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problems after "fixing" prolivation highjacker

Posted on 2003-11-25
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Last Modified: 2010-04-14
I am running W2kPro, and noticed that "Prolivation.com" appeared on all my URL's.  After a little research I discovered that this is apparently a browser highjacker.  The site PC Hell had instructions for removing this, and this involved using Regedit and changing the defaultprefix key under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, which was indeed directing me to this site.  I changed the prefix so it just read http:// as instructed and closed Regedit.

Everything was fine for about 24 hours, but now every .exe file or folder I try to open tries to launch IE.  Everything has an http:// prefix.  I tried to get back into regedit, but the same thing happens.  I am at a loss.  Any suggestions?

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Question by:gigem62
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9 Comments
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:IceRaven
ID: 9821684
Step 1: Make sure your computer is not infected with a virus
Download and install AVG Free Edition from http://www.grisoft.com

Step 2: Make sure your computer is not infected with spyware
Download and run the free program called Spy Bot from http://www.safer-networking.org 

Step 3: Make sure you are running a firewall.  Windows XP comes with a simple firewall that can be turned on with one click, instructions are here, http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/using/howto/networking/icf.asp
If you don't windows XP or you want a better/more complicated firewall. I recommend Kerio Personal Firewall from http://www.kerio.com/us/kpf_download.html

Step 4: Make sure your computer's operating system is up to date
For Microsoft operating systems use http://v4.windowsupdate.microsoft.com/en/default.asp

Step 5: Verify that the system files are intact, Click Start then click run type in sfc /scannow then click ok.

Step 6:  If you are still experiencing problems or are unable to do any of the above due to existing damage, I recommend a repair install, instructions for windows xp at the following link,  http://www.fujitsu-siemens.co.uk/rl/servicesupport/techsupport/software/windows/xp/Repair.htm

IceRaven.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:IceRaven
ID: 9821694
Can you still execute files from the command line?  If so you will be able to install the anti-virus and anti-spyware software.

IceRaven.
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Author Comment

by:gigem62
ID: 9821791
Ice,

Thanks for the response.  Let me update you on what I have tried.

Step 1:  I have run a virus scan using an updated version of Norton, and my computer is not infected.

Step 2:  I ran SpyBot about 12 hours before the problem occured.  It found some minor things and fixed them.

Step 3:  I was running Norton Personal Firewall, but it will not launch due to this problem.

Step 4:  I ran all of the updates from Microsoft about 5 hours ago.

Step 5:  Anything I try to do from the Start/Run adds the http:// prefix and attempts to access through IE, giving me a "Cannot find web page" error.

Step 6:  Can you give me more information about the repair install?  I am running Windows 2000 Professional.

I cannot run anything from the command line.  The only things that seem to work are the Microsoft office tools and IE.  I cannot access any secure websites, or I would have purchased more points for this question.

In researching this, there was a similar question on this site under the Windows ME area.  The solution was to run scanreg /restore from DOS to restore the registry.  The recommendation was to boot up using a startup disk downloaded from bootdisk.com.  The problem I have is that even accessing a file from the disk drive gives me the same problem.  I have attempted to get into DOS from the startup by hitting F8, but don't have a scanreg/restore option, or an option to get to a DOS prompt.

I have tried everything I can think of.  Anything help you can give is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Gigem
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Author Comment

by:gigem62
ID: 9822339
I think the issue is something wrong with the registry.  Anyone know another way to access the registry other than though the Start/Run functionality in Windows 2000 professional?
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:IceRaven
ID: 9822408
Gigem, I posted a solution earlier... I'm unsure why it hasn't appeared, however I will try and remember what I said...
Follow the following steps.
1) Make sure CD-Rom is first Boot Device in your Bios
2) Insert your Windows 2000 CD
3) Once this is done boot up using CD-Rom Drive. ( When  "Hit any Key to Boot From CD-Rom" appears on screen, hit any key on keyboard to invoke CD-Rom boot)
The "Repair Options" screen will eventually appear after Windows 2000 has loaded in device drivers. Press "R" to begin repair process.
Soon you will see another "Repair" menu. Select "F" to perform all repair options.
Now the "Emergency Repair Disk" menu will appear. If you have created the Emergency Repair Disks hit enter else press "L"  
Windows 2000 will now search for installs on your system
The "Windows Installs" menu will appear. If you only have one install then press  "ENTER" on your keyboard to continue. Or if there's more than one select the installation you wish to repair and then hit "ENTER"
Windows 2000 will now repair your system either from the Emergency Repair Disks (ERD) or from the CD, once done your system will reboot and hopefully everything will be working fine  
Worst case senario is that you will have to re-install some applications.  Also remember to run windows update after you have done this.

IceRaven.
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LVL 7

Accepted Solution

by:
IceRaven earned 375 total points
ID: 9822412
The above procedure will repair a corrupt registry.
IceRaven.
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Author Comment

by:gigem62
ID: 9822467
IceRaven,

Thanks, I'll give it a try.
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Author Comment

by:gigem62
ID: 9839813
Ice,

I have tried the above (twice) and I still have the same problem.  Any suggestions?  Should I go into the Manual repair option?

Thanks,
Gigem
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