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The Red Screen of Death (Computer Horror Stories: Part 1)

Oct/Mon/2015 | Filed under: Thoughts on IT | Permalink

Recently a friend and business colleague of mine went to his place in Vermont for a week. While he was up there working on his home PC he was being redirected to other sites without his permission. Also out of the blue, advertisements started appearing randomly on the right of his screen and then it happened…THE BIG RED SCREEN OF DEATH! He hastily read it and it said that Microsoft had detected that he had been hacked and to call the number on the screen immediately. (I have to disclose he is a friend not a Nutmeg client, we could have helped him prevent this) He clicked on the X button to close it and he went back to work.

At this point, his machine also kept telling him to download the latest Adobe updates from an unknown source! Then it happened again, the Red Screen! He turned off his computer and used his smartphone to check what to do when something like this happens. After reviewing a couple of IT websites, he went through a series of tasks; opening his machine in safe mode, running a Malware program which told him he had no issues, and so he logged on again. The red screen came back and lo and behold a text box appeared featuring a helpful looking gentleman named Mark telling him he could see he was working in Vermont and suggesting he call the number on the screen. He was smart enough to ignore Mark (like how did Mark get there when nothing else was working?) but this had been going on for hours now and understandably he was feeling a little nauseous (anyone else felt this way dealing with computer problems?) He switched off his machine again thinking that if he left it on, something might leap out of the screen and bite him! Back to the smartphone and after another hour of research of numerous websites he came up with what he thought was a solution. He did everything as indicated (deleting this and deleting that) and so while he was there he deleted some more of this and that. Unfortunately he went too far and when he logged back on nothing worked, no web browsing, no access to anything! And then he had a flash of inspiration, logged on in safe mode and was able to find a System Restore point and guess what, no more red screen and no more feeling sick to his stomach.

So has something like this ever happened to you or something similar? Actually it happens more than you think. My friend was lucky that he had enough basic knowledge to fix it, at least for now. Nutmeg Consulting knows how to prevent this from happening and we’re working with him to make sure it doesn’t happen again. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure as they say! So if you would like to learn more about how you can save yourselves from nausea and a potential corrupted machine contact us. Russ Cormier or Chris Shipley at 860.256.4822 and we will be happy to help you out!

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