Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Electronic Innoculation

March…..not quite the light at the end of tunnel, but perhaps a reflective signpost glowing from the light. The snowdrifts are showing dirt, and temperatures are approaching normal, at least here. We’ll probably get pasted at least once more, but winter is finally showing signs of retreat.

I recently engaged in a titanic struggle with a nasty Trojan virus my daughter’s laptop picked up somewhere. (Hmmm....in another context the Trojan is the virus protection. English is a funny language.) I haven’t had much experience with them, so this was interesting. It hijacked the Microsoft security center, which began spewing forth all sorts of nonsense and demanding I subscribe to whatever it was to get rid of it. It also made all the desktop icons disappear and pretty much brought all functions to a halt, including the on-board antivirus software.

I consulted the man who originally set the computer up for my daughter, and he recommended I try Trend Micro’s Housecall, which is free and could be run from the internet so it could work around the virus. I knew I was on the right track when the computer kept trying to block access to the website. After considerable clicking, back-paging and re-clicking I was finally able to get the software running. I don’t recall the exact time it took to scan, detect and fix the trouble, but it wasn’t long, and the computer seems to be functioning fine now.

I was so impressed ran it on my old desktop just to see what would happen. It took quite a bit longer, which wasn’t too surprising given the relatively limited processor and memory of the old beast, and didn’t find anything toxic. Overall, I heartily recommend it, at least as part of the arsenal.