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Old 03-24-06, 07:24 PM   #1
Karldar
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Help out the Karldar #4. Computer help...kinda long.

I searched for this(not here), but I'm not even sure what to search for. So, as I type this, the only way I can find to access any programs is task manager. That's how I had to start IE, just to get here. My desktop has retained the background(oh, joy! ), but every icon, along with the toolbar, is gone. Right-click does nothing, the windows key does nothing. I have to Ctrl-Alt-Del and bring up the task manager to do anything. I'm assuming it's a virus or malware, or both.

Hopefully a coincidence, but I didn't really notice a problem until I started using Myspace. I started getting ad popups(only when I'm online using IE) and couldn't find the culprits. Oh, I would find adware/spyware, but it still didn't solve the problem after I cleaned things up. This week, for some reason, when using IE my desktop would get wiped out(excepting the background) when I opened additional IE windows and maximized them(or the damn popups showed up, not sure which). I could reboot and things would be okay, but now even that does nothing for me.

Myspace constantly has problems loading for me. Errors on the page, anyway. Probably something to do with Google's popup blocker, as well as just Myspace, itself. Typically, I get a dialog box saying there's errors and the page might not look right or something like that. Yesterday, I clicked "OK" on one of those boxes and a damn program downloaded and installed itself. "Sysprotector" or something like that. Supposed to be anti-spyware, but it's really spyware itself(from what I've read about it). My AV freaked out and said it found a virus(trojan) so I quarantined it, then uninstalled(supposedly) the program that dl'd. Now, after a couple reboots, here I is.

I know I'm probably in for a long night.*sigh* One of the main things I'd like to know is how to reboot in safe mode. I used WinXP help, which told me how to do it...and didn't actually correspond to how my system boots up, evidently. I thought it was F8, but I'm not sure when to hit it. I hit it when I thought help said to, but no dice, just regular ol' bootup. I can't figure out how to get to system restore, or the control panel for that matter. Hoping that getting started up in safe mode will solve that problem and I can start cleaning this thing out. I was pretty well-versed in DOS and knew a few UNIX commands years ago, but, to my dismay, I let things get away from me....

I have a Gateway:
P IV 3.0 Ghz processor
Half gig/RAM
WinXP Home edition SP2 OS

^I'm not even sure of that limited information. I'd like to just break my keyboard, but I'm trying to be a good boy and work this out without having to wipe everything(tho I will if I have to). I'm super tired, so anything I've forgotten, just ask. Thank you in advance.
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Old 03-24-06, 07:37 PM   #2
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Well, that doesn't sound good. I'm not really sure how to help. I've never had a bad virus (knock on wood). A little scary because I use myspace a lot. I've never gotten any popups from it but I guess I'll have to keep an eye out from now on.





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Old 03-24-06, 08:21 PM   #3
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Does hitting the windows key do anything? I'm thinking perhaps all the icons got deleted and the task bar hidden, but it could be something is preventing the desktop from loading. I believe the background image loads seperately from the desktop functionality.

If possible, try to back up important files onto an external source before doing the following. This shouldn't cause them to get lost, but just in case.

Start up in safe mode. Hit F8 every second or so as the computer is going through boot up. If you get past the windows logo screen without it asking you how you want to start up (normally, safe mode, safe mode console, etc), you've let it go too far, so just restart it again. If successful, you should have a plain background with "Safe Mode" on the corners of the screen, as well as your icons. From there, run a virus scan and restart normally.

Next try a system restore, if you can get to it. The shortcut is under Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore. You might also be able to access it directly at C:\Windows\System32\restore\rstrui.exe. This roles your computer configuration back to the way it was at a previous date.

If the problem continues, you may want to try a repair install. Pop your XP CD in the drive and restart the computer. I'm not sure how the Gateway build is setup, but it should boot to the CD and give you the option of doing a repair install. This just re-writes the windows system files, so you shouldn't lose anything.

Good luck
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Old 03-24-06, 08:36 PM   #4
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Buy a Mac
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Old 03-24-06, 09:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyossarian
Buy a Mac
I'm workin' on it, jeez! I can't just plop $1800 on a bike and turn around and buy a computer, y'know!
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Old 03-24-06, 09:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamlucky13
Does hitting the windows key do anything? I'm thinking perhaps all the icons got deleted and the task bar hidden, but it could be something is preventing the desktop from loading. I believe the background image loads seperately from the desktop functionality.

If possible, try to back up important files onto an external source before doing the following. This shouldn't cause them to get lost, but just in case.

Start up in safe mode. Hit F8 every second or so as the computer is going through boot up. If you get past the windows logo screen without it asking you how you want to start up (normally, safe mode, safe mode console, etc), you've let it go too far, so just restart it again. If successful, you should have a plain background with "Safe Mode" on the corners of the screen, as well as your icons. From there, run a virus scan and restart normally.

Next try a system restore, if you can get to it. The shortcut is under Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore. You might also be able to access it directly at C:\Windows\System32\restore\rstrui.exe. This roles your computer configuration back to the way it was at a previous date.

If the problem continues, you may want to try a repair install. Pop your XP CD in the drive and restart the computer. I'm not sure how the Gateway build is setup, but it should boot to the CD and give you the option of doing a repair install. This just re-writes the windows system files, so you shouldn't lose anything.

Good luck
Thanks! As I mentioned, the windows key doesn't do anything for me, either. No biggie, tho. I should be able to get into safe mode and do...well, something! Again, thanks for the help!
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Old 03-24-06, 10:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taerom
Well, that doesn't sound good. I'm not really sure how to help. I've never had a bad virus (knock on wood). A little scary because I use myspace a lot. I've never gotten any popups from it but I guess I'll have to keep an eye out from now on.





Scan Complete!

423,827
Viruses Found!

A New Record!!





FLAGRANT SYSTEM ERROR

Computer over.
Virus = Very Yes.
I don't know that it's Myspace. That's just the nearest reference point I can think of from when it started messing up. Probably the pr0nage, actually.

Here goes nothin'. If I'm not back by next week, send out a cyber search party.... Goodbye, I love you all!
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Old 03-24-06, 11:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karldar
I'm workin' on it, jeez! I can't just plop $1800 on a bike and turn around and buy a computer, y'know!
Sell your bike, buy a Mac mini and a hardtail mtb.

BTW, if you get a mac mini, you can turn it into the Millenium Falcon!
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Last edited by jyossarian; 03-24-06 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 03-24-06, 11:14 PM   #9
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keep current rig and either put a live linux cd in it for now, or just install linux and be done with it for good
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Old 03-24-06, 11:22 PM   #10
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keep current rig and either put a live linux cd in it for now, or just install linux and be done with it for good
+1 go open source and escape the clutches of the great walmart of operating systems: micro$oft!
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Old 03-25-06, 12:14 AM   #11
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Hope this wasn't mentioned...I didn't read through all of replies.

When you get task bar up, is explorer.exe running? If not, try to start it the same way you did IE (e.g. File->Run(new task) ). See if that does anything.
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Old 03-25-06, 03:58 PM   #12
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hmm, do you have an antivirus, and some anti-adware/malware programs? Go to town with them....full scans, deepest settings...go read a book while it's going on.

Pretty sure it's porn, that's how I get almost every piece of malware on my machine.
Last good one I got made it so I could not open task manager, regedit, management console, or control panel. I had to pull out my 1337 skills and regulate. Turned out it turned my computer into a zombie node for spamming...so I had to get on my laptop, IP ban my machine at the router level, and start cleaning it up. Once it was done, some 3 days later, I was able to lift the IP ban.

....well, that's what i get for downloading crap from yahoo video search.
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Old 03-25-06, 07:19 PM   #13
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Karldar, yeah, tell what antivirus program (if any) you have now. Please tell the version, not just the brand (e.g. Norton AntiVirus 2004, not just "Norton").

Next, start by following my instructions in this text document, step-by-step: http://www.omnicast.net/~tmcfadden/scan.txt

When you run the scan, it will kill any viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware and adware that it recognizes, and will put a report in the file C:\report.html when it's done. Could you post the contents of that report when you're done, so I can see what you're up against
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Old 03-25-06, 07:38 PM   #14
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Oh, and to get the System panel (to disable System Restore and stuff), use the command sysdm.cpl. While you're in there, do what's shown in the pic below, too. But get that McAfee command-line scanner I mentioned above, it's excellent for removing the SpyAxe clones like you've described.

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Old 03-25-06, 11:58 PM   #15
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Looks to be easier dealt with than I first thought. Got the desktop back, tho I'm not exactly sure how. IE had some add-ons I was not aware of, and things got better after disabling them. I'm still getting the ads when using IE, but I hope to eliminate them shortly. I've used Adaware and Spybot S&D, but neither has taken care of the problem. Yahoo messenger's bloated crapulence seems the more likely culprit now that I have done a bit more investigation, anyway. It fits the timeframe a little better, as well. My best friend was over yesterday and got rid of some of that for me, but we were both drinking so I'm going to take a sober look at things now.

My AV is Alwil's Avast 4.6. It, Adaware and Spybot are all up to date. I've also dl'd HJT, but I figure I'll only post a log if I can't handle things with your suggestions(barring buying a new 'puter, that is). Thanks for all the help, guys!
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Old 03-26-06, 12:23 AM   #16
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I've used Adaware and Spybot S&D, but neither has taken care of the problem.
Then I suggest you run my free McAfee scan as suggested, too. McAfee has a much better detection record than Avast. McAfee also has been making a point of going after this stupid fake-spyware-removal "ransomware." McAfee is better at removing it than even the highly-rated antispyware programs like Webroot Spysweeper, based on the victory reports from people who *cough* follow my advice instead of ignoring it.

Run it overnight, and check the C:\report.html in the morning. Betcha there'll be results
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Old 03-26-06, 12:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechBgon
Then I suggest you run my free McAfee scan as suggested, too. McAfee has a much better detection record than Avast. McAfee also has been making a point of going after this stupid fake-spyware-removal "ransomware." McAfee is better at removing it than even the highly-rated antispyware programs like Webroot Spysweeper, based on the victory reports from people who *cough* follow my advice instead of ignoring it.

Run it overnight, and check the C:\report.html in the morning. Betcha there'll be results
First thing on my list...after checking BF, that is.

Oh, before I forget, I loaded their toolbar when I installed Yahoo messenger and somehow lost my Google toolbar. I had to got to Google's homepage and dl/reinstall it(after disabling Yahoo), but now I can't do Google searches or even get to their site most of the time. I keep getting "The page can not be displayed"/"cannot find server or DNS error". Only for Google, tho. Think McAfee'll take care of that, too, or should I be doing something else?
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