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Same Time Tomorrow

by The Scholar

Part 8: E-Radication

Carl: Hello, Allan. Got your message, I am printing off the e-mails now.

Allan: Sorry, about that second one, can't believe I didn't test it first.

Carl: That's fine. I haven't looked at them yet.

Allan: I tried to type them out as complete as I could; I even did them as I went along so I knew they were working.

Carl: I'm going to shut down completely and then start up again, so I can follow your instructions.

Allan: Okay. I'll be here all day.

Carl: Fingers crossed. See you later.

Allan: Later, Carl.

Allan had sent a complete set of instructions that Carl would need to follow if he was to, hopefully, successfully remove from his computer the rogue program that was causing him so much grief.

Carl shut down his computer and then waited a few minutes before restarting it again, from the instructions he had printed off he began to read:

"Okay," he said to himself. "As the computer restarts, press and hold down the F8 key until the Windows start up menu appears."


"Choose Safe Mode from the start up menu and then press Enter. Windows starts in Safe Mode. Note - if you get an error, start from step one again, also note, this will take a long time to boot; it hasn't frozen, so just let it run. Okay, if you say so, Allan."

Carl waited and watched as his computer began to do some very odd things and he appeared, eventually, to be staring at an oversized negative of his desktop. He quickly looked for the next step.

"Now that we are in Safe Mode," he read, "we want to run E-Radicate. Press 'Scan'. Now we tick the following items."

Finding the E-Radicate shortcut on this strange looking desktop. Carl opened it and selected 'Scan'. He waited until a list of items presented themselves and he looked again at Allan's list. There were four to tick. He quickly found the three R1-HKCU files and then looked further down for the 04-HKLM file that was listed. All ticked he returned to the list.

"Make sure all windows including this one are closed. E-Radicate cannot work properly if there are windows open. Press 'Fix Checked'."


"Let it do its job and when it's finished we have an item to remove manually," he read. "Oh, we do? Okay. I hope you know what you're doing. What am I talking about? Of course you do, you're a Computer Analyst." Carl was talking to himself. He always did when he was nervous.

Carl waited while the computer "did its job" and when it appeared to be finished he returned to Allan's list.

"Double click on My Computer"


"Double click on C:"


"Double click on Windows."


"Scroll down until you find MSGAOL.EXE."


"Right click on MSGAOL.EXE then click on delete."


"Now let's clear the temporary folders just to make sure something isn't hiding in one of them. Sounds good to me, Allan."

"Start - Run - Type %temp% and click OK."


"Click on "EDIT" at the top of the screen that opens. Choose "Select All"."


"Now click on "FILE" at the top of the screen and choose "delete"."


"Now empty your "Recycle Bin"."


"Reboot the computer normally and please send me a new E-Radicate Log."

Carl re-started his computer as requested and, when everything was back to normal he quickly connected to the Internet and to his IM service. A yellow smiley face appeared next to Allan's name and Carl smiled. He quickly typed a message in the window he opened.

Carl: Hello, Allan, here's that Log you wanted.

Carl selected "send file" and browsed his documents until he found what he was looking for. Adding it to, he clicked sent and waited for Allan to accept it.

Allan: That was fast.

Carl: Hope it tells you something.

The screen showed that the file had been successfully sent and Carl waited.

Allan: It looks super.

Carl: It does? Cool. Now, it seems I have to add another batch of security things from online.

Allan: I'd start with the Windows update, as they will plug a bunch of holes in the system.

Carl: All those on top of Ice-It and E-Radicate? Well, okay."

Allan: Ice-It you'll want to run about once a week and the virus program. The other will sit in you tray at the bottom and keep watch for anything to try to sneak on your system.

Carl: First one is the link you resent.

Allan: Yes.

Carl: Okay, I have a nice blue screen.

Allan: Tell me it works.

Carl: It's a Windows update window and a box popped up asking if I want to install and run "Windows Update"

Allan: Yes. It puts a little program so it can see what updates you need.

Carl: Scan for updates?

Allan: Yep.

Carl: It's looking.

Allan: It should find quite a few by the looks of just your Internet Explorer date.

Carl: Okay it's found some nice things.

Carl: 20 in total.

Carl: I have a box says 'Pick Updates to Install'.

Allan: Are they all marked something like "critical update"?

Carl: Critical Updates and Services Packs (20)

Allan: Those are the ones you want.

Carl: On the main white screen just 'Review and Install Updates'.

Allan: Yes.

Carl: LOL! So, which shall I click? The one in the blue box headed 'Pick Updates to Install' or the 'Review and Install Updates' in the white screen?

Allan: The review and install updates in the white screen.

Carl: Forgive my stupidity, but this means sod all to me.

Allan: it's okay, I know.

Carl: Your total selected updates include an exclusive item [sounds like I won a prize] that must be installed separately from other updates. To install the exclusive item, click Install now. If you wish to install other critical updates, remove the exclusive item by clicking Remove.

Allan: That means you will have to install, reboot and then come back for the rest. I'd do the others first, then the one that is left over.

Carl: So I should click remove?

Allan: Yes.

Carl: Okay, it went.

Allan: We want to try to get the most at one time that we can.

Carl: You don't need to know what they are?

Allan: Nope. They are fixes that they have found for security.

Carl: Okay there are some big files. Total is 19 files and 12.4 MB

Allan: I knew it would be a big download.

Carl: So install now?

Allan: Do you have time? If not, pick some small ones and download them. You can come back and get more whenever, just as long as you get them.

Carl: You mean before that thing comes back again? I've been online 26-minutes.

Allan: It's already 11pm there and 12.5 MB is a lot.

Carl: It is? Well, I have nothing else to do. Can I stay online and chat or do I have to be disconnected?

Allan: We can stay and chat.

Carl: smileGood, may as well do something.

Allan: LOL!

Carl: What happens if the thing comes up while it's installing?

Allan: Disconnect, or whatever it is you do to stop it. Though, it shouldn't come back.

Carl: Okay. Well here goes, pressing install now - now!

Allan: Cool.

Carl: How many KB in an MB?

Allan: 1000. Actually bigger than that, but I can't remember the actual number.

Carl: That's okay, I wouldn't worry too much, it means very little - well, actually, it means nothing, to me.

Allan: LOL!

Carl: Only 11 MB to go

Allan: That's faster than I thought it would be.

Carl: I think it is on item 2 as that's 5.1 MB on its own. The first one was just 305 KB. Can't wait till it gets to the 900+ MB file. I could be here all night, I guess.

Allan: So long as you hit cancel (I think) you can stop it and it will pick up where it left off when you come back and do the scan thing on their site.

Carl: Okay. I just wanted to do this while you were around.

Allan: it's like 90% automatic from their site. I think the IE one you have to do some extra stuff with.

Carl: If you say so.

Allan: LOL!

Carl: If this works, you're a genius.

Allan: Shhhhh! Don't say that too loud, it might go to my head.

Carl: Well, if it doesn't work, I'll take it back. LOL!

Allan: LOL!

Carl: I pray to God it does, though. It's making me despair.

Allan: Those lines we removed were all that showed up as bad.

Carl: Fingers crossed then. Toes too. In fact, anything you can manhandle in a different direction.

Allan: We had to do it in Safe Mode to get rid of it.

Carl: Well, let's hope the file we found was the right one. It didn't have exe after it.

Allan: The reason it didn't have the .exe is because of a setting.

Carl: Okay, well, I'm in your hands, as I said, this is all foreign to me. By the way, am I keeping you from anything?

Allan: No, I'm just watching a group of people chat and chatting with you.

Carl: Well, I appreciate your company.

Allan: I found a bug on mine this morning, but it was my fault.

Carl: It was? What did you do? Throw open the welcome mat?

Allan: LOL! Mine was already on my computer, but it just seemed to show up whenever I ran one certain program (which is now gone).

Carl: Thank goodness for that. Guess I have around 4 or 5 minutes before the thing comes back.

Allan: It better not!

Carl: I hope not, too, I'm at 6.8 MB of a 12.4 MB download here.

Allan: That is fast on a dial up.

Carl: Yeah? I wouldn't know.

Allan: I would start at night, and come back in the morning when I had dial up.

Carl: Oh! That makes it sound like it's too easy and something is wrong. You know that feeling you get when something is easier than you expected it to be?

Allan: You must have a really good connection.

Carl: I wouldn't have a clue. Knowing my luck I'm connected to a premium rate number at five pounds per minute. Right now I'm on for 59 minutes so anytime soon, I guess.

Allan: You can check can't you? By clicking on the two computers down in the right hand corner?

Carl: Yes and it says I'm connected to my ISP.

Allan: It should be the right one then.

Carl: Just hit one-hour.

Allan: So far so good. *Knocks on wood*

Carl: Now my heart is thumping. It's the longest I've been online without being disconnected by that thing.

Allan: I know what you mean. We really won't know until the next time you turn the computer on and get online.

Carl: 8.7 of 12.4 MB downloaded. Oh! Well, that's gonna be just as scary, I suppose.

Allan: I'm hoping it hasn't changed names again.

Carl: Me, too.

Allan: If this works, then you can let the guys on that site know.

Carl: Yeah, that's a point, I forgot about them.

Allan: LOL!

Carl: This is racing, now. 12.1 MB

Allan: Cool.

Carl: Almost there. Okay, that's it. Download completed now it's installing.

Allan: When it's done installing it'll ask you to reboot.

Carl: Okay. I guess I'll be disconnected.

Allan: I think it gives you a choice of doing it right away or later.

Carl: I think right away is best, don't you?

Allan: Probably. Good call.

Carl: Okay it is, so I better close these windows.

Allan: You going to come back online, or pick up tomorrow sometime?

Carl: No, I'll be back.

Allan: Cool.

Carl closed down his computer and then re-started it up again. He took the opportunity of it going through its motions to pay a quick visit to the lavatory and then he returned and reconnected to the Internet. Allan was still online.

Carl: Back.

Allan: smileWB.

Carl: Thanks.

Alan: Ready to continue?

Carl: As I'll ever be.

Allan: Cool.

Carl continued to download, as Allan continued to guide him through the procedures when he hit on something he didn't understand. As one of them finally ended, Carl announced:

Carl: I've been online this time for 1:55, so far. I hadn't realised I'd passed through the time limit for that thing coming back. We may just have gotten away with it.

Allan: Well, we can watch it a few more times, but it should be gone.

Carl: Good idea. I'll come online tomorrow when you're on and do the rest of those links you sent.

Allan: Okay. You patched a lot of holes tonight.

Carl: Good, I'm happy to hear that. What time you on tomorrow?

Allan: Should be around 11pm your time.

Carl: Okay, I'd sooner do it when you're around.

Allan: That's fine.

Carl: I don't know how to thank you.

Allan: No thanks needed, it was kinda fun.

Carl: Not for me, LOL! Well, words seem inappropriate, but thanks.

Allan: You're welcome. Now, go get a good night's sleep.

Carl: Thanks again, Allan. You're a star.

Allan: Goodnight, Carl, sweet dreams.

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