Emily's computer is busted

Postby Shiro on Sat Apr 21, 2001 6:01 am

Right now, we can't even get the computer running to see what's wrong with it. Emily's problem is that she'll download ANYTHING and she never uses her copy of Norton. I'd rather wait until we got her computer cleaned out and operating again than try to transfer any files. <P>And I probably should start burning copies of all my important files. Especially since I've heard that college dorms are breeding grounds for viruses. Apollo has a CD burner, but I haven't gotten to try it out yet because... y'know, no files to burn on it.<P>I miss my mp3s! <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspace.com/forums/frown.gif"> A lot!<p>[This message has been edited by Shiro (edited 04-21-2001).]
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Postby Gordon on Sat Apr 21, 2001 7:31 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Shiro:
<B>Right now, we can't even get the computer running to see what's wrong with it.
</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
You mean it won't even power on? If so, does it get past the RAM check? Where exactly is it failing? <P>If its not even powering on, you may have a bad power supply. That problem gave me fits until I replaced the one in my computer a few months ago.<P>If it powers but fails during the boot sequence, it is more complicated. The first thing to check is the BIOS settings. Getting into BIOS is different depending on the motherboard manufacturer. Hopefully you have a manual which tells how and what the settings are.<P>If you are not making any progress, let us know and maybe the collective Net wisdom out here can help.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>
Emily's problem is that she'll download ANYTHING and she never uses her copy of Norton.
</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Norton AV has settings where it can automatically monitor downloads and incoming emails. You may want to consider turning those on.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>
And I probably should start burning copies of all my important files. Especially since I've heard that college dorms are breeding grounds for viruses.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE></B>
If you follow some basic rules you should be OK. Having an anti-virus program is rule number one.<P>After that its a matter of being a little diligent in how you handle incoming files.<P>Be suspicious of <i>any</i> executable files coming in via a download or email. Download is obvious, but there are email viruses as well. Be especially careful of any .exe or .vbs files. Make sure you trust the sender completely before running any executable file. There are some email viruses out there that make it look like someone you know is sending you the file. Read the message and see if they actually included text which explains what they are sending. If you aren't sure, talk the sender in person before running it. <P>Apologies if all this is old news...<P>
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Postby AesiRaven on Sat Apr 21, 2001 7:42 am

Gwaaaah! Every antisocial geek's worst nightmare! O_O<P>I can assure you it probably wasn't the oekaki files, I run an oekaki and I've used a lot of different versions and there was never anything wrong with them. Hotbar, however.... It'd be ironic if that's what it was.<P>I hope you get the thing fixed soon. That's pretty creepy. O_o<P>------------------
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Postby Lesath on Sat Apr 21, 2001 8:45 am

Before I burst into tears over my poor Wolf, (the computer) I should explain the most of the problem. We've tried everything mentioned and nothing yet, and the computer crashes right when Explorer starts up. I haven't downloaded or recieved e-mail attachments at all. It's driving me nuts, now I'm going to go sob mournfully in the corner.<P>~Lesath
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Postby Shiro on Sat Apr 21, 2001 9:03 am

The good news is, I have my own computer now, so I no longer have to fight Emily to use hers. Its name is Apollo. <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspace.com/forums/smile.gif"> (God of light, music, art, famine, pestilence... it's a good computer name.)<P>The bad news is, hours after I got my machine set up, Em downloaded a bunch of programs, and we think one of them had a pretty serious virus on it. My folks have been trying to get it running again for two days now and haven't made any progress. The thing just . . . fried.<P>Here's the really bad news: All my files are still on Emily's computer.<P>I have my favorite programs loaded onto Apollo, but her computer blew up before I could transfer my files. My 700 mp3s? All my art from this last year? MY WEBSITE? Locked away in virus-filled depths.<P>I'm posting this because I had my pages loaded up until either May 2 or May 6, I can't remember. And the way it's looking now, I don't know if I'll have my files back by then.<P>The bad programs she downloaded were either oekaki or Hotbar. So be extrememly careful if you're using either program.<P>You know what? Everybody send Emily an e-sympathy card. The kid's been pretty despondent over all this.<P> <A HREF="mailto:emily@hildnelson.com">emily@hildnelson.com</A>
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Postby Reinder on Sat Apr 21, 2001 9:49 am

Losing your working files is a nightmare. My own recent computer problems stem from a failed attempt at making that impossible (meaning I've still got my files but they are still vulnerable).<P>(assumption: Em runs Windows on a generic PC)
If all else fails, take out the hard drive from Em's computer, hook it up to your own (or get someone to do that for you if you don't trust yourself), taking care not to run any programs from it- but then you probably won't be able to because they won't be configured to run properly. Boot up in safe mode anyway (how to do this varies from computer to computer) Then use the DOS prompt to find your files. They may have got funny names. Better yet, find a friendly neighborhood geek who doesn't have Windows on his/her computer, and give the drive to them. They won't be able to get the virus but they will be able to get to your files.<P>Unless you've reformatted everything, they are still there.<P>But then again, maybe both your parents are well-trained sysadmins and know 5 times as much as I do and still haven't got it together. In that case, forget I said anything.<P><P>------------------
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Postby Gordon on Sat Apr 21, 2001 10:15 am

...and go out and get yourself a copy of Norton Anti-virus!<P>I'd also advise you to start backing up all your important data. CD burners are cheap these days.<P>This is so obvious, but I better say it anyway. Have you tried booting Emily's machine from a floppy? If you can, you may be able to see the hard drive and get your files from it.<P>Good luck and let us know how it goes!
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Postby Shiro on Sun Apr 22, 2001 4:08 am

It's been four days now, and we still haven't made any progress. Dad is now talking about <I>reinstalling every program.</I> We're one step away from wiping the disk clean and reloading all the information.<p>[This message has been edited by Shiro (edited 04-22-2001).]
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Postby Gordon on Sun Apr 22, 2001 4:20 am

You might want to try reinstalling just Windows before you bring the hammer down on all your data. Sometimes this works and if it screws things up more, you can still go the reformat-reinstall route you were originally planning. You can just pop in the Windows CD and hit install and it will put itself on the system over the old copy.
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Postby Shiro on Sun Apr 22, 2001 5:59 am

We just tried that. No luck.
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Postby Gordon on Mon Apr 23, 2001 7:51 am

Hmmm, I'm afraid at this point its difficult to suggest anything without knowing the exact sequence and where its bombing. You did try to boot from floppy and see if your data was visible? If you can't get Windows to work, this is probably your best chance of getting at your data to get it off the hard drive before wiping it out.<P>If you do reformat your HD, one thing you can do to minimize the chance of something like this happening is to add a seperate partition for your data. That, way, if Windows craps out again, you can just reformat the Windows partition and leave the other partition alone. Note this is <I>not</I> a substitute for backups!<p>[This message has been edited by gordon (edited 04-23-2001).]
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