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I Love Reloading Windows

January 21, 2010 09:16

Malware is my friend. My very bestest bestest friend. This all started a few days ago. I had managed to get some spyware on my main workstation... which just happens to run XP. This doesn't normally happen to me. Anytime I have to do something that I feel is suspect, I run it in a virtualbox window. Worst case, if I fudge up my virtual system, it takes me as long as it takes to copy a 100 meg file and the problem is solved. Well, somehow one slipped through the cracks. I'm not even entirely sure HOW I managed this, but I did. Lucky me.

The first infection wasn't a big deal. I got it fixed, but somewhere in the process of fixing everything, I ended up being forced into a reboot that the system never woke up from. XP simply refused to boot. No regular mode, no safe mode, no nothing. Turns out, there's a spare drive in this machine. I have NO idea why there's a spare drive in this machine, and I'd never used it, but it came in handy. I loaded the factory disk on the new drive, comfortable in the fact that I'd be able to move over all my old files once the reload was complete. For the most part, this was true.

Now the fun part. I have this one directory in which I keep install exe's and isos of all of the programs I use on my windows boxen. It's MOSTLY up to date, and whenever I start using a new program, I try to remember to copy it into that directory, but occasionally I forget and programs and iso's end up lurking in various directories all over my network. So I install all the easy stuff, and then I'm looking for one specific application. Well, I find the iso for it...or I think I do actually. I load it up in Alcohol 120% so I can install it... and... oops. That wasn't the iso I was looking for. In fact, I don't even now know what that iso was, or where I got it, or when I got it. The autorun on that iso launched a NASTY little trojan. Of course, I usually disable autorun on EVERYTHING, for almost exactly this reason. I want to view the contents of the disk before I go blindly running things, and if it looks suspicious, and I can assure you in this case it would have, then I would either discard it, or at least first install it in a safe environment. However, autorun made my choice for me.

So after about 5 hours of attempting to remove it and all the extra crap it kept installing, I gave up and decided to just reload the system... again. So now I have original applications, the old installed data, the slightly less old installed data from the short lived installation, and now my newest one. So far, this time, I've managed to remain malware free. Maybe I'll at least get everyting installed before I get hit again THIS time.

On a lighter note, I was featured on the Blondell & Leggett Show. Once archives of the show are available, I'll be linking to it.

And no, I have not yet managed to get my Xmas decorations down. I'll do it this week. I promise! Really! I'm almost certainly positive I'll get to it this weekend.. or very shortly thereafter. At least sometime before April.. or June. Really! :)