What does one do when it’s -15C outside? Stay warm &
solve computer problems. I had an “interesting” afternoon yesterday.

A) You take a working PC. Reinstall XP and the required drivers.
Insert a very long list of Windows updates … and it will crash playing an MPEG
clip. Repeatedly. (more)

B) Last October I wiped a computer,
installed Win98, updated it, installed antivirus, etc and took it off the
network. Turns out it was infected with a drive-by installed trojan
(downloader.esepor) that very same day. It had been piggy-backed onto some
(hacked?) homepage and exploited at least one MS vulnerability.

Ain’t
PC’s fun?
Well, I do love my PowerMac! ;) WINK

A) We brought Matrix back to factory default yesterday
with the intention to only use him for VHS & HI8 recording. 2 restore cd’s
and some tweaks later; he was in optimal health. Only over five dozen updates to
XP? Oh boy. Over an hour later with 2/3 of the updates installed (and God knows
how many mandatory reboots) I finally installed the video editing software. Made
a small recording. Attempt playback in Media Player 9 = INSTANT REBOOT. Huh? Now
wait a second. There are no hardware conflicts, no missing drivers and this is a
super clean OS. Must be a snafu in WM9 or the video bundle! Back to earlier
Media Player. Problem repeats. Turned off auto-reboot. Blue Screen Of Death
related to the sound drivers.

Interesting! This was never a problem
in the past year. Just to be really thorough, I install every possible
manufacturer, Intel, and nVidia recommended update. Guess what: again the same
crash! I couldn’t believe it.
(insert slight
tendency to use not so nice words directed at MS
). In the end I did get
it solved with the absolutely most recent sound card driver which hadn’t even
spread to the PC manufacturer nor Intel.

I’m still not sure what
happened, but it certainly was update related!

B) Talk about
vulnerabilities and the bad guys being out there. A trojan infection within a
matter of hours. I recall now noticing something odd that day upon seeing the
file I renamed huh-xxxxxxxxx). I removed the reference to this then unknown
file (no internet reference) from the DOS startup files & renamed the file
itself just to be sure, but, since the virus scanner didn’t find anything, I
thought it was fine. Not using that system, it went out of sight out of mind. I
use that machine yesterday for something, bring it online, update the virus
files in the meantime and … bingo!

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