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#1
RaptureMO

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My computer Has been running terribly lately...so slow that I only use it to download music to my ipod and I use my other computer for my work. The computer Im having a problem with is a HP pavilion 503n. Im running windows XP on it. The computer was LOADED with spyware, viruses, etc. I use firefox 1.0 and somehow ever since I installed that and removed internet explorer the computer just went downhill. I type in web addresses and it brings me to these weird webpages that isn't what I wanted. I deleted most, but they keep coming back somehow. So I downloaded Spybot (something different then what I've been using) and Im not sure if it got rid of the problem, but after I deleted everything it found, now when I restarted my computer to remove the rest of the problems found in the memory, my desktop or taskbar won't even load, basically its just the background image I have on my desktop and all I can do is get the windows task manager to pop up by pressing ctr alt and delete...and thats it.
any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Mark
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#2
Besttechie

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Hi and Welcome,

Please download HijackThis (Download), put it in a permanent folder such as, C:\HijackThis\HijackThis.exe, Double click the program icon, click the second button " Do system scan only", then click "Save log", it will open in Notepad, copy the entire logfile, and post it here in the Malware Removal forum. Then myself or someone who is trained will analyze the log for you.

I use firefox 1.0 and somehow ever since I installed that and removed internet explorer the computer just went downhill.


How did you uninstall Internet Explorer? IE is basically part of the Windows OS. Its so deep in the OS its almost impossible if not impossible to remove. Also, if you remove IE you are making PC vulnerable, because you can not get Windows Updates. The only way to get Windows Updates is through IE. If you have no IE you will have unpatched holes in the OS when a new Windows Update comes out and you can't get it.

Good luck! :tazz:

B
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#3
Gophergutz

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Yeah, I agree with Best. you don't have to like IE, you don't even have to use IE, but you have to have IE. That's the ugly truth. As for your problem. When you boot, check to see if there are 2 instances of explorer.exe running. If so, end them both and flip over to the Applications tab, then click the New Task button and type in Exlporer. That shoud bring your desktop up. After that, run Ad-Aware, SpyBot, MS Anii-Spyware and any AntiVirus SW you have. If that doesn't fix it, order Pizza, get your restore disks out and wipe that puppy clean.
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#4
Besttechie

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Hi Gophergutz,

I have to strongly disagree with your last statement.

If that doesn't fix it, order Pizza, get your restore disks out and wipe that puppy clean.


The reason I strongly disagree is because, to date, there has not been a spyware infection that has had to actually make someone format their hard drive to clean their PC. There are many trained people out there who know how to remove spyware/malware/adware from PC's and get the PC back to the state it was in before the infection. I personally don't see any reason to format the drive, due to a spyware infection. Why format and have to start over when you can clean the PC and not lose anything or have to start over? It just doesn't make any sense to me. I'm 100% sure that anyone who fights spyware will back me up on this. ;)

Have a great day! :tazz:

B
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#5
Gophergutz

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Hey Best.
I agree with you 100 percent. However, it's not just spyware that he's talking about. At least according to his post he has (or had) "Spyware, Viruses, etc..." There is a point at which it becomes counterproductive (is that one word or two? anyway..) to try to fix that stuff. 2 hours reloading versus 4 hours running SpyBot and such seems like an easy choice. Granted, if it's a server or something, yeah, fight it all the way. But, if it's a home PC, assuming things are backed up, there's just no sense in trying to fix hundreds of problems when you can just format and have a slick new machine. Again, just my opinion. I do however stand behind my Pizza recomendation 100 per cent.
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#6
mpfeif101

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Gophergutz...

Here at GeeksToGo we do not recommend formatting a harddrive for any reason, especially related to spyware. While reformatting may be easier for some, data will be lost and we prefer simply removing the malware from the system (which is a lot easier and less time consuming for most).

- GeeksToGo Admin Team
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#7
Besttechie

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Hi,

Yes, but, you seem to misunderstand me as well. Spyware, Viruses, Trojans, etc... Can be taken care of the way I suggested, just the same as reformatting the PC. Cleaning out the infections through a removal process isn't that hard. Many of the infections are under control (meaning people have figured out a way to remove them). Also, reformatting can be somewhat of a difficult task for someone who a.) doesn't have much knowledge of computing. b.) doesn't have a Windows disk. Another thing to point out is the fact that if you reformat you have to get all the Windows Updates again, and all the rest of the security patches, and anti-spyware programs and prevention. Now, if you don't have a firewall or some sort of protection on when you connect to the net a few things may happen a.) you could be infected by a virus (like the blaster worm) b.) if you have no protection you'll end up with spyware again anyway c.) then you'll be in the same place as you were before. Do you suggest you format again? Thats a never ending cycle, IMO. Why not clean the user, teach them prevention and then they have a better chance of not getting infected. So why not accomplish three things at once.

1. Clean the user.
2. Teach them prevention.
3. Possibly get a new spyware fighter.

So why format?

B
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#8
Gophergutz

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Man you guys can't take a joke. OK, in my post it says to Run all the spyware utils, etc... The pizza and format thing was really just being funny. If the 800 things that people can do to fix a computer don't work, then what do they do then? Sell it and get a new one because formatting is not recommended?
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#9
mpfeif101

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Man you guys can't take a joke. OK, in my post it says to Run all the spyware utils, etc... The pizza and format thing was really just being funny. If the 800 things that people can do to fix a computer don't work, then what do they do then? Sell it and get a new one because formatting is not recommended?


It's hard to joke when a user is in need of help. We are a friendly group of people here and we encourage you to introduce yourself in off topic ;)

As stated earlier, we don't recommend formatting here, and will try 800 things rather than format :tazz:
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#10
RaptureMO

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Thanks for the replies...
how would I download HIjackthis and load it when I cant do anything except open windows task manager with ctr. alt. and delete?
ALso, I deleted IE with XPlite or soemthing liek that. I figured it was just taking up space since at the time I was a huge fan of firefox. But now when I try reinstalling IE (because i figured firefox was the reason i had all these problems) through the microsoft website, the installer won't even let me install IE because it says it wasnt removed properly or it still exist...somethign like that.
thanks again for the help guys,
the names mark btw
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#11
Besttechie

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Hi Mark,

Would you happen to have your Windows disk? If so, please do the following.

Start --> Run --> Type: sfc /scannow

Note: Notice the space between sfc and the /.

Follow the prompts, and insert your Windows disk when it asks for it. If you don't have a Windows disk post back saying that you don't. If you do, once you run that post back with the updates on how it went. :tazz:

B
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#12
RaptureMO

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lol sorry im not trying to throw any curve balls at you but HP's don't come with any disks , atleast not my model, because the backup programs are all stored on a separate harddrive that is protected i think. also, I wouldnt beable to go to the start menu because there is nothing on my desktop except for the background image...no toolbars, icons, etc. just the mouse icon though that I can move around.
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#13
OSC

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Hi Mark,

Besttechie and I were talking about your situation so I asked him if I could post some ideas here. :tazz:

When you say:

......now when I restarted my computer to remove the rest of the problems found in the memory, my desktop or taskbar won't even load, basically its just the background image I have on my desktop and all I can do is get the windows task manager to pop up by pressing ctr alt and delete...and thats it.

Can you tell us exactly what you did right before you rebooted your computer?? Did you run Ad-Aware and clean some stuff oout?? Or maybe Spybot?? Or any other cleaning programs?

Also, when you have just your desktop showing, look in the processes and see if explorer.exe is running. If it's not, from within the task manager window, click on File > New Task (Run...). Type in explorer.exe and click OK. Let us know if you get any errors or if anything happens.
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#14
RaptureMO

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hmm..the last thing i did was run spybot, and removed everything... then it said i had to restart because there were programs in the memory that couldnt be deleted, then it said run again on restart. and i chose yes
the computer restarted and i had to click off some error msg about a missing dll. so i clicked it off then it said uninstall successful >restart the computer. so i restarted it again and then it was just the desktop.

Yes, i checked the processes list and explorer.exe wasn't there.
im trying to load it but its taking forever...im not even sure if it is loading although i hear the harddrive doing something. but the cpu usage is at 100% and its been there since i turned it on. okay...explorer.exe did load on the process list but not on the computer

mark
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#15
Gophergutz

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I got this when I ran SpyBot on a workstation a while ago. My memory ain't what it used to be, but if I recall correctly, SpyBot was eating up a bunch of memory and processor on restart, though it wasn't actually visable on the screen. When I killed explorer and restarted it, I got nothing. I finally went through the processes in the task manager and killed each process that I could until the thing came up. In the processes tab, search for anything SpyBot and kill it. launch elplorer again and see if it still takes up as much processor (it will use a bit but shouldn't stay at 50 percent after it's loaded). Another option is to launch SpyBot from the task manager (assuming it's not already trying to run at boot-up) and let it run it's course. To do this, Open the Task Manager, Click the Applications Tab, Click the New Task button, browse to your Program Files folder and then to SpyBot folder. Look for SpybotSD.exe
Launch that and run a scan and let it do it's thing. If it asks you to scan on restart say no. This will at least tell you if it's SpyBot trying to scan that's causing the problem.
If the PC boots, then you can try running another scan. Personally, I would reinstall SpyBot and the updates just to be safe.
good luck!!
J
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