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Nevander

Post some of your computer horror/scare stories

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I'm talking about times where something on your computer just went totally wrong. Disaster, chaos, etc. Something messed up, you did something wrong, made a mistake, etc. For us computer people, some things in here will surely give us nightmares.

 

 

Here's one really quick which a) wasn't a huge deal but b) just happened and it prompted me to want to post this.

 

I was trying to change the way Windows handles launching games that get registered into Games Explorer. You see, it requires an internet connection for the game to actually launch. Something to do with legacy games and Windows being able to recognize them, well that's fine until you try to launch it offline and it stalls because it's trying to poll something to make sure your account can play it (something with parental settings and whatnot, and it has to connect some some Microsoft crap to refresh the info every time).

 

So I heard you could rename or delete some DLLs in system32 but I didn't want to fuck up Games Explorer or something else dumb, so I decided to poke around in the registry. Now, don't cringe yet because yes I know, that's serious shit. I did make a backup of the stuff I was planning to change first (luckily I didn't need them here). So I go into one of the subkeys and I see that one value is a path to the EXE file that belongs to the program. I thought maybe if I changed the path there to some dead end, it wouldn't pick up on me launching the real one... nope.

 

It still happened so I went back to change it back and then the Regedit told me that there was an error with the keys. Shit. So then I said well I can't edit it so the only option is to delete the key. So I did and it told me there was an error deleting. Double shit. It did go though however and then I went to check and the game was gone from Games Explorer. No biggie, I can just re-launch it and it will get restored, which it did. But the shortcut in the Start Menu was screwed and had a missing icon. Triple shit.

 

I contemplated restoring the backup I did but had another idea. Let me just try deleting this shortcut, then delete the key again. So I did, and re-launched one more time and there it was. It rebuilt the key and recreated the shortcut with the right target and icon.

 

Whew.

 

Like I said, it was only a Game in Games Explorer so it wasn't even system critical, but still. It gets scary when things start fucking up wouldn't you agree? I'm not gonna go fucking with values again. I might try disabling Games in Turn Windows Features on or off, but I don't know if that stops the third party games from being detected and stuff. Knowing Windows, I doubt it. The DLL thing might be the right solution actually, I can always restore those.

 

So the lesson today is: always backup shit before you change it and also create restore points before dicking around in the registry even if it's a simple change.

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Funny, I've always just hacked away at the registry and never had a problem.

 

But something embarrassing and computer-related happened at university... I think I was in the Mond Console Room at Cambridge (probably not far from the future site of the world's first webcam). It had been an all-nighter and we were by that point just pratting around. I noticed that if you entered something like "HELP COFFEE" it would give a helpful and mildly chatty response, though for some other things, such as "HELP LOVE" it explained that there were certain topics on which it was unable to assist, and you should seek out a human instead. Egging one another on, some increasingly silly things got put in. Then I noticed there was also a "SUGGEST" command. So...

 

 

SUGGEST SEX

 

CANNOT RESPOND TO ONE-WORD SUGGESTIONS. PLEASE BE MORE EXPLICIT.

SUGGEST MUTUAL MASTURBATION

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUGGESTION. ONE OF THE COMPUTER CENTRE TECHNICIANS WILL RESPOND IN DUE COURSE.

 

 

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Another one, back in college I though it would be funny to code a program to open Notepad infinitely. Long story short, I crashed the computer (not mine, the school's). No harm done and the instructor didn't see it or anything.

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I still remember the day my HD failed. I was playing a game for a while then I stopped, closed it and got on the internet. Soon after that the internet stopped working. Like, entirely. Then it went to a BSOD. The thing refused to boot after that. After borrowing a laptop and using it to create a quick Linux boot drive, I discovered the HD was completely busted. Couldn't even see it.

 

Now whenever the internet drops -- which is fortunately rare -- I freak out a little. 

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I had a shittily made virus attempt to infect my system and the virus attempted to impersonate cryptolocker.

 

I had suspicions of the so called "DOSBox" download in the terribly made video explaining how to get a specific obscure game running, seeing as though the vid was English yet the DL was Russian (thanks adfly, you prick), confirmed my download without my input AND proceeded to auto run itself upon the instant completion of it's retardedly low filesize.

 

It then proceeded to change my wallpaper to a poxy, low resolution, badly formatted .jpeg of a bootleg cryptolocker screen right before it got dicked by my Russian bouncer of an antivirus.

 

Still pretty fucking spooky to say how fast it happened though, Adblock and Noscript are now on everything I own.

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I was an aspiring animator as a teen. I remember starting with stick figures on power point and then moved to Flash 5. I still worked with stick figures (you guys remember stickdeath? Twas an inspiration) but gradually delved into smooth facial expressions, added effects, explored 3D, started to move on from stick figures. However for a month my computer was emitting a high pitched buzz even when switched off. It got louder every day.

 

One day when I came home from school and switched on the computer, my power supply immolated. Lost my hard drive in the process with all my work. I lost my drive and never animated again.

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1 hour ago, Chezza said:

However for a month my computer was emitting a high pitched buzz even when switched off. It got louder every day.

 

One day when I came home from school and switched on the computer, my power supply immolated.

Yep, that's a dying PSU. My old computer was making a buzz sound too even while off, wouldn't even turn on though.

 

Sorry to hear about losing all your work. I wouldn't let that stop you from continuing or picking it back up.

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Yesterday started my computer and found out a virus hit it, it kept opening new chrome windows for no reason, Rebooting fixed it and thankfully Kaspersky (hopefully) deleted some weird files that I hope were the reason for this.

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I haven't had anything weird happen with a computer for quite a long time, but sometime in April 2014, I woke up one day to find that my computer won't boot, and according to my dad, the hard drive surface became completely corrupted. To this day I'm not sure what caused it. Probably some malware since I'm pretty sure I was running without an AV on that iteration of Windows.

 

Oh and there was also that one time when my GPU died. It started with the occasional flash of glitchy stuff on the screen, then one day it completely froze the computer and when I rebooted, my screen looked like this. I found it quite amusing instead of scary, actually. Especially with the "Malfunction" plastered on the corrupted screen. Was really fitting.

 

I'm just glad I never had any of those freaky malware/rogues that mess with the user, like Navashield or the Magold email worm. Those would honestly be kinda scary to deal with personally, they remind me a lot of my computer-themed nightmares.

Edited by 129thVisplane

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THE GIFT

 

With Christmas coming, here's a triggered memory for you... Like 15 years ago I found a good sale on a computer in September, so I bought a computer for my friend's family. I got it, opened it to confirm it worked, installed a bunch of stuff on it then sealed it back up in the box to wait for Christmas to give it to them. On Christmas I gave it to them. No one bothered to hook it up for a week or so. Then I had to hook it up for them. It didn't work. No power at all. I thought I'd fix it later, well later took a while. By the time I was ready to return it to the company, it had passed the 90 day return period and without buying the 1 year warranty, I was out about $500.

 

RANSOMWARE

 

Other computer nightmares for me... my uncle's computer had some terrible ransomware. I've dealt with ransomware in the past and been able to bypass things. This thing disabled all browsers and made the wallpaper into an ad for the ransomware. I'd uninstall it and it would just come back. Even removing it from registry it would still happen. Looking up info on what a bitch it was to remove it was something like 1,114 files across as many directories. I had to remove it several times. I'm uncertain if it just kept coming back or if my uncle kept falling into whatever trap he originally fell into.

 

THE PASSWORD

 

Here's another one... my elderly aunt update to Windows 10 which includes some sort of password lock. I had the same issue. For whatever reason a PC that had no password for Windows 7 suddenly starts with a password on Windows 10. Well she doesn't have the password. She's 74. The password hint was like "its a flower." She dealt with Microsoft tech support, she dealt with the manufacturer tech support. Neither one helped, neither gave a fuck. I called them both as well and sure enough they both never gave a fuck. I looked up ways to bypass it but those didn't work. So I sat with her to guess her password for an agonizing 7 hours over 2 days. She found some random sticky in a notebook that was 20 years old. What was the magic password? Bulldog19074. A coworker had assigned her that password 20 fucking years ago and it was by random chance of using every single password she could find searching her house hoping one would work. Holy shit. I fell into the same trap when I upgraded too as I didn't know it wanted an Outlook / Microsoft password, it just wanted a password.

 

THE LONG INSTALL

 

Let's keep the pain coming. I dated a girl who for a college class needed specific design software put on her PC for the next day. This software took like 3 hours to install, oh but that's on top of the fact when I got there the PC just didn't work at all. Apparently it was riddled with viruses. I had to fresh install Windows and start from scratch. Here's the catch, I didn't expect to be doing it that day. I didn't have Windows, nor a key. So I illegally downloaded it... which resulted in a big headache as it came with a bunch of adware and popups. It was horrible. I had to root those out, then install that software over 5 or so discs.

 

Oh but I haven't mentioned the worst part. It was during the Superbowl and her parents were having a party. This PC was out in the open and not hidden in a room somewhere. She had to work that day... I've never met her family let alone her extended family and their friends. Wow did I hate that family. I had to hear dozens of times "who the fuck is this?" Really ya can't say hello my name is... Her dad was goddamn horrible to her mom too. I had to laugh off his terrible and abusive humor toward his wife thinking, she should kill you in your sleep. Knowing that was her family soured me on having a relationship with her as she was a lot like her father. Anyway, I did the job and soared over a toxic ocean. One person even commented "wow she must hate you to dump you here for a party with people you don't know and then leave."

Edited by geo

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I remember when my internet provider was switched to Comcast and not too long after they somehow blew out my Ethernet card in my old Windows 98 PC which in effect crashed the computer so hard the HD had to be wiped, losing everything in the process. Cue 3-4 months later after being on my PS2 for entertainment due to having no internet and thus no way to get anything back on the PC I eventually got a new Ethernet card and was able to use the service, as intended. Amazing first impressions huh? I still miss my 24-25 mbps/sec for downloading speeds though. Charter are friggin' awful, saying I should be getting 50 mbps when in reality I'm lucky to see it hit the double digits ever.

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Honestly. One of the scariest would probably have to be the time I spilt Ice Cream on my new Windows Laptop a few years ago at like 3 in the morning. I was finally happy that I had a PC where I could handle playing games with high requirements. (like, Arma 2) -- long story short; I'm still angry at myself. Fried the motherboard. But at the end of the day; I learned to never get a laptop again, and just stick to desktop.

 

The questions I ask myself to this day about that event:

-Why?

-Why were you so fat?

-Why did you freak out instead of pulling the battery quickly?

-Why didn't you just build a decent desktop?

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When I was in middle school, I wanted to play NBA Showtime through a MAME emulator after playing it in the arcade and having so much fun with it (the one on N64 wasn't nearly as good). I couldn't find the ROM (or whatever it's called for those) ANYWHERE. Hours of Google searching left me empty-handed. For shits and giggles, I figured I'd search Limewire for it and sure enough, there was a file that was found that seemed to be exactly what I was looking for! After downloading it and checking the folder, I immediately saw a setup file and without thinking, I double-clicked it (I was too excited to think that setup.exe may not be legit). All I remember was a CMD window coming up, my computer shutting down, and then rebooting to a ransomware screen. I was like "FUUUUUUUCK". 

 

This was a shared computer between my father and I, and he was at work and I knew he'd kick my ass as soon as he got home. I didn't know shit about computers back then, and this was before I had access to smartphones, another PC, etc. to do any Google searching. I somehow figured it out and got it booting successfully with all the malware removed about 5 minutes before he walked in the door. Since then, I've never run an exe without triple-checking it first. 

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5 minutes ago, cyan0s1s said:

lol I got fucked over by Limewire too. What was that other one, Kazaa? Early warez days sucked.

If you didn't infect your computer with Limewire, you weren't using it right :p  

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When I was a lot younger, at some point I realized that a lot of people use really stupid questions for password recovery. So I started checking random people on a popular social network and easily managed to log in some woman's account. It turned out that she was into hardcore BDSM and had a lot of embarrassing private photos stored there. Suddenly I felt so dirty and panicked so much, I was half expecting the police to bust me at any moment. I tried to be nice and sent her a message politely explaining that she should be more careful with security questions. But still I feel sooo bad about doing all this, oh my god.

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Heh. That's better than the time I found someone's Facebook logged in at a computer at uni. Not just any computer, but one of those standing computers in the student center you check your email on, with dozens of people passing it every minute.

 

I made some embarrassing posts and logged out. Serves him right.

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A few years ago I ended up spending over $600 in replacement computer parts I didn't really need to buy.

 

The reason? I was experiencing random intermittent data corruption, of a sort that I couldn't seem to track down.

 

RAM? Checked out fine. Hard drive? Ran the deep destructive read/write surface tests, they didn't pick up any sector issues. Even tried swapping motherboard and CPU ... Still issues.

 

In the end, it turned out it was the damnable hard drive - but nothing that would actually show up on any normal HDD tests! I never did find out what was wrong for sure but someone on Freenode suggested there must have been faulty RAM in the hard drive's internal cache, perhaps.

 

Never buying a Samsung/Seagate spinny drive again :P

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Well, there was always the time my desktop computer kept overheating like a lil bitch. Okay, this story isn't really scary, but imagine living in a conservative setting and being a hardcore fanboy of many fandoms in extreme ways. So I kept some artwork, 'ships, stuff that I made noobishly, stuff that to anyone else nowadays mean nothing. Yet, I presumed well, the computer needed something better than a defrag and occasional wipe-ups, it required physical maintenance.

 

*10 pairs of eyes look at me, all relatives and family* HMM, KORBEE, WHAT, IS YOUR COMPUTER DEAD? WELL THAT IS JUST FAAAA-

 

The lil beetch would overheat, crashing during random moments, and if not crashing, slowing down to a unbearable crawl (half a hour to open a browser window, and another half a hour to load the window). Obviously, I kinda gave up doing anything on it, which is apparently a major sign of something wrong in my family's eyes (back then when they thought I was a loser), and were starting to conjure up overly-complicated schemes, while ignoring my word on the situation.

 

What would be preferable to do in that situation would be to take the computer over to a service shop and have its cooling gel or whatev changed and stuff like that. That doesn't sound like anything more than a chore, except that the nearest shop dealing with that crap was 15 km away. And who says the shop would return it instantly? And who says there isn't some creep there snuffing MY fandom gold!? Even if I bothered getting the tools myself, it would be quite a journey for the car and wallet(I know I know, that stuff is supposed to be cheap). I said "Nope", made a air-blower out of two plastic bottles, took my toothbrush, and dusted and scrubbed the lil bitch's insides. It took me a while, since I don't react well to dust, but I braved through. In the end, after I removed like 90% of the dust, the lil bitch became a quiet (for the time) bitch, lending me some peace. The lil bitch didn't crash anymore afterwards, and it felt faster. I know the lil bitch requires serious maintenance, but why bother? I just hope it's Machine Spirit hold on.

 

Ask me about my bootleg smartphones, and I am going to beat Stephen King on the horror marketplace. 

 

EDIT:

Spoiler

My family used to have some serious issues with me then, thinking I was hiding something (which I was), wanting me to break or something, either way, there was uneasiness in air for the while. Not to mention being a artist-in-hiding and all that. Last thing I needed is having my stuff snooped upon. I bet they would have told the potential serviceman to search for any suspicious stuff and report to them on what did I do, then they would have used that as a "example" on me, effectively ruining my fandom life and my gaming life in one move. How? "KORBE, SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DO THIS STUPID SHIT, YOUR COMPUTER DIES! FROM NOW ON YOU WILL ONLY WORK AND STUDY!" or something like that. My family couldn't wait to lecture me over something, then to use me as a pawn in some complicated scheme regarding this and that family and whatnot. I can even see being blackmail as a example of that. I know every parent blackmails their kid eventually, but oh boy, I don't take that shit. They still kinda do, but after the tense relations settled, their need to lecture me lowered down to much more manageable levels.

 

Edited by Battle_Korbi

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I'm more interested in what nefarious shit involving "fandoms" you were up to.

 

Or is your horror story internationally filled with vaguely described lovecraftian horrors?

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Just now, mrthejoshmon said:

I'm more interested in what nefarious shit involving "fandoms" you were up to.

 

Or is your horror story internationally filled with vaguely described lovecraftian horrors?

Uhm, I guess the most harmless example to involve would be Undertale. Mostly because I didn't ship anything there. Plus, it was hot shit in 2016, but my fandomy stuff go even way more back. Heard of "Supernatural" or "Community" (slightly less harmless examples)? Might seem harmless for a lot of people, but I could never be sure with my family.

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The stories I could tell! A few months ago, I got a BSOD. When I restarted, everything was alright for a bit, until I restarted Firefox. All my bookmarks had gone; downloads refused to work. I kept getting NSIS errors, and if I tried to move or delete anything it said the directories were "corrupted and unreadable"! I ended up having to run things off my mother's old laptop for a bit until I was advised to run Chkdsk and let the machine handle it. That solved my little problem. But after that I tried to cut down on having to use the reset button on my rig.

 

Recently, my CD-ROM drive just stopped. It gave me an Error 19. Restarting didn't help, so I had to delete some things in the registry and reinstall the drivers. It worked afterwards.

 

Then there was the time I completely forgot my password to my user account.

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