Saturday, March 17, 2012


I had a bad day.

It started out like any old run-of-the-mill bad day. We woke up late and barely got the boys to school on time. I was late for an 8:00 meeting I had at the elementary school because Stretch missed his bus and I had to take him. When I got home I had messages waiting for me that essentially my whole day had been rearranged, which is okay I guess, but today was a bust anyway and I was hoping to get some other things taken care of. I decided to listen to some Irish music to cheer me up since tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day (we love celebrating our Irish heritage around here) but that is when things really got bad.

Let me start by saying this: there is a special place in the lowest circle of hell reserved for hackers, computer virus creators, spammers and phishers (I'm posting this from my husband's work computer since mine is currently on its deathbed suffering from a nasty virus). I honestly don't even know how it happened exactly. I am usually so careful about watching videos or clicking links that I'm not familiar with. Anyway, I was listening to my playlist from and Firefox shut down and a window popped up (that totally looked legit, by the way) which said there was a problem with my hard drive and to click on the bubble to "fix:" the problem. Normally I might be suspicious, but my husband was up until 2:00 last night working on my computer. He took it completely apart to replace the port where it charges because it had gotten broken some time ago (and had to be finagled in order to maintain a charge for any length of time), so I thought maybe he had damaged something in putting it back together. Anyway, being the foolish naive person that I am I clicked the bubble. The system "ran a scan" and told me it had problems that it couldn't fix and gave me an option to buy a program to fix the computer. That's when the alarm bells went off.  I tried scanning my computer with our antivirus software to get rid of the unwanted files, but without success. After running two scans with Microsoft Security Essentials (our antivirus software of choice), everything on my computer just vanished into thin air. Black screen of death. There was nothing on my desktop. When you clicked on the start menu there were just empty boxes where all my programs and files used to be. A little research by my husband helped us figure out it is a virus called the "system check virus".

The good news is that I backed everything up about two weeks ago with our external hard drive. The other good news is that my husband thinks he might be able to help me fix it.

I know it's just a computer. Am I over-reacting? I don't know. Maybe. Really, why should having my computer incapacitated be so horrible? Well, I'll tell you.

I use my computer a lot--for everything really: to keep in touch with friends and family; to plan my meals and find recipes; to keep track of my appointments and manage my calendar; to look up words or do other research; to pay my bills; to get directions to places I need to go;  to print documents and coupons and preschool worksheets; to listen to music. I use it as a phone book, calculator and word processor too, among other things. The smooth running of my daily life depends upon my computer. My computer was the only functional computer in our home. And then there were none.

This morning I was so excited that my husband had fixed it so that it would charge properly again. I even had the thought while checking my email that I was so grateful to have it working that I would make an effort not to take it for granted (at least for a while). I admit it. I am worried for my sick computer. I am not in mourning yet, but to me the situation looks bleak at the moment.

I did have two bright spots in my day though that involved two phone calls with some of my favorite people: my sister and one of my best friends from when we lived in New York. Those phone calls helped me make it through the day without despairing. The unplanned nap I had when my kids all got home from school may have helped a little too. Despite my lengthy nap, I am exhausted. I'm hoping that a good night's sleep will work its magic and tomorrow will be a better day. Maybe we'll even be able to get my computer fixed. Miracles do happen.

Here's hoping.

P.S. I realize this post is rather lengthy and maybe not the type of thing you'd come to my blog hoping to see, but I decided to share it so that maybe I can help someone out there avoid the same trouble we are currently experiencing. My next post will be more uplifting--I promise.


Berry2 said...

A similar thing has happened to our computer before. It now works fine, so there is hope for yours. However, as I recall, it was not a quick fix...We also feel lost when our computer is not working. Ours runs 24/7 except during bad weather. Good luck with getting yours back to normal!

Tanya Harvey said...

I understand completely. Any time my computer has the slightest hint of a problem like that, I am sick to my stomach stressed at what I've either lost (PHOTOS!) or cannot access (recipes, addresses, etc). We are extremely dependant upon our computers in this world and no, we actually cannot function without them, lol. And its not always an 'addiction', its just how we live. Good luck to you!

Predilections said...

Thanks for listening to me whine. It was really nice to read your comments and feel encouraged and know that I'm not alone. :)