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Fiance Computer Problems

GuffreyGuffrey Registered User regular
edited November 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Alright, heres the problem: My fiance has a dell laptop protected by PC Cillin. In the past two or three weeks she has gotten pop ups from PC Cillin warning about trojan infections, but saying they had been clean. Well, she calls me a week ago (Sunday night) saying it is taking it 10 minutes to start up, shes getting loads of pop ups, and when she tries to open her internet options or add/remove programs, it tells her she doesn't have the authority to do so. So the adventure begins...

I don't know everything about computers, but I've had to deal with stuff like this in the past. My computer used to have PC Cillin, but it never worked right and always had problems, so I got Avast! instead. No problems at all. I bring her laptop home, download Avast! and SpyBot, and find that she has something like 235 spyware/maleware programs on her computer, including Vundo. So begins my week long crusade to clean this mess up. I ended up getting rid of Vundo through of combination of safe mode, manual deletes, and AVG anti-virus. During this time I had disabled her wireless internet to prevent Vundo from downloading anything.

So, her computer is now clean according to several different virus scanners/spware scanners. All is well. I go to re-connect her wireless network, but for whatever reason it won't recognize the network, and won't connect. My fiance says it is no big deal, because her mom was going to take it into Best Buy to fix the DVD drive anyways, and we'll just wait and see what they say. Note that in this time period, her mom overheard me say I had put avast! on my fiance's computer. Her mom quite literally thinks she knows everything, and printed off information about how avast! sucks, and I was stupid pretty much.

Fast forward to today. I get a phone call that my fiance and her friend were out shopping, and her mom called her to tell her to come to Best Buy. Her mother is standing outside with a look of utter fury on her face, and delivers some bad news. According to (I assume) Geek Squad, her computer is corrupted beyond belief. Her mother told them I had put in avast!, and they just laughed, saying it made it worse. They are wanting to charge her $235 to make everything right, and her mother wants me to pay.

But some of this stuff just doesn't add up to me. First of all, I have used avast!, and I know countless others have, without any problems. How could avast! have made it worse? Assuming it is just a crappy virus blocker, the computer hasn't had internet access since avast! has been installed anyways. Is it not possible that any corruption the computer has was already in place, considering it had over 200 cases of spyware? Thanks for the help.

Guffrey on

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    EarthenrockEarthenrock Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Don't have experience with "Avast" since the protection I use on my computer is a combination of Norton and SpyBot.

    I don't think the program would've made it worse. Viruses and malware, particularly the bad kind(all of it is bad but the really bad kind) can have the power of corrupting anything while present on a computer.

    When it comes to PC protection I would fess up and buy a good program. spyware removal programs such as ad-aware and spybot will suffice though when it comes to freeware.

    if you have a backup disk available for the laptop a reformat would solve it, perhaps.

    All in all it sounds like you were just trying to help and Avast didn't increase the cost of fixing it. computers with pop ups on start up are doomed for something no matter what imo.

    Earthenrock on
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    Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Back up your pictures and your documents and your movies and your preferences and all of that stuff that isn't easy to get back. Do it now.

    That being said, you can do a reformat, that's easy enough, and it will clear everything out; I am about 90% sure that is what Geek Squad is going to do. The difference being that you can do it yourself for free or have them do it for 235 dollars.

    Honestly, virus protection like Adaware and Spybot and even AVG are usually sufficient for a PC. But, the best protection is going to be smart surfing. Don't click on pop-up ads or go to shady sights and you will rarely have these problems. They may still happen, but dumb surfing is a sure route to them happening.

    But, if you do nothing else, back up your stuff; do it now.

    The Mother in Law issue is a whole other ball of wax.

    Edit: I think Geek Squad would have said that Avast! made things worse because, as with many anti-virus programs, it can slow things down by eating up resources; not that it's inherently malicious like a virus. You run into this with a lot of anti-virus software like Norton, especially Norton.

    Uncle Long on
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    xThanatoSxxThanatoSx Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    If your fiance's laptop is a Dell, it should have recovery disks.

    Back up anything important, then run recovery disks.

    Simple, easy, to the point, and as mentioned above - probably what Geek Squad is going to do anyway.

    xThanatoSx on
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    GuffreyGuffrey Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Yeah, her computer is two years old and has never been reformated, so that was my first thought. However, she wasnt sure if she had the recovery disks (for instance, my computer didnt come with any), and they just moved, so she didnt know which box it is in. She still lives with her parents, and she just got home and said her mom didn't leave the computer with Geek Squad. Instead, she is on the phone with Dell Support. It seems she should have recovery disks, and I would be happy to do it, but Im guessing by now it would be best if I didnt touch it. Since her mom is paying for a huge part of the wedding, I guess she was kind of using that as a threat. I was just going to pay the 250 in whole, and be done with it. Her mom can get on to me all she wants, because I dont care. But I would rather pay off "Mafia Mom" then have her go through my fiance.

    Guffrey on
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    Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    You sir, are the example of why people like me are not ready to get married, haha; I salute your patience and your ability not to do that "I can do it, I'm a big boy!" thing. This really is more about your relationship with her and by extension her mother, and the 250, though a waste in one sense, shows that you are aware of situations in a very mature level.

    If you get the opportunity to fix the problem then go ahead. But don't press it. The mother is probably feeling a little less than needed now that her daughter is all grown up and about to leave home and get married; this may make her feel a little better.

    Uncle Long on
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    GuffreyGuffrey Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    haha well thanks for your support. You know up until this point I didnt have a huge problem with her mother. Sure, she got on my nerves sometimes, or we didnt agree, but I was actually really glad to not have the horror story in-laws. With anyone else, or in any other situation, I would not just cave in and pay the money I honestly feel I do not owe. But I also realize that with all the wedding planning going on, and the fact she still lives at home, my fiance would be taking the brunt of the attack. Mainly I made this thread just to clear this stuff off my chest, and to make 100% sure avast! really didnt screw anything up; although, considering I've been using it for well over a year, I knew that it didnt. Anyways, thanks for all the advice, if anyone has anything else to say please do, but this is mostly solved.

    Guffrey on
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    LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Honestly, if your Mother-in-Law can't let it go; leave it to her to fuck it up.

    The computer was fucked anyway. You made a valiant attempt to rescue it. It sounds like the WinSock got jacked up http://windowsxp.mvps.org/winsock.htm . It happens, particularly when viruses and stuff come into play.

    I think running a fix on the winsock is the last thing you should suggest, but I also suggest that you refuse to do it. Fixing computers requires trust, and an acceptance that 30% of the time something will go wrong. It sounds like the Mother in Law can't accept that and would rather waste money by sending it to "responsible professionals" (read: people who are just going to reformat it anyway) for the piece of mind. Tell her she either does it and she pays, or she gives it to you and you get the chance to make a backup and reformat it. If you don't have an external USB drive, use the $250 she was going to extort from you to get one, they're very useful.

    Fuck her.

    EDIT: Can you tell it really pisses me off when someone who knows shit about computers blames the guy who does when it all goes to hell? Had your finance actually been diligent with her computer upkeep in the first place, it would have never come to this. It sure as hell isn't your fault. Whatever you do, DON'T PAY THE MONEY. It's extortion.

    Lewisham on
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    GuffreyGuffrey Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Alright sport's fans, we have a conclusion:

    So, I get a call from my fiance not too long ago. Earlier, her mom called her downstairs, and my fiance gets ready for a fight. Turns out, her mom actually apologized for flying off the handle on her, and also apologized to me for the things she said. She admitted to acting irrational, and realizes now that the computer was in serious trouble beforehand. Instead of paying the money for Geek Squad, she spent the same amount for some sort of tech support from Dell. The agreement is that she will pay half, and my fiance will pay the other half. Now, my fiance has admitted she has opened spam mail accidentally before, so she has no problem paying. She actually wanted to pay all of it after her dad made some comment about her "getting everything on a silver platter". Anyways, I guess thats it. Honestly, it wasnt so much about the money (ok, so yeah it was a huge part), but the fact that I was getting blamed for something I didnt do. But now it is over I suppose.

    Oh yeah, and I made sure to tell my fiance about the recovery disks again, but she swears nothing like that came with her laptop. Her mom has already payed the money for tech support though, and I guess he is doing some remote access fixing.

    Also, for those of you who are interested, I guess the problem is one of the viruses went in and seriously screwed with her internet settings, passwords and everything, so thats why it wouldnt connect online. Again, thanks for all the help you guys have offered.

    Guffrey on
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    witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Even though this is pretty much resolved, your fiance can still call Dell and ask them for the recovery disks. A few years ago I either lost or never received them (no idea which), called Dell, and they sent them out to me. I don't know if they still do this, but it's worth a try in case something like this happens again.

    witch_ie on
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