Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Yep, Again

Maybe more than two or three people have noticed that I haven't been posting much of late. The screengrab taken this morning of what used to be my trusty laptop tells the denouement if not the whole story.

My Avast anti virus program didn't warn me of a virus that I must've picked up recently because at exactly 4 o'clock yesterday, my computer slowed down and then I couldn't reboot. It's unlike anything I've ever seen before.

At first, it wouldn't recognize my hard drive then even the Windows boot disks I'd kept trying to use wouldn't work. For one brief, shining moment, the damned thing worked pisser for all of ten minutes last night. But now it alternates between either not recognizing the hard drive and giving us our desktops but working so slowly that I can't load a browser window or run any programs whatsoever.

This means that Barb and I are looking at one of two options: Either buying a brand new hard drive or getting another used laptop. A possible 3rd option: She's trying to get a PC guru who does work for her company to get involved. Maybe he has an anti virus disk that he can run but either way it'll involve money we just don't have. For now, it's a $250 paperweight.

Since I have to elbow my way to a computer either at the library or the local coffee shop (where I'm at now), posting will be virtually nonexistent for the foreseeable future. I'm sorry but this fucks up our lives, too, and I take all the blame for this happening. But Avast never failed me until this week.


At October 14, 2009 at 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

new or used HD for your computer should be pretty cheap. Try craigslist. Worst case scenario: buy a cheap external or even cheaper external drive new. You can buy them for under $60 these days. lists 25 internal HD for $25 to $50.

Alternatively, chances are there are perfectly functional HDs in discarded computers all over the greater Boston area. Call your local community college, MIT, BU. BC etc. and ask if they have an old computer or HD you can have.

The point is, this is not a disaster. (You DO backup important data, don't you? I seem to recall you had a cmoputer crash within the past 1-3 years; so you should know better.)

At October 14, 2009 at 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, if you can boot up and get to your desktop in your OS, then that indicates your HD may not be shot. Backup what you need.

If that proves impractical or impossible, then simply reformat the HD from an external drive.

You can take a thumb drive to your local library, download a freeware disk utility, go home, plug into your USB port, and reboot with your thumb drive.

Here are the instructions for accessing your BIOS on reboot, for purposes of changing the boot order (if that proves to be necessary):

1. Turn on your PC or restart it if it's already on.

2. Watch for a "entering setup" message in the first few seconds after turning on your computer. This message varies greatly from computer to computer and also includes the key or keys you need to press to enter BIOS.

Here are some common ways you might see this BIOS access message:

•Press [key] to enter setup
•Setup: [key]
•Enter BIOS by pressing [key]
•Press [key] to enter BIOS setup
•Press [key] to access BIOS
•Press [key] to access system configuration

3.Quickly press the key or keys instructed by the previous message to get into BIOS.

OFTEN THE ABOVE KEYS ARE F8, F10, F11. Try each and see what happens. You can always "escape" (hit the "ESC" key) if necessary.

At October 14, 2009 at 2:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck sorting it out. It can be such a powerless feeling when these things happen. Glad to know you are OK; we were worried about you!

At October 14, 2009 at 5:41 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

The guru tells me it's a Conficker virus, the one that was around about April Fool's day. I should have it fixed by tomorrow but it'll cost more than we can spare.

But I was smart this time and backed up all my valuable Word files on disks... obsessively so, which is all my novels.

At October 14, 2009 at 9:32 PM, Blogger Mauigirl said...

Sorry to hear this! Hope all is back to normal soon!

At October 14, 2009 at 9:38 PM, Blogger daveawayfromhome said...

I'm surprised that Avast let that get by.

At October 15, 2009 at 10:08 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

I'm amazed that Avast let it get by, too. It's the "conficker" virus that was supposed to hit on April Fool's day but didn't hit until a coupla weeks later. It uses your hard drive as sort of a proxy server to disseminate the virus to others.

I'm not a big believer in the death penalty but I'd gladly make an exception for virus code writers. I honestly want to see them all put to death. Seriously.

I should be getting my laptop back sometime today (in fact, I thought I'd have it back by now) but it's going to cost Barb and I more than we can afford. The rent, gas and car insurance is due between now and the end of the month and we have like zero bucks in the bank. So any help would be appreciated. This repair's going to cost us at least $60 that just isn't in the bank right now.


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