Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My Computer Nightmares Are Over!

No, I didn't toss them all out the window, but, eerily parallelling my recent weight loss (about 19 lbs. and counting), I have reduced the number of computers in my house by one - but not in the way I wanted to do it. And along the way, I had to wrestle with a nasty adware virus on my primary machine.

Since Nancy passed away, I have been doing the bulk of my computer work on her machine, which is conveniently located off the living room. A few days ago I noticed the computer powering down on its own quite often. I purchased a new mouse, thinking that was the culprit. However, last night, while I was away from the machine, something else happened. I think the power supply or the motherboard might have said "no mas" in its own electronic way and turned what I had been working to into toast. (Between problems that Robair and I have both had with this brand, it's obvious that the "e" stands for EVIL.) Therefore, it was time to bring the computer I had been using as my primary computer upstairs.

But first, I had to rid it of a persistent adware virus I picked up from somewhere. God knows where I picked it up, but my computer was insisting that I had a bunch of spyware on this machine and I needed to get this wonderful program called Spyware Sheriff that would get rid of my woes once and for all. I knew something was up when my computer would not let me change my start page from an obvious ad for Spyware Sheriff, and the fake security alerts which were popping up. Sure enough, through some research I had to do on my notebook (which thankfully is in tip-top shape), I confirmed what I had suspected: not only is Spyware Sheriff no good at removing spyware from your computer, but it IS spyware in and of itself!

Through a variety of products including the excellent Spyware Doctor and the wonderful free Bazooka utility from, all traces of Spyware Sheriff were removed. Spyware Doctor additionally found bits and pieces of many other spyware-adware "products" picked up in my surfing.

Nancy's old computer is in bits and pieces in the living room, with most of the surviving pieces destined for Robair's use with my old notebook (the one I did the $38 patch on a while back). But now I feel more at home using my own computer on a regular basis once again.

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