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Computer dying.... :(

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I think my computer is nearing it's end. lol It keeps freezing and doing bad things. I have to restart it all the time to get online. I hope it holds out until my birthday (in May) when I will be getting a new computer.

I want to get a laptop. Anyone have any suggestions on what I should get? I'll be spending about $1,000 or so.

Thanks!!
post #2 of 29
Have you tried checking the current one for spyware? Oftentimes that slows things down a great deal. Adaware is a great free-ware spy cleaner upper.
post #3 of 29
Yep, spyware/adware are both bad things.

http://www.download.com/

Search for: spyware search destroy

Search for: ad-aware

Download and install both programs. Update their defination files etc. Scan using each and clean/fix any problems found.

Spyware Search & Destroy also has an "Immunize" ability, use that as well.

NOTE: If you are not familiar with basic computer stuff, ask someone to help you or don't mess with these sorts of things. Although these two are extreamly easy to use, you can still do harm to your system if you have no idea what your doing at all. So be warned. (Personally, I find them super easy to use without much brainpower necessary, but computers like me)

Theres a couple things that MIGHT help.. Good luck!
post #4 of 29
have you de-fragged it at all? That may help.

Just my 10 cents worth - I spent a good hour messing with mine today after got infected with a trojan - had to wipe everything and rebuild it again. This time I had backed it up!!!
K
post #5 of 29
I am sorry to hear your computer may be near the end of its life. It may be worth doing a spyware and virus scan on just to check there is nothing hidden there. As those kinda things can really effect your computer. One thing I would also say is to download 2 spyware programmes as they can pick up different things. We have 2 and each one picks up different things.

I hope you get the problem sorted and if not that it will hold out till may

Love Eva x

Ps> If i can help in any other way feel free to pm me because i am very good on computers!
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by kev
have you de-fragged it at all? That may help.

Just my 10 cents worth - I spent a good hour messing with mine today after got infected with a trojan - had to wipe everything and rebuild it again. This time I had backed it up!!!
K
If you do defrag your harddrive (reorganize it so it puts files in order instead of little pieces scattered all over), be sure to exit as many "running" programs as you can first, including anything running down near the clock on the system tray. With the exception of your firewall of course.

The less stuff your computer has to do, and the less writing to the harddrive that is going on while your defragging, the better. If you see your defragging restarting over and over, then it would usually be because you still have stuff running that is changing the harddrive's contents, thus why I suggest disabling any programs first.

On slower computers, all of the things I mentioned in the last two posts can be a long process, so if your PC is slow be prepared to wait awhile for things to finish.

Good luck!
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
I do have 2 spyware programs -- Spybot Search and destroy & Spy Sweeper. I do try to defragment once in a while. And also do a clean sweep - of temp internet files and such. And I also go through every once in a while and take out programs I rarely use and recently I deleted a bunch of mp3s I don't listen to anymore.

The problem isn't that my computer is slow. But, for instance, internet explorer will freeze if I click on something or it will just randomly close at times. Or AIM won't sign on. I try resetting it and sometimes it resets and freezes when it comes back up. Sometimes I have to reset 2 or 3 times to get it working.

I can't wait to get my new computer.. I just have to decide which one to get.
post #8 of 29
you can also go into accessories - disk cleanup and get rid of all of the cookies and temp internet files that build up. I do that once a week to speed things up.

edit: ahh posted at the same time! lol Someone had posted awhile ago about the microsoft antispyware and it found a bunch of stuff that spyware and adware didnt pick up. you may want to try that. There could be something messing up your Internet explorer that the others arent picking up.
post #9 of 29
I had that problem back in december,
I had my computer for 4 years, so it was definetely on its end because it wouldnt go back to its normal settings and it was in all weird colours.
In the end as soon as i clicked the icon to get online my comp would freeze.
So i had to leave my computer off for 2 hrs so it cooled down and i managed to pass over all of my important files.
I went to the store and got a new mainboard, processor and sound card all together for 200 euros and now my computer is as good as new
post #10 of 29
Oh yes and my dad bought an ACER laptop 2 weeks ago it seems pretty good...
that was only 800 euros.
post #11 of 29
The computer geek to the rescue... Ok first off... you might want to try formatting your hard drive... just make sure that you have everything you need backed up on a CD... Format the drive, reinstall the operating system and then slowly install all your software... You may want to keep what you install to a minimum because the more you have on your hard drive, the more memory you're using and the slower the computer will run... If you have Windows XP Operating System.. do yourself a favor, DONT install the HotFixes... I found that all my troubles went away when I stopped intalling them... Install a really good Anti-virus program and you may want to research some spyware if you're using Cable or DSL... I actually don't have an anti-virus or any type of spyware and I dont have any problems because I have a dialup and I dont download anything unless absolutely necessary... (I just downloaded Photoshop CS!!! YaY).... anyway...

Other than that, if you really want to buy a laptop... I'd recommend a Dell because Dell is the best... check out their website... My aunt just bought a Dell Laptop for about $3k and it's incredible... To be honest, it's absolutely unnecessary for her because she barely knows how to use a computer to begin with... But either way, Dell has some really good deals on computers and you may want to invest a little more money into one because they are worth it... Personally... I wont buy another computer, when I have some extra money, I'm gonna rebuild the one I have... add more memory and a larger hard drive...

Anyway, good luck and PM me if you need any more help!
post #12 of 29
I hope you get a good, new one soon! Computer problems are BAD!
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by GratefulBear629
I think my computer is nearing it's end. lol It keeps freezing and doing bad things. I have to restart it all the time to get online. I hope it holds out until my birthday (in May) when I will be getting a new computer.

I want to get a laptop. Anyone have any suggestions on what I should get? I'll be spending about $1,000 or so.

Thanks!!
I could bore you with all kinds of suggestions that would seem overhwelming because I use 7 different anti-spyware programs including Hijack This. Instead of throwing all of those at people, (plus more) the minimum I recommend is Spybot and Ad-aware because they are free, as well as Hijack This, but most people I've helped ignore that program. Then we go from there. If your operating system is XP then download Microsoft's Anti-Spyware. It is free for a few more months. There's a 99% chance that Internet Explorer is freezing on you because you've accumulated trojans/malware/spyware/worms/blah blah blah etc. that your current programs haven't been able to detect. Defragging your hard drive may help performance, but a fragmented hard drive is less likely to be the cause of your problems.

Whether you buy a new computer or not it's time to start learning more about security because you will eventually accumulate all that garbage again on your new one unless you know how to prevent it.

1. What is your anti-virus program?
2. Are you allowed free updates for it?
3. When was the last time you updated your anti-virus program?
4. What is your firewall? Is it a software program like ZoneAlarm or do you use a router instead?
5. Do you use the Immunize feature regularly in Spybot?
6. Do you update Spybot regularly?
7. Has it been a long time since there's been an actual update available?
8. Do you update Spy Sweeper Regularly
9. What is your operating system?

One thing I've been inclined to suggest more often lately is to download the Firefox browser from www.mozilla.org so you can use that instead of IE. Microsoft's browser is always the first one to get exploited, so using Firefox can help avoid some problems. I have more questions and helpful tips, but it depends on how much time you are willing to invest in fixing your computer.
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your help guys. Hopefully this will help the computer hold off until May. lol I cannot live without tcs and online games!!
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydroaxe
I could bore you with all kinds of suggestions that would seem overhwelming because I use 7 different anti-spyware programs including Hijack This. Instead of throwing all of those at people, (plus more) the minimum I recommend is Spybot and Ad-aware because they are free, as well as Hijack This, but most people I've helped ignore that program. Then we go from there. If your operating system is XP then download Microsoft's Anti-Spyware. It is free for a few more months. There's a 99% chance that Internet Explorer is freezing on you because you've accumulated trojans/malware/spyware/worms/blah blah blah etc. that your current programs haven't been able to detect. Defragging your hard drive may help performance, but a fragmented hard drive is less likely to be the cause of your problems.

Whether you buy a new computer or not it's time to start learning more about security because you will eventually accumulate all that garbage again on your new one unless you know how to prevent it.

1. What is your anti-virus program?
2. Are you allowed free updates for it?
3. When was the last time you updated your anti-virus program?
4. What is your firewall? Is it a software program like ZoneAlarm or do you use a router instead?
5. Do you use the Immunize feature regularly in Spybot?
6. Do you update Spybot regularly?
7. Has it been a long time since there's been an actual update available?
8. Do you update Spy Sweeper Regularly
9. What is your operating system?

One thing I've been inclined to suggest more often lately is to download the Firefox browser from www.mozilla.org so you can use that instead of IE. Microsoft's browser is always the first one to get exploited, so using Firefox can help avoid some problems. I have more questions and helpful tips, but it depends on how much time you are willing to invest in fixing your computer.
I've had this computer for a few years now and it would be in better condition had I taken better care of it as far as spyware and whatnot. But unfortunately, I did not. Either way I would rather have a laptop as I want to take it traveling with me.

But I will try what everyone has suggested and hopefully that will help!

Thanks so much.
post #16 of 29
Hopefully your computer holds out till then! My computer is being such a nut lately!
post #17 of 29
Advice for anyone else as well:
Formatting can be very good, IF you have ALL Network card, Video Card, Hard Drive (some old systems can't see large hard drives without help) or other VERY IMPORTANT Drivers to at least get you onto the Internet and able to finish getting the rest of your drivers to update your system. You also MUST have an Operating system disk WITH a valid serial number. It does not hurt to have a bootable floppy disk either just in case although now a days most PC's and CD's will boot from the CD drive if its setup that way in the BIOS.

Putting more on your hard drive does NOT use up your "memory". It uses up your hard drive space. RUNNING a lot of programs at once WILL use up memory. Hard drive space and memory are two totally diffrent things.

Not installing Windows Fixes is not the best suggestion, however installing the ones that make sense for your needs can be wise, especially the "Critical Updates" for the security fixes. Keep in mind, some computers do have strange BIOS or Hardware problems, and installing an update CAN cause those to become a problem, but that is not generally the case or at least should not be.

You DO want a firewall, XP comes with one and XP Service Pack 2 updates it a little bit. You do not necessarly need a secondary firewall such as Sygate or Zone Alarm, although some enjoy the extra control and being able to see logs or whats going on. Some will argue however that a second firewall can be a problem and also slow your system down as well.

You DO want anti-virus software that will do "on access scanning" meaning when you access a file it checks it first. There are also scanners that are "on demand" meaning when you tell it to scan a file you download or your entire computer they will do it once. Considering web pages can have virus's and windows is so full of holes, it is a good idea to have "on access scanning". You only want one anti-virus program doing "on access" scanning at a time.

Once you have Windows on, Drivers updated, Windows Security Updates setup, Anti Virus software installed, Firewall configured or another installed, I still recommend the programs like Ad-Aware and Search and Destroy Spybot. Update them, sweep your system and you should be good to go.

Wether or not your on cable, dsl, isdn, dial up modem, or a T3.. Anti Virus AND a Firewall (Hardware like a Router or software like Sygate) should be considered "must have" items for computing. There is to much out there and if you do not have those two things you are only asking for trouble and more likely then not giving it to others without even knowing it or you will at some point in your life when your PC gets infected or otherwise compromised. Don't assume your safe, be sure your safe and protect yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malakai711
The computer geek to the rescue... Ok first off... you might want to try formatting your hard drive... just make sure that you have everything you need backed up on a CD... Format the drive, reinstall the operating system and then slowly install all your software... You may want to keep what you install to a minimum because the more you have on your hard drive, the more memory you're using and the slower the computer will run... If you have Windows XP Operating System.. do yourself a favor, DONT install the HotFixes... I found that all my troubles went away when I stopped intalling them... Install a really good Anti-virus program and you may want to research some spyware if you're using Cable or DSL... I actually don't have an anti-virus or any type of spyware and I dont have any problems because I have a dialup and I dont download anything unless absolutely necessary... (I just downloaded Photoshop CS!!! YaY).... anyway...
post #18 of 29
I'd install cleanup312.exe from here:
http://home.comcast.net/~sgould4567/.../download.html

I'd also install Adaware: http://www.lavasoftusa.com/support/download/

and SpyBot: http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/index.html

Update the Adaware and Spybot and run Cleanup312

and I'll bet that life gets better.
post #19 of 29
Here's a blurb I put together about spyware and such:

Please follow these instructions in a step by step fashion.. This is important.. If you have concerns about your security copy and print this message and disconnect from the internet.
.

When the step indicates running an update, activate the update function of the program. Once the update is complete, stop and start the program before running your scan. This will ensure your scan is done using the latest program and malware database versions.

1. Update and run any anti-virus and anti-trojan products you already have installed on your computer. Do a full scan of your computer. Record exactly the names of any malware they turn up. Quarantine and cure (repair, rename or delete) any malware found.


2. Run two or three free web based AV scanners. Record exactly the names of any malware they turn up. Then quarantine and cure (rename, move or delete) the malware. (This scanning is the most time consuming step in this checklist, but it is important.)
Go to web based AV scanners
http://security.symantec.com/sscv6/...id=ie&venid=sym
http://housecall.trendmicro.com/
http://www.ravantivirus.com/scan/
http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/
http://us.mcafee.com/root/mfs/default.asp


3. Download, install, update and run the following anti-hijacking and anti-spyware products. Then record exactly the names of any problems they turn up. (Tracking cookies are easily cleaned-up by deleting them, so don't bother recording them.) Then quarantine and cure the malware. (Note the links take you to tutorials for the listed software.. Download links are contained within each tutorial. The alternate link is a direct link to the program

3.1 CWShredder (free): http://forum.gladiator-antivirus.co...?showtopic=9638
Alternate download site: http://www.spywareinfo.com/download.../CWShredder.exe
3.2 Spybot S&D (donationware): http://forum.gladiator-antivirus.co...&st=0entry32410
Alternate download site: http://www.safer-networking.org
3.3 Ad-aware (donationware): http://forum.gladiator-antivirus.co...?showtopic=8050
Alternate download site: http://www.lavasoft.de

4. If problem persists, download, install and update an anti-trojan program. Record exactly the names of any problems it turns up. Then quarantine and cure the malware.

TDS-3 and Port Explorer (30 day free trial): http://www.diamondcs.com.au/index.php?page=home

TrojanHunter (30 day free trial): http://www.misec.net/products/

BOClean: »www.nsclean.com/update.html


5. If the problem persists, download and run HijackThis: http://forum.gladiator-antivirus.co...?showtopic=9469
Alternate download site: »http://www.subratam.org/?page=removal

6. Run security analysis products to check your settings and installed software. These analysis products are definitely not 100% thorough in the checks they do. Also, the messages that are produced are usually cautions to check that something is as you want it to be, and are not definite instructions to change something.

6.1 Install and run Belarc Advisor (free): http://www.belarc.com/

When you run Belarc Advisor, look for:

6.1.1 Users you didn't add. Check whether your computer maker or re-seller added the users for support purposes before you bought the computer. Otherwise they indicate a hacker has accessed your system.

6.1.2 Microsoft Hotfixes with red Xs beside them, indicating they can be verified by the automated process, but failed verification. The earlier the version of Windows, the more likely the fix came off "innocently" when new software was added or upgraded. Click on "details". This will take you to a Microsoft webpage explaining the fix, and allowing you to re-apply it.

6.1.3 Under software versions, software you didn't install. Many software packages include other third party software. So installing one product can make 3 or 4 products show up in Belarc – and this is not a problem. On the other hand, hackers often install legitimate FTP server or email server software, and because the server software is legitimate it will not show up in a virus scan.

6.1.4 Save a copy of the Belarc Advisor results. In a few weeks, compare your saved scan with a new scan, looking for unexpected changes.
6.2.1 Review the results to see that they correspond with how you have set your computer up. Changes might indicate that someone has altered settings. Or the settings may have been altered when other software was added or updated. (Security updates with reason "306460" simply cannot be verified by the automated process. This is normal.)

6.2.2 Save a copy of the results. Compare them with the results in a few weeks, looking for unexpected changes.

7. Different vendors have different names and version identifiers for the same virus, so first look up the virus in the encyclopedia of the scanner's vendor for specific disinfection instructions Use your products link to find the information for your situation

7.1 Install and run Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (free):
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/se...s/mbsahome.mspx


. In Windows XP and Me, to prevent a virus being restored by the operating system, it is often necessary to temporarily disable System Restore. The instructions are here:
http://support.microsoft.com/defaul...9&Product=winxp
or if you are using Nortons products
http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPOR...=&osv=&osv_lvl=


8. Depending on the instructions in the virus encyclopedia for your scanner, it may be necessary to use auxiliary virus removal tools.

8.1 First be sure to submit a copy of any malware that is not consistently detected or that doesn't behave as excepted. Submit suspected malware.

8.2 If an auxiliary tool is required, it is best to first try the tool of the scanner's vendor.

8.3 Read the complete write-up of the virus in the encyclopedia of the tool's vendor to find the disinfection instructions. In addition to running the scanner or tool, there may be a few manual steps required.

8.4 Generally each removal tool will only detect and effectively remove the virus variants it says it will.


9. If it was turned off earlier, turn System Restore back on, and confirm that your virus scanner is working: »How can I test that my AV program is working?


10. Re-secure your computer and accounts. The ideas in the following step-by-step guide are useful for cleaning any version of Windows:
http://www.cert.org/tech_tips/win-U...compromise.html

10.1 In particular, if private information is kept on the computer, and if the malware found included a "backdoor" or allowed hackers to "run arbitrary code" , and if it is likely that a hacker may have used the backdoor, consideration should be given to backing-up data to be retained, and then re-formatting and re-installing programs on the computer from trusted sources.

This is because a backdoor allows a hacker to make other changes that may reduce your security settings, but that are not readily detectable with current tools.

10.2 If a keystroke logger is detected then hackers may have access to what was typed into your computer, including passwords, credit card numbers, and account numbers.

10.2.1 Immediately cancel any credit cards used on the computer, and ask for replacements with new account numbers.

10.2.2 Using an uninfected computer, change any website or server passwords that were entered on the infected computer.



11. Check these other useful links for tips on disinfection and preventing a recurrance.

How to keep my computer secure a layered apporach ( http://www.broadbandreports.com/faq/8463 ) by dslreports
A test for your AV ) http://www.eicar.org/anti_virus_test_file.htm ) see site you can download a dummy virus to test your aV
Security tips ( http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/tips/ )
Note there are many more. An excellent resource can be found at http://www.dslreports.com

Here are some places to help getting started dealing with problems of hijackings.. infections etc..
for the beginner:

http://www.dslreports.com/faq/8428
http://forum.gladiator-antivirus.co...?showtopic=9857
http://www.spywareinfo.com/forums/i...?showtopic=5187
Note that these are faq's that apply to different fora but the main idea applies to any fora where spyware, hijackings, etc are going to be addressed..

Some other good tutorials by Calamity Jane.

SpyBot Search & Destroy
AD-AWARE Standard Edition
CWShredder
HijackThis

Next for the more advanced.. (I mean that.. don't delete something using hijack this if you don't fully understand what you are doing) These are full tutorials on how to interpret the logs from hijackthis..
http://hjt.wizardsofwebsites.com/
http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/htlogtutorial.html
And here are some additional links to assist with using the hijack this application:
Tutorial: http://computercops.biz/HijackThis.html
Download: http://computercops.biz/modules.php...ads&d_op=getit& lid=328
Forum: http://computercops.biz/forum67.html


See the items below if you directed here by a hijackthis analyzer or if you are an experienced hijackthis user your self.. This section is not for casual use

If you are identified as having the peper trojan you will be directed to this link http://downloads.subratam.org/Newuninst.exe
with the following instructions
Double click on 'Newuninst.exe' and press *Uninstall*. Let it run and when the progress bar says *complete* you can then press *close*. You must be online to have this work and do not block any attempts for the program to connect to internet if your firewall requests access.

New instructions if you have Newdotnet
http://www.newdotnet.com/#remove

At some point you may be requested to set windows to show hidden files.. Here are instructions for all windows operating systems:
http://www.xtra.co.nz/help/0,,4155-1916458,00.html

You also may be requested to boot in safe mode
for this see this symantec article ( http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPOR...src=sec_doc_nam )

This is also for all windows operating systems


1. First, make sure your PC is configured to show hidden files

Open Windows Explorer & Go to Tools > Folder Options. Click on the View tab and make sure that "Show hidden files and folders" is checked. Also uncheck "Hide protected operating system files" and untick "hide extensions for known file types" . Now click "Apply to all folders"
Click "Apply" then "OK"

2. Next, go to Start->Run and type "Services.msc" (without quotes) then hit Ok

Scroll down and find the service called "Network Security Service". When you find it, double-click on it. In the next window that opens, click the Stop button, then click on properties and under the General Tab, change the Startup Type to Disabled. Now hit Apply and then Ok and close any open windows.

3. Next, open Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Del), highlight ievq32.exe (The name may change and you will be instructed to use the correct name for your hijacking)
and click End Process.

4. Close all open windows, scan with Hijack This and put checks next to all the following, then click "Fix Checked".

Note that the particular dll's may change names but the instructions will reflect that..
R1 - HKCU\\Software\\Microsoft\\Internet Explorer\\Main,Search Page = res://C:\\WINDOWS\\txbbx.dll/sp.html#96676

R0 - HKCU\\Software\\Microsoft\\Internet Explorer\\Main,Start Page = res://txbbx.dll/index.html#96676

R1 - HKCU\\Software\\Microsoft\\Internet Explorer\\Main,Default_Page_URL = »ca8.hpwis.com/

R0 - HKLM\\Software\\Microsoft\\Internet Explorer\\Main,Start Page = res://txbbx.dll/index.html#96676

R1 - HKLM\\Software\\Microsoft\\Internet Explorer\\Main,Search Page = res://C:\\WINDOWS\\txbbx.dll/sp.html#96676

R1 - HKLM\\Software\\Microsoft\\Internet Explorer\\Main,Default_Page_URL = res://txbbx.dll/index.html#96676

R1 - HKLM\\Software\\Microsoft\\Internet Explorer\\Main,Default_Search_URL = res://C:\\WINDOWS\\txbbx.dll/sp.html#96676

O2 - BHO: (no name) - {4A73A1CA-0346-9AB9-3C2D-8D627CE729A7} - C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\atlom32.dll

O4 - HKLM\\..\\Run: [AlcxMonitor] ALCXMNTR.EXE

O4 - HKLM\\..\\Run: [ievq32.exe] C:\\WINDOWS\\ievq32.exe

5. (copy the following instructions so you have them handy as you may not be able to go online in safe mode)

Reboot to Safe Mode
How to start the computer in Safe mode
See instruction above..

and delete the following files named in bold if present.

C:\\WINDOWS\\txbbx.dll

C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\atlom 32.dll

ALCXMNTR.EXE

C:\\WINDOWS\\ievq32.exe

6. Go to Start --> Run and enter 'regedit', press 'Enter'

Navigate to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SYSTEM\\CurrentControlSet\\Services\\__NS_Serv ice_3
If ( __NS_Service_3) exists , right click on it and choose delete from the menu.

Now navigate to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SYSTEM\\CurrentControlSet\\Enum\\Root\\LEGACY__ _NS_Service_3
If (LEGACY___NS_Service_3) exists then right click on it and choose delete from the menu

If you see something very close to those names but not quite the same reply back here with the names you see

Exit regedit

7. Reboot to normal mode, scan again with Hijack This and post a new log here.

Next, this infection removes a few files. To restore them, do as follows:

Go here: http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/winfiles.html and download the version of control.exe for your operating system. For Windows XP, copy it to c:\\windows\\system32\\.

Download the Hoster tool from here: http://members.aol.com/toadbee/hoster.zip . Unzip it and run it, then click "Restore Original Hosts"' and click "OK". Exit the program.

If you have Spybot Search & Destroy installed you'll need to replace one more file. Go here: http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/winfiles.html . and download SDHelper.dll. Copy the file to the folder containing you Spybot S&D program (normally C:\\Program Files\\Spybot - Search & Destroy).

That should do it. If the problem should return, please post back.

To reduce the chances of future spyware/hijacking problems, please follow the suggestions here: http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=27971

***Edit***
As we're still trying to figure out where this is coming from, do you remember visiting any particular sites or doing anything else around the time this started (it may not have shown itself until the next reboot)?

Another method that works in most cases is to use ad-aware set up in the following manner:
Be sure to UPDATE BEFORE SCANNING FIRST!! That is a very important step and I have included easy directions.

After download and installing first, please update the program. Just open Adaware and click on *Check for Updates Now* and then *Connect*. It will find a new reference-file. Click *ok* and let it download and install the updates by clicking on *Finish* .This will return you to the main screen. You should now see Reference File # : 01R323 20.06.2004 or higher listed.

In Ad-aware click the Gear to go to the Settings area.

The following items should be on a green check, not on a red X.

Under the Scanning button:

Scan within archives

Under Memory & Registry, Check EVERYTHING

In Check Drives & Folders, make sure all of your hard drives are selected

Under the Advanced button, check ALL under Log detail level (this makes it easier for visitors to the Lavasoft Support Forums to see what options you have selected should you require assistance.)

Under the Tweak button...

Some of these may not be an available option, depending on your version of Ad-aware and your version of Windows. Do not be concerned if you cannot select a certain item.

In Scanning Engine:

Unload recognized processes during scanning

Include info about ignored objects in logfile, if detected in scan

Include basic Ad-aware settings in logfile

Include additional Ad-aware settings in logfile

Include used command line parameters in logfile

In Cleaning Engine:

XP/2000: Allow unloading explorer to unload shell extensions prior to deletion

Let Windows remove files in use at next reboot

UNCHECK: Automatically try to unregister objects prior to deletion

Click Proceed to save these settings.

Don't scan yet, please. We need to do the next steps in SAFE MODE, so please copy these instructions so you have them handy since you will probably not be able to get online in safe mode.

Now, Reboot into safe mode (see instructions above in case you need them.)


Open Adaware, Press *scan now* and put a dot in the box next to *use Custom scanning options*, then click *Next* to start your scan.

Checkmark any items found after scanning to remove (this will actually put them in quarantine and can recover from backup if any should not be removed).

Reboot your PC after cleaning with Adaware and scan again. Repeat the process until no further items are found as bad.

Scan once more with Hijackthis and don't remove anything yet in the log. Post it back here so we can see what may remain to be fixed

some programs to help deal with these issues are available as well..
Get Spybot S&D here:
http://security.kolla.de/index.php?...n&page=download
or here:
http://security.kolla.de/index.php?...n&page=download

Get Ad-Aware here:
http://www.lavasoft.de/
Set it up per this procedure
http://www.lavahelp.com/howto/fullscan/

Get CWshredder here:
http://www.spywareinfo.com/download.../CWShredder.exe

Get Hijackthis here:
http://www.spywareinfo.com/download.../HijackThis.exe

Get SpywareBlaster and SpywareGuard (Plus more)Here
http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/downloads.html

If you have no AV get a free one here.. Please note..The pay ones may be better (quicker to update) but this program is very good and has never been more than a few hours behind the best in updates.
http://www.grisoft.com/us/us_dwnl_free.php
or this one.. reccomended by microsoft and free for a year it includes a firewall:
http://www.my-etrust.com/microsoft/
or avast another freebie.. at http://www.avast.com

for firewalls I like Zone alarm and sygate (there are other good choices)
get free and pay ones here:
http://www.zonealarm.com
http://www.sygate.com

Please note that Norton and Mcaffe both provide software at a cost that will do these jobs.. Norton has many more features than the ones listed.. But these programs are functional ans will do the job!!!

Careful surfing out there..

Just as an add on. and due to all the Denial of Service Attacks goind on out there One mirror for a lot of the Antispyware programs including CWshredder and Hijackthis plus other is here:
http://www.majorgeeks.com/

May also want to get for further protection spywareguard and spywareblaster. These two programs work together to keep many spy programs from being installed in the first place.. and aid in preventing your home page from being hijacked.. Spyware guard will prevent most homepage hijackings.. (Note it will not fix an already hijacked homepage). Do not install this program if your homepage is already hijacked. Install after getting everything corrected to prevent future hijackings.. Get them here:
http://www.wilderssecurity.net/

And also now a couple of AntiTrojans that are free (both also have pay versions with more features but the free versions are very good as well)
http://www.ewido.net/en/ Ewido
This one requires registration but is still free
http://www.emsisoft.com/en/ a²
And now I thought I'd add one more thing.. And possibly The most important of all Some links telling you about THOSE THINGS YOU SHOULD NOT USE to remove spyware..
Please review these before getting spyware removal tools
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/rem...2019~mode=flat?
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/rem...8925~mode=flat?

Some assorted fixit tools for security spyware issues (Do not use if you don't understand or are not directed by someone who does....
http://www.subratam.org/?page=removal

In addition to all the GREAT spyware removal tools mentioned, get proxy filters to prevent your browser from downloading harmful content. If you are semi-technical, I suggest taking a look at http://www.privoxy.org (junkbuster replacement) that uses regex expressions to strip harmful content out of your browser. It is not a replacement for the other tools mentioned, but another real-time scanner if you will.

The free versions of Adaware and Spybot do not do real-time scanning, so most people get this false sense of security. Your computer can still be hijacked, infected and transmitting information until you decide your going to run Adaware or Spybot. And like others mentioned, use them both, not one or the other. I too have found that one finds spyware that the other does not.

Finally, if you are using outlook express, get Spampal. http://www.spampal.org. This SPAM filter is by FAR better than anything you can purchase, hands down. It uses a myriad of tools to prevent SPAM. This program sits as a proxy between your mail program and the mail server, so it will work with any POP3/IMAP4 mail client. This accurately filters 98%+ SPAM. Spampal is by far one of the most intelligent programs that I have seen.

Not only does it use DNS based client filtering, it looks at the body for things like "http://" and checks the website against spews.org and much much more. Looking at the header information of filtered messages will reveal how powerful spampal really is.


Please read these links carefully before downloading and running any antispyware program See this link
http://www.spywarewarrior.com/rogue_anti-spyware.htm
or this link
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/rem...2019~mode=flat?
and what ever you do beware these programs:

AdwareHunter (adwarehunter.com/browser-page.com)
AdWareRemoverGold (adwareremovergold.com)
InternetAntiSpy (internetantispy.com)
NoAdware (noadware.net/netpalnow.com)
PurityScan (purityscan.com/puritysweep.com)
Real AdWareRemoverGold (adwareremovergold.com/sg08.biz)
SpyAssault (spyassault.com)
SpyBan (spyban.net) -- noadware clone
SpyBlast (spyblast.com/advertising.com)
Spyblocs/eBlocs.com (eblocs.com)
SpyDeleter (spydeleter.com/209.50.251.182)
SpyEliminator (securetactics.com) -- dead?
SpyFerret (onlinepcfix.com) -- also Lop Uninstaller, Xupiter Uninstaller
SpyGone (spygone.com)
SpyHunter (enigmasoftwaregroup.com\\spywareremove.com\\spybot-spyware.com\\
spy botsearch.com\\blacklistonline.com\\66.98.222.170\\1spybot.com\\
spybot -download.com\\deletespyware.net\\spybots.net\\spybot-search.com)
SpyK iller (spy-killer.com/maxionsoftware.com/spykiller.com/spykillerdownload.co m/
free-spyware-scan.com)
SpyKillerPro (spykillerpro.com)
Spyware Annihilator (solidlabs.com)
SpywareBeGone (spywarebegone.com\\freespywarescan.org)
SpywareCleaner (»www.checkforspyware.com/ - »www.spw2a.com/sc/)
SpywareCrusher (spywarecrusher.com)
SpywareNuker (spywarenuker.com/trekblue.com/trekdata.com/spyware-killer.com/
ad aware.com/ada-ware.com/spy-bot.biz)
SpywareInfoooo.com
SpywareKi lla (spywarekilla.com)
SpywareRemover (spy-ware-remover.com/spywareremover.com)
SpywareThis (spywarethis.com)
SpywareZapper (spywarezapper.com) -- looks like it may be TZ Spyware Adware Remover
SpyWiper (mailwiper.com)
ssppyy pro (ssppyy.com)
TZ Spyware Adware Remover (trackzapper.com)
VBouncer/AdDestroyer (spywarelabs.com/virtualbouncer.com)
Warnet (warnet.com)
XoftSpy (download-spybot.com/paretologic.com/downloadspybot.com/no-spybot.com ) -
this may be a SpyHunter clone
ZeroSpyware (zerospyware.com/zeroads.com)
Soybouncer (spybouncer.com)
Misc. BS domains:

5spynetwork.com
comparespywareremovers.com
safe spy.net
spybot.com
spyhunter.com
spy-hunter-detector.com
< br>Rogue knockoffs:

BPS Spyware & Adware Remover (bulletproofsoft.com) -- AdAware knockoff,
uses hacked SpyBot db
SpyFerret (onlinepcfix.com) -- uses hacked SpyBot db
SpyGone (spygone.com) -- SpBot S&D ripoff
SpywareNuker (spywarenuker.com/trekblue.com/trekdata.com) -- uses hacked SpyBot db


Questionable anti-parasite software

Since the issue of adware and spyware has become better known, many companies have been jumping on the bandwagon and offering anti-parasite software. Not all are as trustworthy as one would hope, for a company offering to take care of your computer’s security.

TrekBlue offer a spyware removal program called Spyware Nuker, which is advertised through junk e-mail from its affiliates and misleading fake-dialogue-box web advertising. TrekBlue are the same company as e-mail marketers ‘TrekData’ and ‘Blue Haven Media’, who control the 'InContext' spyware and distribute this and other spyware through ActiveX drive-by-download on web pages. (They also used to work for Lions Pride Enterprises, who made and controlled the ‘wnad’ spyware).

WarNet offer software including an adware remover. However, WarNet is owned and run by the same people who own and run C2 Media, producers of the infamous lop parasite.

SpywareLabs produce a parasite detection program called Virtual Bouncer, with a removal option requiring payment. It which is distributed by the same bundling and drive-by download techniques as the parasites it claims to remove, so definitely qualifies as unsolicited commercial software in itself. It also has an update feature that can download and execute arbitrary code.

RedV offer an adware remover called AdProtector. However, the installer used to download this and the other RedV ‘Protector’ applications is itself adware, and RedV are the same company as Web3000, one of the earliest large spyware makers.

Bulletproof Soft offer a commercial Spyware Remover; OnlinePCFix offer a utility called SpyFerret; Ideal World Online offer SpyGone. All have copied Spybot Search and Destroy’s definitions database without permission or attribution; additionally, SpyFerret includes actual program code taken from Spybot, and SpyGone is an unlicensed copy of SpyRemover.

eAcceleration advertises a general security product called Stop-Sign. However it was itself piggyback-installed without consent with other software (such as file-sharing applications). eAcceleration also wrote the DownloadReceiver adware. StopSign detects the free spyware removers Ad-Aware and Spybot as “attackwareâ€.

Razor Media offer a free scanner-only promotion for their software ‘SpyAssault’. Since the scanner itself installs the commercial trojan FavoriteMan/Ss32 their credibility is somewhat questionable.

SpyBan

SpyWiper (aka SpyDeleter)

SpyKiller Pro (not same as 'SpyKiller'?)

SoftDD offer a free ‘trial version’ of ‘Spy Guardian Pro’, which always tells you you have spyware installed (even on a completely clean machine), but won’t tell you where, asking you to buy the full version to find out.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by felton
Here's a blurb
And I thought what I said was going a little overboard. That's not a blurb. There's absolutely nothing brief about it. Nobody is going to read all that. That's like posting the history of the computer when all someone asked was how to minimize a window. I could just post a link to spywarewarrior.com and say, "Hey, read all this crap!" but you have every other resource on there too. If someone asks you for directions, do you create scaled 3-D model and map of everything on the way?
post #21 of 29
That post is just way to long, way to many links and way to confusing for any "computer novice" to even bother looking at. Nice try but to much to fast will just cause them to have a stroke, and it seems a bit redundent in areas.
post #22 of 29
My home computer is on its last leg too. I don't feel bad though. It's a Compaq Presario with Windows 95! (That's why I'm on this so much in work)! My dad just got a brand new Compaq for Christmas and had to have both his C and D drives replaced! We have 2 Dells in work and they are great. My neighbor just bought a Dell laptop with XP Home that he LOVES, but I think it was around $1800.00.
post #23 of 29
It allows you to get into as much depth as you want IMO.
post #24 of 29
If you follow the steps, most problems will be resolved by step three, THAN it goes down hill in to computerese....
post #25 of 29
freezing computer isn't always a major thing. Could be a video card that needs to be reseated or you have a device driver thats become corrupt.

As far as laptop computers Dells are good, I work on them they sell a lot! Wal Mart sells a brand of low cost laptops now that are well built and I'm impressed by them, check out their website.
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by felton
If you follow the steps, most problems will be resolved by step three, THAN it goes down hill in to computerese....
Thanks, Felton!
At first I skipped it because it was so long, but then I copied it for "just in case."
post #27 of 29
You're welcome
post #28 of 29
alot of good advice on these threads we have had those issues too and the advice here is what we have had to do...and works....and you might want to do some comparison shopping...you can get a dang good set up for about half of the $1000 you plan to spend...no sense wasting the $$!
post #29 of 29
Another thing you can try but it is sorta dangerous, it to reload your OS if you have the disk, but if something goes wrong you could lose everything on the computer so be aware before you try it. I had most of the problems you describe, and this fixed mine. Good luck.
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