How can I clean out those little programs that change my homepage and other nonsense.

Okay, so whenever I restart my PC, my homepage and other settings change.

I’ve updated my firewall, ran virus scans and basic clean up utilities, all current, but to no avail.

It also seems like there is an app running that tries to block me from resetting my homepage and other preferences under control panel. My PC will freeze when trying to get to them…but eventually come around - very bizzare.

Overall, my PC seems pretty clean, but I am frustrated. Any good apps, free stuff out there?

Searching the SDMB for this type of advice was not helpful (although I know this has been covered). Search terms return lots of virus and popup help.

Honestly, I don’t feel like pumping 60 bucks into some app that only might fit my needs. Hate to bug you guys with a nuisance issue, but I’ve got a neighbor who I want to impress with yer knowledge of all things. :cool:

I know this is sounding like a stuck record here on the SDMB but it’s good advice (orwked for me) - Download Adaware and spybot (two seperate programs) update both before you run them. They should get rid of the parasites (as I like to call them) from your computer.

I will go and find the link for spybot, as when you search ‘spybot’ in google you tend to get a lot of similar but inferior products…



They are both free and NOT shareware by the way. One gives you the choice of donating. But that is entirely your choice.

Dang you, Lobsang, lol! I finally happened upon a GQ thread to which I had relevant information, and you beat me to it! :slight_smile:

[Evil Genius]HA HA HA![/Evil Genius]

[Disgruntled goat]Quiet, you.[/Disgruntled goat]

AdAware and Spybot are probably both needed, but I’d wager you’ll need CWShredder before you are done.

Don’t have a link handy, so just Google it. It is free as well.

When my computer was taken over by demons (it kept changing my homepage to Space-Search) the solution came when I stopped using Explorer and went to Firebird. The problem stopped immediately and has never come back.

Will any of those programs react badly with any of the standard firewall or antivirus programs (Norton, McAfee, etc)?

I doubt it. Adaware and spybot don’t interact directly with your internet connection (unless you have them set on the mode that scans all the time, which is unnecesary IMO. Just run them once a week) they just scan your computer for the stuff.

I could be wrong and you should wait for a more informed answer (I don’t run antivirus software, but I do use windows’ built in firewall) but I can’t see the two apps getting ‘in the way of’ your antivirus software or vice-versa.

Yep CWShredder will get rid of your specific problem.

That’s most likely because the browser hijacker changes values in your registry that deal only with IE (HKEY_CURRENT_USER-Software-Microsoft-Internet Explorer).

And I remembered something else I should add, I highly recomend subscribing to the LangaList. It’s a newsletter written by Fred Langa (he also writes articles for The Standard Edition is free and is a great source of information, that’s where I learned about Ad-Aware and Spybot, as well as some other useful information.

The url is

Hmmm…I added Adaware before, and it helped with some other bugs. Gonna check out others mentioned.

Will report back, maybe on Sunday.

After running Spybot, AdAware, & CWShredder, I highly reccomend switching your browser from Internet Explorer to a more secure one like Firefox/Mozilla or Opera. Since I switched my relatives from IE to Firefox, they have gone from hundreds of pieces of spyware when I come and do a cleaning to less than a dozen, all of the nearly harmless tracking cookie variety. Also, both Firefox and Opera offer features like built-in pop-up blocking, and once you start using the tabbed browsing, going back to a browser that doesn’t have it(I think IE is the only current browser lacking it actually :wink: ) is almost painful. :slight_smile: