Thank you for the update and letting me know your decision.
Just one recommendation I would sugest, having that you have multiple users on the computer, is that it would be advisable when setting any new system to configure the system with one admin user that has full administrative privileges, for the sole purpose of system adminstration where any software and updates should be installed, and then set up all the other users with standard privileges. Although this means normal users won't be able to install and update software, this will mean the system will be much less prone to malware infection and any software installations, removals and updates can be managed in a more controlled manner.
Below are the instructions I normally provide once a computer has been declared clear of infection, which will still be relevant once the reformatting and reinstallation of your computer has been completed:Step 1:Hard Disk Formatting Advice
When reformatting the hard disk it is advisable to select the low-level format
(writing zeros - one pass is sufficient unless you are really paranoid) option, although this does take considerably longer depending on the size of the hard disk, it is the safest way to make sure you wipe all traces of data from the drive.Step 2:Security Vulnerabilities
I cannot stress how important it is to keep your security software up-to-date. In particular, if you don't keep your Operating System and Internet Explorer up-to-date the computer will be open to re-infection. Since we have been working on your computer the following software has been updated.
The same equally applies to the programs you use. Please see the Further Guidelines
section below for more information about the outdated programs on your infected system and for keeping your programs up-to-date in future.Step 3:Improve Your Computer's SecurityMalwareBytes' AntiMalware
It is worth keeping MalwareBytes' AntiMalware
and installing it on your reinstalled system. Updating the program and running a scan once every couple of weeks will help you to keep malware free.Below are some additional (free) programs, that can help improve your computer's security.
Many feel that having a "layered" protection scheme is beneficial, you'll have to decide what works best for your situation. You may like to give them a try.
Download it from Copyright © BillP Studios.
Information about how WinPatrol works, is available Here.
(The free version of WinPatrol provides limited real-time protection.)
SiteAdvisor is a toolbar for Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox which alerts you if you're about to enter a potentially dangerous website.
You can find more information and download it from Here .
Download and install Javacool's SpywareBlaster from Here.
SpywareBlaster adds a list of ActiveX controls, tracking cookies and sites which will be blocked in either Internet Explorer or Firefox browsers. You need to manually check for updates regularly.
Web of Trust (WOT)
Install Web of Trust (WOT). WOT keeps you from dangerous websites with warnings and blockings.
You can find more information about the program and download it from Here .
For added protection you may also like to add a hosts file. A simple explanation of what a Hosts file does is provided here.
Install MVPS Hosts File from here.
The MVPS Hosts file replaces your current HOSTS file with one containing well know ad sites etc. Basically, this prevents your computer from connecting to those sites by redirecting them to 127.0.0.1 which is your local computer.
You can read the Tutorial here.
Panda USB Vaccine
Protect your computer from removable or USB drive infections with Panda USB Vaccine. It is an effective method of preventing the spread of malware.
You can download and learn more about this product from Here.
Anti-virus Product Alternatives
Should the need arise you may wish to try one of the the following recommended free Anti-Virus products:
- avast! Free Antivirus - Excellent detection, the freeware version includes email scanning.
- Microsoft Security Essentials ** - From Microsoft, with email scanning, easy to install, easy to use.
** Your PC must run a genuine version of the Windows OS to install Microsoft Security Essentials.
Installing a new Anti-virus product.
Do NOT uninstall any existing Anti-virus product yet!
Please Note: It is strongly recommended that you run only one Anti-virus program at a time. Having more than one Anti-virus program active in memory uses additional resources and results in program conflicts and false virus alerts.Step 4:Program AdvisoriesP2P Software Advisory
- Download the new Anti-virus product to your computer desktop.
- Save any work. Close all applications, especially your Internet connection.
- Uninstall any existing Anti-virus product using the Anti-virus uninstall option, if available.
- Reboot your computer, if not done during the uninstall.
- Install the new Anti-virus product following the installation instructions.
- Check for updates to the new Anti-virus product, if not already done during the installation setup.
P2P File Sharing Programs are used as a major conduit for spreading malware infection to computer systems these days.Registry Cleaners Advisory
P2P programs (such as Ares, Azureus, BitTornado, Limewire, Kazaa, µTorrent, etc.) open up access to the computer on which the program is installed. The computer's settings are more often than not changed in a manner that renders the computer insecure and access to the computer remains open even when the program is not in use. Consequently, the system's security is completely compromised.
So be aware that it is not just what is downloaded that causes problems, just having a P2P program installed is like leaving all the doors to your house unlocked.
I advise you take the time to read the following articles that explain the risk of installing these programs:
I do not recommend the use of ANY Registry Cleaner software (examples: IObit Advanced SystemCare 4, RegClean Pro, RegWork, Uniblue RegistryBooster - to mention just a few).Ad-Aware 2007 Advisory
Here is an excerpt from a discussion on Registry Cleaners:
Most reg cleaners aren't "bad" as such, but they aren't perfect and even the best have been known to cause problems.
The point we are trying to make is that the risk of using one far outweighs any benefit.
If it does work perfectly you will not see any difference.
If it doesn't work properly you may end up with an expensive doorstop.
Lavasoft's Ad-Aware is now deemed to be ineffective in today's fight against malware and so I would advise against reinstalling this program.Viewpoint Software Advisory
Viewpoint, Viewpoint Manager, Viewpoint Media Player are Viewpoint components which are installed as a side effect of installing other software, most notably AOL and AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). Viewpoint Manager is responsible for managing and updating Viewpoint Media Player’s components. Anything that is installed without your consent is suspect. Though not exactly classed as malware they do have some undersirible characteristics. Read what Viewpoint says and make your own decision.
To provide a satisfying consumer experience and to operate effectively, the Viewpoint Media Player periodically sends information to servers at Viewpoint. Each installation of the Viewpoint Media Player is identifiable to Viewpoint via a Customer Unique Identifier (CUID), an alphanumeric identifier embedded in the Viewpoint Media Player. The Viewpoint Media Player randomly generates the CUID during installation and uses it to indicate a unique installation of the product. A CUID is never connected to a user's name, email address, or other personal contact information. CUIDs are used for the sole purpose of filtering redundant information. Each of these information exchanges occurs anonymously.
Usually there is no point uninstalling the Viewpoint program(s), as the AIM (plus other AOL software) application when present on a system will download/install the program(s) again without your knowledge the next time the AOL program is launched.
However, it is possible to prevent it from being recreated every time you run the AOL software as follows:
Step 5:Further Guidelines
- Open the AOL program.
- Go to Help > About AOL.
- Press Ctrl+D on the keyboard to access a hidden AOL panel.
- Disable all desktop and IM features associated with Viewpoint.
- Save the changes.
- Then Exit the AOL program.
Please follow these simple guidelines in order to help keep your computer more secure:
Update your Anti-virus program and other programs regularly.
Online Secunia Software Inspector - Copyright © Secunia.
Refer to F-secure Health Check - Copyright © F-Secure Corporation.
Outdated Software (on infected system):
Please note the following software was all outdated on your infected system:
Adobe Flash Player 10.3.183.7 <-- latest stable version is Adobe Flash Player 188.8.131.52.
Adobe Reader 8.3.1 <-- latest version is Adobe Reader 10.1.1.
Java SE Runtime Environment - See installed versions below! <-- latest version is Java SE 7 Update 2. Remember to check that all older versions are uninstalled once the program is updated.
J2SE Runtime Environment 5.0 Update 2Mozilla Firefox 3.5.19 <-- latest version is Mozilla Firefox 9.0.1.
Java 2 Runtime Environment, SE v1.4.2_03
Java(TM) 6 Update 17
Java(TM) 6 Update 2
Java(TM) 6 Update 3
Java(TM) 6 Update 5
Java(TM) 6 Update 7
Visit Microsoft often
Keep on top of critical updates, as well as other updates for your computer.
How to configure and use Automatic Updates in Windows XP
Using Windows Update for Windows XP
Microsoft Update Home
Read, stay informed.
To help minimize the chances of becoming re-infected, please read:
Computer Security - a short guide to staying safer online
If your computer is running slowly after your clean up, please read:What to do if your Computer is running slowly
Good luck with the reinstallation and stay safe. Please let me know when you have read this post and I will arrange to have the topic closed.Scolabar---------------------------------------------------
No Reply Within 3 Days Will Result In Your Topic Being Closed