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Old 25-04-2003, 18:22:18   #1
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Help me help my gf with her computer

Have been talking to my gf and she is having some problems with her computer. (Crashing with certain Word files and getting a kernel 32 message). I did a little research and it looks like she might have an Outlook or Word Macro virus. Don't know, but there are reports of such a thing related to kernel 32.)

I had her back up her data files (but not the complete drive as it is too big) on a CD.

At this point, I think I want her to scan the disk with a good virus checker. Hers is several years out of date. And I;m not sure if she has one with a licence and updates and such or just a free version without updates. So, anybody know of a good free virus checker or a decent paid one. I don't mind spending 30 bucks or so.

FYI: she is 500 miles away from me. So all the help I'm giving her is remote. And she (and I) are not computer jocks.

Would appreciate advice on the following:

1. virus-checker program recommendations.

2. Info about kernel 32 virus.

3. Any other troubleshooting advice (general)

4. Actuall handholding troubleshooting here. (I guess I could have her answer questions here...if you weren't too mean to her. She is really sweet. Honest. Not like me. Plus, you can't tell her what a meanie I am. This could be dangerous though. Not sure I want her reading my old posts...)
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Old 25-04-2003, 19:26:20   #2
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McAfee and Norton (basic versions of either) should be right about $30 US, or maybe a bit less.

kernel32.exe is a farily important file for Windows. Many viruses effect it.

There is an online virus checker... I'm not sure of the URL right now and am in a hurry, I'll have to get back to you.
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Old 25-04-2003, 19:30:39   #3
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You have a girlfriend?

For good free virus scanners, check AVG and Panda. (search for it on google) They do a decent job, even better than many of-the-shelves virus-scanners. (as I've heard at least)
She might also want to install Ad-Aware, this cleans your PC of spy-software and parasites that can mess up you computer as well.

However, even if you use up-to-date scanners, you're bound to have lots of junk remaining on your PC. The most effective way to get rid of it all is to save all your essential files on CD and simply format the HD.
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Old 25-04-2003, 19:32:34   #4
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I recently had to format my HD, for instance, as there was a nasty "something" on my PC that no scanner could find. (it's working fine now)
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Old 25-04-2003, 19:45:17   #5
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I think we could go through the effort of reformatting. But I'm worried about the virus still lurking in the data files that get reloaded. I will get Adaware and SPybot on her computer. the thing that makes this tougher is that she is 500 miles away.
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Old 25-04-2003, 19:50:10   #6
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1. Which windoze... 98? , ME? (shudder)...?
2. Hardware specs....in general
3. How full is her hard drive?
4. only if you're nice to me
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Old 25-04-2003, 19:53:43   #7
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It probably isn't a virus. Kernel 32 gets corrupted in all sorts of ways. How long has she been running this machine without an overhaul?
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Old 25-04-2003, 20:10:23   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by GP
I think we could go through the effort of reformatting. But I'm worried about the virus still lurking in the data files that get reloaded. I will get Adaware and SPybot on her computer. the thing that makes this tougher is that she is 500 miles away.
Even without viruses computers get messed up after a while, worms, parasites, trojan horses and all kind of other files that ends up on your computer in one way or another and that clogs it up.
Maybe you can find the source of the problem with one or another scanner but formatting once every while and installing the latest updates afterwards will probably do a lot of good anyway.

Just my 2c, I'm not an expert either.

Last edited by Colon; 20-05-2003 at 14:59:16.
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Old 25-04-2003, 20:21:12   #9
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There's all sorts of nasty things that can screw up a computer. A lot of people in the industry swear you should reinstall Windows from scratch at least once every six months, just to clear out the garbage from the system directories and the registry. I tend to agree. Before I knew what I was doing back in the Windows 95 days, I regularly screwed up my PC, had to reinstall it over a dozen times while I had it. And no backup devices either made it difficult

Up until recently (like, two weeks ago, when I wiped my PC and reinstalled the operating systems (98 and XP) from scratch) I had AVG on my PC. I wasn't terribly impresseed by it, but since it's free it'll catch more viruses than if you had nothing.

Also, I recommend a firewall - I'm using Zone Alarm (the free version) and it seems to be fairly robust. If you get some nasty trojan horse trying to turn your system into a zombie, this will help prevent it.

If you've got some kind of macro virus, backing up your system and reinstalling the O/S might not work, if the documents are infected. If that's the case, try this: backup, reinstall, then reinstall Office, turn off macro support for everything, reload your documents and then try to transfer the contents to new, clean files. If there are any files you really need that have macros, get these filed scanned! But do not open them before they're scanned.

If she's running Windows ME, then it's not a virus, it's probably just Windows ME. Upgrade to Windows 98 ASAP
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Old 25-04-2003, 20:22:44   #10
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http://housecall.trendmicro.com/

GP. There is a link to scan without registering. It is not the be all and end all of virus protection, but it is the simplest way for her to scan the computer for common viruses most likely.
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Old 25-04-2003, 20:49:36   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by zmama
1. Which windoze... 98? , ME? (shudder)...?
2. Hardware specs....in general
3. How full is her hard drive?
4. only if you're nice to me
1. 98
2. It is a 1999 Pentium 3
3. 2GB out of 20
4. I will be nice.
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Old 25-04-2003, 20:50:24   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by zmama
It probably isn't a virus. Kernel 32 gets corrupted in all sorts of ways. How long has she been running this machine without an overhaul?
3+ years.
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Old 25-04-2003, 20:51:42   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Colon
Even without viruses computers get messed up after a while, worms, parasites, trojan horses and all kind of other files that ends up on your computer in one way or another and that clogs it up.
Maybe you can find the source of the problem with one or another scanner but formatting once every while and installing the latest updates afterwards will probably do a lot of good anyway.

Just my 2c, I'm not an expert either.

BTW, don't feel too bad about the 500 miles, mine's on 5000.
Thanks. And talk to me, Goose. What is the gf situation?
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Old 25-04-2003, 20:54:09   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
There's all sorts of nasty things that can screw up a computer. A lot of people in the industry swear you should reinstall Windows from scratch at least once every six months, just to clear out the garbage from the system directories and the registry. I tend to agree. Before I knew what I was doing back in the Windows 95 days, I regularly screwed up my PC, had to reinstall it over a dozen times while I had it. And no backup devices either made it difficult

Up until recently (like, two weeks ago, when I wiped my PC and reinstalled the operating systems (98 and XP) from scratch) I had AVG on my PC. I wasn't terribly impresseed by it, but since it's free it'll catch more viruses than if you had nothing.

Also, I recommend a firewall - I'm using Zone Alarm (the free version) and it seems to be fairly robust. If you get some nasty trojan horse trying to turn your system into a zombie, this will help prevent it.

If you've got some kind of macro virus, backing up your system and reinstalling the O/S might not work, if the documents are infected. If that's the case, try this: backup, reinstall, then reinstall Office, turn off macro support for everything, reload your documents and then try to transfer the contents to new, clean files. If there are any files you really need that have macros, get these filed scanned! But do not open them before they're scanned.

If she's running Windows ME, then it's not a virus, it's probably just Windows ME. Upgrade to Windows 98 ASAP
Ok. I'm buying into the need for a wipe and reload stuff. Still want to make sure that we kill a possible macro virus. Will a paid version of Norton check these?

She told me it is 98. I will double-check.
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Old 25-04-2003, 21:17:59   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by notyoueither
http://housecall.trendmicro.com/

GP. There is a link to scan without registering. It is not the be all and end all of virus protection, but it is the simplest way for her to scan the computer for common viruses most likely.
Great, easy suggestion. Gracias.
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Old 25-04-2003, 22:33:11   #16
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http://grc.com/intro.htm

There's a website called "Shields Up" that checks a computer's ports.
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Old 26-04-2003, 01:05:22   #17
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IAMSTARTINGTOHAVEPROBLESMSWITHMYCOPMUTERALSO>>>>sc arry>
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Old 26-04-2003, 01:07:05   #18
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whatarefilterkeys>?igetaprmptforthem>alsomyshiftke yandspacekeyaren"tworking
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Old 26-04-2003, 01:09:41   #19
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ctrlaltdel_won"t_make_my_task_manager_come_up_anym ore_either>i_ran_norton_with_noviruses_foiund_and_ psbotspybot_and_adaware_withseveral_spies_found_an d_killerd>
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Old 26-04-2003, 01:21:43   #20
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well_iam_usingt_that_online_checker_now>prettystra nge_gota_popup_forga_tor_closedit_of)courese>
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Old 26-04-2003, 01:22:58   #21
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crap
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Old 26-04-2003, 01:45:10   #22
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Appears as if that went well, or not.

Was that GP, or the gf?
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Old 26-04-2003, 01:47:03   #23
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Quote:
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well_iam_usingt_that_online_checker_now>prettystra nge_gota_popup_forga_tor_closedit_of)courese>
I suggest you break your internet connexion. I think that will save all sorts of problems.
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Old 26-04-2003, 01:48:01   #24
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well i ran that online checker and no virii found>

space bar and backspace and delete are now working> still don"t have shift button or have normal stuff with numbers and such> it"s like the puter wants to only use the stuff on top>

watch (five hundred) %))
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Old 26-04-2003, 01:53:57   #25
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format c: works wonders I am told

Seriously. If you are getting that shit then you are fucked. Cheapo generic bailouts ain't gonna do it for you. Back up all the files you think you need, wipe the lot and start again.

Do the same for your computer also.
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Old 26-04-2003, 01:54:14   #26
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i used the virus checker on me> and detected no problems> is it possible that someone hacked me?

i had some other wierd symptoms> hard time with getting spybot to work> dialog box wouldn"t let me click etc> i finally got it to work>
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Old 26-04-2003, 01:55:54   #27
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this is very strange to get this problem on my computer after starting a thread about hers> not throwing any stones> but is it possible that someone here or at poly could have hacked me> this problem just started a couple hours ago> (on my computer)
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Old 26-04-2003, 02:07:51   #28
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What did you do immediately before the problem with your computer started?
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Old 26-04-2003, 02:08:45   #29
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just using the web>
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Old 26-04-2003, 02:13:00   #30
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well my ctrl alt del started working again>

i don"t show any strange applications running> of course there are a buttload of processes going and i have no idea which are good or bad>>>
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Old 26-04-2003, 02:14:03   #31
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i posted more detail about the porblem on my system at ffz< nye

if you can go there to help me that would help> but i will talk to you here if you are unwilling
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Old 26-04-2003, 02:20:22   #32
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I am on my way home. I will check in there when I arrive.
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Old 26-04-2003, 02:31:02   #33
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OK> ANOTHER symptom is that on startup< i get a popup ASKing ME WHETHER I WANT FILTER KEYS ON>

ALSO< WHEN I CLICK A LINK ON THE NET< IT ALWAYS OPENS UP IN A NEW WINDOW> EVEN WITH SITES THAT DON"T NORMAlly do that.
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Old 26-04-2003, 02:33:12   #34
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Another symptom is that javascript doesn't work. Like if I try to go to pogo and play Bridge.
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Old 26-04-2003, 02:34:55   #35
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A little diagnosis. The problem seems to be related to my shift key. Earlier, I was always getting the top letters: i.e. % versus 5. And I had to use caps lock to make the letters get smaller. Now it seems to work normal. (Just in last few minutes, the shift/cap lock was shifting a little and has now settled down.)
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Old 26-04-2003, 02:35:25   #36
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Maybe I had a stuck key that has settled down?
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Old 26-04-2003, 02:36:02   #37
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javascript is working now.
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Old 27-04-2003, 00:50:24   #38
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That happened on one of my old keyboards, the shift and CAPS LOCK key would get mixed up every so often. Once I had a crumb stuck between my keypad Z and LALT keys, and when I pressed down one the crumb would pull down the other. My current keyboard regularly puts '21' when I press the keypad 1 key and '0 ' or ' 0' when I press the space bar, and has similar links between DEL and INS and DOWN and RIGHT. Keyboards suck.

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Old 27-04-2003, 14:29:29   #39
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I used to have a gallopy of weird problems too, such as:

- Java applications didn't work anymore
- Active Desktop didn't work anymore
- When I tried to change settings in Internet Explorer, the browser froze
- When I wanted to shut down my PC I got a message that the mabry socket couldn't be found
- When I used my mouse, at some point, both the mouse and the keyboard would stop functioning, even though all programs kept running normally (after a while the port my mouse uses broke down completely, obliging to do everything using the keyboard - which was an interesting experience BTW)
- I couldn't access a single antivirus site (the clearest indication I had a virus or something)
- Finally (after another crash of some sort), scan disk indicated an error on the HD surface (physical damage) and all programs worked very slowly (a complete scan of the HD would have taken me days as it progressed like a turtle on cannabis) and the HD had obvious problems finding data.

It was at that point I decided to save all essential files and format the computer. It worked wonders.
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Old 28-04-2003, 19:30:56   #40
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People here at work sometimes get sticky SHIFTS and CTRLs. It always amazes them when they ask me for help, describe their problem, have me nod wisely, and then proceed to smack 9 shades of hell out of their keyboard. Never fails to fix the problem
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Old 28-04-2003, 22:43:15   #41
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I actually did the smacking and it didn't work. But than it fixed itself. That or novacaine stopped hacking me.
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Old 28-04-2003, 23:25:12   #42
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Did it make you feel better?

Sometimes, secretly, I imagine that the keyboard is really the co-worker. Then I REALLY let it have it.

Er...

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Old 29-04-2003, 21:15:23   #43
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I took my keyboard apart and put it back together last night. That fixed the problem.

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Old 29-04-2003, 23:07:33   #44
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Harder to do with a laptop...
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