Title: Living with F-Prot for DOS Antivirus

Author: Uzi Paz
E-Mail: for e-mail contact: user is uzi4wg and domain is uzipaz.com The e-mail address as a picture
First version date: 5 October 2001
Recent version date: 8 February 2004
Legal Notice: While as far as I know all the information here is exact and correct, as I'm giving this information as a free service, I'm taking no responsibility.
Parent Page: Uzi Paz home page on http://www.uzipaz.com .

1. Introduction and Overview

F-Prot for DOS is an antivirus program free for home noncommercial use. I'm not affiliated with Frisk Software (the company that develops F-Prot). It is considered as a very good antivirus program and although it is called "F-Prot for DOS" it is totally up to date and can be used also in any home Windows operating system, (up to some non-common exception, see comment 1a), and identify and remove the most modern viruses and worms. It certainly is a program appropriate for modern computers.

However, from the point of user interface and features, F-Prot for DOS certainly looks like the old programs - no "on access" scanning (i.e. no option for running the antivirus in the background for providing active protection). Updates of the programs and of the virus data (if we ignore third party solutions), can only be done manually, by looking from time to time at the web or FTP site to see if there are newer versions of the virus information files, and if there are, downloading them and replacing the older files in the directory where you put the program with the newer ones. All those friendly features that you can find in other antivirus programs,  cannot be found in F-Prot for DOS (Frisk Software offers also other versions of F-Prot, which are user friendly, and include all the advanced features that you can find in products by other companies, but those are not free).

We shall give here some information about how to install and handle it correctly, and how to make its use more user friendly. Some of the information below is very basic, but some is much less trivial. If you are not an experienced PC user, you might prefer to skip some parts in this document which offer some advanced features, but might be complicated to follow to a pedestrian. I have tested the instructions on my Win98, and I believe that it should work on other Windows operating systems as well. I would however, appreciate feedback about testing them on other versions of Windows, and of course since I offer this information as a free service, I take no responsibility.

1a. If some of your hard disks are formatted with NTFS filesystems, and you disabled short filenames, F-Prot for DOS will not be able to read many of the files there. This is not relevant in the case of Win95/98/ME, because those operating system use FAT (FAT16 or FAT32) filesystem rather than NTFS. Also many (mainly home) WinXP systems are built with only FAT filesystem. In the case of those WinXP where the disks were formatted with NTFS or with Win2K where the standard filesystem is NTFS, you must enable support for short filenames, and even then, some of the files might not have a valid DOS filename, and thus might not be accessible by F-Prot for DOS.

2. Manual Installation and Updating of F-Prot

F-Prot and its virus definition updates can be downloaded from many mirror sites, and Frisk Software (the company that makes F-Prot) recommends using those mirror sites. Unfortunately, those mirror sites are too often not updated, and thus, I would still recommend to use either Frisk's site for updates, or F-Secure's site which maintains them independently.
The program can be found in a ZIP format in ftp://ftp.f-prot.com/pub/dos/ .
The name of the program's file is fp-***.zip where the asterisks come for the version number of the program.
For example, at the moment of writing this document, the latest version of F-Prot for DOS is 3.16a, and thus the name of the F-Prot file, is fp-316a.zip .
After downloading it, there are no specific installation programs. The only thing one should do, is to open a new folder, which will be dedicated to the program, and to extract the content of the ZIP file into that folder.
In this document, I shall assume that you opened the folder as "C:\F-Prot" but it is just to make the explanations here simpler. If you wish to open it instead in "C:\Program Files\F-Prot" that is OK, but you will have to adapt the instructions here accordingly.

After downloading the program's zip file, you should just extract its content to that folder, and you will then find in that folder, a file named f-prot.exe. This is the antivirus program. Just doubleclick on it to open the antivirus program, and you may then scan your computer, or any specific drive or folder of your wish. Please notice that although you may execute the program from Windows it is an MSDOS program, and thus once you open the program, navigation in its menus is done with the arrow keys, the "Enter" key, and the "Esc" key on your keyboard rather than with the mouse. I recommend you to navigate a bit through its menus and options, before using it. Also because it is basically a DOS program, when you prefer to search a specific path, you should use only the short filename of that file. This is not always pleasant, because it means that you sometimes have to look e.g. in the properties of folders or programs in order to see what are their short filenames (DOS filenames).

On the folder where you extracted the F-Prot program, you will also find a few text files, which will include many instructions regarding usage, updating it, mirrors, etc. You might be interested to read them as well.

You may, of course, wish to update the virus definition files to the latest ones.
You may find them in ftp://ftp.f-prot.com/pub/. The files are fp-def.zip and macrdef2.zip.
In the FTP folder, you can find their dates. So you may see if there were updates since you last updated them. It is important to note that the program's ZIP file itself is not updated when new definition files are released, so when you get fp-***.zip, it will have the same virus definition files that were released when that version of the program was first released. The practical meaning is that even if you have just got the program, you should still get the virus definition files.
The virus definition locations at F-Secure are  ftp://ftp.f-secure.com/f-prot/updates/f-prot/dos/macrdef2.zip , and ftp://ftp.f-secure.com/f-prot/updates/f-prot/fp-def.zip .

After downloading fp-def.zip and macrdef2.zip, you may extract their content to the same folder where you put f-prot.
You will have to confirm the replacement of the older versions of the definition files with the newer ones.
Those two zip files include three definition files: sign.def, sign2.def, and macro.def.

That is practically everything for basic usage of the program.

3. Adding Shortcuts

You may of course create shortcuts to your F-Prot program on your desktop, or in the Start menu/Programs list.

In order to create a shortcut in the desktop, rightclick on the program, and choose "copy". Then rightclick on an empty part of your desktop, and choose "Paste Shortcut".

In order to create a shortcut in the Start Menu/Programs list, rightclick the F-Prot program, and choose "copy", and then open the "C:\WINDOWS\Start Menu\Programs\" folder (for Windows98/ME), and rightclick your mouse on an empty place in that folder, choose "Paste Shortcut". Then you may rightclick on the sohrtcut's icon and choose "rename" in order to rename it to, e.g. "F-Prot".  On Windows XP, the instructions are similar but the location of the "programs" folder is on "C:\Documents and Settings\[profile]\Programs" where your user name on the computer should come instead of "[profile]"..

4. Uninstallation

Since the installation of the program is manual, uninstallation of it is done by just removing what you added.
i.e. removing the dedicated folder that you have opened for it, with its contents and subfolders (if there are any), and removing all shortcuts that you put to it. Later on we will learn how to improve a few things by adding some registry keys. If you do that, you will have to remove those registry keys that you added, when you decide to uninstall the program.

5. Simplifying the Updating of the Virus Definition Files (my script)

Visiting F-Prot's FTP site periodically to see if the fp-def.zip and macrdef2.zip files have a date newer than the one that were when you last updated them, is not a user friendly procedure. This fact may discourage people from keeping their virus definition files always updated. If you want your antivirus program to be effective, you should keep those files always updated. Updates are released every few days, and thus checking the FTP site often is recommended. You might wish to know if there is a way to simplify the updating of those files. For example, if you can produce a button that whenever you press it, it will check if there are updates to those files, and if one of them (or both) are newer than the ones on your PC, it will make an update automatically.

The script given in this section does it. There are other alternative third party freeware programs that do it. See comment 5a at the end of this section.

In order for this script to work, you first need to install a mirroring program. The one that I use and recommend is WGET which is a very simple and free command line program that can easily be installed (just put it in a dedicated folder). Once you installed it, you may set a small batch program that will simplify the updating of the virus definition files.

Here are the instructions:

1) Get WGET from:  http://www.cmdtools.com/files/wget.zip . It is a freeware program.

2) Get PKZIP for DOS from  ftp://ftp.pkware.com/PK250DOS.EXE . As far as I understand the license, it is free for private use at home. Put the file in a subfolder that you should open in the F-Prot folder. Call that folder "AVDISK" (without the quotes). It is not a must to use this name, but it will simplify things if you wish to use AVDisk program (which is explained latter).

3) Extract the content of wget.zip to a dedicated folder. In this document, I shall assume that the folder is "c:\wget", but it can be anything you wish, (I use c:\util\wget).

4) Go to the AVDISK subfolder, and execute the PK250DOS.EXE file. It will set the pkzip program and more importantly, the pkunzip program on that folder.

5) Open Notepad, (or any other text editor. Do not use a word processor. Instructions here are for Notepad). It will open a new file, and type the following three lines on that file:

c:\wget\wget -N ftp://ftp.f-prot.com/pub/fp-def.zip ftp://ftp.f-prot.com/pub/macrdef2.zip
c:\f-prot\avdisk\pkunzip -n c:\f-prot\fp-def.zip
c:\f-prot\avdisk\pkunzip -n c:\f-prot\macrdef2.zip

The "N" in "-N" must be a capital letter. It is assumed here that wget.exe program has been extracted to c:\wget\
and that the location you chose for F-Prot is "C:\F-Prot" but if not, then you should use the right locations of them. Please notice, that if the path to the files/folders includes spaces, such as in "C:\Program Files", you must enclose it with quotes.

Choose in Notepad "save as" and in the "save as type" prompt, choose "all types". Then navigate to the folder of F-Prot and open a new subfolder there. Name it "scripts" (Notice that in Notepad's "save as" window, there is a button with an icon of a folder. Clicking it will open a new folder, which you can rename). After navigating to the "scripts" folder in the "save as" window, choose as the name of the file "fp-update.bat".
This will produce a text file with a name fp-update and an extension of a batch file, that will include the command to update the files. After doing this, close Notepad.

6) Go to the "scripts" subfolder, and rightclick on the fp-update.bat file. Then choose "Properties".
In the Properties window, go to the "Command" menu, and in the "Working" line, type "c:\f-prot" (without the quotes. If the folder dedicated to F-Prot is different, then type its location instead). At the first line in this menu (near the icon) change the text to "FP-Update". At the bottom of this menu, you can see a button to change the icon. I would recommend changing it to some more meaningful icon. A simple icon, will be the satellite dish, that exists in the pifmgr.dll file (you are likely to see this icon when pressing the "Icon" button, in the "Program" section or the properties of the shortcut.

After making those changes confirm the changes (by pressing "OK") and quit the "Properties.

7) You will now find on the "scripts" subdirectory, another file which has an arrow of a shortcut. If its name is not "FP-Update" then rename it to that name.

8) That is all. By doubleclicking the FP-Update file (the one with the arrow) you will initiate a program that checks F-Prot's FTP site, for updates and make them if necessary.

You may now copy the FP-Update shortcut to any place you want. For example you may wish to put it in the
Start Menu\Programs location.
You may perhaps prefer instead of having a reference to F-Prot program there, to have a submenu that has two links, one for F-Prot program and one to the FP-Update program.
You can do this by opening a folder with the name "F-Prot" in the
"C:\Windows\Start Menu\Programs" (this is for Win98/ME. For Windows XP it should be "C:\Documents and Settings\[profile]\Programs"). Then put the F-Prot shortcut, and the FP-Update shortcut on that directory.
It is important to copy the shortcut that you produced, and not to build a new shortcut by referring the batch file.

5a. There are a few other third party applications for updating F-Prot. We shall discuss a few of them, such as fp-check by Nikolaus Rameis, which we shall discuss in section 10,  FP-UP and Art's F-Prot Updater by Art Kopp, which we shall discuss in section 11, or F-Prot Updater by Over Self Research, which is discussed in section 12. 

6. Being Notified When a New Version is Released

The script mentioned in the former section, can only update the virus definition files. These are the ones that are more frequently updated. But you will probably wish to at least be notified when a new version of F-Prot is released, so that you can update it manually.

Frisk Software offers you to add your e-mail address to a notificaiton list that will notify you whenever a new version of the program is released, as well as options for other kinds of notifications. In order to subscribe to this notification service, visit
http://alerts.f-prot.com/cgi-bin/mf?lang=en  .

Changing the ldetails of the subscription or  signing off, should be done from the web page. Notice that the announcements of new versions are for all versions of F-Prot, not only the free F-Prot for DOS version.

6a. Former versions of this article mentioned a way to subscribe for notifications by e-mail. This method is now obsolete.

7. Adding a Rightclick Option "Scan with F-Prot" to Drives, Folders, or Files - The elegant way

Many antivirus programs offer you the option to rightclick on a file, a drive or a folder, and choose "scan with Antivirus", which will result in scanning that specific folder, file, or drive.
Such a feature for F-Prot, would be even more useful because it saves you from looking for the correct short filename for those folders/files.

This feature can be set for F-Prot, but you will have to edit the registry files in order to do that.
We will use the regedit command for that (you should already have this program as it comes with the basic installation of Windows).

If you don't have any experience with the regedit command, then please read Appendix A, before using it.

Making mistakes when changing the registry files may cause problems with your Windows. It is thus important to be very careful when editing the registry.

If you hesitate to follow the instructions in this section, or you do not understand them thoroughly, you may try an alternative method, which will provide you a less friendly and somewhat less flexible option, but its implementation is easier to follow. It will be described in the next section.

In the rest of this section I will assume that you are not new to registry tweaking with regedit.

I have prepared a file with the name addfprot_reg.txt which simplifies the adding of registry keys that will tell Windows to add the option "Scan with F-Prot" to the rightclick menus of files, folders, and drives.
As usual, I'm taking no responsibility here. But if you prefer to change those registry keys by doubleclicking a file rather than manually with the use of regedit, then you can use the file that I prepared. The file can be downloaded from http://www.uzipaz.com/eng/addfprot_reg.txt . If the path of your F-Prot folder is not "C:\F-Prot" then you should modify it to include the right path to the f-prot command, (notice that backslashes in the path should be doubled), and perhaps different flags (I explain this issue further in the rest of this section), and then you should rename the file to addfprot.reg and doubleclick it. This should add the registry keys that will enable this option in the rightclick menu.

If for any reason you wish at a later time to uninstall F-Prot, or just to remove those right-click options, and you used the above addfprot_reg.txt file, and didn't make any changes in it besides perhaps changing the path of the program, or changing the flags for it, then you may use another file: http://www.uzipaz.com/eng/removefprot_reg.txt for removing those rightclick options. Also for this file you should first change its extension to ".reg" before doubleclicking on it. Also here, I take no responsibility.
If you made other changes or you manually edited the registry, then the removal of the changes should also be manual.

The instructions how to manually add "Scan with F-Prot" to the rightclick menu of folders, is
the following:
* Go to
and add a subkey to it. Name the subkey "F-Prot" (without the quotes). Adding the subkey, is done by rightclicking on that key, and choosing "New" and then "Key".
* After making the new "F-Prot" subkey, mark it with the mouse, and modify in the right pane of regedit, the default's value data for that subkey to "Scan with F-Prot" (without the quotes). In order to modify the default's value data, you should mark the name "Default" in the right pane, and rightclick on it, and choose "Modify".
* Add a subkey to "F-Prot" (the same way you added a subkey to "Directory"), and call it "command" (again, without the quotes).
* Mark this "command" key, and in the right pane, modify the "Default" value data to:
C:\F-Prot\F-Prot.exe /ARCHIVE /PACKED "%1"
(The quotes around the "%1" are important).

This tells Windows to add an option to the rightclick menu of directories (i.e. folders), to call it "Scan with F-Prot" and if you choose it, it will initiate F-Prot from the command line with the /ARCHIVE and /PACKED flags. The /ARCHIVE flag tells F-Prot to scan also inside archives (e.g. inside ZIP files), and the /PACKED flag tells F-Prot to scan also the files inside packed executables. This is just an example. You may use other flags as you wish. For a list of the flags available for F-Prot and their meaning, see the command.txt file which sits in the F-Prot directory.

* The above instructions are how to add this option to the menu that you see when you rightclick on a folder. If you wish to add a similar option to the rightclick menu of Drives (which are usually at the "My Computer" folder), the instructions are the same, besides the fact that the relevant registry key here, is
instead of
(Of course you can set rightclick menus on both keys).

* In order to set a similar rightclick menu option to whenever you rightclick on a file, the instructions are again equivalent, but as before, the right registry key for it is:
(The asterisk is indeed a name of a subkey).

You may find that the "shell" subkey is missing in the
key. If the "shell" subkey is missing, you will have to add this subkey.

* I strongly recommend you to look at the various flags in the command.txt file, as I explained above.

* Please notice that unless you use the /INTER flag, the "close program on exit" must be unchecked in order to prevent the window to automatically be closed immediately after F-Prot finished its scanning, without giving you the opportunity to see the results of the scan.
To do this you should rightclick on the F-Prot program, and then choose "properties" and in the "program" tab you should uncheck the "close on exit". This will leave the MSDOS window opened after F-Prot has finished. The only place in this window, that notifies you when the program is finished is the title bar.

8. Adding Rightclick Options to Folders and Files - The More Basic Alternmative

When rightclicking on a folder, or on a file, you may see a "Send to" option, and when choosing it, you will receive a list of programs. Choosing one of them, will cause Windows to send the file or the folder to that program so that it can handle it. The idea is to just add F-Prot program to that list.
In order to add the F-Prot program to that list, you should simply put a shortcut to the F-Prot program, in the SendTo folder (on Windows 98 it usually is C:\Windows\SendTo while on Windows XP it usually is C:\Documents and Settings\[profile]\SendTo Where you should use your user's name instead of "[profile]"). The instructions how to make this shortcut, are described in section 3.

After making this shortcut, please rightclick on that shortcut, choose "properties", and then on the "program" tab, verify that the "close on exit" option is not checked. I recommend you to rightclick on the icon of the shortcut, choose "Rename" and rename it to simply "F-Prot".

Once you did it, you will have an option to check a file or a folder with F-Prot by rightclicking on it, choosing "Send to" and then "F-Prot".
The main advantage of this method over the one which we described in the former section, is that it is very easy to implement. It is also very easy to be removed, if you decide to remove F-Prot. Just delete the shortcut. No need to deal with the registry.

It has, however some drawbacks over the method described in the former section:
a) Scanning with F-Prot is not done directly from the rightclick menu, but rather from a submenu of it.
b) This method will not add the option to logical drives.
c) In this method, the F-Prot program will run without switches. This means that it will not scan files with non-executable extensions, will not scan packed or archived files, etc.

You may still be able to turn some switches (flags) in the program if you wish, but this needs some extra work. This is done by first deciding which switches you wish to use with the F-Prot program, when using it from the "Send to" menu. You may consult the command.txt file which is in the F-Prot folder, for that.
Then enter Notepad.
Now, if you wish to add the options to scan the files, including compressed executables, and archives, then type in the new file (from Notepad) the following line:
C:\F-Prot\F-Prot.exe /packed /archived %1

Of-course, you will have to use the correct path to the F-Prot program. You may also use switches different from the ones in this example.
The "%1" mark is important.
If the path to the F-Prot program, includes blank characters in it, you should enclose it with quotes. For example, if the F-Prot program is in C:\Program Files, then you should type something like that:
"C:\Program Files\F-Prot\F-Prot.exe" /packed /archived %1

If you use Windows XP, it is recommended to also add the following line as the bottom of the file:


After typing this line (/these lines), choose "save as" and in the "save as" menu, choose "save as type" to "all types", and then browse to F-Prot program, and save it under the name: f-prot4sendto.bat .
Then instead of adding a shortcut to F-Prot program, to the "Send to" folder, you should instead add a shortcut to this batch file. Also here, you should verify that the "close on exit" is not checked, and also here, you may rename the shortcut, as explained above. You will still not be able to use some switches to folders, and others to files, but this will allow you to set non-default switches.

9. Preparing External Antivirus Diskettes

There are various reasons why someone would prefer to boot and run an antivirus program from an external diskette rather than from the hard-drive. You may wish to prepare such floppy disks when your computer is clean, and then, if you suspect that your computer or any other computer, is infected, you can boot from them and use them to check and clean the computer while knowing that no virus is active while the antivirus is acting. This prevents a situation when the fact that the virus is active makes it harder for the antivirus to clean it, or situations where an active virus prevents the antivirus from loading up, or situations, where a destructive virus causes harm while the computer is booted from the hard disk to use the antivirus from the hard disk.

Many modern antivirus programs offer an option to produce such an emergency disk. F-Prot for DOS does not.

Luckily, You can do it manually, or, even better, you can use the AVDISK program for that. You can also use FP-UP for that.

In subsections 9a and 9b we shall discuss the manual preparation of such diskettes. Doing this with AVDisk will be discussed in section 9c, and FP-UP will be discussed in section 11.

9a. Manual preparation of the external F-Prot diskettes.

In order to prepare these diskettes, you need to have an access to a clean computer with Internet connection. You will also need three empty diskettes in a good condition.  In our instructions, at the end of the process the computer you will use will be restored to the way it was before you started the process, so that people should be relaxed that you are not changing things in their computer, without restoring them back after the preparation of the diskettes. Here are the instructions:

Take either 3 or 6  empty diskettes to a clean computer. In fact, you'll need only 3 diskettes, but you might prefer to make another set for backup.
On that computer, open a new dedicated folder, and download the F-Prot program, and the updated sign.def, sign2.def and macro.def the way we discussed in section 2.
Put the first diskette in the drive, and format it as a boot diskette. This can be done by opening "My Computer" and then rightclicking on the icon of the floppy drive. Then one should choose "Format" and in the new window, one should choose "Quick" or "Full" formatting, and check the "Copy system files" before starting the formatting. It is also recommended to check the "Display summary when finished" so that you can see if there are bad sectors on that diskette.
Then copy the following files from the F-Prot folder to that diskette: english.tx0, f-prot.exe, macro.def .
Open notepad, and type the following line as the text of a file:
f-prot /loaddef /hard /disinf /auto
From the file menu, choose "Save as", and in the new window choose "Save as type" all, and then as the name of the file, choose "autoexec.bat". Choose to save the file in the first diskette.
Take out the first floppy from the drive, and write on it: "boot + f-prot + macro.def".
Put the Second floppy to the drive, and copy "Sign.def" from the F-Prot folder to it.
Take out the second diskette, and write "sign.def" on it.
Copy sign2.def to the third drive, and then write on the diskette "sign2.def".
Write-protect the three diskettes.  At the top of each diskette, you may see two small square windows, in which one of them is already opened. In order to write-protect the diskette, you should open also the second window. This way, it promisses that if by mistake the diskettes will later be exposed to an active virus, it will not be able to infect them.

You should take care to keep those diskettes away from strong magnetic fields. Mainly, not to keep them near a cellular phone.

Then, you just take the floppy diskettes to the infected computer, verify that it is set to first try to boot from the floppy disks (this is a BIOS configuration, and we shall not explain it here, but in many cases it is already configured that way). You just put the first diskette in the floppy drive and boot the computer. It will instruct you to enter the other diskettes, and then will launch the F-Prot antivirus and clean the computer.

9b. Manual preparation of the external F-Prot diskettes - doing it with only two diskettes

In any case you need to clean your computer while  booting from a clean floppy disks and assuring that no virus is active while your computer is being clean, you may, in fact, do it with only two diskettes.
The price is by using a dummy macro virus definition file, instead of the real one. Of course, this means that the external F-Prot diskettes, will not clean your computer from macro viruses, but since those viruses normally are not activated automatically upon startup, it is possible to clean at first only other viruses, while booting from the external diskettes, and only later, after booting normally, to check for macro viruses if necessary. In many cases, you wish to use the external boot, because you already know that you are infected by a specific virus, but you cannot get rid of it unless you use external clean booting. In such cases, there is no need for macro virus scanning, and one might prefer to use only two diskettes. The instruction in such a case are similar to the ones in the former subsection, where the only differences are that:
On the first (boot) diskette, instead of copying macro.def, you should copy nomacro.def and scan2.def to the diskette. All the other files should be placed as in the former version.
You should then rename the file nomacro.def to macro.def (nomacro.def is the dummy macro definition file).
You should name the first diskette: "boot+scan.def+macro.def".
you should omit the preparation of the third diskette.
All the other instructions are similar to the instructions in the former subsection.

9c. Preparing External Antivirus Diskettes - AVDisk

AVDisk is a great freeware software for preparing boot diskettes for various antivirus programs (F-Prot for DOS is included). There is no need to use a specific version of Windows, but of course,  the preparation of the diskettes, should be done in a clean computer (it might work also if you make it when on your infected computer, but  it depends on the exact nature of the infection).

It is recommended that you prepare those diskettes, and routinely update them when you believe that your computer is clean, so that If your computer becomes infected (or you suspect it), and you cannot run the antivirus program from the infected computer, or you cannot remove the virus by running it, you can boot your PC with those diskettes that you have prepared when your computer was still clean, and execute your antivirus program from those diskettes.
You can get the program and learn more about it, on its web site:
http://www.avdisk.org . If you automated the downloads of the virus data files, the way I explained in section 5, then you have already installed it.
It is worthy to mention that AVDisk allows you to produce such diskettes also for other antivirus programs, provided that you have them on your computer, and the way it does it, the diskettes that are produced by AVDisk are sometimes much more friendly than the diskettes that are produced directly as features offered by those programs.

Since the information on the AVDisk's site is very good, I will save myself from detailed instructions.

I still wish to comment that just as we discussed in the folmer subsections, if you need to use an external clean antivirus program, and you don't already have such diskettes, it might be a good idea to use a friend's computer which is clean and uses Windows, and to produce an F-Prot folder in it, and then produce AVDisk and make those diskettes, and use them on your computer. Deleting everything on your friend's computer after that (if your
friend wishes to restore its PC to the way it was before you downloaded AVDisk and F-Prot) is very easy.
This may take the time but has a good chance to solve your problem.

Also here, it is recommended to write-protect the diskettes before using them on the infected computer. Even though when booting from the diskettes there is no reason for these diskettes to become infected, simply because there is no virus active, it might still be a good idea to write-protect them, in case you forgot to change the boot sequence, and the computer booted from the infected hard disk while one of the floppies was inserted.

10. Updating the Program and the Virus Definition Files: FP-Check Program

FP-Check is a freeware program for updating F-Prot. It can also be used for simplifying the first installation of F-Prot as well.  You can find it here: http://www.niksoft.at/fp-check/ .
Here is my review of version 8.5.12 as of February 1, 2004:

The program is freeware.  It is formally defined as a beta version, but I found it to be stable and to work smoothly - at least on my  own computer.

Features: The program offers you an easy way to update F-Prot and its virus definition files, if F-Prot is not yet installed, it will install it. A very easy way to install it.

There is an option to start the program whenever Windows starts. You can use it also in a batch file or as a command line so that it makes it easier to use it with automation, such as with the use of the "Task Scheduler". So that it will check periodically for updates. Please notice that if you define it to check at times when your computer is not connected to the Internet, it might result in no updates.
You may also configure it to update from a local archive. The features of the programs seem to aim at being a more generic updater also for other types of programs, but it is initially configured for F-Prot.
There is an option to start AVDISK after a successful update.

The installation of the program is simple, and the uninstallation is with the standard use of "Add/Remove programs". You may choose either English language or German. After the installation of the program, its configuration window is opened. The configuration deserves some attention. If you don't want the program to be opened automatically when Windows starts up, you should change the setting. It is enabled by default.  You should define the location of the F-Prot program, and set the same location also for the definition files. If F-Prot is not yet there, it will download it at first use. It is recommended to look at the various options in this configuration.

You can start the updater from within the configuration window, or directly from the Start/Programs menu, on your computer. It doesn't  add a shortcut to F-Prot.

The program is very simple, friendly, and well written. I strongly recommend it for the task of both first installation of F-Prot and for the task of updating the program and the virus definition files.

11. Art Kopp's FP-UP Program

Art Kopp has been working on a (third party) freeware product called FP-UP, that should make F-Prot easier and more user friendly.

So here is my review of the product correct for December 28, 2003:

I used F-PUP.EXE taken from http://home.epix.net/~artnpeg/ .
Version: 1.7

1. Simplifies the installation of the F-Prot program.
2. Simplifies the updating of the program and the virus definition files.
3. Allows one to execute F-Prot from FP-UP with an interface which allows the use of the mouse, and allows navigating through the folders in order to check a specific folder.
4. Allows the creation of emergency boot disks which can be used to boot a computer externally without running anything from the hard drives, and then check it with F-Prot either from F-Prot's interface or from FP-UP's Interface.

I have checked those abilities:

F-PUP.EXE  asks you where to install itself,  and then it installs FP-UP on that folder. This will also be the place where it will install F-Prot, so if you already have F-Prot installed, it is recommended to set this same folder as the folder for FP-UP.  There is nothing in the installation besides extracting the FP-UP to thar folder.

In order to use it, you just have to doubleclick FP-UP. It will then lead you to a menu which resembles a menu of a DOS program, but will function with the mouse keypresses. You may choose whether you wish to update the program/definition files, or to  build the boot diskettes, or to scan your hard disks or specific folders with F-Prot.
If F-Prot is not yet installed, choosing "Update" will install it to the same folder where FP-UP was installed.

The use of FP-UP for updating F-Prot is very simple, but while you may configure FP-Check to automatically check and update files upon opening the program, in FP-UP you need to first enter the menu and then to choose the update. FP-UP also lacks the command line option which FP-Check has and which allowed FP-Check to be used in an automation. Hence even though FP-UP does it in a simple way, I still prefer FP-Check (which was discussed in section 10) for that.

The execution of F-Prot from within FP-UP interface is not so user friendly: although you use your mouse for navigation in the menus, it is still a DOS program, and the pointer does not change when you move it over a "button". The folders view allows you to navigate to the folder you wish to check. This saves you from knowing their MSDOS names, but in many cases it is a rather tedious work, because all the folders and subfolders are always expanded, and this makes the navigation rather slow.

The creation of the emergency boot disks and their use works fine, but it lacks the ability that AVDisk has, to only update them.
All in all it works fine, but I still prefer to use AVDISK for that.

There is no uninstallation routine and no icons outside the installation folder. You should add those shortcuts yourself (not a hard job), and when (and if) you wish to uninstall it, simply remove it's files from F-Prot's folder.

Personally,  even though it is good to know about FP-UP and I'd certainly keep my eyes on it, I still prefer to use FP-Check for the updating and first installation, AVDisk for the boot disk creation, and the original F-Prot 's interface for the program.
###(to be updater)####

12.  F-Prot Updater by OverSelf Research

The F-Prot  Updater by Overself Research is an updater mainly meant for periodic updates. ####

Appendix A. Registry Editing with Regedit

In Windows operating systems, there are usually two files which are called "registry files". These files hold all the settings and definitions regarding the hardware of your computer, the settings of the operating systems and of many programs, and user preferences. Most of the changes that you make to the way Windows works or appears, are kept in those registry files. The registry files can be edited directly by using a registry editing program. The one which comes with Windows is called "regedit" (in win2000 it is called "regedt32", in XP there is regedt32, but its functionality is the same as "regedit").

I shall not explain here the use of regedit. Instead I refer you to
http://www.winguides.com/registry/article.php?id=1&page=3 for that.
Yet, it is important for me to make a few comments:
The main risk with regedit, is when you are not sure of what you are doing. Anything you change with the use of regedit, is changed immediately and without further warnings. This causes regedit to be unforgiveful to mistakes. besides that, it is a rather safe program. merely opening it and taking a look at the different keys and values cannot harm your computer. You should double check before modifying or deleting a key or a value. It is important for you to know how to back-up a specific branch of keys (to export it from the "Regisry" menu. How to back up the whole registry, and how to recover your system by restoring it from backups. All these things are explained in the reference mentioned above.