View Full Version : What is WITH all these fucking popups?

Mama Tiger
08-23-2003, 11:18 PM
Just got a new computer, a nice Dell, set it up, hooked it up to our cable modem service, and started trying to get some work done on it. (And finally moving up to XP in the process -- didn't want to do it till I knew WordPerfect would be compatible with it, since I'm still deaing with an office that, I shit you not, is still using WP5.1 for DOS!!!)

So what happens? About every five minutes, out of fucking NOWHERE, comes a popup ad -- for a fucking popup blocker! And not just for ONE popup blocker, no, these goat felching idiots are advertising about fifteen of the useless little pieces of crap! Even were I a lifetime resident of inbredville, I'm not stupid enough to think that their programs are going to block THEIR advertising!

It's not like they're popping up when I'm going to websites, either -- no, these come even when I have my browser closed and am working in my fucking word processing program!!!

What is WITH these fucking spammers coming at me out of nowhere? Is it something in XP? Is it some hidden piece of Microsoft trash that says, "Hey, spammers, there's a new computer out there in the world for you to dump your shit on as often as you can"?

And most importantly, HOW CAN I MAKE IT STOP??????

Early Out
08-23-2003, 11:34 PM
Turn off the Windows Messenger Service:

Control Panel
Adminstrative Tools
Scroll down to Messenger, right-click
Startup Type: Disabled

Mama Tiger
08-23-2003, 11:40 PM
Bless you, Early! I cannot believe they would build a piece of crap like that into an OS.

Oh, wait a minute. It's Microsoft. Never mind. :smack:

08-23-2003, 11:41 PM
exactly what does windows messenger do, early?

08-24-2003, 12:00 AM
It's useful for, say, sending messages to all machines on a network that the server is going down, or for network printers to send little messages. It's been in Win2k and WinXP, and IIRC every other NT based OS MS ever made. It wasn't a problem until some MCSEs laid off in the dot-com plunge decided it would be a good way to make a buck.
It shouldn't really have been a service turned on by default, but I still find it hard to blame MS on this one.

08-24-2003, 12:10 AM
Thank you Early Out

I have XP and had to got to 'Classic View' of the controll panel to find the adminstrative tools but I'm so glad I won't come home to one of those pop-ups.

Early Out
08-24-2003, 12:10 AM
Nanoda's nailed it. In my previous life as a sysadmin/LAN manager-type guy, I used that capability (on a Netware system, rather than Windows, but it was the same idea) to warn folks that, for example, we were about to shut down the accounting database, or that we needed to have everyone logoff the email system so we could do some maintenance. It got everyone's attention quickly, unlike trying to email everyone.

08-24-2003, 12:25 AM
Yeah, blame Microsoft for trying to create helpful technology for people to use which some loser fucktards decided to exploit.

It's a lot easier to BREAK something then it is to BUILD something.

Ryle Dup
08-24-2003, 12:52 AM
How would you actually use it to send messages to others on the same LAN??

Early Out
08-24-2003, 01:17 AM
Originally posted by Ryle Dup
How would you actually use it to send messages to others on the same LAN?? Well, here's Microsoft's rundown (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;168893) on the command syntax. Note that you've got to be running one of the server versions of Windows to be able to use the command. How the spammers are using it to get to users' home PCs isn't immediately clear to me - I'll leave that to someone whose experience is more current (I retired four years ago, so by now, almost everything I know is wrong!).

08-24-2003, 01:43 AM
Is Windows Messenger implicated in the popups I get when certain words appear on my screen?

F'rinstance: I open a thread in the BBQ Pit, where someone is complaining about the apparent missionary complex displayed by IRL acquaintances who have decided to convert the population into adherents of the Atkins low-carbohydrate dietary lifestyle. A post in the thread contains the word "overweight," or the term "morbidly obese," perhaps repeated several times. I get a popup ad for a wight-control product.

Or: I open a Pit thread centered on a complaint about the way a Doper was treated by airport security personnel. Several posts are devoted to commiserating over the inconveniences air travelers are subjected to in a post-9/11 world. I get a popup ad for low airfares to Europe.

My PC is a PentiumII (or maybe a Pentium, I'm not sure) running on a 133MHz clock, with Windows95 as the operating system. I connect to the Internet via a 56K dialup modem. I only get popups when I am on line (although I suppose it is conceivable that I could get one while I'm online but working in another window).

Will uninstalling MSN Messenger Service 2.2 (which I have never used, BTW, so I'm not really aware of why I might want to keep it) make popups go away? Or do I need to upgrade my computer and operating system so they will accommodate Earthlink's latest software version with the popup-suppression feature?

08-24-2003, 02:04 AM
kaylasdad99, it sounds like you have some type of ad-ware on your system which is causing this to happen. There is a product called Ad-Aware which I have found to be invaluable in finding and disabling such things. You can download the free version here (http://fileforum.betanews.com/detail.php3?fid=965718306), And the homepage for the company which makes the software, Lavasoft, here (http://www.lavasoftusa.com/).

I have also found the Google Toolbar (http://toolbar.google.com/) to be excellent for stopping popups while providing a host of other features.

Good luck!

08-24-2003, 02:13 AM
I'd just like to second Ad-Aware. We've been using it for about 5 months. In those 5 months, it has found and deleted close to 1000 nasty files. Google's new toolbar is cool, too.

08-24-2003, 07:23 AM
I'd also like to recommend Spybot: Search and Destroy. It can catch things Ad-Aware misses, and vice versa.

08-24-2003, 08:37 AM
May a winged heavenly host bring you one hundred and twelve perfect orgasms, Early Out! Those damn Messenger pop-ups had been driving me crazy and the only advice on the MS website was to put up a firewall! Bah!

Mama Tiger
08-24-2003, 08:41 AM
Thanks for the reminder on Spybot -- I was trying to think of all the software I needed to reinstall on the new computer, and had forgotten about that one. You guys are wonderful! After I turned off the messenger last night, I didn't get a single annoying ad! Now I'm trying to figure out how to make XP stop trying to offer me helpful hints all the time. Why does Microsoft think we are all such idiots that we can't figure anything out without something popping up to tell us what they think we might want to do next (which, I hasten to add, never is what I really want to do)?

08-24-2003, 08:42 AM
Google's toolbar is excellent - free and a very quick download. Ad-Aware will remove all spyware from your system, not just the resultant popups. So both are essential.

Early Out
08-24-2003, 08:52 AM
kaylasdad99, you're confusing several things that aren't actually connected. It's not your fault. Microsoft has chosen some spectacularly confusing names for things, and the purveyors of electronic junk mail have found every hole there is, apparently!

First, MSN Messenger (some versions of which are labeled Windows Messenger, instead) and the Messenger Service that's included in Windows are completely different things. The MSN/Windows Messenger is an instant-messaging package that let's you carry on a conversation with someone who's also online, instead of trading emails. It's not implicated in any way with popups, spam, adware, etc. There's no reason to uninstall it.

Second, when a spammer takes advantage of the Messenger Service (NOT MSN Messenger or Windows Messenger), what you get is a popup box that has just plain text in it - no pictures, nothing that looks like a typical web page. Turning off the Messenger Service will get rid of these (I'm not even sure it exists in Win95).

Finally, there are true web popups, which have the same kind of content as other web pages: pictures, color, various fonts, etc. These involve a web site or adware causing your PC to launch another Internet Explorer window containing whatever it is they're trying to sell you. The fact that you're getting these when you're on the SDMB tells me (and other who've posted here) that you've got some adware running on your PC. The SDMB itself doesn't hit you with any popups, so it's coming from elsewhere.

So, somewhere along the line, you've managed to install (probably without realizing you've done so) some software that scans whatever you're looking at on the web, picks out some keywords, and links you to various advertising websites. A free program like AdAware or Spybot will clean that off your PC.

Last but not least are the more normal types of popups. When you visit some websites, they figure that you'll also be interested in some other "great deals," and second or third IE windows will appear, encouraging you to buy something, visit another website, whatever. There are a bunch of popup killer packages out there (search these boards or Google the web) that will largely prevent these popup windows (some of them free), including the Earthlink software you mention.

You will soon run into trouble running packages like AdAware, Spybot, or the popup blockers on your PC, if you haven't already, simply because fewer and fewer packages will behave properly on Win95. Your PC might tolerate an upgrade to Win98, but certainly nothing beyond that - too slow, probably not enough RAM, etc. Time to save up your pennies for a shiny new machine!

Early Out
08-24-2003, 08:58 AM
Originally posted by Suzene
May a winged heavenly host bring you one hundred and twelve perfect orgasms, Early Out! Those damn Messenger pop-ups had been driving me crazy and the only advice on the MS website was to put up a firewall! Bah! Fine, but what about the second day? :D

Microsoft's advice about a firewall has actually become very good advice, however, in addition to the other stuff that's been mentioned here. There was a time, not so long ago, when you could feel fairly safe from worms if you were using a dialup line, so you didn't have to fiddle with a firewall. The MSBlaster worm has demonstrated that things have changed.

The ZoneAlarm firewall package is free, works well, and isn't particularly complicated to use. Once you've told it that certain packages are "OK," and have turned off the instant notification window (which tells you every time ZA has blocked something), it works quietly and effectively to block out all sorts of intrusion attempts.

Mama Tiger
08-24-2003, 12:25 PM
What about the built-in firewall in XP? Should I bother turning that on (and where would I find it again? I remember seeing it last night while trying to get configured with my cable modem), or should I wait for my hubby's company's provision of a free copy of Black Ice for every computer in our house?

Early Out
08-24-2003, 01:13 PM
The built-in Windows XP firewall is better than nothing, but it's pretty minimal. It probably wouldn't hurt to turn it on until you get something better. Start, Control Panel, Network Connections, then look for the connection you're using, right-click on it, then Properties, then the Advanced tab, where you'll find a check box to turn it on.

When you get a better replacement, turn off the built-in firewall; doubling up could produce problems.

08-24-2003, 02:28 PM
Early Out, may all your 700 virgins be extraordinarily lovely and enthusiastic.

I've been going nuts over those notification windows -- it seems like ever since I got a pop-up blocker, these other have proliferated madly which I thought meant the popup blocker was defective.

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