Get Rid of Spyware, Adware, and Web Browser Hijackers
Dangers to Your PCThe latest scourge on the Internet is the proliferation of adware, spyware, and programs that hijack your web browser and take you to sites you don't want to visit. These mailicious programs go by the names of NetSpry, Ads234, Midaddle, and others. Here we show you how to get rid of these programs and protect your PC once and for all.
Editors Note: This document was created by our foremost spyware expert, steamwiz, with additions by our moderators and members of the Help2Go community.
This document may look daunting, but it won't take you long to complete all of the following (not counting download times). Most problems can be fixed simply by following Steps 1-3. Take your time while following these instructions and make sure you follow each step carefully.
If your PC cannot connect to the Internet at all, try first running the LSP-Fix program. LSP-Fix article
Step 1: Viruses
If you think your problem is caused by a virus, run these scans (even if you have an anti-virus program on your computer). When it comes to viruses, you can never be too careful!
Do a free on-line virus scan here: Panda Activescan and here: Housecall
Do both scans and delete all infected files found. If Housecall lists them as uncleanable, click the "delete" button.
Step 2: Get Critical Windows Updates
Visit the Windows Update site, click Scan for updates in the main frame, and download and install all CRITICAL updates recommended.
Step 3: Scan for Spyware/Adware
a) Download CWSShredder, extract the file, and run the program. Click the Fix button to remove any malicious programs found.
b) Download Spybot Search and Destroy. Install the program, then run it. The first thing you should do is "Search for Updates". Then, "Check for Problems". A quick tutorial for using Spybot can be found here.
c) Download Ad-Aware SE Personal. Install the program, then run it. Click "Check for Updates now" and let it download any new updates. Then, click the "Start" button in the program and it will check your system. A quick tutorial for using Ad-Aware can be found here and another one here.
Step 4: REBOOT
Most problems will have been fixed by following the above steps. Try it out! If you are still having problems, continue to the next step. Otherwise, check out the article on how to prevent future Spyware/Hijack attacks.
If you are having problems with Ads234, Midaddle, or Netspry, follow the instructions here before continuing with Step 5.
Step 5: HijackThis
Download HijackThis (alternate download site). Unzip, doubleclick HijackThis.exe, and hit "Scan".
After the scan has finished the "scan" button will turn into a "save log" button. Save the log file.
Notepad will automatically open the log file on your screen. Click on the Edit menu and choose Select All. Then click on the Edit menu again and choose Copy.
The next step is to use our automated HijackThis log analyzer, the The Help2Go Detective. Paste your log into the space provided, hit Submit, and then CAREFULLY follow the directions printed.
After you've followed all of the directions, run HijackThis one more time and create a new log. Now, create a new help request (new topic) in our Spyware Help forum by clicking here. Type a description of your problem in the window. Do not just type "Help me" -- we need to know what kind of symptoms your PC has. Make a note in your request that you have already followed the above directions. Then, paste your log file into the window by clicking on the Edit menu and choosing Paste.
You may now close the HijackThis program. Do not delete anything yet, as most things HijackThis finds are harmless and needed.
Check back on your help request in a day or so. Many of our members are in the USA, many are in the UK, and many are in Australia, so it may take awhile before someone is able to analyze your log and respond. Please be aware that Help2Go is strictly run by volunteers, so patience and friendliness will get you an answer more quickly. Tips for new Help2Go members.
/contributed by steamwiz