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  1. #1
    Star Lounger Ibex's Avatar
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    At the mercy of a browser hijacker

    I have just received a new computer which runs Windows 7. My internet surfing has now turned into a nightmare because I have acquired unwanted baggage in the form of a browser hijacker/search engine calling itself webssearches. It makes my computer run very slowly, interferes with some of my programs causing them to fail, and is also responsible for crashes. I have tried to uninstall this piece of trash, but it fails every time, even in safe mode. Can somebody please give me some assistance with this. My browser Internet Explorer and needs updating. This hijacker, I think, is also interfering with me downloading a later version because I get failures every time.

    Thank you for your time.
    The key to wisdom is knowing all the right questions.

    John A. Simone, Sr.

  2. #2
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  3. The Following User Says Thank You to BruceR For This Useful Post:

    Ibex (2014-11-27)

  4. #3
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    AdwCleaner is pretty good at getting rid of things like that.

    Click on Scan and when it has completed there may be items in the lower box which you can uncheck if you want to keep.

    Click on Report and it will show you what it has found - close the Report then click on Clean.

    It will produce another report after the reboot to show what it has deleted.

    If you still have problems then run the free version of MBAM and decline the offer of the Pro version free trial.

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    Ibex (2014-11-27)

  6. #4
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Yesterday I cleaned up three customers' computers, all three had many malware/PUPs infections, and all three had browser shortcut hi-jacks as detailed in the Malware Tips article linked in BruceR's #2 post.

    Between them SpybotSD, MBAM, and ADWcleaner got rid of almost all the malware/PUPs infections, but I had to manually edit the hi-jacked browser shortcuts (IE11 & Chrome on 2 laptops, plus Firefox on the PC). Two were from the same hijacker (not "webssearches"), but the other was different.

    Take note: the Start/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Internet Explorer (No Add-ons) on each was also hi-jacked. This shortcut should have an "-extoff" parameter in the target field of the shortcut's Properties dialog, i.e.: the full string in the target field should be:

    "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" -extoff

    But the hijackers had replaced the "-extoff" parameter with their own parameter pointing to their website.

    So it didn't matter what the "home page" in each browser was set to, clicking on any of the hi-jacked shortcuts would still load the hijacker's website.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
    Confuscius said: "no use running harder if you're on the wrong road" and "any problem once correctly understood is already half-solved".

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to Coochin For This Useful Post:

    Ibex (2014-11-27)

  8. #5
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    Coochin, if I add -extoff to my shortcut, does that mean the add-ons that I want also do not work, correct?
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
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  9. #6
    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    @RolandJS - Have a look at IE Command-Line Options to see available switches.

    Hope this helps...

  10. #7
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
    Coochin, if I add -extoff to my shortcut, does that mean the add-ons that I want also do not work, correct?
    That's right. But normally only the "Internet Explorer (no add-ons)" shortcut in All Programs/Accessories/System Tools would have the -extoff switch.

    The "Internet Explorer (no add-ons)" shortcut is useful for troubleshooting IE to determine if a problem is being caused by a "browser helper object" (BHO) or other add-on.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
    Confuscius said: "no use running harder if you're on the wrong road" and "any problem once correctly understood is already half-solved".

  11. #8
    Star Lounger Ibex's Avatar
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    Thank you Coochin. The ADWcleaner did the trick.
    Last edited by Ibex; 2014-11-28 at 01:11. Reason: typo
    The key to wisdom is knowing all the right questions.

    John A. Simone, Sr.

  12. #9
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    Coochin, got it! Saved icon to desktop, will move it to my Diags directory, for EZ use
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/
    Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (sevenforums)
    Clone or Image often! Backup, backup, backup, backup... -- RockE (Windows Secrets Lounge)

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