This isn't robot related, but I learned a lot today from a really nasty virus that hit my computer. And hopefully it'll save you time and money better spent on robots . . .
How nasty of a computer virus? Picture this: it'll block you from going to Windows Update, downloading/installing anti-virus programs, is mostly undetectable by the top 5 anti-virus programs, and will prevent you from posting on webforums so that you can get help (that last one shocked me the most).Step 1: Prevention
Always update all of your software that's most likely to get you infected: your browser, Adobe Acrobat, Windows Update, Flash, and Java. IE9, Firefox 3.6, and Chrome are about equally safe (I was infected while using Chrome, thought to be the safest).
Always have at least two browsers installed. In my infection, Chrome stopped functioning completely, but Firefox still worked (although it kept randomly loading malware sites).
Always keep your firewall on. I recommend Comodo, with sandbox enabled:http://personalfirewall.comodo.com/
However, I was infected despite the firewall - it did however prevent the virus from transmitting data out, the first sign that I was infected.
Always have your anti-virus program running at full, even if it occasionally slows your computer. It's better than having your credit card information sent to some guy in Russia!
Always be aware of what programs normally run on your computer, so that you can identify the bad programs when they come. I use HijackThis for this, and it also helps me remove all the harmless crapware that slows down my computer as well: http://free.antivirus.com/hijackthis/
IMPORTANT: HijackThis does not determine what is good or bad. Do not make any changes to your computer settings unless you are an expert computer user. If you delete an important registry value, you could completely f' up your computer Step 2: Prepare for the Worst
Despite preventative measures, the nastiest of viruses will squeeze right past your defenses. The worst would even be undetectable by most anti-virus software. So it's only a matter of when, not if.
I might take some flack for this comment, but Linux will make a great backup OS. If your windows is f'ed up beyond repair, you can use Linux to:
- search the web for help
- download anti-virus software
- recover lost data
It's actually the only reason I keep Linux installed . . .
Download all the anti-virus software you think you'll need *now*, before the virus blocks you from getting it later. Even install a few, just in case. See my links below.
And of course backups . . .
Create a System Restore Point by -> Start Menu: Click Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Restore. Then just follow the instructions.
Backup your important data on a USB Key and keep it in an OFF SITE location, such as a bank safety deposit box, your locked work office desk, or at a friends place (as a trade). After all, a house fire destroys everything in your house Step 3: Armeggedden
Now that you're seriously infected, follow these steps one by one. It'll take you probably the entire day - but don't skip a step or think you're done because your problem appears fixed. Do all, to the very end. Each program is likely to find a virus/issue that the others missed (which happened in my case).
1) do a full virus scan with your favorite AV software (in my case, Norton AV)
2) do a full scan with AVG 2011:http://free.avg.com/us-en/download-avg-anti-virus-free
3) do a full scan with Ad-Aware:http://www.lavasoft.com/
restart your PC if it finds anything
4) do a full scan with Malwarebytes:http://www.malwarebytes.org/
restart your PC if it finds anything
5) Click on Start > Run and type sfc /scannow
then press Enter (note the space between scf and /scannow)
*Let this run undisturbed until the window with the blue progress bar goes away
SFC - Which stands for System File Checker, retrieves the correct version of the file from %Systemroot%\System32\Dllcache or the Windows installation source files, and then replaces the incorrect file. You may need your Windows installation disk.
6) do a short scan with DrWeb:http://www.freedrweb.com/
Once the short scan has finished, Click Settings > Change Settings. Under the Scanning tab UNcheck Heuristic analysis and click OK. Back at the main window, select the Complete scan button and then click the Green Arrow Start Scanning button on the right and the scan will start.
If it finds anything, restart. If you get to this point and are still infected . . . well . . . don't bring your computer even close to mine! lolStep 4: Save the World
Make sure you recorded everything that infected your computer, for future reference. You may need to look up the virus later to make sure you fully cleaned it.
More importantly, keep note at the URLs the virus is sending data to/from. Or websites it forces you to go to. Report these websites. For example, in the Firefox browser under Help, there is the 'Report Web Forgery' button. This will help reduce the damage the virus will do to others who are later infected.
You can also go here:http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/report_badware/
And lastly, teach the noobs you know how to defend themselves - otherwise we'll suffer the spam their computers spew out. Forward them this thread!