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Tough Infection: Please Help

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  • Retired Staff
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Let's go back to something really basic first. I appreciate your vigilance.

There are quite a few programs available that offer protection features to help keep a computer from getting infected. While this is normally a helpful feature, it can keep a victim from making the changes necessary to clean their comptuer. Please read the following and uninstall or disable those that apply to your machine.

These programs need to be uninstalled


These programs can just be disabled

Microsoft Antispyware
Win Patrol
Spyware Guard
Diamonds Process controller

Please scan your system with Ad-aware:
Ad-aware SE - Download - Home Page
  • If you have a previous version of Ad-Aware installed, during the installation of the new version you will be prompted to uninstall or keep the older version - be sure to uninstall the previous version.
  • After installing Ad-aware, you will be prompted to update the program and run a full scan. De-select all boxes so that it does not run.
  • Manually run "Ad-Aware SE Personal" and from the main screen Click on "Check for Updates Now".
  • Once the definitions have been updated:
  • Reconfigure Ad-Aware for Full Scan as per the following instructions:
    • Launch the program, and click on the Gear at the top of the start screen.
    • Under General Settings the following boxes should all be checked off: (Checked will be indicated by a green circle with a check mark in it, Un-Checked is a red circle with an X in it. If it is greyed out, those features are only available in the retail version.)
      • "Automatically save logfile"
      • Automatically quarantine objects prior to removal"
      • Safe Mode (always request confirmation)
      • Prompt to update outdated confirmation) - Change to 7 days.
    • Click the "Scanning" button (On the left side).
    • Under Drives & Folders, select "Scan within Archives"
    • Click "Click here to select Drives + folders" and select your installed hard drives.
    • Under Memory & Registry, select all options.
    • Click the "Advanced" button (On the left hand side).
    • Under "Shell Integration", select "Move deleted files to Recycle Bin".
    • Under "Log-file detail", select all options.
    • Click on the "Defaults" button on the left.
    • Type in the full url of what you want as your default homepage and searchpage e.g. http://www.google.com.
    • Click the "Tweak" button (Again, on the left hand side).
    • Expand "Scanning Engine" by clicking on the "+" (Plus) symbol and select the following:
      • "Unload recognized processes during scanning."
      • "Obtain command line of scanned processes"
      • "Scan registry for all users instead of current user only"
    • Under "Cleaning Engine", select the following:
      • "Automatically try to unregister objects prior to deletion."
      • "During removal, unload explorer and IE if necessary"
      • "Let Windows remove files in use at next reboot."
      • "Delete quarrantined objects after restoring"
    • Click on "Safety Settings" and select "Write-protect system files after repair (Hosts file, etc)"
    • Click on "Proceed" to save these Preferences.
    • Click on the "Scan Now" button on the left.
    • Under "Select Scan Mode, be sure to select "Use Custom Scanning Options".
  • Close all programs except ad-aware.
  • Click on "Next" in the bottom right corner to start the scan.
  • Run the Ad-Aware scan and allow it to remove everything it finds and then REBOOT - Even if not prompted to.
  • After you log back in, Ad-Aware may run to finalize the scan and remove any locked files that it may of found. Allow it to finish.
Please download CleanUp! - Download - HomePage
Install and run. Click on the button labeled CleanUp!.

When it finishes it will prompt you to restart Windows - there will be one or two files it cannot delete when Windows is running - however, they will be deleted next time Windows starts up.

Here is a great tutorial from bleepingcomputer on running the spybot program.


If you would please, rescan with HijackThis and post a fresh log in this same topic.
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Shortly after you posted this reply, my computer was looked at by a friend of a friend, someone who works on computers. He located (I'm trying to remember the details as best as possible) a conflict in the My Computer Properties. The PCI MultiMedia Device had an exclamation mark next to it (if I remember correctly, maybe it was a question mark), so he disabled that device. As soon as he did that, the computer began to ran long enough for me to run some of my spy ware programs. Once I was able to do that, my computer began to run much better.

It would still freeze up, but after a couple of hours, instead of after 10-15 minutes. I planned on doing the steps above, but got a little intimidated by how many there were, and had planned on doing them this week when I could set aside a chunk of time to do them all.

However, begining yesterday my computer began to give this message at the start up: SMART failure predicted on Hard Disk 0: Maxtor 96147 U8 - (PM). Immediately back up all your files and (this last part I'm trying to remember) replace your hard disk.

The computer guy had suggested I upgrade to Windows XP as a way of avoiding the way Windows 98 has of poorly using the system resources.

How serious is this message? It sounds like my computer is about to die... can this be fixed, and would upgrading to XP still be possible, or reccomended?

Thanks for all your help.

Edited by lbr_008, 15 November 2005 - 01:45 PM.

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  • Retired Staff
  • 11,413 posts
Sounds like you need to get a new hard drive. This is way out of my level of expertise, but I did a search and that's what is recommended. You can post a new message in the 98 forum and have one of the experts respond to it. But I would start backing up my data. Please leave a link to this topic if you post in the 98 forum, so htey can read the history if they need to. Sorry about all that. I've had two crash and didn't back everthig up and I won't do that again.
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  • Retired Staff
  • 11,413 posts
In my search for something else, I came across this bit of information that I saved. It may be helpful.

I have a crashed Windows 98SE system that I can only get to via the startup diskette. I need to save the outlook.pst file on a diskette so that I do not lose all the contacts and e-mail. Unfortunately, the file is larger than what will fit on a single diskette. Are you aware of any programs or utilities that will execute under DOS that can copy the file across several diskettes?

A: In these days of mass storage devices, it is a real trip down memory lane to be asked such a question.
You are in luck in that you are still using Windows 98 and can easily access your files system with a boot disk. This means you can use some of the very same utilities we used
oh so long ago.
Check out Zip Chunker, Archive Sizer or any of the other similar utilities at www.nfbnet.org/download/compress.htm.

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