Pop-Up and Spyware Removal Guide

By acidosmosis
Jan 26, 2004
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  1. Thought I would go ahead and post since I've been away for so long and have so many posts to catch up on :p.

    I have found several programs to which you can use to get rid of any spyware/adware and or pop-up issues on your PC and several tricks I would like to share, so here you go.



    SpyBot: Search and Destroy & Lavasoft AdAware

    This is one a large majority of you already know about, but just in case you don't here you go.

    I know a lot of you use Adware instead of SpyBot, but I've found in my experience that SpyBot does the job much better in most situations and picks up more than AdAware.

    I've done a lot of tests by running SpyBot and Adware along-side each other and SpyBot always did the job and elminated what AdAware would have (and more). I do still recommend running them both (though not neccasarilly in the same day) and checking for updates prior to each scan since both programs come with a integrated update feature.

    http://www.safer-networking.org/index.php?page=download
    http://www.lavasoftusa.com/support/download/



    HijackThis

    HijackThis is a tool, that lists all installed browser add-on, buttons, startup items and allows you to inspect them, and optionally remove selected items. The program can create a backup of your original settings and also ignore selected items. Additional features include a simple list of all startup items, default start page, online updates and more. Intended for advanced users.

    Almost always when I recommend this program I get the same response. "No! Your not fooling me into downloading a virus!".
    Well, it's not a virus :p.

    Also, I noticed some of you say you have come upon a problem where using HijackThis caused problems with your Internet connection and IE.

    At the bottom of the list when you run HijackThis is an item something like:

    HKLM\System\CCS\Services\Tcpip\..\{38DA922E}: NameServer = 255.255.255.255 125.125.125.125

    Do not delete this (unless your just feeling lucky or know what you are doing). Also, as with anything do not delete anything if you don't know what you are deleting or at least have some kind of backup. (Hijackthis will create backups for you if you set it to do so). The rest you can usually be pretty safe deleting but obviously if you delete everything else your computer may take on a different personality and things may be missing (such as right-click menu options or IE toolbars).



    Prefetch Files

    Clear your Prefetch files regularly. You can also set Windows to not use Prefetch if you would like, but I'm not going to recommend to do so or not to do so, only that you clear it regularly. To do so, just delete the entire contents of your C:\Windows\Prefetch\ folder (not the folder itself, just the contents). Don't worry it won't hurt anything.

    Related Articles:
    http://www.tweakxp.com/tweak525.aspx


    Running processes and c:\windows\system32\

    Press CTRL+ALT+DEL and click Task Manager. Under processes you may notice something such as "adaasdkjds.exe" running. Obviously 99.9% of the time shouldn't be there. It's up to you to decide whether it should or shouldn't.

    Once you find an "offending" process running search for the file by pressing Windows Key + F or Start/Search for Files or Folders and search for the file, then just delete it. If you want to be safe, don't delete it from the recycle bin yet, reboot and make sure everything is working ok, then delete it from the recycle bin.

    In some cases the process may be a service which will need to be turned off. You may want to take a look and see what services are running. Start/Run type "services.msc" and review the list of services. You can stop a service by right-clicking and pressing Stop. If you want to disable it from running completely without your permission, stop the service then right-click/Properties and change Startup Type to "disabled" or "manual".



    Other Resources:
    http://forums.spywareinfo.com/index.php?act=SF&f=11
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