willow_red: (Not So Easy)
[personal profile] willow_red
I had planned to write a nice entry today about how I got insulation installed in my house on Monday, thus fulfilling a major goal for 2010, and that now my house is nice and warm.

Instead, I now have to write a whiny entry, begging for computer help. This sucks.

Earlier today, I apparently clicked on the wrong web page, which proceeded to spawn Java and crash Firefox. I hoped that whatever little nasty didn't manage to download completely before the crash, and restarted the system. The restart didn't quite go normally, and I got some HDD Scan window (didn't look familiar, so I was immediately suspicious) claiming all sorts of errors on the disk, registry, etc. A thorough check of the processes running (thank you, google!) turned up two things that shouldn't have been there. I killed those processes and went to do a virus scan.

My McAfee I got free from Comcast last time I had a problem had expired, so I checked to see if Comcast was still doing free virus checkers. They are, but had switched to Norton. Okay, fine, I installed Norton. It found and fixed five things (mainly Trojans). The HDD Scan program was one (no surprise there).

Now here's the problem that I still need help with. Even after Norton did its thing, I still got little popups about disk cluster damage, and several things in hex, which resulted in a reboot when dismissed. Now I have a laptop that appears to make it through the WinXP boot, but only comes up with a blue background and no programs are accessible. I can't even get anything beyond the task manager.

Please help! I will buy dinner for anyone who can get my laptop functioning properly again.

Date: 2010-12-05 03:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] j-b.livejournal.com
Can fix, currently have early Sunday AM completely open, give a ring when you like.

Date: 2010-12-05 03:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mackys.livejournal.com
I'm sure j_b knows all this, but FYI:

Once you are infected by a virus, you should never trust that infected disk again. The virus will generally load itself into memory and start playing games behind your back. Running a virus checker from the infected disk won't always catch the virus, because the virus can do crazy shit at boot that will fool the virus checker.

You need a clean boot disk made from a known clean source. Also, a copy of an anti-virus program that was NOT downloaded by your computer. Because the virus could have corrupted the file as you downloaded it on the infected machine.

Viruses and trojans suck. I wish I could fly to Russia and personally strangle the fuckheads who distribute them. Good luck and good hunting.

Ounce prevention, pound of cure...

Date: 2010-12-05 04:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mackys.livejournal.com
If you don't use it already, I would highly recommend [NoScript.](http://noscript.net/) The web is not a safe place and hasn't been for at least 15 years. It's ridiculous to allow just any old web page to run code on your machine.

Re: Ounce prevention, pound of cure...

Date: 2010-12-05 01:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] willow-red.livejournal.com
Heh. I was waiting for you to mention that one. It's a nice idea, but really, how many web sites are out there anymore that *don't* use Java, JavaScript, and/or Flash? Even the VPN login page for my work is Java-based. I ditched cable years ago, so I watch all my TV online, which inevitably requires Flash.

Don't get me wrong; I understand what you're getting at. But mostly I find that sticking to known (or recommended) web sites is pretty safe too. I know exactly where this current problem came from: I was searching for some fairly obscure news, and clicked on the google result too fast. Had I stopped to skim the preview lines, I would have seen that the page was trolling half the keywords in the dictionary. So I did something stupid, and [livejournal.com profile] j_b is thankfully going to help me figure out what stupid is going to cost me this time. For now, I cross my fingers.

Re: Ounce prevention, pound of cure...

Date: 2010-12-05 03:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nickhalfasleep.livejournal.com
It's actually easier now to run without java and flash now that iPod/Touch/Phones are out and about, every website knows they must cater to the flashless crowd.

Re: Ounce prevention, pound of cure...

Date: 2010-12-05 09:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mackys.livejournal.com
> It's a nice idea, but really, how many web sites are out there anymore that *don't* use Java, JavaScript, and/or Flash?

NoScript has a whitelist feature, that allows you to one-click and say "This site gets to run whatever it wants." If you find a site you want to allow, you just do it.

It still prevents random sites from running code on your machine.

Date: 2010-12-07 08:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abelits.livejournal.com
I wish I could fly to Russia and personally strangle the fuckheads who distribute them.

And I would help but not before Microsoft campus will have a river of its employees' blood flowing through it, surrounded by hills made of their crushed bones. Because turning progress in software development into rushed, sloppy writing of shinier and shinier things that are fundamentally insecure and plain wrong, is entirely result of their efforts and their continuous presence. Once they are gone, I am fine with strangling some bottom-feeding assholes.

Date: 2010-12-05 04:07 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Bleargh. Sorry to hear about this. Sounds like exactly the same thing that my grandfather's machine just got hit with. I tried correcting it with the anti-virus I use, but no luck so far as the av keeps detecting the problem over and over, talked to j_b about some options, but it seems to have vanished since, not that I trust that it's genuinely gone, whatsoever.

I figured, worse comes to worse, I can just burn cd's of the important stuff (mostly pics from the grandfather's digicam and his med list) and format and re-install... problem is that this pc was a gift/used pc from my aunt/uncle's business and they have no idea where the os disk is so... yeah.


-J

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