No more Ephems for a while… (with update 8/2/2010)
In a fit of absent-mindedness (aka sheer stupidity) I have just opened a seriously infected file (sent to me via Skype with a message purporting to come from a reliable Skype contact) which has played havoc with my computer, including disabling every known application that might have been able to clean it up.
So if you get a message on Skype purporting to come from me, on no account open the link in it to a zip (or any other) file: and please don’t expect any new Ephems posts or comments or responses to your comments for a while. I suspect that it’s going to be a question of reinstalling Windows and then a raft of programmes and applications and data files from back-ups. The mind boggles.
Please don’t think it necessary (or desirable) to post messages of sympathy here. Of course if you know of a quick and safe way to get System Restore Point working again (the virus has thoughtfully switched it off and it won’t switch on again), or how to change all the registry entries back to how they were yesterday, by all means let me know. Meanwhile I’m going to absent me from electronic felicity a while.
Update (8 Feb 2010): Many hours of effort by myself and my state-of-the-art, chip-off-the-old-block computer guru have failed to remove the various nasties let loose in my PC by the vile virus that I idiotically unloosed — and the latest news of fresh disasters is that I have now found that I have a Trojan (html/Harnig.A) in my faithful laptop, too, and have no idea how to remove it. I think I may feel a new computer coming on, but I can’t afford a new laptop as well. Perhaps a few months without a computer at all will be good for the soul. Cold turkey, anyone?
as you will have backed everything up, why not just reformat the hdd. otherwise, you can try this.
Brian writes (from the laptop): Tony, having to reformat my hard disk would turn me to jelly. The thought of having to reinstall Windows, add three Service Packs and many other updates, then install a mass of other software — which as you know can’t be backed up — before trying to restore all the thousands of data files that I do indeed have backed up on DVDs and CDs makes me want to give up computers for ever and go back to reading books. I’m grateful for the Avast suggestion and I have run it accordingly. It didn’t find any infections but it found dozens of system files and others which it couldn’t scan. I don’t know where I go from there.
However my trusty computer guru has promised to have a go at it tomorrow, taking control of my PC in London from Sussex where he’s attending a conference. Fingers crossed!
You only attract flack when you’re over the target.
Brian writes: Not sure what to make of this! I seem to attract a certain amount of, er, flak wherever I am.
Meanwhile many hours of effort by myself and my state-of-the-art, chip-off-the-old-block computer guru have failed to remove the various nasties let loose in my PC by the vile virus that I idiotically unloosed — and the latest news of fresh disasters is that I have now found that I have a Trojan (html/Harnig.A) in my faithful laptop, too, and have no idea how to remove it. I think I feel a new computer coming on, but I can’t afford a new laptop as well. Perhaps a few months without a computer at all will be good for the soul.
Brian, it’s just over a week since that vitus struck your PC but I miss your commentary on res publica, especially on the Chilcot Inquiry. I don’t know when you’ll be back on the air but I look forward to it. I hope the sabbatical does transpire, as you put it, to be good for the soul.
Brian writes: John, thank you for your touching comment. My computer troubles are proving more deep-rooted and time-consuming than they first seemed (and I’m taking advantage of them to do some radical up-grading that also affects my laptop and my wife’s PC): so I’ll be spending much less time than hitherto at the keyboard for several weeks, or at any rate less productive time — reinstalling operating systems and installing new ones, installing programs in new computers, trying to repair virus corruptions, etc., or standing by wringing my hands while my filial guru performs these mystical operations — but not keeping track of current affairs, still less commenting on them. Fortunately or otherwise, Chilcot is in recess at the moment and there’s enough comment in the mass media on such important matters as the alleged infidelities of a footballer to keep the most ardent student of current affairs happy. I hope to be back, perhaps at a lower level of activity, but not for a while. Sorry!