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Outlook 2003 trying to add a function. How do I stop it?

By Mugsy
Jan 16, 2011
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  1. This is for my step-mothers PC, so I can't immediately check anything anyone might suggest. :(

    My step-mother uses Outlook 2003 for her email (WinXP Pro). The OEM version of Office 2003 was installed on her PC when she bought it, so she doesn't have the original installation CD's.

    Her computer was infected with some nasty Adware that took me the better part of Saturday morning to remove. The adware is gone, but one thing it did was modify her copy of Outlook to try and mail copies of itself to everyone in her address book.

    Fortunately (?), the function it needs to do this is not already installed, so when she opens Outlook, it immediately tries installing the missing components, prompting her to "insert the CD" to load the missing msi file(s) necessary to install the missing feature.

    If I cancel, the "feature" simply tries again.

    How do I stop Outlook 2003 from repeatedly attempting to install some unknown new extension upon startup? It even does this in Safe Mode. It's not an "Add-In", I checked, so there's nothing to disable under "Add ins".

    Not being an Outlook user myself, I'm stumped. Any idea? TIA.
     
  2. pjamme

    pjamme TS Enthusiast Posts: 285

    It doesn't sound like Malware is removed to me.
    did you turn off system restore before you cleaned, then when clear reboot and trun it back on?

    Sounds like you need to take it to that forum:
    http://www.techspot.com/vb/menu28.html
     
  3. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 431

    Malware.

    Thanks for the reply.

    I'm reasonably sure the offending program is gone because I deleted it before it ever installed anything. (Alt-Ctrl-Del didn't even work. The dialog window would be closed as fast as it opened. I kept having to Power Off.) This particular piece of adware loaded before the desktop icons or toolbar, masquerading as Genuine Microsoft Software telling me I needed to install some item of Security software (I forget the exact details, but it went to great lengths to look official, including a link to "Microsoft.com" at the bottom "for tech support", and a big AMD logo in the upper right. It was almost certainly one of those "anti-spyware" adware apps.

    To get rid of it, I loaded Ubuntu Linux on CD and located the obscurely named (eg: "oxbght.exe") app in the DocSettings/User/AppData/ folder on her Windows drive. Deleting that allowed XP to start as normal. The program itself was never run and the software never installed.

    I then did a full antivirus scan with AVG and spyware scan with SuperAntiSpyware, topped off with the latest version of ComboFix. HiJackThis likewise shows nothing suspicious.

    Other than Outlook 2003 trying to install some "missing function" when it starts ("Outlook needs the original Office 2003 CD to complete the requested task"), everything else appears to be functioning normally. I just don't know Outlook well enough to figure out what is making the request or how to cancel it.
     
  4. pjamme

    pjamme TS Enthusiast Posts: 285

    Mugsy,
    If Outlook is damged it will do this. You can safely run a repair of Outlook in Control panel/Add Remove and select Microsoft Office or Microsoft OUtlook whichever you have and the repair/remove/reinstall menus should come up. seelect Repair and restore shortcuts.
    Now the problem with this if the install files were removed when it was installed it will ask for the CD, which you don't have. If they weren't the repair should finish in five minutes or so, if it askes for the OEM Cd then you are hosed
     
  5. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 431

    Repair

    Thanks for the info.

    I can probably find a copy of Office 2003 to do a Repair if that's all it takes. It probably wouldn't care if the CD's were not the ones used to do the original install.

    It sounds like Outlook is trying to undo whatever the adware started/removed.

    A "Repair" is not "destructive" in any way, is it? No loss of email or her address book?
     
  6. pjamme

    pjamme TS Enthusiast Posts: 285

    No it is not destructive., I do it often for 2003 & 2007.
    I do think though it is very specific about which CD you use, sorry. give it a try though and see how it goes, my experience with OEM Office is all Dell others may be different
     
  7. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 431

    I'll try it.

    Thanks for the info.

    If a "Repair" does not work, I may try backing up the email & address book, and just reinstalling from scratch.

    I'll let you know what happens in the next day or two.
     
  8. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 431

    I borrows a CD, went ahead and allowed it to complete the request. Doesn't seem to have added/done anything unwanted.

    I suspect the virus modified a crucial file in Outlook, and removing the virus removed a file that Outlook needed to operate, so allowing the service to run likely just restored something that was missing.

    Thanks for the info. I probably would have gone to more extreme length w/o your input.
     
  9. pjamme

    pjamme TS Enthusiast Posts: 285

    Mugsy,
    Office repair and SFC /scannow are poor as far as i am concerned because they give no report. But they do fix stuff.
     


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