Safe Mode
 HSP Virus
 Life in a Tech Shop - Stories

A customer comes into the store saying he knows he has a Virus on his computer. I tell him the fees for Virus removal , and also tell him there are no real gurantees..that some Viruses can be very destructive.

He say he just wants to start over fresh, wipe the whole thing and start over, I ask if he brought his Windows CD, he had in the form of the HP recovery CD. I told him the fees for an OS install and checked in his system.

Since I was doing a complete reinstall I did not run a Virus scan, I booted to a good clean boot disk and used the FDISK command and wiped the entire partition clean. I rebooted again, with my boot disk, using FDISK created a new clean partition.. I rebooted a third time with the customers HP recovery CD in the CD-ROM drive. The HP recovery CD booted the system and began to format the hard drive, after that it began to restore the system back to the original configuration from the factory.. ..45 minutes later it was complete..

I rebooted the system a final time, to ensure windows was functioning properly. I also looked at the Device Manager to look for any hardware conflicts, there were none, a Clean perfect install from a restore CD , I was amazed.(it rarely happens that way) I shut down the machine and called the customer to let him know his machine was finished.

The Customer came in, picked up his machine and then called later the next day very upset that we did not clean the Virus off his computer..I told him to bring in back in and I would run a virus scan on it and check it out again at no charge, I was guessing that if he had a virus he picked it up from new email messages that came in after he picked it up from the store.

He brought his machine in and I boot to a clean floppy and did a virus scan of all files on his system. using F-Prot  with the latest virus definitions. It came up clean, NO VIRUSES found..I then called the customer and gave him the results of my virus scan..When he came in I showed him the LOG file from the virus scan, he seemed pleased..but he wanted to check one thing first..

He then open Control Panel, went into System properties, then into Device Manager, he click on the Modem Category..and said "There, that HSP Micromodem Virus, is still there".. I tried repeatedly to explain to him that that was his Modem, or the telephone inside his computer that it was a piece of Hardware not a Virus.

A bit later in this conversation I asked him why he thought the HSP modem was a virus, Then I got the REAL story....

Apparently, this gentleman had been surfing some adult sites, and one of those sites offered FREE adult materials, he clicked on the link..a few minutes later he had a new ICON on his desktop for this FREE adult materials. He then  clicked on it..and it dialed out using his HSP MicroModem,  later that month when he got his phone bill..there was a huge bill..for LONG distance charges..he believed that the "HSP Micromodem Virus", hacked his telephone records and added these charges..

I had the unpleasent task of explaining that those "FREE adult Materials" ICONs are actually dialers to connect to those providers by telephone to many different  overseas countries, and the "adult Materials" are free.BUT... all LONG distance charges apply when making those calls just as they would during a normal voice conversation..

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