Epidemic Threat Level Elevated

Well, it’s not been a good couple of days. We appear to have an epidemic going around. Within the past fortnight we’ve had 5 patients go down with similar symptoms.

Patient Zero went down first, 2 weeks ago. It started off after a major blackout at the cottage, and we took the symptoms to be related. The first symptom was freezing. The computer would load to the Windows XP prgress bar, then would restart on a permanent loop, doing these stages indefinitely. We tried many things, from formatting the computer to restarting in safe mode, but to no effect.

A day or two later the condition worsened. The computer now boots to bios, and hangs, looking for the drives. This was a completely new problem, and we couldn’t figure it out at all. After a number of consults we turned to a traansplant. The hard drive came out, and another of equal size and integrity replaced it. This got the system a bit further but then started to hang again. Antoher consult later an we decided to hard-reboot the computer. The CMOS battery was removed and the bios was reset. This seemed to sort the problem, for a while, but then the symptoms began to pronounce themselves again. The patient has now been removed and taken to full time, round the clock surveillance. I have very little to do with the patient now, but I am occassionally required for a consult.

Not long after Patient Zero’s transplant the dodgy hard-drive was inserted into a second computer. There was no problems to begin with, but after a while it pronounced the same issue as Patient Zero, with the bios hanging. We did the same with the cmos battery, and since that patient has been fine.

Now, all of these issues happened over 10 days ago, but obviously Patient Zero is still undergoing radical treatments. Yesterday however, the epidemic took off. 3 new patients; Odin, Leon, & Hannibal (The names have been changed to protect the systems).

Odin was struck by a mild illness. It started off, unable to boot un the same way as the other 2 patients. Then once healed, began to lose space, whole hard-drives dissappearing from explorer. This has currently been resolved, but it is unknown what the cause or cure may have been other than possibly a small disconnection which had been repaired. The patient is now suffering from a bad case of malware/adware or a similar disease, hijacking IE site attempts.

Leon was ill from the start, suffering from complete loss of mobilization spanning back several weeks. The patient had just undergone a complete restore when the symptoms presented. The system had been running after the restore for a couple of hours, while “Windows Update” downloaded. It was once these updates (73 in all) had installed the computer would no longer boot, presenting the same issue as Patient Zero. Leon has since been completely restored again and is currently running ok, albeit without any updates. Internet speed is running slowly but this may be due to any number of causes.

Hannibal lastly is the most critical. Not a commonly used PC, Hannibal was fine when last used on Wednesday. When powered yesterday, issue was exactly the same as Leon. Last memories from Wednesday were “Windows Updates” installing. Now whenever Hannibal boots, it loads until personal settings have been loaded and then hangs for about 30 minutes. After the desktop finally loads there are about 5 minutes of PC running time before it B-SODs. This also happens in safe mode, or during System recovery.

I am going to attempt more repairs upon Hannibal to see if I can either repair, or reboot with minimal loss. Odin will need to have all spyware removed, but this should be easy to do. For the time being, I am confident that Leon is recovered and will work, as this has been posted through it.

1 Comment

  1. Well, I'm not sure if it's entirely safe yet, but I'm declaring the threat level back to normal. This morning I decided that Patient Zero had been ill for too long, and demanded that its care be reinstated to myself. 30 Minutes later Patient Zero was fully recovered. I cannot say what was being done regarding the care which was recieved during its time offline, but I do nt feel it meant the standards that should have been recieved. However now that Patient Zero has recovered, all files are now available, after a large amount of time to configure Vista.

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