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Preparations For Help Eliminating Bho


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#1 endgame

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 09:15 PM

New to this site (grateful that such a site exists!) and want to ensure I'm doing what is necessary before attempting to get help with my problem. It appears I should begin at this page: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/34773/preparation-guide-for-use-before-using-malware-removal-tools-and-requesting-help/ and am doing so right now running Adware2007 (latest freeware). The page itself is dated 2005, so I want to make sure the information there IS what I should be doing before I go any farther.

Incidentally, at the moment (about to reboot) my Control Panel Add/Remove section does not respond so I am unable to remove any programs. Also, one of the first steps on the page calls for me to run cleanmgr from the Run menu. It never responded either. Hopefully, after a reboot, I can restore these abilities and get to the real problem at hand. From what I've gleaned here and through some google-searching, it appears I'm plagued with a BHO. Whenever I start my browser I'm getting unwanted popups to television sites, entertainment, etc... Yesterday it was jack9 oriented, but I think I eliminated 'some' of that, but not all. All this since my teenage daughter decided to roam some music sites and myspace areas. Who knows what she clicked on where? ;) Anyway, any help will be greatly appreciated to get this XP system back to normal. I'll fill you in with details after the answer to my initial question/s above. Again, sure appreciate you being here and I remain optimistic all will be well with the world once again after we're done.

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#2 rookie147

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 08:16 AM

Hello there endgame and welcome to BleepingComputer.

You are correct that you should follow the advice on the listed page, before posting a HijackThis log for one of our experts to analyse. Despite the fact that it is dated 2005, it is still effective at removing a large amount of malware from the average infected computer, and in some cases this will solve your problem completely.

If there are any steps that you cannot carry out - such as your problem with cleanmgr - just skip the step and move onto the next one. The real purpose of this tutorial is to remove some of the malware from your computer, so that once you have posted your HijackThis log, the expert who is helping you will not have too much to try and get rid of, therefore meaning you get completely cleaned up much quicker.

Good luck running the steps above; I hope you get your computer cleaned up sooner rather than later. If, of course, you have any additional questions, do not hesitate to ask and we will do our best to assist you.

Edited by rookie147, 26 June 2007 - 08:16 AM.

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#3 endgame

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 08:19 AM

Well, follow up from my work PC. Ran Adware2007 Deep Scan. At the end of the program, to the best of my recollection, there were app. 68 tracking objects and 3 MRUs? The MRUs were listed on the first screen with options to Ignore, Quarantine, Remove. I thought Remove was the logical option, but after selecting it, the items disappeared from the screen and I received an error message of some sort - not unlike the Microsoft Needs to Close - after which the PC restarted or tried to. It will not complete a bootup now. It goes through its normal process, all the icons show up, the hourglass starts putting its startup programs into the system tray, then suddenly the all of the icons disappear leaving just the desktop wallpaper there. Occasionally, the hourglass will appear, but I left it in that position all night and still no completion.

Tonight, I'll plan to boot up in Safe-Mode, if possible, and eliminate any suspicious start-up step, and see if at least I can get to the point where startup is achieveable. Optimism wanes quickly in the PC world, doesn't it? Thanks in advance for any hints or advice.

Edited by endgame, 26 June 2007 - 08:21 AM.


#4 endgame

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 01:23 PM

Hello there endgame and welcome to BleepingComputer.

If, of course, you have any additional questions, do not hesitate to ask and we will do our best to assist you.


Thanks for your offer to help. I've arrived at a crossroads that seems to assail me from two directions.
After booting to Safe Mode, I located (and disabled) two options in Startup that allow me to return to the desktop and connect to help like yours.

This relegates me to Selective Startup and, for whatever reason, leaves me unable to use my Control Panel to Add/Remove what I believe to be the culprit: Norton Anti-Spam.

I can't find a way to return to Normal Startup with these options removed. Whenever I use msconfig and uncheck them after clicking the General, Normal tab, Startup, the dot returns to Selective Startup.

Apologies if I'm not articulating this as well as you'd like, but I hope you get the drift and will ask further questions if needed. I'll do my best to answer them. Ultimately, I'll need to find another bandit causing popup problems. I've run AdAware2007 and Panda. If I can get to "normal" somehow in order to go through the motions on the preparations page, I'll can at least get started on your suggestions.

Edited by endgame, 27 June 2007 - 01:23 PM.


#5 rookie147

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 03:23 PM

I'm not sure if I completely understand what problem you are having. Instead of booting into Safe Mode to carry out some steps, just run them in Normal Mode instead, see if that helps.
If I've got the wrong end of the stick here, just let me know ...

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#6 endgame

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 05:07 PM

I'm not sure if I completely understand what problem you are having. Instead of booting into Safe Mode to carry out some steps, just run them in Normal Mode instead, see if that helps.
If I've got the wrong end of the stick here, just let me know ...

I'm probably not articulating it well. I'll try again a different way.

Normal booting results look normal (desktop as expected) until one of the last hourglass ticks. At that point all of the icons and system tray disappear never to return.

In SafeMode, I disabled ccApp and SDNMon in startup, both associated with Norton. I don't use NortonAV, but did successfully uninstall Norton Anti-Spam. These two items allow me to boot to a usual-looking desktop under Selective Startup.

In this mode, clicking on Control Panel makes all the icons and systray disappear, but they return. I can connect to the internet and run programs. I can click on MyComputer and have it open. My only access to folders is through right-click on Start Menu and Explore All Users - at least that I can gather.

I want to remove these two items from startup altogether so I can boot up in Normal mode, hoping the anomalies are eliminated. I am wondering if I can simply find them in the system and delete them without consequence.

Edited by endgame, 27 June 2007 - 05:08 PM.


#7 endgame

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 06:50 PM

Okay, new launching point. I have restored the ability to boot "Normally" without using Safe Mode or using Selective Startup. However, the latest addition of problems to surface - having accomplished that - is that Control Panel and My Computer do not open. The result is simply a refresh of sorts - icons and the system tray disappear but reappear, but nothing happens. Neither can I right-click on Start and utilize the Explore All Users option. The right-click on My Computer does allow me the 'Manage' option, but I apparently have no access to my files and folders at this point.

I'm considering, from here, running AdAware2007 again, followed by Panda - again, then I'm curious as to whether a run at the system with CCleaner might be in order if I use the default selections. (?) Some reading has led me to believe this may be related to corrupt .cpl files, but I don't know whether it looks like time to reinstall WindowsXP or not. That's the update. Thanks for your interest and patience.

#8 endgame

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 11:31 PM

Another update, 11:29pm. I haven't done much else sense my last message to you, but suddenly - 11:23pm - after letting my daughter spend some time on the PC, the Control Panel opens normally, as does My Computer. I don't know if this is a come&go spyware problem, a virus, just bad karma, or whether some spirit of doom is wandering around my IDE. For now, I suspect only temporarily, it's enabled again.

I suspect, on the next reboot I'll see the problem resurface again, but for now I'll count my blessings and maybe actually get some sleep tonight. I've been chasing this ghost since last night at 8:00 with an hour or so rest. Thanks for your help. I'm sure it won't be the last time I trouble you. Your willingness to listen is much appreciated. I'm hoping now to get back to your orientation plan, then find the answer to the real reason I'm here: getting rid of the monster popup wraith that has its hands around my browser's throat.

I have had some good experience with CCleaner, recommended by a board member in another community. Are you of the opinion a solid clean with that utility might offer additional help along with your front page advice?

#9 rookie147

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 04:37 AM

If you are still having problems with Norton, you can download their removal tool from the following link. This will remove all aspects of it from your computer; you say you do not use it and have tried to disable it in the past. Remember, after uninstalling the program completely, you will need another antivirus on your computer; without one your PC will be much more susceptible to malware attacks. Here are a few good, free ones I can personall reccommend:
Antivir, Avast!, AVG, Bitdefender Free

Your problem with the Control Panel and My Computer may or may not be caused by malware, but it seems suspicious that you are receiving pop-ups as well, thus suggesting that malware may be the problem. Like you said, getting it to work now may only be a temporary thing, but hopefully once the malware has been targeted and removed your performance should be back to normal one more.

CCleaner is a good program to run at this stage, along with removing your temporary files and cookies (where malware is known to often hide), you can use the "scan for issues" option to look for errors in your registry that may be causing some aspects of your computer to not function as they should. You will be prompted to backup your registry before fixing these problems, and this is crucial; not doing so can render your computer inoperable in bad situations.

Edited by rookie147, 28 June 2007 - 04:38 AM.

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#10 endgame

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 10:50 AM

I've completed various cleaning steps with the exception of the McAfee recommendation on the preparations page. I have run SuperAntiSpyware, AdAware2007, Panda Titanium AV, CCleaner, and others until no problems are found OR they include only MRUs.

The unsolicited popups are the only persistent problem that apparently remains - linked to the browser? (BHO?) - still occuring, although it 'seems' the frequency has diminished.

Am I ready to proceed to the HiJackThis section and follow the guidelines there for posting a log for additional help with that issue?

Edited by endgame, 29 June 2007 - 10:51 AM.


#11 rookie147

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 11:31 AM

Yes, I think you should post a HijackThis log now.
Good luck! :thumbsup:

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#12 endgame

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 12:44 PM

Thank you for your prompt assistance and replies to all of my questions, rookie147.

#13 rookie147

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 01:05 PM

You're very welcome.

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