My Windows XP computer is full of viruses and ads
Status: Curious
Joined: 27 Sep 2003
Posts: 6
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My computer is completely messed up, it has viruses and a bunch of other stuff, when I search for anything I get some weird search engine, and stuff keeps popping up. I had Norton antivirus but I forgot to pay the new subscription, does that matter?
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Your XP computer
Erik Johnson
Status: Interested
Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Posts: 17
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Hi Crystal, sorry to hear you have so many problems, that's sounds pretty bad, you're going to need to clean this stuff up. Try the following and that should get rid of most of your viruses and trojans/spyware/adware.

What's happened is that your system is currently full of what's called malware, it's very hard to clean out. If you follow these steps you might be able to recover the system, we'll see.

You might also want to read this thread on how to better protect your pc from viruses

Antivirus Products :: Installation and updating
Replace Norton antivirus with nod32 or if you want a free one, AVG, antivirus first thing.

nod32 for windows xp

Make absolutely sure that you completely uninstall Norton, all of it,
reboot, before installing nod32 or AVG. Nod32 costs about $40, but you just have to accept that good antivirus software isn't free.

I would do it in this order:
uninstall norton
install nod32 or AVG
run updates nod32 or AVG, full
reboot if required, AVG does not require a reboot.

run full system virus scan
see what happens

Install all new windows/IE update packs using windows update, you can do that from inside Windows XP

Use the Trend Micro online scan, and the Pandasoft online scan, both free. These usually catch some stuff that others miss. Make sure to disable your installed AV product before running these by the way.

Anti Spyware products :: installation and updating
Download, install, and run the following on your machine:
Spybot 1.3


both are free I believe, both should work fine for you, and one may catch bad stuff the other misses.

install both spyware programs, make sure you do a full update of each products spyware definition files
let them do a full scan of your pc, do this with both of them, I don't think
it's necessary to have them running in auto mode in general, just do scans
once in a while.

Sometimes the infections will be so severe that you will need to reboot into windows safe mode, you do that by clicking the F8 key right when windows starts up, then selecting the 'safe mode' option. This will allow the AV or Antispyware products to kill off things that were running as services in non safe mode.

Install Firefox browser, remove the Internet Explorer icon
from your desktop so nobody else uses it, make Firefox your default browser.
Your system will now be much much more secure than it was, but still not
teenager proof, but it will be better.

Use a Firewall
Also, if you are connecting to the internet through broadband, like dsl or cable, you will probably want to use a router, that's a real hardware firewall. If you don't have a router, use a software firewall like zonealarm. Zonealarm will help let you know that some program is trying to access the internet from your machine, it won't get rid of it, but it will alert you to the fact.

Hope that helps, Erik J
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