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Mercury in Retrograde?

The entire week has been devoted to attempting to get things fixed that have gone wonky. Sheesh.

First the screen on my PDA, the one I just got back fixed from HP. HP, of course, doesn't cover the screen. But, aha, I had bought a repair contract when I bought the thing that does! So, I attempt to get it fixed, and, guess what, I'm not in the repair company's database. So all week I've been working with the folks I bought the PDA and contract from and the service company. All week. Still I haven't gotten a contract number so I can send the thing off for fixing. Grrrr...

Second, I go in to get my nails done (my one last personal vanity expenditure) and the second I walk in the door the gal who does my nails is telling me about how her computer is so messed up can I fix it for her. Sigh.

I spent all day yesterday working on it for her. Have I said how much I hate Compaq computers? Well, if not, I just did. Anyway, she insists she didn't get an XP disk with the computer. So I spend most of the day on live chat with Compaq trying to figure out how to fix the damn thing. At the end of the day she calls me, all embarrassed, she found the XP disk and a bunch of other stuff in a zip lock baggie that had fallen behind her computer desk. So now, I can maybe actually get the thing set up right.

I've figured out what happened. Malware. Everyone talks about how virii can screw up your system but personally I've seen more computers lately messsed up by evil programs that are downloaded unbeknownst to downloadees that take over a system and write malicious entries into the registry. The grandkids two systems and now hers. And of course no one has a clue what is wrong or how it happened. Sigh.

So, running ad-aware I find 900 or so bits of bad stuff on her computer. Running stinger to look for virii I find none.

At any rate, I used my own XP disk to see if I could get her system up and running and I have. Today when she brings me her own disk I can reinstall and set her operating system up right.

Comments

another idea

Hi there!

I know I'm not communicating much these days, but when I saw this entry in Twila's friends' list, I had to comment.

Another valuable piece of anti-malware is Spybot Search & Destroy at http://www.safer-networking.org/en/spybotsd/index.html ... this little gem has found stuff that Ad-aware missed, plus there's an "Immunize" function that can protect a computer from getting these things in the first place. It might help ya.

Re: another idea

That's the one I use... works like a charm!
There's also AVG from grisoft, anti-virus program. Neat little program, never had a single virus slip past. [unlike norton and zone alarm].

Of course, switching to another browser might help too. Recently went over to mozilla firefox, must say, I'm impressed!
Thanks for the responses guys! Micky, wow, good to hear from you. Been ages.

I downloaded spybot and am trying it on her computer. I finally got her users manual and disks and was able to do a system recovery for her. I was going to install ad-aware on her system but I like the immunization option on spybot so will probably put that on her system to protect her a bit better.
I use Spyware Begone! and it's done a good job of cleaning up the spyware on my system. Still, Internet Exploder seems to be a lost cause for me, at least on the desktop computer (s------l----o-----w), and I'm also using Mozilla Firefox for everything except for Windows Updates, which won't accept anything other than IE.

I recently tried a full reinstall of IE and even found something in the knowledgebase about how to trick the registry into believing that it's not installed, so you can install over the top of what you have, and unfortunately, it keeps coming up with an error indicating that the software hasn't been approved for use with WinXP and the installation craps out right there. Nothing that the KB suggests has worked, either, so I figured I'll just stick with Firefox until the idiots in Redmond come out with a new install of IE to try and get that to work. Considering the number of times they've had to patch it in recent memory, you'd think they'd be coming out with a new release fairly shortly, but who knows?