Solved

Unable to uninstall a program

Posted on 2010-09-12
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have a program called thinkorswim.exe. When I click on it, it just "spins" and locks up some of the computer (such as Windows explorer). I see nothing in the tasks list if I want to delete the process. I try to uninstall it from Add&Remove, but it just hangs.

I searched on Google and found a "Spyware" website that seemed to have information about this, but NOD32 antivirus/antispyware blocked it. (glad of it).

how do I get rid of this program? I tried restoring Windows to a restore point, but every one of them fails. very suspicious.

soon, I should probably just return the machine to factory settings, but I'd rather just clean it up.

thanks for any advice!

I did a virus scan using NOD32 and it found 12 infiltrations, which I deleted. Search&Destroy found nothing.
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Question by:cornell256
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33 Comments
 
LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:InvincibleShield
InvincibleShield earned 62 total points
ID: 33659563
Hmm, well system restore is notoriously buggy when it comes to resetting malware. And these days, viruses are getting really, really cleaver. I had one a little while back that infected my computer, added itself to all restore points, and even infected my jump drives and micro SD card! I was able to get rid of it using kaspersky, which also comes with a really good system vulnerability scanner, Give it a try, and if it doesn't solve your problem, I would highly recommend a clean reinstall (after all, even when you think you have these things removed they always find a way to get back unless you can fix the vulnerability).

Whether you reinstall or not, I still recommend using Kaspersky to protect your computer.

Good luck, I hope this helps.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:kenycl
ID: 33659566
try to restart your system and than uninstall there could be some process not named the same as the program could be in used and locked
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LVL 1

Accepted Solution

by:
kunalsmilez earned 66 total points
ID: 33659604
My suggestion would be to reinstall the OS. Take a back of the stuff which you have and do a OS reinstall.
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Author Comment

by:cornell256
ID: 33659618
The problem with doing a reinstall of the OS is that I don't have time to reinstall all of the other stuff right now - it would take me many hours. I know I'll have to do a reinstall at some point -
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Author Comment

by:cornell256
ID: 33659625
re kenycl solution - I've tried this many times over the past few days, restarting system unlocks the spinning program, but I still cannot uninstall it.
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LVL 4

Assisted Solution

by:kenycl
kenycl earned 62 total points
ID: 33659629
have you try logon on safe mode and try uninstalling from there?

when booting up keep pressing F8 on the keyboard until you see the option to boot into safe mode

try uninstall the app you wanted to uninstall via safe mode then reinstall the apps again to try.

hope that helps
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LVL 10

Assisted Solution

by:Bawer
Bawer earned 62 total points
ID: 33659670
http://www.martau.com/


can you try the mentioned software,,,this will help so analyze the issue...also there is a Microsoft un-installer, i don't have the link from MS as its not supported any more that will help you remove the software and then reinstall without any issue.
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LVL 14

Assisted Solution

by:Dhiraj Mutha
Dhiraj Mutha earned 62 total points
ID: 33659705
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Author Comment

by:cornell256
ID: 33659777
I'll try, starting with safe mode. Tomorrow, if I can, and I will report back. thanks, all.
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LVL 3

Assisted Solution

by:Arun Kumar V
Arun Kumar V earned 62 total points
ID: 33661595
Hi,

Disable System restore and boot the system in safe mode and scan the complete system.
This will remove all the virus infections if only your AV is upto date with Virus definitions.

If the file suspected is indeed a virus\spyware AV will take care of this, if not you can reboot the machine and scan the system with Windows Live One Care.

Who know windows better than Microsoft

Regards
Arun Kumar V
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Author Comment

by:cornell256
ID: 33661713
I like the suggestion of arunkumar_neo and will do that to try to clean the machine. In the meantime, Thinkorswim sent me uninstall instructions which I will try. The other programs mentioned are good reference programs which I will try if need be. Thanks everyone, I'll report back.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Dhiraj Mutha
ID: 33663119
You can also try running Combofix. This tool is awesome, i rate it 5/5 in comparsion to any malware/torjan/virus removing utility. Try it.
Here's the link to download it: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/anti-virus/combofix
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Author Comment

by:cornell256
ID: 33663253
I'm running AV in safe mode, think it will take forever.
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Author Comment

by:cornell256
ID: 33663305
searching google for "is combofix safe", I find some questions. Perhaps this would be true of otehr programs recommended here also. anyone know if any of the recommendations above are truly safe?
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LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:edbedb
edbedb earned 62 total points
ID: 33663714
I don't really think any of that software will help because it is not a virus or malware. I would get Autoruns http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx
Run it and disable everything referring to thinkorswim. Then restart the computer and delete it's files and folders. Restart again and if everything seems good, go back and remove the entries permanently.
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Author Comment

by:cornell256
ID: 33663809
thanks, however is it possible malware caused the initial corruption?
thinkorswim sent me instructions to delete, there is no uninstall, it is just deleting files so I'll try that. autoruns sounds good if I need it
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:edbedb
ID: 33663865
" is it possible malware caused the initial corruption?"
If everything else is running normally, I would say that is highly unlikely.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Dhiraj Mutha
ID: 33664497
I have tried myself and i feel combofix is safe. Try it, it clears all the junk from the system and make it run faster.
0
 

Author Comment

by:cornell256
ID: 33664586
the comments say it has a rootkit in it so I am scared to run it.

I just deleted the program files in safe mode (they would not delete otherwise) and I was going to try the autorun next. I am going to reinstall, and maybe all will be well.
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Author Comment

by:cornell256
ID: 33664813
I reinstalled in safe mode since I was unable to install in regular mode, but the program hangs again when launching (in safe mode). I seem to remember something about a missing file yesterday. I wonder if there is a Windows file that is corrupted or missing that this app relies on.
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Author Comment

by:cornell256
ID: 33664819
what a bother - methinks I will have to rebuild my OS
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:edbedb
ID: 33664909
I suspect it is your anti-virus preventing it from running.
0
 

Author Comment

by:cornell256
ID: 33665125
I'll try disabling NOD32 and try. It's been working fine for weeks until Friday. Thanks, I'll report back later.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Dhiraj Mutha
ID: 33668957
If you are going to rebuild the OS, you can try running combofix if it resolves the issue and then if you want you can rebuild it.
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Author Comment

by:cornell256
ID: 33669244
right - re combofix - I could uninstall the program in safe mode, but then could not reinstall except in safe mode, and now cannot get it to run. The program is fine - I have it running on a second laptop.

I may not get to this until the weekend - thanks everyone.
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Author Comment

by:cornell256
ID: 33684148
I have not forgotten everyone's kindness about this - not sure what to do. I'll probably just rebuild the machine and divide points among everyone who made a reasonable suggestion.
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LVL 16

Assisted Solution

by:joinaunion
joinaunion earned 62 total points
ID: 33686205
0
 

Author Comment

by:cornell256
ID: 33686274
Thanks - I was able to install by deleting the directories because the registry was not involved. I downloaded the application again, and get the same hang I was getting before. So uninstall is not the problem now. I guess I should close the bug and reopen with a different title.
0
 
LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Dhiraj Mutha
ID: 33688726
Have you run Combofix?
0
 

Author Comment

by:cornell256
ID: 33688736
no, can't really do anything until the weekend due to work demands -
0
 

Author Comment

by:cornell256
ID: 33735223
tried running Combofix, it won't run, probably the same reason TOS won't run.
I am going to rebuild my computer.
thanks for the help, everyone.
I guess the fairest thing to do is award points to everyone for offering a solution?
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Author Closing Comment

by:cornell256
ID: 33767117
No solution fixed my issue, but everyone offered a solution that could help a similar problem.
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Author Comment

by:cornell256
ID: 33767131
Thanks everyone, I think I gave each of you 62 points (there were 4 left over and I just closed my eyes and pointed for those). For some reason, the system gave the first comment the rating (which is not inaccurate as it stands).
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