Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dontcha just love computers?

Who among us has ever had a perfect computer with no special challenges? Ok, raise your hands, I know you are out there! No? No one? We aren’t surprised.

We’ve been reading other bloggers’ posts about the new Microsoft Security Essentials. Seems Microsoft has done something good, producing an excellent virus stopper, “malware” killer, and all-around good guy program, and all for free! Friend Rick has tested it against other virus checkers, and on his recommendation, we decided to go for it. So, we downloaded it. Easy. Told it to install. Easy, except that it first wanted us to uninstall any other virus software, firewalls, etc. that we had.

That was a bit unsettling, but we went to Control Panel and told it to uninstall Norton 360, the program we have been using for quite a while. Easy – just wait a few minutes, it’s uninstalled.

So, install MSE. Nope. Can’t do it. Why? Because you have to do it while you are online, and Microsoft Defender tells me it will not allow us to go online because we don’t have antivirus software! But that’s why we want to go online, to get antivirus software.

Over and over again we attempted to go online, and over and over again, Defender tells us we can‘t go online to download antivirus software because we don’t have antivirus software!

rick_0948 Time to call in the Marines, but this time our Marine is a Canadian, Rick, the non-geek geek a lot of us are learning from. The same fellow who showed us MSE in the first place. I emailed Rick, outlining the problem and asking for his phone number (it’s an international call). He replied that he has free Skype phone calls, and he’d call me.

Together, Rick and I spent possibly two hours on the phone over two days, trying first this then that. When this then that didn’t work, we’d try the other, and that didn’t work either. I was running between the house and the casita (we have three PCs, each one different) trying things different ways.

Rick sent me a link to Norton Remover, a program from Norton itself, that allows one to completely remove all Norton traces from the computer. Just uninstalling doesn’t do it. So, we did that. All of Norton disappeared, and we still couldn’t get online, because we didn’t have antivirus software. Back to square one, except that I didn’t have Norton to fall back on.

Finally, Rick called a halt, saying he had to investigate something. It would take at least an hour. In five minutes he called back. Just go to Control Panel, Internet Options, go to the “Advanced” tab, click that and push the reset button.

First of all, I don’t go near “Advanced” tabs. I’m a pretty good computer user, but I’ll never claim “Advanced” status as a guru or geek. But I followed Rick’s instructions, and within minutes we were online and operating with Microsoft Security Essentials. MSE did a complete scan of our computer for viruses and other bad worms, found us clean, and proceeded to beam with pride.

Rick has a reward coming, and he named it: a big bag of Cowboy Cookies!

If you ever need help with your computer, you gotta find your own guru, because we’re reserving Rick to be our guide for the rest of … Our Life on Wheels!


  1. Yes, it's a love/hate with these computer things alright. We once tried to un-install McAfee about 8 years ago & it took our whole system down so we never went with it or Norton ever again. We're just over the mountains from Rusty's:)))))

  2. Jerry, I'm a little bit overwhelmed by your blog today ... but, thanks! You didn't mention though that your first 'reward' offer was a 'peanut butter and onion' sandwich. Being a tough bargainer, I managed to hold out and get 'Cowboy Cookies' instead. Can't wait to collect!

  3. Jerry, you are right. Rick seems to be a real guru with the computer. I'm glad you were able to get things straightened out and working for you. In my case, it isn't so much a computer "problem" as a "computer operator problem".

  4. Your a persistent cuss, but Rick came to the rescue!! I have to pass on the Cowboy Cookies,,,might mess up my glorious figute..:-)

  5. Glad that you figured it out. I was never so frustrated as to when I had to install programs on my computer. Why must they make it so difficult?

  6. I have also been hesitant to uninstall my anti virus software to get the free stuff. I guess I was right. Glad you got yours working now. It's nice to have your own guru isn't it?

  7. Us Mac users just sit back and smile whenever you windows folks bitch and moan about your computer problems. Your problems are not 'computer' problems, they are Windoz problems.

    10 years using a Mac with NO anti-virus software required. No problems.


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