December 27th, 2008 08:24 AM
Need Some Computer Geek Help, Virus related.
We have 3 computer, 2 notebooks and a desktop. All running XP Home. Maybe it's dumb, but we haven't been running antivirus software. Mainly because we did on my wifes' notebook (norton 360) and it still had way more problems than my notebook ever has, which has never had a virus problem in about 6 years now. Today, this is the only computer that is working properly in the house. First, the home PC caught a case of apparently several fake virus alert softwares at the same time. This may be a coincidence, but the only thing I know of that happened was the boy installing world of warcraft and some online updates for it. Some icons popped up on the desktop that were direct links to porn sites. I don't believe they were clicked on.
Anyhow, a little research into files that windows task manager showed were running revealed a number of them were viruses, and I found info on how to delete the files and registry entries. I did a few of the deletions, but had to leave and figured I'd go back to it next day. Next time I tried, the background pic had changed to a virus warning jpg, and windows task manager had been disable by "the administrator." Also, Regedit won't work. Last I knew, I was the administrator. So that computer is really screwed up now. I tried Avast antivirus (free online stuff with good reviews), didn't work. Broke down and bought norton antivirus, which would not install. ("Setup.exe has an error and must be shut down, send report to microsoft?" or something like that). OK, so I boot off the norton CD and run the scan, but it does nothing to clear the problems. It does run, but in this manner I Don't think it can update and the parameter on the CD are 4 months old.
Any ideas to how I can once again get tack manager and regedit accessible, so I can search and destroy and/or get norton working?
I know the norton CD is fine, because I installed it on the wifes notebook and it is running right next to me. The viruses were very similar but had different names, and my wifes' notebook never locked me out of task manager or regedit. (The one on my wifes notebook is Spywareguard2008...I can't recall the other one, but they looked very similar).
So far norton has found a number of items on the notebook, but not spywareguard2008. Interesting that these both happened within a day, and the only thing *that I know of* that happened on both was world of warcraft. The kids (naturally) deny hitting porn sites or opening email attachments. All I know is that I don't let them use MY notebook and that one is OK.
Sorry this god wordy, but any advice is welcome...I use quicken to track my money and bills and that info in on the desktop. I'm afraid to run it for fear of something bad happening, but I really need to get an idea of how much money I have and who needs to be paid. I was thinking about opening quicken just long enough to back up the data file, the installing quicken onto MY notebook and using the backup data file to do a recovery...Do you think I'm likely to carry something bad over to my computer?
December 27th, 2008 08:42 AM
I'm no geek, but what I would do is creat a back up file first. Go buy a new hard dirve and install it. Get it up and running with the soft ware you now have, or purchase new soft ware. Once up and running get some good virus protection, something like McAfee. I have used McAfee and Norton, and I really like McAfee better. I now use two anti-virus programs on my computers. Once you have your new protedction system up and running put in your back up disk and run a virus scan on it. Once it's clean you can up load it, and be right back in business. Make sure you have virus protection on any computer that will be getting on line. Especially the one the kids use! The guys that wright these programs are very smart, and can creat programs that you can not get rid of short of replacing hard drive. Ask me how I know!!!
Y'all be safe now, ya hear!
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
December 27th, 2008 09:02 AM
December 27th, 2008 09:23 AM
It's easier to prevent a virus then it is to get rid of them once they do the evil that they do.
Personally I would use your virus free notebook and make a boot disk and a disk to run your virus program from. Completely erase/reformat all the hard drives on the infected computers. Use the boot disk to get the computer up and running and scan the drives with your anti-virus disk. There are many freeware programs out there to do all this, maybe someone else will chime in and list their favorite freeware programs. Once you are sure the computer is clean reload the operating system and start from scratch.
It sucks having to do all that but,,,,what were you thinking! Kids + internet + no antivirus = BIG TROUBLE
Kids are click happy, they click on anything that pops up on the screen. There are several good free anti-virus programs out there, I like AVG, it works and is free. Good luck.
"I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals
." - Sir Winston Churchill
December 27th, 2008 09:30 AM
December 27th, 2008 09:38 AM
Has any of your anti-virus software actually "found and identified" a virus? As far as registry goes, MS offers a program called "regclean". This tiny little program will go in and fix your registry when executed.
There is a sure fire way to get all this fixed ... its called "reformat". I know its drastic measures but sometimes there are no other choices or fixes. A good AV is your friend.
"Government is not the solution to our problem; government IS the problem". - Ronald Reagan 1981
December 27th, 2008 09:42 AM
I encountered something similar when working with my wife's work laptop. (Yes, I loaded the crap - I was searching for a driver and clicked a bad link.) After a few days, the desktop wallpaper displayed something that looked like a bio-hazard warning. The PC randomly loaded a variety of pop-ups without any action by the user.
Ultimately the school district IT Manager reinstalled the Operating System and Applications. Yes, a big hassle, but took less time than all of the other things I tried.
The virus/spyware disabled the virus scan and turned-on active desktop loading the bio-hazard wallpaper. Every trick I tried removed some, but not all or the hidden files. After a few days, everything would return. I was limited in my actions as I did not have Administrator rights.
There was no damage to stored data - we were able to copy it and scan it with another system. When returned to the hard drive of the rebuilt laptop, there was no problem.
What I would do:
1. Copy important data files and scan them.
2. Verify that you have access to the manufacturer restoration or a OS installation.
3. Reinstall the OS.
4. Install virus scan software and OS updates.
5. Reload applications and updates.
6. Restore data previously copied and scanned.
Good luck; I hope everything turns out okay.
December 27th, 2008 09:55 AM
I currently run the AVG free edition for the most part, and Spyware Terminator. pent years using Norton stuff and Spybot on two desktops and one laptop and to me, they are not worth the price. CNet is a good place to look for and figure out what might work best for you. Registry cleaner programs can be hit or miss, and it's risky business....computer maintenance is always necessary. Clean up, delete temp files, and defrag often. A system restore may get you a temporary reprieve.......enough time to do something, but even the infected files will have been backed up there. Microsoft may be consulted as to how to attempt to get rid of the infections, but it's lengthy and you'll need to do a lot in safe mode, but running the purge software in safe mode should get rid of all the infections (if you can get that far). Most here have already posted some very good suggestions and starting over with a new hard drive may be the best option. I know all too well what you loose when a main PC crashes for good. You loose everything. I store a lot of photos and things online now. Limit start up programs, run some things in manual mode instead of automatic. When my laptop backlight gave out earlier this year, I was forced to use the PC I'm using now....and I started cleaning it up. The teenage daughter had been using limewire....my first challenge was to get rid of all that nonsense like it never existed. Good luck.
December 27th, 2008 10:41 AM
AVG is far and away the best free anti virus on the market. It is the ONLY free bundle trusted by corporate entities and the only one even worth trusting.
FWIW it does not sound like you have a virus but rather some malware issues. I know that adware, spyare and malware are often called a virus but in reality the are a very different thing because most often they are invited in through errant clicks by the user. Not even the best virus protection will help a loose user.
My guess would be the World of Warcraft game brought with is many bad things that have run amok in your system Removing them from the registry is a long process because you need to get EVERY single kernel or the thing will most likely just replicate on reboot.
If you have system restore turned on, try restoring to an earlier date. If that does not work you can download a spyware doctor and even the free one will give you the registry keys you need to delete. Or just buy the full version and it will delete them for you...... Spyware Doctor is the best one IMO for this.
December 27th, 2008 10:47 AM
To explore this further it might be worth your while to post the troubles on one of the dedicated computer forums - Computer Hope is one I am familiar with and they have a useful system for dealing with malware - and a few guys who can give very helpful advice.
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
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December 27th, 2008 10:52 AM
Well, first -
To fix your computer, unless you really know what you are doing with regedit, deleting files, and other things, you need to spend the money to have a computer geek work it out. However, my guess is you really don't know, that is why you are in this fix.
You really need to completely reformat your hard drive. Since you can't access the important things you need to - you're pretty much screwed.
Once you have reformatted your hard drive - install AVG - maybe even go hog-wild and purchase the thing - and KEEP IT UPDATED.
Norton is pretty much useless these days.
I have been building and running (and some programming) my own computers since 1982 - and AVG is the best currently available.
Like I said, unless you really understand how all the programs work - especially regedit - leave it to the pros. Pony up some bucks, or just to a complete hard format of the C drive.
Sorry dude, virus attacks suck I know.
Trying to leave as large a carbon footprint as possible.
Shivering in the "heat"
Innocent as doves, wise as serpents, armed like wolves.
December 27th, 2008 10:56 AM
There is a HUGE difference between operating systems, and web browsers. Google Chrome, Opera, etc are web browsers, NOT operating systems.
Originally Posted by artz
First and foremost - isolate the infected computer. DO NOT connect it to the internet, or a home network. Make sure it is completely isolated.
From an uninfected computer, download AVG from AVG Free - Download antivirus and antispyware software for Windows XP and Vista
Once the file is downloaded, move the file (by CD, Flashdrive etc) to the infected computer, and install it. Once installed, let it connect to the internet (with all other computers on the home network being turned off, or disconnected from the network), and run the updater to make sure you have all the current virus definations updated. Once done, disconnect from the internet again, and run the scan. Run a full scan, which will probably take some time.
Let if find and isolate anything, and delete it. Scan again, and again until it comes up clean.
Also look up "CCleaner" (formaly known as crap cleaner) and run this frequently will help maintain your computer, keep the registry clean and get rid of the junk that accumulates on the computer eating up disk space and slowing the system down.
Last edited by DMan; December 27th, 2008 at 12:51 PM.
"Gun Free Zones" is where only criminals carry guns.
December 27th, 2008 11:09 AM
Since fixing computers like this is what I'm doing for a living atm, I think I can help.
I'm going to echo everyone else that mentioned AVG Free. Do a google search for AVG Free and download it. It's very easy to use, just make sure to set up the automatic updates and scans and you can practically forget about it.
Now, to get rid of the infection. Go to Malwarebytes.org and download that free program. It's an excellent malware/virus removal program. Not to be confused with an anti-virus program, it's only purpose here is to install on all your computers and remove the virii that are on them.
After you install and update malwarebytes, unplug the computers from the internet and run the full scan until it no longer finds any trace of malware on the computers. Then install AVG and re-connect to the net.
The whole process should only take a couple of hours and you should be done. Can't stress enough how much you need anti-virus software on a computer that's connected to the internet.
December 27th, 2008 11:11 AM
That's some good advice right there but if you haven't been running Antivirus for 6 years I'd say your computer is ate up with all sorts of viruses, trojans, and spyware. All you have to do is go to the wrong website and it will download to your computer. Viruses don't always cause mahem. They can actually take over your computer and send emails directly from your email account.
Originally Posted by DMan
They also mine for data. As an example they can download your address list and then start sending bogus emails to everyone one it. They also search for personal information like credit card numbers, passwords, bank account numbers, social security numbers.
Personally I would wipe everything clean and start over as you will most likely find several pesky viruses that you cannot delete without EXTENSIVE knowledge of how to track down the culprit and edit your registry.
December 27th, 2008 12:01 PM
Thanks all for the input. Norton didn't even find spywareguard2008 on the notebook. I downloaded and ran mbytes which found and removed it, but it came right back (however, I am at work and cannot connect my own computer to the internet to update it for the latest). I then tried disabling system restore and trying again in safe mode, to no avail. When I get home I'll try updating it, and also on the home PC. While I'm here I also downloaded avg to my thumbdrive to make things a bit quicker when I get home. The biggest thing is that I get my money info off of there, and I'm also going to back that up onto a flash drive every freakin' day from now on!
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