Saturday, May 5, 2007

PC = Problem Computer

I have a computer sewing machine which uses software that only runs on Windows. Therefore I also have a laptop running WindowsXP and my embroidery software. This laptop is not connected to the internet - I can usually download any embroidery designs I want on the Mac and transfer it via thumb drive to the PC. If I can't, I don't want it.

I decided to upgrade the embroidery software, so I needed an internet connection to register it. I have had the laptop since 2004 and have connected it to the internet perhaps 3 times. I have never had a problem before, but today there was one problem after another. As I was loading the new software upgrade I kept getting popup messages that told me with increasing urgency that there were major errors in my system and that I needed to download a repair program. I ignored the messages till I had loaded and registered my software, then downloaded the repair program. It was a very businesslike site - no misspelled words, so I thought it was fine. The instructions said Install, Run, Restart. I installed and tried to run it. Nothing. I tried to uninstall - couldn't. I tried to update my sewing machine, couldn't. I tried to run a CD, couldn't quit it. AAARGH!! Even a close down didn't solve it.

Kevin was sick of my grumbles so he rang Rob. Rob likes Macs better than PCs, but he knows Microsoft backwards and is our first port of call with computer problems. He listened to my description of the strange happenings and decided he needed to look at it.

It took 4 hours, 3 downloads of various antivirus programs and a lot of waiting for the programs to search and destroy before the problem was fixed. I couldn't believe what these antivirus programs showed. Four times connected to the internet, each time only to upgrade a software program, but there were 4 worms (each contained within the automatic Windows updates) and 233 pieces of malware.

If I didn't need to connect occasionally I would never do it. Rob has made me promise that whenever I do I will update and run the antivirus checks. And NEVER download a repair program again!

I still can't update the sewing machine itself. I just wish I could do it on the Mac.

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