This Almost Killed My Computer!
This is a different type of article today because, I want to make sure all members get it (yes I think this message is that important) …
Back in October my computer caught some nasty viruses. It was actually my fault, but it was a mistake anyone could make.
I downloaded some software from what *looked* like a clean site. A Registry scrubber. I used it to clean my registry. It did seem to help with speeding up my computer.
Then in October I removed an old Corel suite of products, I don’t really use anymore, as my computer kept slowing down and I was receiving error messages related to Corel files. Shortly after this my computer seemed to be getting slower and slower each day. Not to mention crashing way too much.
I ran several virus / malware scans which detected a virus had infected my computer. I removed it. My Norton Anti-Virus program had not caught it 🙁!
Then my computer started doing strange things, like my ‘D’ and ‘E’ drives disappearing from my computer, and anytime I went to My Doc files when closing out My Doc files my desk top short cut Icons would change. Along with frequent error messages and lock ups, etc.
By December my computer was taking up to 4 or 5 minutes to load pages.
Then SpyBot S & D scanner identified the Registry scrubber as being corrupted with 19 items of spyware, malware and adware. Needless to say I immediately removed the Registry scrubber from my computer!
By this time my PC was almost totally non-functional, and doing all kinds of strange and crazy things. It actually seemed as though something had taken over my computer. Have you ever had that feeling you wanted to just put your foot through your computer and go buy a new one … well, if you have then you know how I felt 🙂
So I decided to fight it head on. I had to keep rebooting just to do anything, and when I accessed the Internet I had to wait from 45 seconds up to 4 or 5 minutes for pages to load and close out. So I did what most people probably do in this situation … In a frenzy I got the first thing that promised it could help me. Then when it didn’t help me, I got something else …
This is why I’m writing to you today. I want you to avoid the mistakes I made, and go directly to what’s going to help you.
Now before you read another word, I want to make something clear. I am not selling or advertising ANYTHING. I know for a fact that if I told my readers, on my web sites, to buy something that would protect and/or fix their computers, hundreds would buy it.
That’s not what this is about. It’s about pointing you in the right direction so you know where to go if this kind of thing ever happens to you.
First, let’s talk about what NOT to do.
Don’t go buying all sorts of stuff. It probably won’t help, so you don’t need to buy it. I got a program, which deleted a bunch of spyware, but it wasn’t able to fix the bad stuff, and I learned later I could have used something better for f.r.e.e.
Next I went in search of some real help. I came across a bunch more sites trying to exploit my vulnerable emotions with software scams. If you want to see a ridiculously long list of spyware removal scams, check out this page:
And then … FINALLY …
I found a heaven-sent site amidst the chaos.
Please take a moment to write down or print out this next section, so you’ve got it when you need it …
It’s called Geeks to Go, and they provide 100% F.R.E.E computer help! I have absolutely no affiliation with them, and they have no idea I’m giving them a pitch, but I’ve got to tell you they’re the real deal because they helped me. In fact, they are still helping me, as I write this, with some other computer problems I’ve been experiencing for a long time on my PC, but didn’t know where to get help.
It’s volunteer-driven, so I’m sure some helpers are better than others, but I’ll tell you the guys who have been helping me are geniuses.
You can reach the site at:
If you need help with an infection, then the first place you need to go on their forum is here:
It’s a list of steps you need to take BEFORE getting help from them. What you’ll find is a goldmine of 100% f.r.e.e tools and step-by-step directions to fixing your PC.
I would give links to all of those tools here in this article, but there’s a method to their madness and it’s important that you do the steps IN ORDER. As their site says,
“Please remember, people are helping you for F.R.E.E. Be patient, somebody will help you as soon as they become available. We all have REAL jobs, families, have other interests, and may live half way around the world. Plus, there may be people in front of you waiting for help. Following these steps will lighten our work load, and allow us to help more members.”
Make sure you are very polite, and thank them each time they respond. Most of the volunteers have a PayPal donation button available. If you want to get quicker service, you could try what I did … send a PM (personal message via the forum) to the volunteer who is helping you and let him/her know you’ll give him a tip if you get your problem fixed.
I’ll be giving a $25 tip once they’ve finished helping me fix my PC, because it sure beats calling in a clueless $100/hour local repair guy, but I’m sure most of those volunteers would be thrilled with $5 or anything for that matter.
To make a long story short, they helped me clean up my PC systematically, using totally f.r.e.e tools. There’s absolutely no way I would have figured it out on my own.
What to do once you’re clean.
First of all, it’s good to have a backup. You can find external backup drives online or in your local store. Also, there are online backup services.
Then of course you need a good anti-virus program. I used to use Norton, but, now I’m trying something called Avast!. I’ve found it’s a bit less resource intensive than Norton anyway. They actually have a f.r.e.e version for home users, but you can upgrade to Pro if you want to or if you use your computer for business purposes. It is very affordable, and much less then Norton or McAfee. Plus, it does a much better job then Norton or McAfee.
You can also find a ton of other tips on Geeks to Go’s forum for securing your PC. Stuff like securing your browser, using a firewall, and free adware/spyware blockers. As well as, information on just about anything about your PC.
I’d list it all here, but I’m really not the expert … they are. The important thing for you to take away from this is that you should be prepared, and have a plan of action if disaster strikes your PC so you don’t go wasting a bunch of money on useless programs.
If you’ve got any good resource links, stories, comments, or warnings feel f.r.e.e to post them below. As always you can leave comments about this post below.
Have a fantastic day!
PS … If you are still using Internet Explorer (IE) as your browser. You might be pleasantly surprised if you switch over to Firefox. It functions much faster then IE. Also, it does not have all the security issues associated with IE. You can download it here: