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Old May 15, 2010, 08:08 PM   #1
hogdogs
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Can i ask a general PC/software/internet Q here?

My puter has been mediocre at very best, No virus protection, spyware etc. I have gotten very lucky ( I don't browse far). Riskiest site was facebook and momma plays with those "farm" programs there. well I tried to d-load several malware or spyware sites and ALL " failed to connect to the web for install/updates. I even went to roadrunner tech support and they suggested a full feature AV program with anti spy, anti malware and it failed there too. But at least I noted it saying, in the error message... Internet explorer failed to connect....

My issue is my IE has been defunct for years, with missing components etc... I already followed trouble shooting tip on mozilla and firefox is already set as my default browser...

I really need this thing optimized as wifey needs it for college classes....
TIA!!!
Brent

Last edited by hogdogs; May 15, 2010 at 08:17 PM.
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Old May 15, 2010, 09:16 PM   #2
LaserSpot
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They might shut down the thread because it's not related to the forum. In the meanwhile, I can give you a little advise.

1. Start your computer in Safe mode with Networking
See: http://www.pchell.com/support/safemode.shtml

2. Try to update each one of your security programs from safe mode and run a scan.

3. Uninstall all your antivirus and security software (too much slows it down) and download these two programs; install them both and scan.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 1.46
http://download.cnet.com/Malwarebyte...-10804572.html

Microsoft Security Essentials
http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials

4. If that doesn't help, backup all your files and see if your computer has a option to do a factory restore.
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Old May 16, 2010, 02:23 PM   #3
SigP6Carry
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Microsoft Security or Defender should not be trusted. My advice? Get a pro to fix it for you.

It sounds like you've got viruses, just not particularly crippling ones. I've lived without anti mal-ware software for about 3 years now, with no problems. The catch is I use Google Chrome and watch what I download.

It sounds like you need to backup your information and files, make sure you have backups of your software and reformat.
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Old May 17, 2010, 12:03 PM   #4
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Hogdogs, I feel your pain... as I struggle with the elderly computer I use to run my business, such as it is. (I could prolly afford to replace the machine, at least with a newer used one... but then I'd have spend hundreds to "upgrade" all the dang software to newer versions that have "features" I don't need or want... not gonna do it, not in this economy I'm not.)

More information might let us help you better: What operating system does your machine run? Are you getting IE error messages even although you're using Firefox? (I take it you're not actually using your "defunct" IE. Firefox is a way better browser, anyway) If you're using Firefox, which version?

There's a lot you can do to clean up your machine. Just getting rid of spyware and third-party cookies may make it run a lot faster. The problem here is that this junk has a way of getting into your machine, even if you're careful about what sites you visit. Some "good" sites allow third parties to download cookies that track where you go (and slow down your machine while they do it), so while visiting dangerous sites is, well, dangerous, visiting only sites you believe are safe doesn't necessarily protect you. And if you don't have an up-to-date firewall, your computer can be accessed by other computers which can download nasty stuff, Trojan horses and the like, and you won't even know they were there until your computer stops working right.

There is some good, free anti-spyware software out there... Spybot Search and Destroy is excellent, and requires no paid subscription even for updates. But there is malware that'll sneak into your registry and prevent Spybot from opening -- and it's hard to get rid of (don't ask me how I know... ).

Spyware Doctor isn't bad either, especially for getting rid of unwanted cookies.

It would also be worthwhile to spend a little money ($30-40) on a good registry cleaner... running one regularly also does wonders to speed up the old machine.

And as long as I'm plugging things -- The "Web of Truth" add-on for Firefox is a useful tool to help you stay away from dangerous sites, it's a clever rating system that works with Google...

"Get a pro to fix it..." ?! Um, yeah, right. Nice idea, Thomme, but not on what folks like us make.
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Old May 18, 2010, 07:16 AM   #5
hogdogs
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Will add the details later today... one main issue is that with any security software, including spybot, when it trys to run an update, i get an error message telling me it was unable to connect to or access the web to do so.

I have an old edition of XP, running firefox... pretty fresh edition. I just learned this AM that even my new MS security essentials failed to update. I get this with everything including the AVAST I just deleted. There is one file I couldn't remove of avast. I tell ya'll this thing is just beggin' to get 6 lead aspirins of the 7/8th ounce variety delivered via my 20 gauge syringe!
Brent
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Old May 18, 2010, 12:21 PM   #6
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So, you're running Firefox on Windows XP and Firefox works OK, and you don't have a firewall or other software that requires a proxy server for internet access, yes?

Try this:

From IE (via the Tools menu), or from the Control Panel, go to Internet Options, then click on the Connections tab. Now click on LAN Settings under Local Area Network (LAN) Settings. Write down what the current settings are. Now check the Automatically Detect Settings box under "automatic configuration," and make sure all other boxes are unchecked. Hit OK.

Or, in Internet Options, go to Advanced, and just click "reset" or "restore defaults." Pretty much the same thing, only more so. Again, you might want to note the current settings before you do this, so you can put things back the way they were in case this doesn't work. But it might.

I'm not on the machine than runs XP right now, but that's what it looks like in 98SE (which was the most sensible version of Windows, IMHO... ), and as I recall, XP is about the same for this stuff.
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Old May 20, 2010, 07:43 AM   #7
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There's a sticky about some of these issues at the top of this subforum: http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=368640

Quote:
I have gotten very lucky ( I don't browse far).
Doubt it. You likely have malware that is preventing anti-malware software from installing or updating. I suggest a visit to the malwarebytes forums.

Booting from a UBCD4WIN cd or other rescue disk, then identifying and cleaning the registry entries for malware that gets run on boot, is a common way to approach your sort of problem. Once you can get MBAM and other such software running, you have a shot at being able to remove whatever-it-is.

However, reformatting and reinstalling windows is the best way to be sure. If you have no need of anything windows-specific, installing Ubuntu linux (as of version 11.04, ubuntu's default user interface is... lacking) or Linux Mint will render the computer immune to the vast majority of malware out there.

Until the computer is clean (as judged by 3+ different malware and virus scanners), don't use your computer to log into any sensitive sites (particularly banking). Log in from another clean computer and change all your critical online account passwords. Banking and online shopping are the major ones, then social networking and email accounts.
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Old May 20, 2010, 06:15 PM   #8
SigP6Carry
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Tyme, I just want to say: I love you for saying "a vast majority" instead of "immune to all" regarding Linux. Thank you for not being one of those naive "other OS users" out there.
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Old May 20, 2010, 07:21 PM   #9
LaserSpot
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tyme, all good advise and thanks for the info! Just read your sticky, I didn't even know about the library, let alone the computer security section.

Vanya, also very good advise. Many of the scanners will try to use the leftover, malicious proxy setting from Internet Explorer to connect for updates. I'm guessing that will fix his update problem.

Brent, if nothing else works, try to update Spybot manually with this link: http://www.spybotupdates.biz/updates...d_includes.exe

I've been seeing a lot of viruses in the last few months, especially on Windows XP systems. Doesn't seem to matter if they're locked down and have all the latest MS security updates. It could be Adobe's fault, but I'm starting to suspect Java.
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Old May 23, 2010, 08:06 PM   #10
hogdogs
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Thanks!!! to all!!! Tyme, your links really helped and although I found very few cooties considering my lack of preventive "inoculations"... I feel I have really improved my puter's performance and have many tools loaded to keep it that way!

Brent
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Old May 26, 2010, 01:16 PM   #11
spacecoast
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Time to buy a new computer WBMA. For less than $400 at Wal-Mart you can get something that will be well worth the money as compared to your time trying to keep the old 486 going.
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Old May 26, 2010, 09:34 PM   #12
langenc
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Not too many generals around her. Lots of Sgts and techs.
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Old May 26, 2010, 10:05 PM   #13
Drummer101
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notebookreview.com is a great tech forum and I am a senior member there (user name Clutch).

just my 2 cents.

Fell free to pm me about tech stuff here or there.
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Old May 27, 2010, 03:39 PM   #14
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A little background 1st: I am an A+ certified geek who has worked as a net admin for a $300k/yr business and I am now a Sr. Programmer Analyst so I "have a clue."

I play with new software and see what I like/can use a lot. This has its risks as you can probably guess. Currently I am only using MS Security Essentials and the Windows 7 Firewall (Win 7 is my OS) and I haven't had anything infect my computer that wasn't from something I clicked on and ALLOWED to get through because it was a very cleverly disguised Trojan. Frankly, no software out there will prevent the user from doing something like that. As soon as the Trojan was installed, MSSE found it and warned me so it was working as designed. Using only my brains, the Internet (for info) and MS Security Essentials, I was able to clean my machine.

No software will prevent clever apps from a determined/unknowing user. NONE. Your brain is your best defense. Learn what you should look out for and that ALT-F4 is your best friend when you get those fake virus warning window pop-ups! If ALT-F4 won't close the window, SHUT DOWN THE MACHINE even if you have to Crash it! If you are tricked into clicking anything (the Red X that is supposed to cancel the warning/install or selecting NO as ANYTHING you click = YES) you are infected with that Trojan and a hard crash is a better alternative.

Because, as I noted earlier, I DO install a lot of stuff, I wipe out my PC once or twice a year and start fresh. I first save ALL my data and settings using the Windows file manager, the command line interface and XCOPY, and the Windows Easy Transfer utility. When I say wipe, I mean trash all the partitions, make new ones, do the slow FULL format and reinstall the OS THEN reinstall my applications, data and restore my settings. Yes it is a PITA but it is worth it to have a fast, clean running machine I that I know I can depend on.

Spybot Search & Destroy is a good application and I don't hesitate to recommend it as well as Avast. I used to use AVG until MSSE came along and was stable. I run from McAfee and Norton as they aren't all that great in the 1st place and they carry a LOT of crap I don't want/need that you can't get rid of!
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