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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Caught a Virus

I had the experience of picking up a virus somewhere and perhaps there is some learning for small businesses. I run Windows 8.1 on two laptops, an operating system I do not care for, but in its infinite wisdom Microsoft forced me to upgrade from 8.0 that came on the laptops I purchased. Frankly, in my humble opinion 8.1 is trying to do much more that I need, and all this other “stuff” just gets in the way of the simple things I need to do. For some businesses the “stuff” may offer opportunities. I have other laptops that run older MS Operating systems that were much easier for me. MS no longer supports these however, and using an unsupported OS is not a good idea.

Anyway, I digress. I first noticed an issue when the shortcut icons on my laptop just disappeared. I tried to recover them without success. A search of the web produced a great article outlining the use of the System File Checker (SFC) tool to repair missing or corrupted system files, which I used.  By the way you have to be the system administrator to use this tool. I am the administrator for my laptops. There are four possible outcomes from this tool some of them actually repair the problem. Mine turned out to be the one that could not be repaired by the tool itself. With the result that the details of the analysis said some files needed to be manually replaced with a file from a known good copy of the file. That was my signal to contact Microsoft for help.

After over three hours of work the MS support people could not “repair” the corrupted files. Their diagnostics indicated a worm deep inside the system software. They created an entirely new user account on my laptop, restoring my data files as well. This was one of the recommendations of the SFC tool as well. So they fixed the issue of no shortcuts. In doing so the new user now had different settings and exposure to more of the “stuff” I did not need. These things, like the MS Cloud, and synchronization of multiple laptops with the same user names, continue to leave me with issues to work.

Can you learn something for your business from this?


Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor




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