Imagine my dismay this morning when I checked my computer just before 6.30am to find that it had two error messages and the Start button was missing. Little did I know what was ahead of me for the next 10+ hours. Frustration, tears and wasted time and I nearly wiped my computer to start all over again!
I did some research on the two error messages I had and it seemed to indicate it was a Windows error but it was a Dell file that wasn’t operating in the gs_agentfolder.
I tried to run the Dell diagnostics from my computer but it wouldn’t run so I pulled out the disc I got with my computer and then ran the diagnostics from that. It showed up 3 error messages indicating corrupted files, although it also did say that they might have been read protected.
I rang Dell to find out what to do – I had tried to run System Restore but it wouldn’t activate and I couldn’t get the run command function either because the Start button wouldn’t show. Rebooting several times did nothing.
Dell got me trying different things but in the end advised we would have to do a shadow imprint and did I have everything backed up? I confirmed ‘yes’ and we started the procedure but the penny soon dropped they meant a full reformat of the hard drive. Wait a minute, did I really want to do that? I backed off and asked the operator was there any other way? She had already been to speak to her manager and she assured me ‘no’. I got the instructions of what to do and advised her I really wanted to check all my files first to make sure everything was properly backed up as I knew it was going to take me hours and days to get fully back up and running again. The tears began to flow.
I emailed hubby to tell him what was going on and he rang me. We talked about possibilities and we both shared files we’d seen on possible fixes. Thousands of computers had been affected overseas by all reports. I believe McAfee’s own report about it affecting minimal computers is wrong and if I can claim for a full day’s lost work and pay, I’m going to.
I tweeted for help and answers started coming in.
McAfee’s own site was not helpful and talked about using the Start button (duh, it’s missing, I can’t find it) and downloading a new dat file (huh? I can’t connect to the internet on this computer and I can’t copy and paste files from an external source – nothing is working!)
Eventually I was given via twitter and a link via my husband (which funny enough is not working now and it’s via McAfee) relating to the svchost.exe file which was the REAL culuprit. McAfee’s update last night incorrectly identified this Window’s file as a virus.
What did I do?
Used a combination of the directions from the first and second links to sort the problem. Instead of using my CD with the svchost.exe file, I managed to find an updated copy in the ServicePackFiles folder on my computer (the search function mentioned in McAfee’s example did not work and I had to locate it manually in safe mode in Windows. Problem was that the command function won’t work to copy and paste files if there is a window open in Windows. Fortunately my husband twigged why the function wasn’t working and got me to close down Windows in Safe Mode and then reran the copy function in the Command Prompt.)
It worked and I was able to reboot and get my computer working again, yay!
I promptly uninstalled McAfee and refuse to use their new updated DAT file. They’ve cost me and I’ve lost income as a result of their stuff up.
I’ve downloaded a different program and have that running and now have to catch up with a couple hundred emails and some lost work time.
I feel sorry for those who need to engage a technician to help them – but at least the fix is now available. It wasn’t when I first started my journey this morning.
Thanks to all those who offered suggestions and empathy. Now I need a hit of chocolate!
Addendum: Quick way to get to your command prompt – Start computer in Safe Mode (press F8 several times when rebooting and choose Safe Mode). Press your Windows key (on the keyboard) and press the R key. The run prompt will then come up.
All the research was done on a second computer in my office.