The Microsoft Virus Merry-go-round: is It Time to Get Off?

Call it irresponsibility or a lack of computer knowledge, but during the past six weeks, I have repaired five computers infected with viruses. These were all fairly new systems running Windows 7 with SP1 (all updates were current). I was amazed that one system even started after discovering that it was infected with 16 different viruses and had lost everything — including documents and photos.

I am, however, not feeling sorry for these people; for the past 20+ years, I have religiously proclaimed the need to watch where one surfs and the need to keep a current anti-virus program installed. In addition, I also make backups to protect my data. Fortunately for me, that means that I haven’t had an infected system in all this time, whereas I have repaired hundreds of PCs during this same time period. The troubling fact to me, though, is that Windows still remains so vulnerable and that neither Microsoft or the anti-virus companies can stop the destruction caused by these critters of infection.

The Microsoft Virus Merry-go-round: is It Time to Get Off?With that being said, I have now taken up the tablet cause, recommending that those who are seeking a new computer buy a tablet. This device seems to be the perfect answer for those people who just need to surf the Internet, check their email, or play a few games. This fit is ideal because, for the most part, applications that are installed on a tablet come from secure servers and are virus free. Yes, there are some rogue sites out on the Web that offer virus-laden apps, but for the most part, these are the exception — not the rule.

This point was again driven home on Monday when I was required to spend about two hours updating, scanning, backing up, and performing other maintenance procedures on my Windows laptop. This was annoying since I could have spent this time doing other tasks or working on additional blog articles, any of which requires that I have access to the Internet. Again, to my benefit, I have access to both of my Apple iPads, Google Chromebook (Cr-48), and Amazon Kindle Fire, which require no such chores and are relatively maintenance free.

As my laptop approaches the third year of use, I know that next year I may be looking for a replacement and, due to the many issues with the Windows OS, I am considering waiting to see what Apple has to offer when it releases its Apple iPad 3, supposedly in March of 2012.

So what do you think? Should I dump Windows completely and go straight to a tablet? Share your opinions with me.

Comments welcome.

Article Written by

I have been writing for LockerGnome since relocating to Missouri seven years ago, where I continue to be a technology enthusiast who enjoys playing with the newest and latest gadgets.

  • Anonymous

    I rarely comment on things but this article is just odd.  You point blank say you’ve never had a virus… So is it the years of never getting a virus that’s making you stop using Windows?  No that wouldn’t make sense.   So you claim the only way you can keep from getting these viruses is through hours of scanning, updating and backing up.  Do you stand around and watch your computer do this?  Have you never heard of scheduling tasks?  My computer, as well as 99.9% of everyone else’s scans when they aren’t actively using it.  As for backing up, Do you believe your mac doesn’t need to be backed up?    How much data are you backing up that it takes hours?   

    But alas, it’s obvious what this article was written for… it’s called HITS!!!!   This is such an obvious troll for starting a Microsoft vs Apple comment battle.   

    This site is becoming such a disappointment lately.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3XMJY4SDXPXLCL24H6PTNBJ52I C.M

      Nicely written. Thanks for saving me the time and angst of replying. So, ditto!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3XMJY4SDXPXLCL24H6PTNBJ52I C.M

      Nicely written. Thanks for saving me the time and angst of replying. So, ditto!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3XMJY4SDXPXLCL24H6PTNBJ52I C.M

      Nicely written. Thanks for saving me the time and angst of replying. So, ditto!

    • Peter Murphy

      Just because a site publishes content that you don’t agree with doesn’t necessarily mean it’s rubbish… It may be a disappointment to you, but not so to others. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dalek-Caan/100002244014620 Dalek Caan

        This isn’t about agreeing or disagreeing.  The article just doesn’t make sense and is such a blatant troll for starting a MS vs Apple argument.  

    • http://twitter.com/Kittyburgers Kitty Burgers

      I agree with your comment 100%

  • Anonymous

    I rarely comment on things but this article is just odd.  You point blank say you’ve never had a virus… So is it the years of never getting a virus that’s making you stop using Windows?  No that wouldn’t make sense.   So you claim the only way you can keep from getting these viruses is through hours of scanning, updating and backing up.  Do you stand around and watch your computer do this?  Have you never heard of scheduling tasks?  My computer, as well as 99.9% of everyone else’s scans when they aren’t actively using it.  As for backing up, Do you believe your mac doesn’t need to be backed up?    How much data are you backing up that it takes hours?   

    But alas, it’s obvious what this article was written for… it’s called HITS!!!!   This is such an obvious troll for starting a Microsoft vs Apple comment battle.   

    This site is becoming such a disappointment lately.

  • Anonymous

    I rarely comment on things but this article is just odd.  You point blank say you’ve never had a virus… So is it the years of never getting a virus that’s making you stop using Windows?  No that wouldn’t make sense.   So you claim the only way you can keep from getting these viruses is through hours of scanning, updating and backing up.  Do you stand around and watch your computer do this?  Have you never heard of scheduling tasks?  My computer, as well as 99.9% of everyone else’s scans when they aren’t actively using it.  As for backing up, Do you believe your mac doesn’t need to be backed up?    How much data are you backing up that it takes hours?   

    But alas, it’s obvious what this article was written for… it’s called HITS!!!!   This is such an obvious troll for starting a Microsoft vs Apple comment battle.   

    This site is becoming such a disappointment lately.

  • Karl Entner

    If your that sick of using windows Operating system of any kind why not switch over to Linux?? It’s free and there are about 350+ distros that you could try out and see which one fits you. For me. I’ve done my back ups when they are needed and also do my run of antivirus in the evening when I am not on the computer itself. No problem there on my part on 6 of my computers. 

  • Karl Entner

    If your that sick of using windows Operating system of any kind why not switch over to Linux?? It’s free and there are about 350+ distros that you could try out and see which one fits you. For me. I’ve done my back ups when they are needed and also do my run of antivirus in the evening when I am not on the computer itself. No problem there on my part on 6 of my computers. 

  • Karl Entner

    If your that sick of using windows Operating system of any kind why not switch over to Linux?? It’s free and there are about 350+ distros that you could try out and see which one fits you. For me. I’ve done my back ups when they are needed and also do my run of antivirus in the evening when I am not on the computer itself. No problem there on my part on 6 of my computers. 

  • Goretsky

    Hello,

    It seems to me that it would have been a good idea to assist the users in setting up automated backup procedures and an antivirus subscription before the issue became problematic. 

    While it may seem that the “solution” to the “problem” is to simply shift operating systems, however, it’s important to keep in mind that malware is, for the most part¹, a symptom of organized criminal behavior.  The criminals who make money through Windows-based malware are not going to simply stop producing it because of something as trivial as a platform shift. They use the same technologies and see the same trends as everyone else, and adapt their behavior accordingly to maximize their revenue.

    Microsoft and antivirus companies do a great deal to stem the flow of malware, both through technical and other means, as recent botnet takedowns by law enforcement should indicate.  However, the person who owns the computer has to assume some responsibility as well, and that means not just buying antivirus software, but making sure their operating system is patched, applications are up-to-date, performing backups and even occasionally testing them. 

    Of course, all of those activities are only half of the solution.  The other half is user education.  All the policies, procedures and technical means in the world will not help if the computer operator is tricked into installing the malware through social engineering.  A related issue is infections which are seeded through pirated software and media, which ties back to psychology and impulse control.

    Regards,

    Aryeh Goretsky

    ¹Malware written purely for vandalism is so exceedingly rare nowadays that when it does appear it is noteworthy.  Also, this excludes malware written espionage or nation-state activities, which is beyond the scope of this comment.

  • Goretsky

    Hello,

    It seems to me that it would have been a good idea to assist the users in setting up automated backup procedures and an antivirus subscription before the issue became problematic. 

    While it may seem that the “solution” to the “problem” is to simply shift operating systems, however, it’s important to keep in mind that malware is, for the most part¹, a symptom of organized criminal behavior.  The criminals who make money through Windows-based malware are not going to simply stop producing it because of something as trivial as a platform shift. They use the same technologies and see the same trends as everyone else, and adapt their behavior accordingly to maximize their revenue.

    Microsoft and antivirus companies do a great deal to stem the flow of malware, both through technical and other means, as recent botnet takedowns by law enforcement should indicate.  However, the person who owns the computer has to assume some responsibility as well, and that means not just buying antivirus software, but making sure their operating system is patched, applications are up-to-date, performing backups and even occasionally testing them. 

    Of course, all of those activities are only half of the solution.  The other half is user education.  All the policies, procedures and technical means in the world will not help if the computer operator is tricked into installing the malware through social engineering.  A related issue is infections which are seeded through pirated software and media, which ties back to psychology and impulse control.

    Regards,

    Aryeh Goretsky

    ¹Malware written purely for vandalism is so exceedingly rare nowadays that when it does appear it is noteworthy.  Also, this excludes malware written espionage or nation-state activities, which is beyond the scope of this comment.

  • http://twitter.com/P3ngu1n0 P3ngu1n0

    I don’t see a reason to dump a computer for a tablet when you are overestimating the usefulness of tablets. They are awesome pieces of technology, but I can do much more with a computer than a tablet.

  • http://twitter.com/P3ngu1n0 P3ngu1n0

    I don’t see a reason to dump a computer for a tablet when you are overestimating the usefulness of tablets. They are awesome pieces of technology, but I can do much more with a computer than a tablet.

  • http://twitter.com/P3ngu1n0 P3ngu1n0

    I don’t see a reason to dump a computer for a tablet when you are overestimating the usefulness of tablets. They are awesome pieces of technology, but I can do much more with a computer than a tablet.

  • Stevepiel

    Switch to a MacBook pro or air and grab a time capsule. You won’t have to worry about anything. It takes care of itself.

  • Stevepiel

    Switch to a MacBook pro or air and grab a time capsule. You won’t have to worry about anything. It takes care of itself.

  • Stevepiel

    Switch to a MacBook pro or air and grab a time capsule. You won’t have to worry about anything. It takes care of itself.

  • Nukblazi

    Mac’s are becoming a bigger target… 

  • Nukblazi

    Mac’s are becoming a bigger target… 

  • Anonymous

    I understand wanting to keep your computer safe in case goodness knows what happens, but unless you’re really behind on your updates and never bothered to back up the programs you use the most anyway (which in reality, shouldn’t require much more than 7Gb of a CD or usb just for one time. Not every day/week/month unless you’re always needing to reinstall the OS), then maintaining your computer shouldn’t require more than 30 minutes of registry/temporary file/cookie cleaning and the occasional defrag in the evening. You shouldn’t have to touch your antivirus except to check the expiration once in a while, unless you’re that careless in what you do on the internet and don’t have the WOT add-on. There’s always the antivirus avast which is free for doing all that mcafee, etc. can do for being much less of a resource hog if you’re just using it for a personal computer and the internet/pro versions are reasonably priced and all versions automatically update definitions without any reboots needed. In my humble opinion, Mac anything and tablets are just for the laziest people who can’t be bothered to understand that anything we use on a regular basis to connect to the internet can be hacked. You can say that Apple and the latest, newest technology are safe from online threats, and it’s true for now while they occupy only a small niche market. But one day in the future, Microsoft may be in the opposite position and Apple and Linux might be the OS’ that everyone uses. That’s when the floodgates will open and they’ll be just as vulnerable to hackers and viruses as any un-antivirused Windows operated machine. The bottom line is: no machine used goes without maintenance. You can’t rely on the companies that made the machine, the OS, or repair shops to take care of you because they’re just after making you spend as much money as they can. You can only rely on having common sense.

  • Anonymous

    I understand wanting to keep your computer safe in case goodness knows what happens, but unless you’re really behind on your updates and never bothered to back up the programs you use the most anyway (which in reality, shouldn’t require much more than 7Gb of a CD or usb just for one time. Not every day/week/month unless you’re always needing to reinstall the OS), then maintaining your computer shouldn’t require more than 30 minutes of registry/temporary file/cookie cleaning and the occasional defrag in the evening. You shouldn’t have to touch your antivirus except to check the expiration once in a while, unless you’re that careless in what you do on the internet and don’t have the WOT add-on. There’s always the antivirus avast which is free for doing all that mcafee, etc. can do for being much less of a resource hog if you’re just using it for a personal computer and the internet/pro versions are reasonably priced and all versions automatically update definitions without any reboots needed. In my humble opinion, Mac anything and tablets are just for the laziest people who can’t be bothered to understand that anything we use on a regular basis to connect to the internet can be hacked. You can say that Apple and the latest, newest technology are safe from online threats, and it’s true for now while they occupy only a small niche market. But one day in the future, Microsoft may be in the opposite position and Apple and Linux might be the OS’ that everyone uses. That’s when the floodgates will open and they’ll be just as vulnerable to hackers and viruses as any un-antivirused Windows operated machine. The bottom line is: no machine used goes without maintenance. You can’t rely on the companies that made the machine, the OS, or repair shops to take care of you because they’re just after making you spend as much money as they can. You can only rely on having common sense.

  • Anonymous

    I understand wanting to keep your computer safe in case goodness knows what happens, but unless you’re really behind on your updates and never bothered to back up the programs you use the most anyway (which in reality, shouldn’t require much more than 7Gb of a CD or usb just for one time. Not every day/week/month unless you’re always needing to reinstall the OS), then maintaining your computer shouldn’t require more than 30 minutes of registry/temporary file/cookie cleaning and the occasional defrag in the evening. You shouldn’t have to touch your antivirus except to check the expiration once in a while, unless you’re that careless in what you do on the internet and don’t have the WOT add-on. There’s always the antivirus avast which is free for doing all that mcafee, etc. can do for being much less of a resource hog if you’re just using it for a personal computer and the internet/pro versions are reasonably priced and all versions automatically update definitions without any reboots needed. In my humble opinion, Mac anything and tablets are just for the laziest people who can’t be bothered to understand that anything we use on a regular basis to connect to the internet can be hacked. You can say that Apple and the latest, newest technology are safe from online threats, and it’s true for now while they occupy only a small niche market. But one day in the future, Microsoft may be in the opposite position and Apple and Linux might be the OS’ that everyone uses. That’s when the floodgates will open and they’ll be just as vulnerable to hackers and viruses as any un-antivirused Windows operated machine. The bottom line is: no machine used goes without maintenance. You can’t rely on the companies that made the machine, the OS, or repair shops to take care of you because they’re just after making you spend as much money as they can. You can only rely on having common sense.

  • http://twitter.com/RandySpangler Randy Spangler

    Can you really blame Windows when there are so many people trying to crack into it? If there were 500 Million Android tablets would there be ANY doubt that someone would create a malware infection to compromise it?

    I guess if you have a completely closed O/S developed from the ground up to be walled off, it would be possible to keep it relatively secure, but with the evolution of Windows and the fact that they cannot/will not just obsolete two-generation-old software like some other companies do, keeps them vulnerable.

    My experience is that viruses are pretty much passe and malware is the problem. Unfortunately, most people aren’t smart enough to avoid simple traps.

  • http://twitter.com/RandySpangler Randy Spangler

    Can you really blame Windows when there are so many people trying to crack into it? If there were 500 Million Android tablets would there be ANY doubt that someone would create a malware infection to compromise it?

    I guess if you have a completely closed O/S developed from the ground up to be walled off, it would be possible to keep it relatively secure, but with the evolution of Windows and the fact that they cannot/will not just obsolete two-generation-old software like some other companies do, keeps them vulnerable.

    My experience is that viruses are pretty much passe and malware is the problem. Unfortunately, most people aren’t smart enough to avoid simple traps.

  • http://twitter.com/RandySpangler Randy Spangler

    Can you really blame Windows when there are so many people trying to crack into it? If there were 500 Million Android tablets would there be ANY doubt that someone would create a malware infection to compromise it?

    I guess if you have a completely closed O/S developed from the ground up to be walled off, it would be possible to keep it relatively secure, but with the evolution of Windows and the fact that they cannot/will not just obsolete two-generation-old software like some other companies do, keeps them vulnerable.

    My experience is that viruses are pretty much passe and malware is the problem. Unfortunately, most people aren’t smart enough to avoid simple traps.

  • http://twitter.com/ShilohSwanson Shiloh Swanson

    Get a windows 8 tablet. That way you can still complain about windows and you have a tablet that can actually do more than play games and surf the internet with. 

    • Anonymous

      you can’t do anything with a windows 8 tablet

  • http://twitter.com/attfJamie ATTFJamie

    Let me guess. People are suggesting “because windows is so big and osx is too small to attack”?  Buhaha.  How many years can you keep saying this?  

    On the flip side, you think the first person who achieves infiltration on an un-tapped market (millions of untouched osx machines) would have killer bragging rights. 

    People who say it’s because windows is so popular, don’t understand security. They just like to say things. 
    (Let me guess, IOS isn’t “popular enough yet” right? )

  • http://twitter.com/attfJamie ATTFJamie

    Let me guess. People are suggesting “because windows is so big and osx is too small to attack”?  Buhaha.  How many years can you keep saying this?  

    On the flip side, you think the first person who achieves infiltration on an un-tapped market (millions of untouched osx machines) would have killer bragging rights. 

    People who say it’s because windows is so popular, don’t understand security. They just like to say things. 
    (Let me guess, IOS isn’t “popular enough yet” right? )

  • http://twitter.com/attfJamie ATTFJamie

    Let me guess. People are suggesting “because windows is so big and osx is too small to attack”?  Buhaha.  How many years can you keep saying this?  

    On the flip side, you think the first person who achieves infiltration on an un-tapped market (millions of untouched osx machines) would have killer bragging rights. 

    People who say it’s because windows is so popular, don’t understand security. They just like to say things. 
    (Let me guess, IOS isn’t “popular enough yet” right? )

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000201094152 Travis Rector

    I personally wouldn’t use a tablet. Maybe if I had one for every now and then, but otherwise, no. I just like to use a real computer, not a tablet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000201094152 Travis Rector

    I personally wouldn’t use a tablet. Maybe if I had one for every now and then, but otherwise, no. I just like to use a real computer, not a tablet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000201094152 Travis Rector

    I personally wouldn’t use a tablet. Maybe if I had one for every now and then, but otherwise, no. I just like to use a real computer, not a tablet.

  • Kyle Polansky

    I would personally recommend a Chromebook for those people that want a virus-proof (or close to it) computer. Tablets are nice, but I really like having a keyboard for typing. Plus, Chromebooks are cheap and have frequent updates.

    The last virus I got was when I was around 6 or 7. I really didn’t know what I was doing at the time. I had all my files backed up, and after my dad re-installed the OS, and gave me a few tips, like not clicking on pop-ups and what not, I’ve never gotten a virus since. 

  • Kyle Polansky

    I would personally recommend a Chromebook for those people that want a virus-proof (or close to it) computer. Tablets are nice, but I really like having a keyboard for typing. Plus, Chromebooks are cheap and have frequent updates.

    The last virus I got was when I was around 6 or 7. I really didn’t know what I was doing at the time. I had all my files backed up, and after my dad re-installed the OS, and gave me a few tips, like not clicking on pop-ups and what not, I’ve never gotten a virus since. 

  • Huzi

    I’d say android tablet like the asus transformer prime for surfing and stuff (with dock of course). And a cheap but ok pc for occasional more intense processes.

  • http://twitter.com/ScriptEvolution Isabella Moreira

    It’s all about the user. Don’t install every file you’ve ever found on the internet and your chances of getting a virus get drastically reduced. Run a virus scan every so often. I’ve never had an AV installed on any of my Windows computers and I’ve never had any real threats, maybe just a few adwares, etc. It’s not Windows’ fault that it’s the most used operating system and, therefore, the most targeted.

  • Fettejj

    Having spent countless hours getting Windows based systems to just work properly so that I can get something done, Apple products are looking better and better.

  • Kerns Phoegon

    How in the world is it the fault of the Windows OS, when the education of the user (or lack there of) is the problem, not the OS or it’s updates (though, granted no OS is perfect but honestly it’s to the point where you have ignore warnings and disregard advice and suggested practices)

    Though the problem is to have a TOTALLY maintenance/upkeep free device (phone, tablet, notebook, laptop/desktop) It has to be completely LOCKED DOWN, and with no customization.   (Customization requires user, or additional Software which very likely needs to be cleaned or maintained (by limiting size, etc.)

    The APP store is a great thing, if IT”S NOT THE ONLY WAY TO GET NEW PROGRAMS.  The APP store being the only way to get programs is bad, and a good way to limit/cripple development seeing as to the one who ‘runs’ the app store is making money off the person who buys the apps, and the app makers at the same time.

    Tablets are great, if all you do is minor things and you truly don’t care to have a ‘full Computing experience, with the flexibility to be able to install far more programs and get FAR MORE out of your computer (as a desktop, and even some laptops) then you ever could as a tablet. 

    I say Get a Desktop/Laptop (laptop if you want it more portable) if you know what you are doing, and you don’t go act like a retard and DL everything, and get your poor computer infected.
    -Though if you are ‘stupid user’  get a tablet, they are locked down tighter (not saying they can’t be hacked or infected.   That’s already been busted, said and done by some talented, albeit shady people who proved those devices aren’t safe either)

  • Kerns Phoegon

    I’ll also state, that Cloud computing notebooks (Chromebook, and the like that are a browser on hardware alone) are a waste of space, and if you wanted that, get a tablet.  Atleast that has stuff you can do off line that isn’t bs apps developed for the chrome browser.(they are cool, but alot of them require you to be online, and or simple games that tablets have beaten and done ALOT better)

  • http://twitter.com/Mathew30 Mathew Lisett

    sorry but when soembody tells me they have never had a virus on their system i simply reply with you have never been told the virus is there. just becuase you hear and see nothign wrong, doesnt mean nothign is there .

  • http://twitter.com/Shatabda_DG SHATABDA

    good news for you, iPad 3 will be launching a month earlier in February 2012. Well since you write a lot of blogs; tablet devices are not suitable; however now a days Apple Keyboard can be synced with apple iPad so that won’t be a problem. And its true that iPads will not consume your time on virus issues; So you could actually get the new iPad 3. Stating that let me also tell you that in recent news about iPad 3 it is going to have a bigger resolution than its predecessor. 

  • SDeez

    its very weird to blame windows for these errors, u cannot limit the usefulness of windows, its cool to have it, and turning towards mac is not the solution, it would hardly take 3 years and macs will be more prone to virus attacks. OSX still uses old unix beneath and it sure has got loopholes, let see when Apple got hackers attention!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1576813633 John Majkrzak

    The simple rule to never read email using an email application on my own PC put an end to my troubles some years ago but I still run a detection program just to know which websites to not add to my favorites since sometimes the content looks helpful but the AV software issues a warning.   Mobile devices are a ball and chain.  I don’t wear a watch or carry a cell phone so the tablet idea is a no go.   I am old and take several pills each morning so the idea of reading a tablet size screen is just not turning me on.  Even this full size monitor has my eyes bugging out.

  • dielan 44

    I have an antivirus just in case, the one provided by microsoft in fact (MSE) and it hasn’t detected a single thing yet! Not one! Why? Because I never get infected! I haven’t come across one virus because I know exactly what to look for and it only took one day to learn what to watch out for! These people that infected are obviously just too lazy to learn what’s bad and what’s ok to download and run. It’d save them time in the long run anyway. Even so, I love these kind of people that load their computer with malware because I’m the guy that gets to fix it and let’s just say I don’t do it for free.

  • http://riversidekid.myopenid.com/ Stephen

    First tablets still need antivirus; I don’t see the connection between moving from a Microsoft based computer to a tablet and the virus article.  Hackers will always try to get at information where the information is, if it’s in a Microsoft world or Apple world or a Google Android / Chrome world, there will be viruses written to infect the world that people use.  

  • http://twitter.com/ChrisBell504 Christopher Bell

    I haven’t gotten a virus since 2008.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for all of the comments. I have been away since the 8th, having just returned from a trip visiting family. My intentions was not to write an article to draw ‘hits’, as several have claimed. The days of the Apple vs Windows, Intel vs AMD, have longer faded away and any arguments have become mute. 

    I have made a decision based entirely on my own experience during the time I was visiting my middle daughter and her family on the east coast. The arsenal of toys I was able to play with included Google’s Chrome Cr-48, Apple iPad 1 and 2 [one with a Zagg keyboard, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and an Apple Air computer.

    I will be writing a separate article on my experience and why I have made a decision on what my next computer will be.

    Thanks for all of the comments. 

    Have a great holiday and all the best for the coming New Year! 

  • Jorge Anibal Barquero Davila

    Hi, I always use windows and never have that kind of problems. I think is more lack of common sense surfing the internet and sharing usb memories.