Last post I mentioned that one should not temp fate by complaining about dullness or rejoicing over good fortune. Hal's "flat" tires were the first thing to go wrong on Sunday, and they ate up a bunch of time on Monday, going to BMW service and all.
The second thing to go wrong on Sunday was the laptop.
I didn't do anything wrong, actually. I hadn't even gone anywhere I don't go every day. I figured out later what had happened. It seems there is a Trojan out there, one of the Vundo family, that infiltrates through a popup. I have a popup blocker, so I rarely see them, and when I do I never ever click on them except the "x" in the upper corner to close them.
Well, with this one, closing the popup turns it loose. I do remember there was a popup just before all Hell broke loose, but I don't remember where it came from or what it said. Nothing remarkable about it.
Anyway, it declared I was infected, and I needed to download their virus scanner to fix it, and it wouldn't go away. It put up window after window, and wouldn't allow me to do anything else.
It even took over McAfee.
Luckily, my internet access is through a little plugin box, so I immediately unplugged the box. Nothing was going to be downloaded from anywhere! Accidentally, sneakily, or otherwise.
It wouldn't allow a shutdown, so I "pulled the plug" and did an emergency shutdown, thinking I'd just do a restore from my external harddrive when I brought it back up. Luckily, I had done a C-disk dump to the external drive just two days before.
No such luck. The virus started on IPL, and wouldn't allow anything.
So, I packed up everything, including the external harddrive, and took it all to Office Depot.
They had it overnight, into late Monday, and "cleaned" it - for $169. The guy said they didn't have to restore from backup, they just "cleaned" it. I don't know what the devil they did, but it seems like everything is back to default settings, and I'm extremely unhappy. It took me 3 years to get everything exactly the way I want it, and now it's all gone. All the little icons down there on the lower right are gone, and I don't know how to start Spybot or McAfee without them! Or a half a dozen other things that now that they're gone, I don't even remember what they were, but whatever they were, they sure were handy.
The worst is that the touchpad is back to default settings. That's not only inconvenient, it's DANGEROUS! I had it set for vertical and horizontal scrolling, and no tapping. Now I have no scrolling, and tap is on. Tap means that if you simply touch the pad lightly, that's the same as a left-click, which means that you are constantly accidentally clicking on stuff. My windows are bouncing around, I'm going to links I thought I just skimmed the cursor past, and that is more than inconvenient - it's dangerous!
I tried to rest the touchpad options, and I'm getting the message, "Unable to connect to Synaptics Pointing Device Driver". The touchpad driver has to be there, otherwise I wouldn't be able to use it at all, right? So why can't I get to it to reset the options?
Actually, there are a couple of drivers and other things I can't seem to get to any longer. Like, uh, the Dell Help files. Hmmm.
This thing is going back to Office Depot tomorrow. They've got to fix the touchpad, at least.
Oh, and I ran a full McAfee scan and Spybot scan last night, after getting it back from the techies, and there were still pieces of Vundo-cousins out there. I removed them myself.
Sheesh. You'd think that for $169 they'd have at least vacuumed the cookie crumbs out of the keyboard.