From Russia with Bugs

My Windows partition got a virus. Ugh. Somehow I’ve managed to avoid this, I’ve never gotten a virus on any of my computers before. Anyway, being the geek I am, I decided to get it off my computer without any of this fancy-shmancy (expensive) anti-virus software. My journey:

1. I tried to edit my registry. I got the message: “Your administrator has turned off this function.” Basically, the virus, which had obviously installed itself with whatever permissions my user has, had made it impossible for me to open the registry editor. I’m cool with the registry only being editable by an admin, but then Windows should freakin prompt you for the admin password. And if the virus installed itself when I was logged in, it shouldn’t be able to do admin things!

2. I tried to delete all the virus’s files using Windows Explorer. The virus had deleted “Folder Options” from the menu, so I couldn’t delete hidden files and folders. Why the fsck would Windows let any program remove functionality willy nilly from Explorer?!

3. They could remove the “Show hidden files and folders” option from the GUI, but I’m a Linux programmer. I can just use the command line. Well, the Windows command line is awful. Or hard to use. Or both. I couldn’t make any headway with it. I couldn’t even make it do the equivalent of “ls -a”.

4. The virus put executables in system32, c:\, and other folders that should be only writable by the administrator.

Anyway, that’s why I haven’t put up any new cartoons this week. I’m not sure what to do now. A combination of the virus and Windows itself has totally flummoxed me. I’d like to just get rid of Windows, but I need it for Photoshop.

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