A Growing ProblemJune 24, 2006
I did a really dumb thing about a month ago.
My virus software expired and the windows firewall I thought was on was not. So I spent a week or so riding through the wilds of the internet bareback. Yeah, that was pretty dumb. I finally got Symantec antivirus all loaded up and updated and then got the Microsoft Updates updated and made sure the firewall was on. I should have just gotten Zone Alarm. I still haven't which is still dumb. Told you I was a noob. A reckless one at that!
I ran Adware and the antivirus did a deep system scan. Adware did find a bunch of stuff, which I took care of. But my machine continues to be sluggish. Alt-Crtl-Del yields up some interesting stuff. My system performance sucks. With the CPU usage monitor, it looks like the EEG of a person in a coma. There's a spike every 1-2 seconds, consuming 60-75% of my CPU despite no other processes running. Except for all the crap in the system tray. It actually shows the task manager taking huge gulps of CPU resources.
IE 6 no longer works. I might be able to load a page or two, but it eventually craps out and I file my little report to the MS mother ship. Firefox seems to work fairly decent although that will freeze up on occasion for varying lengths of time.
And of course, everything runs slower and likes to skip and jump, from games to music as my system has this steady hiccup. Over a day, it gets worse until it's time to just shut down for awhile.
Using the Mepis CD, I could easily see that it is not my hardware. The little CPU monitor bounces up and down on start-up, and while opening stuff. But otherwise is still and flat when I do nothing, just as it should.
I used a rootkit hook analyzer (under Windows) to look at things and it showed that I had some 29 Kernel hooks, with only 2 or 3 of those run by Symantec being of a recognized origin. Which leads me to believe that I have some really deep problems with the Windows OS.
The best thing I could do would be a nice, clean install using the restore CD I have around here somewhere. Problem is, I have a new CPU and motherboard. I'm going to have to call the MS Mother Ship…again. And then try to get updates and crap over a dial-up connection?
Now you see why I'm not very happy at the moment with Windows. Granted, it isn't their fault I let the security lapse on my machine and then dumbly went out fornicating on the internet with who-knows-what and got some sort of fatal cyber version of AIDS. But Windows does not make it easy to fix and recover from the error of my ways. So I'm inclined not to make this error again, I'm going to distance myself from Microsoft as much as possible. I may still try to use it for things, but I'm anxiously awaiting two new disks. One is Ubuntu Dapper Drake and the other is Mepis 3.4. Yeah, maybe I should go for the Mepis 6.0 but we'll see how this newer one does first and then see what Ubuntu can do.
Okay, I think we're almost up to date. In addition to the CDs I ordered a US Robotics modem that has a chance of being detected by these Linux programs.