Search Engine Redirect

By unclec · 8 replies
Dec 20, 2009
  1. My searches keep getting redirected to random sites. It happens to google on both IE and FF. I have not tried to search on other engines.

    I have completed the 8-step Viruses/Spyware/Malware Preliminary Removal Instructions and have attached the logs.

    Thank you for any assistance you can give me.
  2. AnonymousSurfer

    AnonymousSurfer TS Guru Posts: 452   +40

    I'm trying a new test that i found could lead to the redirecting. Go to

    • C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc and open hosts.
    • It will then prompt you to select what to open it with, click on notepad.
    • Copy and paste everything that is inside onto the forums or upload the file as .txt.

    I am currently going over your logs to see if anything is wrong with them.
  3. unclec

    unclec TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have attached the information you requested.
  4. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Welcome to TechSpot, unclec. I'm not familiar with the program that was mentioned and since there is no link, perhaps I can assist.

    I'd like to mention that if your system is slow to load, slow to surf and slow to shut down, it's because you have too many startups. Everything that starts on boot, runs in the background. It all has to load and unload and run. That's going to slow you down.

    Please describe these random sites. Are they the same ones? Are they any particular type of sites? At what point does the redirect come up> when you put a word in the Google Search box then choose one of the entries?

    Are you actually getting a site or a Google message about the DNS Server? I ask these things because the Google redirect has become a catch-all phrase for any time a site doesn't come up.

    Your logs have little malware. The Wild Tangent Game Loader from Dell was found to have malware> it always does. IF you don't use it, I recommend uninstalling it.

    But let's look a little further:
    Download SDFix HERE and save it to your Desktop.
    • Double click SDFix.exe and it will extract the files to %systemdrive%
      (Drive that contains the Windows Directory, typically C:\SDFix)

      Boot into Safe Mode
    • Restart your computer and start pressing the F8 key on your keyboard.
    • Select the Safe Mode option when the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then press ENTER.

      Run SDFix
    • Open the extracted SDFix folder and double click RunThis.bat to start the script.
    • Type Y to begin the cleanup process.
    • It will remove any Trojan Services and Registry Entries that it finds then prompt you to press any key to Reboot.
    • Press any Key and it will restart the PC.
    • When the PC restarts the Fixtool will run again and complete the removal process then display Finished, press any key to end the script and load your desktop icons.
    • Once the desktop icons load the SDFix report will open on screen and also save into the SDFix folder as Report.txt
    • Attach Report.txt back here
    Follow that with an online AV scan:

    Run Eset NOD32 Online AntiVirus Scanner HERE

    Note: You will need to use Internet Explorer for this scan.
    • Tick the box next to YES, I accept the Terms of Use.
    • Click Start
    • When asked, allow the Active X control to install
    • Disable your current Antivirus software. You can usually do this with its Notification Tray icon near the clock.
    • Click Start
    • Make sure that the option "Remove found threats" is Unchecked, and the option "Scan unwanted applications" is checked
    • Click Scan
    • Wait for the scan to finish
    • Re-enable your Antivirus software.
    • A logfile is created and located at C:\Program Files\EsetOnlineScanner\log.txt. Please include this on your post.
    Please attach both logs in your next reply.

    You also need to get control over the Tracking Cookies. Frequently, when there are hundreds of them, it can be an indication that the system isn't getting regular maintenance such as disc cleanup.

    Reset Cookies

    For Internet Explorer: Internet Options (through Tools or Control Panel) Privacy tab> Advanced button> CHECK 'override automatic Cookie handling'> CHECK 'accept first party Cookies'> CHECK 'Block third party Cookies'> CHECK 'allow per session Cookies'> Apply> OK.

    For Firefox: Tools> Options> Privacy> Cookies> CHECK ‘accept Cookies from Sites’> UNCHECK 'accept third party Cookies'> Set Keep until 'they expire'. This will allow you to keep Cookies for registered sites and prevent or remove others.

    I suggest using the following two add-on for Firefox. They will prevent the Tracking Cookies that come from ads and banners and other sources:
    AdBlock Plus
    Easy List

    You will find the add-ons for Firefox will block the ads, banners and many undesirable features on a site you access. The Cookies should be reset on each account. There is no log for this!
  5. unclec

    unclec TS Rookie Topic Starter

    When I enter a term into the search field and hit enter a list of search results is generated. When I click on a seach result, it is occasionally redirected to a number of different consumer sites (some of them repeat). Some of the sites that I am directed to such as,, produce search results for my original search, but on their site. Random consumer sites such as ,, and even also appear sometimes. My searches are often redirected to a site named which appears to run a virus scan and prompts me to download their software.

    I think I may have opened another can of worms.

    I installed SDFix, but when I rebooted to enter into safe mode i got the following stop error:
    Stop: 0x0000007E (0xC0000005, 0x80537009, 0xF789E508, 0xF789E204).
    The description suggested that my display drivers should be checked, so I rebooted normally (no issue there) and updated my display drivers. Upon rebooting to complete the update I received another stop message:
    Stop: 0x00000050 (0xA6F1A000, 0x00000000, 0x805E9A0B, 0x00000000).
    I shut the system off and restarted several more times and I received several other stop messages:
    Stop: 0x00000050 (0xA7A70000, 0x00000000, 0x805E9A0B, 0x00000000)
    Stop: 0x00000050 (0xA6F37000, 0x00000000, 0x805E9A0B, 0x00000000)
    Stop: 0x00000050 (0xA6F2B000, 0x00000000, 0x805E9A0B, 0x00000000).

    I am guessing it may be time to just reformat this puppy, but I unfortunately do not have a Microsoft XP Media Center disk.

    I have a Seagate external hard drive with Memeo automatic backup program, but I have just noticed that the backup program is not starting up automatically anymore. I moved any of my files that the program hadn't already backed up onto the drive. I also ran windows backup and made another backup on the external drive. I hope that whatever spyware issues I have on my computer have not made to the external hard drive as well.

    Man, owning a computer can be frustrating sometimes.

    Where should I head from here?
  6. unclec

    unclec TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I forgot to add to my last post that after attempting to reboot several times I left the computer alone for 15-30 minutes. I attempted to reboot and it worked successfully. I have not attempted to reboot in safe mode again.

    I made a lengthy post before adding this comment. I was informed that the moderator would have to review the post before it could be seen. If that is not the case, then I can repost it so this post makes sense.
  7. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Sorry- several members have mentioned about the moderator constraints. I don't know what is about but I will find out. We do appreciate it however, when you describe the problem in as few words as possible. We don't have time to read through 'lengthy posts'!

    I understand about the redirects. The errors you are experiencing refer to drivers- not necessarily graphics. But the way to find which ones is to produce minidump files. We don't do that in this forum. You would be better served for that in the Windows OS forum.

    The information for the Stop: 0x00000050 was regarding SP1- you have SP3. The error indicates a driver, but not which one. you would have to provide minidumps for someone to help you- we don't do that in this forum.

    Stop: 0x0000007E is also usually driver related. I would suggest that you would get more specific help for this

    Can you condense what you wrote into a few short sentences?
  8. unclec

    unclec TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I posted a shorter version on the Windows OS forum.
  9. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Okay, thank you.
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