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YouTube eMail Scam and I clicked on Link


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#1 Anonix

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 06:13 AM

Windows XP, Security Pack III, all software up to date (I scan regularly with secunia)

I got an email telling me that "my" youtube video was approved. My guard was down and I clicked on the link, which took me to a page selling Viagra and the like. I exited the page and realized I had been 'had'. After visiting that page, I ran a "quick" scan with Microsoft Security Essentials which did not detect any threats. The next day I ran a full scan and still found no threats.

However, something new is happening, which is that when I play youtube videos, they will play fine for a time, then the monitor on my laptop goes black. This has never happened with youtube before. I thought it was a fluke the first time it happened. I had to shut the computer off using the power button since there was no other way to do it. When the computer restarted, I got a bunch of strange characters showing on the screen (row of dollar signs?) and some distorted text, but eventually Windows restarted. I then got a message saying that Windows had recovered from a 'serious' error.

I went back to play youtube videos again to see if the problem would repeat. It did; the youtube videos played fine for a time (like maybe five minutes) before the monitor went black. I could hear the video this time, but could not see it. Upon reboot, I got the same 'serious error' message from Windows. I tried to copy it so I could paste it here in this forum, but the copy/paste would not work. It showed the location of two files related to the error. Might have been in 'local aplications' and related to 'memory dump' -- not positive.

Tonight, the videos played longer (for about 15 minutes) before the monitor went black. This time on reboot there was no message from Windows about an error (and I was ready with pad and pencil to write it down!). Windows just started right up.

I don't recall adding any new hardware or having done anything that might have caused youtube to no longer work. And the problem started pretty much right after I clicked on that scam email. I am thinking I may have picked up malware.

Besides checking with MSE, I also scanned with Secunia again and it found no outdated software that would have created vulnerabilities.

Please advise. Youtube is a serious source of entertainment and now I am afraid to use it for fear of damaging the computer. I have no idea how 'serious' serious is, in this instance. I would like to get it fixed.

Thank you. Am awaiting instructions.

Edited by hamluis, 24 April 2012 - 06:06 AM.
Moved from Malware Removal Logs to Am i Infected - Hamluis.


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#2 Anonix

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:35 AM

Hi All -- I have posted my problem in the virus/spyware thread to try to get some help, but I understand it could take days to get a response.

Mod Edit: Merged topics, moved from Malware Removal Logs (no logs) to Am I Infected ~ Hamluis.

I am stuck using my computer only in safe mode. I cannot get it to fire up in 'normal' mode. I use Windows XP, Security Pack III (or whatever the latest is that Microsoft installs automatically through automatic updates) and I run scans to keep all software up to date.

I tried using System Restore to change the settings files to about a week ago, but my computer still won't start up in normal mode.

The problem started after computer crashes watching youtube videos. I got several serious error messages (seem to be related to memory dumps), from which I was always able to recover. Not this time. This time it just keeps cycling through the startup process and takes me back to that page of all text that offers to start up in safe or normal mode. The text doesn't even look normal (sometimes it looks kind of Swedish) but I can usually figure out which area to click to start normal or in safe mode. If I click on start normal, that just loops and loops, until it takes me back to the page asking if I want to start in normal or safe mode. The only way Windows will actually start is if I choose safe mode.

My biggest concern is the Microsoft Security Essentials is turned off while I am in Safe Mode. I can't update its virus definitions or turn on real time protection because in safe mode, the system (I guess) won't give MSE access to the internet. Windows firewall IS on, so that's something.

Does anyone know how I can bypass this internet access restriction so I can turn on MSE while I try to resolve this problem? I am looking for a workaround until I can figure out why my computer refuses to boot normally, or until I can get help over in the malware/virus thread.

Here's what happens (as best I can describe it):
-Get the computer maker logo to come up
-A flash of white lettering on blue stating that my computer was not able to start (it flashes off quickly, so I cannot duplicate the message
-A black page filled with dollar signs
-Looks like Windows is starting up, but it doesn't
-Instead it flashes another dark screen with maybe more # signs on it
-Eventually it gives me a black screen with white font and I can make out that there are some options there for starting windows normally or at last known good config, or in safe mode.

The ONLY way windows will log on is if I start in safe mode. I did do a search once I got the internet back up and found that Microsoft had a 'solution' for the memory dump problem, but the fix was done in 2002, so I wasn't sure if I should use it. The also show some kind of manual work around.

Any ideas? After I clicked on that youtube email link and realized I had been 'had' I did a full scan and MSE found nothing. I also scanned several more times and each time it found no threats.

Thanks for any suggestions (sorry this is long...I have been at this for hours trying to figure it out). Main concern right now is keeping safe. Will I be 'ok' for a short time with only Windows Firewall?

UPDATE: I uncheck 'hardware acceleration' in Adobe Flash Player which seemed to help some but I the computer is still crashing. I am currently logged on in 'safe mode with networking'. I was able to start Windows normally ONCE in the last 24 hours. All the other times I am forced to use safe mode or 'safe mode with networking'. I seems like this must be malware. Can someone please assist. I am pretty much stuck. It's my understanding that Windows turns off the firewall and Microsoft Security Essentials in both 'safe' and 'safe with networking' modes. So 'safe with networking' isn't in fact very safe. Can someone confirm if this is true?

Here is one of the error messages that I was able to copy after figuring out how to stop the automatic startup of Windows at reboot:

A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer. The problems seems to be caused by the folowing file: nv4_disp. If this is the first time you've seen this STOP error screen, restart your comptuer. If the screen appears again, follow these steps:

The device driver got stuck in an infinite loop. This ususally indicates a problem with the device driver itself or with the device driver program the hardware incorrectly.

Please check with your hardware device vendor for any driver updates (btw, I believe I updated the device driver for NVIDIA about a month ago, so should be current).

All of the above was followed with some technical data (which I also wrote down but will not type here unless needed).

Edited by Anonix, 24 April 2012 - 09:47 PM.


#3 Anonix

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:05 PM

The computer will not boot at all now. I am posting this from a very old PC that I was able to get connected to the 'net through dial-up (each page takes about a minute to load!).

Here are some of the things I tried in the way of fixes before it stopped rebooting:

-Disabled hardware acceleration in Adobe
-Diabled hardware acceleration of the graphics card
-Disk cleanup and defragged
-Ran Check Disk on Drive C (right click the drive letter, properties, tools, check now, and checked both boxes to tell it to fix any problems)
-Ran various Microsoft Security Essentials scans (both full and quick) and not threats were detected

At one point I disabled (temporarily) the automatic restart that Windows does so that I would have enough time to read the error report (comes up on blue screen). I consistently saw "page fault_in a non-paged area" or something similar.

Also, FYI, it was AFTER I ran the "check disk" on drive C that I was no longer able to reboot in any mode. I started the check disk late last night, and since it was working slowly, just let it run. I was not aware that after check disk completed, it would automatically start the process all over again unless I hit a key to cancel it. So it probably cycled through four cycles by the time I looked at it again in the morning. AFTER I hit a key to cancel the check disk process, then I (eventually) saw the screen of English/gibberish to choose "safe", "normal" or "safe with networking" mode of startup. It's kind of hard to read, but I can at least make out those options (there may be other options too, but, if so, I can't make them out since the text is not appearing in plain English). Now, no matter which mode I choose, they all stop at the same place in a wall of text that comes up (and Windows does not reboot). I see a full page of text, and the last line of the text reads:

$multi,O-dmso(4)vdmso(4)tavtmtmon(6)\WMNDows\s}stem36\Drmverw\MUT.wyw$$$$
At the very bottom of the screen, there is one row of all $$$$$$$$ (or similar shape)

It appears to get 'stuck' at that point because nothing else happens, no matter how long I wait. I have to hold down the power button to turn off the computer.

Is there any way to get Windows restarted? Where do I go from here? I do have recovery CDs for the OS, but will have to buy an external CD-Drive to do that, since the internal CD drive was not working the last time I checked (a few weeks ago). Fortunately, anticipating a possibly failure, I moved all my important files off to a flash drive late yesterday.

If you have a solution for how I can bypass or override the 'won't boot' problem, please be as specific as possible in steps I need to take.

Thank you -- all suggestions appreciated.

Edited by Anonix, 25 April 2012 - 03:23 PM.


#4 cryptodan

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:46 PM

Can you run a hard drive diagnostic from the respective manufacture's website?

#5 Anonix

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:28 PM

Can you run a hard drive diagnostic from the respective manufacture's website?


How would I run a diagnostic on that hard drive when I cannot get the computer to reboot? I can't get on the Internet on that computer. I can't get Windows to come up.

As I said, after I choose 'safe mode' a wall of text appears, scrolls so far and then just stops. It should keep going and eventually open Windows in safe mode. But it doesn't. It stops, and I have to shut the computer off at that point to get the text off the screen. If I power it on again, it repeats the loop -- doesnt' matter which 'mode' of reboot I choose -- whether it's 'safe' 'safe with networking' or 'normal'. No mode will start Windows.

My preference would be to try to get Windows booted up. Do you know of anything else I can try?

If not, I may have to buy an external cd drive and use the recovery CDs to reformat the hard drive. My internal CD drive was not working the last time I tried to use it, so that is why I will need to buy an external one.

Let me know:

1) Will it be possible to reformat the hard drive from a CD drive?
2) Can you think of anything else I can try to get the reboot to work?

I did see in the 'check disk' report that there were "0" bad sectors on the hard drive, so that apparently was not the problem. It said the hard drive was 'clean' (C-drive was).

Thanks.

#6 cryptodan

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:35 PM

What is make and model of your hard drive? To run the hard drive diagnostic's you do not have to be in windows to begin with.

#7 Anonix

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 12:43 AM

Thank you. Sony must have figured out they could save money by not giving their customers actual owner's manuals, because I did not get one with the purchase of that computer. It's a Sony Vaio VGN-FE790P that was purchased in 2006. It has Windows XP, Security Pack 3 installed.

I went to the Sony website to see if I could find that info on that model. No luck yet, but I will post back when I find it.

#8 cryptodan

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 07:28 AM

You can always take the hard drive out, and determine that.

#9 Union_Thug

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:46 AM

>>>...It's a Sony Vaio VGN-FE790P that was purchased in 2006. It has Windows XP, Security Pack 3 installed.

I went to the Sony website to see if I could find that info on that model. No luck yet, but I will post back when I find it
.<<<

Pardon my interruption:
First result on Google search for Sony Vaio VGN-FE790P Posted Image
http://esupport.sony.com/US/perl/model-home.pl?mdl=VGNFE790P&template_id=1®ion_id=1&tab=manuals#/manualsTab

Click the Manuals, Specs & Warranty tab

We now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast...

Edited by Union_Thug, 27 April 2012 - 01:28 AM.


#10 Anonix

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 12:13 AM

Ha ha, nice photo! Yikes! :).

Sorry for the slow response to this thread but I spent ALL DAY (seems like) getting this OLD laptop to connect to the internet through my DSL modem so I would at least be protected by a firewall while I troubleshoot the problem on the other computer. (I would not call the speed at which I am connected anything close to 'dsl' but it's better than what I had yesterday, which was dial-up.)

Yes, I found that user's manual on Sony's website last night, but I cannot open a PDF. The browsers that are compatible with the OS (Windows ME) on this laptop are so outdated that they will not let me download Acrobat or Adobe Reader (or much of anything else). And the old version of Acrobat that is on here will not open it.

I saw on Sony's FAQ section that one of the things one can try when the computer won't reboot is to remove the ram module. Sounds like a plan to me. Can you tell me where that is? What it looks like? I would like to try that. I know to be careful about static electricity, etc.

I know how to take the computer apart because I did that once before when I had to clean the fan. But unless a part is marked 'ram' or 'hard drive', without a diagram, I doubt I could tell the difference. Any tips that would help me ID those parts?

Thanks for any followup!

>>>...It's a Sony Vaio VGN-FE790P that was purchased in 2006. It has Windows XP, Security Pack 3 installed.

I went to the Sony website to see if I could find that info on that model. No luck yet, but I will post back when I find it
.<<<

Pardon my interruption: First result on Google search for Sony Vaio VGN-FE790P Posted Image
http://esupport.sony.com/US/perl/model-home.pl?mdl=VGNFE790P&template_id=1®ion_id=1&tab=manuals#/manualsTab

Click the Manuals, Specs & Warranty tab

We now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast...


Edited by Anonix, 27 April 2012 - 12:24 AM.


#11 Anonix

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 01:13 AM

UPDATE: I found a diagram on the 'net and removed the RAM (there was a label that said 512 MB RAM). On the underside of the laptop, there is a small 'door' that unscrewed. There were two cards there, and I removed them both, then reinserted them a few minutes later, maybe two or three minutes. How long am I supposed to leave them out?

I just fired up the computer again, and nothing has been resolved. I still cannot boot, even in safe mode.

Is there something else to try removing?

Is there any way to access BIOS and reset to defaults even though I can't get Windows to start?

Thank you.

#12 Anonix

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:57 AM

UPDATE: The hard drive is a Fujitsu, Model MHV2160BT (then there a bunch of spaces and "PL", don't know if that is part of the model number), and the Part # is: CAO6596-B52000SN.

I am now trying to reset the CMOS. When I googled some options for what to try when your computer won't boot, I found this:

http://www.computer-how-to-guide.com/motherboard-troubleshooting/clear-the-cmos-bios-rese/

Which describes a CMOS battery. But I do not see anything the size of a nickel that is metallic. Does anyone know where I would find that on this make/model of computer? I have the bottom lid off, the ram and hard drive removed (and cleaned the fan while I was at it).

There is a odd-shaped piece of a metal plate covering a section in the middle, that is held on by a few screws. Would that be covering a CMOS battery? I cannot open the pdf of the owner's manual or otherwise would check there to see if it shows the location of the battery.

If anyone knows how to reset the CMOS on this make/model, let me know. Tx.

#13 cryptodan

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 12:53 PM

Please download and run the following: Hard Drive Diagnostics to test your hard drive. Do the comprehensive test.

#14 Anonix

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:39 PM

Please download and run the following: Hard Drive Diagnostics to test your hard drive. Do the comprehensive test.


Went in a second time to remove a metal plate piece, thinking a CMOS battery might be hidden underneath. Nothing there, so put it back together, after which the computer was completely dead. It was getting power (power button and three lights to the left were on) but no sign of life on the monitor -- just a black screen. Went back in a third time, removed and reseated the hard drive, and removed and reseated the RAM again (there are two modules that look identical; I removed each and switched positions of them). The computer came back to life, and I can now get back to the 'safe mode' log on page again.

I also went into BIOS and told it to reset to default. Saved changes, then exited. Then rebooted. Still have same problem. I was thinking that if I reset the BIOS, that that would stop that stupid 'check disk' process from starting up every single time I try to reboot, but it didn't.

Edited by Anonix, 27 April 2012 - 06:42 PM.


#15 Anonix

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:09 PM

Please download and run the following: Hard Drive Diagnostics to test your hard drive. Do the comprehensive test.


Looking at the 'read me' doc that came with what downloaded off that link. I am not sure I know how to do this.

Would this work?

Download diagnostic files (from link above) on this (working) computer to a CD
Get in to DOS on the non working) computer (I have no idea how to do this but assume it's possible)
Then run the diagnostics program off the CD on the non working computer?

Please advise/ thanks.




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