identify the process that changed the honeypot file, and react to honeypot changes. You can either use a general-purpose file system monitoring program to do the job; however, it will be a lot of work on your side to configure the software solution to monitor and react to the honeypot changes, or you can use our anti-ransomware solution CryptoBuster.

CryptoBuster has the following features that increase the effectiveness of honeypots:

  • Automate the creation and deployment of hundreds of honeypots in strategic system locations.
  • Uses optimized file names, extensions, and content for honeypot files to increase the effectiveness of honeypots.
  • Built-in tools to manage the created honeypot files.
  • Active monitoring of honeypots with a very low system footprint.
  • CryptoBuster can identify the process that changed the honeypot file.
  • CryptoBuster can be configured to react to honeypot changes with various actions like sending email notifications, suspending the suspicious process, or disabling the network.

In this guide, you will learn how to use CryptoBuster to create and manage honeypots; and how CryptoBuster reacts to honeypot changes.

Create Honeypots in CryptoBuster

CryptoBuster Honeypots Wizard

In CryptoBuster, you can either create honeypot files manually customizing their names, types, and locations, or you can use the Honeypots Wizard that can create hundreds of honeypots with optimized file names and types in all important system locations.

To create a custom honeypot file manually, follow the step below:

  • From the CryptoBuster dashboard, under the Honeypots section select Manage.
  • In the Honeypots Manager, click the Create File button located in the lower-right part of the CryptoBuster’s user interface.
  • In the New Honeypot File dialog box, specify the honeypot file name, location, type, and options, then click the OK button to create and register the honeypot file with CryptoBuster.

To create honeypots using the Honeypots Wizard, follow the step below:

  • From the CryptoBuster dashboard, under the Honeypots section select Manage.
  • In the Honeypots Manager, click the Honeypots Creation Wizard link located in the lower-left part of the CryptoBuster’s user interface.
  • In the Honeypots Wizard, specify the locations where you want to create honeypots, then click the Create Honeypots button to create and register the new honeypots file with CryptoBuster.

Manage Ransomware Honeypots

CryptoBuster Honeypots Manager

Use the CryptoBuster Honeypots Manager to browse and manage all honeypots created and registered with CryptoBuster and get their details like names, locations, and types.

Use the Honeypots Manager to delete the created honeypots. DO NOT delete them directly or by using any other programs as CryptoBuster will flag this action as malicious and will suspend and terminate the process that deleted the honeypots and may force the computer to shut down.

Honeypots Monitor

CryptoBuster Honeypot Alert

CryptoBuster actively monitors honeypots for any unauthorized changes. If CryptoBuster detects that one or more of the created honeypots were changed, it will automatically apply the Honeypots Monitor actions that may include sending an email notification, suspending the program that changed the honeypot then terminating its process tree, and disabling all active network adapters (You can configure those actions in the CryptoBuster settings).

By default, CryptoBuster will terminate all processes and force the computer to shut down if three or more honeypot files were changed, as those changes strongly indicate an ongoing ransomware attack. Honeypots Monitor actions aim to protect your data and minimize the damage caused by ransomware.

CryptoBuster will also display a notification to inform the user about the changed honeypot file and which program changed it.

Conclusion

Honeypots is an effective technique with very low false-positive chances to detect and respond to ransomware attacks before any real files have been encrypted. CryptoBuster automates the creation and monitoring of honeypots, thus increasing the effectiveness of honeypots.

CryptoBuster – A New Anti-Ransomware Solution

We at Smart PC Utilities are proud to announce the release of the first Beta of our new anti-ransomware solution CryptoBuster. We designed our new software solution to work with your existing security product to offer an additional security layer and form the last line of defense against ransomware to protect your valuable data from permanent damage.

CryptoBuster features a user-friendly interface that makes it very easy to use and customize; it also has a small system footprint so that it can run smoothly side by side with your existing security solution without affecting the system performance.

The current CryptoBuster Beta offers two main protection modules to help detect and stop ransomware, Honeypots and File Extensions Monitor.

Honeypots

Honeypots are decoy files that CryptoBuster uses to detect malicious activities on your computer; this is an efficient and proven technique with low false-positive chances to detect and stop ransomware when they start to encrypt the user files.

You can either create honeypots manually customizing their names, locations, and file types, or you can take advantage of the Honeypots Wizard that can deploy dozens of honeypot files in all critical system locations using custom names and file types that would allow ransomware to target those honeypots before they start to encrypt the user’s files, thus protecting important data from being encrypted by ransomware.

CrpyotBuster will instantly monitor the created honeypots and will notify you when an unauthorized program changes a honeypot file as this strongly indicates malicious activity. Besides notifying the user about honeypot changes, CryptoBuster can be configured to respond to honeypot changes with a series of actions aimed to prevent data damage like sending an email notification, suspending the program that changed the honeypot then terminating its process tree, and disabling all active network adapters.

Learn more about honeypots and how to use them to protect your computer from ransomware from the CryptoBuster user guide.

File Extensions Monitor

Besides Honeypots that are effective to stop ransomware when they start to encrypt the user files, File Extensions Monitor can monitor the file system to detect the creation of specific types of files that may indicate ongoing ransomware attack or sometimes may indicate the preparations for an attack.

For instance, CryptoBuster can detect the creation of files with extensions that are known to be used by ransomware to encrypt user files, also you can configure CryptoBuster to detect the creation of potentially dangerous files like batch files and scripts that are commonly used in ransomware attacks, or even to detect the creation of files of unknown types which is an aggressive technique used to stop most of the ransomware strains that change file extensions.

Learn about the File Extensions Monitor and how to properly configure it to help detect ransomware from the CryptoBuster user guide.

Roadmap

We will continue to improve the existing CryptoBuster protection modules and introduce new ones; here are some features and ideas we are working on:

  • The development of a Windows Driver to intercept and block ransomware at the Kernel level.
  • Support the creation of honeypots and file monitoring in network shares.
  • New protection module to monitor services, scheduled tasks, and startup programs to prevent ransomware from achieving persistence.
  • Working on techniques to detect and prevent data exfiltration.

Please feel free to report any bugs and share any feedback and suggestions you have; this will greatly help us improve our software solution.

System Requirements

Free 30-day CryptoBuster Trial

Game Fire v6.7 – Enhanced UI with Several functionality Improvements

We at Smart PC Utilities are very excited to announce the release of Game Fire v6.7. This minor update for our game booster brings several UI enhancements, feature improvements, and bug fixes, the result would be an improved user experience and a better system optimization in order to achieve the best gaming experience with the least effort.

You can download the new Game Fire update from the Game Fire download page, or you can use the Game Fire updater app included in the Pro edition to download and deploy the update automatically.

In the following notes, I will give you a summary of features, enhancements, and bug fixes introduced in Game Fire v6.7. You can view the complete list of changes in Game Fire 6.7 release notes.

What is New in the PC Game Booster Game Fire v6.7

User Interface

Game Fire v6.7 Light Blue theme
  • We added initial support for UI dark and light modes, we will continue to support both user interface modes across the entire Game Fire interface in the next software releases.
  • Added an option to allow Game Fire to automatically select the theme that matches the default app mode used by Windows.
  • New fresh user interface icons.
  • Added Spanish localization, thanks to our user Ivan Calafell García. Users can contribute to Game Fire localization, see the Software Translation page for more details.
  • Minor user interface and Flat UI framework improvements and bug fixes.

Game Mode

  • Added an option to control whether Game Fire can restore the stopped processes when Game Mode is turned off.
  • Added an option to control whether Game Fire can restore the stopped Windows services when Game Mode is turned off.
  • Improved Windows services optimization.

Other Changes

  • System Diagnostics can show the disk type (whether SSD or HDD) in the Storage section.
  • Added an option to allow the copy of a single record in the Live Optimization log.
  • Removed the notification of the .NET framework version compatibility.
  • Changing language and theme settings will automatically be applied to the Game Fire Tray application.
  • Added an option to enable users to subscribe to the Game Fire Beta updates channel.
  • Improved the creation of system restore points.
  • Moved the option “Optimize third party apps and services“ from Game Mode Profile to Game Fire Settings.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed a bug that prevented Game Fire from listing processes that have empty command lines.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented users from adding or editing Steam and Uplay games in My Games.

System Requirements

  • Microsoft Windows 10 (32-Bit and 64-bit).
  • Microsoft Windows 8/8.1 (32-Bit and 64-bit).
  • Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 (32-Bit and 64-bit)..
  • Microsoft Windows Vista SP2 (32-Bit and 64-bit).
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.2 and later.

For more information, see Game Fire page

Windows 11 Vs. Windows 10: System Requirements

Microsoft has announced the system specifications required for PCS to run the new Windows 11 that is expected to arrive at the end of 2021. One thing to notice is that Windows 11 system requirements vary greatly from Windows 10’s system specifications.

Let’s have a look at Windows 11 minimum system requirements compared to Windows 10′ system specifications.

Get most of your Windows 10 computer and boost your gaming experience with Game Fire.

What’s Different Between the Windows 10 and 11 System Requirements?

Windows 11Windows 10
CPU1 GHz or faster with 2 or more cores 64-bit processor1 GHz or faster 32-bit or 64-bit processor
RAM4 gigabyte (GB)1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
Storage64 GB16 GB for 32-bit OS or 20 GB for 64-bit OS
DisplayHigh definition display that is greater than 9” diagonally, 8 bits per color channel800×600 display
Graphics CardSupports DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driverSupports DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
Trusted Platform Module (TPM)Requires TPM version 2.0
Check the TPM version by running tpm.msc in the Run dialog
TPM is only required for some features like BitLocker
System FirmwareUEFI and Secure Boot are requiredUEFI and Secure Boot are optional
Internet ConnectionRequired in Windows 11 HomeOptional
Microsoft AccountRequired in Windows 11 HomeOptional

According to Microsoft, If your device does not meet Windows 11 specifications, you may not be able to install the new operating system on your device and might want to consider purchasing a new PC.

Can my PC Run Windows 11?

Microsoft offers a free PC Health check app to check whether your Windows 10 computer meets the system requirements to run the new Windows 11.

Download PC Health check app and install it on your Windows 10 PC. Start the application, and under the Introducing Windows 11 section click the Check now button.

PC Health check

The tool will do a quick system checkup, after a few moments the application will show the test results. If your PC meets Windows 11’s minimum system specifications, the application will show the message “This PC can run Windows 11

If your PC does not meet Windows 11’s requirements, the application will show the message “This PC can’t run Windows 11

Game Fire v6.6.3473

We at Smart PC Utilities are excited to announce the release of Game Fire v6.6.3473. This version includes minor bugfixes and reliability changes aimed to improve the user experience.

What is New in Game Fire v6.6.3473

  • Added the ability to validate game paths entered in the Add Game dialog box so that Game Fire can handle errors when entering invalid game paths.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented Game Fire from detecting the system UI language so that Game Fire can show the UI with the correct localization.
  • Fixed an issue that sometimes occur when the user cancels a game files defragmentation process.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented Game Fire from listing Windows app processes in the Process Optimizer.
  • Fixed an issue that caused My Games to override custom preferences of Steam and Ubisoft games.
  • Fixed an issue when Game Fire adds new entries in the Live Optimization log.

You can download the new Game Fire version from the Game Fire download page. If you are already a Game Fire Pro user, you can use the Game Fire updater to download and deploy the new version automatically.

Game Fire v6.6 – Improved Games Support with New Game Booster Options

We at Smart PC Utilities are thrilled to announce the release of Game Fire v6.6. This fresh update of our game booster software brings new Windows boosting options as well as dozens of feature improvements and bug fixes, this will allow you to tweak more Windows settings in order to achieve a better gaming experience with fewer lags and interruptions.

The new Game Fire update is available for both Free and Pro editions. You can download it directly from the Game Fire download page, or use the Game Fire updater app included in the Pro edition to download and deploy the new update automatically.

In the following few notes, I will give you a brief about features, enhancements, and bug fixes introduced in Game Fire v6.6. You can view the complete list of changes in Game Fire 6.6 release notes.

What is New in the PC Game Booster Game Fire v6.6

We have added Japanese localization, thanks to our partner Dieci. We will continue to support more languages in the upcoming Game Fire releases. You can now instantly change the UI language by using the new option in the Game Fire main menu, this will eliminate the need to open the Settings window to change the language and to restart the application manually.

Game Fire Gray color theme

Starting from Game Fire v6.6, the user interface will support color customization. We have added a Gray theme and will continue to add more color themes in the next releases. Besides the color themes, we are working on a complete dark style so that Game Fire’s UI can blend with the Windows dark mode.

We have improved the way Game Fire uses to launch games registered in My Games where Game Fire launches them directly instead, they will be launched using a new module (GameLauncher.exe) that will launch games like they were started from the Windows File Explorer, this approach will fix many issues with games using anti-cheating mechanisms as they think Game Fire is a cheat or a debugging tool.

As for My Games, we have improved the integration with Steam and Ubisoft Connect, added support for Battle.net games, and added an option to refresh the games cache to fix issues with some games and to update game graphics when they change.

System Optimizer added an option to automatically create system restore points before optimizing system settings. We have disabled the optimization of specific settings that are known to be incompatible with the user computer configuration. System Optimizer can now optimize permissions-protected system configurations.

Visual Effects optimization options

The new update introduces new game booster options you can use to optimize Windows visual effects in real-time, this would help reduce stress on computer resources when using a low-end CPU or GPU. Also, Game Fire can now optimize Microsoft non-Windows services besides the improved optimization of third-party services and scheduled tasks.

We have improved Live Optimization by fixing issues in the Live Optimization log, improving the optimization of background processes, and disabling the alternation of the processing priority of full-screen games as this impacts FPS negatively.

Game Fire v6.6 fixed a critical issue that caused the starting of multiple instances of the same app when Game Fire restores the optimized processes when Game Mode is turned off.

System Requirements

  • Microsoft Windows 10 (32-Bit and 64-bit).
  • Microsoft Windows 8/8.1 (32-Bit and 64-bit).
  • Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 (32-Bit and 64-bit)..
  • Microsoft Windows Vista SP2 (32-Bit and 64-bit).
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.2 and later.

For more information, see Game Fire page

PC Services Optimizer v4 – Improved Windows 10 Services Management and Optimization

We at Smart PC Utilities are very excited to announce the release of PC Services Optimizer v4, a new major update for our Windows 10 services management and optimization solution.

The new update is available for both Free and Pro editions. You can download it from PC Services Optimizer download page, or use the updater app included in the Pro edition to download and deploy the new version quickly.

In this post, I will highlight the most noticeable features, and enhancements brought by that version. You can see the complete list of changes in PC Services Optimizer 4.0 release notes.

What is new in PC Services Optimizer v4

We have updated PC Services Optimizer to work with the latest versions of Windows 10 up to version 2004, to accomplish this we have added support for the optimization of new Windows 10 services like Microsoft account sync services, and fixed a critical bug that affected PC Services Optimizer on Windows 10 v1909 and v2004.

We have improved the software’s user interface, aiming to make services optimization process safer and much easier. In User Profile, we added an option to warn the user when optimizing specific services that may cause issues on certain situations.

Improved Windows 10 Services Management

Several improvements and bug fixes were introduced in Services Manager in order to provide power users with the necessary options to help them master Windows services. For instance, we added options to export specific service Registry key or backup all services Registry keys, improved services sorting, and added an option to highlight services by startup type.

The new PC Services Optimizer removed Game Mode feature. However, you can still use our software Game Fire that provides better and customizable game boosting capabilities.

We improved the reliability of PC Services Optimizer, by tweaking the application’s startup speed, adding an option to detect and resolve system features that may interfere with services optimization, and adding a Debug Mode to help diagnose PC Services Optimizer startup issues.

The deployment of PC Services Optimizer was improved by making both Free and Pro editions available from a single package, therefore user does not have to download and install them separately.

The new version improved the installation of software new updates by introducing a dedicated update installer app instead of relying on Windows Command Prompt to do the job.

  • Microsoft Windows 10 v1809 or higher (32-Bit and 64-bit).
  • Microsoft Windows 8/8.1 (32-Bit and 64-bit).
  • Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 (32-Bit and 64-bit)..
  • Microsoft Windows Vista SP2 (32-Bit and 64-bit).
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.2 or higher.

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