For some reason, out of the blue I started getting a whole bunch of computer work. I've worked on 3 computers in the past two weeks, all of them have been hell. The first one was a coworker's laptop. I first thought it was infected with MS Blaster because she would randomly get a message from RPC stating that her computer was about to shut down. So I thought I was doing the smart thing and printed up a summary from Trend Micro on MS Blaster and its variant. It told me to locate msblast.exe in the list of processes. Great, nothing. So now the shutdown message comes up again, I issue another 'shutdown -a' from the command prompt (basically an abort shutdown command.) I started killing process, a lot of them gave me a "Access Denied" most likely these were System Processes so I didn't bother. Then I noticed one process that wouldn't die, it was called 'svchos1.exe'. Every time I killed it, it would disappear and reappear within seconds. So my solution? Rebooted into safe mode, renamed the 'svchos1.exe' to 'svchos1.exe.worm'. Rebooted and *bam* no more shutdown errors. I was pretty proud of myself, seeing I haven't messed with a Windows machine in months. Now I was going to get online and do some updates, coincidently her SBC DSL connection was dropping packets like no other. I decided that she should bring it to work and I would do further trouble shooting.
I brought it to work and it worked fine. Installed Norton Antivirus, updated it, updated Windows. I went through about 5 reboots. Scanned the HDD for bad sectors, defragged the drive, anything I could think of. I did about 4 full system scans because the first time around it found about 8 viruses. Everything seems fine, but I know exactly what will happen when she takes it home...
I emailed her about a week ago letting her know the deal. Basically what will happen is she will plug it in and her Internet will not work. She will of course call me and I'll let her know exactly what I said in the email I sent her, call SBC.
So, on to Computer #2. Computer #2 is my friend's roommate's computer. Basically it got infected with a virus and caused all the fonts to be a dingbat-ish display. So you cannot read anything and have to navigate by icons (and since I have minimal experience with Windows XP, this isn't too fun.) I tried changing the regional settings, nothing. Tried scanning the computer for viruses, nada. All this, while the font is all garbled. I tried changing the font and it would work in the preview pane, but Windows would not save the settings. I noticed something, there was nothing in the Fonts folder. So I copied fonts from a different folder, made changes in the Display Control Panel and *bam*, everything was back to normal.
And now Computer #3, oh how I curse thee. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you. My sister's old AMD K6-2 350MHz was giving her grief and I no longer wanted to deal with it. I recommended some parts from Newegg and she bought them. So now she has this fairly sweet system. Her friend helped put it together but could not get Windows installed. I went to her house and got it to install, I got random BSODs and random reboots. I checked the CPU temp, no issue there. Disabled thermal protection, still reboots. My sister's friend applied more thermal paste with no luck. I gave up and told her to bring it to my house and I'll work on it.
Overall it hasn't been too bad. I've learned more things about working on computers, the two main things I've learned though is a) listen to your girlfriend, especially when she is smarter than you and b) The newer computers get, the more problems they have. You would think there would be less problems, but this isn't the case, go figure.