Post from February, 2002

‘Destructor’ Virus and Problems it Created

Thursday, 21. February 2002 13:00

I used to think that my computer sucked, but now some people from Bulgaria were able to prove that fact to me.  On Monday, February 18, 2002, around 4:00pm, my computer screen suddenly went blank, and a message from Norton AntiVirus appeared, stating that the “Destructor” virus had been found in my “iexplore.exe” file (Internet Explorer).  I was given a few options on how to proceed, and I ultimately decided to attempt a repair on the virus from Bulgaria.  Of course, I was unsuccessful.  Then, I was given the option to quarantine the virus, which pretty much means that it will be set aside in a hidden file on the computer where it cannot be touched and it cannot touch anything else.  I decided to go along with the idea, since the option was provided by my computer, which I’m sure knows a lot more about this kind of stuff than I do.  However, as Norton attempted to move the infected file to the quarantine, the virus attacked the antivirus program itself.  Just my luck, huh?  With that, my screen flicked again and the computer randomly restarted.  After my long boot-up, I finally arrived at my desktop, which at first looked totally normal.  However, as soon as I attempted to run any program, the virus lurched out of its hiding place and attacked it.  Internet Explorer was totally fried, but I was still able to access Netscape for the time being and was able to download a demo copy of “Panda AntiVirus,” and the free, UMBC-registered version of “McAfee AntiVirus” (Which happened to be a *.zip file).  I tried to open McAfee, but as soon as I did, WinZip was corrupted and my computer froze.  The long and short of it is that every program that I tried to run was eventually corrupted by the “Destructor” virus.  Over the next couple days, I went through my very badly disorganized C:\ drive to try and backup any and all files that I created myself, less anything I had on disk, to my D:\ drive.  Things seemed to go somewhat smoothly, discounting the times the computer randomly restarted or froze.  Eventually, I was fairly confident that I had everything there that I needed.  On Wednesday, I was able to find a “back door,” or so to speak, to my CD Creator (which was also mutilated by the virus).  From this, I was able to backup most of my files, less MP3s, onto five CDs, which totaled out to over 2.5 GB of information.  Holy crappers, right?  So, anyway, after I was fairly confident that I had backed up everything, I proceeded to call Dell (for the 5th time) to talk about how to remove the virus from my system completely.  Earlier, I had received a number from them for Norton (1-800-927-3991), but every time that I called the number was busy.  So, when I called this time, Roberto gave me both the customer service number (1-800-441-7234) and the technical support number (415-892-1424).  I tried the toll-free customer service line first since I was not really in the mood to make a long distance call to California just yet.  When I finally was able to get in touch with an operator (Susan, for those who care — I always keep track of who I talk to since I had a problem with Target a long time ago, which forced me to spend two summers at BJ’s Wholesale Club), she told me that I had to pay them 70 American bucks to get rid of the virus.  I literally hung up on that deal and called the “technical support line.”  When I called the conversation went something like this: 
    “Hello?”
    “Hi…”
    “Hello?”
    “Oh, I’m sorry.  I must have the wrong number.”
    “You need ah da computer help?”
    “Oh, um, yes… I need a virus removed.”
    “You get dis number from Dell, no?”
    “Yes I did.”
    “I see.  I have no computer.  I vant no computer.  Dell keeps giving out my number for some reason.”
So, yeah, that was really fun, I’ll say.  It was pretty cool being able to talk to someone from California that I didn’t know, though.  Give her a call yourself!  I find it really fun talking to people who I do not know, such as waiters, customer support people, you name it.  But that’s beside the point.  Eventually, I was able to find a setup file for WinZip, which I installed directly over the old, corrupted version.  Finally, I was able to open the McAfee file and install the program (which destroyed my corrupted Norton).  I ran that utility in conjunction with Microsoft’s ScanDisk, and I hoped that everything would work out.  Since then, I have been able to reinstall both Netscape and Internet Explorer, and, obviously, I am able to update my web site again.  My computer still has some kinks in it, which I hope to get rid of by uninstalling a bunch of programs, followed by installing Microsoft Windows 2000 (not XP because I don’t like it, even though I have a copy of it).  This is going to take a long time, especially since I have a few of exams coming up next week.  So, I have decided that I will bring back the trivia officially on Monday, March 4, 2002.  And that’s that.  Now, com’on, did you really read all that I wrote or did you just skim it, you lazy bum?

Category:UMBC Site | Comment (0) | Author: Ryan

no school!

Sunday, 17. February 2002 10:49

Eeeee!!! No school today! I’ve been here for 3 years, and we have never closed. So that means that there is lots and lots of snow outside! I heard on the radio that there’s 14 inches and it’s still coming down. I haven’t actually been outside yet though, so I don’t know for sure. It definitely looks like a lot though!

So, to celebrate the snow day, I’ve been lounging around watching TV. A rerun of ER is on TNT right now. Yeah.. so I’ve been crying for the past 45 minutes because of it. It’s the episode where Mark dies from the brain tumor, when they’re in Hawaii. It’s awfully sad. Why am I putting myself though this again? lol.

I’m getting hungry. I wonder how the cafeteria people are supposed to get to work today. I hope they feed us!

I just want it to snow forever and ever. Well, as long as I don’t have to go out and freeze. But it’s so beautiful!

Category:Diaryland | Comment (0) | Author: Megan

Home ‘Our Parody’ Web Site Transfer

Wednesday, 13. February 2002 11:30

I just finished backing up all of my files from my “Our Parody” site on the @Home server.  Comcast has taken over and will be deleting my web site at the end of the month, so I wanted to make sure that I had a copy of everything that is there.  Now I have to decide what to do with it all.  I could just create a “parody” folder at UMBC and just upload everything to that, or I could wait until my new web space becomes available on Comcast’s server.  I think I will do the latter.  All of my files from that site take up about 4MB of space, and I only have about 10MB left on my UMBC web space.  On Comcast’s new server, I will be given 25MB of space, so I guess it would be better to just put the site there.  I really need to update it, too, especially since this summer I could be making a movie again!!  Wow, I sure hope we do!  I love doing it and memorizing scripts, and playing the director to boss people around. :-P   But, seriously, if you go to my old site, which still should be there until the 28th, you can see that I’ve been making movies since I was a kid.  It’s awesome.  Joey is writing the storyline for the next movie and I have been converting it to script form.  Which reminds me, that is just another thing I have to do in my laundry list of crap-to-do.  I need to get started on all this, now, I guess.

Category:UMBC Site | Comment (0) | Author: Ryan

Pictures on Multiple Servers

Monday, 11. February 2002 16:00

Forget about the text-based thing that I mentioned before.  I tried it one time and I was blasted for doing it, so I converted it back to a picture-based archive.  I still would like to do a text-based to save time and space, but I don’t know what to do.  I also just now finished a “rules and regulations” section to the trivia page so that it’s more official-looking, and the trivia home page doesn’t look as cluttered.  It actually took a bit longer to do than I expected, but at least it’s done.  I did most of it while my roommate slept.  I’m about to update some of my pictures on my “Webshots” page.  When I feel a little more ambitious, I’m going to create a picture page on umbc.edu that links to multiple pages of pictures.  My other set is on the Comcast server, but nobody seems to want to check those out.  I’m still waiting on a response from Comcast because I need to transfer my entire web site contents to my hard drive because at the end of the month, they will delete everything from their server for an @Home to Comcast High Speed Internet upgrade.  It’s going to be pretty annoying downloading and uploading all of those files.  Course, in two years I will have to do the same thing will all of my UMBC files…  ::sigh::

Category:UMBC Site | Comment (0) | Author: Ryan