...but I walked away, more or less.
The E-Machines desktop, a cheapo Win7 box, had some issues with the power supply a few months ago, and I sent it off for warranty work. Mind you, this box only sports 2gb of RAM, and that's a bit thin for W7 work, but while never a blink-of-eye machine, it was tollible. When I got it back from Louisville, though, it was a real slug, so much so that I more or less quit using it, working instead off of a Linux box or my Droid devices.
I am, however, one of those guys who hates equipment that's not performing up to snuff, so I started to mess around with it. I changed the Page File allocation, and that did nothing, then I found an article which talked about Windows Update being the culprit. While I was investigating THAT possibility, I ran the Performance charts and noticed something peculiar: with ZERO input from the web, the machine seemed to be communicating anyway. Unplugging the Internet connection seemed to settle down the stats. Could the computer be zombiefied?
I tried to run a virus scan with the Trend Micro software, but a "quick scan" which should have taken seconds took 45 minutes, but found nothing. The computer performance charts LOOKED like the computer was working it's butt off, and the fan was running. Not like a Stack Overflow would do, but there seemed to be a regular cycle to it. The CPU would max for a few seconds, then fall off to 70%, then max again, as if it was furiously computing in bursts, like a BotNet machine would do.
I decided to take the bull by the horns. I had a solid Full back-up on two different drives, one which I imaged just before sending the box off for repairs.
I trashed the O/S and re-installed Windoze with the factory disks. The only thing I have lost is my Chrome URL collection and my email archives from January to now, but that's not hurt Hillary, so I feel safe. Actually, Chrome sort of remembers my URLs anyway, since whenever I search, the exact URLs pop right up from the Government Google archives.
So, I will run this box for a while with the fresh, minimalist Windoze in it, and If I don't like that, it will get a Linux distro. I doubt if it's worth paying to have the RAM upgraded, but in any case, Win7 is on MicroSquish's chopping block and it goes away soon. Then, Linux for sure.
This work has managed to consume all my time from breakfast to Happy Hour now, so I will go have a drinki-poo and sit outside and watch my garden grow.
Bonus below the fold (NSFW)