I've wasted all day dealing with a computer catastrophe. I have no idea what's happened, but all of a sudden I've lost all of my saved incoming unanswered emails. Several thousand of them, including important business correspondence from agents, editors, interviewers, convention runners.
I have four different virus protection programs, two of them supposedly running constantly, and Ty just ran a complete scan two days ago. Despite which, somehow, I think I have some bloody virus. This morning when I logged onto AOL to check my email, all my saved emails were there. I read the new mail -- and my AOL is set to save every email I read unless I explicitly delete it -- and then, suddenly, my Saved Mail I've Read folder was empty, except for the sub-folders I'd set up (Business, Conventions, Personal Correspondence, Toy Soldiers, and such) to sort the mail so I can deal with it. Those were still there, along with all their contents. But about six hundred emails that I hadn't sorted yet were gone.
I spent hours running scans and virus checks, but two different systems found nothing but cookies. However, from time to time one of them warns me of a virus that it can't delete. Warns me in a pop-up. But when I try to follow its directions to get rid of the thing, well, they're not followable. (Normally I wouldn't be doing any of this stuff, but Wednesday is Ty's day off). And I'm getting strange glitches in the virus protection programs themselves.
Anyway, after four hours and two scans, I've deleted hundreds of cookies, but the pop-up is still warning me about something called "Mal Hifrm" which it doesn't know how to deal with.
Anyone know anything about this sucker?
Oh, and now my AOL "Mail I've Read" folder is empty. Not only the unsorted emails, but all of the sub-folders and sorted mails as well. So instead of six hundred emails, I have lost thousands.
That could almost be considered liberating, but damn it, some of those mails were important.
My "Sent Mail" files, with copies of outgoing emails, remain intact for the moment, but those may be next. Who the hell knows? I've been busily printing out hardcopy for my files.
Before anyone has a heart attack... I write with WordStar on a DOS computer that is completely separate from the Windows machine I use for email. It doesn't even have Windows, or any internet connection. So A DANCE WITH DRAGONS and my other work is safe.
This shit never happened when I used a typewriter.