What a Predicament!

Last evening I got a panic phone call from one of my friends who needed my help with her new Notebook.  Her diagnosis was it was “acting strange”.  It was urgent because she needed to complete her online course before Monday morning.  When you work with computers for a living, all your friends and family expect you to be their personal help desk and most of the time they expect it to be done at no charge.  It’s a big occupational hazard!

 

I tried to calm her down by telling her it would be OK but deep down I knew the Notebook was probably infected with some form of Malware. Depending on how fast she noticed the infection would determine if I could clean it.  Sometimes the infections are so deeply embedded that the only recourse is to erase everything and reinstall the operating system which in this case is Windows Vista.

 

I started asking her some specific questions about the Notebook symptoms because as you well know, acting strange tells me very little about the problem. Her replies revealed that her home page was no longer going to Yahoo but instead it went to a blank page. In addition, after the blank page appeared, it was followed by rapid launching of 50-60 pop up ads that couldn’t be cleared.  My professional assessment was YUP, the Notebook’s infected.

 

By the time I got my answers, it was 9:00 pm. I had a list of errands I needed to complete on Saturday so I couldn’t push it off for another few hours. If it needed to be erased on Sunday, it would take several hours leaving limited time for her online training commitment. I felt obligated to help but really wasn’t up for driving to her house.  I also didn’t relish the thought of a visitor in my home at that hour so I offered help via a remote support tool called CrossLoop.  CrossLoop is a free, secure screen-sharing utility designed with a simplistic interface so non-technical types can run it. It took about 15 minutes to have her download & install CrossLoop and give me the access code for the connection. Normally it takes about 5 but those darn pop ups were slowing things down.

 

I’ll post the outcome of this predicament tomorrow.  If you’d like more information about the CrossLoop product, check out my “free downloads section”.  It may be a tool you can use if you find yourself stuck in a similar predicament even if you don’t have a friend who works with computers.  CrossLoop has Expert Helpers available 24/7 in a wide range of categories.  They will also provide free estimates for your specific problem.

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