Linked by David Adams on Fri 25th Sep 2009 16:17 UTC
Bugs & Viruses A non-OSNews-reader asks: "I've got 5 PCs that I'm trying to use to train disadvantaged young people. The problem is they are riddled with viruses and a firewall blocks me from updating them. The people in charge of maintaining the PCs won't fix them or give me the admin password (Win XP) to let me install a new or updated antivirus. The centre is being shut down in a few months. If they were working, I could still do a lot with them, so I've been looking for a good online virus scan - but they all try to download a little .exe onto your PC first, and the settings on the PCs won't allow that. Suggestions? Solutions? Links?" Read on for our recommendation. Update: It appears that this question is part of an elaborate email scam designed to propagate malware. See here for details.
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I used to manage a computer lab for McNeese State University. The students would come in and corrupt the computers on a daily basis.

To solve ANY PROBLEM, I kept a set of three hard drives with duplicate images for the 25 computers in the lab.

If a system failed due to viruses, I would pull out an IDE ribbon cable and power plug, boot from the secondary drive directly into Ghost and just drive copy over the old OS. Process took less than 15 minutes (small footprint version of Windows XP).

Simple, repeat as often as necessary.

Now if you have an integrated PC or laptop lab like the ASUS 1005HA life is going to much harder for you. In a society where PC's are thrown away on a daily basis, you should consider getting a batch of identical older computers and moving to a scenario I described above.

Edited 2009-09-25 18:10 UTC

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