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Linda

Dani, so sorry about the virus! But why did you upgrade to Vista? It is a horrible version of Windows, and Microsoft IS still supporting XP. 70% of businesses are still using XP, so they have extended their coverage. Windows 7 is a much better operating system.

Linda

I have Windows Update set on automatic, but tonight I downloaded them on my own, then scanned for viruses on my laptop. Found a bunch of Java exploits!

Megan

What a sucky Christmas "present." :( Hope you get everything back up and running again soon!

Caroline

What a drag. I hope you get everything back to normal very soon.

Harriet

Poor you -- how ghastly. May I suggest you get yourself a Mac? Athough people always say 'but Macs get viruses too", I don't know anyone who has ever had one, and pretty much everyone I know is a Mac user. I promise you would never look back.

Darlene

We went through the same thing with our computer last Christmas...what a royal pain! In our case I think the problem originated from trying to download British television programs and crossing paths with some dodgy sites. Hopefully things will be sorted soon and I hope you find a good deal on a new camera!

Stefanie

Windows 7 is much better than Vista, so if/ when you get the chance to update your OS again, I'd recommend that. My way to avoid viruses and malware is to have a Mac and symantec anti-virus. Also , file sharing is risky and downloading stuff from the internet is risky too unless you know you can trust the site. I'm also careful what websites I visit and I never click on any links in those "chain" emails. Keeping your OS up to date is really important as well. It really sucks that you have to be so careful, doesn't it? A few people ruin it for everybody. Good luck getting everything reinstalled!

Anbolyn

Computer problems stink! I hope you get everything worked out.

Kathy Johnson

Sooo sorry about the computer problems. There are few things more frustrating. My husband just got a new computer (with Vista, and he's having trouble with Skype) and that's almost as bad.

We use Spybot (for spyware, etc.) and AVG anti-virus, both free, and we've never had a serious problem. Knock on wood and let's hope I didn't jinx us.

Good luck!

Rebecca

What a hassle! I'm sorry you have to deal with this.

Danielle

Linda--I hope I can avoid viruses and other nasty things in the future--I am now going to be extremely careful when surfing the web! It was recommended by the Dell customer service rep who was helping me clean things up to upgrade--so I would be closer to the most recent OS. At work we just switched to Windows 7. I was getting conflicting info but now am glad I just did it, though I'm sad to lose access to my scanner and camera--will have to get new ones at some point. I am at least getting used to it. I am hoping this computer will last at least another couple of year and then will go up to version 7, too!

Megan--Not at all what I was hoping for this Christmas! :) Things are getting back to normal though it is weird to start all from scratch and get used to a new operating system on top of it all. Learning the hard way here it seems!

Caroline--Things are up and running and I am hoping to save some of my files and photos though will "house" them somewhere off my own hard drive.

Harriet--Those are three nights I will never get back--what a nasty way to spend time when I could have been doing something constructive--like reading. I have been seriously contemplating switching to a MAC, though right now I can't afford a new computer. I guess if nothing else--with each new problem I get a little bit more savvy. Still--a hard way to learn.

Darlene--Yes, indeed! Sorry you went through this too. I'm hoping that I've filled my quota of computer nuisances for a long while now. A coworker said that some sites in the UK are not as secure as over here and she has had a problem with clicking into places. Of course anything can be suspect. I suppose the more appealing a site is for users the more hackers will use it to do bad things! I do need a new camera, though, so this will push me to get it sooner than later--I'll be comparison shopping for something good!

Stefanie--I might just look into upgrading since my work just went to Windows 7, too! MACs seem to be the way to go to avoid this problem--next time I get a computer I may have to think about switching--or maybe getting a nice little netbook (well, not sure what Apple calls them). I have gotten lots of great advice so I will be much more cautious about where I visit in the future. It is too bad that this happened and now I will be limited in the future in terms of searching--but I don't want to have to go through this again.

Anbolyn--I have been really lucky as for three years I have had very few problems, but then this one was a major one. Oh well, I've learned lots of good things the hard way. I think I mostly have things sorted out again and can finally catch up on things here!

Kathy--Serious annoyance this was! I am disappointed that I can't use my scanner with Vista--it is perfectly fine and works really well. Thank goodness there are some good programs out there to help clean things up . I'll have to check out the two programs you mention. I've been using Malwarebytes and CC Cleaner. Fingers crossed that neither of us has any problems! :)

Rebecca--Hassle is the word for it! I think I am once again all sorted out, but it has not been fun loading so much on to my computer again--just regular stuff I use frequently. You don't realize how much you use your computer until you lose access to it!

Thanks all for the advice, suggestions and kind words!

litlove

Oh how dreadful! We had the same problem a couple of weeks ago, and my son was so upset that he had to go out for a walk at 8 in the evening (believe me, that's upset). In the end he changed our anti-virus program and was sure that helped. I am useless at these things, though, so don't know what he has on there now. I'm sure you've already got good advice. I will just send much sympathy!

Allan Mills

Dani . . .

First of all, sorry about your computer problems. And the timing (though there is never a good time for that).

Secondly, unless your scanner and camera are very old, there are almost certainly drivers available for Windows Vista. If you go to the manufacturer's web site, most all of them will have a section (usually under the Support tab) where you can download drivers. Generally, you will just need the model number (usually you can find this on the scanner or whatever, for example Doodad XS-417).

Several comments suggested Mac as a possible alternative for Windows. I would also suggest, should the time come that you are tired of Windows before you could afford a new Windows computer or Mac, you consider something like Ubuntu Linux, a free and functional alternative to Windows. (You can try it free from a live CD that doesn't change anything on your computer, and you can also install it side-by-side with Windows if you still want Windows just in case you need it for something.)

I always enjoy your blog (one of the mostly-silent lurkers) and your insightful comments on what you're reading. I always get good ideas for my own reading adventures as well. Thanks. And have a great Christmas and New Year!

Allan

Danielle

Litlove--I'm with your son! If it weren't so cold out I might have gone for a good long walk to get rid of my frustration! I hope your problems have been solved. Now I am ultra paranoid about where I visit online--maybe a good reason to spend less time on the computer and more reading and stitching?

Allan--Thanks so much for your comment and please feel free to de-lurk anytime! My camera really is on its last legs--the ion battery depletes almost as soon as I turn it on (It is an HP--very good really but old now--5.1 MP!). I could just replace the battery but I think I want a newer one. However, the scanner is really just fine. It is a Canon and I have gone to their website looking for drivers and thought I found what I needed and told it to download but nothing happened--I need to go look again. If I can keep it--there is nothing at all wrong with it, over than it isn't talking to Vista at the moment. I'll try your tip and see if I find something different by searching for model number. I was just talking to a coworker about Linux--I have heard about it but never seen it and am curious about it. Viruses are miserable and if I can avoid them and still use all the programs on my computer I might just try something like Linux. I'll look for more information on it--I'd like to at least try it. Not sure how they get around viruses, but I am guessing it is not a Windows environment and more secure? I need to educate myself on it. Thanks for the kind and very helpful comments. I'm always happy to hear that other readers might find something good to read here, too. Happy Holidays to you as well, and Happy Reading!

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