Dear GeeksToGo guys:
My Dell Dimension 2350 is HEAVILY infected with adware.
I am running WinXP(HE)SP2.
The following symptoms occur within seconds after my modem has finished dialing, even if I have not yet opened my browser (IE):
+ Shortcuts begin to pop up and populate my desktop (often linked to C:\Windows\icont.exe).
+ Browser windows (from various advertisers) begin to pop-up and open at a rate of several per minute.
+ Sometimes a MacromediaFlash item (usually a cartoon animated advertisement) appears in a LAYER that is always on top and cannot be moved.
The above symptoms occur whenever I am connected to the internet (even if my browser is NOT open). But they do NOT happen when I am offline.
In my efforts to solve this, I have already installed and run the following:
+ Google IE toolbar with pop-up blocker
+ Yahoo IE toolbar with pop-up blocker
+ Spybot - Search And Destroy (free version) - with latest updates
+ LavaSoft - Ad-aware Personal SE (free version) - with latest updates
+ Microsoft anti-spyware tool (free Beta version) - with latest updates
+ Symantec anti-virus - with latest updates
+ Installed Service Pack 2 (for WinXP-HE) and made sure that the firewall is enabled.
+ Ran MSConfig and reduced the number of auto-start items.
+ Used the Tools | Internet Options menu of InternetExplorer (IE6) to increase my security settings by requiring a prompt before running scripts, ActiveX, etc.
BUT NONE OF THE ABOVE HELPED ! The pop-ups continue.
It is so bad now that I dare not connect to the internet at all. This means, for example, that I could not download the copy of CWShredder that is recommended on your website. As a workaround for that, I downloaded it (CWShredder.exe) to a clean PC, copied it to a floppy, and then carried the disk to the infected PC. But when I tried to open it, I got an error msg saying that it is “not a valid Win32 application”.
The infected PC is out of warrantee and I no longer have the disks. So re-installing the OS is not an option.
I would be most grateful for any help you can give me on how to clean the adware from this PC.
Sincerely Paul_628 October 12, 2005
Email: paul628 at concentric dot net