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My PC. Useless To Perfect In 90 Minutes!

I’ve been sick in bed with a nasty virus.  I’ve got a bit of pneumonia as a dividend.  I guess I can’t expect real dividends these days.  Compared to many in the world, I’m lucky.  But, I feel pretty short-tempered and was in no mood for my wonderful Dell 620 to be taken over by some malware.

It happened yesterday.  I must have OK’ed the changes to the registry when prompted by McAfee, although I certainly don’t remember having done so.  But then again, if you saw the pharmacy on my night table, you’d understand my confusion.

Although a McAfee scan showed nothing, the one on Microsoft’s site delivered the bad news.  Serious problems that couldn’t be resolved.  Apparently Internet Explorer (I use Firefox) had been hijacked.  Certain functions, like going to Microsoft’s site to check on Windows update status brought me elsewhere.  Fake diagnostics were running on my system through Firefox.  Lots of disk hashing.  Funny Microsoft warning dialog boxes popping up with links that went to scary websites. I had to think carefully.  Was it the drugs?  I concluded that it wasn’t.

Here’s what I did:

  1. I looked at the most recent Norton Ghost mirror image of my Dell laptop’s hard drive.  We use a combination of three Maxtor backup hard drives for daily backups (we backup off-site as well), and Ghost hard drive image backups.  Sorry, big company IT folks.  We’re on the small size at ESR.  This took 5 minutes.
  2. I learned that Jan 4th was the latest for the image backup.  My laptop had been out of the docking station since I had been sick starting that evening.  No worries.  I had a solid image backup.
  3. All the datafiles were backed up yesterday.  Good news.  Took 2 minutes to check that.
  4. I backed up all the data files again to get this mornings emails onto the backup.  We have a quick command to do that.  It took 5 minutes at most.  That included taking the pill for “Day #4” in my Z-Pack.
  5. I restored my laptop to Jan 4 using Ghost.  You boot off a restore CD and Ghost copies the image from the backup Maxtor to my hard disk, wiping away everything that was there, including the malware.  I like the sound of that.  The restore took just an hour.  I used the time to breathe some steam, do the inhaler thing, take another pill and catch my breath, of which I apparently have very little these days.
  6. I copied all the last 24 hour’s data files (Outlook, documents, photos, MP3’s) back onto the newly restored laptop.  That took less than 5 minutes.

Last year my heard drive crashed on the same Dell laptop.  I received the new one the next day.  That time, I was up and running in 90 minutes. That Norton Ghost.  Worth every penny.  Plus Peter Norton owns a nice house here on Martha’s Vineyard.  He’s not here very much, though.  Certainly not in the winter.  They say there are ghosts in his house.  Nice branding effort, Peter!

So there’s the magic formula to prevent disaster and days/weeks/thousands of wasted time and money.  Get Norton Ghost, a backup hard drive, some backup routines and a bit of discipline.  Works for me.

Now, can you tell me how I can get better so I can get out of bed and back to work?

Photo credit: © kentoh – Fotolia.com

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2 Responses

  1. Get in bed and stay in bed. A ‘bit’ of pneumonia can turn into weeks or months of low energy or worse. Take the hit now and get fully recovered.

    I’ll take your advice on the backups — I could use some discipline in that area.

    Hope you are better soon.

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