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My computer went Kablooey

January 13, 2009

About 6 weeks ago, our computer antivirus softwear crossed over into expired land. So I headed over to Download.com and read reviews of all the ‘pay-for’ antivirus softwear.

I chose Norton Antivirus 2009.

(do you hear the da DUM da DUM coming?)

Anyways, within moments of downloading it our computer was acting slow, things were loading like mooooollasses. Then we started getting pop-ups. Usually related to things that were on the the page at the time, or things we’d typed into google. Then the computer started freezing and that’s when I decided Norton must have missed something and went researching viri (is that the plural?) and trojans. I figured we had at the minimum the Vundo Trojan. So I contacted Norton by internet chat.

First, it was obvious from the beginning that my help was not local to the US, and that English wasn’t their first language(much to polite LOL). Then in talking to him, it also became apparent that something was seriously wrong in Norton Land. I’d used Norton a few times before. And yes, while clunky, they were user friendly and caught their guy. Plus had pretty good customer service and seemed to really care about their customer. Only this time, I was told that yes, the Vundo Trojan wasn’t able to be caught by Norton at this time, and that it was very tricky to remove, NOT something I could do myself. And that I was going to need to pay one of their tech people to remove it(I’m not going to tell you the amount, but it was over 50 dollars), PLUS allow them remote access to my computer.

So WAIT?? I say! You are saying that I bought your product, which wasn’t as advertised, and now my computer is compromised because your product didn’t perform properly,  AND now I need to pay your company MORE money PLUS give them access to my whole computer to dig around in because of your cruddy product? ‘Yes, this is correct’ is what I was told. When I said that I wanted to think about it, and might ask a tech friend of mine to handle it, I was then given some seriously dire warnings about how doing that would end up deleting all my files and I’d end up having to reformat my drive.

Meanwhile, during these dire warning lies, I go to Norton’s site and click ‘Virus’ and Risks’ then click ‘Removal Tools for Top Threats’ Oh lookit, they’ve got removal tools for what I’ve got?? Hmmmmm.

So I download the removal tool. Mr. Chat Guy won’t take no for an answer and gets deeper and deeper into his threatening lies. So I just close the window after having enough.

I then proceed to follow directions and remove the darn Trojan.

However, now I’m curious just HOW bad Norton is. I go back to download.com and download some freeware that has high ratings. Avira to start with. While running the Avira software, so far I have SIXTEEN trojans and virus’. When suddenly, everything goes black and my computer goes Kablooey!

I try everything I can to get it back, however even the administrator password has been reset so I am DONE.

We use my daughters laptop for a few days, then she goes to see her dad Friday night. No computer. ARgh.

I FINALLY am able to reformat the computer back to it’s orginal fresh out of the box state on Sunday evening.
However, this means that all our pictures are gone, bookmarks, passwords, documents, pdf’s, homeschooling things I’d save.

Gone. All of it.

So while we are overjoyed to once more have a computer…

On the other hand, it’s like good friends have just ceased to exist and we morn their loss.

Of course, Monday, I log into my google reader and one of the FIRST posts I come across is THIS one, by Food Storage Made Easy. Advertising the wonders of Mozy Unlimited Backup for only 4.95 a month.

Yes, folks, that’s right. I could have stored my whole computer life (and my families computer life as well) for 4.95 a month, and after reformatting my computer, and having it look at me like some sort of new neighbor. I could have gone to Mozy, and downloaded our old friend back.

This makes me feel very weird.

So I think as soon as we have extra money, Mozy is on the list of stuff that would be really nice to have.

(I’m not affilated with Mozy at all, this is a true story)

And just so you know. I told Norton I want my money back (that’s going to take some really intense arguing on my part let me tell you, so far it’s Them 1 and Me 0) and left them a scathing review on Download.com. I also had to wait FORTY MINUTES to talk to a live human being on the phone and be treated like stupid garbage. (the phone recorder thingy said 20-30 min wait to chat with someone online)

I’ve also downloaded Avira and Malwarebytes on the reccomendation of some friends.

Anyone else have any reccs?

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