Wife,,,,,,clicked on a false warning,,

Shuttle / Mv42
May 13, 2011 at 14:37:37
Specs: Win2000, SP4, 1.8 GHz / 991 MB
My wife wants me to fix her computer. She called to me early today, "Bob, I think I have a virus!!" then she explained that she was googling images, and when she went to a "site" where the image was, some warning popped up. She says that she "clicked on it", which is what I've asked her NOT to do. She then figured she had gotten a virus, and shut off the computer and unplugged the network cable.

This isn't the first time,,

So,,I'm thinking,,I've done this before. I just need to run a few scans. (I usually run 4 full scans: Avast, Spybot, MBAM, and Adaware). But then I thought,,I should call my son, who is an IT specialist, and ask him if this situation warrants booting into "safe" mode and going from there?

(I've never tried that before, but this time, since she "clicked on something", I'm a bit apprehensive.)

So, I called him, and he said that yes, he would boot into safe mode in this instance, and do a "manual scan". I asked him what a "manual scan" is, and he referred to checking what files were modified at the time this occurred, and getting rid of them. He also mentioned using "hijack this", which I've never done before. He was busy, so he had to get off the phone.

I told my wife that I'm not entirely sure how to use "hijack this", or even if it's on her computer.

He said that he would call back later today sometime, and do a "remote". I never learn much from him, because he's very fast, and doesn't spend the time to explain much.

Since he's usually very busy with his business, I wonder if there's a kind of tutorial on this procedure, whatever a "manual scan" is, or what is commonly effective in getting rid of possible infections. As I said, I'm only used to running a few full scans using various software, and following the recommendations.

I really would like to learn from my son, but though he's very knowledgeable and competent, he's too busy to teach. I'd like to be able to do this kind of work on my own, and help others as well, as many of you already do.

Anyplace I should start? I'm aware of this site, and also bleepingcomputer.com, but using online help sites creates a dependency, and more of a burden for all of you. I'd like to become more independent, and more helpful, as time goes on. Where is the good resource on how to "debug" a computer?

By the way, she's running XP, SP 3, I'm pretty sure.


See More: Wife,,,,,,clicked on a false warning,,

May 13, 2011 at 15:13:22
Post the hijack this log here.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.

Report •

May 13, 2011 at 16:15:28
I don't have one yet. Her computer is still turned off, and my son says he's going to do a "remote" at 6PM, California time. If I get a copy of the hijack this log, I'll post it here, to get some feedback on what it's telling me.


Report •

May 13, 2011 at 22:44:49
Well,,my son tried a "remote fix", but for some reason, the connection was too slow, and things weren't going well. He had me boot in "safe" mode, into his ID, and was surprised that the other ID had become "Administrator", instead of what it was before. He then went into task manager and began ending processes, starting with all the "iexplore" manifestations. After a few moves, he suddenly said that her system was messed up, and that he'd need to come over some time to deal with it up close and personal.

I think she really did it this time.

It's difficult when your wife won't listen. "Don't click on this", and that's the first thing she'll click on.

He says she shouldn't have a computer.

I think she has obsessive compulsive disorder. She spends all day collecting images, on a certain subject, and making folders she calls "slideshows". One folder, called "Mom's genes", concerns her genetic ancestry, and has something like 10,000 images in it, almost 2 gigs. She thinks people are going to be interested in sitting down and going through all the images.

Collectors,,,,actually, "hoarders",,,

Report •

Related Solutions

May 14, 2011 at 05:36:23
The idea that your wife shouldn't have a computer because you & your son diagnosed her with obsessive compulsive disorder & that her time collecting images is less valuable than your time on the PC, is absurd. I hope you two didn't prescribe any medications to correct the problem.

One of my brothers tried to tell me the same thing, that my time on the PC was wasted. In the meantime, he wrote his autobiography of the most uninteresting life one could have.

Fix her computer & forget about it. Run hijack this, in normal mode & post the log.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.

Report •

May 14, 2011 at 14:17:34
Well,,concerning my wife, my son didn't say that she's OCD, I did, but I think everyone who knows her would be in agreement. It's not just the computer behavior.

His statement, out of frustration, that "she shouldn't have a computer" is based mostly on the fact that neither he nor I have had infections on either of our computers for many moons, when every time I offer to scan her computer, I find something. She's very haphazard, careless in her browsing, and doesn't take suggestions when offered. So, we end up with having to spend a lot of our time fixing her computer, instead of doing other, productive activities. It's frustrating.

But back to the computer:

I'm afraid to turn the thing on and boot it, for one thing, based on what my son told me. I'm not that experienced in how to avoid the spread of infection, once something has gotten in. There are two accounts on her computer. The computer used to belong to my younger son, but he got a laptop and went away to college. A lot of his files are still on there. The two accounts are my older son's, the IT guy, and my younger son's, which my wife uses. The IT guy made his account the administrative one, and the other account not having administrative access. I have the administrative password, so I can get in, to do scans and install things if needed.

This time, when we booted into safe mode, the computer gave us two choices when it came to the choice of account page: "Administrator", and "_________" (the IT son's account, which WAS set up as the administrative account). Over the phone, he seemed puzzled, asking me if my other son's account was still there at all. I said, no, just these two. So, he said to go into his account.

From there, he had me go to his webpage, and then to a link at the bottom of the page, where he could "remote" into the system. The cursor began to move about, on his direction, and he mentioned that it was "a slow connection". He opened task manager, saw a bunch of "iexplore" references, and began to shut these down. It was going slowly, and he asked me to do it for him, but it wasn't any faster when I did it. He then said that her system was messed up somehow, and he would need to drop by and do the repair sometime, from our location. He then told me to shut the computer off at the power button, and he would disconnect.

Now, I don't know what kind of damage I would do if I start the computer, either plugged into the network, or not. I also don't know, if I were to boot the computer, if I should go into safe mode or normal. You say "normal", but are you certain?

Also, I don't know if I should, in order to run "hijack this", use "IT guy's" account, or the other, labeled "administrator". I don't even know if I'll be having a problem getting into "administrator", since it seems to be a new account.

Plus, if hijack this isn't on this computer (though it probably is, guessing that he might have installed it at some time in the past. He's had this computer over to his shop a few times already, doing virus repairs.), is it safe plugging the network cable back in? And if so, am I, upstairs, at risk, being on the same LAN? I suppose I could just unplug mine during the process. But in order to post the hijack this file, I'd have to be online, with her computer, or if that won't work, send it somehow to mine (risky?), and then use mine to post.

I'm not at all sure what's safe. And I don't know you, though I don't doubt your computer skills. But you've already made some fairly flippant assumptions about our situation, based only on another, dissimilar situation, being your own.

If my wife was only just gathering data over the internet, for a scientific study, it would be one thing. It's that she haphazardly goes places, obviously questionable, (she described a picture of "some dead guy" at one time), that the rest of us would have avoided. And once and again having been told not to just automatically click on "infection" warning messages, she still does, and even admits that she continues this practice. It's as if she's trying to see what it takes to frustrate the rest of us. I wonder about her.

A physical analogy: When prescribed medication for an infection, by a doctor, she would take the antibiotic only until the symptoms went away, and then quit taking the prescription. She's very apprehensive about taking pills. I told her that the medical and scientific community both suggest that this practice is what fosters drug resistant strains of bacteria, but she wouldn't listen. I do think that over time, she's finally gotten into the habit of taking the full course of medication prescribed, but still, it indicates a willingness to ignore helpful, and in some cases, vital instruction. This attitude crosses over into her computer usage as well. The result being that I end up finding worms, trojans, and other infections every time I run scans on her computer, say, every few weeks. I should probably run the full series of scans every night, while she's asleep.

But enough about my wife.

Report •

May 14, 2011 at 15:09:24
In an effort to keep things simple, I'll just say a few things. It seems that you're only comfortable with your IT son working on the PC, so don't listen to me. If you decide to run hijack this, don't run it in safe mode. It's worthless in safe mode. It's ok to have the PCs on the LAN. It won't spread to your computer.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.

Report •

May 14, 2011 at 16:20:49
I'm having a job to decide if you came here to chat about your life or help get your computer fixed. If it is the latter then keep to the point otherwise nobody will bother to wade through it all. We only need to understand the detail of your computer issues.

Please come back and let us know the outcome.

Report •

May 14, 2011 at 16:25:17
Since you say "Don't listen to me", I won't, which means I'll "listen" to you if I wish to, tks.

I've found, in life, that it's important to sift, to find out what is valuable, and what to discard. Some of what you say is valuable. Some of what you say is not. It's that way with pretty much everyone, IMO.

Due to the above ^ , I'm not, as you insist, "only comfortable with my IT son working on the PC". Neither am I "only comfortable with a stranger working on the PC". If something you, or he, say makes sense to me, I adopt it. If not, I don't. The only difference is that I know him, he's had his own successful business for years, and he's my son. The last factor has an upside and a downside. Because he's my son, I get "free" help, but it's often on company time. That causes him to be a bit hurried and impatient with me, so I try not to tax him too much. Also, since he's working so much of the time, it's difficult to get any time at all with him. So, I come here to take up some of the slack, and learn, and get opinions. That doesn't mean I'm going to suddenly form "allegiances" or make great displays of loyalty to someone I hardly know, even out of gratitude. ANYONE can make a mistake, or a faulty suggestion. So, I retain my right to assert an independent mind in things, especially concerning our personal computers, which we depend on.

I would surely take any suggestions here seriously, but not necessarily as "gospel". That puts you in close to the same category as my son, with some weight given in my son's favor. It's not "black and white".

What you tell me, I'll probably run by my son, anyway. Both he and I might learn something.

"In the multitude of counselors is wisdom." - Solomon

Thanks for your help.

Report •

May 14, 2011 at 17:26:48
Ok, let us know if the problem was resolved.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.

Report •

Ask Question