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-   -   I Just Don't Get Linux & Need Help (https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-newbie-8/i-just-dont-get-linux-and-need-help-719100/)

AsusDave 04-16-2009 09:22 PM

I have to concur with the opinions of many others here and suggest a complete re-install. You only need to look to Law #3 of the 10 Laws of Computer Security and possibly #6 as the ex set-up the box.

Good luck with whatever you go with.

Dave

pixellany 04-16-2009 09:50 PM

Ummmmmm---anyone notice that OP is long gone? Based on similar incidents, I'd guess she will not be back......

mark_alfred 04-17-2009 01:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pixellany (Post 3511719)
Ummmmmm---anyone notice that OP is long gone? Based on similar incidents, I'd guess she will not be back......

You're probably right there.

I had similar occurrences on my computer a short while back, that being some erratic behaviour where a letter would type repeatedly, or where lines of text would be deleted (as if the delete button was pressed.) Given that I've used my computer for years, and configured it to my liking, there was no way I was going to reinstall. So, I went about fixing it. There were a lotta crumbs in the keyboard. And, further, there were a few broken executables, and some potential viruses that I found when I put a virus scanner on the computer (ClamAV). So, I dealt with it, and the issues seem to have gone away.

Mind you, in the OP's case, I do agree that reinstalling makes perfect sense. After all, this would free up space that the broken Windows partition is taking up. Still, I feel that it's usually best to try and fix a system before reinstalling.

QueenMom 04-18-2009 01:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mark_alfred (Post 3508988)
Your computer sometimes starts typing a letter (IE, vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv etc) non-stop, fouling up your computer usage. A few things are possible. Perhaps, as you say, there is a "keystroke program" on there. Perhaps there's a program allowing an outside user to have access to your desktop (IE, your ex-partner). Perhaps it's infected by some sort of virus or malware (very unlikely, though). Or, and most likely, there's crumbs of food in your keyboard that stick sometimes.

So, let's start with the easy stuff. Turn your keyboard (or laptop) upside down, and give it a few good whacks. Likely, a bunch of crumbs will come out of it. Keep doing this for a minute or two.

EDIT

Good luck in ridding yourself of annoying repetitive keystroke causers within your computer. And congratulations on having dumped your annoying abusive ex-boyfriend.

Thank you for those tips - I originally thought the same thing regarding the crumbs, etc (especially with 3 kids) - but I've cleaned the keyboard with canned air, then washed the whole thing, then tried 2 other keyboards I have. I still encounter the same problem - in fact, it happened just a little while ago. Sometimes it's so bad I can't even type and just have to shut the computer down - sometimes it happens at particular times to make me "feel" like it's just a little sign or something, like a note to let me know he's there. (Creepy, isn't it?)

I apologize for disappearing for a few days - life interference. I was also waiting for a call back from a friend of mine who knows all about computers and I was hoping he could hold my hand...no such luck. He knows nothing about Linux either.

I have read thru most of the posts and am now unsure as to how to proceed. Is it ok to continue seeking help from you guys - or is it preferable I find the local group? I don't want to monopolize anyone's time or efforts, nor do I want to overstep my bounds. Am I looking for more help than is appropriate to ask for in this forum?

I really do appreciate all the input - and thank you, mark_alfred, for the kind words. :) I'm going to go through and begin following the instructions - if I'm not overstepping my bounds. If someone would please answer that question, I'd appreciate it. (I don't want to start following the instructions you guys have so gracefully provided - only to get halfway thru and find out I really shouldn't have asked for this much help.) :)

And what are the Laws of Computer Security? Told you...I'm a dork. ;)

Thanks again!
Katherine

QueenMom 04-18-2009 01:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wabbalee (Post 3511602)
I agree with Stratotak, time wise you could have a working and most of all, clean system in less than an hour. let's not confuse (or even scare) a potential new linux user here and stick to basics.

moreover, we have been posting away here, I think we should wait and see what QueenMom has to say to all this.

QueenMom, are you still with us?

I am, wabbalee, thank you. I am trying to make sense of some of the posts. This is what I've come up with:

~ Ex is a really bad apple. He used to be a cop and I found out he's using a friend's login/password (who is still a cop) to access info about me and my family from some database available only to law enforcement and that genre. Everything he finds, he's using against my family. (Not anything bad, just making sure I know he's got the info - like my parent's divorce decree from the early '80s.)
~ Ex knows I know nothing about Linux - which is why he installed it. Then I would have to go to him for help. There is some keyword installed when you try to get into the terminal - and it won't let me do anything without it. I have my own username set up on this computer - I have to enter a password to even get on the Ubuntu side.
~ Windows used to work - but I'm guessing that he used such a small part of the hard drive for Windows that it got filled up with info (because that is what I used until I couldn't access it anymore) and just won't even load now. I was having problems downloading things when I was using that part of the system, always getting a message that there wasn't enough memory and I needed to clean it up. (Which I did repeatedly, but didn't help.) I don't even try to access that part anymore and have just decided that is lost information.
~ I have installed all packet information (I hope that is what it's called) when the little symbol shows up that updates are ready. I'm confident the system is up-to-date.
~ With the talk about installing antivirus, etc, that there is nothing like that installed on here. Hits me as extremely strange, since the ex was always super concerned and vigilant about keeping that stuff up-to-date and running a full system scan every week. In fact, he was maniacal about it.
~ I've already addressed the possible keyboard issue...I'm confident it isn't a keyboard issue.
~ He installed a keylogger twice before - and it ran in my Windows background without me having a clue it was there. CCleaner just happened to catch it once, which is how I located it.
~ He knows I know nothing about this - so he thinks he can install whatever and I would never know it's there.
~ I know he used to have a remote login program on my system - for when I needed "help". I uninstalled it when I stumbled across the log and realized he'd been on my system frequently - and I hadn't been asking him for help (or didn't know he was there).
~ I do have several documents on here I need to save (and pictures) - but it definitely wouldn't be a daunting task. I haven't saved so much to this computer that I couldn't function without it - and if it means keeping him out of my life, I would much rather do whatever is necessary to have a clean, safe machine that he can't access. I want to get on and not worry whether he's watching everything I do. It isn't that I'm doing anything bad - I just think it would be nice.
~ I have no clue what demonbladenet is saying. I'm sorry!

Sorry for the longest post in history - just trying to answer questions/provide information all at once. What a mess.

mark_alfred 04-18-2009 02:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by QueenMom (Post 3512944)
~ I do have several documents on here I need to save (and pictures) - but it definitely wouldn't be a daunting task. I haven't saved so much to this computer that I couldn't function without it - and if it means keeping him out of my life, I would much rather do whatever is necessary to have a clean, safe machine that he can't access.

Well, that settles it. Get your usb-drive, and save your documents and pictures. Then, get an Ubuntu install disc, and format the entire drive and install. If the computer has access to the internet (high speed), then no problem. The install is practically automatic.

About installing Linux: I used to work in a shelter for homeless adults, whom I helped to find subsidised housing. I also helped some of them get second hand donated computers, and taught them how to install and use Debian Linux (another distro that's similar to Ubuntu). NONE of my clients knew squat about computers, but even they had no problems with this process (due to how easy it is). Installing Linux is basically this: get the cdrom, put it in the machine, answer "yes" when it asks if you wish to install, agree to its default suggestions, and then a functional computer with an awesome secure operating system is born.

mark_alfred 04-18-2009 03:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by QueenMom (Post 3512927)
And what are the Laws of Computer Security? Told you...I'm a dork. ;)

I'm not sure. I'm only familiar with the laws of computer nerdity.

i92guboj 04-18-2009 03:44 AM

Computer security comes in layers, hoping that at least one of the layers will stop the attacker. There's no perfect single solution. But good habits are your best ally. For a starter, you only need to worry about a couple of things: don't run services you are not going to be using, use a simple firewall and never run as the root user unless you really need to (only for administrative tasks).

In ubuntu all should be configured out of the box with safe enough defaults, and you can't login as root, so you shouldn't really have to worry about that. Once you reinstall your system will be clean.

QueenMom 04-18-2009 05:36 AM

Yay! You guys are so awesome...thank you for all this help. I will start pulling stuff off in a little while then. Before I do, I have 2 questions.

1) Can anything I'm going to pull off be infected? It's just some pictures and a couple of .doc documents.

2) About this install disk...is that the same thing that was referred to as a "live distro"? Is this what I download at
http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/

You have to downloads this ISO image:

ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppi...9-02-08-EN.iso

as pointed out by i92guboj? Or do I need to get some sort of other disk?

And I don't know if it matters, but when the computer boots it says "Ubuntu" - and when I have to sign in it says "KBuntu". Are they basically the same? And will redoing this get rid of the Windows partition on this machine?

Thank you so much you guys.

i92guboj 04-18-2009 06:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by QueenMom (Post 3513047)
Yay! You guys are so awesome...thank you for all this help. I will start pulling stuff off in a little while then. Before I do, I have 2 questions.

1) Can anything I'm going to pull off be infected? It's just some pictures and a couple of .doc documents.

The pictures should be safe. Documents... it depends. I know that MS-Word, for example, is vulnerable to macro-ing. Word documents can contain macros. But I am not sure about what's the scope of the threat. And I am not sure if Open Office (which is what you will be using in Linux to substitute MS-Office) is also vulnerable to these (it all depends whether it's fully compatible or not with MS-Word macros.

Quote:

2) About this install disk...is that the same thing that was referred to as a "live distro"? Is this what I download at
http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/

You have to downloads this ISO image:

ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppi...9-02-08-EN.iso

as pointed out by i92guboj? Or do I need to get some sort of other disk?
I suggested that as a mean to have a portable system that you could use to operate without being compromised while you managed to install a new OS. You probably don't want to use it as your regular OS. Instead, you need to download the Ubuntu installation disks, if that's the linux flavor that you want to use. You can fetch those here:

http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download

Quote:

And I don't know if it matters, but when the computer boots it says "Ubuntu" - and when I have to sign in it says "KBuntu". Are they basically the same?
Ubuntu and kubuntu are basically the same thing, just with a different default desktop. Ubuntu uses gnome and kubuntu uses kde. Either of them will work the same basically. And you can install an alternate desktop in whatever distro, so at the end of the day they are the same thing.

Both desktops can do basically the same things, using one of the other is mostly a matter of personal preference.

Quote:

And will redoing this get rid of the Windows partition on this machine?
The installer should provide an option to repartition the disk, but I am not familiar with the ubuntu installer. Probably someone around can answer that better than me.

rich_c 04-18-2009 07:31 AM

If you're not too sure about the whole downloading an ISO and burning it to a CD, you could always use this method of getting a CD.

XavierP 04-18-2009 08:41 AM

As to whether you should continue asking questions here or go to a LUG, the answer is to do both. Having someone there to help you is invaluable for those little issues that may come up and can be fixed quickly. It will also give you some peace of mind that you know what has been done and how it has been done. On the other hand, LQ is 24/7 and has thousands of people here who can offer advice.

mark_alfred 04-18-2009 06:23 PM

Please open a terminal (konsole, gnome-terminal, or xterm) and enter the following command (without quotes): "uname -r -m". This will tell us what version of Linux you're running, and what CPU processor you've got. Also, if you could open the text file /etc/apt/sources.list, and copy and paste it here, then we would know for sure what distro we're dealing with. Then, perhaps, we could better focus our assistance.

stratotak 04-18-2009 10:43 PM

If your going to install Ubuntu..Id recommend you read up on it..
https://help.ubuntu.com/8.10/install...386/index.html
And if there are things you dont understand or need further explanation..you can ask here..

Quote:

I have read thru most of the posts and am now unsure as to how to proceed. Is it ok to continue seeking help from you guys - or is it preferable I find the local group? I don't want to monopolize anyone's time or efforts, nor do I want to overstep my bounds. Am I looking for more help than is appropriate to ask for in this forum?
that is the whole point to a forum like this..for people to come and ask for and receive help..ask as many questions as you want..

schneidz 04-19-2009 12:14 AM

quick question: does your pc have the ability to write cd's ?
if so, what software do you use to write cd's ?
(with this info, someone mite know the process to create a bootable install disk.)
---
also, you mentioned a broken windows system. do you still have the windows install cd ? perhaps you can use that to repair your windows partition if that is your preferance ?


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