Hey guys, I've got some freaky stuff happening to me today. I got home and my MCE 2005 HTPC informed me that it could not download the newest guide listings. "That's odd," I thought to myself. The HTPC has been working great for over a year with no changes. I troubleshoot my network: nope, modem and router are working great, I can network with my other computers still. I open up IE 6. "No connection" is displayed on the screen for the default microsoft.com website. type in google.com. It opens right up. "Hmm...Microsoft website is down?" I said out loud in front of my wife. A few seconds later I hear "Nope." coming from behind me. Apparently my wife got right onto the microsoft.com website with her Vista laptop. I try it again. Still not coming up. I reset cookies, reset IE security to defaults...nothing.
So, I go get on my Desktop computer, running XP SP2. I can't get onto microsoft.com either. I boot up my netbook with XP SP3...doesn't work either. "If the only computer that works is running Vista, is Microsoft somehow blocking XP users from visiting the microsoft domain?". I quickly hook up my new Athlon II X2 rig running Vista ultimate and boot it up. In no time I'm on the web and sure enough, the Microsoft.com website comes right up! Argh!
I can't really believe that MS is purposely blocking XP machines from visting Microsoft.com, but that's what I'm observing so far. So, can anyone else visit Microsoft.com, either XP or Vista (or 7) and let me know what happens?
Ya, I already updated to IE8 on the HTPC to rule that out, it didn't change anything. I don't know why I didn't think of viruses! I went to AVG (the HTPC, being a strictly HTPC does not have virus software) and sure enough, that website was blocked too! I ended up having to go to oldversion.com, and download the newest version they had, then once installed, the virus list was from 2007! I could not update the virus list through AVG, as I was blocked. I couldn't even visit the manual download page through Firefox. I had to view a cached page of the manual download update site via google search, and even then when I clicked on the hyperlink for the latest update file, I was once again blocked! I ended up right clicking, saving the URL of the download, and then visited a proxy site and downloaded it through the proxy! Wow, that was a lot of work!
I'll let you guys know how I end up. Thanks for the help.
That doesn't sound good, at least not for MCE. To get MCE 2005 up and running, involves a prolonged ritual of 2 install disks with disk switching back and forth, 2 rollup updates, codec installation, tuner setup, program guide setup, recorded shows programing, etc, etc, etc. I've got the virus/trojan removed on my desktop and netbook already, so I just have to get the HTPC back in shape before the end of the night. Then, with fingers crossed, hopefully it will auto update the guide listings.
Still not sure how this all happened. The HTPC doesn't go onto or call out to the internet except for guide listings. The virus/trojan might have affected all the XP machines in the network.
There are free programs that supposedly will do what Acronis does, but Acronis is relatively inexpensive and it works very well.
When I do a new install, I install Windows, drivers, updates, my "standard" basic software (apps and utilities). Then I image to whole partition to an external drive, with a backup of that to a single layer DVD.
Restoring takes minutes instead of hours. Then it's just a matter of installing the new updates.
I used to have a great back up method with Ghost, but unfortunately, my old version of Ghost does not like SATA hard drives, making it worthless for modern use. I have tried a new free backup program, not sure what it is called off the top of my head, for my netbook, and I was impressed with the backup results. Only thing is, I don't think that free program can access the backup image and restore from a DOS or pre-boot environment like Ghost could, leaving you hanging out to dry if that rare time comes when the OS is completely FUBAR. Anyhow, I got all my rigs back up and running well again, all virus free! It's been so long since I've ever been infected with malware/virus crap, that I completely neglected to think about it when I couldn't visit MS.com. After all, usually a trojan will make its presence obvious by downloading a host of crapware/malware with popups and the like. These were sneaky little bastards...
nThanks joefriday, I am glad you got it resolved. The reason I thought about this, is because I got that stinking virus about 2 years ago. And yeah, it is a pesky mess to get rid of, because it blocks all the sites you would normally go to get rid of it! Yeah, I noticed right off when I got it because the first thing it did was change my homepage to an ad infested site of its own. But I guess if this was on your HTPC, you might not notice right right away.
nAnyway, 2 thumbs up, you got it worked out.