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02 May 2010 @ 09:58 pm
I can't do this anymore. I just...I can't.

Yesterday, my laptop Bloob was working fine. This morning I noticed she was running a little slow. I realised the thing I was missing was the annoying 'you should scan your computer!' message that comes up when one has an anti-virus program. I searched Da's programs, didn't find one, and thought, "You know, I really want to wipe this clean and start over just so I know what every program is and don't have this extra stuff I don't understand. But I need Minitab, so I can't yet. After exams."

I surfed Livejournal, planning to go download spybot and AVG (free anti-malware) after. Bloob froze. I manually restarted, thinking I had just opened too many tabs and she was sleepy. I downloaded spybot and scanned my computer - spybot found some errors, I asked the program to fix them. It froze a quarter of the way through. I shrugged, restarted, scanned and tried to fix again. Same. Restarded, downloaded AVG, scanned, found 4 Trojans and got rid of them.

It was going slower. I checked the Internet to see if spybot did that sometimes, and found it could if you didn't alter settings I didn't know how to alter - I uninstalled, thinking I was safe with AVG. Bloob sped up. I was relieved and went back to surfing LJ.

She froze when I only had two tabs open and wasn't making any 'you're working me a bit' noises. I trotted over to Tinboy's room and he came to help. After poking and prodding, he found system.exe, which wasn't supposed to be there and apparently belonged to a keylogger that would go and hide in parts of the computer to restore itself when parts of it were deleted. Spyware that even redirected links - search for it in Google and press the link, it would send you right back to Google. We marvelled at the little bleater and Tinboy set to getting rid of it. Messed with a setting to see if it would stop replicating itself when injured and set me to an AVG scan again. AVG scan found more and we got rid of it, tested to see if it was still there and it was. He told me to get spybot again and scan for it.

Managed to download spybot. The scan wouldn't go through - spybot kept freezing. I finally frowned, shook my head and shut down, thinking, "Next time I start it up I'm tempted to just restore to factory settings - there's nothing I want on there." Tinboy and I had together decided it was a last option, although one that didn't stink too much since - again - I had thought of doing it anyway, pre-malware.

I thought I'd give Spybot one more shot. Turned on Bloob. She woudn't go to BIOS. I got the dreaded "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM" Oh, that message I know too well.

I tried every trick in the book with F2s and F8s and the lot. Tried F9 to get to the factory reset menu, but it won't come up. Stared at the ceiling shivering and holding down a panic attack; none of my housemates noticed (it was obvious), but I don't have the energy to care about that right now. Gathered myself, tried again and came up here - Tinboy lent me his laptop for the evening since he's out.

This entry may sound calm. Even humoured. Trust me, I am not. Moments before typing this I was sobbing. I can't believe this happened again. I've been careful. The only thing I have downloaded was Minitab, and it was out of a panic over not getting my Environment in Practice 2 work done. If fear of failing my assignment led me to downloading a program not-so-legally from the Internet led to a spyware/virus/whatever that killed my laptop, I don't know what I'll do. Laptops are the bane of my existence. At this point I'm beginning to think I plainly don't deserve one.

So right now, inside, I'm just panicking. All I want to do right now is get home to the States - have wanted to for a month - and all that's supposed to be between me and that is exams and a few reports. The idea that my laptop - a 'new' laptop - has died yet again right when I need it most just terrifies me. I can't deal with this. I don't...my gods, I don't know how my parents don't just slap me to Jupiter. John tried everything he could while Bloob was ALIVE, too, and the malware just defied everything we had at every turn! I am so far gone!

I'm just going to go curl up in bed and cry some more. I finished my book and reading would bring me no pleasure. I'm just going to go cry until I fall asleep, then tomorrow morning when John is out of his hangover we'll see what to do next since I have no restore DVD that comes with the laptop - but it may be possible to make a USB startup that we could use to wipe the computer.

Tears hairs out. Cries. I can't do this. Swear alert. Fuck you, exams. Fuck you, inability to keep a laptop working for more than a few months. Fuck you, laptops, for leaving me like this. Fuck you, distance, for not being smaller. Fuck you, time, for being longer than you should. Fuck you, uni, I really just want you over. Fuck you, self, for fucking this up again.

Swearing done. I don't have anything left in me. I apologise for this entry. It is very unlike me. Well, except for the being me, and screwing things up again. (Sane self: unlike me to think/say something like that. Don't worry too much. I still have the strong sane voice in me. Won't do anything bad or stupid, promise.)

I'm so sorry, Mom, Dad. ='( I'm so very very sorry. I will try to work this out. I will try so hard. I'm so sorry!
heartsways: dr who dalek exterminateheartsways on May 2nd, 2010 09:08 pm (UTC)
Ugh, that's a messy situation. The same thing happened to me a while ago with both the laptop AND the desktop, so I really was scuppered. A PC wizard I know suggested a program called hitman.pro

It's hard to download stuff - I know this - but hitman pro is fabulous and clears up stuff that AVG might miss. I have AVG too and it couldn't help a great deal with the malware and spyware.

Just a suggestion. I know how distressing it is when your computers aren't working properly though. :(
Kiwi Crocuscranky__crocus on May 4th, 2010 11:43 am (UTC)
I'll have to look up that program if we can ever get this laptop running again. I'm going crazy. It isn't working AT ALL - won't boot a budge and we've tried 7 things thus far, boot disks & USBs and the lot. Rawr.
Kris: Ericakrizzzie on May 2nd, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
I had the same virus 4 years ago and even though it really sucked, at least it's not a dangerous one that destroys important files or anything.

This site described how I got rid of it. The most important thing, before you delete all system.exe files you find via the search is, to open your task manager and end the system.exe process there first. If you don't do this, you can delete and delete and it will always come back.

gerristgerrist on May 3rd, 2010 12:09 am (UTC)
Dear Kiwi,

WE LOVE YOU. Obviously you've tried everything you can think of. Dad wishes the IT people would help you. Any chance they will?

If there was anything we could do for you we would. It is so frustratring to be far away at times like this.

Good luck and let us know if there is anything we can do. I sure wish there was a good place you could bring it.

Dad says, "A virus cannot damage the computer so if you can restore it from scratch it should be fine". Don't know if that is helpful, sounds like what you've already been saying.

Much Love, XO Mom
Kiwi Crocuscranky__crocus on May 4th, 2010 11:31 am (UTC)
Probably not - I will try to get them to help, but I don't know if they're trained to help with something like this. John and I are trying boot disks and boot USBs and every menu under the book. I'm so worried about little Bloob. John has just run upstairs reporting that he's "onto plan F now".

Yeah, that's exactly what we're trying to do. It seems to have messed with the factory-restore partician and with the system re-boot, or whatever. Ah, poot. =( I'm getting very worried.
Kiwi Crocuscranky__crocus on May 4th, 2010 11:44 am (UTC)
There must have been something there other than that, as well, then, since some files were tampered with and now the laptop won't boot at all. We're still working on trying to get her started up enough that we can wipe her back to factory settings.
Leilevelcro_panda on May 3rd, 2010 12:51 am (UTC)
♥ I'm definitely going to put together a care package for you once I get home. Message me the address on FB?
Kiwi Crocuscranky__crocus on May 4th, 2010 11:44 am (UTC)
Thank you, you are so so so so sweet. (: Will send an FB message!
(Anonymous) on May 3rd, 2010 03:50 am (UTC)
Hey, Kiwi, it's Eve here - I don't have an LJ.
I was just following the links you sent me ages ago, one of which lead to your blog. Blogs are even weirder than facebook in how we communicate our lives to the world.

Sorry you're having computer issues, they're confusing and scary at the best of times. Two bits of info for you:

1. Minitab15 can be downloaded free and legally via the university website if you email them a form for a licence. Too late for saving you from the current problem, but once you're up and running you can do it the risk-free way. I'll find you the link if you can't locate it on the website.

2. If you don't know any other techy/IT folks that might be able to help, my mate Takeshi, (you know him from chorus) gave me some great advice and even tinkered with my laptop when it went a bit berserk. He works for the IT services at uni and you can find him manning the library help desk a few days a week. It's not the staff's job to help with personal computers but he'll give you advice simply as a favour to another chorus member and friend.

Hope you're ok otherwise and revision and coursework aren't getting on top of you. Gimme a call later in the week if you want to either revise together or crash with ice cream and a DVD.

CaroRulescarorules on May 3rd, 2010 02:42 pm (UTC)
It's totally normal to freak out.. computer problems always get me so mad.. I hope you can fix it.. *hug*