It is with heavy heart that I have to admit that I was unable to resolve a malware infection on my laptop. In all the years I've been computing last night was the first time that I had to restore the factory settings. However, IBM (Praise them with Great Praise) made it simple, painless and relatively quick. They also had a wonderful utility which allowed me to save the important files off my hard drive--so I was able to save all the pictures I took in Florida over Christmas.
In my own defense, I tried my best--I followed the fixes I found in the forums--but when I tried to reboot, the Windows splash screen came up and stayed there. It wouldn't continue to the desktop (even in safe mode). Without the ability to use Windows to solve my problem I was lost at sea. I don't have the command line savvy I had when DOS 2.11 was the hottest new thing.
The first thing I did when I got my laptop up and running again was download fresh anti-virus updates from Norton. I also made a system restore point on my desktop computer because it's running like a top and I don't want to risk the same thing happening there--if it had, it would have been a disaster. Tonight, I'm going to back up all of my user files to DVD.
And what was this all about? Oh, yeah, trying to find a way to convert Audible.com files into MP3s. Well, there may yet be a solution. What Audible doesn't want is for people to trade their files peer to peer--a totally reasonable position. So they encrypt their downloads so that they can only be converted into WAVE files. However, you can only do that when you're burning to a CD. There's a program called Goldwave which has the ability to convert Audible files into Wave files (Audible doesn't like that but there's nothing they can really do about it). So if that works, after I have created the WAVE version of the Audible file, I can use my DART CD Creator software to break it up into manageable parts. I think that's the next avenue to try. But first--the backup.