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IE9 & Vista errors & strange behaviour


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#1
Home Bass

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My wife's computer is having a number of problems. I'm not sure whether to post here or in the Vista operating system forum but here goes.

With respect to Internet Explorer 9, when I start it up I get a couple of error messages that concern me. One says something like, "Dropbox is unable to access registry" and suggests that I try a password change. I don't know my wife's Dropbox account information and I believe that problem will ultimately be easy to resolve once the underlying issue that caused this and the other problems the computer is having are resolved, so I'm not overly fussed about the Dropbox error at this point. I've posted it because I suspect it will help to narrow down what might be going on more generally.

The other error reads, "A program on your computer has corrupted your default search provider setting for Internet Explorer. IE has reset this setting to your original search provider, Search Results (dts.search-results.com). IE will now open Search Settings where you can change this setting or install more search providers." I am unable to edit the search providers in the subsequent dialog box.

I can get past both these errors and IE seems to work pretty well the way it did before. However, there is another strange symptom. That is that IE does not seem to be saving any history anymore at all.

I had another strange error message. When I open MS Word I got the following or something very like it: "Word could not create the work file. Check the environment variable." I could close the error and keep working but it happens again every time I open Word.

There's another problem as the PC boots that might be worth mentioning. I get a message saying that "Catalyst Control Centre host application has stopped working." There's a bit more to the message that says, I believe, "A problem caused the program to stop woring correctly. Windiows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available."

So I've got a number of issues all at once that I suspect probably all happened at the same time as a result of a malware attack of some kind. MalwareBytes finds nothing. Avast AV finds nothing. Can you help?
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#2
GKW

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Hi!

I'd just like to ask a few questions to get a clearer picture for me.
1) Which version of Avast are you using? If you are using the latest, try to use the browser clean-up feature and see if avast removes anything.
2) When did you last run Windows Update?
3) When scanning your system, did you also do a boot time scan? If you are going to do a boot time scan, i suggest you increase the scan heuristic sensitivity level in avast to the maximum and run a boot time scan.
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#3
Home Bass

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Hi GKW,

1) It's Avast 8.01483, the free version.
2) I doubt that Windows update has been run in a while. My wife routinely ignores the update alerts but I do them if I see them. I'm not sure when the last one would have been done. If I can believe what I see in Control Panel--Installed Updates, there were 6 updates installed on April 11, 2013.
3) I'm pretty sure Avast's scan included boot time.

My wife informs me that there's yet another symptom. Java does not appear to be working and when she attempts to access certain URLs IE just closes. No error message, nothing. Just closes with no warning.

I'll see about Avast's browser cleanup feature, run Windows update again and try another virus scan with the settings you suggest.

Thanks.
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#4
Home Bass

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Avast's Browser Cleanup feature eliminated the searchqu toolbar. However, IE's behaviour remains the same, i.e. the error message about the search providers followed by the search settings box both still pop up.
I ran Windows update and the results were only one optional update (Bing desktop update) was found. I didn't do that update.
Avast's boot time scan with heuristics level set to maximum returned no viruses.
The OS boot still returns the same messages as before, i.e. about the Catalyst Control Centre and Dropbox.
I hope these details help and I thank you in advance!
Carl
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#5
GKW

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Hi,

I did a quick google search of "dts.search-results.com" and found that it is the result of a browser hijacking malware/spyware. Though i am surprised that avast and malwarebytes did not resolve it, or maybe they did and only some left over code remains that is causing errors. To get your system clean again, you may want to go here -->
http://www.geekstogo...cleaning-guide/

Hopefully it is nothing major!
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