by Jonathan Impson

So I bought this laptop about 2 1/2 years ago, don’t get me wrong I loved it at first.. Then I turned it on, it had Microsoft Windows Vista on it.. I hate Vista more than anything in my life, I had intended to remove Vista and put XP SP2 on it.. Figured I would go ahead and give Vista a shot but this laptop was clearly not meant for Vista!! After all Vista is a memory hog and the laptop came with 512MB of Memory.. SO.. Needless to say it was slow as $#!% but I was STILL willing to give Vista a shot, I shouldn’t have.. In the end I decided I hated it, but eh.. Then the unthinkable happens, my boyfriend was using it overheated it and killed it!!!

Anyways so he killed it I was mad yes but I paid for a two year service plan with Best Buy and heat damage accident or not was covered yay! So I took it up to Best Buy and they looked up my information and then said I only paid for a one year service plan and it had expired!! I was so mad at them and was yelling at them but all they said was there was nothing they could do about it.. LIES!! LIES!!! Well needless to say I didn’t get it fixed and I couldn’t return it so I threw it into storage.. Well now a year later they sent me a freaking renewal notice in the mail which I got on April 03, 2009 saying “Your 2 Year Service Plain will expire on April 5, 2009” I was kinda happy and then mad because they sent it to me TWO DAYS before it expired and I tried almost a YEAR earlier to have them fix it! Jerks.. SO I took it to them on April 04, 2009 and said very madly I might add “I brought this in a year ago and “YOU” said my service plan expired when “I” knew I paid for a 2 year plan, I just received this renewal notice in the mailing saying my plan is for 2 years and expires tomorrow, I want this fixed and I want it fixed NOW and for FREE!” I then threw the laptop on the counter and the Geek Squad Associate didn’t say a word, he then just asked to see the paper typed it in the computer and said ok we can do that for you just bring it over here.. So I finally got it fixed and it cost me nothing, it cost them $398.00 though, so ha.. that’s what you get! So I now have and am currently using my fixed laptop.. I told my boyfriend he isn’t allowed to use it though, he has to use the old Dell..

Now I just have to get Vista off it!
Looking into it Toshiba doesn’t offer drivers for XP! Oh no..
That’s what HP tried to tell me about my sisters laptop ;)..
So I will be grabbing drivers from around the net and once done will hopefully be posting a how-to on how to downgrade this stupid machine..

Until then, have a great day everyone!




by Jonathan Impson

the bbc wrote:

A reward of $250,000 (£172,000) has been offered by Microsoft to find who is behind the Downadup/Conficker virus.

Since it started circulating in October 2008 the Conficker worm has managed to infect millions of computers worldwide.

The software giant is offering the cash reward because it views the Conficker worm as a criminal attack.

“People who write this malware have to be held accountable,” said George Stathakopulos, of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Group.

He told BBC News the company was “not prepared to sit back and let this kind of activity go unchecked”.

“Our message is very clear – whoever wrote this caused significant pain to our customers and we are sending a message that we will do everything we can to help with your arrest,” said Mr Stathakopulos.

Arbor Networks said as many as 12 million computers could be affected globally by Conficker/Downadup since it began prowling the web looking for vulnerable machines to infect in October.

Malicious payload

The Conficker worm is a self-replicating program that takes advantage of networks or computers that have not kept up to date with Windows security patches.

It can infect machines via a net connection or by hiding on USB memory drives used to ferry data from one computer to another. Once in a computer it digs deep, setting up defenses that make it hard to extract.
USB drives, BBC
The worm can also spread via USB flash drives.

The worm slithers through networks by guessing usernames and passwords. Security specialists recommend hardening passwords by mixing in numbers, punctuation marks and capital letters.

The virus reports in to its creators for updates by visiting a web domain. It generates the name of the domain itself using a complicated code which security firms have cracked to track the growth of the worm and block its progress.

Malware such as Downadup can be triggered to steal data or turn control of infected computers over to malicious hackers which pool them into larger armies of so-called botnets.

These networks of compromised machines can be used to send spam, as dead drops for stolen or pirated data and to launch attacks on other machines.

Although Downadup is widespread its creators have yet to activate its payload to steal data or launch other attacks.

It has caused costly headaches for network administrators dealing with users locked out of their accounts when the worm correctly guesses a password.

While Microsoft says it does not know the intention of the worm’s creator, it wants to ensure it does not wreak any more havoc.

Experts say users should have up-to-date anti-virus software and install Microsoft’s MS08-067 patch – also known as KB958644.

Global response

Microsoft has also partnered with security companies, domain name providers, academia, internet companies such as AOL and others on a co-ordinated global response to the worm.
Discarded computers, AP
Millions of computers have been hit by Conficker

Also included is the US Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security.

“The best way to defeat potential botnets like Conficker/Downadup is by the security and Domain Name System communities working together,” said Greg Rattray, chief internet security adviser at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann).

“Icann represents a community that’s all about co-ordinating those kinds of efforts to keep the internet globally secure and stable.”

Sasser worm

In 2003 Microsoft created its reward programme with $5m (£3.4m) in funding to help law enforcement agencies bring computer virus and worm authors to justice.

This reward for help in tracking the creators of Downadup is the first time in four years that the company has put up some cash in response to a worm outbreak.
Clock, BBC
Microsoft hopes its bounty has started the countdown to finding its creator

“We have not seen this type of worm or one of its class since 2004,” said Mr Stathakopulos.

In 2005 Microsoft paid out $250,000 (£171,000) to two individuals who helped identify the creator of the notorious Sasser worm. The author was arrested and sentenced by the German authorities.

Rewards of $250,000 were offered over three other major computer worm threats known as Blaster, MyDoom and Sobig worms.

Those perpetrators have never been caught.


The creators of the conficker/downadup worm have yet to activate the payload that the worm is supposed to deliver, be it a massive botnet or something else, researchers have no clue when, what, and how. Even if the perpetrators are caught the worm will still be out there, infecting unpatched terminals. There’s a chance someone that was totally unrelated with the creation of the worm may be able to tap into its framework and use the worm for their own purposes! The possibility is there and it’s ugly to say the least.