anti-virus removal question

Subject: anti-virus removal question
From: Ken Poshedly <poshedly -at- bellsouth -dot- net>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2010 12:48:06 -0700 (PDT)

My 15-year-old daughter is _almost_ perfectly responsible with her 2- or
3-year-old Toshiba Satellite laptop (with Vista). Her maturity level is
more like 18 or 19 years old (in a good, well-grounded way). But she
occasionally does still have those "teenager knows everything" moments and now,
it's caught up with her.

I recall how she was always too busy with the laptop and it was a real uphill
battle getting her to let me install antivirus protection (AVG Free) and Spotbot
Search & Destroy on her terminal, but at least it was done. But then she never
updated them with new virus or antispam definitions, etc. Instead, I did when I
could get access to the laptop.

Then AVG stopped offering updates for her version of the "free" product, so
that's as far as that went. The result: expired (i.e., little or no) protection
for who-knows-how-long.

But earlier this past week, her terminal wound up with the nasty pop-up that
announces that the terminal is infected and to click on the onscreen box to
upgrade to some unknown bogus antivirus program (not Norton, not AVG, not
anything I've ever seen mentioned anywhere).

And cancelling out of the warning window doesn't mean the end of things.
Instead, every program she tries -- no matter what it is -- results in the
onscreen window notifying her that this file (or that file or the other file, no
matter what) is infected and she should purchase this "unknown" antivirus

Can't run Spybot, or download even a new AVG -- can't do nuthin'.

My good friend Tim (who is also a member of this list) advises me that if I can
somehow come up with a bootable Vista CD, I should be able to use it to get up
and running and then run AVG from a thumb-drive (data-stick, whatever you call
it). (My own desktop Windows XP computer is well-protected, so I can prepare the
thumb-drive that way.)

But at my office, the IT guy tells me that my plan won't work. And another guy
says the best thing to do is remove the hard drive from the Toshiba laptop and
cable it directly to my desktop and then run my own scanning software on it as
it will be recognized as another drive.

All of this is logical, but now I don 't know which way to turn. Is Tim correct?
Or it my company's IT guy correct? Or is the last guy correct? School starts
here in Gwinnett County (near Atlanta) next Monday, so getting this done in the
next day or so is the plan.

-- Ken in metro Atlanta

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