Author Topic: Is George Sick?  (Read 3714 times)

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Offline Bamawing

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Is George Sick?
« on: Wednesday March 04, 2009, 08:29:10 AM »
I've got a sinking feeling that a {bleep}ing pdf file isn't the only unwanted thing I got.  :-\

All yesterday, George (my laptop) was acting funny. The internet refused to work properly, to the shock and dismay of the hotel staff. They finally managed to get it up in the late afternoon, to mutual relief. (That's when I posted the "disregard this post" post in the social club.)

After dinner, however, it was again fubarred.

But while it was working, I got a few disturbing... clues? Hints? I talked Dan into setting up the desktop, and the internet is once again working fine - on this machine. Which backs up my suspicions. Furthermore - I just tested - and the desktop (which really needs a name) isn't having the same oddness George had yesterday afternoon.

I feel like I'm being vague, but there were lots of symptoms.

1. The way the internet connection is set up here, you are allowed to go to three websites (the telephone book, the train schedule, and the hotel's webpage) for free. If you want to do anywhere else, you have to ask the reception for an access code, which they will give you for a fee.  When "the internet was screwing up," I was indeed able to go to the hotel's website and the train website. But the telephone book site was somehow off limits, and my access code would simply not go through. In both instances firefox displayed a blank page after several seconds of "waiting for {bla bla bla}."

2. Last week, George bluescreened for the first time since I've had him, and maybe the first time ever. I was simply fed up with fooling with the blasted pdf (which was too big to email anyway). There is a LONG (and somewhat amusing) story that I'm not going to go into... suffice to say that I learned a new lesson in German quality and got some HONKING BIG FILES. (I really oughta tell that story. Not here, though.) Georgie bit it when I tried to open one of them, and later bit it again when I tried to open another. I put it down as "{bleep} these files are big," scaled them down enough to make them feasable and didn't worry about it.

Until yesterday afternoon, when I was surfing and George bluescreened again. Twice. For no obvious reason. (I mean, one of those time I wasn't even at him. I got up to get a sweater and came back to a rebooting computer.)

I totally meant to send the resized files to some of my buddies. I'm now really glad I didn't get around to it.

3. Just because I am the freaking icon of irony... {bleep} and scupper, there's another funny story. Later.

Also yesterday afternnon, I ran a standard search on Yahoo. It popped up the list of links, I found a likely one, and clicked on it. A tab popped up that said "redirecting." Odd. I didn't tell it to open a tab. The "redirection" was strange, too... instead of a linux forum (I did tell you it was ironic, didn't I?) it opened up one of those cheezy "welcome to YouMistypedYourURL.com!! Please use our search engine!!" sites with all the ads. I tabbed back to Yahoo and tried another link. Same thing, only this time I got an internet poker site.

OK, so Yahoo is messed up. I'll try Google. Same problem. I did discover that if I asked it to open the link in another tab, it was just fine. Hence, I managed to get answers to my questions... if Ubuntu would support my new scanner and Hamachi.

You see, I'm in Germany, I've got the time, and as soon as we got the desktop set up (just in case!), I was going to make good on my threat to install Linux on George. I was sick of the constant Windows updates reminders, I need to reinstall the Gimp anyway, and Georgie is getting on in years. Plus I've (finally) got a distro picked out AND (here's that irony again) I was getting royally sick of the anti-viral program grinding everything to a halt. In the States, it just slowed my webcrawling's speed to that of a snail with a limp. Here, where the connection is more iffy, stuff kept timing out. Screw it, I've been meaning to install Linux for something like the last 3 years anyway.

Um. Only now, I'm not sure I can. Do I need to de-virus a machine before I install an OS that will render viruses ineffective anyway? And if so, how? I've also been wondering if I need to load all my files onto a thumb drive before proceeding... and now I'm not sure that's a good idea. Am I going to lose all my files?  :-\ Almost all my pictures have backups on this machine, so I'm OK there, but... my novel is on George.

:faint: Um, Oh great comptuer gurus of Skincell, please... helllllllllllllllllllllllllp? :faint:



I'm more confused than a mood ring on a paranoid bipolar schizophrenic chameleon in a bag of skittles!

Offline Twiga

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Re: Is George Sick?
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday March 04, 2009, 02:59:53 PM »
Poor George. Sounds like he's not taking to well to Germany. I was wondering why I hadn't seen you on Hamachi...

The good news is, if you do a total reformat/partition of an OS, all the viruses go bye bye. They lodge themselves in the existing one and if that is gone, so are they. It just like normal viruses, if the host is dead, so are they. :D

You might want to make sure the RAM on George is up to snuff too. If memory serves, you have 768MB on it, but that was because one of the cards was a 256 and the other was a 512 (I think...it's been a while..or maybe it was two 256s...meaning you would have 512..that doesn't sound right either) But at anyrate, if one of those cards has gone or is going, you would be down to 512 (at best) or 256 MB of RAM...meaning it's incredibly slow, which sounds about right. And one of those cards is the one that came with George, meaning it's ancient by computer standards.

You could also do a disk check overnight and defrag it, that might help, but I doubt it.

Ehh, worst comes to worst, in about two more months (if it can go that long) you can have an actual computer guru look at it. He's going to need something to do while we're off terrorizing the German country side.  ;D
If a tree falls on a mime, and no-one is there to hear it, does anyone care?

Offline Bamawing

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Re: Is George Sick?
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday March 04, 2009, 03:10:35 PM »
Poor George. Sounds like he's not taking to well to Germany. I was wondering why I hadn't seen you on Hamachi...

Ehh, worst comes to worst, in about two more months (if it can go that long) you can have an actual computer guru look at it. He's going to need something to do while we're off terrorizing the German country side.  ;D

Yep. That would be the reason. And I'm REALLY glad I didn't send you and Bethy those files.

Tomarrow will be computer day, more than likely. I need to update the blog (I found BABY PIGGIES!!) and see what I can do about George. If I can't figure something out, I'll be happy to let Justin have a look-see. What does he want to do while y'all are here?
I'm more confused than a mood ring on a paranoid bipolar schizophrenic chameleon in a bag of skittles!

Offline Nick

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Re: Is George Sick?
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday March 04, 2009, 05:13:30 PM »
Hi Bamz,

It could be that your little George is actually suffering from fatigue.
Some laptops can get quite hot when you are asking them to really work hard (eg opening large files or multi-tasking)
If a cpu starts to overheat the BIOS may instruct the laptop to simply reboot before it literally has a meltdown. BSOD can happen for many reasons, but it may be worth looking up the website of the manufacturer and see if they have a motherboard monitoring utility free for download, if they do, download it and run it. 

Some of the behaviour with the link hijacking sounds like a trojan called SHEUR2. It's not very nice and some of the latest variants can be a real chore to remove.
You may want to try a system restore to a time when you know George was healthy or possibly try re-installing Windows before going for a whole format/install of either Ubuntu or Windows.


Offline Twiga

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Re: Is George Sick?
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday March 04, 2009, 05:24:43 PM »
I mentioned it to Justin, and he actually raised a good angle that I hadn't thought of. Computers don't like to be jostled...and you just moved George via plane and train, lots of bumpity bump bumps. It's possible the hard drive might be damaged, so you may be getting some corruption that way. You definately want to go look into the RAM or hard drive though, that is usually where most BSODs come from. However Nick is right, about the site hijacking. I had something like that, and sure enough, a nice nasty virus had snuck in.

As far as what to do with him while we're over there, he would like to see some of the castles and some sight seeing, but he's also content to let us run off and play for the other days. Really, let him have a book and or computer and he's quite content. I suppose we should feed him occassionally also...guys seem to like that for some reason. :)
If a tree falls on a mime, and no-one is there to hear it, does anyone care?