Getting rid of gator

I love my husband dearly, but he is no longer allowed to install software on our computer. He got DeerHunter 2003 for Christmas from someone and promptly installed it, replying ‘yes’ to all the gator licensing B.S.

Well, I’ve already uninstalled the game software, (he didn’t like it anyways… go figure) but I’m having trouble getting rid of the gator utility. I’ve visited a number of online sites, but don’t want to wind up screwing up this PC anymore by downloading something that I’m not familiar with.

I bow before the vast wealth of knowledge on this board, and respectfully ask…

What software is best? What works? Are there any tricks to uninstalling this garbage? HELP!!!


Download the free version of Ad-Aware, use it, love it. It removes all spy-ware and ad-ware (such as gator) form your computer. And I think that you will be shocked the first time you run it, as you might get close to 100 things to remove. If you’ve ever used file-sharing software, you probably have ad-ware from that, gator itself usually comes up ten times in the search.


I use a freeware program called Spybot Search and Destroy (I won’t link to it, as I’m not fully sure about board policies). Do a Goggle search and you should find it no problem.
Anyway, it gets rid of spyware, trojans, keyloggers, tracking cookies and just about anything else that could be used to track or exploit your computer use. You can set it to ignore cookies and whatnot that you actually use too. Like, say…the SDMB for example.

Pretty good all around tool, in my book.

I’ll strongly second Ad-Aware. I just downloaded and ran it on bouv’s recommenation, and it worked beautifully. It got rid of Gator and a couple other things as well. Sweet!

Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware 5.83 (?) is great on cookies, but only so-so on executables. Kolla’s Spy Bot Search and Destroy takes out all the executables I have encountered, so far.

(With either/both of them it pays to go back every so often to get the latest edition. The cancer-writers keep updating their software and the clean-up writers keep having to update theirs, as well.
I have found that the cleanest way to upgrade is to do an uninstall on the most recent version you’ve loaded, then download the latest release. Spy Bot actually has upgrades, but Ad-Aware generally requires a complete installation–and trying to install over the top of an earlier release will clog up the machine.)

Yet another vote for AdAware. It has even removed Gator for me. I have also used the others tomn mentions - all great. All found different things.

Generally speaking, I find AdAware very good for the sort of crap that comes bundled with the most popular free dowload stuff (eg Kazaa). However - getting rid of certain adware components can stop the original program working, as I believe in the case of Kazaa/Brilliant Digital, so you may have to download Kazaa Lite.

(Hoping mention of Kazaa is OK here. I haven’t put any links to it).

I first encountered these parasite programs when my browser began to crash after my toolbar got a mysterious big black “H” in one corner. It was called “huntbar” and I did a search on it and found a site called

Lo and behold, not only did I have Huntbar, but about 5 or 6 other parasites on my system. The doxdesk site runs a script that tells you what parasites are found on your system. The script can’t find all of them, but it finds a large number of them.

Doxdesk also explains parasites and gives you removal instructions for them. Some of these programs hide things all over your system; registry, windows directory, etc. Their dlls cannot be removed without disabling them first. You can delete the program, shut down, boot back up and THINK you are fine, but reboot a second time and guess what? It’s baaack!! That’s because it leaves behind a little “find me” program that executes on your first boot, actually downloading the program again! So, when you boot the second time, it loads like it was never gone.

I use Spybot search and destroy. A friend of mine uses that and ad-aware. They seem to offset each other in that one will find things the other one doesn’t.

I visit doxdesk for a quick check once a week or so and run Spybot once a month.

Always remember and never forget - TINSTAAFL.

Just so as you know, Ad-Aware just released version 6.0 this month. They went in and re-did the engine to better deal with the executables.

Well, as I said, “it pays to go back every so often to get the latest edition.” :wink:

Many thanks to all of you, both from my PC illiterate husband and myself. :wink: I downloaded the ad-aware application last night, and found a number of files and tracking cookies. I’ll try Spybot tonight to see what it comes up with.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

I find this topic ironic. My cat, named “Gator”, is driving me absolutely buggy-insane at the moment.
Ad-Aware is a gift from the gods. I am tormented by a boyfriend who also tends to populate my computer with spy-wares. I will also check out Spybot Search and Destroy.

Thanks for the tips. :slight_smile:

(No, I’m not getting rid of the cat.)


I wouldn’t blame your husband, gator and programs like it are very good at installing themselves even if you tell them not to. You will notice with either Spybot (my favorite) or AdAware that Spyware will keep showing up on your computer even though you haven’t done anything to put it there.