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On critical deadline as independent developer with this hosed notebook

Posted on 2004-10-15
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Please help if you have any ideas…

 

My notebook was pinged on Tuesday and AOL, Antivirus and Firewall software was disabled/corrupt, as was my AOL, and access to Internet.  I can get online now but still cannot access AOL, or install/reinstall Antivirus/Firewall software. I receive error msgs stating [unable to be uninstalled, contact/send to Microsoft].  I then removed all files associated with these 3 corrupt programs physically, and then went into the registry and removed every trace related to AOL and firewall/antivirus with hopes to reinstall. It then took a reininstall except for on Anti-Virus, but is still corrupt  i.e.click events don’t work on AOL; Firewall is stuck on OPEN –no filtering…says computer has been pinged by 66.19.85.95…)   I called McCafee as I pay a monthly fee for virus protection and they can’t even figure it out.  Any suggestions?…
 

It appears I need to get another notebook; network the two to transfer non-corrupt programs to the new one and then reformat this pinged one; yes I do backup/restores.. though not often enough…  I realize that 'Pinging' a pc will not cause it to break I describe, nevertheless it's clear this pc is hosed badly.  I was told that if it's on XP Pro (which it is) that I may want to try XP's restore critical system files at URL; http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/support/restore.mspx  but cant find whwre to download just wht is itical; site show retore points recovery though I have too much to loose to go back to the las restore point..  Also, on critical deadline as independent developer with this hosed notebook...

This pc is highly at risk… Please help if you have any ideas at all, they’d be so very welcome..
Please help..  asap
 


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Question by:JRtech
8 Comments
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:luv2smile
ID: 12321215
Have you scanned your system for spyware/adware? Have you tried running an online virus scanner? Is your system up to date on all windows patches?
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:luv2smile
ID: 12321231
Did you try re-installing AV while in safe mode?
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:luv2smile
ID: 12321334
You should also run AV and anti-spyware programs from safe mode and make sure they are up to date before you run them.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:luv2smile
ID: 12321346
And disable system restore before any of that since a virus can copy itself into the backups

http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/tsgeninfo.nsf/docid/2001111912274039?OpenDocument&src=sec_doc_nam
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:rossfingal
ID: 12324827
Hi!
Since you're up against a wall - "so to speak" -
download HijackThis, run it from it's own folder, with "Show all Files",
including system and hidden, turned on.
Get it here:
http://www.subratam.org/?page=removal
Run it - then post your log to this place:
http://www.hijackthis.de/index.php?langselect=english
Post a link here, to your log file - we'll look at it.
Do Not post your HJT log here - we don't need it , at the moment.

Good luck!
RF
 
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:browolf
ID: 12327043
Best thing to do is transfer all your documents to a usb removable pen drive, or burn to cd and then reinstall your laptop with the recovery cd that laptops usually come with.That should make the laptop like iit was when you bought it. you'll have to reinstall all  your other programs.

windows with broken bits can be very hard to fix.  you can't transfer programs to a new laptop. they wont work properly. you would have to reinstall them.

I stopped using norton antivirus after it kept breaking windows. in such a situation even an experienced computer professional like myself had to reinstall windows.
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Expert Comment

by:KlickSuperfly
ID: 12328948
browolf is right; you'll probably spend more time trying to chase the problem than necessary.  If you have all of your applications that you need on CD you should just backup what you need and reinstall.

One thing that wasn't mentioned, when you back up your files to CD, floppy, or USB drive, before you try to move them back on to your newly reinstalled computer, you should scan the backup location with your -updated- virus scanner.  If you back everything up only to have it "tag along" on your CD or whatnot, you'll be one very upset person.

Some things that you'll probably want to back up before reinstalling: "My Documents" folder, Windows Addressbook, E-mail data files, and anything else you can't install from CD.
When you re-install and get back into Windows, run Windows Update.  I might catch hell for this but, I'd suggest that you download and install Service Pack 2 if you're on a high speed connection.  (Not everyone belives that SP2 is a good thing because it can "break" software)

Service Pack 2
- Pros: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/maintain/sp2top.mspx
- Cons: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/842242 and http://support.microsoft.com/kb/884130
(The thing I like about SP2 for non-technical users is that Microsoft finally puts a leash on ActiveX and makes huge refinements to their Windows XP Firewall)

Good luck with your deadline!
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LVL 23

Accepted Solution

by:
Tim Holman earned 2000 total points
ID: 12337782
Reset IP

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=299357

Repar Winsock

http://www.spychecker.com/program/winsockxpfix.html

..and to get rid of viruses / spyware -

1)  Run a full Stinger scan in Safe Mode - http://vil.nai.com/vil/stinger/
2)  Install and run LavaSoft AdAware - http://www.lavasoftusa.com/support/download/
3)  Download and run latest version of HijackThis (HJT) http://www.tomcoyote.org/hjt/
4)  Post the log at http://www.hijackthis.de/index.php?langselect=english
5)  Run MSBA - http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/tools/mbsahome.mspx & take appropriate patching action

Stopping it happen again...

1)  Ensure WindowsUpdate is set to update your system
2)  Download a pop-up blocker - eg toolbar.google.com
3)  Install Lavasoft AdAware and run regular scans, or just leave it and have it handy for when problems start recurring.
4)  Keep your AV software up to date - daily updates recommended
5)  Enable Internet Connection Firewall, or use ZoneAlarm if you don't use XP
6)  Stay vigilant.  Don't bother opening non-work related email attachments, or install an on-access virus scanner so that it doesn't matter if you do.
7)  Look at a host IPS - eg www.prevx.com to cover your machine between when a virus hits the wild and when a patch is finally released that fixes it.  Average time is roughly 6 days.
8)  Take an online privacy test http://www.anonymizer.com/privacytest/2.0/privacytest.cgi?test=2
9)  Set IE Privacy to High - IE > Tools > Internet Options > Privacy
10)  Reset Internet Zone Security to High - IE > Tools > Internet Options > Security > Custom > (Select High) > Reset
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