windows xp pop ups

By gingerbill · 20 replies
Aug 12, 2003
  1. im a newbie at using windows xp and need some help. Whenever i disable my firewall to play online games i keep getting these annoying pop ups that take me to the desktop , most of them are advertising how to stop these pop ups but i am paranoid about what i download and install . Can anyone give me some advice on how to stop these please!.
  2. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    are these popup like you get on websites? or the ones that come thru the messenger service in win 2000 and XP?

    if they are the ones that come thru the messenger service ( a network feature in XP and 2000 not releated to instant messenger) then you can download and run "shoot the messenger" which will disable this feature and stop the popups.

    you can get it here

    download from planet mirror as gibsons site seems to be down at the moment.
  3. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    No need to download silly software..

    Just go to Start->Settings->Control Panel->Administrative Tools->Services

    Right click on Messenger, properties. Set startup type to disabled.
    Right click on Messenger, stop.
  4. gingerbill

    gingerbill TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 233   +59

    thanks for the help!! , be glad to be rid of those pop ups :)
  5. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    I've played online games before without having to disable my firewall (as long as you aren't hosting a game). As Nodsu suggests, you can disable the Messenger service when you want to play online. I'd also keep Windows XP built-in firewall, and anti-virus software, activated at all times. It's not safe to go online these days without some degree of protection.
  6. Abraxas

    Abraxas TS Rookie Posts: 157

    Hmm, I think the XP firewall doesn't work too well. I had quite a few problems with it. I keep it off and use a personal firewall (Sygate that is) instead.
  7. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    The XP firewall works well for me, though it is limited in its features it certainly stops port scanners from detecting your PC online. I use it together with ZoneAlarm and the firewall built into my router, so I have 3 firewalls always on. The XP firewall doesn't provide packet filtering, stop software from accessing your network, or provide other exotic features, but it does stop outside sources from connecting to your PC, and it doesn't cause any compatability issues with other software. I recommend always having it enabled.
  8. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    So what exactly does XP firewall do that ZoneAlarm doesn't?
    Or dou you just have lots of extra CPU cycles to spend?
  9. 4511Tech

    4511Tech TS Rookie

    how do enable/disable XP firewall and does anyone know wich one is default?
  10. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Open Network Connections (Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double–click Network Connections.)

    Click the Dial–up, LAN or High–Speed Internet connection that you want to protect, and then, under Network Tasks, click Change settings of this connection.

    On the Advanced tab, under Internet Connection Firewall, select one of the following:

    To disable Internet Connection Firewall, clear the Protect my computer and network by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet check box. This disables the firewall, your computer and network are then vulnerable to intrusions.
  11. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    I already said it doesn't do anything extra that ZoneAlarm, or other firewalls do. For one thing, you certainly won't be able to notice any performance hit, and for another, there are times when ZoneAlarm crashes and has to restart, or you have to switch off ZoneAlarm because it interferes with downloads from some websites. In this case you have the added reassurance that you still have a firewall active.

    Also, have you tried the 'ShieldsUp' tests with only ZoneAlarm running? I found that my PC failed a couple of checks, even with ZoneAlarm active, but passed with Windows XP built-in firewall active at the same time. This may have been due to a software bug, but it just goes to show that firewalls are prone to such problems as well, so having a second firewall in place gives added peace of mind.

    Also, XP firewall costs nothing and is available for use immediately after installing windows, and before any other software has had a chance to be installed. Lets face it, most users don't take the time to find, download and install a third party firewall, so getting one for free is not to be passed up.
  12. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    Considering that all software firewalls for windows currently rely on TCP/IP stack binding, having three software firewalls seems inanely stupid... to me. The only advantage served would be to slow down your system to let those 1980 arcade rips play better. Honestly, it's pointless.

    If you're that paranoid, buy a router, or turn a machine into a router. Port redirection / NAT is by far superior to ANY software firewall.
  13. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    I have 2 software firewalls, ZoneAlarm and XP built-in firewall, the other firewall is in my router. Also why don't you take a look at how many cpu cycles XP firewall consumes? I'd be surprised if you can measure it, let alone notice it. The only reason I use ZoneAlarm is to block programs on my PC from gaining internet access without permission. And you're right, 3 software firewalls would be excessive, but ZoneAlarm plus XP built-in is not, and if you read my previous post you'll understand why. My router was added recently and it's firewall has no impact on PC performance whatsoever.

    As to paranoia, well maybe a little, as I still remember the time I just finished installing windows, only to be greeted by a messenger popup spam when the desktop loaded. On another similar occassion I also found 2 trojans after I finished installing a virus scanner. You can never be to careful.:)

    Edit: And if you think ZoneAlarm never crashes while overnight you are downloading a large file from the web, then you're living in cloud cukoo land. Your PC will be exposed for hours until you wake up the next day and find ZoneAlarm asking you if you wish to restart true vector engine, and don't be surprised to find your PC is compromised. Having a backup firewall will act as a safety net should anything like this ever happen to you.
  14. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    I used ZoneAlarm for 8 months and it crashed twice during the time..

    As for CPU cycles, at times ZA would eat up to 30% of my poor CPUs time. Even if XP firewall would manage one third of that, it would be too much.

    Have you considered that ZA may be crashing because you have conflicting firewall software running?
  15. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Yes I have considered that possibility, but it was crashing even before I enabled XP firewall, and if XP firewall was the problem then ZoneAlarm would be crashing more often than it does.

    Also, if you are downloading, take a look in Windows Task Manager Proccesses Tab to see how much load ZoneAlarm, or XP firewall puts on your CPU. It barely shows up. I think the 30% you quote was due to a bug that was later fixed. In my system ZoneAlarm only takes max 2% when downloading at 1MB/s on my broadband connection. XP firewall doesn't even register.

    And you are correct that ZoneAlarm does not crash often, but it only needs to crash once, while you are away from your PC, for your system to be compromised. If you don't mind the risk, then by all means go right ahead and feel free to carry on as you do.
  16. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    Sorry nic, but ZA does use an EXTREME amount of CPUtime, and causes noticeable slowdown (to me) even on a (relatively) fast system. Plus, a software firewall period, to me, is a mistake, due to the extreme risk of buffer overflows and other compromises that for the most part do not exist on solid hardware routing devices.

    I have used ZA before in the past and have found COUNTLESS bugs with it that were extremely annoying and often made the system unusable unil I uninstalled it.
  17. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    You are right in that a hardware firewall is really the best option, and for those with cable/broadband it should be an essential purchase. That is one reason I have one in my router, as then my PCs are protected even when having to re-install windows.

    I am surprised that ZoneAlarm is slowing down your system as I don't get this problem. I am using the latest version and it runs fine. I did have problems with older versions (e.g. McAfee anti-virus does not get along with ZoneAlarm, but Norton works fine), and any slowdowns were usually followed by ZoneAlarm crashing, but this latest version doesn't suffer from any slowdowns that I've noticed. The latest version does still crash occassionaly (about once a week so far), which is one reason why having a backup firewall is, in my opinion, essential (XP firewall NEVER crashes and its FREE).

    I have an 'always-on' broadband connection, and from past experience I can tell you that without a firewall it doesn't take long before you find all sorts of nasty things on your PC. I've learned this the hard way.
  18. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Nodsu, SoulHarvester: If you are using McAfee Anti-virus with ZoneAlarm, then that's most likely the cause of those extra CPU cycles. I had that problem also, but not since switching to Norton.
  19. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Any chance that you guys might post back when you get your ZoneAlarm issues fixed? Others could benefit from your solutions.
  20. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Who said anything about McAfee?
    The point I personally am trying to prove is that running 2 software firewalls is an overkill and more trouble that use.

    And ZA eating up my CPU was not about download speed but P2P software doing lots of TCP and UDP connections. 1 download at full speed was much better than dozens of connections summing up to about third of the bandwidth.
  21. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    I am able to run 8 download threads, each with multiple connections (TCP), using flashget, and with full 1Mb/s bandwidth used, and I still only get max 2% CPU used by ZoneAlarm. That is peak CPU, as it will fluctuate between 0% and 2%, so ZoneAlarm should not eat CPU cycles when working properly. As for XP firewall, it doesn't even show up as CPU usage is so low. I don't use P2P software, so I can't say if that is an issue.
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