Thanks to Microsoft for ruining a nice day outside!


So it’s May the 3rd, and it’s 18deg C outside.  My wife actually likes to mow the lawn so asks me for some help starting the mower.  It doesn’t want to start.  It’s got gas (just filled it up) and check the spark plug wire….nothing.  Great, some sort of magneto issue.  On top of this, my lawn (and freaking ONLY my lawn) is seriously infected with Dandelions.  Well, I can’t help her now because I have two Windows Systems with major issues sitting in my office that have to be done today.  While I am not one for completely enjoying working on my lawn, there is some significant satisfaction for caring for my house and it’s look, not to mention a little bit of exercise is always good.

I absolutely know how to get rid of the Dandelions.  I built a nice tool to dig down and tear up the freaking monstrous roots those little bastards have (if you’ve never seen one, then you are lucky, but they roots are at least 5 times bigger than the plant!).  I could have gone to a local Canadian Tire and bought their fancy $60 ‘weed removal’ tool, but screw that.  I remember a great little tool my grandmother had when I was young and not surprising, the rip-off retailers don’t make it any more.  Guess there’s not enough money in such things any more.

This one system I got is a serious pain.  Oddly enough, the spyware on it has very selective effects.  The system runs quickly and smoothly, which is rare for being infected, but I can’t run some tools.  I mean, they installed fine but they simply won’t launch.  More specifically, they ‘launch’ and sit in the list of programs running in the Task Manager but do nothing else.  Talk about frustrating as hell.  Getting frustrated was becoming a way of life with this machine.  So since the ‘regular’ approaches aren’t working, time to get a little fancy.  Yeah, looks like I’ll be trying the ‘$60 approach’.

Well, didn’t the “$60-dollar’ approach end up being worse that the regular approach.  Nothing was working the way it should have.  There is this great little tool called BackTrack.  It’s a LiveCD that runs Windows and a whole wack of rescue/recover/hack tools on it.  Simply download, burn and boot from it.  Simple enough.  The login to it has a default of username – root and password – toor.  Ok, type that in and I get ‘incorrect login or bad password’.  What??  The welcome page tells me what the username/password is!  It’s the freaking default!  (Oh, I forgot to mention that I was having a hard time making a bootable CD for this….ugh…bad start to a morning…).  Did some checking online, specifically the forums for said tool and got nothing.

I’m about to cry because it’s now 1:30pm and a perfectly good day is being wasted because of a freaking damn insecure operating system!  I’m going to the store and buying a Coke.  I need some sugar-consoling right now.

Ok, back to my search on getting this fixed.

I run across a suggestion that I had completely forgotten about.  Simply rename the file you are trying to run!  DOH!  Did that….heyyyy…lookee there.  It’s running and found some damn spyware!  Well got rid of 6 pieces of crap floating through the system with one tool.  Reboot and it has a hard time recognizing the mouse.  Can’t click on the username.  Forced reboot and it works fine now.  Pfft.  Let’s try the regular tool for spyware scanning again.   Nope, same issue.  Sigh.  Run my original software removal tool and ‘perform a full scan’.  Well, found another piece of crap….still has a lot to scan still.  Although I’m fairly confident it’s finally on a good way to recovery.

It’s now 2:10pm and I still have to dig into that other system.  If the first system didn’t have to be back today, I’d have let it go.  At least it’ll be done….the second one….that’s a whole other story.  Let’s just say “3 hard drives, some crashed, some broken(windows) and not enough room to back up everything”.  Yeah, that’s another fun one.

So thanks Microsoft for ruining a perfectly nice day for getting REAL things done around my house.


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