Back-story: I majored in philosophy. During college, a more computer-savy friend of mine used to laugh as I tried, ineptly, to fix a variety of computer problems. We would joke that I should make my own guide to computers. As luck would have it, I recently had a particularly resilient virus and quite a bit of free time.
Part I: How to diagnose/get rid of a virus.
Step 1: Establish that you have a virus and assess the situation.
What the fuck is that little red ball with an "X" in it at the bottom of my screen and why is it making a balloon appear? Windows security? That doesn't seem right. At least there aren't any pop-ups. Maybe it's not serious.
Step 2: Restart your computer and hope it goes away on its own.
- Nope. Little red ball is still there. Hey, it's just a little red ball. I can work around this, right? Queue pop-ups. Maybe I should try and get rid of it just in case.
Step 3: Try the usual methods.
a) End Task/Process: Won't let me get into the task manager.
b) Defragment, Check for Errors: Nope, can't get into either of those.
c) Adaware: Not working either.
Stop fucking interrupting me!! Maybe this is more serious than I had originally thought.
Step 4: Try the unusual methods.
a) System Restore: This has to work, right? Nope, can't run system restore.
b) Safe mode: I Googled my problem and read something about "safe mode" and it sounds like a good plan.
Whoa! I'm pretty sure "Blue Screen" is not supposed to be the result of safe mode. Let's go ahead and refer to this as "Unsafe Mode" and normal mode as "Dangerous Mode."
c) Click random buttons and hope for the best?
That's right. Now I have two little red balls. There's a chance I'm in over my head.
Step 5: Call a friend who is supposed to know things about computers.
- Friend has suggested drastic measures.
Step 6: Drastic measures...