Saturday, 29 October 2011

Virus (or Trojan?) Attack

I have to report that my main "Radio PC" is down having contracted something nasty yesterday.

Basically it all started when I discovered that the DVD/RW on my main PC seemed to be duff, and so I tried to burn a DVD on my Radio PC which is a Dell Dimension 3100 running Windows XP Home Edition.

That was a failure, as it appeared that the DVD/RW in the Dell was also u/s, and after doing some research on the web, I tried to download a new driver for it.

It seems that "driver sites" are now as bad as "keygen" sites used to be at harbouring nasty things, and to cut a long story short I very soon had a crippled PC, and still have.

First it was a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) with a number of "Stop Codes" which I was unable to find a satisfactory explanation for.

I then "repaired" the Windows installation from the OEM CD which got it going again, but as soon as I had it fired up I noticed that Microsoft Security Essentials appeared to have been "nobbled" in that the real time scanning couldn't be enabled, and examination with TCPView revealed dozens of TCP connections opening up, at which point I quickly removed the network connection from the PC.

As of now I haven't been able to find the root cause - a deep scan with Security Essentials, followed by SpyBot Search and Destroy revealed nothing, but there is definitely something nasty in there, and it will have to be complete purge, reformat and reinstall from scratch, I'm afraid.

Web sites being hosted on that PC have been found alternative accommodation, and I now need to think about what I must rescue in the way of data (My HRD logbook is in there for one thing) before I "slash and burn" and start again.

Doesn't it make you sick!

Yours, grumpily

Monday, 24 October 2011

Radio Meteors - Ostrava R1 Gone?

Sorry it has been a while since my last post, lots of stuff going on, not much of it worth blogging about!

However, I am moved once again to note the possible loss of my present (up until now, at any rate) source of Radio Metor Reflections, the TV Transmitter serving Ostrava in the Czech Republic on channel R1. (49.76MHz).

I tried to tune in over the weekend to pick up any Orionid meteors, only to be met with wall-to-wall white noise.

It's an even greater pity, as this is (or was) the last broadcast TV source I could receive on Band I.

I had reported previously that this transmitter was due to close in November, but either this has happened early, or the transmitter is off due to a fault or maintenance.   If I were in charge of a transmitter which is just about to close down, I don't think I'd spend too much effort on maintenance, but you never know!

As of the time of writing this entry, I haven't been able to verify what has happened, all I know is, I have no Orionid trails on my PC!

Interestingly I found a web site by Czech radio amateur Ivan OK2BMU who is waiting patiently for that same transmitter to close down so that he can get cracking on the amateur 6m (50MHz) band!  Every cloud has a silver lining, as they say ...