Task manager won't start and internet search engines refuse to load!

By Kikka ยท 20 replies
Sep 29, 2009
  1. I have two very odd and alarming problems. Whenever I try to enter into a google domain(google, gmail), the page won't load and instead throws me the following error message:

    "The connection was reset

    The connection to the server was reset while the page was loading.

    * The site could be temporarily unavailable or too busy. Try again in a few

    * If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer's network

    * If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure
    that Firefox is permitted to access the Web."

    This happens with all browsers. Chrome throws the following error message:

    "This webpage is not available.

    The webpage at http://www.google.com/ might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address.

    More information on this error
    Below is the original error message

    Error 101 (net::ERR_CONNECTION_RESET): Unknown error."

    I can't enter www.bing.com either and a yahoo search results in the same error message although I can enter www.yahoo.com. It just doesn't throw the error until I click on search. The only search engine that is currently working seems to be www.altavista.com! All other domains work normally so far.

    About two weeks ago I got the "Windows System Suite" malware on this same computer. I got rid of it by the Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware program.

    The second alarming problem I have is that I can't open my Task Manager. Could these problems be related? I've heard that many malware close the Task Manager as soon as it is opened.

    I have Malwarebyte AntiMalware and AVG installed at the same time, can it cause problems? The AVG is the licensed (paid) version.

    I'm am not a complete newbie with computers and generally take a good care of it. I regularly clean registry, defrag disk&registry and run virus scans. These problems I'm having certainly seem alarming, so I am contacting you in hope to find a solution to this.

    (I have a thread for my problems already, but now I have gathered all my individual posts in that thread and compiled them in this thread for this to be more comprehensive and easier for you guys to help me)
  2. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    Spyware Again

    Sounds like spyware. First you need to run/re-run the following AS utilities:

    • Malwarebytes Amti-Malware
    • SuperAntipsyware
    • Spybot Search & DEstroy

    Repost with results and we'll proceed from there.

    -- Andy
  3. Bobbye

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

  4. Kikka

    Kikka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    As stated in the OP: "I have a thread for my problems already, but now I have gathered all my individual posts in that thread and compiled them in this thread for this to be more comprehensive and easier for you guys to help me"
  5. Kikka

    Kikka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Dear Andy and Bobbye,

    I have now pin pointed the problem using Spybot Search&Destroy. SuperAntispyware and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware were both unable to find the problem. So, Spybot found "WindowsProtectionSuite" with 12 malware entries. It seems to be the cause of all this. However, Spybot was unable to remove it! It gives the following error message when I push the "Fix" button:

    "Unexpected error in fixing problems (Cannot create file "C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts". Access is denied)"

    Now, HijackThis gives the following error message when performing a scan :

    "For some reason your system denied write access to the Hosts file. If any hijacked domains are in this file, HjackThis may NOT be able to fix this. If this happens, you need to edit the file yourself. To do this, click Start, Run and type: "notepad "C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts" and press Enter. Find the line(s) HijackThis reports and delete them. Save the file as 'hosts.' (with quotes), and reboot."

    After clicking ok, HijackThis completes the scan pointing out these 12 lines from the 'hosts' file:

    O1 - Hosts: ::1 localhost
    O1 - Hosts: 4-open-davinci.com
    O1 - Hosts: securitysoftwarepayments.com
    O1 - Hosts: privatesecuredpayments.com
    O1 - Hosts: secure.privatesecuredpayments.com
    O1 - Hosts: getantivirusplusnow.com
    O1 - Hosts: secure-plus-payments.com
    O1 - Hosts: www.getantivirusplusnow.com
    O1 - Hosts: www.secure-plus-payments.com
    O1 - Hosts: www.getavplusnow.com
    O1 - Hosts: www.securesoftwarebill.com
    O1 - Hosts: secure.paysecuresystem.com
    O1 - Hosts: paysoftbillsolution.com

    Now, I tried to do as the HijcakThis error message told me to do and remove those lines manually. Incidentally, after removing those lines and pushing "save", notepad gives the following error message:

    "Cannot create the C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts file"

    What do I have to do to remove WindowsProtectionSuite and those lines from the 'hosts' file?

    For comparison, you can find my 'hosts' file and right after that a 'healthy' hosts file as an attachment.

    EDIT: Every day, more symptoms seem to arise. Now, some of the features of my add-ons for firefox have been permanently disabled(no more "undo close tab"). Also, firefox now disables cookies by itself, no matter how many times I check the "allow cookies" box. Even during a session. This results in annoying spontaneous log offs from facebook etc.

    Also, spybot's "immunize" feature is only able to protect 4 targets and leaves roughly 100000 targets unprotected.

    What is also odd is, that I haven't been experiencing any pop-ups from WindowsProtectionSuite as I should be.
  6. Bobbye

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

  7. Kikka

    Kikka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

  8. Bobbye

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

    There is no log.
  9. Kikka

    Kikka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Of what?
  10. Bobbye

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

    It seems you are missing most of the help you have gotten. This will be my last reply and you are going to have to understand it:

    You have 2 threads going for the same problem. By posting them separately, you have made one problem seeming to be 2- it isn't!

    Andy told you what to run.

    I left a site reference telling you what was needed.

    I suggest you combine the threads into one and delete the other.
  11. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    With Spybot, it will list which objects it was able to remove and which ones it couldn't. Please list the ones it couldn't. It's not always necessary to remove every single object.

    -- Andy
  12. Kikka

    Kikka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Attached is the log of files that spybot was unable to fix. Notice that they are the same 12 lines that can be found in the 'hosts' file.

  13. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    I don't see any attachment. Can you try posting it again.

    -- Andy
  14. Kikka

    Kikka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    I appreciate your time and concern, but after tens of hours of studying, the solution was finally found from this: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic252666-15.html thread. So, I downloaded "unlocker" and force changed the name of the "hosts" file, then edited out the reported lines and saved it as "hosts" again.

    I can now enter google etc. but task manager still won't open and some features of my add ons are diabled. None of the antispywares can find anything anymore.
  15. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277


    You have residual corruption from the spyware. Although the spyware may be gone, it casued corruption in at least your Windows system (definitely the registry.) There may be other corruption you haven't encountered yet. My best suggestion is to run a Windows repair (XP) or Windows Upgrade (Vista). These will attempt to fix any obvious Windows system corruption. If they can't, then we need to manually fix the corruption.

    Repost if you need instructions on how to performt the Windows repair feature.

    -- Andy
  16. Kikka

    Kikka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Esteemed Andy,

    I am grateful indeed that you are guiding me to get rid of the las bits of the spyware. I have vista but what do you mean by "Windows Upgrade"?
  17. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    <groan> We have to do a Vista Upgrade! I just did one last night on a customer's computer and it took 2.5 hours!

    Microsoft has changed the automated "repair" feature in Windows Vista and is now part of what's called "Windows Upgrade". From Windows 98 through to Windows XP, there is a "Windows Repair" feature in the installation CD. When you go to install Windows it give you the option to instead "repair" an existing installation. It looks just like a standard Windows installation but instead it's comparing yoru Windows static system files and settings against what's on the installtion CD. If anything is corrupt or missing, it replaces it with a new one. It's very handy, minimal hassle and works like magic to fix system corruption (mostof the time!) For Vista, they changed it and merged it into what's called "Windows Upgrade". The first purpose of this is to upgrade your Vista from a lower version to higher one (i.e. Home Basic to Home Preimum or Ultimate) It also doubles as the automated repair. Unfortuantely, and like most of Vista, it's enormous and very time consuming. Also, it has a number of limitations as compared to the previous Windows XP repair. The biggest is that it can only be launched from the Windows Desktop in Normal Mode.

    You need the Windows Vista installation DVD for your version. Launch the installation and at one point it will ask you if you want to Upgrade your installation or install a new one. Choose Upgrade and then go watch a movie as it takes FOREVER and restarts 3 times!!

    -- Andy
  18. Kikka

    Kikka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31


    This is a laptop and no Vista Installation DVD came with it. What should I do?

    Thanks friend,
  19. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    What you do is hire PC Home Services to fix your computer!

    Well, you can maybe borrow a Vista installation DVD from a local computer store to do this. Or see if you have a friend/neighbour/relative who has one. Or like a half-joked, you can hire a service like mine to do it.

    -- Andy
  20. Kikka

    Kikka TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    I do have a factory default DVD that I created when I wanted to reinstall(format) the whole vista a year ago. This DVD was created from the recovery files that came with this Acer laptop specifically for that purpose. Will it do?
  21. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    Yes, that is what you need. Launch it from the Windows Desktop and select to install Windows. You will eveutally reach a screen asking if you want to upgrade or re-install. Choose upgrade and then go watch a movie.

    -- Andy
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