Help me, someone has invaded my computer.

A little help here, I thought I was computer literate, but I’ve just been tagged.
Last night I downloaded a couple of programs from sites I saw on Tch TV. Everything was freeware, honest. Well, I came back to the computer after a while and it was obvious I just let in the evil beast:

  1. My Internet Explorer shortcut on my start bar now takes me to paint. IE still works, but only if you go through “favorites” from the start bar.
  2. There were dozens of new favorites leading to porn sites, online casinos, online pharmacies and the like.
  3. Upon booting up the computer, a new taskbar appears on my desktop.
  4. Upon getting onto the web the first time, a different taskbar appears.
  5. And most annoying, random pop-up’s appear, even when I’m not on the web. I’ll be sitting there, and IE will start on it’s own and bring up some ad.

Anyway, I did have all the protections - firewall, virus scans, I’m careful about what I download (but these were recommended by Tech TV), but I’m sure I invited this in when I downloaded. Any advice on how to get rid of the problem?


Although I have found TechTV pretty reliable, you might have gone a bit too far. You have undoubtably been hijacked by spyware. First thing to do is run AdAware and/or Spybot, free programs and highly recommended. Delete everything they find.

Links to many useful progs are here.