Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My computer is back!

Life is good, but the computer is not perfect yet. It has no sound and the technician needs to install a link to my email on the desktop again. Our email goes through Microsoft Web Exchange and without the link, I can access the emails but not arrange things the way I like to view them.

I'd like to pass on some advice based on a lesson learned the hard way. Save your favorites or bookmarks often. I had saved a file of bookmarks but it had not been updated in a long time. To rid my computer of the virus, data was transferred to a temporary drive and my C drive was wiped clean. Programs have been restored, a few required re-installation and I am happy to have my data, but I miss my newer bookmarks.

The one that really hurts so far, is the missing bookmark for a test forum I had. I am one of the administrators on a small private forum for a group of long time friends. I created a test forum where I experiment with changes before implementing them on the working forum. I also have a test blog and I bet many of you have one too. I have many website addresses written in a notebook but I never wrote the name of my test forum. I relied on my bookmark to take me there. The part of the name that I created is remembered, but I am doing something wrong with the letter/number combination that precedes that name and was issued by the forum hosts. I've contacted the support team to see if they can look it up for me, but they are swamped in problems right now.

The forum is free of cost which is good. To defray expenses, there are banner ads that run at the bottom or top of the screen. They aren't necessarily bad, they are screened for objectionable content, but apparently some ads have been compromised  with a virus. Not all of the forum members have gotten warnings, but one quarter of them have. Messages on the support board for the hosts show that are other forums are experiencing the same problem and the hosts are now working with Google to resolve the issue.

This leads to my second piece of advice. I am guessing everyone on the internet knows to run an antivirus program, but that may not be enough. If your program doesn't specify that it scans and blocks spyware, you should consider running anti-malware (spyware) also. I had the free version of Malwarebytes and scanned with that often. It is an easy program to download and run and has been very helpful. The last virus I had ensconced itself so deeply into my operating system, Malwarebytes could not delete or quarantine it. After two episodes of that in less than two years, I paid for the upgraded version of Malwarebytes which runs continuously now.

I'm behind in blog reading, commenting and writing but I hope to catch up soon. May everyone and their computer be virus free!


Anonymous said...

We went through something like that a year or so ago. It was tough because I rely on my computer so much. I'm glad your up and running again.

Chatty Crone said...

We too went through this awhile ago - you must back up regularly! sandie

Holly, the Old Western Gal said...

I love Malwarebytes!!! It's wonderful. Glad you are back.

andrea said...

arg...i HATE computer problems! really puts a damper on things, doesn't it?
glad to be back posting and reading your blog has always been one of my favorites!
by the way...congratulations :) the baby is ADORABLE!!!!

Benita Bolland said...

I think it’s definitely better to have more than one drive to save files to in the computer. Since all the programs and OS files are saved on drive C, I prefer not to save anything else there. I prefer to have another partition and then back up my most important files on an external hard drive. We now have hard drives that have big memory capacities, so it is a good idea to install a separate drive. There’s less risk of mucking up the main hard drive and crashing the computer that way.

Benita Bolland