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.
Permalink for comment 386310
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Argh.
by NathanHill on Fri 25th Sep 2009 19:49 UTC
NathanHill
Member since:
2006-10-06

Most of the suggestions in this thread seem to come from la-la land.

Don't pull out any hard drives and put them in enclosures.

Don't install any version of Linux.

Don't waste your time wiping the machines.

If you can't download any other anti-virus or spyware removal software, then don't bother running a LiveCD (though it might be the least painful of all other options).

And even though it was my first thought, don't get the admin password, cause if you get caught, you are setting a terrible example of responsible computing.

If the organization is going to scrap the computers and doesn't want to waste time fixing them up, don't go after a lost cause. Spend your time doing something more constructive - like helping them have a plan to recycle the old equipment, brainstorming with them about future computer lab plans and equipment needs, or just using the extra time you will have in your day to read a good book, watch a movie, or make new friends.

Even if you spend a bunch of time doing all this crazy stuff, you are only going to delay the problem since nothing is really changing. They'll just get infected again until the computers are dumped. It's a lost cause. Fight other battles.

Reply Score: 3