There are some people who should never be allowed within ten feet of a computer.
I went on a sevice call yesteday for a machine with a virus and after checking it a while decided it was too big a mess to try and fix at the customers location so I brought it into the shop.
This is without a doubt the biggest mess I have seen in years. I haven’t seen so much spyware and viruses and crap programs from the Interent on a single machine in a really long time. I had to pull the hard disk and put it in my test machine I have for this purpose. It’s an additional drive in that configuration.
For about an hour after the disk was detected my test machine went nuts in an all out war fighting a battle with the spyware and viruses trying to attack it. It was phenomenal. My test syetem survived and kicked ass. I have it in a way for this very purpose. Still, I was blown away. This machine was hijacked in every way conceiveable. Even after I put it back into the computer and was actually able to run it there were still all manner of things going on that needed to be ferreted out.
Sometimes you can just erase the whole thing and do a clean install but this is one of those where the customer has a ton of data, pictures and music, that leaves no choice but to disinfect the whole thing and thus preserve their data. Saving the data separately with the risk of reinfection leaves very few options. People go nuts if you trash all their data.
The bad part about this is there is no way to charge the labor hours at the normal rate to fix this big a mess. You could buy a whole new computer for the hours expended at the normal hourly rate.
Now that I got this out of my system I’ll get back to it. I’m posting this under the art category because this is more art than science.