Damn spammer mess

Posted on 2003-11-30
Last Modified: 2013-11-16
What a mess I've gotten into.

I've got too many settings for blocking pop-ups; blocking ads; etc.

Here is my info:
I've got a Toshiba Satellite Lap Top running Windows XP Prof.

I've got Norton Internet Security Professional.
  This program has an ad blocker and a popup blocker.
I've got Google Tool Bar with a pop up blocker
I've got Alexa Tool Bar with Pop up blocker

I've got my Internet Security Settings (MSIE 6.0) set really strict for Internet Zone - then I've set them pretty open for Trusted Zone.

I don't mind fighting the pop ups so much . . . but its those DARN programs like GAIN and GATOR and ZULU that keep trying to install into my PC.  I'm afraid a couple might have gotten through and installed on my machine because it seems like I get pop-ups when I'm not even on the web.

It seems like some of the pop ups are crashing my browser.

What should I do?
Should I uninstall all my toolbar programs - google and alexa; turn off all Norton ad blocking; buy another spam program??

My most important goal is to get those darn GAIN type things off my PC.  One of them even said that the only way to get it disabled is to set an opt out cookies on my machine - but that even then - the cookie will periodically expire.  Can we sue these people!!!!  Is there a way to get them out of my registry.

I know this is rambling . . . but I just don't know what to do . . . meanwhile I'm falling behind on my client's projects.

Give me a shoulder to cry on will ya???

Thanks, April

P.S.  I'm giving BIG points for this cause I'm desperate.
Question by:aprillougheed
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LVL 49

Accepted Solution

sunray_2003 earned 300 total points
ID: 9846439
LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 9846449
GAIN and GATOR are basically spywares.. Use spybot first. It would give you a list of unwanted programs. Delete them.

Use Ad-aware and check if there are some more unwanted programs..

Then use Hijackthis and it would give you a log file ... Post the log file here and we would able to assist you..

Also scan your computer for virus using online scanners and also any anti-virus you have got ..

Also check this registry key going to Start --> regedit

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\Search Bar
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\Search Page
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\Start Page
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchURL
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\Default_Page_URL
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\Default_Search_URL
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search\SearchAssistant
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search\CustomizeSearch
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\Search Bar

Look for unwanted key and delete them

LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 9846453
I would recommend you to have just one pop-up blocker.. Lets say google toolbar..

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LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 9846457
Once you remove all the spywares then you may want to repair or reinstall IE

Repair IE :

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


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

Reinstall IE:

Description of the Internet Explorer Repair Tool

How to Reinstall or Repair Internet Explorer and Outlook Express in Windows XP


Repair Internet Explorer 6

How to Uninstall Internet Explorer 6

Also make sure to install a good  firewall like zonealarm

LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 9846468
Also check for messenger service (windows messenger) and uninstall

Messenger service:

Start --> run ---> RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\INF\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove

Start > Run services.msc

Check out Indexing Service
if the Status is "Started" . If yes, double click on the Service
Click the Stop button
And then set the Starup Type to Disabled

LVL 24

Assisted Solution

shivsa earned 100 total points
ID: 9846471
just use any of the adware above. and after using that adware
use some registry cleaning software.

these are the list of some registry cleaners.

How to Install and Run RegClean

thats what i did to fight these pop ups and all.

LVL 10

Assisted Solution

LRI41 earned 100 total points
ID: 9847651
These first two have already been mentioned and this is where you can get them

Ad-aware Standard Edition is THE award winning, free*, multicomponent detection and removal utility that has consistently lead the industry in safety, user satisfaction, support and reliability.

"SpyBot Search & Destroy" (It is freeware
Spybot can be downloaded at


For Prevention:

PestPatrol 4.0 its not free:,12070,563571,00.html

ZDNet Review
December 10, 2002

When you're on the Internet, you're vulnerable to all kinds of malicious code. Your antivirus software will weed out some of the Trojan horses, and your firewall will stop some malicious users from getting inside your PC. But to rid your system of the other bad stuff--poisoned Java and ActiveX Web scripts, for example--you'll need a program that's dedicated to doing just that. PestPatrol stops password crackers; keystroke logging; ad-serving software, cookies, Trojan horses; and possible distributed denial-of-service attacks, making it a crucial safeguard for your desktop or network server. If you want to keep your computer and data


Spyware Blaster

BootLIST 088  
Date: 5/23/2003 9:59:18 PM Pacific Daylight Time

Prevent Spyware From Being Installed Utility

     Mary Adams writes - I take good care of my Computer and don't
     install any garbage or junk. But when my two teenage sons visit
     for the weekend they always leave my Computer running slow and I
     get errors I never had before their visits.

     I then have to run Ad-Adware to get rid of all the Spy Software
     they seem to install even though they never admit to installing
     any Spy Software it's always there after they leave mucking up my
     Computer. Is there a way to prevent them from installing Spy
     Software in the first place?

     *** Try the utility below, free of course:



PestPatrol News July/August 2003 issue
Date:      8/11/2003 6:34:06 AM Pacific Daylight Time

Thanks to everyone who helped with the launch of PestScan last month - and to all of you who've tried it since. If you haven't tried PestScan yet, go to and see for yourself. Tens of thousands of people have scanned their PCs for spyware since we launched PestScan just two weeks ago, so we think we can chalk that one up as a successful launch!

Excellent Online Spyware Detection

langalist] LangaList Standard Edition 2003-08-25  
Date: 8/24/2003 11:18:54 PM Pacific Daylight Time

In reply to ,
where we mentioned a new online spyware detection service from
PestPatrol ( ) , reader Jim Eshelman wrote:

     Fred... I thought I'd mention that I've had free
     adware/spyware online scanning on my site for several months
     now at

     All I've actually done is implement locally Andrew Clover's
     wonderful parasite scanning script, which your readers can
     also access directly at his goldmine-of-a-site . My implementation is primarily
     a convenience for people already accessing my site, and also a
     page devoted to *nothing but* the parasite scan. In its second
     month it zoomed to be one of the most visited pages on my
     site. I've been using Andrew's scanning script for quite a
     while in a user environment of around 6,000 corporate users,
     and so far it has caught every single major spyware or adware
     item on the user machines. (Spot checking with more intensive
     software finds only a few cookies missed.) This is quite
     valuable in an enterprise setting because the popular and
     reliable tools, such as Ad-Aware, are only free for
     noncommercial use. Where an IT department is willing to budget
     for business copies, one is left to choose between cheating
     and using the freeware anyway (something not high on my list
     of favorite things to do!) or use an alternative tool. The
     Clover scanning script has covered the issue splendidly so
     far.--Jim Eshelman

Thanks, Jim. Well done!


Author Comment

ID: 9855049
What would I do without you guys.  

I'm so swamped right now getting ready for the Holidays - it would have taken me forever to find all this out for myself.

I'll work through your suggestions and let you know when I rid the pests.

Pestware - ha!  That's a new one on me.

I just don't know how to say Thank you enough.  

Cheers!!  April
LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 9855072
OK , let us know as you proceed..

Happy to see your comment and how much you thank us

Happy holidays!!


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