WinZip hijacked my computer

It all started a little over a month ago when I, for whatever reason, decided to download the free trial version of WinZip. I had heard about the company and figure that maybe they have some bells and whistles that I want to use so I downloaded the trial. The trial has now expired and although the program did it’s job just fine I noticed no real difference from when before I had started the trial. And for that reason I choose not to pay the $30 for the full version especially when I already have a file extractor program on the computer. WinRar came installed on my computer so I figured I’ll just go back to using that.

And then all hell broke loose. I try to uninstall WinZip using the Start/Control Panel/Programs and Features/Uninstall and I cannot because there is a missing file it seems. So I search the computer for ‘winzip_en’ and it is no where to be found. So then I figure OK I’ll just re-install the trial version and that should put back the missing file right? Not so much. It won’t let me reinstall the program because I have, you guessed it, that same missing file.

missing file winzip

Well I guess it’s not that big of a deal because I can always just use WinRar right? No. Not so easy there. It seems that program is somehow not installed on the computer anymore. It seems that WinZip has completely taken over all my file extraction needs. But… I cannot use the program because the trial has expired. And I cannot install the program nor can I uninstall the program. Nor can I use the program I used to use because it does not seem to be on the computer. It seems that after spending way too much time trying to figure out how to solve this problem, there are a few ways I can fix this issue. I could probably find some sort of fix the problem program which will either cost me money or be loaded with a bunch of malware that I will eventually have to deal with as well, or I could go down to the Geek Squad and pay them or I can simply pay the $30 and get the full version of WinZip. But eff them for extorting me for $30.

The same thing happened last year with PowWeb, my web host provider. One day I got an email from them saying that I had viruses on some of my files.
“So can you guys help me clean it?”
“No. Well we can but it cost $150 for us to clean up your files. The other option is you can join up with our antivirus partner who, for a mere $90 a year, will monitor all of your websites and keep them all squeaky clean.”
“And what if I don’t?”
“Well then we will just take your websites that are infected off-line.”
“OK then, so what if I fix the files myself?”
“Well you can certainly do that.”
“Well then can you show me where the infected files are?”
“No we cannot do that there are too many of them.”

seal extortion

So in the end after spending many, many, too many hours trying to fix the problem myself I went ahead and paid the PowWeb extortion fee of $90. Suddenly all my stuff seems to magically be fine again. And even after I pay the extortion fee for the next couple weeks I was getting an email from them almost every day saying “You know, you really might want to consider upgrading to the next level of service blah blah blah.”

I think these companies prey on different types of people. There are the types of people who just do not know how to fix the issue and end up going to the Geek Squad or having their friends fix the issue and there is the other type of person who I believe the companies are actually hoping to snag. They are the types of people who will just simply pay the extortion fee. I have already spent three hours trying to fix this WinZip problem. Even at minimum wage rates that is close to $30 that I just could pay and get this all over with.

Unless of course one of you knows how to fix the problem and can be bribed with fudge or cookies that I will mail to you. But then that is probably breaking some sort of law by sending food items across state lines. Damned if I do damned if I don’t. All I want to do is unzip some bloody files and not get taken advantage of by The Man.

extortion graffitti

“All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine.” – Jeff Spicoli

Has this happened to you? What is your story?
Do you know how to fix this little problem of mine?
Let me know in the comments.

39 Replies to “WinZip hijacked my computer”

  1. WinRar is probably still installed, but WinZip has been set to handle files with compressed file extensions… .zip, .rar, etc. This is easy to change in the Windows Control Panel… Go there and select Programs, then Program Defaults. From there you can set all your default programs, or specifically set certain programs to handle certain file types.
    Let me know if you need help.
    I LOVE cookies… but since I’m in the Philippines, and on a low-carb diet… I’ll have to take a rain-check on the bribe… but if you need to contact me on this, I believe you have my Vegas number that rings here.

  2. My Vegas number is though Vonage Business… and I’m paying too much… about $45 a month.
    I’m moving to another provider… where I can pay $7.85, $25.85 or $44.85 depending on the level of features I select, plus $2.00 or $4.00 for a Personal Unlimited or Office Unlimited phone number. Since this is really a personal line, I may be able to get by for $9.85 per month.
    With VoIP, you can go anywhere there is an Internet connection, and receive calls for numbers that are for almost any city in the world.
    Jeff Sohler recently posted…Surigao Internet MarketingMy Profile

  3. That’s a wild story. I’ve never been hijacked in that manner but years ago I seemed to have run into a patch of malware & spyware things showing up on my computer. Luckily I could research online to learn what to do and I’m not afraid to go into the registry and work the magic.

    That’s actually the best lesson to learn; almost every problem you encounter online or on your computer, someone else has suffered the same issue. Sometimes it’s an easy fix; sometimes it’s not. When it’s really difficult that’s when you get someone else. Most of the time though, with a little confidence and being careful you can figure it out. Glad you found your solution; I hate weasels like that.
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted…How Are You? Life And BloggingMy Profile

  4. That’s actually the best lesson to learn; almost every problem you encounter online or on your computer, someone else has suffered the same issue. Sometimes it’s an easy fix; sometimes it’s not. When it’s really difficult that’s when you get someone else. Most of the time though, with a little confidence and being careful you can figure it out. Glad you found your solution; I hate weasels like that.

  5. Very Good artilce, will informative and greatly fascinating. Such piece of work to share out. Keep up the good work of blogging such articles i like your ideas and instuctions allow me to share out.

  6. Hi Troy, most programs like these are loosing it and are trying hard to exhort anybody they get can get to. Fortunately for me, I have not had this kind of problem in the past. I am one person that will never pay such an extortion fee because I will definitely look for a way to solve the problem without paying a dime. I’m sure someone else has faced the same and has received a solution online.
    charala recently posted…Benefits of Dehydrating Food — All of ThemMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

CommentLuv badge

This blog uses premium CommentLuv which allows you to put your keywords with your name if you have had 7 approved comments. Use your real name and then @ your keywords (maximum of 3)