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I Just Lost Three Stories

KinkyWinks

My computer locked down due to some Con Pop Up telling me to call them to fix the windows problem. I tried to close out but could not, I turned off the computer, it was still there. And then being the dumb shit that I am, in the control panel I found a thing called "Reset" I clicked on it and lost everything back to the day I bought the computer. Two stories were complete and one needed another chapter. I think my writing career is over. I'm so pissed off I can't even think. If you are running Windows 10 Leave that Damned Reset Button alone.

Dennis aka Catman

MadMcAl

As far as I can tell, you can get your files back with file recovery software.
For example this:
https://www.piriform.com/recuva/download/standard

From what I heard, it should be pretty good.

KinkyWinks

It did recover a lot of things but they are sure not in English. I think it is called gibberish, might even be upside down Chinese. Strange looking stuff.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
MadMcAl

Then, unfortunately you are out of luck.
The malware encrypted your files, and unless you have the NSA on speed dial you chances on decrypting them are remote.

But that was not the fault of Win10.

My condolences

KinkyWinks
Updated:

No it was not the fault of Windows 10, I do want to make everyone aware of what that damned button will do. I was writing using Libre Office and it is not part of Windows. That button will strip your computer to the basic install of Windows 10 and the only thing left will be what came with it. I think it was called re-formatting and now it's just AMF

Replies:   sharkjcw
sharkjcw
Updated:

@KinkyWinks

What I have found on the Malware, (alarm going off, flashing message to call 800 no.. Is to start task Manager, shut down browser and totally power down system. this seems to work most of the time, at least for MS edge and waterfox browsers.

MadMcAl

There are several variants of this type of malware. Some can be stopped with the task manager. Others need an anti virus, and the really bad ones actually encrypt your documents folder and some random files.

The last kind, you are SOL. No way to get your data back.
Forget paying, that won't get you anything.

About the reset button, AFAIK there are basically 4 modi it works.
Either complete reset, or reset with keeping your documents, and then fast or thorough for booth.
Complete deletes all, keeping obviously saves your documents.
Fast you can recover the files, thorough, they are gone.

imsly1

@KinkyWinks

Dang I was looking forward to some new works...

Been there...it sucks...

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@KinkyWinks

It is a browser pop up, and handling needs to be VERY careful, particularly depending on the browser involved. I actually just had a round with it in Chrome, which was highly annoying, but a laugh at the same time. (I only see it when I visit "certain sites" and it is amazing how often it tries to visit me while I'm there. But they are certainly getting more sophisticated about it. I'm probably going to have to go noscript myself soon enough because of that.)

Be careful of what you click on, what the prompts say they'll do isn't likely to be what they will actually do. And once you click on a button, you've "given permission" for that program to do what it wants to do.

Either learn the hotkey command to force close the active browser window, or kill the entire browser session through task manager. (I have also discovered Chrome has its own "taskmanager" within chrome itself that you can get to through the systray, which enables you to kill specific tabs/browser processes)

Usually that will address the issue, so long as you don't click on anything else.

Of course, this assumes you have a sane level of security set on your browser(default is usually fine for most people). If you have it set to trust everything, then yeah, you're probably screwed once that pops up.

Edit: On a comparable note, if you're surfing the grey, black, or "dark web" with Internet Explorer. Well, you might as well go ask a group of gang-bangers to rob you blind.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@KinkyWinks


It did recover a lot of things but they are sure not in English. I think it is called gibberish, might even be upside down Chinese. Strange looking stuff.


If the files were M$ WORD or html files, you'll need a special converter. I've seen WORD recovery files, and I believe that EASEus's recovery program recovers application specific programs (like WORD and EXCEL's).

I've been through that before, but never for as much data as you lost. You should always save your data to remote USB devices as well as an off-site location, in case of fire or flood damage). I use DropBox and saving my files on my sister's computer in Texas and on my laptop for that. That way, if your master file get deleted, you at least have a backup that you can restore from.

If you have stories on SOL, you can redownload them and copy/paste them back into the original source documents. If they were posted to ASSTR or elsewhere, and no longer there, you may have to try the wayback machine.

P.S. Also, try asking your readers, in a blog post, whether they have any copies of your work you can recover your files from. Many of us are known for saving our own personal copies (I tend to edit as I read stories, so I often have several stories backed up).

Ernest Bywater

@KinkyWinks

Waterfox is a variant of Fire Fox and all the Fire Fox add-ons etc work in it. I suggest you load AdBlock Plus, AdBlock Plus Pop-up Blocker, and Better Privacy they stop most (if not all) of that crap right up front while turned on.

KinkyWinks

I have been using Libre Office, two of the stories were in version 4 and the unfinished story in version 5.2.? The stories were tied to each other as part of the story line and I had not submitted them to SOL because something new in a story sometimes changed a thing or so in the earlier story. The computer has McAfee anti virus. What I clicked on was a Yahoo Page news story about Ellen DeGeneres. The screen immediately changed to the lock down. I took the computer to the shop along with a 4 year old one that was giving me problems. The guy couldn't help on the lost stories but did install a new hard drive in the older computer. I am going to use it and write totally off line. I don't even know where to start, most of the story just happened as I wrote it. No notes or outline anywhere. I had read through them enough making small changes and as most of you know I don't know much about punctuation so I spent a lot of time making them readable. I type with two fingers and have been working on them since last December. If I could get one of those Bastards that run the Cons in my gun sights, I would not hesitate to solve their problem permanently.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Crumbly Writer

With computers, especially if you're doing your own business (and writing counts, even if you don't earn anything), the key is "backup, backup, backup"!

As far as rebuilding all the work lost, I've had situations where I've lost work before. You can either spend months trying to rebuild what you had before, only to be disappointed in the results, or you can start from scratch with all new stories, and be satisfied with the results.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

With computers, especially if you're doing your own business (and writing counts, even if you don't earn anything), the key is "backup, backup, backup"!


And with my experiences with the Gestapo, back-up in the cloud on Dropbox, too.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

And with my experiences with the Gestapo, back-up in the cloud on Dropbox, too.

For more reasons than just that. If losing a single HD or a single computer puts you that far behind, imagine what would happen if your house was hit with a fire, flood, tornado or mudslide. Essentially, everything you own would be wiped out. Storage in the cloud at least assures you can eventually regain it--IF you remember to keep them updated!

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Storage in the cloud at least assures you can eventually regain it--IF you remember to keep them updated


CW, I had back-ups on two hard drives and also on two USB drives, one of which I took with me when I left the house. When the Gestapo visited the USB drives were in the system, having just been backed up - 13 months and they still haven't checked the 32 GB USB drive, the lazy rectums. So now I have the same system AND Dropbox backed up each week.

REP

Backing up your working files is always a good idea.

I had a similar problem – I would get infected with malware, shutdown, restart, and problem reappears. I found a fix that some of you may find useful to recover from your next infection. The malware I picked up was saved to my User Profile, every time I tried to log on with that profile the malware reasserted itself.

So to get around this type of problem you need to:

1. Create an Administrator User profile, if you don't have one.

2. Create a backup profile of your current User Profile – be sure to update it periodically.

3. The next time you are infected:

a. Shutdown your computer and on startup log on using the Administrator profile.

b. Delete your entire current User Profile.

c. Create a new User Profile using the prior profile name.

d. Copy your backup User Profile to your new User Profile.

e. Switch User to your normal User Profile – Pray it works!

No guarantee it will work all the time, but it does work when the malware is saved to your User profile.

Good Luck!

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

I always have to user profiles with full admin authority on any system I build. Any issues with a profile is resolved by logging in with the other profile and cleaning up the first one.

MadMcAl

Another good way to keep save is to make an linux live drive on an usb drive or an boot cd.
You can run several antivirus-programs, access your hard disk and even reset your windows password if needed.

KinkyWinks

@Crumbly Writer

Yep, I think I'll just start over from scratch. I'm moving my two desks into an open "V" shape where I can have access to both of them. I tend to write about what people build or the job they are doing and not so much about the people in the story so I spend many hours looking for some detail or other. I keep my stories where everything I write could happen exactly as I describe it. So, I need one computer online to make sure of what I am writing.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@KinkyWinks

Yep, I think I'll just start over from scratch.

Each time I try to recreate something I've lost, I end up disappointed it didn't match what I had, whereas if you start fresh, you'll generally incorporate what was best in the original (from having learned what didn't work), while reworking the story to make it better as you go.

On the flip side of that, whenever I try to rewrite a complete story (or chapter), I'll often find the story goes in a whole new direction, meaning I can't use the story elements I'd used before, forcing me to cast aside some of the best elements of the story. :(

Not_a_ID

@KinkyWinks

I took the computer to the shop along with a 4 year old one that was giving me problems. The guy couldn't help on the lost stories but did install a new hard drive in the older computer.


A "Dirty little secret" of many computer repair shops, in particular with the big chains, like Best Buy, is very few of their people are particularly skilled at what they do. To the point where they probably don't know much more than you do.

They've been given a set up utilities to run/install on a computer, and the follow the instructions said utilities provide them. Beyond that, "it must be a hardware issue." Even for the shops where the tech may be more skilled, they may not be allowed or otherwise inclined to go the extra mile to assist.

IF you want data recovery(that takes longer than a few minutes//running a couple basic utilities), rather than recovery (of use) of your computer, you're going to have to dig for someone who can truly assist, and be willing to pay for it, as they won't be cheap.

The computer has McAfee anti virus. {U}What I clicked on was a Yahoo Page news story about Ellen DeGeneres.{/U} The screen immediately changed to the lock down.


This is part of the "practice safe HEX" expression some computer/tech experts will allude to. Having an Anti-Virus program and firewall running will only protect you so far.

The end-user is still fully capable of letting infectious material through on their own. Be it through malware, ActiveX security exploits in Windows Explorer, or javascript popups that do things other than what their buttons say they will.

As to what happened, you probably clicked on a news aggregate link on yahoo news, which then took you to a third party site that is probably clean 99.9% of the time, but you happened to catch it during the 0.01% of the time when a hacker has managed to slip an undetected/unreported exploit into one the advertiser streams for that page, which is where things went wrong for you.

That is how most websites end up getting "compromised" as the site itself remains secure, it was the advertiser that dropped the ball and introduced the malicious code on the page, during that particular "hit."

The "Safe Hex" approach is to distrust any unexpected prompts that pop up, in particular any that start screaming about "certain kinds of activity" unless you are 100% certain that you know where it came from. (Checking active windows can help on that, if you're supposedly getting a warning from McCaffe about a virus infection, but the window that's open belongs to your web browser, chances are someone is phishing and you need to find a way to close that window without otherwise interacting with it.)

After that's done, you might want get into the real McCaffey and let it check your system over to be sure. The hackers are getting very good at the social engineering game, and making people click on things that will be harmful to them. If you find something that pops up suspicious, don't click on it, kill it by other means.

Not_a_ID

Or to put things in a more amusing/fictional frame:

Hackers are a lot like vampires. The overwhelming majority of computer hacks that occur are surprisingly low-tech all things considered. They're not achieved through brute force, they're done through "social engineering" their way to the information they need in order to get in.

In that respect, they have a lot in common with vampires. Their now preferred means of entry into your home/computer is by getting you or somebody else to give them permission to enter.

Of course, there still are the older school out there that aren't above dumpster diving and other such things in the name of obtaining clues as to passwords and whatnot, but most people aren't on the radar for those kinds of hackers. (Identity Thieves may be another matter)

graybyrd

When I first learned to fly, I was informed there are two kinds of pilots: those who have made a wheels-up landing, and those who will. Later, when I got my coastal-cruising sailboat, I was informed that there are two kinds of skippers: those who have run aground, and those who will.

Now that I have been depending on computer-based writing systems for some years, I can say with some authority that there are two kinds of computer users: those whose systems have crashed and lost valuable work, and those who will.

So to prolong and seek to avoid the impending wheels-up landing (use a check-list!); or not to run aground (use the damned chart!); or to avoid losing valuable work in a computer disaster (use back-ups!) here are a few tips.

Windows is a bloody malware target. If you enjoy wading naked through a malaria-infested swamp, then Windows is perfect for you.

Download and install either Firefox or Pale Moon (a speed-stripped variant of Firefox) If you prefer Internet Explorer, or Chrome, you are already dancing with the devil; pray for absolution.

Install the following extensions (add-ons):

> uBlock Origin ad blocker (Adblock plus has gone to the 'dark side,' allowing advertisers to pay for white-listed access);

> Ghostery (a tracker blocker);

> No-Script (blocks javascript intrusion).

Once installed, go to the "preferences" menu of uBlock, and review the settings. Click 'show dashboard'. See the options & become familiar with what's there. Then click "3rd party filters" and note the "Update Now" block; come back to that from time to time to update all the scripts. Also, scrolldown that list of categories to one labelled "Multi-Purpose" and check the box for 'Dan Pollock's Hosts Files' ... this is an anti-adware, anti-malware 'hosts' file on steriods, massively useful for blocking virtually all known malware sites. It's updated as new threats appear.

If you don't know what a 'hosts' file is, look it up and read about it. It's one of those 'inoculation against disease' things that Microsoft will never bother to inform you about.

Also, to keep the slow death-march of the Windows registry and cruft accumulation from sinking your system into the mud, download and install two free utilities from piriform.com: "CCleaner" and "Defraggler." Run CCleaner at least bi-monthly to fix broken registry entries, and to remove accumulation log fragments and other crud.

FINALLY: consider installing Linux on a drive partition, as a dual-boot option. At start-up time, you'll be given a choice of which system to use. Most 'windows-friendly' choices at present include Linux 'Mint,' or 'Zorin'. Go to 'distrowatch.com' to learn. Download & burn a live disc to try it out without committing yourself.

Other than that? Keep a string of back-ups. Never, ever back-up over an existing backup. You may be backing up a malware infestation, thus destroying your last clean backup. Keep them serial, so if disaster strikes, you can work your way back to the last good one. Keep backups on an external drive, or a Dropbox site, etc. Good advice about that has already been offered.

Windows 10 is a rolling disaster, but some people will have it no other way. Enjoy the pain. Myself? I do every last bit of my online work with Linux; I use Windows offline. I've not lost a byte of work for quite a few years now. But then again, as the man said: "There are those who have, and those who will..."

Good luck.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  madnige
Not_a_ID

@graybyrd

But then again, as the man said: "There are those who have, and those who will..."


There are two other types: Those who will have it happen sooner, and those who will have it later.

While Murphy has a vote in the matter, and all too many of those in the "those who will have it sooner" camp due various behaviors somehow manage to go their entire life without incident. While the guy in the "later" camp, so far as behavior goes end up seeing things go to shit two hours later. It generally doesn't do you much good to dance around thumbing your nose in the presence of Murphy.

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd
Updated:

@Not_a_ID


It generally doesn't do you much good to dance around thumbing your nose in the presence of Murphy.


Whether defying gravity, tweaking Neptune's nose, or trusting MS Windows to keep one's data safe, it's always a good idea to have a Plan B when Plan A goes to shite; fall back to Plan C when Plan B falls apart, and then ... well, that's why one wears a parachute or a life jacket or keeps an external backup of one's precious data.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@graybyrd

it's always a good idea to have a Plan B when Plan A goes to shite; fall back to Plan C when Plan B falls apart, and then ... well, that's why one wears a parachute or a life jacket or keeps an external backup of one's precious data.

That's why, whenever my computer gets infected, I immediately throw all my backup drives out the window, complete with little tiny parachutes! :-D

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@Crumbly Writer

I immediately throw all my backup drives out the window, complete with little tiny parachutes! :-D


And here I had assumed we'd just drown 'em in the bathtub without their little life jackets!

madnige

@graybyrd

I add another Firefox extension:

Request Policy - blocks all cross-site accesses except as whitelisted.

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