Monday, July 12, 2010

I feel like an ancient Greek.

Not just because of my age, but because of the trojans I've been battling. Ad-Aware found nine (eight from one class, one from another) on July 9, then two more on July 11. This means that either a.) my computer "repairman" failed to thoroughly purge my hard drive or b.) the new stuff he installed on my system was infected. Needless to say, neither possibility inspires confidence.

Many other things about this dude also fail to inspire confidence, like a.) he admittedly knows nothing about software, except how to install it, b.) he doesn't know what an URL is -- I kid you not, c.) he doesn't use any anti-spyware programs and seemed unaware of their existence, d.) he thinks the Internet is evil and should be avoided at all costs.

So if you don't see me around much, it's because I'm so effin' paranoid right now I'm barely comfortable checking my email. Let us hope this, too, will pass (and that Repair Dude isn't a Christian who spotted the error of my ways and decided to mess with me on purpose).


Tam said...

Ugh. I was hoping you were busy USING those Trojans. Sigh. Mojo that you can get rid of all the crap. What kind of computer guy isn't into the internet? It's the only reason to OWN a computer. Otherwise there are things called paper and pens. :-)

LVLM said...

K.Z.- do you have the CD's that come with the computer of the original operating system?

It sounds like you're probably going to have to re-format and wipe the whole drive clean. It's easiest for wiping clean a computer riddled with bugs or software conflicts you have going on and the cheapest way to go unless you want to take it to a pro to clean out.

But you'll have to back up your files first.

It's really not hard, just time consuming.

As I've mentioned, it's what I had to keep doing. But in my case, it was more about software conflicts that got buggy and screwed me up.

I don't mind helping you if you want to go that route.

Chris said...

Oh, sweetie. Hang in there.

I think you said you were running XP? Do you know which service pack you're running? Hopefully it's SP 3, since as of today, Microsoft won't be patching/supporting SP 2 anymore.

Have you run Windows Update since getting your computer back? If your computer dude hates the internet, he probably didn't run Windows Update. Do it NOW.

If you are using Internet Explorer as your browser, stop. Try Chrome or Firefox.

You might have other software that needs updates to close security holes. Try the Secunia Online Software Inspector - Lifehacker explains what is here here. It runs online and doesn't install anything on your computer, which is nice.

When you do install/update software, read through all the screens carefully before installing/updating. Some otherwise good software tries to sneak in crap like the Yahoo toolbar.

Lily said...

Sorry to hear you're still having problems. That totally sucks!! Sending you lots of good wishes to get through this as quickly as possible. *hugs*

K. Z. Snow said...

Hey, everybody.

As of now, it appears Avast! and Ad-Aware are doing their jobs. Nothing more has turned up, aside from the usual tracking cookies.

Actually, I think the dude did run Windows Update, but I'll double-check.

Leah and Chris, thank you so much for the tips and offers of help. Right now, I just don't have the energy or focus to dick around with all kinds of computer procedures (like, I don't have a clue how to get rid of IE and install Firefox or Chrome, much less do all that other housecleaning). I have ZERO confidence when it comes to technical stuff and get very flustered very easily.

What's more, I really need to work on my WIP and get it wrapped up without any more serious distractions or interruptions. In addition, I'm expecting a big batch of edits from Loose Id.

So unless I have absolutely no choice, I must make do with what I've got -- at least temporarily. I wish I could dick around with this until I got everything squared away, but right now, I don't have the luxury of time! :-(

Val said...

Oh, God, K.Z., you have my sympathy. I'm totally useless when it comes to software advice, but I definitely know what you're going through. I once picked up a bug/virus/spyware thing from surfing the internet that would mimic Internet Explorer and open up a fake browser that would immediately route me to a strange website (blocking my access to everything else on the www). Eeek! My solution is to turn the whole thing over to family members who know more than I do and can bail me out, but it does sound to me like LVLM and Chris gave you some excellent advice (i.e., it matches what I've heard my family say). Good luck!

Chris said...

You don't need to uninstall IE. I'm not actually sure you CAN install it. You can pick up Google Chrome here and Firefox here. Either one would provide a safer browsing experience than IE. And browsers are pretty intuitive.

Chris said...

Antivirus humor...