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Author: Subject: A Quick Warning For PC Users

World Class Peach





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  posted on 7/13/2009 at 09:22 PM
Today I had two computers, one laptop and one desktop, brought to me that had the exact same problem.
The computers could only be booted up in "Safe"Mode", or "Safe Mode w/networking".
Other than that, you had a completely black screen with only the cursor on the screen.
You could move the cursor, but that was it. Ctrl/Alt/Del wouldn't bring up Task Manager, or even turn off the computer.

While in either "Safe" mode, you couldn't access the internet, load programs, or run any diagnostics.

But, something was gaining access to the internet and tried to blow past the firewalls on my network. Fortunately, it didn't get through, but the hard drive lights were glowing steady and the CPU fans kept kicking into high speed.

Neither person reported the "anti-virus" pop-ups associated with the recent scams. Only one had LimeWire, but the owner said nothing had been happening until yesterday, same as the other computer.

Both did have one thing in common. The anti-virus had expired within the last three days.

Folks, DO NOT LET YOUR ANTI-VIRUS EXPIRE!!!!!!!!!!
If you don't have one, get one of the free ones available at http://www.download.com
do what ever it takes.

I'm trying to research this one down to see if it's out in the wild, or just a random infection.

As the old Sarge on Hill Street Blues used to say:
Let's be careful out there.

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 7/13/2009 at 09:28 PM
And don't download IE 8, it hangs up like crazy and there appears to be no easy way to fix it. If it asks you download IE 8 just say no!

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 7/13/2009 at 09:31 PM
I had this exact thing happen to me last week. My sec'y was somehow able to get me back up and running after several hours in safe mode, cleaning unnecessary files, defragging, and maybe some other things. Will check tomorrow to see where my antivirus stands. Thanks Jerry.
 

Peach Head



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  posted on 7/13/2009 at 10:02 PM
I heard recently that machines that were infected and part of a bot-net attacking Microsoft also were experiencing hard drives being wiped by the infection.

Here's an article about it: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10284281-83.html

[Edited on 7/14/2009 by cybergaloot]

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 7/16/2009 at 03:02 PM
UPDATE: I haven't yet seen one completely wiped, but they might as well be.
The past few days I've had computers brought to me that had just about every .exe file compromised. Windows will boot up in "safe mode", but nothing else, and none of the installed programs work, nor will it allow you to install any diagnostic software.
Newest computer I've seen with the BSD is a less than two week old Dell XPS that the person didn't activate her anti-virus.
Had a family bring in every computer they had in the house. None would access Cox. Something had come in and changed the registry entries and installed a dialer. Fortunately for them, they didn't have a phone line on any of the computers. They did have Norton 360, freshly updated, on all the computers. They also had LimeWire on all the computers.

I was able to install some malware removers on many that I've seen this week, and have had an infection range of from 6 items (dial-up) to over 1400 items (cable).
Again, the main constant is that anti-virus/malware software has recently expired, or updates have not been applied.

If you think you even might have an infection, go to any of the security websites and run their on-line scans (Kapersky, Trend Micro, PCTools, and others). With their updated files, they might catch something before it gets serious.

 

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Peach Pro



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  posted on 7/16/2009 at 03:05 PM
Do you think its originating via Limewire? Or is it something more insidious than that?

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 7/16/2009 at 03:10 PM
Thats what happened to mine...had windowss 2000 on dell p.c. in april right after i got internet would only boot up in safe mode. Took computer to friend of mine and he took the hard drive out, put an antivirus program on it and loaded xp. It now comes on in safe mode still with both programs Windows 2000 and XP and runs slow. Scared to open 2000 and delete it. Figure safe and slow is better than no show....

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 7/16/2009 at 03:15 PM
quote:
Do you think its originating via Limewire? Or is it something more insidious than that?


No, don't think the entire thing is coming through LimeWire, but the high number of computers that have these infections that also have LimeWire is an indication of something going on.
There have been several that had the BSD without Limewire.
Of course, it could also mean that someone is using LimeWire to spread a DOS attack.
But again, the main thing connecting all of the BSD is the absence of an active or updated anti-virus.
I now that sounds like I'm going back and forth on the issue, but some folks have used LimeWire for years with no problem, others have had multiple problems through LimeWire downloads. I guess it really depends on who and what you get through them.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 7/16/2009 at 03:22 PM
I think mine was I didn't have any anti-virus on my p.c. because i just used it for drafting purposes before I had the internet hooked up....

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 7/16/2009 at 04:10 PM
miss thangs laptop got all jacked outta shape the other day,,,,,,,,,,my nephew took it & did some stuff & put avira anti virus on it,,,,,,,,,,,runnin like a top now,,,,,,,,,,,,,the other 2 is got avira on em now too,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/16/2009 at 07:17 PM
Bring Back Netscape, Bring Back Netscape! (and don't bother telling me it is now part of AOL, I want the original one, that didn't track where you surfed, took you where you wanted to go and minded their own damn business).

 

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  posted on 7/16/2009 at 10:25 PM
I use

Avast Antivirus - Free
Adaware - Free
Spyware Doctor (cost about 30 bucks from PC Tools)
Registry Mechanic (cost about 30 bucks from PC Tools)

and Firefox - With Firefox I set it to ask me every time if I will accept a cookie. You can tell which sites are problematic because they come up five and 10 requests at a time. I always say NO on the cookies when it does it like that. I also do not accept advertising or counter type cookies generally, but allow the site I am going to to set their cookies, especially if it s one I know is a good site. Also I've learned that you can say no to a lot more cookies than you think. I have only once not been able to a view a site if I refuse a cookie.

I have my firewall from Windows

Most importantly I update the programs often and run the programs systematically every week or two. And I back up my files before I do any of that.

I seem to be good to go now for quite a few years with this little approach.

I don't download from any sites other than Etree and Dime a Dozen or official band sites. I think that helps too.

[Edited on 7/17/2009 by Angelemerald]

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 7/17/2009 at 01:07 AM
Unfortunately, I updated to IE 8 and I've experienced some hang-up problems. About the only way I found to get around it was to "crash out" and come back in. Annoying as hell.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/17/2009 at 10:12 AM
quote:
quote:
Unfortunately, I updated to IE 8 and I've experienced some hang-up problems. About the only way I found to get around it was to "crash out" and come back in. Annoying as hell.
I've discovered it's not IE8 itself but certain plugins (specifically the Flash plugin). Disable that... you'll lose Flash, but you can then see if it prevents the lockups.
Exactly. IE8 is 64-bit technology and many apps are currently 32-bit (for now?). I use IE8 without problem understanding it's limitations due to other technology but expect we'll begin seeing Adobe supporting 64 bit soon (in fact I think I read something on their site to that effect). In the meantime I have another browser that I use where needed.

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 7/17/2009 at 09:59 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
Unfortunately, I updated to IE 8 and I've experienced some hang-up problems. About the only way I found to get around it was to "crash out" and come back in. Annoying as hell.
I've discovered it's not IE8 itself but certain plugins (specifically the Flash plugin). Disable that... you'll lose Flash, but you can then see if it prevents the lockups.
Exactly. IE8 is 64-bit technology and many apps are currently 32-bit (for now?). I use IE8 without problem understanding it's limitations due to other technology but expect we'll begin seeing Adobe supporting 64 bit soon (in fact I think I read something on their site to that effect). In the meantime I have another browser that I use where needed.


Basically I just use Firefox. Haven't had a problem with it working with XP/64, Win7, or any version of Vista, or Ubuntu.
I do use IE8 on my "test rig" running Win7 on one hard drive (actually, I'm using it now).

Renee, I use Avira for Anti-Virus, so your nephew did good. Some other items you might want are ZoneAlarm firewall, AdAware SE, and SpyBot Search&Destroy.

http://www.trendmicro.com click on free tools. They have several good plug-ins and programs there. "HouseCall" is one I use often. The "Web Protection" add-on is good also.

http://www.pctools.com go to the bottom of the page for their free tolls including anti-virus and firewall

http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/solutions/activescan/
Another free online tool.

http://free.avg.com/download?prd=afe
Free anti-virus, very good program.

OK, so now nobody's got any decent excuse for not having a fresh dose of medicine for their computers, so i don't want to hear anybody crying if they get a computer that don't run right cause it's sick.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 7/17/2009 at 10:07 PM
jerry got a ? for ya...they had to drag me into the computer world kicking and screaming so i don't know too much (about pcs) my p.c only opens in safe mode and i have windows 2000 and xp...put the xp on after i got a virus but it kinda slow...can i get rid of the 2000?

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/18/2009 at 12:52 AM
Get a Mac

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 7/18/2009 at 04:36 AM
closest Mc Donalds is four(4) miles down the road

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 7/18/2009 at 10:07 AM
quote:
jerry got a ? for ya...they had to drag me into the computer world kicking and screaming so i don't know too much (about pcs) my p.c only opens in safe mode and i have windows 2000 and xp...put the xp on after i got a virus but it kinda slow...can i get rid of the 2000?


Several questions:
1) Did the person who loaded XP get rid of the virus in 2000 before loading XP?
(If not, then that could still be a problem.)

2) Can you boot the computer in 2000, or does the pc only boot up in safe mode in XP?

3) Are there programs loaded on the computer that you just can't live without, and don't have the install discs to re-load them?

4) Do you have the install (driver) discs for your computer and the XP install disc?
Note: The driver discs would have the software to make the items built onto your motherboard (pci, vga, ethernet, usb, and others) work.

5) When you defragment your hard drive, does it say you have "bad sectors"? Does it tell you to run scandisk to check for errors?

6) What are you using for anti-virus?

7) Do you get a Blue Screen Of Death with a string of numbers and letters on the screen and it then goes into re-boot if you choose to open with XP or 2000?

8) Have you recently had a power surge or lightning strike in your office?

9) Did the problem start suddenly, or did it kinda develop over time?

10) What brand name is your pc?

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 7/18/2009 at 04:45 PM
Jerry Thank for your help

1. he took the main out, put in his comp. and debugged it

2. when i boot it up safe mode comes on automatically and gives me the option to open 2000 or xp

3. Yes i have Autocadd program loaded w/no disk

4. Install disc for p.c. no, xp yes

5. when i run defrag it just defrags and at the end ask me if i want a review list. Doesn't ask me to run scandisk or anything else

6. AVIRA

7. no, my safe mode is a black screen and i always open in xp and not 2000 (scared to open 2000 and i'm only scared of two things((LIGHTNING AND SHORT WOMEN)

8. I live in the Lightning capitol of the u.s. (central fl.) and it goes out, but it's usually turned off. don't remember cutting off while in use. Now that i think of it if the p.c gets shut down without me turning it off a light blue screen comes up and says i have so many seconds not to run something(might be scan disk) but i go ahead and let the program run.

9. I got the virus in april of this year and since he put xp on and AVIRA i have't had any problems. Just runs slow

10. Antique DELL Deminsion 4500 bought in 2000


 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 7/18/2009 at 08:43 PM
quote:
Jerry Thank for your help

1. he took the main out, put in his comp. and debugged it

2. when i boot it up safe mode comes on automatically and gives me the option to open 2000 or xp(Quote)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------

OK, that is where the PC is asking you which Operating System you want it to boot up to, not a safe mode screen.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------

(Quote)3. Yes i have Autocadd program loaded w/no disk

4. Install disc for p.c. no, xp yes (Quote)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------
You might want to go to Dell.com and download the drivers for your particular computer.
http://support.dell.com/support/index.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen
Click on drivers and downloads.
If you have your service tag on the computer, click on the service tag link and put it in, or go to the model link and look under Dimension 4500 and download the XP drivers.
Burn them to a cd, or several if needed. Install and re-boot as indicated.
But, make sure you do a restore point before installing anything. If a driver causes problems, you can either use the restore point, or use "roll back driver" in Control panel>System>Device Manager

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------

(Quote) 5. when i run defrag it just defrags and at the end ask me if i want a review list. Doesn't ask me to run scandisk or anything else

6. AVIRA

7. no, my safe mode is a black screen and i always open in xp and not 2000 (scared to open 2000 and i'm only scared of two things((LIGHTNING AND SHORT WOMEN) (Quote)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------

My wife is short, and can be meaner than lightening.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------

(Quote)8. I live in the Lightning capitol of the u.s. (central fl.) and it goes out, but it's usually turned off. don't remember cutting off while in use. Now that i think of it if the p.c gets shut down without me turning it off a light blue screen comes up and says i have so many seconds not to run something(might be scan disk) but i go ahead and let the program run.(Quote)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------

That's asking to run scandisk and it means the computer wasn't shut down normally (power outage). Do you have a UPS unit? If not, it would be a good thing to get one, especially one that has AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulator). That smooths out the peaks and valleys of the erratic power supply you've got in Florida. Here in Macon a power line can be struck in south Ga and we still get some of the surge. All my computers and tvs' have AVR units with cable connections.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------

(Quote)9. I got the virus in april of this year and since he put xp on and AVIRA i have't had any problems. Just runs slow

10. Antique DELL Deminsion 4500 bought in 2000 (Quote)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------

Like I said, Avira is a good program, love the automatic updates, and it's pretty quick on catching the bugs.

I hate to tell ya, but over 80% of the computers brought to me with problems are Dells.

My synopsis is this, get the newest drivers for your computer and install them. If the AutoCad is on the XP side, then you should be OK with getting rid of the 2000. You will more than likely have to re-format the partition that 2000 is on (he did split the hard drive, didn't he?) If not, ask your buddy to help you remove it.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 7/18/2009 at 11:21 PM
Again thanks for your help....

I guess my p.c. problems aren't too bad then.....i think i will use your suggestions and live with it for now. Kind of semi-retired (unemployed) and hoping to get alp-top for christmas. that way i can put this to one side and use it occasionally. Of course i have to get my car fixed first. Have to replace the computer brain and distributer. See? Another computer problem......This modern world we live in........THANKS AGAIN!

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 7/19/2009 at 10:04 PM
This Christmas computers should have Win7 loaded on them. It could be that your Auto-Cadd program might not work in Win7 and you'd have to get a new copy.
When looking around, check if the program will work in Win7, and get it transferred to the new one.

But, glad I could help.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/21/2009 at 06:31 PM
using limewire on a computer with expired antivirus is like having unprotected sex with a gay hooker.

just dont do it......

 

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