APLawrence.com -  Resources for Unix and Linux Systems, Bloggers and the self-employed

I hate Windows

© March 2009 Anthony Lawrence

Yesterday I got called to a neighbor's house because his Vista machine had been infected with Antivirus 360. This is a nasty piece of malware that infects your browser and then informs you that every web page you visit is infected with a virus. When you hit Google, it rewrites the page to make it seem that Google itself has detected a problem on your system and that Google recommends you buy Antivirus 360 to fix the problem.

Gawd, I hate Windows! In fairness this particular piece of junk is spread through plugins (QuickTime, Adobe). However, Microsoft Defender doesn't prevent it or detect it after it is installed and neither did his Norton A/V. As I said, I hate Windows.

I was able to boot in Safe Mode with Networking and get Firefox downloaded. I then used that to research this crap and found plenty of pages giving removal instructions. Unfortunately, they were all wrong - apparently the creators of this junk have seen all those pages that would interfere with their scam, so they have changed the names of files and registry keys. I couldn't find anything that had more current information, so I went to System Restore.

I first tried going back to yesterday, but the system was still infected then. Not wanting to spend the day on this, I rolled it back two weeks and it came up clean.

OK, fine. But you know it will happen again. I hate Windows.

Got something to add? Send me email.

(OLDER)    <- More Stuff -> (NEWER)    (NEWEST)   

Printer Friendly Version

-> I hate Windows


Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

Take Control of OS X Server

Take Control of Apple Mail, Third Edition

iOS 8: A Take Control Crash Course

Photos for Mac: A Take Control Crash Course

Take Control of Parallels Desktop 12

More Articles by © Anthony Lawrence

Tue Mar 17 12:47:16 2009: 5730   TonyLawrence

I just talked to my neighbor - shortly after I left, the AV360 returned..

So - he has to find current removal instructions or hope that Norton or Microsoft update their software soon. I hate Windows.

Tue Mar 17 12:50:02 2009: 5731   TonyLawrence

PDF danger: (link)

My neighbor confirmed that he had downloaded a PDF file just before this stuff started..

Tue Mar 17 14:15:44 2009: 5733   BrettLegree

The only thing I hate more than Windows sometimes, is Windows-only shops (like us).

We (a friend of mine and I) warned our IT Security guys about that Adobe exploit.

The response was, "we're working on it".

I'm still waiting...

Tue Mar 17 15:44:23 2009: 5738   Andrew

The other thing about windows that drives me nuts is the fact that, on 85% of the computers I go to fix, its the "prevention" software itself thats causing the problem.

Users don't understand that having Norton AV, McAfee AV, Spybot, AdAware, 3 firewalls and that random "antispyware" program that popped up one day installed all at the same time is about the worse thing you can do to your system. On top of that, none of them are updated anyways!

Tue Mar 17 22:30:01 2009: 5741   BrettLegree

Andrew - my experiences parallel that too. All kinds of "protection" that absolutely ruins the performance of the machine.

That's why I sort of despise my work computer. IT has installed all kinds of crapware (McAfee, and a bunch of other stuff to monitor what we're doing...) - to the point that it takes the machine about 3-4 minutes to stabilize after you log on. Sad...

Wed Mar 18 07:52:25 2009: 5743   sebsauvage

I also hate to cut the crap on Windows computers, but I have found a way to (partially) PREVENT crap from entering: WOT (Web Of Trust).

This is a Firefox and IE extension which helps users avoid fishy websites (such as fake antiviruses). It uses several sources (PhishTank, SpamCom, DNS-BH, MalwarePatrol...) and also users ratings.

After a few weeks of test, I must admin it works brilliantly. I now consider this should be part of the default installation of any Windows PC, along with an antivirus and a firewall.

Give it a try, it's really worth it: (link)

Of course, WOT is not bulletproof, and you still need the magic four (antivirus+antispyware+firewall+WindowsUpdate). WOT just adds up to the security.

Wed Mar 18 14:35:56 2009: 5745   Patric

If you can manually get to windows update, I believe MS's malware removal tool gets rid of this (why they didn't also push the fix/detection to MS-Defender, I have no idea). I was also of the impression that this was primarily spreading through an exploit in Symantec's LiveReg.

Wed Mar 18 21:06:47 2009: 5749   TonyLawrence

Unpatched Windows exploits: (link)

and one of them being seen deployed now: (link)

Stop using Windows!

Fri Mar 20 23:18:25 2009: 5780   anonymous

How is it that I know dozens of people who have no stability problem with Windows since XP/Vista came out and BSOD virtually disappeared and you make it sound like Every time you touch Windows you have a crash. Simply ludicrous.

I know many people who are far from computer savvy and all they do is install a free anti virus program and keep it and the Windows OS updated and they motor along without a single hitch for years yet you seem to make it sound like an IT expert has to wrestle Windows to the ground and find a way to tie it down and even then it still manages to get away on you and screws up files and wastes your time. How does this happen to you???

What is it you were doing with Windows computers that botched things so horribly so often? It sounds like the outcome of an inexperienced 12 year old downloading dozens of dubious virus filled widgets and installing them without knowing what they really were.

Windows patches had broken more then they have fixed? Really? I had one single instance when SP2 came out and a specific game I had required a patch and I am aware that several other programs needed patching in that circumstance and I can imagine that from time to time that has happened in a few very specific circumstances. Its unfortunate but to say that Windows patches have broken more then they have fixed is so over the top foolish it's difficult to fathom what you thought you were going to prove with such a silly comment. You might as well advise someone to switch to Linux and watch all of their old Windows programs break because they are going to need all the Linux alternatives. It's silly.

I can understand if someone uses Linux or OSX because there are truthful reasons why they prefer those operating systems. But to make claims that the reason why you use Linux or OSX is because Windows is just so bad is either an outright lie simply created to start a flame war or it is an impression gained by using Windows with a degree of incompetence lower then that of the average man on the street. We know the average man on the street doesn't have the kind of problems with Windows that you have had or they would likely be in very serious trouble and Windows would have ceased being the most popular operating system across the world many years ago.

No operating system is perfect, each has its strengths and weaknesses, and from that perspective in general terms there is nothing wrong with any of them if they meet your needs.

When you try and make Windows sound like some kind of ongoing disaster it will fall on the deaf ears of multi millions who use Windows daily and have never had any difficulties of the kind.

Fri Mar 20 23:23:53 2009: 5781   TonyLawrence

Windows is "an ongoing disaster".

Thanks for the perfect definition.

Sat Mar 21 17:05:26 2009: 5785   anonymous

Very simple problem you describe, yet you were unable to fix it. Sounds like your services are a ripoff, and it's clear you don't really know what you're doing. I suppose it's time to stop pretending that you have any capability of doing the simple tasks necessary for securing or administering Windows machines and stick to obscure "Unix-like" clones.

Sat Mar 21 17:14:45 2009: 5786   TonyLawrence

I don't charge my neighbors for help with Windows crap. And no, it wasn't "easy" because the instructions found on the web didn't match this version - probably in a few days we'll be able to find accurate removal guides, but I couldn't find them in a reasonable amount of time that day.

Another whiny, no-knowledge Windows lover - if you had any brains at all, you'd know those of us who DO have brains hate it so much.

Sat Mar 21 17:40:06 2009: 5787   TonyLawrence

One more thing:

I don't claim to be a Windows expert. I did do a Microsoft MCSE but that was a long, long time ago (mid 90's, Windows NT) and I never kept up with it.

And yet, ignorant as I am, I often run into Windows IT people charging ridiculous rates who quite plainly know less about their stupid operating system than I do! That's disgusting because if I know more than you do about XP, Terminal Server etc. you have no right to even *be* in IT.

But that's the reality of Windows. Yes, there are sharp people who really know their stuff (why they waste their talents on Windows is a great question, by the way). But too many are charlatans: know-nothings bumbling their way along with no real understanding of operating systems, networking or anything else. Most of them wouldn't even have a job if it were not for virus infections.. and sadly, quite a few of them even know that and "push" Windows for just that reason: job security.

Windows disgusts me. Microsoft disgusts me. Most Windows Professionals disgust me,,

But go ahead: defend your crappy OS. Be my guest.

Sat Mar 21 18:20:31 2009: 5788   BrettLegree

I found a spare two cents in my pocket, so I'll throw it in the pot.

Sure, there are many (millions) of people who run Windows "with few problems". I have also noticed that a lot of these users are not very demanding - surfing and the like. In my experience and opinion Windows is an operating system with a lot of "slop". It isn't particularly elegant or tight (compared with some other operating systems), so it seems to tolerate various infections and system degradation pretty well. Plus, modern hardware is so powerful these days that it can help compensate for this.

So maybe people who have "very few problems" just haven't noticed. Perhaps it is kind of like driving a 20-year old car. It is okay to drive it down to the corner store to pick up milk, but you wouldn't race it at Indy or it would fall apart.

Now - to borrow a quote from Linus Torvalds, "all operating systems suck". Every system has bad points, as well as good.

A competent person can fix Windows eventually (and I know Tony is more than competent), but sometimes you just don't want to waste the time because there are so many things that can go wrong with it - let's face it, the majority of malware is written for it. This means that you sometimes have to do a lot of research to figure out what is wrong.

Often times it is faster to back up the user's files and then nuke the machine back to clean, and reinstall.

And then, as was already said, some "professionals" take advantage of the fact that a lot of things go wrong with Windows machines, and many users are not knowledgeable. It can be pretty easy to make money working on Windows machines - the old "defrag, remove viruses and charge $50" trick.

Sat Mar 21 18:32:25 2009: 5790   TonyLawrence

I wouldn't even call myself "competent" if I didn't have Google to lean on :-)

But seriously: so called IT people worried about cookies, others who think their default gateway can be on a different subnet, hundreds who don't know the first thing about routing.. it gets pretty sad.

Sat Mar 21 19:56:24 2009: 5791   anonymous

Let me preface this by saying that I have three Slackware boxes in the basement. Two of them are MythTV backends and the other is storage for them and do other things.

I haven't run any kind of anti-virus software or spyware/malware/crapware software on my computer for almost two years now and I haven't gotten infected by anything. Its a Windows XP machine and it just works. I don't use crappy file/music/video sharing sites, I have enough common sense to not click on a "OK" on a window telling me that my computer is infected and it'll clean it.

You're argument that Windows sucks is based in lies and bullshit. Users suck.

I can't remember the last time I had a BSOD. I can't remember the last time I had an XP or 2000 box crash that wasn't caused by a 3rd party driver or a user being stupid and I've never (in three years) had a 2003 Server box do anything other than what it was supposed to do.

I HAVE however spent more time getting MythTV to work, more time trying to understand the clusterf*ck that is Linux audio, the retardedness of having 8+ windows managers when all I want is something that sits on top of X and does what I tell it to do without all the fluffy bullshit, tracking down firmware, getting pisses because even though my raid works in Windows doesn't mean it will work in Linux because the card is really only software raid and then using md in Linux only to see my my recorded tv shows sound and look like someone with a severe stutter, getting responses like "Its supposed to work that way" or "read the manual" or "we'll fix it release 0.234.34", tracking down dependencies and finding them on websites where the site and or software hasn't been updated since 2004.

Personally, I research every person or company I work with, I would never hire you. You remind me of that guy in the SNL skit that just says "Move".

Sat Mar 21 21:09:04 2009: 5792   TonyLawrence

I think your comment speaks for itself.

Tue Mar 24 19:34:35 2009: 5834   DopeyJoe

Just stumbled across this blog, via (link)

Tony, I wouldn't trust you to setup my dog's PC. I've been using Linux since Slackware 7, and I've used every version of Windows that has ever been released.

I staunchly believe that Linux rocks on servers.

I staunchly believe that Linux has miles to go to catch up with Windows on desktop.

I staunchly believe that PEBKACs are the reason for 99% of Windows dekstop*\***ups.

I staunchly believe that if you blame the OS, you're a freetardian dipshit.


Tue Mar 24 19:47:01 2009: 5835   TonyLawrence

I wouldn't disagree with a thing you said. I completely agree that Linux has quite a way to go - it's fine for someone willing to make the effort, but effort is definitely needed.

But Windows still bites. I use a Mac myself for my desktop.. far superior to anything Microsoft has so far - and probably always will be.

But even if that were not true, I'd STILL hate Windows. It's a lousy OS start to finish. I'll grudgingly admit that Windows 7 MAY improve things slightly, but they still screw up just about everything they touch - look at their idiotic attempt to provide a command line shell for a prime example - they just don't freaking get it!

BTW: I'm not interested in setting up your dog's PC. Just in case you ever change your mind :-)

Tue Mar 24 20:46:28 2009: 5836   BrettLegree

Linux on the desktop. Hmm, a funny thing happened to me a month or so ago.

It is getting better, little by little in strange ways. I have an HP LaserJet 2600N.

XP and Vista needed to download extra drivers for it. So did OS X, I believe (10.5 here on my MBP).

Ubuntu 8.10 - err, it had the drivers included, installed like a charm - no need to go to a web site somewhere else.

Your mileage may vary of course.

I still prefer OS X over everything else but Linux is getting there. Put it this way, Linux has improved more in the past 5 years than Windows has.

Tue Mar 24 21:51:29 2009: 5837   TonyLawrence

I'm going to close the comments here.

Feel free to read "WHY I hate Windows" at (link) and add comments there, thanks.


Printer Friendly Version

Have you tried Searching this site?

This is a Unix/Linux resource website. It contains technical articles about Unix, Linux and general computing related subjects, opinion, news, help files, how-to's, tutorials and more.

Contact us

Printer Friendly Version

We must be very careful when we give advice to younger people: sometimes they follow it! (Edsger W. Dijkstra)

Linux posts

Troubleshooting posts

This post tagged:


Unix/Linux Consultants

Skills Tests

Unix/Linux Book Reviews

My Unix/Linux Troubleshooting Book

This site runs on Linode