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02 January 2005 @ 09:05 pm
Desperate for Computer Help  
My computer is infected with viruses and spyware and nothing I've tried is fixing the problem. Whatever's happened is keeping free programs like Ad-Aware and PC-illin from installing and running. I am about ready to throw my computer out the window. Or kill myself, since I know that I did something to cause this to happen.

Any thoughts or suggestions or other software that might work? Please leave a comment - I know some of you are computer geniuses.

*tears hair out*
I feel: frustratedfrustrated
meacoustic on January 3rd, 2005 03:36 am (UTC)
The last time I had a virus, I downloaded the Stinger program from McAfee. And while I still had to go in a manually delete one of the virus files, it at least identified the name of the file (and deleted a zillion other copies of it) so that I could.
frozen_jellyfrozen_jelly on January 3rd, 2005 03:37 am (UTC)
You could try Pestscan.com ?
quidditchmaster on January 3rd, 2005 03:49 am (UTC)
You can find your virus fix here or here.

Sorry, without actually seeing the specific circumstances I can't help you any further =(
netbyrd on January 3rd, 2005 03:51 am (UTC)
have you tried spybot:search and destroy? That one was free and it took quite a bit of crap off my computer.
longtimegonelongtimegone on January 3rd, 2005 04:13 am (UTC)
I second the Spybot rec. With my old computer, I had these same issues. However I got Spybot, plus I got McAfee virus scan thing (it downloads each day to update your virus protection and is about $40 a year, totally worth it IMO). Also, I started using Mozilla Firefox. Since then I have not had any problems to speak of.

You can get:

Spybot here

McAfee VirusScan here

Mozilla Firefox here
nc_kat2002 on January 3rd, 2005 04:58 am (UTC)
I second the advice to use Firefox - but install it after installing *all* MS updates and patches. Then run Spybot, then Ad-Aware and McAfee webscan.

I ran into this problem over a year ago and was tearing my hair out in frustration. I gave up on Windows XP, when after trying to reinstall the software on a Sunday, it told me I had to call MS for a reauthorisation number. I threw it out, install Linux on my pc, and have been virus and worm-free ever since. You can install Linux on a Intel machine and I can even run Windows programmes on it, using windows emulation software.
My little toothless beautiesathene_51 on January 3rd, 2005 04:08 am (UTC)
Try the web-based scan at http://housecall.trendmicro.com/ As far as I remember, it doesn't install anything so it might actually be able to run its scan.
somedata on January 3rd, 2005 04:33 am (UTC)
Many viruses/spyware programs either have defenses that kill off antivirus/anti-spyware programs, or you are so infected that the antivirus/antispyware doesn't run.

First off, reboot.

Open the Task Manager. Look at all the programs that are running. Kill off as much as you can (End Process) of stuff that looks suspicious (basically anything running under your username (not SYSTEM or *SERVICE) except for explorer.exe)

Run your choice of adware/spyware removal and antivirus.

Get your butt over to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com and download every single critical update that you can. NO EXCUSES. Install them all. REBOOT. Re-run your anti-spyware/virus after the reboot.
somedata on January 3rd, 2005 04:40 am (UTC)
I should add that you want to look under the Processes tab, not the Applications tab.

Also, if you feel brave, you can open up the Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run and delete the keys to anything you think shouldn't be running on startup (basically most things that are there) (I know stuff beginning with "nv" and "nwiz" should stay, part of video drivers) (WARNING MESSING IN THE REGISTRY MAY HOSE YOUR SYSTEM)
quidditchmaster on January 3rd, 2005 05:04 am (UTC)
Yeah, don't fuck with the registry... if you mess up, you'll have a permanent paperweight on your hands that no form of repair can fix =)
ghostedgalilei on January 3rd, 2005 05:55 pm (UTC)
I'd also recommend ClamWin, which is a free daily virus scan and destroy along the lines of Norton or McAfee; it's open source and has been very good to me. It also updates daily with any new virus information. You can find it here: http://clamwin.com/ (I am all about open source software)

I also second the suggestion that you switch to Mozilla Firefox -- you can set it to not allow websites to install programs on your computer, to delete all cookies but the ones you designate as safe each time you close your browser window, and so on. I'm also using Mozilla Thunderbird for my email instead of Outlook, and couldn't recommend it more highly.

About getting to the point where you can actually install all of these things -- I don't know. Try to install Clamwin; hopefully whatever is screwing with your system will allow that, and Clamwin will get rid of most anything. Reset all your cookies; that might get rid of some of the spyware. Good luck and tell us how it goes.
(Deleted comment)
Vickihermorrine on January 4th, 2005 01:52 am (UTC)
Re: The Obvious Solution
Are you going to buy me one? I'm completely fucking broke. :P
George Weasleyits_george on January 22nd, 2005 06:10 am (UTC)
Stop using Internet Explorer (and uninstall it) and switch to Mozille Firefox. Run Spy Bot Search and Destroy a few times and that should solve it.