I guess everyone, who knows how to turn on a PC, found him-/herself in a similar situation to this: Thursday afternoon, the phone rings, a friend, “Oh yes, hi, long time no see, how are things, yes, fine, here as well, yeah feeling good. A problem? What problem? About your computer, I see, okay, tell me”. And as always in situation like that its of no use to try anything by the phone, you have to see it, so you agree to meet the next day (cause its of course extremely urgent). “Oh yes, dinner would be fine, give me two hours before that to repair things about the PC, so I’ll be there at 5 PM, bye”.
There are people sitting at the screens of their home PCs being extremely paranoid about viruses. Almost like those little buggers would be creeping out of the keyboard to bite their fingers and infect them with lounge cancer or something. Whenever I try giving people a hand with their machines I would tell them to relax and there is nothing that could not be fixed. So I did with said friend a year ago, when we set up his PC.
May be I was a ‘lil bit too persuasive?
I swear I never ever before in my life saw anything close to what I saw last Friday night as regards PCs! How many viruses, Trojans, hijackers and stuff like that do you think a normal system can stand and still being used for professional work? Any guesses? An XP Pro SP2 system. Huh? 10? 15?
When I arrived at my friend he told me there were Explorer windows popping up every 2 mins with obscure pages. It was “annoying” he said, but nothing worth to complain about. He had that for several months meanwhile. Also the fact to re-enter the same www-address for 3 or 4 times to actually get where he wants to was no real problem. Neither several error messages of programs not running or being terminated incorrectly on startup and shutdown didn’t really bother him. No, what made him call me was the fact that every 10 minutes the PC decided to show a BlueScreen and reboot. And that for almost ONE MONTH now! Phew… thats what I call patience!
Anyway, when I sat down inserted my CD with all those fine helpers I expected something like 10 viruses or so. Before you ask… no there was NO such thing as a virus scanner or spy-blocker active. They WERE installed though, but our super-geek just turned them off, because they always showed so many messages he didn’t understand…. I thought to start light and easy and installed FreeAV and almost fell off my chair, There were actually 15 virus alerts, but just during memory scan! And with that it all began. It took me a while to just get a clean memory, several reboots in safe-mode, a combined effort of Spybot and AdAware (don’t ask me for a number of fixed problems BEFORE the actual virus scan started!). Finally I got the memory clean and thought I was prepared now for what the Virus Scanner might bring up!
No, I wasn’t! Believe it or not. The first run of FreeAV showed 178 virus alerts! ONEHUNDEREDSEVENTYEIGHT! Later on EScan found even more, not to mention Spybot or HijackThis. My first reaction was to call Microsoft and tell them to award my friend for his ability to suffer and applaud them for the stability of WinXP. Second thoughts were to pickup a chain saw and re-program that piece of crap called an Operation System.
Now, in a perfect world the story would be ending here with the sentence “I inserted the boot CD, formatted drive C and re-installed the OS”. But this world is far from being perfect.
I guess its not hard to understand that someone, who shows this kind of attitude towards whats going on about his PC, doesn’t really care about organizing data on his hard disk. A quick look into that combined with asking for the places, where important data might be stored (which was answered by just a shrug) made me realize that formatting that drive would shut down his business for the next 6 months.
So the fight began. To make a long and painful story short, today was the third day that I tried to clean that damn system. And finally I gave up. Yes, I gave up. After 3 days of 6 to 8 hours of blood, sweat and tears I decided today to do the re-formatting now. Losing data cannot be as terrible as this torture.
I got rid of everything but ONE little bastard. 2 and a half days of trying was just about getting rid of that fucking Trojan. But in vain. I feel bad. Its the first time, that I didn’t solve a problem about a computer. That bloody machine won, and I hate it.