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My friends computer


'GM'

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I am to help my friend get her computer up and running again. She doesn't know much of anything, and her husband even less. I guess they have separate accounts. He can access his and do his business plans etc. She can't access hers at all. He can get online and do simple things like email a friend or check the news on his homepage. She can't. But neither can backup any of their important stuff onto a disk because that doesn't work right either. I am not sure what my first step in helping her should be. Any suggestions?

 

Oh... it's an older Dell model, at least 9 years old and doesn't have a working anti-virus anymore because it cannot update not being able to get the updates online. They have dial-up. And they said they have a spy-ware removal program, just can't remember what it is called.

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Yes Gfted, they are separate windows log-in's. She said she used to be able to access it her account at first (and I'm not sure what she means by that, just assuming she meant when they first got the old computer), but then suddenly it just wouldn't let her do anything. Checking the permissions is a good idea, I'll suggest that to her.

 

Gorgon, from what I understand her husband can't back up any of the files they want from his account either. I'm assuming something is wrong with that drive.

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9 years old and the antivirus isn't updateable? Um.. not wanting to be harsh, but they're asking to get hammered. I'd be very curious about this anti-spyware. Locate it mand make sure it's not a double agent just for starters.

 

*sigh*

 

I know what it's like to do this sort of thing. Parents are the absolute champions of blundering trustingly about the interwebs.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I've got a feeling the whole thing may need a reformatting. I can do that, but I'd rather not. Especially if they can't back up any of their keepers. Like his business plans, that would be terrible to lose those.

 

Well I guess I'll soon find out what's up with it. They're bringing it over sometimes this week. If they got an external hard drive would they have a better chance of transferring the important stuff that way? Or with one of those usb memory sticks?

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If they got an external hard drive would they have a better chance of transferring the important stuff that way? Or with one of those usb memory sticks?

Backing up important stuff on external drives and store it safely in a different location is always a good idea. Even when your computer isn't crashing and burning :shifty:

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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I totally agree. I do that with mine.

 

I'm going to suggest they get one before I look at it in case they can transfer the stuff over. Not sure if they will be able to if the computer is that messed up. I'm not sure if I'm the best person to be looking at it for them, lol!

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Gorgon, from what I understand her husband can't back up any of the files they want from his account either. I'm assuming something is wrong with that drive.

 

This just sounds crazy to me. If he can read the files, surely he can copy them? Because in order to copy you only need read access to the files. You also have to be able to write to the new location, so I suppose that's the problem when they're trying to back things up.

 

I'm guessing getting a new computer is out of the question? For not much money they could get something that'll have much higher performance. And if it's nine years old, things will possibly start to break soon anyway.

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The computer is still not here, so all I have to go on is what they've told me, which is that they can't save anything to disk. And they said they can't even delete things. She has several folders of pictures that she doesn't want anymore but can't get rid of them at all. So, unless she is a total spacer.. which she is not, lol!.. then something is really screwed up with this thing.

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I'm going to be the prophet of doom and suggest this is down to malware on the PC.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I installed one of those free anti-virus programs on that computer and ran it... and ran it. It came up with over 300 things, got rid of most of it, but some things were so annoyingly there, no matter what I did the anti-virus window popped up. One in particular - TR/Small.JR.1 in system 32 nul.sgn. Whatever the heck that is. I'm so untechnical. Finally temporarily disabled the anti-virus so that I could actually do something. I ran spybot, got rid of more crap. Then re-enabled the anti-virus which immediately threw that same warning up at me. So I talked to some tech, read through similar problems at another tech forum, and eventually decided to do what I figured I'd have to do all along. Reformat. Did that last night, but still have to install drivers etc.

 

I thought they had dial-up at their home, but they said they've had dsl for quite some time. Shows what I know... we have satellite. I guess I can still hook their computer up to that and do their internet stuff?

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Did you manage to recover their files ?.

 

Free antivirus programs like AVG are a gazillion times better than using something that can't upgrade anymore because the license ran out. There is no sure cure for root kits and the like other than reformatting and reinstalling. There are anti rootkit tools in most anti virus programs nowadays, but how can you be sure it's gone. Their main function is simply to tell you that you need to reinstall.

 

Spybot is not a proper anti virus as far as I know. It focuses on the gray area, data mining programs don't usually destroy the host system, that would defeat it's own purpose. 90% of what I get back when running a scan are tracking cookies, which aren't a problem for system functionality.

 

Looks like they need a lesson in the need for software firewall and antivirus programs, all of which are available free, so there's no excuse really.

Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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Yeah, I was able to save the files they wanted. Before I did the reformat I deleted some old games and programs they said they were never able to get rid of. I honestly don't know what the problem was there.

 

I guess I could do some research, but what exactly is a rootkit? And would it have worked for that above annoying trojan do you think?

 

This I found rather telling too... Here this computer is what, 9years old and all the drivers and installation cd's were in their original sealed sleeves. So, in all this time no one has done a thing to this poor old relic. Mines been rebuilt twice in the last 4 years... but I do a lot more on it too though.

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A rootkit allows root access to the system, making it impossible to detect unless you are looking for it. It allows whoever installed it to do anything and everything imaginable with the computer. It's an advanced systems administrator tool turned trojan. Sometimes files can be marked as read only or 'in use' even though they aren't. This is part of the file protection system, which is a good thing, unless it's 'out of whack' for some reason. The cure is to reboot in safe mode and disable file protection. Most likely the problem sorted itself out after a few reboots, as there were no longer any active processes associated with those files.

Edited by Gorgon

Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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A nine year old antivirus on the internet today is like putting a middle-medieaval peasant in a modern sewer. His immune system is just not set to the right threats.

 

OK, maybe a bit self-referential. ;)

 

However, I have to admire your generosty of spirit in persisting to help them. I'd have smacked them about the face and thrown the whole thing out the window.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Walsingham is a ****ing mediaeval peasant with an age-old immune system.

 

Dude, switch to a Unix-compatible operating system already ;)

 

Edites: the ****urity. weait. um. the security on microsoft operating systems was designed before the internet was invented (and certainly before it was popular). And it hasn't changed since. Good luck with that. :p

Edited by Krezack
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Walsingham is a ****ing mediaeval peasant with an age-old immune system.

 

Dude, switch to a Unix-compatible operating system already ;)

 

Edites: the ****urity. weait. um. the security on microsoft operating systems was designed before the internet was invented (and certainly before it was popular). And it hasn't changed since. Good luck with that. :thumbsup:

 

Because having them go from Windows 2000 which they can apparently barly understand to unix will be so much 'easier' for them. Thats one step forward 3 steps back. Love to see this poor girl try to explain how to use the command line to them if a GUI challenges them. Plus linux has its own exploits and certainly isnt immune. Less so then win32/64 (due to simply having a much smaller market share) but still has its own group of security issues.

World of Darkness News

http://www.wodnews.net

 

---

"I cannot profess to be a theologian; but it seems to me that Christians who believe in a super human Satan have got themselves into a logical impasse with regard to their own religion. For either God can not prevent the mischief of Satan, in which case he is not omnipotent; or else He could do so if he wished, but will not, in which case He is not benevolent. Fortunately, being a pagan witch, I am not called upon to solve this problem."

- Doreen Valiente

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A rootkit allows root access to the system, making it impossible to detect unless you are looking for it. It allows whoever installed it to do anything and everything imaginable with the computer. It's an advanced systems administrator tool turned trojan. Sometimes files can be marked as read only or 'in use' even though they aren't. This is part of the file protection system, which is a good thing, unless it's 'out of whack' for some reason. The cure is to reboot in safe mode and disable file protection. Most likely the problem sorted itself out after a few reboots, as there were no longer any active processes associated with those files.

 

This is good to know, thank you for that bit of information.

 

Well, in defense of my friends all I can say is that it took me awhile to learn some of the more basic things, and obviously I am still learning. You guys are so nice.... I'm a visual person, and usually need someone to 'show' me. Once that happens it usually all comes together for me. Picture books are treasures to me. :shifty: Explaining can be confusing. And these guys don't have anyone to show them. But I'll be taking the computer back... soon as I get over this lousy cold I've had for a week... and help them set up their internet and show them how to take care of their computer better in the future.

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