December 08, 2008

I Sing The Praises...

The past 48 hours have been kinda ugly around Pond Central.

First, Saturday was the memorial service for my grandmother.  It was very nice, but more than a little stressful. 

Meanwhile, the Official Car of Wonderduck's Pond, a 1996 Toyota Camry, has been feeling a little ill.  Instead of purring like a kitten, over a period of a couple of months its begun purring like a lion.  It was still a purr, yes, but louder than normal.  Unfortunately, last Friday I began to smell the unmistakable odor of hot oil.  A lot of it.  So, I called the Official Mechanics of the Duck Family, Ricotta Automotive.  We've been going to Ricotta's for nigh on 20 years, and we're all at the point with him where if he says something has to be done, we say "do it," we trust him that much.  Tom Ricotta, the owner himself, said "have it here Monday morning, I'll work on it personally!"  So, I traded cars with Ph.Duck, since I had to be at work Monday morning, and began to fret.

Sunday night, I visited, specifically a Pearl Harbor thread that I'd made a couple of comments on... and my various anti-virus/spyware programs started freaking out.  They said they caught a bit o' venom called Vundo (on my anti-virus program) and Virtumonde (on the spyware).  Please note, I said that they said they'd caught it... nuh-uh.  While I wasn't getting the popups, I was getting this symptom as described at the wikipedia page:

"Another symptom of Vundo may be the desktop icons will disappear and so will the taskbar and reappear after a short period. This becomes very frustrating if you are trying to run programs as they get automatically aborted."

Yes, quite frustrating.  Vundo is EVIL, and nothing but.  Five hours of trying to remove this beast, I had to go to bed, as today was the first day of textbook buyback at the Duck U. Bookstore. 

Yes, buyback is here, and Wonderduck is in for a busy, busy time.  Meanwhile, my computer is looking more and more like it'll need to have the C drive scraped clean and Windows reinstalled, and my car is in the shop (and lord knows what Tom is going to find, and how much it'll cost).

Around 11am, Tom calls.  The oil smell is coming from some leaks on the cylinder heads, an easy fix, and relatively cheap at ~$250.  Even better, he'll have it done today!  Great!  Do it!  I hang up, humming, and go back to servicing students selling back their books.  A lot of them.  An awful lot of them.  So many that I don't even get a chance to sip my gatorade.  And then the phone rings again, an hour later.  Caller ID says "Ricotta Automotive", and I'm suddenly worried again... much too fast.  It's Tom again, saying there's another problem, much more serious.  As he got the car up on a lift to change the oil, he discovered that the CV Boots on the Official Car of Wonderduck's Pond were both ruined.  This is very bad, as it can make steering difficult.  During the summer, it's not too bad, as there's little bad stuff to get into the joint/driveshaft, but during the winter, the lubricating grease leaks out and is replaced by snow, slush, and most importantly, road salt.  This causes corrosion, as well as interfering with the steering... and, as a matter of fact, my steering WAS stiff last winter.  My wallet screaming in agony, I tell him "fix it."  Tom says he'll try find some rebuilt parts, try to save me money.  A few hours later, he calls back: success!  The Official Car is fixed, and the total cost is $500... the CV stuff could have cost as much as $900 alone!  Fortunately, only one of the CV joints was bad, the other was still in good shape.  Phew.  One problem solved.

But then there's the computer.  I do some research at the folks' place, find a couple of tools that might help, a set of instructions on manual removal of Vundo, and as a last resort, clear instructions on how to reinstall Windows.

I get back to Pond Central, metaphorically roll up my sleeves, and download a little thingy creatively entitled Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware ("it's like bringing a M4 to a knife fight"), freeware and with good reviews.  Crossing my fingers, I tell it to run.

Nine minutes later, it reports that it has found 25 infected files and registry entries, and would I like to remove them?  I'm not excited as I hit "yes", as the other tools also said much the same thing.  It removes most of them, and it claims that the remaining three will be removed on reboot.  Sure, okay, reboot.  Whatever. 

It worked.  IT WORKED!  This thing actually worked!  After a few minutes of doing the Happy Ducky Dance, I run it again: nothing found!  A few minutes of the Exultant Ducky Dance of Victory, and I hit the blog.

So I sing the praises of Tom Ricotta and Ricotta Automotive, and I sing the praises of Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware!  Thank you, thank you both!  I'll recommend either of them to anybody!!!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:57 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 871 words, total size 6 kb.

1 Dude, Malwarebytes completely gorram rocks. It's the best piece of software to appear this year, hands down.

Posted by: GreyDuck at December 09, 2008 08:56 AM (o5Lvb)

2 Front half-axle assemblies are amazingly cheap. A set for my 96 Galant was $150.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at December 09, 2008 11:43 AM (/ppBw)

3 Don't know much about cars, but after this weekend, a lot about viruses (virii?).  The missus' laptop got some redirecting trojan that also was kind enough to mutate itself and buckshot across the hdd.  The fourth s/w I tried was Malwarebytes.  It found 26 issues on the first pass, 12 on the second, and was clear on the third.  Alls well since... I have nothing but good things to say about that company and their software.

Posted by: Tiberius at December 10, 2008 01:30 PM (VD/19)

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