Here's the fine machine that has been occupying my time lately.
I'm fond of telling the kids at the Library that there's nothing they can do to the computers that I can't fix. I have a pretty good reputation for getting ailing computers working again.
This one presented quite a challenge. The owner reported popups & other problems. She tried to figure it out but finally brought it to me. Nasty bug, whatever it was. Wouldn't let me boot into Safe Mode, or load programs, or delete programs. Every time it rebooted it got worse. After a couple times it wouldn't reboot at all. The owner hadn't backed anything up so I rebooted from the XP disk and saved some stuff, but not being familiar with programs on the machine & where they stored things I missed some things.
Everything I tried, it shut me out of until all there was left was the startup screen saying how much memory it had & what disks it had. Couldn't even choose a boot disk to reinstall Windows. Finally cleared the BIOS and that fixed it enough to choose a boot drive to reinstall XP. Maybe my memory is faulty but I don't remember ever having to pull the Windows CD out of a computer at the first reboot during installation, but on this one I did. It just kept looping until I figured that one out. Lots of online research required in solving all the problems this one had.
It's ready to go home to its Mom now and has a full compliment of anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-everything software installed.
What I'd really like to do is put a curse on people who like to turn bugs like this loose on the Internet so that whatever they tried to do backfired on to them ten-fold.
Dog Update: All quiet today...no barking...no dogs seen. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Further dog update: They're back in their pen & seem to be resting. Should be good & ready to bark long into the night.