31 Oct 2014

And Then, Here We Go Again….

We? Okay; here I go again. This relates to the many something I’ve been doing. Another gutter jobby? Nah. Small beer compared to this doozey.

I have been infested with ‘drive-by’ Trojans, malware, spyware and every other computer nasty that’s out there. Actually, I haven’t – my laptop, however, has. Was it my fault? As much as I’m tempted to say no, honesty compels me to admit to my error of judgement when downloading a simple bit of software and neglecting to pay attention during the, ‘Are you sure you want to install all this malicious junk as well? Press ‘I’m Nuts’ to continue.’ My clicky finger was just too fast for its own good and was at least fifteen minutes ahead of my brain I’m afraid.

All was okay for, oh, I don’t know, a half hour? then problems quickly started to manifest themselves and within a couple of hours the laptop was just about rendered unusable. Anti virus stopped and unable to start – firewall stopped and unable to start – Rapport stopped and unable to start. And that’s just for starters!

After many hours I was quietly confident I’d got shot of the junk, had one last scan and re-booted.

Guess wot? Not only was there no Internet, there were no connections available at all. Trouble shoot? I passed on the old favourite, ‘Phone a friend’, hit ‘Fix’ and was informed, ‘This process can’t be started.’ That should’ve been the really, really big clue as to what was going on but it passed waaaay over my swede and I continued to fiddle away a while – and remember, I always, for reasons not yet fully understood, start at the complex end. Time passed with no success and things seeming to be deteriorating yet more with less items functioning.

I started, and this sounds like I knew what I was doing, an elevated diagnostics session and  guess wot? Process unavailable on this disk. And there’s clue two.

I will not be beat!! Let’s do one of they restore to an earlier time thingies. That’ll work!

‘No restore points are available on this disk. The process will stop. Press ‘Cancel’ to exit.’ Thought I to me, that’s a bummer but how could that be? Clue three is wot it be.

Whatever I ended up doing, I ended up with a window telling me the requested action can’t be executed because….. and that’s as far as we usually read, right? We then click cancel and go back to sulking. This time, I read on and clue four was there before me!! Way down the message I picked up on, …… the service isn’t running!!

Hay, been there before so I can get there again! Get there I did and lo and behold, all but a very slack hand-full of the services were disabled!  Not stopped – disabled.

Thus, finding no way to batch start these services, I spent a good forty minutes clicking each entry thus, and remember this bit, double click an entry, select Start Automatically from the dropdown menu, click Apply, click OK, go to the next entry and repeat.

With that done, there seemed to be nothing left to do other than have at it and re-boot. So that I did.

What I faced on re-start was a tad annoying. A black screen with a grey bar along the bottom with the Win 8 window lookin’ thingy at the left. Clicking on this did nothing. Right clicking on this did nothing but after a lot of random and increasingly exasperated clicking I found I could open the Task Manager. I clicked on the last tab, ‘Services’ and you know what? Not one service was running. Another lengthy process was involved in right clicking each entry, in Task Manager, and selecting Start.

Remember further up when I said remember this?  Remember this in the unlikely event you have a Services problem. While doing wot I did up there, there’s also the option to Start each service. I didn’t, as automatic, to me, means automatic! Re-start and they’ll start automatically, right? Apparently not but after starting the services this time and re-starting the laptop I’m happy and relieved to report all is cool again. At time of typing.

By way of a small celebration and to avoid the risk of possibly dirtying one of our colander collection, we decided to eat out so stopped into one of they chain pub an’ food places for lunch. It proved to be just my kind o’ place because upon entry, and I quote John Sandford, “…….everyone was drinking beer and eating a variety of fried everything, with link sausages on the side……”

It’s also Halloween!
Knock on door.
I open door.
Them, all smiley and excited. “Trick or treat!!”
Me, all smiley and excited. “Oh wow! Thanks! Treat please!”
Them. Smiles fade accompanied by a whooshing sound as the curtains come down.

Quote;  Terry Pratchett.

“The monk solved his immediate problem by giving a little whimper and fainting.”


Ripper said...

What program did you install to get all of that? Still, at least it didn't come back. A mate of mine once installed one of those fake virus scanners - it took control of the whole system. Its files could be deleted but after reboot they were back. I had to use Task Manager to stop it from running long enough to wipe it from the registry and find/delete some hidden files. It had hijacked the browser, locked system folders and shut down the security centre among other things. When you get one of these things its worth Googling it on another computer. There is usually instructions of how to rid yourself of it manually.

Mac said...

Sad to relate, and please keep this to yourself, I ran a downloaded key generator. Yea, I know. No need to shout at me.
As to the rest of your comment, yup, that's exactly what was happening here although there was no sign of any 'bad' processes running according to the Task Manager, and the last junk I located had an uninstall exe which I was stupid enough to run and which sealed my fate.
Oh, and Firefox just became an advertising hoarding and nothing more. That was my first hint of problems and I disconnected from the outside world there and then.