I gotta tell ya’, time travel is a thing of beauty.
A week or ten days ago, I clicked on a link and got a
Microsoft Security Essentials warning about an attack from that web site. I
closed the window, and ran a full check. It found something, appeared to clean
it off, and things looked cool. Then, a few days later, I started to get some
weird behavior, such as doing a search that had OK looking results, and then ANY result I clicked on sent
me so some overseas site selling various things. “Ah, shit!” I said, and closed
the browser and everything else, then ran another full cleaning. A couple more
things found and removed. The OhShit!Ometer seemed to fade back from yellow into
Then, a couple days ago, I decided I should to do a manual
“check for updates on Windows and MSE”, and I got an odd error. Crud. OhShit!Ometer
was up into the yellow. Dig, dig, dig. Update not working at all. And now I
can’t scan for problems because it says I don’t have security services running.
I check. It’s not even listed as a service. “Ah, shiiiiit!” Just pegged the
OhShit!Ometer hard over in the red.
Dig, dig, dig. Several
things are not listed as services that Update needs. Uninstall MSE,
download and install it again which also puts in the latest updates, run it,
clean out a bunch of un-cool stuff. Too much stuff. NOT GOOD. Can’t get
updates, MSE can’t update any more, not sure everything is off the system, so
there’s a bunch of stuff I can’t do, or at least can’t be sure of.
Try using the Win7 built-in System Restore to go back to an
earlier restore point. No dice, they are all bad.
Download the free SuperAntiSpyWare sweeper, and the free
ESET virus checker. Clean out some MORE stuff. Enough evil bits to gag TRON.
Well, I think it’s all gone, now, but
security and updates are still shot. Save my recent work off to the server,
then… Well, time to pull out the big guns.
Time Travel. Go back and Don’t
click that link!
I get out the Windows Home Server “Recovery” disk, pop it
in, planning on having my problems solved. It can’t find the server… “Ah,
@#$)(*&%$***!@!#$%!!” OhShit!Ometer just broke the peg.
Dig, dig, dig. I have Win7, my old WHS is based on an old
version of Win NT, it needs an older 32bit NIC driver. Dig, dig, dig,
eventually I find the right one, boot on the Recovery disk, with the 32-bit NIC
drivers on a USB flash drive, FINALLY find my Home server from the recovery
program, and tell it “pave the C: drive FLAT, turn back the clock and make it like it was two Saturdays
The platters on the drive go ‘round and ‘round, ‘round and
‘round, ‘round and ‘round… Grind, grind, grind. Go to dinner. When I come back,
my C: drive is like it was two Saturdays ago. Run Virus scans. Get updates.
Uninstall Java. Get more updates. Scan more. Clean a couple of things out that
apparently were there before Update broke. Restore recent work files, get
better malware protection installed. Scan again. Scan with something else,
again. The meter appears to be edging cautiously back in the green again.
And I will NOT be clicking on that interesting looking link
again, because it took me too long to go back in time and straighten it all out
But that fact is, that is more or less what happened,
because I have a WHS backing up my stuff every night, for every machine in the
house. An old HP EX470, the first official WHS model. And yet MSFT is doing
everything they can (product management-wise) to kill Windows Home Server for
some reason…. And yet, it’s the only product they have that is GOOD at home computer
time travel. It is something that I think EVERY home should have, if they have
more than one computer and any data of any value. It’s the second time it’s
saved my butt. Worth every penny I’ve spent on it. MSFT has really blown the marketing campaign for
their home server product.
And… virus writers who make stuff like what I just ran into need
to spend some serious time in jail.