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IE window opens at Windows startup


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#1
BKB

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I hope I used the right forum catagory for this problem.
Problem: IE6.0 browser window now opens as part of Windows startup.
This is a residual symptom of being infected by the CoolWebSearch (about blank) variant spyware.
I've run a spyware removal program and used some free ones to double check for problems.
Everything seems to be fixed at this point(home page, pop ups etc).
This is the only remaining problem.
I'm a computer novice but I suspect there is still some line of registry code or perhaps something in autostart that was changed that causes this problem.
The IE browser window now opens as part of each Windows startup.
Is there any easy way to fix this? I'm using Windows 98 SE.
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#2
SA_Max71

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Chances are good internet explorer is being opened up because there is a shortcut to it in your startup folder, or it is the run section of your registry. I think I will let one of the tech(ies) here deal with the registry.

Go to: "start" ---> programs ---> startup . If there is a shortcut to internet explorer there, then right click on it, and then click on "delete". When it asks you for to confirm deleting it, say yes. This should take care of your problem. Why? Any shortcuts that are in your start up folder will run when windows starts up. (Note: do not delete this folder - ever. The last time I deleted this folder, windows stopped working until I restored this folder.)
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#3
StarHawk

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BKB

It is easy to check which programs Windows loads at startup. As you prob. know only some programs that are automatically loaded during startup are found in your Startup folder, the rest are found in system files like the windows registry. The traditional Windows tool to manage program startup is Msconfig. Click your Start button, and then click Run, type msconfig, press Enter, and click the Startup tab. On this Page programs starting up automatically will have a check mark beside their name. Unchecking this stops the application from loading each time you boot, but it won't remove the program from the list.

msconfig also be accessed from the Microsoft System Information utility. Click Start and then Programs, select Accessories, System tools and finally System Information. this launches System Information utility, you've prob. saw it before. Now click on the Tools menu item and choose System Configuration Utility.

However There are alternatives to using Msconfig to manage start up problems. In fact you may already have another "Start up manager" installed on your machine. It is a tool found in Spybot Search & Destroy. If you have Spybot S & D installed on your machine, load the program. If not download it and install it and then start it up. I always search for upgrades by clicking the Search for upgrades button. This is important since the database the program uses changes very often. Definitely do it if you've just installed it, and while you're at it why not scan your system, i.e. check for problems !!!

Now Click the Mode menu item and select Advanced Mode. Click on Tools and choose System Startup. Again entries checked are those that start automatically during Windows Boot. As with Msconfig you can Uncheck items to stop them from loading, but leave them in the list, However, with Spybot S & D you can Delete items completely, as well as edit the item or insert a new application into your Windows startup. Deleting an entry here only deletes it from the startup list, i.e. it makes registry changes or deletes a shortcut in your startup folder. It does not delete the application. If you're wondering the export button creates a text file containing this start up information and more.

Pretty cool, huh? ;)

Another worth considering is Mike Len's Startup control panel found here http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml. This adds an icon called startup to your control panel and allows you to easily manage application startup!! It's easy to use and I like it since I feel one should be able to manage startup items from the control panel. So thank you Mike Len! :tazz:

Hope this helps
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#4
StarHawk

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Wow SA_Max71, I never would have thought deleting your startup folder would crash Win XP. I use win 98 se and win 95. After i read your post I had to delete my startup folder just to see, ya know. It seems like I've tried that before my idea of amusement. Anyway Win 98 booted up fine but oddly enough the items in my deleted startup folder started up anyway. World's full of suprises, huh. Mike Len's Startup control panel still showed the same items under the Startup (user) tab. However under Start and then program I have no Startup folder as expected since I deleted it, I expected Windows to just to recreate it as an empty folder. Very odd in my mind. Leave it to microsoft!!

BKB

One more thing on Spybot Search and destroy you may want to consider the resident Tea Timer. This is a small application part of Spybot S&D which runs in the background preventing Spyware from changing your Windows Startup. It also places an icon in your system tray, and alerts you if something tries to change the registry startup keys. You can stop it or allow it. To use this feature again go to Tools in Spybot S&D now click on Resident. In the right panel be sure Resident "Tea Timer" (Protection of over-all system setings) active is checked. Don't worry it doesn't use much system resources, so try it for a while if ya want.

Let me know if ya fix your problem.

peace StarHawk
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#5
SA_Max71

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That was when I was new to windows 98 (first edition). I might of done that with windows 95 though.
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#6
BKB

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My thanks to both SA_Max71 and StarHawk for your help with this.
I think the problem is now fixed, I applied the following instructions from StarHawk:

"It is easy to check which programs Windows loads at startup. As you prob. know only some programs that are automatically loaded during startup are found in your Startup folder, the rest are found in system files like the windows registry. The traditional Windows tool to manage program startup is Msconfig. Click your Start button, and then click Run, type msconfig, press Enter, and click the Startup tab."

***Yes, this clearly spelled out series of commands is exactly what I was looking for. I thought there had to be a way to see what was loading automatically.

On this Page programs starting up automatically will have a check mark beside their name.

***And sure enough the IE was checked!
Somehow this got changed when I was hit with the CoolWebSearch disease.

Unchecking this stops the application from loading each time you boot, but it won't remove the program from the list.

***I unchecked the IE box, rebooted and this fix worked.
The IE window doesn't open at Windows startup anymore.
I think the problem is gone now, unless the box rechecks itself somehow.
Since this problem started when CoolWebSearch hit my computer, does this mean that the registry was altered to produce this problem and unchecking the box overrides the code alteration, or does unchecking the box change the registry as well? I don't know enough about it to understand how IE was changed to open at each Windows startup.
In any case, much thanks to both for responding and helping with this.
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#7
StarHawk

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Far Out I'm Glad it worked for you. :tazz:

As to

does this mean that the registry was altered to produce this problem and unchecking the box overrides the code alteration, or does unchecking the box change the registry as well?


yes spyware such as CoolWebSearch do change the registry as indeed does the windows program Msconfig. "Unchecking the box" in Msconfig does alter Window's registry. So in effect IE was not changed to run at startup the windows registry had an entry added to it telling windows to load IE at startup.

Be sure CoolWebSearch is totally removed and thanks for using this forum. ;)

Peace StarHawk
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#8
BKB

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I did another check today and it's working fine now.
I've copied the instructions in case this ever happens again.
I'm also making a copy of my registry every couple of days, so I'll be able to
import a clean registry if this happens again.
Thanks again for the help.
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#9
JJ66

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Hi. Just this week, when I log into my computer at work, IE opens up automatically, which is annoying since I'm a die-hard Chrome user. I've not changed any settings that I'm aware of, although I suspect it might be a change done through our IT department since the home page is my work website, something I didn't have it set to previously. I've checked the startup folder and msconfig, but it's not listed anywhere on either of those (unless it's labeled as something other than internet explorer in the msconfig list). Are there any other options for stopping this other than deleting the program completely? Since my employer has a contract with Microsoft there are some sites that I'm forced to use IE with, so I can't delete it.

Edited by JJ66, 10 October 2013 - 12:45 PM.

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