'Turn off Judith' message

  UncleP 03:25 06 Oct 07
Locked

Two days ago I experienced a set of unusual symptoms which together made me suspect that something was wrong with my computer. I've checked with anti-malware programs and found nothing unusual. The first two effects listed below have not recurred; the third has not been further tested. Any comments, suggestions or explanations would be gratefully received.

I'm running Windows XP2; broadband is BT Yahoo Option 3 8Mb (Norton security).

(a) on booting up, the message in the bottom left-hand corner of the Windows login page which normally reads 'Turn off computer', read 'Turn off Judith'. As far as I'm aware, there are no files or folders with this name on the computer.

(b) about an hour later, while accessing my (Yahoo) e-mail, my password was requested. This has happened before, but at infrequent intervals - several months apart.

(c) two hours later, I received a phone call from a sister-in-law in the north of England saying that she had tried to send me an e-mail, but that it had been blocked. She had tried a second time, with the same result. As far as I can tell, I am receiving messages from a variety of sources, and all appears normal at my end.

Coincidence, or three effects with a common source? Beyond me, I'm afraid!

  €dstowe 06:44 06 Oct 07

As this was only two days ago, can you do a System Restore to a time before this happened?

Do you have a backup that you could re-install from?

  bluto1 19:17 06 Oct 07

Hi,
How old is the computer?
Did you get it second hand/gift?
Somewhere inside is a place where you can name the Computer and if this was done before you got it, it could explain the name coming up.
I'll have a further look around and come back.

  bluto1 19:27 06 Oct 07

Go to Control Panel<System<Computer name tab and if Judith is the name there then delete her.

  UncleP 23:57 06 Oct 07

€dstowe: Yes, I backup with Acronis TI9 - System Restore is switched off - so I can recover if necessary. It was more a question of finding out what was going on, and deciding whether there was a real problem there or not.

bluto1: well done! - the computer name is indeed Judith. As the machine is not networked (and has only a single account), I had not considered this possibility. However. it does leave two questions unanswered - where did 'Judith' come from, and why did the login window show this name only on this one occasion?

I bought the machine two years ago from a reputable manufacturer. It has only been out of my hands on one occasion, when I got a local firm to do a fairly straightforward repair. Mind you, they did manage to degrade my RAID1 array, which they left for me to sort out, so who knows what else went on?!

On the whole, I'm leaning towards the view that the events listed above were not related - just a 'bad hair day' (not that I have much of that left, either). And thanks for the contributions, guys!

  bluto1 18:28 07 Oct 07

Is it possibly somebody playing a prank? or perhaps the name has beenthere all along,not properly deleted,lying quietly in the background until you did something that triggered it's appearance. I know my PC does some unaccountable things, but then so do I.

  UncleP 01:20 08 Oct 07

Unlikely to be a prank - the computer is in a back bedroom, strictly off-limits (without my presence) to other members of the family, who are mostly not very computer literate. I did consider whether I had entered the name myself and simply forgotten about it, but I think its reappearance would have jogged my memory by now. And I think that computer names are usually only requested for networked machines, which mine isn't.

Some evidence concerning event (c) has appeared; my sister-in-law's ISP is ntlworld, who have caused some consternation by blocking e-mails from innocent senders in their attempts to eradicate spam. I'm not sure if this applies to outgoing mail, though.

Anyrate, I'm feeling more relaxed about that sequence of events now. I ran some more checks which failed to show anything significant. Modern computers and their operating systems are complex and, as you say, can perform in unaccountable ways.

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