Another day, another record broken. A customer, who shall remain nameless, called me out on Friday. The icons in the system tray were missing, and running any shortcut would lead to the error message "Windows is not authorised to open this file. Check permissions for this file, folder or shortcut." I couldn't open control panel, I couldn't log off, I couldn't access the administrator's account.
Eventually, after much messing about with Bart PE, I managed to log on. A quick (7 hour) scan with AVG and one or two viruses were found. When I say one or two, I mean 36,479. All different, all from different sources. I cleaned up the PC, and then ran a spyware scan using Spybot and AVG as well, finding another 120 instances.
The customer in question has a weakness for puzzle games. Such gems as Bejewelled (geddit?), Insaniquarium and the like are littered all over the desktop. Kids 'free' games websites like Zylom are everywhere and the point is that out of the dozens of programs downloaded, I suspect more then one was loaded with spyware. With all these programs running the spyware, more and more was downloaded, until eventually these extra advertisers start to download their own viruses. The whole thing, understandably ground to a halt.
Meanwhile, the stress of working silly hours all the time is taking it's toll on me. The brief panic attacks have become one prolonged attack of tachycardia. My heart is doing about 180 beats per minute as we speak. I'm high on the influx of oxygen in my blood, and I could sleep a week if I could actually get to a deep sleep without waking up in a blind panic for no reason whatsoever. I've been to the doctor's before, but short of me taking beta-blockers, there's nothing they can do. The better way to solve it is to find the cause, the outlying situation causing the anxiety. That's easy, I'm working too hard, too much, for too long!
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