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Many things changing automatically on my system


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#1 ozhawk

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 04:06 AM

I am concerned that there is something going on with my computer. Things are starting to either work differently or not work at all. My control panel view has changed to classic view, there are times that my favorites button doesn't work and other problems. I am unsure if there is malware or a virus in my computer, but would really appreciate any help that you can give to help me find out.

I have Vista 64 bit and have run Malwarebytes, Avast Antivirus and IO bit 360. I also run Advanced System Care to clean things up also. Sometimes rebooting seems to help, but am worried that this is just like burying my head in the sand and things will continue to get worse.

Any and all help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated

Many Thanks
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#2 buddy215

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 05:59 AM

Were you using IO bit 360 and Advanced System Care before the problems/ changes started?
I would suggest strongly to stop using those two programs and uninstall them.

Did MalwareBytes or Avast find any malware? If so, check their logs and let us know what it was.

Are you the only user on the computer?
How many accounts and what type are being used?
Do you have a browser other than the IE browser installed?

The answers to those questions will help in identifying the problem.
“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss
A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”

#3 ozhawk

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 06:30 PM

I've been using Advanced System Care for about a year now and IO Bit since it came out and things were fine until about two weeks ago approx. (as far as I know).

Neither Malwarebytes and Avast Antivirus has found anything.

I am the only user on this computer, and there is only one account (administrative).

I have another browser besides IE and I believe that one is FireFox. (I don't use it so let me know if I need to remove it.

Thanks
os

#4 buddy215

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 07:03 PM

Advanced System Care has a registry cleaner and performs other file removals/ changes that causes the problems you describe and more.
Because registry cleaning is considered unnecessary and the many systems made inoperable by them, Bleeping Computer's policy is NOT to recommend using any of them.

IO Bits, in my opinion, has never been a top of the line malware tool. Since they were discovered using MBAM's signature base and as far as I know no longer use it, they
have a serious problem performing what one should expect from an average antimalware tool. See the November, 2009 article in the link below.
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2355888,00.asp

EDIT: Firefox is an excellent browser. Many consider it superior to IE.
It could be worth your while to use it for a week or so and see if the same problems exist. Using Firefox with the NoScript addon will protect you from getting malware by just
visiting a website and much more.

Edited by buddy215, 05 May 2010 - 07:10 PM.

“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss
A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”

#5 ozhawk

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 04:26 AM

Many Thanks. I am removing both Advanced System Care and IO Bit. I will give FireFox a chance and use it for a while to see if I can learn to fit it, ha, ha, ha. I've been using IE for so long everything else feels foreign to me, but I like change when it is positive.

Many Thanks
ozhawk

#6 keyboardNinja

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 10:27 PM

To reiterate what buddy215 said...

Programs like Advanced SystemCare are not recommended for the following reason:

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:

• Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.

• Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.

• Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.

• Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.

• The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.


As I've said many times, registry cleaners, tune-up programs, and so-called "optimizers" are the current snake-oil of the internet. There are countless free programs like this and apparently some paid ones, as well.

Do not be deceived. They promise performance you can only dream about....but only deliver a computer that is worse off than it was to begin with.

Also, IOBit is frowned on these days: Malwarebytes' accuses IOBits of stealing their programs malware definitions
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#7 ozhawk

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 06:55 PM

I removed both IO bit and Advanced System Care as soon as buddy215 told me he thought I should do so. I do have a question though. I know that you can clean up some temp files using Internet Options under Tools, but does this remove everything? The reason why I ask is just because I know that my system ran better when I used the sweeper in IO bit. Is there a safe way to get this done? Are there any safe programs that I can send to my mother's computer that would handle some of the cleanup processes, outside of registry cleaners, on her computer since she knows even less than I do and she lives over 1,000 miles away?

Many Thanks
os

#8 keyboardNinja

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 07:40 PM

What do you mean by "remove everything"? Deleting IE history, cookies, etc...does only that. There are other temp files on your computer not related to IE.

Ccleaner is commonly used for cleaning up temp files and such...but you have to resist the urge to use the registry cleaner. ATF Cleaner is usually recommended for less computer-savvy people to use, as it is much simpler to use (and you can't break anything by disabling startups, deleting registry keys, etc..).

I recommend cleaning temp files no more than twice a week. Any more often than that will only hurt performance. I typically clean mine about once every week or two.

So yeah, sending ATF Cleaner to her is probably what I would do. :huh:

Edited by keyboardNinja, 10 May 2010 - 07:41 PM.

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#9 jimnor46

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 02:34 PM

What do you mean by "remove everything"? Deleting IE history, cookies, etc...does only that. There are other temp files on your computer not related to IE.

Ccleaner is commonly used for cleaning up temp files and such...but you have to resist the urge to use the registry cleaner. ATF Cleaner is usually recommended for less computer-savvy people to use, as it is much simpler to use (and you can't break anything by disabling startups, deleting registry keys, etc..).

I recommend cleaning temp files no more than twice a week. Any more often than that will only hurt performance. I typically clean mine about once every week or two.

So yeah, sending ATF Cleaner to her is probably what I would do. :huh:




Hey KBN, I was interested in the ATF cleaner, went to the download page, it doesn't say if it's compatible with Vista x64. This is what I and the OP have. Has there been a change?

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#10 keyboardNinja

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 09:36 PM

Hmm...I don't really know...

Just a sec while I check it on my Mom's 64-bit Windows 7...

Yep, worked just fine. Should do the same on 64-bit Vista. :huh:
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#11 jimnor46

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 08:48 AM

I appreciate the response KBN. I'm always a little concerned when I don't see the particular version of Windows that I'm using included in the list of OS's that the app is applicable to. I ain't that swift on the comp. and I sure as heck don't want to take any unneeded risks. I'll give it a try.

Thanks again for the response.

jimnor46

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#12 jimnor46

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:29 PM

Hmm...I don't really know...

Just a sec while I check it on my Mom's 64-bit Windows 7...

Yep, worked just fine. Should do the same on 64-bit Vista. :huh:



Okay KBN, I'm gonna download ATF and if it screws my computer up, I'm gonna put it in a box and send it to you and let you fix it, how's that? :huh:

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#13 keyboardNinja

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 08:42 PM

Sure. :huh:

I need a few more to fix... :huh: (currently fighting with my sister's laptop).
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