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Delta Blues January 26, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.
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lappy  “Her name is Delta,? said her note to me. “Please take care of her. She is running slowly and I don’t know why.?

If you want to know why my day sometimes is too packed for writing, Delta is the reason. My team was all out on other business today so I got to have fun with machine issues. I turned on the laptop but had to e-mail the owner to find out the password. A half hour later I had the password and could continue. I could have broken in using a variety of tools, but it wasn’t worth the time.

Once inside the first signs of problem hit me. The Windows XP splash screen came up crisply but it had the word “Professional? under it. That meant it did not yet have Service Pack Two installed. I didn’t know there were any that still did not have it installed.

I got online, that worked at least, and slowly the default home page came up. Too slowly. It was certainly going to be one of those days. I clicked on Tools then Windows Update. After a couple of downloads for the essential tools needed to provide the updates and a requisite reboot I was finally ready to install the 43 essential patches and updates.

An hour later I was ready to install Service Pack Two. After an hour it was still running sluggishly. I saw that the laptop was running an antivirus program but I didn’t trust it. I then installed Microsoft’s Anti Spyware from microsoft.com/downloads. It took a little effort to get it running but off it went and performed its scan. Thirty minutes later I had my culprit. The machine had five incidents of Spyware which I promptly removed. One of these was related to Kazaa, a music file sharing program. I wondered who used this computer last.

Once the spyware was off I manually removed some programs using the Add/remove programs. Off came a few search bars and a media viewer called Viewpoint. Since the computer was still running sluggishly I started it up in Safe Mode and run our anti-virus client in safe mode. It beeped every time it found a virus and removed it. Seventy-five beeps later I thought it was clean. To be safe, I ran an online scanning tool from safety.live.com, a beta site from Microsoft. That found 3 viruses with 35 files infected and noted the disk was 25 percent fragmented. An hour later I tried installing Sophos Anti virus. A previous installation of MacAfee was blocking it. I removed MacAfee and finally got the antivirus program to work but only after downloading and running a tool to totally remove earlier versions of it.

Thank goodness I can multitask because a dozen other things were happening, including one major crisis that I will write about tomorrow once I check with a few lawyers. I was able to hand Delta back to her owner just as I was leaving. When I mentioned the music sharing programs and having to remove Napster, she scowled and said simply, “Those imps. Leave town for a day and this is what you get.? I mentioned there was a corrupted article in the printing queue also and she just rolled her eyes. There’s a moral in there somewhere.

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