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[personal profile] hellfire99x
So this is what my weekend has consisted of thus far.

A couple of weeks ago, I tried to encrypt my harddrive... but it didn't go well. My netbook has always worked just fine encrypted, but for some reason the main computer, once encrypted, would always bluescreen right after user login. So I had to decrypt it to make the computer usable again.

That weekend, the computer at work contracted some nasty, nasty malware. Truly terrible stuff -- nothing I tried could clean it off entirely. I made the dumb mistake of putting it on the network at home, at the same time my main computer was online. While I do run antivirus and firewall software on all of my computers, the firewall is rather outdated... and the antivirus software was never able to fully clean the truly-infected work computer, so I have no idea whether it would've been able to block a new infection from happening. While I'd never received any positive proof -- or ANY proof -- that the malware might've hopped from computer to computer, I still played it safe and zero'd out my computer's primary drive that weekend.

So, the infected computer is back at work, in the hands of another techie. It's his problem now. Last week, I got my computer up and running again, and decided to give harddrive encryption another shot, thinking that the harddrive wipe might help in some way. This time, the process got about 0.5% through when Avast popped up with a number of "heuristics: possible rootkit detected" warnings, the first I've ever seen. Bloody great! Granted, they could be false positives brought on by the encryption process -- which goes through the drive, bit by bit, subtly re-writing and encrypting them in place. This could be perceived by an overzealous virus scanner to be rootkit-like activity... but given recent circumstances, anything is possible. The antivirus flagged all the suspicious activity in the Windows\System32 folder... a prime location for malware to strike, but also a necessary location for full system encryption. Unknown malware, or false positive.

This weekend, I went to a local computer shop and bought a second 2 TB harddrive. Along with a separate, unused harddrive, I will be using these two drives to deep-scan the other two for any signs of infection. Once I clean the two normal system drives of any suspicious files, I'll backup what I need from them, zero them, repartition & reinstall them, and then copy my data back to them. I'll then convert the extra 2 TB harddrive to an external drive (I have a specific enclosure in mind), and use it as an "offline backup."

Where am I at in the process right now? The two backup drives have been zero'd (which took longer than I would've liked due to unforseen complications*), and Windows is being installed. Means I still have plenty more to go... I'm so glad I don't need the main PC to play RO comfortably. I sadly won't be able to record anything -- unless this netbook can really surprise me with its write speed -- but ehh.

Sometimes I love computers, but other times I just hate them.

* My first candidate for a system-install drive -- my old 74 GB 10,000 RPM drive -- died on me mid-Windows install. Additionally, my old Western Digital harddrive testing and wiping tools aren't compatible with the new 2 TB drive -- I had to use a Windows-only variant to zero it. I fricking love technology.


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