Just a heads up that I've recently acquired a computer virus, and have been battling with it for the better part of the day. Unless my current and 20th system scan can get me clear by tomorrow, I'll have to take it to a local computer shop. Until then, all artwork and communications are on hold in order to protect my information.
It was suggested to me that I try and describe the culprit! So here goes...
It started with a bunch of ads popping up all over my pages with 'Ads by Notification' at the bottom. I went into my Control Panel, removed all recent downloads and even past ones with names I couldn't recognize. I swept my browser add-ons as extensions, and reset all my default settings. (I normally use Chrome, but also have IE installed since it works for some US Navy sites.). I used Avast, Malwarebytes, Adwcleaner Hitman, SpyHunter, a 'junkware' removal sweep, (can't remember the name - I think it was JRT,) a couple 'double check' malware scanners, and multiple system scans, defrags, and so many reboots that I've lost count. NOTHING has worked and I STILL have the 'Ads by Notification' appearing. I can barely open my browser, let alone upload art, (I'm actually using my phone for this now.)
If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears! This has been a 9 hour long battle, and I'm giving up.
UPDATE - 10/19
I've lent my computer to a local tech shop. I described the problem, and the guy said what I had done was all good so far, but they're going to run more comprehensive scans and check my registry for suspicious files. He said it is very unlikely that a system sweep/restore will be needed. If it is, however, all commissions will be pushed back at least one week, as I will have lost all of the pieces I was working on up until now. That's best case scenario. Worst case is that I become a victim of ID theft and could possibly be in danger due to the nature of my work.
Thanks to all who have made suggestions thus far - I really appreciate it. I tried many of your methods that I had not tried yet this morning, but the virus is still there.
UPDATE - 10/20
Got bad news from the shop today. My system is now virus free, but my hard drive is toast. Honestly, there's no shame to it. I work my laptop hard, and it was only a matter of time before it happened. Luckily, all of my files will be transferred to a new hard drive. Unfortunately, none of my programs will be, (including my tablet driver...). Due to the copious amounts of files on my current hard drive, the transfer is going to take a couple days. Then it's probably going to take me another day to get my programs back in order.
Commissioners, about a week is going to be added to your wait time. I apologize, but this was beyond my control.
. Please note me if you have any specific questions. That said, I did begin several and am almost finished with an epic scene, (the xeno-dragon, you know who!
) so when I get back up and running, I won't have lost the progress on those. Just with getting my files transferred and all my vital programs up and running how I like them again is going to cause a small setback.
Most importantly, none of my personal information nor my military documents were jeopardized. As some of you know, I was very, very nervous about this happening. So, I'm safe! (For now.)
In other news, without art to work on, I've been forced to leave my home to venture into the outside world. I had a fantastic time fishing today, and plan on doing so all day every day until my computer is back up and running. For those of you curious, I'm a wicked fan of fishing. I usually do wade fishing in about 3-4 feet of water, open reel, casting with whatever I have as bait and then, whenever I catch something bigger, I use that as bait, and so on and so forth. Today I caught a 6" little spiny fish, a blue crab, (who then proceeded to stalk my toes for a good half hour,) and just after the sun set, a 12" redfish, all with crappy shrimp, heh. Tomorrow I'm going to hit up a local bait shop for some live minnows. Fingers crossed I can catch some bigger ones to keep! Also got to see a P3 Orion burning holes in the sky. Not too often we see those big gals flying around all day.
UPDATE - 10/23
Virus Be Gone! Computer is Back!
Indeed, I am now in possession of my computer again! I just picked it up from the shop today. For those of you who followed my last journal with all the updates, (commissioners, hopefully you did so since it affects you,) I ended up with a nasty virus which crashed my hard drive. It was only a matter of time before this happened anyway, as I work my laptop hard, and while there is never a 'good time' for this sort of thing to happen, it could have happened at a much, much worse time, for example...in the middle of my training!
That said, all of my files have been recovered, alhamdulillah!!! This includes the most recent commissions I was working on up until the morning before my computer crashed! I am very, very grateful that the guys at the shop could recover them all, and even used one of their own drives to help with the transfer from my old drive to the new to make sure that, even if the old drive did totally die, which it was threatening to do so, the files would still be able to transfer. *faints*
This all said, I am starting with a completely 'new slate' computer, and I'm beginning the long process of getting it all set back up and organized how I like it. I also need to install all of my old programs again, sadly, including my tablet driver, which is normally a 5+ hour ordeal to get set up correctly. I will also be backing up my current files on an external hard drive, and as you can imagine, I have a lot of Photoshop psd and png files to transfer. Due to this, I will be unable to immediately begin working on commissions again, as this will take me a couple days to finish. I am planning on having commissions up and running by this weekend.
All in all, it's been...one of those months. Again, this could have happened at a worse time, and I could have lost all of my information, so for that not happening, I'm very grateful. However, it is a load of unneeded stress and has caused at least a one week delay on all commissions. Thank you all current commissioners for your patience - if you have any specific questions, feel free to note me. And thanks to all for the suggestions on my last journal updates when this all went down - the support is much appreciated. ^^
Questions, comments, concerns? Comment here or note me.
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