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Looking for Security Products for Windows 98SE


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#1 MrRoss

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 10:33 PM

I've got a machine with Windows 98SE on it that is badly infected. I need to find a browser or any antivirus program to load that will work on it. It's a time consuming chore to use Internet Explorer in it's present state because it seems to navigate wherever it wants to rather than where I want it to. Starting out with a blank page upon opening I can type in google or another search engine and then use their search line to navigate from. After reaching a page successfully I receive a message that there was an error and Internet Explorer has to close so I have been right-clicking on home or another button and opening new windows as soon as I reach a page. Sometimes it will be kind and only close one window.

Firefox and Malwarebytes won't install because the version is too new for Windows 98SE. I thought ClamWin would be compatible and it downloaded fine but in order to run a scan I had to update and after the update it would stall and eventually freeze each time I attempted to run it. Can anyone point me in the direction of a compatible version of some antivirus or antimalware that I could install or to another browser that is compatible to make my searching a bit easier?

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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 10:57 PM

Any data on this machine that is important?

#3 Eyesee

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 12:57 PM

Avast Antivirus used to work with 98 but I just checked and it looks like 2000 and greater now.

SuperAntispyware still works with 98.
I would install it and let it do the updates.
Then boot safe mode and run the complete scan.
In the beginning there was the command line.

#4 MrRoss

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 05:49 PM

Any data on this machine that is important?

No, not necessarily. I do have some floppies if needed but so far I haven't come across anything of value or worth saving.

Avast Antivirus used to work with 98 but I just checked and it looks like 2000 and greater now.
SuperAntispyware still works with 98.
I would install it and let it do the updates.
Then boot safe mode and run the complete scan.

Their website does say there is an earlier version that is compatible but I could not locate it anywhere for download on the site.

I appreciate the replies. I have managed to download and run HijackThis. It found MyWebSearch and a Starware381 toolbar type thing. I allowed it to remove them. There's no improvement in Internet Explorer yet though. I'm open to more suggestions.

#5 Eyesee

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 05:56 PM

Have you ran SuperAntiSpyware yet?
Make sure you update it in normal mode then reboot into safe mode to scan
In the beginning there was the command line.

#6 MrRoss

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 09:19 PM

Have you ran SuperAntiSpyware yet?
Make sure you update it in normal mode then reboot into safe mode to scan

I haven't because the version posted on the website isn't compatible and I couldn't locate the version they specify in their FAQs as being compatible on their site. I'm open to more suggestions.

#7 Broni

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 09:59 PM

Avast 4.8 still works with Win 98: http://www.filehippo.com/download_avast_antivirus/tech/6635/ (All Windows)
Superantispyware should run as well: http://www.filehippo.com/download_superantispyware/tech/ (All Windows)
Jetico 1.1 firewall works with Win 98: http://download.cnet.com/Jetico-Personal-F...4-10418587.html

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#8 roadclosed

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 06:27 AM

This version http://www.filehippo.com/download_superantispyware/2579/

of Superasntispyware should work for you but a word of caution

ONLY update the Definitions and NOT the program as the most up to date program is NOT compatible with Win 98SE

Also Avast 4 Home is about all that is now compatible with Win 98SE


Plus Eset on -line scanner should work for you ; may take a while to scan though ....

http://www.eset.com/online-scanner


You can also try Dr Web Cure- it as a second- line 'opinion 'of defence to check for viruses ;

http://www.freedrweb.com/cureit/?lng=en

let us know your progress?

#9 MrRoss

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 11:02 AM

Thank you all for your replies! Sorry for not posting back sooner. I have not tried the superantispyware, drweb or firewall yet. I've been working on this old machine off and on because of the level of frustration with it. I did manage to get the older version of Avast loaded. I think I may have to uninstall it and just install and run it when needed though because it runs at startup and really slows things down. Without Avast it uses over 80% of it's resources and with Avast it is using around 96% of it's resources. I've removed Limewire, Real Player, PSP Video Express, hundreds of music files, 9 different toolbars, Simply Bit Ware, Japaneses Language Support, about a thousand instances of various AOL versions, something called "Actual Spy" which seemed to be a wanted key logger program or something sitting in the program files folder, something called WNW Dictionary 2.0?, Adobe and Java programs, AIM, Focus Interactive My Web Search Email Plugin, mywebface.com, cookies for zedo, shoppingpagesfind, hitbox, tribalfusion, playboy, hustler and other porn sites, ebay, Fun Web Products, Starware Pop Music toolbar, searchpagesshoppingfind, Astro Gemini Software Screensaver Manager, various screensavers (one of them, I think a Fun Web Products one, was infected and was sitting in a hidden system folder, hmm) and a boat load of other things. You name it and it was on there. I honestly don't know how this thing was even running as loaded down as it was. It also had remnants of various security programs like Lavasoft Ad-aware 6.0, Zone Labs, Avast, IE Antivirus, Spybot Search & Destroy and Alwil. Possibly these all had versions at one time that are compatible and will run on Windows 98SE. Or possibly someone else has tried to clean the machine unsuccessfully. The oldest one seemed to be the Lavasoft one so it may have actually been working at one point.

I may hit the online scanner today and see what it picks up and continue sorting through what's left on it for what else can be uninstalled or removed before asking opinions about a registry cleaner program. I am sure the registry is a mess. Interestingly Internet Explorer now redirects to Bing Search Results if I type www.avast.com in the search bar instead of going directly to the site, but it will not load www.google.com. It just gives the "Server Not Found" error. I think there are still some bugs hiding yet to be found. I would still like to find a second browser. I saw some really small ones that were just a few MB at one of the links posted above but I was tired and frustrated at that point and did not see any compatible ones. They may have had one and I just missed it. Thank you for the tip about updating the definitions and not the programs.

Does anyone know anything about the WNW Dictionary 2.0 program? I have never heard of it before but as soon as it was uninstalled I started getting dll errors. I think one of them was a missing msvcrt.dll. They may have shared something and I removed it. The messages have since quieted down after a few restarts so hopefully I've not done any damage there. The machine has 96MB of RAM and a 4GB hard drive of which 2GB is now free. Thank you all very much!! And thank you all for the tip about updating the definitions but not the program! That is what I did wrong before.

#10 Eyesee

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 01:16 PM

WNW appears to be Websters New World Dictionary by a company called Accent Software.
Not finding a website for them on Google so they may be out of business.

With all the bugs you might consider reformatting and reloading the system.
That way you are guaranteed a clean machine

Just make sure that you have a Windows 98 cd, the product key and all the drivers that you need before you proceed.
Post the system make & model

You might want to get CWShredder. Its an older program designed to remove variants of Cool Web Search.
In the beginning there was the command line.

#11 roadclosed

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 04:20 PM

I guess you could do with a bit more Ram ...

you may wish to try a scan with Superantispyware from updated definitions , but I suspect a full computer scan may take you about three hours or more

could be interesting to see what it finds


Stinger is also a tool you can run on it ; does not need updating


http://vil.nai.com/vil/stinger/


What you MAY wish to do it remove any and all programs you do not need on there ...strip it back to the bare essentials, then rebuilt with the necessities....

#12 Broni

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 07:09 PM

With all the bugs you might consider reformatting and reloading the system.

I agree...

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#13 Keithuk

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 07:41 AM

I did manage to get the older version of Avast loaded. I think I may have to uninstall it and just install and run it when needed though because it runs at startup and really slows things down.

Avast! Home Edition 4.8.1368 is the last version that will run on Win9x/ME. After you install and it does a restart it scans you drive only once not everytime you startup. I've used its for years on Win98/ME. It doesn't use that many resources.

Memory is your biggest problem 96MB, get more memory inserted. :thumbsup:

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#14 MrRoss

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 12:37 PM

What you MAY wish to do it remove any and all programs you do not need on there ...strip it back to the bare essentials, then rebuilt with the necessities....


Yes, I am trying to remove everything I can and it seems to be making it much easier to work with. The scans should take much less time afterwards. I hope.

Thank you all for the help! I'm still plugging along removing, deleting and uninstalling here. The machine has got 2.50GB free out of 4GB now and is operating much smoother. It only takes about a minute and a half to start up now and seems to shut down almost immediately. CW Shredder did not find anything and says it is clean. Interestingly, though, I ran HijackThis again late last night and it came back with a message that there is an incredible amount of hijacked hosts and that it would be better to delete the host file located at C:\WINDOWS\hosts rather than delete each one. It showed 101 of the "01" items on the page. I selected each one and told it to fix them all and then it showed me only a blank white page so I clicked to scan it again and it came back with the same message and 101 new "01" items. Hmm. I repeated the process again and it found another 101. Many seemed to be regular sites rather than malicious ones and they all had yesterday's date on them. After the third scan I deleted the hosts file. I never knew you could do that. Maybe someone will know the answer to my next question...Does this file regenerate whenever it's needed or do I have to replace it now?

It could still have some malware hiding somewhere. I do wonder if this happened because I found an old out of date browser (original Mozilla) to use that wasn't secure or if it was because I downloaded from an unsafe site. I got the CW Shredder, Mozilla, Ccleaner and another old browser from Majorgeeks.com yesterday. Should I not be downloading from there? It was surfing along like a champ (with Mozilla, not IE) for a few hours before I opened IE and the redirects appeared again.

With all the bugs you might consider reformatting and reloading the system.

I have no disk unfortunately. That would be the easy way and I would surely do it if I could. It would be much faster.

I do have a larger (40GB) hard drive from a different machine handy though. Would it be possible to install it and copy the system over to it?

Avast! Home Edition 4.8.1368 is the last version that will run on Win9x/ME. After you install and it does a restart it scans you drive only once not everytime you startup. I've used its for years on Win98/ME. It doesn't use that many resources.

Memory is your biggest problem 96MB, get more memory inserted.

Thank you. I thought it was going to run at startup every time. I will reinstall it and take a closer look at the settings after I clean out the system a bit more. Can memory from another system be inserted? I ask because I have another machine that is also a dell I could swap parts from if things are compatible. The machine I'm working on is:

Dell Dimension XPS D266
Microsft Windows 98
Second Edition
4.10.2222 A
GenuineIntel
Pentium II Processor
(I think it's 266 MHz)
96.0MB RAM
4GB Hard Drive

The other system is:

Dell Dimension 2300
Intel Pentium 4
128MB RAM
40GB Hard Drive

I like this Windows 98SE. I think I would enjoy having it with more RAM on a larger hard drive if it were possible. Thanks again, all, I'm off to unclutter some more of what I can.

#15 roadclosed

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 01:47 PM

If you can get one, a screan-shot ( or two) of your Add/Remove Programs might help us to see what you have on there; also wondered when the computer last went to get its ( now defunct) Microsoft Windows Updates...)

I understand the Hosts file can get infected but I guess you removed it ?

My view would be to leave Hosts off there until you know you are a bit cleaner as the less programs you have to worry about the more progress you should be able to make ..

You say you are running HJT ; do you know how to interpret its report as one would not wish you to remove an essential computer file and then find the comp will not boot..

...a minute and a half to start up...mmm

Have you yet tried a scan with Superantispspyware as it should find a lot of rubbish for you ?




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