The view from my perch on the mountain

DOH, A Thousand Time DOH!

Our youngest is a college student working two jobs to support herself and still keeping her GPA up and boyfriend in line. Right after graduating high school she found an apartment and has been out on her own ever since. We are very proud of her!She lives in town, a few miles from us and we get to see her often which is a great comfort to us.

Another nice thing about her living so close is that when her laptop craps out Daddy is nearby. You see, Daddy has done courses in multimedia programming, desktop publishing, web design and PC repair. I even have a few years experience in IT and was webmaster for a major US Navy command for a couple of years. That’s right…….I is a educated redneck who started building and repairing computers in the early 90s and would still be doing so if it weren’t for the fact that you can buy a new laptop…….with a warranty…..for less than it costs to build a system these days.

Why am I rambling on like this?

Mini Boss lets her friends play with her computer. She has smart friends for the most part. However, even smart people do dumb things sometimes.

The MINI BOSS called last night to announce that her laptop is dead……..kaput…..tits up… over…….BUSTED! The system locks up during the boot sequence and a whole stack of error messages pop up!

What to do, what to do?

Bring it here, Baby Girl.

After fooling with it for a couple of hours I finally pulled up my Dell account, prepared to put another dent in my credit limit. Damn, I thought I’d get those people paid off some day! While I was going through all the options for a new Inspiron 1500 series it hit me………A THOUGHT!

Smart people do dumb things sometimes. maybe someone downloaded a virus that got through the security software……..

I saved the machine I was building online, ran a web search for “System Check”, the title on the error message bars, and I discovered that she has a malwarre infection………and the name of the malware is SYSTEM CHECK!!! I even found instructions for fixing the problem and links to download the free software I’d need. WOO-HOO! I’m saving at least $600!

But I still have the new Dell system order saved……..just in case.


This is me, on page 5 of 9 of the instructions (almost 3 hours in) taking a photo of a functioning laptop (my Toshiba satellite) which is staring at a soon to be functional…..I hope……. laptop (Mini Boss’s Dell). I’m bored out of what’s left out of my mind because, while I successfully installed the anti-malware software, the deep scan has been running for 134 minutes and I have to jiggle the mouse every 20 minutes to stop the Dell from hibernating. I’d turn the power saver off but I have to kill the malware before I can change the settings!

At least 512 malware objects have been detected and quarantined…… far. I can’t wait to click that “REPAIR” button!

A word to the wise: NEVER, EVER ,EVER, EVER click a pop up that says ‘”Your computer may be at risk! Click here for a free System Check.” System Check is malware and it will screw your registry up worse that a soup sammich!


15 responses

  1. Way to go man! I pisses me off so bad that some people have all the time in the world to cause problems like that for others. Glad you beat the virus!!

    January 7, 2012 at 5:22 PM

  2. Thanks. It pisses me off that i can’t get my hands around their throats…..or at least a good sight picture of the back of their heads.

    January 7, 2012 at 6:11 PM

  3. My computer instructor said never answer anything that comes looking for you first!

    January 7, 2012 at 6:30 PM

  4. Im glad you got it fix and save your self some money,
    Ive done the same thing to my computer, cost lots to have it fix,, so now nothing get hit
    Job well done Chip
    Take care

    January 7, 2012 at 9:26 PM

  5. there is also restoring to a previous setting, like a day or two before the problem occured. sometimes that works beautifully. but, im not that ejamacated in IT speak … ;D

    January 7, 2012 at 11:02 PM

  6. Malwarebytes and Bleeping Computer are great resources for these kinds of problems.

    January 8, 2012 at 2:23 AM

  7. Very interesting…one time not to run system check btw…apparantly…when facing hard drive failure…I found this out too late since I’d already allowed it to happen, though granted it’s not easy to be quick enough to stop the auto run it does in these sit’s anyway. doing so apparantly nullifies any hope you might have had of being able to retrieve your “lost” files etc. I disregard anything that is not a direct instruction from my security software and to date, paws crossed, have had no problems. You did a great job of getting it going again 🙂 Hope it didn’t drive you totally nuts waiting for to finish!! Nice Toshiba satellite…my 1st laptop was one of those series…still going strong 9 years later! It’s with my friend now and since then I have gone through 3 laptops none of which have been anywhere near as good as that one was 🙂 It has a tiny RAM etc by today’s standards but it’s stood the test of time! My current Packard Bell is cool so far but it’s still inside its warranty and it’s insured…as was the Toshiba…sure way to ensure they never go wrong and you never need to use what you pay for!! Still…it does include yearly “health checks” for the laptop 🙂 Hope everything turned out right in the end for you!!

    January 8, 2012 at 3:05 PM

  8. Thanlks, C.S., was actually where i found the fix and I downloaded rkill, malwarebytes and a phony TDSS error killer as well.

    Kirstin i tried a system restore from safe mode but got a message saying my hard drive was dead. I even tried a recovery from the system disk (I make one for each new machine) and it said no CD or DVD drive detected. All were false error messages generated by System Check. Once rkill stopped System Check and malwarebytes removed the program and I ran an app called everything was right where it always was before System Check screwed everything up.

    Wolfie, I may have very bad news for you. Your hard drive may not have failed. System Check and several other variants generates falls hard drive fault messages. When Laura called she said she was getting tons of hard drive error messages. I originally thought the hard drive was gone until I did a web search using my computer and found a 16 page article detailing just what i was seeing and how to fix the problem. At one point I had over 50 hard drive error messages on screen as well as a bunch of pop ups saying that it had detected a virus called rkill which was, in reality, the app I was using to shut down System Check so that I could uninstall it and restore the registry.

    After building my own systems for years, then going through several Gateways and a bunch of Dells n the past 20 odd years I have to say that this Toshiba is by far the very best of the bunch. For Laura’s next birthday she’ll probably get another Dell Since I still have the corporate discount from my last employer as well as my veterans discount. I can pay that off monthly but I am sold on Toshibas and will scrimp and save until I need and can afford another one but that looks to be far, far away……..I hope and pray 🙂

    January 8, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    • Bleeping Computer and Malware Bytes really helped me out when I had a nasty trojan on my HP back in 2008. It was really never right since that. Finally it failed. this past November. Now I have a Dell. Course now that I’m reading what you wrote, sounds familar about the HP with the same error messages. But it is an 8 year old PC and never was what I would call a good PC. It always seemed jinxed from the day I got it for Xmas many moons ago. For all of 2011, I had crashes, etc. so the handwriting was on the wall.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:16 AM

  9. It didn’t generate any hard drive fault messages, other than sectors were corrupted and return it to the manufacturer as it couldn’t repair them automatically, basically 🙂 As there are two types of hard drive failure and it seemed to fall into the worst one which is non-recoverable and would involve a very expensive unaffordable by Wolfie recovery of hard drive contents, I assumed it was dead and finished. It was only when I marched it off despondantly for recycling with the heavy hearted knowledge of huge outlay for a working new laptop that I didn’t want (!) that the nice man at PC world announced after asking a few q’s and trying a few techi checks that he could repair it. The alternative hard drive failure is more to do with software and can be recovered from if you know what you’re doing…there was also a complication preventing me going any further into trying to recover it at home because Packard Bell and Acer use an extra layer of code in the process that others don’t and I was not aware of this till nice man showed me. Result was factory condition, fully updated and working laptop 3 days later complete with new security and extra software it didn’t have previously 🙂 and a tiny repair bill despite their £250 standard charge 🙂 Very happy Wolfie and very happy laptop!! And from the smiling face, a very happy repair man who said he’d have hated to take a system like that off me…he said it’s one of the best 🙂 things do go right occasionally!! 🙂 and I now have an external hard drive to back up to!!!!!

    January 8, 2012 at 5:22 PM

  10. LOL, a girl always needs Dad close by. Great image and ramble.

    January 8, 2012 at 8:03 PM

  11. There you go, Wolfie;back up, back up. back up! Dell inserts a few extra lines of code, as well to prevent users from getting in and tinkering with the registry. Luckily I learned about that the hard way several systems ago and I keep an image of each system we own on a portable HD.

    January 8, 2012 at 9:14 PM

  12. Been there- done that. I clicked on a hyperlink in browser. It was a pop up that had a similar (though not the same) layout to my AVG free. Thinking my own antivirus was reporting I agreed to ‘do stuff’ and so it did… all over the hard drive.

    Never again !

    OH and don’t worry about the home planet. They have only seen the wobble (of the sun) and dip in sunlight as it passes. They haven’t actually SEEN the planet. A bit like trying to shoot the drone GUL L1 whilst staring into the sun with a unadjusted range sight. Blink and we are gone.

    You have my sympathy as always. but never my credit card.

    Love to all who can get it

    January 9, 2012 at 5:49 AM

  13. Chip, this is OT, did you see the WDBJ report on the Wythe animal shelter? I sincerely hope that somebody will start a rescue there for dogs and cats. Thankfully we have Cat’s Unlimited and the Rockbridge Dog Rescue. Very upset to read about those dogs not being rescued.

    I hope you are okay?

    January 19, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    • Sure did. We adopted Buddy from the Wythe County Shelter in December 2010. The officer we dealt with was friendly, helpful and very professional. In fact, he even gave us extra time to get Buddy neutered so we wouldn’t have to come up with the extra $100 right before Christmas. the facility was clean and the animals appeared well cared for. However, that was over a year ago and things do change.

      Wythe County does have a Humane Society and those fine folks foster as many animals as they can. The County Shelter only has 10 pens and those are in high demand due to the large number of strays. As far as we could tell the animal control officer was only able to spend 2 hours in the morning and 2 in the afternoon at the shelter because of short staffing.

      We pulled Molly from the Smyth County Shelter in September of last year. That facility is much larger, staffed by a county officer and volunteers and only closed for lunch each day. Even so, we were told that Molly was within a couple hours of being put down because she had been in their care past the 21 day maximum.

      This entire roblem would be greatly reduced if people would just get their pets spayed and neutered.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:08 PM

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