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Possible Windows System Alert Infection? I Am At A Loss...


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#1 silverstars0404

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 12:00 AM

Howdy folks, a very good evening to ya'll! I am a 19 year old college student with a laptop - and little knowledge of anything that is important concerning said laptop. I've had Adaware and Spybot SD ever since I got the laptop (August 2006), and I use them on a semi-regular basis. I also have McAfee anti-virus software installed on the computer, plus I get Windows system updates when they come out.

So, the problems started in January of this year (2007). I got a pop-up notification from Windows about a 'system saftey alert' - something along those lines. I figured, since it was from Windows, that it was part of the 'automatic updates' I get periodically and that I needed to follow the instructions. I got part way through the downloading process when something just didn't seem right, and I exited out of the application/program (don't really know the difference) and never finished it. I believe, now after doing my research, that it was the win32 bug...but I'm not sure.

The symptoms that my lappy has been having are all very general, and may not even be related to that incident. They include:

Laptop will not shut down properly anymore - all I can do is hit the 'on/off' button and hope for the best.

The little buttons on the top of window-boxes (like 'File', 'Edit', etc.) from anything other than the internet get get semi-highlighted in white, and the text goes from looking like the windows XP font to the old Windows 95/98 style font. The boxes also lose the 'rounded' shape and go to a very boxy shape.

When I hit 'Ctrl+Alt+Delete' and the Windows Task Manager pops up, the 'minimize', 'restore down', and 'close' buttons aren't present.

When shutting down, periodically I will get an 'end program' alert for a program I've never even heard of - lots of letters and numbers and symbols usually. Also, I know that I have a lot of programs (both known and unknown) that run on startup. It's really annoying.

Sometimes, in the taskbar (where the start button is and all the little icons are) or behind the start button, it appears that there is a window open - but if I go to click on it and close it, it disappears. This started happening around the same time the little buttons started getting highlighted and the minimize/restore down/close buttons on the task manager stopped showing up.


That is a brief overview of what is going on. I am no expert - I generally use my laptop to surf the web, write papers, and play some games. Nothing too fancy. I know nothing about programming or applications - and I'm really trying to do my best to keep my laptop happy. If anyone can help me - or point me in the direction of help that isn't really crazy complicated - I would be very appreciative. I am a true computer beginner here - all the anti-bad stuff programs in the world won't really do anything good unless I find a way to interpret the results or find someone who can help me...

Frustrated in Iowa,
Lara :thumbsup:

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#2 oldf@rt

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 12:40 AM

I would recommend that you start with Rogue Remover and then SuperAntiSpyWare:
  • Please download Rogue Remover Free from Malwarebytes.
  • Please save the file to your normal saved file location or the desktop
  • double click on rr-free-setup to run the installation program
  • accept the license agreement.
  • follow all the steps and click finish to run the program
  • Click the check for updates link
  • click the scan link to start scanning
  • when done, follow the onscreen directions to remove anything that it found.
Download and scan with SUPERAntiSpyware Free for Home Users
  • Double-click SUPERAntiSpyware.exe and use the default settings for installation.
  • An icon will be created on your desktop. Double-click that icon to launch the program.
  • If asked to update the program definitions, click "Yes". If not, update the definitions before scanning by selecting "Check for Updates". (If you encounter any problems while downloading the updates, manually download and unzip them from here.)
  • Under "Configuration and Preferences", click the Preferences button.
  • Click the Scanning Control tab.
  • Under Scanner Options make sure the following are checked (leave all others unchecked):
    • Close browsers before scanning.
    • Scan for tracking cookies.
    • Terminate memory threats before quarantining.
  • Click the "Close" button to leave the control center screen.
  • Back on the main screen, under "Scan for Harmful Software" click Scan your computer.
  • On the left, make sure you check C:\Fixed Drive.
  • On the right, under "Complete Scan", choose Perform Complete Scan.
  • Click "Next" to start the scan. Please be patient while it scans your computer.
  • After the scan is complete, a Scan Summary box will appear with potentially harmful items that were detected. Click "OK".
  • Make sure everything has a checkmark next to it and click "Next".
  • A notification will appear that "Quarantine and Removal is Complete". Click "OK" and then click the "Finish" button to return to the main menu.
  • If asked if you want to reboot, click "Yes".
  • To retrieve the removal information after reboot, launch SUPERAntispyware again.
    • Click Preferences, then click the Statistics/Logs tab.
    • Under Scanner Logs, double-click SUPERAntiSpyware Scan Log.
    • If there are several logs, click the current dated log and press View log. A text file will open in your default text editor.
    • Please copy and paste the Scan Log results in your next reply.
  • Click Close to exit the program.

Let us know your results, please.
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#3 silverstars0404

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 05:53 PM

Thank you - I did just what you told me to, and both programs really found nothing. Here is the log from SUPERAntiSpyware as you requested:

SUPERAntiSpyware Scan Log
http://www.superantispyware.com

Generated 10/25/2007 at 11:32 AM

Application Version : 3.9.1008

Core Rules Database Version : 3330
Trace Rules Database Version: 1331

Scan type : Complete Scan
Total Scan Time : 00:39:41

Memory items scanned : 828
Memory threats detected : 0
Registry items scanned : 5787
Registry threats detected : 0
File items scanned : 30674
File threats detected : 5

Adware.Tracking Cookie
C:\Documents and Settings\Lara Shema\Cookies\lara_shema@3.adbrite[2].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Lara Shema\Cookies\lara_shema@ar.atwola[1].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Lara Shema\Cookies\lara_shema@3.adbrite[3].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Lara Shema\Cookies\lara_shema@xiti[1].txt
C:\Documents and Settings\Lara Shema\Cookies\lara_shema@atwola[1].txt


As you can see, the only things that get caught are tracking cookies.


Does this mean I could just have way too many programs running on my laptop? Or, could the problem be deeper in the depths of the machine? Should I take it to Best Buy to get looked over? (I did buy a 3 year warranty when I got the machine, and I believe it includes tech support - though I'm not positive.)

Lara

#4 quietman7

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 08:01 PM

Should I take it to Best Buy to get looked over? (I did buy a 3 year warranty when I got the machine, and I believe it includes tech support - though I'm not positive.)

You should check with them about the warranty.

However, if you want, you can try some of the suggestions in Slow Computer/Browser? Check here first; it may not be malware first and if that does not help, then bring it in for service.
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#5 silverstars0404

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 11:42 AM

quietman7 _

I will look into those suggestions, thank you. I'm still a little perplexed at some of the problems my laptop is having - they seem to be more symptoms of something wrong with the computer (virus or otherwise) than the machine just running slowly. Especially the fact that I can't shut the computer off by going to the start menu and hitting 'shut down'...I have to just hit the power switch and hope nothing gets screwed up.

Lara

#6 quietman7

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 11:45 AM

If your issues are not malware related, that's a good enough reason to bring the laptop in if its still under warranty.
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