The Computer Buzz
||March 13th, 2008|
Nome and Paul Van Middlesworth - owners - The Computer Factory
Viruses and Spyware can Damage Windows
In the good old days four eyed acne faced techno-geeks terrorized the WWW with deliciously destructive mega-viruses and hoaxes. Melissa, I love You, Code Red, Blaster, Sobig, Beagle, Mydoom, Sasser, SQL Slammer and the unforgettable Michealangelo. These viruses did billions of dollars worth of damage worldwide.
The Techno-Luddites who created these viruses got no monetary reward, only the satisfaction that they were wreaking havoc among those foolish enough to trust modern technology to improve their lives. Somehow there was a certain purity in their motivation.
Today's malware creators are different. Their motivation is money. They wear suits and they work in air-conditioned office suites. Their clients range from Fortune 500 corporations to purveyors of porn and any one else who wants to sell, rob or scam you. They no longer attempt to destroy or disable your computer. They seek to expose you to products or collect information about you for the clients that pay them.
With thousands targeting you at every turn, your PC eventually may become jammed with these resource vampires and slow to a crawl.
Some of the heavily advertised "security suites" like Norton and McAfee are worse than the malware they claim to prevent. We advise deleting any of these invasive, resource gobbling "suites" in favor of stand-alone virus and spy ware programs, like the free AVG virus and spy ware removal tools from Grisoft. WWW.free.grisoft.com
Once a virus slips by your defenses you may not be able to delete it without running a scan from outside your PC. Many modern viruses disable your ability to scan with onboard programs.
Extensive virus and spy ware infection can damage (corrupt) important Windows operating system files. Damaged Windows files can cause a range of bazaar behaviors. Failure to connect to the WWW, inability to open files, random re-booting, and extreme slowness are a few common manifestations of malware induced Windows file corruption.
The only practical fix for corrupt Windows is reinstallation. There are two ways to approach re-installing a new Windows. If the user has all his/her files backed up or if the user doesn't need to save any data files, we simply reformat the hard drive (erase) and load the Windows operating using the Windows product key (license number) that comes with all PCs.
If it is necessary to save the user files, we install the new Windows in a different directory. This allows the user to access the old files once the programs (i.e. Word, Quicken, Family Tree Maker etc) are re-installed in the new Windows directory.
When we re-load Windows on "Package PCs" like Dell, Compaq etc. we use a real Windows OEM disc instead of the recovery process that comes with the "Package PC." This avoids the "Junk ware" that "package PC" makers and retailers (like Best Buy) cram into your PC.
When Windows is re-installed, all user program and peripherals must also be re-installed. Printers, scanners, word processors, etc. It's not fun but it's better than trying to live with a corrupt Windows operating system.