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For the record on adwcleaner...


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#1 dseufert

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 02:23 AM

I do appreciate the founders of and posters on this site. I find it hard to believe that when I question whether a software program should be used because it can and does cause users who don't know what they are doing, like people who would ask questions in an "am I infected? what do I do?" kind of thread -- it can be destructive. What followed my questions was some very civil responses to my very legitimate question and then some comments about "trolls" and "small minds."

 

As I pointed out, the complaints I have, and that others have on other sites (I posted one when asked to), is that there is no warning on the adwcleaner download page stating that downloaders should use this if they know what they are doing and not unless that is the case. Combofix goes to great pains to warn of this, and when software diagnosticians like myself (ready the attack comments) counsel people who are not well-versed in using Combofix to NOT use it unless they are doing so with the guidance on an expert or a superuser, we do so to avoid things like loss of web capabilities. If you've ever used to use LSPfix (some still use it), you may remember that you actually have to check a box before using it that says you know what you are doing and are taking the risk anyway.

Others on other sites also advise people to use adwcleaner, it is a widely used tool as part of a larger cleanup of malware. But there are no warning signs to tell a user that it may also cut your internet connection. That fact is the only reason I question its value, and it's a good enough reason for malware counselors on other sites to counsel great care or to avoid using it. Yes, this is a question that should be brought to its designer. But there are warnings about its use on other sites. Yes it's used frequently, yes, probably 90 percent of those who use it do not lose networking capabilities. But is the other 10 percent to be ignored? Can you just offer that tool here without an explicit warning at download time, that it could destroy your network connection as it removes remnants of malware? Should there not be something to spare the other 10 percent of this problem? You could at least tell the user to ask for help before hitting the "clean" button.

What would be bad or wrong about adding a few lines to your download page, or for xploded to add it to the code, to avoid destructiveness for the few (if 10 percent is a few) who get screwed by using this program? None of the other you have here will cause such problems. This application can and does.But don't let that bother you.


Edited by dseufert, 03 December 2015 - 02:27 AM.


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#2 Budapest

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 03:47 AM

There is no doubt that a very small percentage of people have experienced problems when using adwcleaner. At Bleeping Computer we have had more than 30 million downloads and only about 10 posts of people having problems (based on my quick internet search).  However, you claim that 10% of people using it experience problems and that every other site warns you not to use it. This is patiently false and making claims such as this is why other members have labelled you a troll.


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#3 Grinler

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 09:55 AM

The reality is that any program you use to remove malware has the risks of affecting your computer negatively. Malware tends to embed itself so heavily into the Windows internals that sometimes removing it leaves broken chains in the configuration that cause Windows to not to operate correctly.

I have seen this happen in almost every anti-virus and anti-malware program out there. A bad definition is pushed that mistakenly quarantines the wrong files and boom, broken operating system. The reality is that the chances of this happening are very small and thus to warn against it is not necessary.

The same with adwcleaner. Yes, in some cases, especially in the past, if certain adware was removed that was utilizing a LSP and the LSP chain was not properly fixed, the network connectivity would be broken. These types of cases are resolved almost immediately once reported to the dev. The most common cause of this issue, though, is if a proxy server was set and the executable that was listening on it was deleted, then the web browsers would cease to function. This, though, could happen with ANY anti-malware tool and routinely does.

You also stated that there are numerous sites that state to NOT use adwcleaner. I know of no sites that do this and you have not provided any. You also stated that AdwCleaner does not give you the choice as to what it removes. This is totally untrue as well as there is a initial scan and then you can uncheck those items you wish to not remove. I assume you recently used this program, so I am surprised you do not know this.

Once again, with any malware removal program there are inherent risk associated with it. Removing malware is not easy, especially when it embeds itself all over the OS. ALL anti-virus/anti-malware tools should be used knowing that things can and do go wrong.

With all of this said, in regards to a warning I personally do not see anything wrong with adding a warning and one has been added to the usage instructions on the download page.

#4 quietman7

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 10:10 AM

Internet connectivity problems can occur for a variety of reasons to include corrupted networking software installation, third-party software inserting itself into the network adapter settings, misconfiguration or corruption issues with TCP/IP protocol stack and Winsock due to malformed LSP, deletion or incorrect removal of networking software and removal of a malware component which had inserted itself into the winsock.

With that said, AdwCleaner previously removed Hotspot Shield which resulted in loss of Internet Connectivity but since that detection was fixed, it could be due to the removal of a similar third-party software program or due to one of the reasons noted above.

In cases like this we typically ask the user to post the AdwCleaner[CX].txt cleaning report log stored on the %systemdrive% (usually C:\). This way we can provide that information to Xplode so he can investigate. When legitimate files are falsely detected, security tool developers are quick to take corrective action.

As for adding a warning to AdwCleaner itself...that is something you could suggest to the developer (Xplode) at his home site: AdwCleaner Feedback <- there is a drop down menu at the top right to "Select language" (English)

ADWCleaner Changelog (English) includes Xplode's direct contact/email info:
Xplode-ccm@hotmail.fr
Xplode@general-changelog-team.fr

I can assure you that Xplode welcomes feedback and reads all suggestions, comments and concerns provided by users. What changes he chooses to make in regards to any issues is up to him as he makes the final decision.

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#5 dseufert

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 02:31 PM

Thanks to you all.



#6 RolandJS

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 03:00 PM

Thanks to you all.

In my uses of adwcleaner, I've been able to unclick each and every box to the left of things, catagory by catagory, found by adwcleaner [unclicked means not done].  I'm used to not seeing an exit or close button, so I simply use Task Manager to End Program.


Edited by RolandJS, 03 December 2015 - 03:02 PM.

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#7 quietman7

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 03:26 PM

Thanks to you all.

You're welcome on behalf of the Bleeping Computer community.

BTW...if you decide to contact Xplode it would be helpful to provide the AdwCleaner[CX].txt report log for him to check.
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