Sunday, February 15, 2009

Computer Repairs

Weeks spent hobbling through days with a computer that wasn't functioning properly. A day here, or two days there, spent researching problems and fixing and repairing. And the machine got sicker and sicker. After two full days early last week of finding bigger problems every time I "fixed" something, I gave up. I was going to wipe the hard-drive and reinstall everything and start fresh.

So, with much trepidation I did so. It took two days, and I thought I was almost done. Things were working properly. I had begun loading back into the computer WordPerfect and the driver for the printer and Adobe Reader and all those things. I hadn't yet put back the photos and the word-processing documents, but I had re-installed the old emails and the addresses.

And the garbage came back.
The spyware is nabbing the nasties again.
Hard-to-eradicate trojan horses are back on the computer.
And the system is beginning to be unstable again (that is, shutting itself down of its own accord).

So, back to the drawing board.
I get to re-wipe the hard-drive, and re-re-install all the programs.

But now I'm skeptical.
I think the personal files I backed up are done for.

A couple of people told me to try deleting all the emails that have attachments and then going through the process. Maybe I won't lose ALL the emails this way. I'm still pondering whether I want to try that, knowing that it might not work, and that I might be stuck with yet another re-install this week. Of course, if that happens, I'll be getting better and better at all this computer stuff.

One person suggested running a virus-scan on the external hard-drive where the emails were backed up. That might tell me something before I resort to deleting all those precious old files.

My thought was to go ahead and re-install all my personal files on the contaminated machine, and spend several days printing out whatever I find that I absolutely must keep (certain letters, kids' high-school transcripts, articles I've written for magazines, etc). I'm also wondering if it would be spreading the infection if I sent all our digital photos to Walgreens for regular print-copies and/or uploaded a bunch of them to blogger before I lose them. When that is done, I could just wipe everything off the computer and reload nothing personal.

Y'know, a person prays for self-discipline. So God says, "Okay, here's what we'll do. I'll take the computer away from you so that you can't keep wasting time on it."

So now four of us are sharing Gary's computer. That computer is in the cold basement, downstairs, away from the family, away from whatever is cooking on the stove (and ought not to be burning!), in the dark. I am, against my will, learning to not be quite so dependent on the computer. Even though I am spending unbelievable numbers of hours trying to make these repairs (as Lauri mentioned happens at her house too), I am learning to skip some topics on my homeschool email list, and I am learning that the world will not come to an end if I don't read all the blogs I want to read. But I betcha I haven't learned that lesson well enough yet....


  1. Talking with the computer people who have been here for a couple days, the pictures and word documents shouldn't be infected. It's just not how Trojans work.

  2. I know. That's what y'all said. But where did the garbage come from? I downloaded the driver for wireless hardware. I downloaded AVG, Zone Alarm, Spybot, and Adobe Reader. I had to check in to the Microsoft page. I registered WordPerfect. I don't think I went anywhere that you guys didn't aasure me was a safe site. So the infection came either from one of those spots or from the emails. (And I didn't open any emails either. Just uploaded them back onto the computer.)

    I don't know what to think. I kept all the protection up-to-date. So somehow, somewhere, I got something that I shouldn't have been able to get. But that doesn't change the fact that I've got it. And I don't know how to remedy the problem when I don't know exactly where the problem is: if it's a new kind of virus that's wrapped it's tentacles around everything, or what?

  3. I miss you!

    I'm so sorry you're dealing with this junk.