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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Infestation Frustration

    I've got a serious problem with my computer. It's an HP that's only about a year old. Somehow a virus or I should say, a troop of them, has gotten on this machine, despite my virus-checker and firewalls. The machine takes about 5 minutes to boot up. My browser (Mozilla) took about 2 minutes to come alive today. Other anomolies: CD/DVD-RW drive doesn't recognize anything in it, won't play. CD drive ate a disk and now won't open. Lately only one of my mp3 players (WM10) will work. Musicmatch and iTunes won't start. The computer will not hibernate or shut down properly. And generally everything is SLOW. This has been going on for about 2 months. Almost everything is still serviceable, but this is pretty annoying and frustrating. I am actually running two virus-checkers, AVG Free and Norton (on which the subscription has run out). These programs have flagged and killed: JS/Psym; Downloader.Psyme; VBS/Psyme; JS Downloader.Trojan; Trojan.Byteverify; Trojan.Start Page/W32.HLLW.Gabot.gen. There are some others. But they keep reoccurring, no matter how many times Norton quarantines them. Does anybody know what's going on? I would certainly like to cure this problem without having to reformat the drive. Are their "ghostbusters" that I can take this to if I can't fix it? This is the first time in years of computing that this has happened. Hence my questions.

    Someone at work told me that a javascript file is probably the source of my problem. I ran a search for *.js and turned up a whole slew of these files. Is it safe to remove these things? Most appear quite legitimate, but I only looked at a few. I would appreciate any advice someone could offer.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Infestation Frustration

    First, my sympathies. Both on your situation and the fact that it is difficult for Loungers to help "long distance."

    It sounds as though flaws in Windows/IE/Outlook/Outlook Express may have exposed you to the scripting-related malware. Have you loaded Windows XP Service Pack 2 and all the other security patches? I guess we might need to do a bit more clean-up first.

    If you search here for threads on tools to examine your running processes and start-up lists, you may be able to reduce the amount of stuff chewing up your processing power. In addition to actual viruses, you may have a lot of adware and spyware, which usually requires different scanners to remove. Again, lots of posts here recommending tools.

    Perhaps the first thing is to make a good backup of your essential data, including documents, email, bookmarks, license keys, etc., because clean-up tools can break things, and you might ultimately decide that you have to start from scratch with this PC.

    Finally, if you think the CD-RW problem is hardware-related, you might want to see whether it is covered by the original warranty or an extended warranty (either from the seller or from your credit card company), before it's too late.

  3. #3
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Infestation Frustration

    Hi,
    Sorry to hear of your difficulties with your machine. You aren't alone in your frustration; many of my customers have dozens of viruses and worms -- as well as malware -- on their machines. These most definitely take the joy out of computing, but there are ways of returning your machine to a usable state. Sometimes, however, it is not possible, and a reformat becomes necessary. It's not something that anyone particularly wants to do, but it is occasionally necessary. As jscher2000 said in the previous post, backing up your important data is essential, since it's a very real possibility that you will lose data during the cleaning process. Bookmarks/favorites, email addresses, shortcuts to Web pages you might have on your desktop, downloaded files -- these are all things that should be backed up and stored on CDs prior to trying to clean up your hard drive.

    One quick point -- you said that you were using both Norton Antivirus and AVG (free). Generally, it's not a good idea to run more than one antivirus program, as using more than one at a time can cause conflicts. Try removing one or the other (remove NAV, since it's expired), then use an online scanner, such as the scanner on the Trend Micro site. While this won't be as comprehensive as a full heuristics scan by your own scanner, it may pick up something your scanners missed. BTW, you should probably delete any items you have in Quarantine within NAV.

    Get a NEW copy of Spybot Search & Destroy 1.4 from http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html and run it. Oh, do NOT immunize your system when you first install Spybot. You want to make sure it's cleaned out first before immunizing.

    Get a copy of AdAware SE 1.06 and do a thorough scan.

    If you are using Firefox as a Web browser, you will want to try a copy of CleanMOCache from http://www.buttuglysoftware.com/. This includes many options for cleaning Windows, as well as the Firefox cache.

    Along the same line, download a copy of CleanUp! for Windows 4.0 from http://www.stevengould.org/software/cleanup/ . This is a superb utility.

    Get a copy of SpywareBlaster from http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html .

    Get the freeware Microsoft AntiSpyware program beta -- available from Microsoft.

    Good luck. Let us know how you made out.

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Infestation Frustration

    Adding to what has already been said, be sure to backup all important data to removeable media before you begin !!! You will need to get all the other tools mentioned and perhaps a few others to get this cleaned up. Some of these nasties can dig themselves in pretty deep and are difficult to get out and keep out (they keep reinstalling themselves until you get the .dll that starts them and have the capability to recreate themselves and morph into a new file name). Take a look at this Star Post or this one for some links to utilities, tools and useful tutorial information. HTH <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    Also, if there is a small, pin-hole on the front of that jammed CD drive and the CD is still stuck inside, insert a paperclip into that hole and gently probe around for the release button inside. This will often open a drive with a CD jammed in it.
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/DocWatson_sig.gif>

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