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Internet Explorer Restrictions; Corrupt Task Bar/Quick Launch Bar?; Corrupt SpyBot?

Posted on 2003-11-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-04
Hi Experts - If I had to guess, I think my troubles started when I visited a site called TopSites.com which may have installed some kind of malware that caused me quite a few headaches in my Internet (& possibly Outlook) experience.  I proceeded to install SpyBot which helped me clean up quite a few of the issues, but it never got all the way back to 100% I think (or not for long anyway ...); now, even after re-booting, I have the following 3 issues going on:

1) I can't get Spybot to run (& it had been set to run automatically at boot-up).  Now when I launch it manually, the icon shows up on the Task Bar but clicking it does nothing & right-clicking it only allows me to close it; when I click close I get a message that the Program is Not Responding & I have to End Task.  The program seems to be working at least partially though even though I can't access it as I have gotten a message that some site was trying to download some sort of unrequested spy ware and did I want SpyBot to block the download.

2) I also have a possibly related issue with Internet Explorer - when I try to click on Tools, Internet Options, I get an error message that "The operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your System Administrator".  I am the Administrator and I haven't knowingly put any restrictions in effect on this computer although in searching the net for this, I found some threads saying that there is a setting in SpyBot that could produce this behavior but I can't get into SpyBot to check/change it.

3) I also have something strange going on with my Task Bar and Quick Launch bars - they never remember my settings when I re-boot, and they launch with the Address Bar & Link Bar on in my Task Bar (neither of which have I ever wanted "on" in my Task Bar, and it doesn't remember to turn on the Quick Launch bar so I have to make all of these changes manually, worse still, I intermittently will get some kind of errors (I think "msiexec.exe" might be one of them) that totally re-arranges the order of all the open applications on my Task bar as well as the order of the icons on my Quick Launch bar.

I don't know if these issues are related or if they should be submitted as individual questions but I thought I'd mention all of them in one post in case they have a common cause.  Thanks for anyone's insights here.

Jeff
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Question by:jeffreywsmith
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Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 9709757
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Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 9709759
You may want to uninstall spybot and install hijackthis.That would remove all spywares. Run other tools aswell

Sunray
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sunray_2003 earned 500 total points
ID: 9709954
Also check these

Repair IE :
-----------

Start > Run rundll32 setupwbv.dll,IE6Maintenance "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\Setup\SETUP.EXE" /g

or

Start > Run rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132 C:\windows\inf\ie.inf

Reinstall IE:
-------------

Description of the Internet Explorer Repair Tool
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=http://support.microsoft.com:80/support/kb/articles/Q194/1/77.asp&NoWebContent=1

How to Reinstall or Repair Internet Explorer and Outlook Express in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=318378

Repair Internet Explorer 6
http://www.theeldergeek.com/repair_ie6.htm

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=293907

Unable to Open Link
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q281679&sd=tech


IE Eradicators:
---------------

http://www.litepc.com/ieradicator.html

http://www.webattack.com/get/ieradicator.shtml

Downloads:
----------

IE Download (From 2.0 to 6.0) and Service Packs/Patches
http://helpdesk.uvic.ca/how-to/support/win95/msiexpl.html

IE Download (From 1.0 to 6.0) and service Packs
http://browsers.evolt.org/?ie/32bit


Sunray
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Besides backup, any IT division should have a disaster recovery plan. You will find a few tips below relating to the development of such a plan and to what issues one should pay special attention in the course of backup planning.

 
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Author Comment

by:jeffreywsmith
ID: 9710120
Thanks, Sunray for all of your leads here - given my problems with SpyBot and possible carrover to other issues, I expect I will start with uninstalling that first ... and given my SpyBot-related issues I think I will check out AdAware as well as Xblock.com's RegBlock (Don't know if I should do both or not?).  From there, I intend to follow your links from above:

1) Repair Internet Explorer 6
http://www.theeldergeek.com/repair_ie6.htm

2) Repair IE :
Start > Run rundll32 setupwbv.dll,IE6Maintenance "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\Setup\SETUP.EXE" /g

I am a little concerned about hijackthis as Merlin's page warns:

"It does not target specific programs/URLs, just the methods used by hijackers to force you onto their sites. As a result, false positives are imminent and unless you are sure what you're doing, you should always consult with knowledgable folks (e.g. the forums) before deleting anything."  

- given the "imminent false positives", is there any reason I ought to try this anyway, assuming I proceed as above?

Is there any reason to believe that any of the above will fix the Task Bar/ Quick Launch Bar issues or am I looking at a re-install to resolve?

Thanks again for the leads, Sunray.

Jeff
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Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 9710130
DOing these might or may not solve . but we can try doing that ..

You can also repair windows 2000 (recovery console) if things dont work


Hijackthis is a very powerful software and  my IE issue was solved by it ..... It would give you a log and you should be able to delete only the correct entries from registry ......

Sunray
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Author Comment

by:jeffreywsmith
ID: 9710229
OK - I'll try it.  Is the sequence of the above steps appropriate, assuming I run hijackthis after un-installing SpyBot? Or would you think it makes any difference?
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Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 9711474
Should not make a difference


Sunray
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:jeffreywsmith
ID: 9734625
Hi & sorry it took me so long to get back to this post but I had a LOT of open Windows applications I had to bring to a stopping point so I could implement the above plan.  Here is where I have been & where I am:

1) Uninstalled Spybot

2) Installed Ad-Aware Plus (& let if fix everything except 69!! items that Gator puts in the system; this fixed the Internet Explorer Restrictions issue I had above)

3) Installed & ran hijackthis

4) Installed & ran RegBlock against all products blocked except Gator

5) Repaired Internet Explorer 6 as per above:   http://www.theeldergeek.com/repair_ie6.htm (this fixed the Quick Launch Bar so that it launches on Boot and the icons are not re-arranged)

6) Attempted to Repair IE as per above:
        Start > Run rundll32 setupwbv.dll,IE6Maintenance "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\Setup\SETUP.EXE" /g
  but got an error indicating: "Error in setupwbv.dll - Missing Entry:IE6Mainenance"

7) Repaired as above:    Start > Run rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132 C:\windows\inf\ie.inf

8) Ran a Win2K version of the above (which basically removed and re-installed IE 6):
"Description of the Internet Explorer Repair Tool"
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=http://support.microsoft.com:80/support/kb/articles/Q194/1/77.asp&NoWebContent=1

So this brings me up to date - guess I feel somewhat more secure but still don't know why my TaskBar settings are not being saved on Windows Shut down (or Restart) or (perhaps they are being over-written at boot-up)? Also, not sure what the error on number 6 means or how it might affect me later ... Any thoughts?

Jeff
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Author Comment

by:jeffreywsmith
ID: 9762705
I would still be interested in your thoughts on the above 2 questions, Sunray but I am going to go ahead and close this out & thanks for your help here.  

Jeff
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