How do I kill PCPrivacyTool?

So one of the people at my base got our computer dosed with PCPricvacyTool. If you’re not familiar with this steaming piece of software, it will open a browser window about every five minutes, and display a lurid, badly written ad warning you that if you don’t purchase their product that your boss, your wife, your dog and the Pope are all going to find out about all that porn on your computer - it even generates a random number of pictures that it’s already found on your machine - as if it can read a graphic file and tell what’s on it.

It opens a dialog box to lure in the unwary. I don’t know what would happen next, but I suspect the fool that clicks on it would be taken to a site where he would enter his credit card information, just to get this horrid thing to leave him alone.

I’m guessing that would turn out badly. Now, this is the machine that myself and three other pilots use to check the weather before we fly out to rescue someone, so I’d like to get rid of this thing before the hospital IT people put down their doughnuts and get up here, sometime next week.

I’ve run SpyBot, I’ve run Symantec, I’ve found cookies from this thing in just about everybody’s cookie file…but still the thing comes back.

How do I get rid of it?


Tried Googling PCPrivacyTool:

I give no guarantee that these sites are legit and won’t infect your PC with more spyware – I don’t know a thing about them. The second site does give manual instructions which is a good sign.

I searched for PCPrivacyTool and a whole bunch of links with removal instructions came up.

You can Google yourself if you want more.


I pulled one today with spybot though…hmm did you update?

Well, the program takes about an five seconds to find it, another hour to complete the scan…but strangely the downloadable free version isn’t tough enough to get rid of it - but the one they want you to pay for is!

Something familiar about all of that.

Did you try running your anti-spyware apps from Safe Mode?

Also while in Safe Mode, go to START - RUN - type “msconfig” (no quotes) and click on the “startup” tab in the window that pops up. See if you can identify the crapware in that list and un-check it. Then restart and run the anti-spyware stuff again.

Also try Hijack This and Ad Aware, some more anti-spyware tools.

Oh, and be sure you UPDATE your anti-spyware apps before running them.

I either got that one or one just like it a while back. A Google search lead me to PC tools Spyware Doctor as a removal tool. So I bought it, and found out that it does not remove that particular piece of malware. :smack:
Anyway I did a system restore and that got rid of it.

Ditto for me. Just because a tool guarantees a fix does not make it so. Unless it is a real inconvenience, the easiest way to get of the obnoxious spyware is to do a system restore, assuming that you’re a Windows user. It’s at least worth a shot before you pay $$$ for a fix.

I think that first you want to use End it All or the like (look around and you can probably still find a copy for free) to make sure you kill everything running. Then run every antispyware you’ve got and hope it works. Safe mode might help as well, but I think you’re better off killing everything you can first.

Well, I can’t do the Safe Mode thing because this is a hospital computer and I don’t have Administrator privileges. The IT guys do, whenever they show up. And yes, Rick - Spyware Doctor is the useless thing that wouldn’t get rid of it - unless you paid them first. Maybe.

First rule: if you Google “free antispyware,” you’re going to make things even worse. There are only a few trusted names in free antispyware; most are scams of one sort or another. Most other “free” scanners not on the list exaggerate the threat (i.e., report spyware when you don’t have it), don’t clean anything unless you pay (and often don’t do a good job of that), and even put additional spyware on your computer. Stay far away!

To fix things, cownload Ad-aware or Spybot Search and Destroy from the link above. Have that run a scan. It will fix most basic issues.

If it doesn’t work. you’ll need to get Hijackthis. Run a scan and save the log file. Then, go to [url=, log on to their board, and post the log to get advice.

Be careful with that term…windows system restore files are not protected in any real way from being compromised and many viruses will insinuate themselves in there.

If you mean using a system restore disk provided by the manufacturer, yes those are usually pretty dependable, just have to be careful. IME a good shop can pull virus problems about 70% of the time without needing a reformat/reload. about 10% more you probably should but the time involved in app reloading would make it problematic.