Ad-aware 6.0 question

I was running Ad-aware and after I tried to delete the bugs it said not all the items could be removed and that I should reboot and try it again. I reboot and Ad-aware finds 7 more bugs. So I figure I’ll run it one more time just to be sure I got em all and it finds 12
run it again and it finds - 9
run it again and it finds - 3
run it again and it finds - 12
run it again and it finds - 5

Whats going on here and what do I need to do to correct this?
My computer is running windows XP
I have DSL

That’s weird… it sounds like you might have some spyware that Ad Aware isn’t catching, and that re-installs stuff onto you computer every time you reboot. That’s just a guess though. Here’s something I’d try:

Go to, and search for “Spybot Search and Destroy.” Download that (it’s free), and update and run that as well as Ad Aware… it will catch stuff that Ad Aware misses. I run both Ad Aware and Spybot, and they both will catch stuff that the other program misses.

If that still doesn’t work, go to, and download the free version of their program Spysweeper (it’s a free 30 day trial version of the entire program). Give that a try and see if it picks up something that Ad Aware and Spybot are missing.

Are you using anti-virus software, and do you have a firewall?

I can think of a few possibilities:[ol][li]Ad-Aware is removing some of them but not cleaning up properly. Dumb, I know, but I’ve heard of it happening before.[]There’s spyware bundled with something that starts up automatically and it gets restored every time it’s found missing.[]You’ve got the new, extra-nasty self-healing spyware. I’d like five minutes alone with the guys who developed that and a tire iron.Ad-Aware is getting false positives. It happens sometimes.[/ol][/li]
Do what Astroboy14 says.

Also, are you rebooting in safe mode? That’ll keep a bunch of stuff from launching.

Check what’s in your startup list (don’t remember how to get there from a home version, and my work box doesn’t let me do this…), and uncheck anything that looks viral. If that doesn’t get turned up by adaware or spybot, turn it back on and see if anything changes.

You’ve probably got stuff that keeps reinstalling (as stated before). The most likely cause is that you’ve got Kazaa or similar programs (adjust your clock, etc. OK, so it isn’t similar at all).

Next time, check the entries in AdA and see what it says, if they’re cookies or registry entries or what. Write down the names and do an internet search for them + removal, etc. I think Symantec has a pretty big spyware site that tells you how to uninstall specific spyware.

Of course, it’s possble that you could cause your computer to explode, so be careful, back up data, etc.

It’s usually a good idea to specify if you have XP Home or XP Pro, too.

Open Task Manager (Right click on the Taskbar > Select “Task Manager”)
Click on the “Processes” tab, if not already open. Ensure “Show processes from all users” is checked on the bottom of the pane.
Sort by Username.
Identify everything being run by your user. Minimally, it should be “explorer.exe” and “taskmgr.exe”. You can kill processes by highlighting and clicking “End Process”, or right-click and select “End Process” or “End Process Tree” (which will also kill any daughter processes of the process being killed.).

Visit the following directories:
C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
C:\Documents and Settings*<UserName>*\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
Again, identify everything. Windows attempts to start any programs present in this folder on start up, deleting the programs from this folder stops this behaviour.

Once you’ve finished all that, Run AdAware, Spybot S&D, etc.

You might want to consider restarting with the DSL unplugged, and seeing how that affects the spyware counts… plug in the DSL, see if that has any effect, etc. The best bet is knowing what your computer is doing, so become familar with the processes that are listed in Task Manager… it’s a lot easier to spot when a new program is running that you didn’t start.

Make sure there are no targets in your system restore points. After you scan, look at the log and see if any targets are in C:\System Volume Information. If there are, then you will have to temporarily disable System Restore to delete them (programs are denied access to this folder). To do this:

  1. Click ‘Start’
  2. Right click on ‘My Computer’
  3. Select ‘Properties’
  4. Click ‘System Restore’ tab
  5. Check the box ‘Turn off System Restore’
  6. Reboot

Start in safe mode.
Rescan and remove targets.
If that doesn’t get it, you must have something really bad. What kind of targets do you have? (Hopefully not CoolWebSearch, ewww)

Oops, if you do purge your system restore points, don’t forget to go back in there and turn it back on.

First, in XP I turn off System Restore, if I’m having recurring problems (turn it back on when everything is clean
(Right click “My Computer” -> Properties. Click the “System Restore” tab, and turn it on/off via the checkbox)
2) Scanning in “Safe Mode” can often help remove stuff that doesn’t stay “cleaned” in the normal mode
(hit F8 every second or two during startup, until you get the atartup menu)

The smartest guy I know suggests the following steps as the minimum acceptable changes for a reliable cleanup:
[li]Run Ad-Aware with the latest update.[/li][li]Reconfigure Ad-Aware for Full Scan[/li][li]Launch Ad-Aware. Click on the Gear along the top of the start screen.[list=a][/li][li]Click the “Scanning” button on the left side.[/li] [li]Under Drives & Folders, select “Scan within Archives” [/li] [li]Click “Click here to select Drives + folders”[ul][/li][li]select your installed hard drives.(The default is ONLY your OS drive)[/li] [li]include all drives containing apps run under the current OS[/ul][/li] [li]Check ALL the options under Memory & Registry"[/li] [li]Click the “Advanced” button on the left hand side[/li] [li]Under “Log-file detail”, select all options.[/li] [li]Click the “Tweak” button on the left hand side[/li] [li]Expand “Scanning Engine” by clicking on the “+” and select:[ul][/li][li]“Unload recognized processes during scanning.”[/li] [li]“Include additional Ad-aware settings in logfile”[/li] [li]“Unload recognized processes during scanning.” [/ul][/li] [li]Under “Cleaning Engine”, select the following:[ul][/li][li]“Automatically try to unregister objects prior to deletion.”[/li] [li]“Let Windows remove files in use after reboot.”[/li] [li]Click on “Proceed” to save these Preferences.[/ul][/li] [li]Click on the “Scan Now” button on the left.[/li] [li]Under "Select Scan Mode, be sure to select “Use Custom Scanning Options”.[/li] [li]Select “Activate in-Depth scan”.[/ol][/li][li]Close all programs except ad-aware.[/li][li]Click on “Next” in the bottom right corner to start the scan.[/li][li]Run the scan. Allow it to remove everything it finds [/li][li]REBOOT - even if AdAware doen’t ask/tell you to.[/li][li]When you log back in, Ad-Aware may run again to finalize the scan.[/list][/li].
Increase the strength of Ad-Aware by installing the VX2 Cleaner plug-in.[ul]
[li]Close Ad-Aware 6.[/li][li]Download the free VX2 Cleaner[/li][li]Install the VX2 Cleaner.[/li][li]Start Ad-Aware and click on “Plug-ins”.[/li][li]Select the VX2 Cleaner plug-in and click “Run Plugin”.[/li][li]If your computer isn’t infected, click “Close”.[/li][li]If your computer is infected:[list][/li][li]Select “Clean System”.[/li] [li]Reboot your computer.[/li] [li]Scan your computer with Ad-Aware.[/li] [li]Remove any VX2 objects detected.[/li] [li]Reboot your computer again.[/li] [li]Run a second scan to be sure all files were removed[/ul][/li][/list]

A better option than Spybot (in my opinion) is Spyware Blaster. This free program prevents spyware from installing by disabling their components in the registry.

I am having the WORST time trying to remove something called BlazeFind. Spybot always finds it, and fails to remove it, even in safe mode.

I tried disabling things in my task manager, but certain items refused to be shut off-- they would immediately come back. Others would force my computer to shut down if I tried to end them.


Forgot to ask:

A program called Bazooka claims to remove it. It’s freeware from Is it safe?

Fuck, hamsters ate my post when I searched Pest Patrol’s Archive.

This has some instructions on how to remove it. Since you’re messing with the registry, do this at your own risk (and for the love of God, export your registry/create a restore point first!).

You may want to spring for a copy of PP as it is the best, IMO and cleans out stuff that the other programs can’t fix (at least not their free versions, haven’t paid for upgrades).

My computer now has a blazefind taskbar and I am having a hard time getting rid of the thing. I’ve tried the directions. I just don’t know my systemroot. How do I find it?

On Windows 95/98/ME, it should be c:\windows. On Windows NT/2000/XP, it should be c:\winnt.

Actually, systemroot on XP is c:\windows too.

In XP you can find out for sure by running “cmd” or “command” from the run menu and typing “echo %SystemRoot%”.
(Althought an easier, multi-WinOS-type way is to type “SET”. The entry reading “windir”? That’s %SystemRoot%.)

More on topic, I agree that there’s some undetected spyware program re-installing all that other crap. The suggestions on here are good. Safe mode scan, use another product.

I’ve used Bazooka with great results. Also, it’s found stuff that AdAware didn’t.

Try The Cleaner. It isn’t free, but they let you download a 30 day trial version. It helped me immensely with a similar problem. It was about the sixth program I tried on that particular piece of spyware, and the only one to permanently fix it.