February 05, 2006

Ooookay, where was I...?

So anyway, Bossman gave me the old Mac that he wasn't going to use anymore, but he wanted to be sure that all of the business and customer related files were expunged before it left the shop. Neither one of us was certain that we got 'em all so he was a bit nervous about me going on line with it.

The Mac is about eleven years old and so full of crud that there wasn't enough space available to do a simple defrag. Many programs would have to go and -- since Bossman threw away the original install disk -- a reformat would be a time-consuming endeavor. But, hey, it's a computer.

Then, last Friday, ol' pal Tex came by and offered his old shop computer -- an HP Pavilion 513c. It's only 3-1/2 years old, has lots of available space on the 30+ gig hard drive and has a monitor that looks gorgeous. (My old monitor was on it's last legs and wouldn't display colors correctly. The blue ribbon on my side bar was black, f'rinstance.)

Tex warned me that there was probably alot of adware and spyware on the machine, so one of the first things I'd do when I got online would be to go to syware guide and remove whatever might be there. There were odd windows that pop up when the machine is booted up, and some humungus rogue AOL processes running in the background that slowed everything down and would eventually bring it to a halt until I went into the task manager and ended the tasks. (@#$% AOL!) Once I got online I was going to google for info on how to get rid of these quirks.

I shut down my old computer and hooked up the HP. Unfortunately, I couldn't get online! I installed the Juno software and could get and send email, but couldn't connect to Juno central computers. The modem would dial and get to the internet, but couldn't get into where the browser is. My old computer refused to boot up. I was, once again, broken down on the shoulder of the information superhighway.

Michele came to the rescue and we went through some steps to narrow down the problem. She concluded that my install disk was probably too old and that I'd need one that was designed to work with Windows XP, so she made a copy and overnightted it to me. Yay!

Unfortunately, the same problem occured -- couldn't connect to Juno's central computers to access the web. Not only that but installing the program brought up a window that said "you or a program is requesting a file from cnn.com, would you like to get it now?". I clicked Cancel, but it kept coming back, like, every 15 seconds. It would not go away! So I went for the nuclear option and did a complete System Recovery. Within an hour I was back on line!

I expected the System Recovery to act like a reformat and I'd lose the cool pictures Tex had in My Documents, and probably some programs that I wanted to keep. But, instead, it just kinda cleaned everything up, I guess. Once the recovery was complete the Documents were still there, and so was Juno. I simply went through the normal steps and got online. The wacky pop up windows and the AOL crap is gone gone gone.

So I went online and almost immediately started getting pop up warnings about how my system and registry has lots of errors and is very vulnerable. I guess the Recovery didn't fix everything. So I went to X-cleaner Spyware Guide and it found 14 (!) evil programs that needed to be removed. I was still getting the registry cleaner pop ups, like, one every two minutes. So I finally installed a few of the programs and they identified registry errors. One of 'em found 41 errors, another found over 300. But, in order to actually fix the errors I'd have to pay between $9.95 and $39.95. Nuts to that. But, the thing is, once I downloaded the progams the pop up warnings stopped. Yay!

So, and in conclusion, I think everything is somewhat okay now. I'm using Firefox as my browser thanks to a helpful link in Michele's sidebar, the monitor is beeeeyootiful, I've got more harddrive space than I'll ever need, 256 megs of RAM (my old 'puter only had 32), and, well, I'M BACK!!!

Now let's see if I can remember how to blog...

Posted by Tuning Spork at February 5, 2006 02:15 PM | TrackBack
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