Well, it’s been an exciting few days. My spyware/malware problem was not fixed by SpyBot which has kept me safe for years. My Symantec Antivirus also did not prevent this and could not find anything wrong to repair. I hit the point where Internet Explorer would not fully load any webpage. It would find the IP, start, & seize up. I restored to an older date when my operating system was working. Problem not fixed. I upgraded to Internet Explorer 7. Problem not fixed. I uninstalled Internet Explorer 7 and reinstalled Internet Explore 6 from the Microsoft website. Problem not fixed. I tried to repair my computer with the XP install compact disk. I could boot from the disk and start the repair but when the computer needed to restart and load from the hard drive copy to finish the problem suddenly the computer decided it no longer had either a DVD or CD drive.
I hit my limit. That decided me, even if I could fix they symptoms I would not trust my system. Complete disk reformat. I’ve been slowly reinstalling everything I need (print drivers, MS office, etc) and tracking down the links for all of my favorite websites. Luckily most of them are here on my blog.
On the upside, my computer is about twice as fast as it was, now that it’s been cleaned out. I had just backed up all of my documents on a portable USB drive so did not lose any files. Plus, I buy server space at Files Anywhere where I keep my most critical files. I had a hard drive die over night with no warning symptoms a few years ago (lost everything) & became vigilant about redundant data storage. I’ve been using their service for about 3 years now and it’s been flawless.
As an amusing aside, I was in DC last week for study section and came home to a voicemail and email from Amazon Customer service. Other folks are having the porn advertisement experience on Amazon and called to complain. Their tech support people found my post! They were hoping to know what I learned & how I fixed it so they could pass this advice on to others. Somehow I don’t think the complete reinstall idea is going to be popular and may be difficult to explain to people who are not computer savvy. I knew that something at my end was causing me to see the same advertisements everywhere. However, I could see other people thinking that since the advertisement was on Amazon’s website that the problem must be Amazon’s. I do not envy their tech and customer service people who have to explain this.