Unable to change Internet Explorer Homepage from MSN.com to Blank

After cleaning out this WIN98XE system of viruses and spyware and setting Internet Explorer to "blank", I set the Home Page back to msn.com.  Now, we are unable to change the default Home Page back to "blank" or anything else.  It always comes up to msn.com.  (yes we do the IE, Tools, Internet Options, Blank, Apply, OK).  This machine is running a good antivirus and Webroot Spysweeper program now and has been swept with the latest defs.

Can I fix this by doing a repair on Internet Explorer latest version (6.x) without going into the registry and checking all the IE keys?  I don't think a trojan is doing this.  I may have removed an IE entry by mistake with HiJackThis but thought I was careful not to do this.  

I do not have access to this machine to post a log or look at the registry so the question here is: Will a "Fix Internet Explorer" repair this problem or is there another way I can direct a non teckie friend to fix this without bringing the machine back to me and going through the normal debug process.

chuck53
chuck53Asked:
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SheharyaarSaahilCommented:
are you sure that the anti-spyware programs you are running on the machine have not "locked" the IE page?
coz spybot has this feature that can lock the IE homepage from changing, may be the program which you are running has such features too!
war1Commented:
Greetings, chuck53 !

MSN.com is the homepage for Microsoft. If you do any Microsoft update, homepage will get changed to MSN.com  But you can usually change the homepage back to the one you want.  Repairing IE will not fix the problem.

1. Download and run HijackThis

http://www.majorgeeks.com/download3155.html

You will see an entry for the homepage.  Cleck the box to have HijackThis delete it.

Best wishes!
David-HowardCommented:
Chuck, War1 is correct in using HiJackThis. You should use this at a minimum. You can post your log file here for free analysis.
http://www.ewido.net/en/
I would also recommend running your current anti-malware utilities as well as the one listed below and in Safe Mode.
http://www.ewido.net/en/
Normally I clean all Temp folders as well as clearing the Internet Explorer Temporary Internet folder.
:-)
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chuck53Author Commented:
Hi war1:
I simulated this on my machine and should be looking for the following on the problem machine?

R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://msn.com/

After deleting this (I take it) a new start page will be auto generated as specified by the user in IE, Tools, Internet Options, Blank, Apply, OK?... or will IE simply default to "blank" for the home page without manually specifying it after this removal process?

regards,
Chuck53
-------
SheharyaarSaahil ... good point on homepage blocking.  I need to somehow verify Spysweeper is blocking changes or locking it from changing... if only I had access to the machine before next week.

regards,
Chuck53
war1Commented:
>> I simulated this on my machine and should be looking for the following on the problem machine?
R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://msn.com/  >>

Yes, that is the correct key to delete.  Homepage should go to blank or another homepage that you can change.
Marc ZCommented:
In Spysweeper, you have to turn this off.

To do so, follow these steps:

1.       Click Shields.

2.       Click Internet Explorer.

3.       Under IE Home Page Shield, Click Automatically Restore Default Without Notification. This eliminates the messages but maintains your spyware protection.

From Spysweepers support pages
http://support.webroot.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=776
See if that helps.

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chuck53Author Commented:
Solution:
Spyweeper was not allowing the change and kept the old entry.  Unchecking the Internet Shield box fixed the problem and allowed the Home Page Change.  I will split the points between  SheharyaarSaahil (1st posted) and the detail of mtz1of4 once I figure out how to split points.

Thanks everyone!

chuck53  
war1Commented:
At the bottom of the page is a split points link. Click on it and follow the prompts.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/help.jsp#hi19
Marc ZCommented:
Thanks chuck53,  
Glad it's sorted out.
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