April 20, 2011

The Case of the Crazed Cursor

I stared in horror as my words sprinted off the screen.  They flew toward the cursor with mindless abandon.  Like lemmings they dashed for the cliff and plunged into the abyss.  Was my writing really that bad?

I spared only a second for that thought and jumped into action.  The Escape key didn't halt the steady climb of words blurring in their rush toward the cannibalistic cursor.  The screen refused to recognize my mouse commands.  Nothing worked it seemed ... even shrieking in frustration.  I allowed a second or two of panic while I fought the surge of letters, but finally determined that this file wanted to sacrifice itself and turned to save the other three open on my desktop.

I hesitated.  What if the mad cursor demon jumped the tracks and followed me?  Two of the four files represented years of labor, my blood sweat and tears.  But, what if it had already invaded? Raping and pillaging my work?  I donned my cape of goodness and plunged in to rescue them.

I right-clicked on the first file in the status bar and the window popped open pure and untouched.  My mouse flew to the close button, and I prayed as the file closed without a hitch.  The next file closed, and then the next.  That left  my crazed file.  I accessed the window, relieved to find its feasting over.  Two pages gone, but forty-nine still there.  The only problem?  I had spent the last two hours refining all fifty-one pages.  If I closed without saving, how many of the changes would evaporate just like those last death-bent pages?  I Saved As and hoped for the best.  Maybe I could merge the original file with the final and recover the stolen text.

Now, before my techie friends berate me, I am a software trainer, so YES! of course I saved and saved often.  I practice what I teach, but was my last save five minutes or fifteen minutes ago?  And YES! I have a backup of these files, but it's from last week.  Inspiration struck with a vengence over the last few days and the new material wasn't backed up yet.

Which brings me to my dilemma.  What happened?  My virus scanners (yes, I'm paranoid and have two) claim no threats exist on my computer.  My only clues are that I recently upgraded to the newest Internet Explorer version--which I detest by the way--and I accessed the internet from a hotel on Sunday, but I used the high risk settings on my security software.

FYI, I still don't trust the crazed machine, so I'm writing this from a different computer.

Any ideas, my friends?  Or similar experiences?

4 comments:

Henry said...

Boot up in Safe mode and then run your virus scanners. We had a virus that disabled the virus protection software but didn't get started in Safe mode. On top of virus protection, I'd also suggest a Spyware program. I've had a lot of success with Spybot Search and Destroy.

Susan M. Boyer said...

Yep--my parent's computer was recently infected by a a virus that was inserted into the start-up programs, and the first thing it did was disable the Norton antivirus software on the computer.

It was a nasty one. Hope you get it cleared up soon!

Valerie said...

Yeeks! Nightmares are made of this! I have no suggestions, no help at all. I just hope you were able to reconstruct everything.

Barbara V. Evers said...

Everything is squeaky clean now. Had to dump the two virus scanners. There is a long explanation why I had two, but I won't bother with that here. I have a new scanner which did find the problem and got some serious help desk support. They did a heavy duty clean up on registry, etc.