SCENARIO: A computer, powered down for six to eight weeks, is plugged in and turned on, but immediately shows evidence of massive viral infection or impending hardware failure. The system is mostly unresponsive and the mouse is constantly shifting between the “Arrow” and the “Busy” cursor. What could possibly be going on here?
SOLUTION: I have witnessed this twice in the last 24 hours, and in both situations, the answer was just to WAIT. One computer was Windows 7 and the other was Windows Vista. In each case the computer had missed some important appointments and would not be deterred from a decided course of action. The real delay was caused by mandatory updates. Watching the activity in Task Manager was like watching footprints appear magically in the dust of an unused hallway.
It was a litany of offenders, starting with the Operating System that had to check and download all of the new updates. As each of the automatically starting programs loaded into memory they immediately went out through the Internet connection to check in with “Mother.” The second out the gate was the Anti-Virus software, quickly followed by the Web Browser. Successively the Printer Monitor, the Music Storage and the Flash Player all demanded their turn in checking-in and downloading UPDATES.
After 35 minutes, control of the computer was returned to me, ready for use, but now I was busy. Busy being mad at software developers who have decided that I cannot be allowed to choose when, and how I protect my computer and its resources. I was furious that I could not even perform a menial task while all of this crucial UPDATING took place. I was mad that my computer was not my own!
Some will say that it is important for tech companies to keep their products current and bug-free. And some will say that cyber-security is so important that it cannot be left up to the users. I can honestly say that while I appreciate the updates issued by software authors, I find the methods distinctly Draconian!