Pat via email asks:
I hope you are able to help me. Last evening I was downloading a film when a pop-up appeared which I was unable to close. I stupidly ignored it until the film had finished downloading and I now find all my docs & photos etc are blank and I have to pay a website to unencrypted my files. Is there anything I can do to restore my files, and most importantly are my bank accounts etc now exposed? Thank you for any help you are able to give.
This is not good Pat. This kind of “ransomware” was recently in the news when it hit the NHS and EU Police systems and it really has taken viruses to a whole new level. Your personal files and photos have been locked & password protected (encrypted) so that only the unlock code will let you get them back, and you will need to pay to get it. If you have a backup then don’t try a restore as the virus will almost certainly encrypt the backup copy. This kind of infection doesn’t normally target your Internet banking etc but you just don’t know what other infections you may have picked up, so I strongly recommend a full scan with your antivirus program and Malwarebytes or SuperAntiSpyware.
Dennis via email asks:
Hi Aunty. I‘m getting my wife a new laptop for Christmas and I want to transfer all of her personal stuff from our old computer PC which we shared before I donate take it to the charity shop. How do I do this so that my old computer is safe and no one can access my photos and documents etc, or access internet information like emails and web surfing?
Hi Dennis. Transferring your photos & docs from one computer to the other is pretty easy but it will depend on how well organised your files and folders are, and how much stuff you have. You can buy a 32GB USB flash memory stick for under €10 and use this to copy/paste everything from one machine to the other. On your old computer, right click on a folder and from the menu that pops up choose ‘copy’ and then right click on the USB stick and choose ‘paste’. The USB stick should appear after plugging it in as a new drive in My Computer or File Manager. Once you have double checked that you have everything from your old computer you should really physically destroy the internal hard disk in the old one as it isn’t difficult to retrieve data even after the computer has been wiped. Drop me a line if you need some advice with this.
Steve via email asks:
Dear Aunty. Is there any way to recover from an Update failure which my Compaq Presario attempted to do without warning? I was using it wirelessly at the time when it began the process and I could not stop the programme running but it then displayed a warning “bios update failed” and the laptop will not boot up. The only sign of life is the caps lock keeps flashing but I cannot get any screen to display and none of the F-keys respond either.
Hi Steve. This problem can happen with Windows updates or BIOS updates and unfortunately a failed BIOS update can result in a dead computer, but try this quick fix before we get to deep into it; unplug the laptop from the mains, remove the battery and wait 10 minutes and you may be lucky. If this fails then I’m afraid it is a pretty complicated process to “flash” a new BIOS file so let me know how you get on.
Any questions email me at firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com and I will see you all next week.