June 15, 2011

It's Alive! Protect Your Work from Viruses

Wow, I didn't even have time to finish grieving! No sooner had I cranked out that last angsty post in the library's computer lab than Josh had called his tech-savvy cousin who immediately walked me through a miraculous fix for my poor laptop! Well, I say "immediately," but we had to wait for him to put his kids to bed.

Turns out, nothing had actually been devoured by that nasty virus. All the files were just hidden so that my hard drive couldn't locate them. Now, this just seems diabolical to me. It's mind-boggling enough that someone would actually spend their time and energy designing a virus that would destroy all of a person's files, but to design a virus that would only make them THINK they had lost all of their files? That is so cruel! It causes such distress for no reason whatsoever!

Since so many artists today are digitally based, I believe computer care is an important skill to master to avoid emotional meltdowns like mine. Harnessing the miraculous power of a System Restore will differ based on the make of your computer, but basically what this procedure does is transport your dear darling laptop back in time to a point before it was hurt by mean viruses!

I'm talking real time travel!

Once my system transformed into the re-infected version of itself, Clinton had me go hunting for all of my lost files. Here is how to "Unhide" hidden files on Windows XP:

Click Start menu > Click 'Computer' > Hit 'ALT' > Click 'Tools' > Click 'Folder Options' > Check 'Show hidden files'

At this point, all of your files will appear as grayed-out icons. Select them all (making sure not to accidentally select anything that wasn't hidden to begin with) and then right click.

Click 'Properties' > Uncheck 'Hide'

And that, my friends, is magic.

So, you can learn three lessons from my near misfortune:

1) Keep your anti-virus and anti-malware software updated.
2) A system restore can fix almost anything.
3) If you can't find your files, they might just be play hide-and-seek with you.

God is so good. I am on a total emotional rollercoaster right now. I went from the depths of despair to the heights of ecstasy within a matter of hours. Whew, how tiring.

One "bad" thing about fixing my old faithful computer is that Josh was dead set on getting me a new MacBook Pro. He was actually a little disappointed when he found out we wouldn't be getting one, but he saved a bunch of money by taking me to Tim Horton's to cheer me up rather than getting me a whole new computer.

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