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SIGNS OF THE END TIMES
What a hellish couple of days this has been, and now more bad news to add the icing on to the bogus cake.

Yesterday, when I got home, Karin was playing on the computer. I kicked her off for a bit to check email and catch up on some quick online errands, and then we went to the store and then came home and had dinner. After dinner, she went back to finish her last half hour of play, and couldn't log in. I tried, but I couldn't log in either. So I logged in as an administrator but quickly discovered that I couldn't access the Internet at all, couldn't send or receive emails, couldn't even OPEN several programs such as IE or the McAfee anti-virus program...hmmm, what to do?

I called Anders in Italy and he walked me through restarting the modem and the wireless to see if that was the problem. I pulled out my work laptop and got it up and running on the wireless, but still couldn't get the home PC to behave. So I sent an urgent HELP message to my friend Russell in Dallas, who has helped me on numerous occasions with tech problems and he was kind enough to sit with me on the phone for an hour or so while we grew increasingly concerned over how bizarre the computer was behaving and the fact that nothing he tried led anywhere. It was like the computer was completely shut off from online access AND as if something was seriously borked somewhere. We couldn't get System Restore to work, nothing. It was like things had been wiped out.

We hadn't downloaded or opened anything in the time between when I had come home and everything was working to after dinner when it suddenly wasn't and Russell said he didn't think it was a virus because usually the first thing viruses try to do is get online and spread, but this was doing the opposite. After an hour, Russell was at a loss as to what else to try and finally suggested that we try reinstalling Windows, which would mean having to reinstall all our applications afterward. This meant I'd have to wait until Anders got home from Italy where he's been the past two weeks, because I have no idea where the disks are.

So I thanked Russell and hung up with him, and then called Anders and told him the bad news, that something was seriously wrong and that we'd have to try reinstalling Windows to see if that worked. And then I hung up with him and posted on Facebook about the horror of my PC dying and a few minutes later an old friend commented on my post: "You're not, by any chance, running Windows XP, are you?"

"Yes," I answered, "Why?"

"Do you have McAfee running on it as well?" he responded.

"Yes, I answered again, "WHY??"

And he sent me a link to a news article on Huffington Post which said, MCAFEE UPDATE GOES BERSERK, SHUTS DOWN MILLIONS OF COMPUTERS WORLDWIDE.

So the anti-virus program that is supposed to protect our computer had rendered it, along with millions of others around the globe, unusable. It had sent an automatic update which had created a false-positive on a critical system file, then deleted it and shut itself off from access. Completely.

I called Russell back and excitedly told him the news: "It's not just me!" And then we spent another almost 2 hours on the phone trying to get the McAfee workaround to actually work. I couldn't drag or drop files, I couldn't copy and paste them. I didn't have the folders or sub-folders that McAfee said I should have to put their fix-file into. I couldn't get McAfee to open or behave or anything, and when I finally DID get the file in place and ran it, it gave me error messages and didn't work. I couldn't even uninstall the damn program!

Finally, with Russell's help, we decided the only thing to do was delete/rename all the folders and files that had to do with McAfee, then ZIP and extract the critical system file from my laptop back where it belonged on my PC and ta-dah! It worked! During the course of the approximately 4 hours this was going on, I must have rebooted my computer 42 times. GAH.

DOUBLE GAH.

Today, when I got home, I discovered that though I could get online and send/receive emails, there were still some wonky things going on and javascript was acting as if it were disabled even though it wasn't. I reinstalled McAfee (this time with the most current FIXED update...I hope) and now everything seems to be back to normal.

Except at dinnertime, Anders called, and his flight home tonight? Canceled.
He was told that Copenhagen Airport is closed again, though I can't find any info to that effect on the airport's home page or in the news. The earliest he can fly out, assuming it doesn't get canceled too, is tomorrow evening.

Oh, and it snowed twice yesterday.

Happy Earth Day, anyway!
 drained
mood: drained
music: the sound of my hair turning gray


Comments

Oh, I feel your pain! (On the computer front, at least -- it took campus IT until 1:30 this afternoon to get my office machine back online. I'm going home now to hug my Mac again.)

Major sympathy on the spouse deprivation situation -- I thought of you guys this morning, when the radio reported that airports in southern Scandinavia were being shut due to ash fallout, and really hoped this wouldn't be the outcome. :-( Here's hoping he makes it home on the first flight possible!

They've been closed for over a week and had JUST opened back up...only to close again! Why just the one WE need? ARGH

Wow, what an ordeal. You know I get an email whenever you update, and often I click in here just because of your wacky tags. borkborkbork? Just hysterical. Still, aren't you lucky to have your buddy in...where is it? Texas? And all that. We just have to have tech support. Even those of us who are TECHIE!

It's so true! I'm rarely tech support, but I honestly don't know what we'd do sometimes, without Russell's help, and his wife. They are both so awesome!

Eek! It's a nightmare. Hopefully you'll wake up soon.

Somebody pinch me! :D

Sorry, I can't reach that far!

(Anonymous)
Joy here

Sorry to hear of your computer woes and plane woes. :( Computers are a pain and I have to share my painful experience (nice to share, huh?). I was trying to set up my wireless router and went through the steps only to find the message about resetting my PC router. I called the tech support and she walked me through it... three times and it would not work! She sounded really tired of the whole thing and said we'll try one more time... had already told me the router I bought might be bad and I said, I'll take it back to the store!

Took it back to the big box store, the guy told me they weren't suppose to but he'd set up the router in the store. It'd take him five minutes. Hmmmm but it was $30 to do so. No, just give me a new one.

I took it home, wondering if I'd get it up and going... first try! It worked. Whew! I am not good with computers and stuff!

Thinking about the cost of $30 for five minutes of work... glad I didn't do that. Even if it'd taken him 10 minutes to do, that is $180 an hour! This is what you get when you buy from this store. Grrrrrrr! It was not the best buy, if you get my drift...

Re: Joy here

Drrr...what a miss on their part!

Yeesh. Computers make life so much better, but they have a way of making it SO MUCH WORSE too. Windows Vista turned me into a cussing woman (who then became a Linux woman until the glorious Windows 7 came out solving 90% of my anger problems overnight... hehe). Sorry you had to go through all of that, especially sans spouse! Sending you happy, sparkly computer vibes from my laptop now.

Just what I needed! I think everything is fixed now! (knocks on plastic)

From Megsie

Oh, my gosh! How frustrating. I hate arguing with computers. Stubborn. I have a Mac, but I know when I start my new *job* in the fall, they don't. I am already worried!

Hope Anders gets home tout de suite! It sucks being abandoned, especially when he is supposed to be home by now.

Re: From Megsie

It's rarely an issue at work, since even when there are problems, there is usually an IT department to help get them fixed. But at home, it's just us! And we don't know enough half the time! Thank goodness for really smart friends!

I got exhausted and frustrated just reading that. Sounds awful. Glad you were able to fix the situation.

Me, too! I'm so glad I have smart techie friends :)

(Anonymous)

Oh crappy days!

But you know, we need those to really appreciate the good ones. So when we have a crappy day, we can endure it, knowing there will be better days, and when that better day comes, we will be more aware of it!

Mia

http://mias.blogg.se

You are so right! That is a philosophy worth remembering!

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