As Franz Liebkind once sighed when he ran out of bullets, "Boy, when things go wrong...."
The headaches associated with the downfall of my computer, narrated in the previous posts, continue. Here is our latest episode:
Somehow or other -- no doubt again through human error -- before my firewall and antivirus software were reinstalled, I managed to acquire a worm in my system. When I restarted the machine after firing up Norton Antivirus, that program sent me a continual series of alerts that I was playing host to the verminous W32.Gaobot.YC. Removal of the creature entailed running in Safe Mode, spelunking through the registry, strong emetics and iron fortitude. At one point, I inexplicably lost my DSL connection: it simply disappeared from the computer and could not be reinstalled without first reinstalling Windows XP Service Pack 1. Small birds and mammals were not sacrificed, but the temptation was great.
I think the tricksy wormses are gone now, but they seem to have left a peculiar side effect: My antivirus software is now unable to download updates. What is even more puzzling, I am unable to access the Web sites of the primary antivirus vendors: Symantec, McAfee, et al. are denied me. (I can access those same sites perfectly well via the dial-up connection on my laptop, so it's not a case of their servers being down.)
Googling leads me to no clues: there is no sign of this being a symptom of the worm with which I was infected, nor does my machine show signs of some other process at work. Methinks a call to the handy folks at technical support is in the cards for Monday, unless perhaps my readers can offer up wiser, less costly insights.
That's the trouble with sagas, isn't it? They just go on and on.