Okay so I was all set to write a post this weekend about how I’ve decided to finally take the plunge and move to a self-hosted blog to begin the long process of branding myself for my future success.
Then I got home Friday at lunch to discover that my comptuer had been hit with some massively nasty virus that has totally FUBARed everything. Nothing we’ve done has worked, so we are down to formatting the hard drive and reinstalling everything. We still have my old hard drive and the ghosted image of it from when I upgraded to a bigger one, but despite what was apparently a successful format job on my current hard drive, the copy process has not worked. Thank God so much of my current work is online in various places and I’ve got all my personal files on an external hard drive. We may have to do a clean install of XP, which doesn’t make me happy given that I bought vista for this computer, but since Dell sucks and will only give you a ghost of the original factory setup rather than the true operating system (and I don’t even have that as they never mailed it with mine and I need to go throw a fit with them to get a copy). If a clean install of XP doesn’t work it means that the virus has fried my hard drive. My almost brand new hard drive that I spent $100 on in the not too distant past. I am beyond frustrated and furious about this, as this was SUPPOSED to be a restful, fun weekend because it’s my first weekend off grading ALL SEMESTER (midterms were last week) but it’s just been horrible. Anyway, I am likely to be out of pocket for a while until this is taken care of.
I feel for your loss. However, viruses don’t fry hard drives.
1) ALWAYS keep your Windows up-to-date
2) Get behind a router with NAT (pretty much all DSL routers for home use do that)
3) Get a decent, free anti-virus software like Grisoft’s AVG Free edition. Keep it updated.
4) Get Spybot Search&Destroy. Keep it updated.
5) Block popups in your webbrowser, and ideally all other advertisements too (adblock plugin for Firefox)
6) Never, ever, open a file that someone sends you via email unless you are ABSOLUTELY sure there will not be a virus in there.
There’s really no reason why anybody should catch a virus or a Trojan. I mean, of course there is no absolute safety, but I think you can reduce the risk a lot by following some simple steps (see above).
My Windows is up to date, we do have security on our router, I have the up to date Symantec Antivirus from the university I work for, I have Spybot and a number of other spyware and malware detection programs, I have pop up blockers, and the good sense never to open anything I suspect may contain a virus. I am not computer illiterate and can, in fact, build a computer from the ground up. The hard drive is not, in fact, fried (as I now have everything up and running again after a clean install of the ghost of my old hard drive). That was the next possibility after a virus–that the hard drive had gone bad. I have had it happen before.
looking back at this…Don’t you think there should be a little “Hisssssssssssssssssssssssssssss” at the end of your reply?