Virii, Virii Everywhere
Went out to an ex-co-workers place today to help with some computer stuff. She was the executive assistant at the old merilus and she threw me an email a bit ago seeing if I could help her out with fixing a computer that was “doing wierd things”. Of course I said yes and today I finally got around to heading over there, armload of CDs in hand (just in case).
The symptoms were lots of pop up ads, strange crashes, error messages, things not working in general. First thing I did was install and run Ad-Aware, ad and spyware removal software. I’ve only ever run it before on relatively “clean” systems, but wow, this was an eye opener. Three “gator” (software that sits in the background and feeds you ads, while sending personal information out to it’s owner) processes running, files from digitalbrilliance (don’t remember what they do, but I do remember they are nasty), lots of registry keys…. a total of over 550 files, keys and processes all together. Oh, and she has never updated windows with security patches and so on either.
So I cleaned out with ad aware, installed AVG anti virus for her antivirus needs, fixed up the drivers for her keyboard and mouse (which weren’t working or something) and fiddled a bit to make things work more smoothly and nicely.
The only thing I couldn’t get to work was a microsoft sidewinder pro 2 force feedback joystick which was detected fine, gave force feedback while playing Combat Flight Sim 2000, but no input from the joystick (button presses, moving the handle) showed up in the game or even in the diagnostic mode.
And in the end I got enough to get myself a couple of new DVDs. A good day.