After a week of frustrating downtime, the computer network in the County offices in the courthouse are once again up and running. In a bizarre sequence of events that occurred only hours apart on Jan. 3, a virus completely wiped out one hard drive and infected two others while the network server experienced a system failure and crashed. The virus struck the computers in the office of the county attorney and completely erased one hard drive and all of its files and caused several problems on the other two machines linked together within that office. The courthouse network which serves computers in the offices of the county clerk, the district clerk, the county judge and the county attorney, crashed early on the morning of Jan. 3. The computers in the county treasurer’s office that contain vital financial information were not a part of the network and were not affected by either the virus or the network failure. After several days of tech support questions and answers, computer specialists Charlie Smith and Gary Rogers ended up spending nearly three days working on what ended up being five different problems within the courthouse, all which occurred at virtually the same time. “We actually addressed five separate issues, some which were planned and some which were not,” said Smith. “Since some of the problems happened when they did, we took the opportunity to upgrade some of the systems to increase reliability and security.” The five problems included rewiring the new office of the Justice of the Peace, fixing the server, eliminating the virus in the County Attorney’s office and fixing the troubled machine in the County Clerk’s and County Attorney’s offices. The network server that crashed was covered under warranty, but an upgraded mirrored system of hard drives replaced the old one to facilitate in less down time in the event of future crashes. Once the server was repaired, one terminal in the County Clerk’s office required additional attention and eventually needed to be reformatted and all programs reinstalled. Due to the lack of some backups on Dec. 31, 2001 the County Clerk’s office experienced some significant data loss dating back to Dec. 20. The files lost which include everything from criminal misdemeanors to land records, will simply need to be reentered. “When we finally got the machines up and running again, the loss of data put me about a month behind,” said Christine Jones. As of Monday afternoon, the network server was back on line and all offices connected to the network were playing catchup. Virus protection software has been installed on every computer and an automatic tape drive backup has been installed on the server to ensure daily data backups.