18 April 2010

All in a dad's day

Disaster appeared to have struck - as you'll gather from my daughter's breathless message:

"Hi Daddy!Hope you're doing well. Just thought I'd let you know that my computer has a pretty big problem. I think I must have downloaded something by accident because I have some sort of virus (I'm assuming) and what happens is:- Constantly freezes - Constantly doing something (egg timer on cursor ALL the time) - When I open the interent sometimes it opens about 21 windows. - My msn was hacked (not sure this has anything to do with it though but some weirdo added me and I blocked and deleted him then after I got message boxes saying 'Hmm are you sure you want to do that' and 'Let's have a look through your files' though I'm pretty sure that is just a joke which really isn't funny because i scared me a lot at the time)- I can't do anything properly because 'Avira Anti Virus 9.1' or something like that (which I have never heard of before) keeps popping up with the SAME 'encountered a problem and needs to close' window and despite how many times I click 'do not send' or whatever it keeps coming up - sometimes I have 50 windows up within a minute.- Other weird message boxes which don't go away- Just a generally slow and scratchy computer."

I really did think it was going to have to be an all day job, reinstalling Windows and so on. But I thought I'd have a go at removing the pesky trojan first. Easier said than done!

At one point there must have been 100 so-called 'Avira' windows open but by closing them as fast as they opened I was able to get at a Scotty WinPatrol window and disable 'Avira' and another programme from starting up while the free PC Tools Spyware Doctor (from Google Pack) found the nasty trojan and zapped it. It also found the hack tool that someone had thrown into the mix and zapped that. I was prepared to have to reinstall Windows but impressed at these two applications' success. The full scan did take several hours, though, with over 300,000 files dealt with in the end.
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