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Help! Problems So Bad I Want To Throw Out My Pc And Buy A Mac


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#1 xpanianiax

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 12:01 PM

Hello All:

I am desperately hoping that someone on this forum would be kind enough to help me before I do something rash and throw my PC out the window. I've never posted on any forum before, but I'm getting desperate.

I have been having major computer problems lately and would like to fix them on my own since the last call to a computer repair dude resulted in a $100 invoice and an apparently still messed up computer. I'm no computer professional, but I'm no newbie either so I think if the instructions are kept simple I'll be able to figure it out.

Here are the computer's symptoms:
-It was infected recently with the Antivirus XP 2008 virus (pretty obvious due to the huge pop-up that wouldn't go away and it's take over of the desktop background). I think that I may have gotten rid of it, but I'm not sure.
-When I try to Google something (using either IE or Firefox) and click on the search results I am redirected to a completely different IP address than what was listed under the search result link.
-The mouse icon has changed from what we originally set it to.
-Whenever I go to our settings and check on the Windows Firewall it says that it's turned off - no matter how many times I turn it back on.

Also:
-For some reason the computer dude removed our anti-spyware program (Spysweeper) and anti-virus program (Trend PC Microcillin) because he said Comcast offered McAfee for free. However, now it seems we are completely unprotected. Now what?
-When he was doing something he noticed that we had a ton of processes running all at once (which I guess accounted for the slow speed of the system) - does this have anything to do with all of these problems?

Does this computer seem salvagable?

Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks,

ANIA

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#2 rigel

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 12:37 PM

Hi ANIA

Welcome to BleepingComputer,

Please start with a MalwareBytes scan. Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and save it to your desktop.
alternate download link 1
alternate download link 2
  • Make sure you are connected to the Internet.
  • Double-click on mbam-setup.exe to install the application.
  • When the installation begins, follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
  • When installation has finished, make sure you leave both of these checked:
    • Update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
    • Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
  • Then click Finish.
MBAM will automatically start and you will be asked to update the program before performing a scan.
  • If an update is found, the program will automatically update itself.
  • Press the OK button to close that box and continue.
  • If you encounter any problems while downloading the updates, manually download them from here and just double-click on mbam-rules.exe to install.
On the Scanner tab:
  • Make sure the "Perform Quick Scan" option is selected.
  • Then click on the Scan button.
  • If asked to select the drives to scan, leave all the drives selected and click on the Start Scan button.
  • The scan will begin and "Scan in progress" will show at the top. It may take some time to complete so please be patient.
  • When the scan is finished, a message box will say "The scan completed successfully. Click 'Show Results' to display all objects found".
  • Click OK to close the message box and continue with the removal process.
Back at the main Scanner screen:
  • Click on the Show Results button to see a list of any malware that was found.
  • Make sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected.
  • When removal is completed, a log report will open in Notepad.
  • The log is automatically saved and can be viewed by clicking the Logs tab in MBAM.
  • Copy and paste the contents of that report in your next reply and exit MBAM.
Note: If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove, you may be asked to reboot your computer so it can proceed with the disinfection process. Reagardless if prompted to restart the computer or not, please do so immediately. Failure to reboot normally (not into safe mode) will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware.

However, now it seems we are completely unprotected. Now what?

If your subscription to Trend is still in affect, I would reload it. If it has now expired - Look at this topic: Freeware Replacements For Common Commercial Apps Check out the anti-virus section. Personally, I use Avast Free.

When he was doing something he noticed that we had a ton of processes running all at once (which I guess accounted for the slow speed of the system) - does this have anything to do with all of these problems?

- Yes.
The more processes you have running, the more resources you will have tied up. The main indicator is how much CPU time these processes are indiviually taking up. If you see one maxxing out your CPU at 95%, then that is probably the culprit.

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

"Fall in love with someone who deserves your heart. Not someone who plays with it. Will Smith


#3 xpanianiax

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 10:57 PM

Hello:

Thanks for the starting point. So far I was able to save MBAM to a flash drive (because the browser wouldn't direct me to the proper website or let me input the URLs) and run that. Below is the log report:
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.28
Database version: 1179
Windows 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2

9/19/2008 10:38:38 PM
mbam-log-2008-09-19 (22-38-38).txt

Scan type: Quick Scan
Objects scanned: 57167
Time elapsed: 5 minute(s), 18 second(s)

Memory Processes Infected: 0
Memory Modules Infected: 0
Registry Keys Infected: 12
Registry Values Infected: 1
Registry Data Items Infected: 0
Folders Infected: 12
Files Infected: 19

Memory Processes Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Memory Modules Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Keys Infected:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\popcaploader.popcaploaderctrl2 (Adware.PopCap) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ModuleUsage\c:/windows/downloaded program files/popcaploader.dll (Adware.PopCap) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{c9c5deaf-0a1f-4660-8279-9edfad6fefe1} (Adware.PopCap) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{e4e3e0f8-cd30-4380-8ce9-b96904bdefca} (Adware.PopCap) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{fe8a736f-4124-4d9c-b4b1-3b12381efabe} (Adware.PopCap) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{df780f87-ff2b-4df8-92d0-73db16a1543a} (Adware.PopCap) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Code Store Database\Distribution Units\{df780f87-ff2b-4df8-92d0-73db16a1543a} (Adware.PopCap) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\popcaploader.popcaploaderctrl2.1 (Adware.PopCap) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\rhcv6aj0e11v (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\tdssdata (Trojan.Agent) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\tdss (Trojan.Agent) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Software Notifier (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Registry Values Infected:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SharedDLLs\C:\WINDOWS\Downloaded Program Files\popcaploader.dll (Adware.PopCap) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Registry Data Items Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Folders Infected:
C:\Program Files\rhcv6aj0e11v (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\rhcv6aj0e11v (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\rhcv6aj0e11v\Quarantine (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\rhcv6aj0e11v\Quarantine\Autorun (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\rhcv6aj0e11v\Quarantine\Autorun\HKCU (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\rhcv6aj0e11v\Quarantine\Autorun\HKCU\RunOnce (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\rhcv6aj0e11v\Quarantine\Autorun\HKLM (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\rhcv6aj0e11v\Quarantine\Autorun\HKLM\RunOnce (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\rhcv6aj0e11v\Quarantine\Autorun\StartMenuAllUsers (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\rhcv6aj0e11v\Quarantine\Autorun\StartMenuCurrentUser (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\rhcv6aj0e11v\Quarantine\BrowserObjects (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\rhcv6aj0e11v\Quarantine\Packages (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Files Infected:
C:\WINDOWS\Downloaded Program Files\popcaploader.dll (Adware.PopCap) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\rhcv6aj0e11v\database.dat (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\rhcv6aj0e11v\license.txt (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\rhcv6aj0e11v\MFC71.dll (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\rhcv6aj0e11v\MFC71ENU.DLL (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\rhcv6aj0e11v\msvcp71.dll (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\rhcv6aj0e11v\msvcr71.dll (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\rhcv6aj0e11v\rhcv6aj0e11v.exe.local (Rogue.Multiple) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\WINDOWS\system32\tdssadw.dll (Trojan.Agent) -> Delete on reboot.
C:\WINDOWS\system32\tdssl.dll (Trojan.Agent) -> Delete on reboot.
C:\WINDOWS\system32\tdssserf.dll (Trojan.Agent) -> Delete on reboot.
C:\WINDOWS\system32\tdssmain.dll (Trojan.Agent) -> Delete on reboot.
C:\WINDOWS\system32\tdssinit.dll (Trojan.Agent) -> Delete on reboot.
C:\WINDOWS\system32\tdsslog.dll (Trojan.Agent) -> Delete on reboot.
C:\WINDOWS\system32\tdssservers.dat (Trojan.Agent) -> Delete on reboot.
C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\tdssserv.sys (Trojan.Agent) -> Delete on reboot.
C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Local Settings\Temp\.tt3.tmp (Trojan.Downloader) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Local Settings\Temp\.tt4.tmp (Trojan.Downloader) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Local Settings\Temp\.tt5.tmp (Trojan.Downloader) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

I have also installed Avast, Spybot-Search & Destroy, and Ad-Aware to re-protect myself following foolish computer dude's uninstallation of everything.

Are there other steps that I should take? After all of this I don't quite feel safe...

Thanks for all your help!

Ania

#4 rigel

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 09:17 AM

Hi Ania,

We have a problem. C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\tdssserv.sys (Trojan.Agent) is a component of a very nasty rootkit.

IMPORTANT NOTE: One or more of the identified infections was related to a rootkit component. Rootkits and backdoor Trojan are very dangerous because they use advanced techniques (backdoors) as a means of accessing a computer system that bypasses security mechanisms and steal sensitive information which they send back to the hacker. Many rootkits can hook into the Windows 32-bit kernel, and patch several APIs to hide new registry keys and files they install. Remote attackers use backdoor Trojans and rootkits as part of an exploit to gain unauthorized access to a computer and take control of it without your knowledge.

If your computer was used for online banking, has credit card information or other sensitive data on it, all passwords should be changed immediately to include those used for banking, email, eBay, paypal and online forums. You should consider them to be compromised. They should be changed by using a different computer and not the infected one. If not, an attacker may get the new passwords and transaction information. Banking and credit card institutions should be notified of the possible security breach. Because your computer was compromised please read How Do I Handle Possible Identify Theft, Internet Fraud and CC Fraud?

Although the rootkit was identified and removed, your PC has likely been compromised and there is no way to be sure the computer can ever be trusted again. It is dangerous and incorrect to assume that because the rootkit has been removed the computer is now secure. In some instances an infection may have caused so much damage to your system that it cannot be completely cleaned or repaired. The malware may leave so many remnants behind that security tools cannot find them. Many experts in the security community believe that once infected with this type of malware, the best course of action is to wipe the drive clean, reformat and reinstall the OS. Please read:

"When should I re-format? How should I reinstall?"
"Help: I Got Hacked. Now What Do I Do?"
"Where to draw the line? When to recommend a format and reinstall?"

Should you decide not to follow that advice, we will do our best to help clean the computer of any infections but we cannot guarantee it to be trustworthy or that the removal will be successful. Let me know how you wish to proceed.

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

"Fall in love with someone who deserves your heart. Not someone who plays with it. Will Smith


#5 xpanianiax

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 08:49 AM

If that's the case, I think that I would rather just cut our losses and just re-format/re-install.

However, there are a couple of issues with that:

1) I have no idea how to do that. As I mentioned before, I'm no computer newbie, but I'm no expert either.

2) We bought an external hard-drive to back up our iTunes library and the rest of the computer data, but I want to make sure that I do that correctly.
a) Is it just personal files that I am supposed to back up when doing a re-format/re-install or are there other files I should be copying as well?
b ) Is there a preferred method for backing up or is it as simple as drag and drop?
c) More importantly, how do I make sure I don't copy the virus / other nasty crapola onto the external hard-drive?

3) Our computer is a couple of years old and my husband swears that no re-install CD came with it? If I call Sony (the computer is a Sony VAIO) do they just send those things out or is there an easier way to get a hold of them OR is the husband full of it and I should start looking through the office (I could have sworn that all new computers came with those types of CDs)?

Thanks for all your help. Hopefully, this nightmare will be over soon and I can have my computer back :thumbsup:

Ania

#6 rigel

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 09:14 AM

OR is the husband full of it

- :thumbsup:

2) We bought an external hard-drive to back up our iTunes library and the rest of the computer data, but I want to make sure that I do that correctly.
a) Is it just personal files that I am supposed to back up when doing a re-format/re-install or are there other files I should be copying as well?
b ) Is there a preferred method for backing up or is it as simple as drag and drop?
c) More importantly, how do I make sure I don't copy the virus / other nasty crapola onto the external hard-drive?


2a - Personal files are usually it. I generally back up all of my documents and any other files that I may have created. Music files are questionable. If you used a p2p network, those files may be infected. If you are using a purchased program that saves data to your hard drive, there is usually a directory/folder you may wish to save with that too.

2b - I use drag and drop grabbing only the files I need. Programs that you install cannot be moved this way. Their files are scattered and intertwined with the Windows system.

2c - After you reformat/install the Operating system - and - after you have fully updated your OS - and - have installed a an anti-virus then fully updated it - and - have downloaded a firewall ---> then I would connect the exteranl drive and run a scan on it. There are some that would say once your computer has been infected to a certain point, NOTHING should be salvaged.

3) Our computer is a couple of years old and my husband swears that no re-install CD came with it?


Do you really believe that???!!! Maybe you should. :flowers: There are some manufacturers that do not include restore cds with their systems. They may have had a recovery partition built in that will allow you to press a key seqence at start up to activate that partition. I would call Sony and ask them about disks, and the recovery partition.

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

"Fall in love with someone who deserves your heart. Not someone who plays with it. Will Smith


#7 xpanianiax

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 09:46 AM

We didn't use any p2p music programs, just iTunes and I'm hoping those are safe.

Is there a safer way to back all that up? I'm terrified of this happening again and would rather not take too many risks with the external hard drive. Would it be completely pointless to just send the pictures out to be developed, print out everything else (we don't have too many personal documents and I have an excellent pdf conversion program at work) and just put the music on the external hard drive? According to my logic (which may be flawed) the less on that hard drive the lower the chances that one of the files on there may be infected. Does that make any sense?

Ania

#8 rigel

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 10:09 AM

Generally, picture are thought to be safe. There isn't anything to say that a picture wouldn't be targeted, but usually that isn't the case. Music is a nicer carrot for malware writers to use because there are so many people looking for "free" content. iTunes is considered a safe resource. Their business depends on that saftey.

If you want to print your pictures, that is fine. Printing out documents - expescially critical ones is a good practice. Filed hard copies are virus free. Printing everyday basic documents is a personal call.

Files, no matter where the location, can always be infected. It depends on the sofistication of the malware that infects you. There are examples of malware that are specifically targets flash drives.

The infection you encountered may have been the result of a "drive by." You may have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

"Fall in love with someone who deserves your heart. Not someone who plays with it. Will Smith


#9 xpanianiax

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 10:25 AM

Ok, sorry about all of the questions, I'm trying to wrap my head around all of this. That being said, here are some more questions I had:

One of the reading resource links that you suggested I check out ("When should I re-format? How should I reinstall?") said the following:

"If the computer has a wireless card, remove or shield the card so that the computer cannot connect to any access points."

1) Potentially, incredibly stupid question, but how do I know if I have one of these?

Also, for my re-install/re-format procedure checklist thingy that is slowly forming:
1) Can I download Avast, Spybot - Search & Destroy, Adaware, and Kerio (or some other software firewall) onto a flashdrive (at a non-infected computer) to intall once the machine is wiped? Don't they need some sort of internet connection to configure/install (or something like that)?

Thanks so much!

Ania

#10 rigel

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 12:15 PM

Asking questions is what BleepingComputer is all about.

Try this: Click Start - Run - Type "sysdm.cpl" without the quotes. Click the Hardware tab Click the Device Manager Button. Under network adapter (In the list) see if it shows a wireless card - or get the model number of your network adapter and post it here.

You can download malware programs via flash drive, but to keep them updated, they will need access to the web. Or, you will have to visit each site and download the definitions as needed.

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

"Fall in love with someone who deserves your heart. Not someone who plays with it. Will Smith


#11 DaChew

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 12:31 PM

Before attempting a clean install, I would have all the updated drivers ready for my computer

After applying them I would then apply the latest service pack, but making sure(this is critical) that I had cleaned up any thing like a trial subscription to norton's than comes with a new computer

After windows is updated, if you are protected by a router, then going on the web is relatively safe and you could install an antivirus and firewall and additional layered protection

All this is easily defeated when you download the drivers, service packs etc on an infected computer or save to an infected drive
Chewy

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#12 xpanianiax

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 12:46 PM

Ok, so I think I have to apologize to the husband for accusing him of lying. Oops...

After 3 hours on the phone and internet with Sony they told me that there is a 5GB hidden Partition in my computer hard drive which can be used to perform a System Recovery. [Lesson Learned: Don't ever try to call Sony without your Model/Serial number despite all the registration paperwork containing that number that you have to fill out.] Is this standard procedure with any other manufacturer? It seems a bit fishy to me. I mean what if some evil computer mastermind figured out how to unhide and infect the supposedly hidden hard drive? I'm sure that they know that they exist, it's just a matter of getting to them.

You can download malware programs via flash drive, but to keep them updated, they will need access to the web. Or, you will have to visit each site and download the definitions as needed.

Does this mean that once I disconnect my computer from the internet and try to install the malware programs on it sans internet connection it won't work? I would like to have those in-place before connecting to the internet.

Thanks!

Ania

#13 xpanianiax

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 12:55 PM

Before attempting a clean install, I would have all the updated drivers ready for my computer

After applying them I would then apply the latest service pack, but making sure(this is critical) that I had cleaned up any thing like a trial subscription to norton's than comes with a new computer

After windows is updated, if you are protected by a router, then going on the web is relatively safe and you could install an antivirus and firewall and additional layered protection

All this is easily defeated when you download the drivers, service packs etc on an infected computer or save to an infected drive


I have no idea what drivers are and where I would obtain them. I know, probably computer user sacrilege, but I haven't had to pay much attention before. I am now totally learning my lesson :thumbsup:

Also, I'm assuming that the service packs would just be for Windows XP, right? If I apply those wouldn't they just get wiped when I attempt the re-install?

I'm not sure I know what you mean by the critical part? Does that include any trial subscriptions, or just anti-malware type software trial subscriptions?

I'm totally lost at this point. It seems as though this would all be stuff that I would have to do after the re-install.

We were once protected by a Linksys Router, but for some reason it appears to have malfunctioned. I could try hooking it up pre-reinstallation to see if I can get it to work, but am not sure how to test it.

Good grief....I think I'm totally in over my head. :flowers:

#14 DaChew

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 01:11 PM

these steps are relatively simple and foolproof

Do you have a clean computer to work with?

If not don't bother downloading anything and saving installers or drivers with an infected computer

Edited by DaChew, 22 September 2008 - 01:12 PM.

Chewy

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.

#15 xpanianiax

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 01:57 PM

I suppose I could do it at work. I'm assuming that that computer would be the cleanest and safest. I'm also assuming that I could download all of these things onto a flashdrive. If so, what size flashdrive should I be getting? I have no idea how much space installers, drivers and the like would take up.

Thanks!

Ania




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