On Monday I let AVG my virus checker run its scan in full, normally I don't do this because there are so many files on my drive it takes about 20 hours to run a full scan. Usually all it finds is a few tracking cookies picked up from cruising the net (even though I am not a frequent dodgy site visitor, you'd be amazed how many trackers you pick up). These are not bad things normally they just make your machine a bit slower so its good to get rid.
On this occasion AVG seemed to find a few other things and I let it "quarantine" them.
I thought nothing more, and carried on working away.
But when I switched it off I had no idea of the hell that would result.
When I booted up in the evening to do a bit of work, my Windows refused to fire up, claiming it was not activated??? Ok no problem, annoying but no problem. It gave me an option to activate it on line so I did...and it didn't'...activate that is...grrr
A bit of research suggested all I had to do was boot up in safe mode, fire up AVG and restore the quarantined files which presumable were the cause of the problem.
Not actually that easy a task when you have a USB keyboard but I managed to fire up in a very very very slow safe mode.
and AVG provides no options to restore files from the virus vault......nice!!!
Now this is a legit copy of windows, though it dates back to probably 5 machines back, and has simply updated itself as I've moved the drives from machine to machine. The COA however is stuck on a PC case back home in my attic, so I had no access to the serial number or recovery CD for that matter (which would be no use as my machine is far from being the original eMachine this windows started life on)
Bugger.. I called MS and of course without the COA I was unable to prove my copy was legit and they refused to help.
Safe mode at least allowed me to dump some important files to a USB key and then onto my laptop so there was no real danger of losing anything...but still I want my big fast mother of a PC up and running.
Some colleagues supplied COA numbers but they were incompatible with my presumably early version of Windows...what to do....what to do...I confess I tried a hack program or 2..but even those failed.
Finally I bought an ebay copy of windows, for about €40. And while I waited for it to arrive I started to back up my PC (in safe mode) in case the quite probable event that the key still would not work and I'd have to re-install windows, I'd risk losing all my tools in the process (I don't have all my master disks with me)m but at least my work and data files could be saved.
Fortunately...the key worked...PC's up and running and the only casualty is .....AVG...which thinks it's license has been hacked....poetic justice I uninstalled it.
I will of course re-install it, since a virus checker in this day and age is essential, but I'll pay a little more attention to what ever it decides to quarantine.