I have been in computer hell. Again. Thank god for my guru, with whom I have a love/hate relationship!
It started with yesterday's entry, and wanting to scan photos to use of my experiences with Mt. St. Helen's. To scan photos, I use PhotoShop Elements, choose the "import" command to my printer, and it gives me a choice of importing from my camera, or from the scanner.
Only yesterday, it didn't give me the scanner option. I've been using this method for more years than I can count, and at least 3 years since I got this new Canon printer, so it's not like I was making some rookie mistake. What the.....
My old printer would not scan when I was out of ink, for whatever reason, and I was nearly out of ink on this printer, so I went to the store to buy replacement ink, but once that was put in, I still couldnl't see the scanner. I tried rebooting the printer, but that didn't help.
I tried contacting PhotoShop, thinking this might be a software problem, but could not find a help number, so tried the Canon printer web site and found a 24/7 tech help number, which I called, reaching Sunil Kumar (of course), whose English I only understood about 2/3 of the time. I explained my problem and he said he would have to check my computer to make sure I had the right drivers (because I wasn't sure how to check that). I was still under the impression that I am talking with one of Canon's reps. I allowed access to my computer and he started searching things and things flew about my computer rapidly while he was speaking things I could sometimes understand and sometimes comprehend. This went on for a long time.
Then he showed me on my screen how the problem was that the "Network Access Protection" was turned off and that he was unable to fix that on my computer, but he would check with his supervisor. When he came back he said something about how his supervisor might be able to fix it if I signed up for their year-long protection, for "only" $350.
He said I could take the computer to the nearest Microsoft store, which, he told me, was 77 miles away and they would keep it for several days and I would have to pay $350 to them, or I could just pay him the $350 and his manager would fix it for me and make sure my computer would be fine for a whole year (after which, presumably, I would owe another $350)
Red flags were waving, bells were going off, and I felt as if I was trying to do business with a used car salesman. But this had been the tech rep I had called from the Canon web site!
Nevertheless, I was not going to fork over $350 and would find a work around if I couldn't get the scanner to work (the pix I used yesterday were photos of pictures). I played the "poor little old lady on social security" card, saying I would have to see if I could afford $350.
He kept adding to the list he had typed up for me on my screen showing me all the problems my system had and that's why I did a smart thing: I hit "print screen" so I could save it, which turned out to be a good idea because when I told him I would have to think about it and call him back, he immediately erased the list.
He was grumpy, and reminded me that the problems with my system were "growing daily" and I needed to get them fixed sooner before it was too late. He gave me his "private number" and extension to call when I had figured out my finances.
Well. I immediately wrote to my guru and while waiting to hear from him, I tried another graphics program which also had an "upload" capability and it, too, could not see the scanner either. Then I tried the Big Guns. I rebooted the computer. Voila! I have scanner access again.
But I had a lot chat with my guru and he wanted to check my computer to see if he could figure out what these shysters had done. Turns out it was a bogus Canon web site which led you to a company called Speedy PC Pro and all over the internet there are exposes about them and instructions for how to remove their software from your system.
It took Steve a long time and he found dozens of places where Speedy PC had added fun little things to my computer which would cause problems down the line (needing more "fixing" by them, presumably).
But supposedly I have a clean PC again. And incidentally, before I called him, I decided to dial the call-back number Sunil Kumar had given me to see what happened. An operator answered, not "Canon printers" to "Speedy PC." I hung up immediately and within seconds, there was a return call saying 'Beverly? You just called me." Like Canon would do that! I hung up on that call and it was called again, which I just ignored.
Oh...and that "Network Action Protection" that was causing all of my problems? It's something I don't even HAVE on my computer and is handled by other software.