OT: Computer Question

Graydon oak at uniserve.com
Sun Oct 4 22:14:46 EDT 2009

On Sun, Oct 04, 2009 at 08:02:33PM -0600, Joseph Tainter scripsit:
> "It sounds like you've run afoul of Microsoft's Digital Rights
> Management system.  Though I thought that it only really was this bad
> in  Vista."
> If that was the case, would Windows give me some message? Why would
> searching for a hotel trigger this?

It strikes me as more consistent with successful virus infestation than
a system DRM trigger, which certainly does generate messages.  On the
other hand, I don't know much about Windows.

Virus scanners _on the hard drive being scanned_, and, more generally,
_on writable media_ are close to useless for checking that hard drive.
It needs a read-only copy that's never been near that machine until you
stick the CD (or DVD) in the drive and have it start scanning.

Many of your modern viruses try to disable the ability to remove them;
this can often have side effects as system dll's get pounded on.  Why it
would do something to your screen size I have no idea but it's not an
implausible side-effect of someone trying to lock down the registry.

If there's nothing more recent on it that you have to have than is in
your most recent backup, I'd unplug it from the net, hard format the
hard drive or drives a couple of times, and re-install from read-only
media.  That mostly works, it's just horribly tedious.

-- Graydon

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