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Thread: IE virus wtfvs

  1. #1
    art kolkovk
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    Post IE virus wtfvs

    Hey guys I had an old laptop running XP Pro. A couple of weeks ago, every time I would connect to the internet via DSL or wireless, the hard drive light would come on - as if it were writing something to the hard drive. It would cause IE to run slower than dial-up. I looked in task manager and although the CPU usage was high, there didn't seem to be a process listed that was using it. I used LavaSoft Adaware to scan on a regular basis as well as Norton 2005. I eventually gave up and bought a new laptop (Vista Home), which now has the same problem. It is obviously related to something that I copied over to the new computer from the old computer. But the things is, Norton Internet security isn't picking up a virus. I used it to scan everything before copying it on to the new computer. Has anyone heard of such a thing or had the same problem? I'd much rather be able to find and remove the problem rather than restore.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Random thoughts: It's not an automatic update process hard at work, is it? Do you use Skype or any other file-sharing program that turns your computer into a server of some kind? I don't use Norton, but I'm suspicious that N2005 may be a touch out of date. Last resort -- run HijackThis! to see if you've got a rogue process of some kind.

  3. #3
    DIY Member Squ1rrel's Avatar
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    Also, check out Spybot S&D. It is one of my favorite anti-spyware programs, and is updated regularly. Generally pretty good at hunting down any hidden pricesses, applications, or registry files.

  4. #4
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    I have used Grisoft's AVG as my anti virus program for about 15 years. It rarely has failed to protect my computers. Maybe once a year a virus or such sneaks through but it finds them and cleans them automatically or I have to do it manually. It has been free all those years and scans email etc..

    We also have used Spybot S&D and Ad-a-ware for many years, which were free and excellent but now they are starting to charge for them.

    I'd get rid of Norton and get the three of them.

  5. #5

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    I've used AVG for years. They seem to be moving toward a pay program since the newest version is pay only and the free version is still 7.5. The only concern about AVG is that it's a bit hungry for false positives - particularly in utility programs.

    Spybot is, so far as I know, still completely free, though they will accept donations and have done so in the years I've been using it.

    Ad-Aware also seems to be moving toward a pay version, though free is still available.

    As to the hard drive running when connecting to the internet: a lot of programs now look for updates as soon as an internet connection is available. This should slow soon after connection.

    However, there are a number of reasons why it might continue to run after connecting:

    1. improperly uninstalled Norton antivirus - all components from Norton or Symantec must be uninstalled or the LiveUpdate! will continue to attempt to update even though there is no program to update.

    2. Rootkit and/or hidden partition created by a trojan/virus can turn your computer into a server for **** or worse. These can be invisible to a normal antivirus (as well as being invisible to Windows).

    3. Spyware/adware. There is no known program that removes everything. Some viruses/trojans can be overcome by malware and cease to function. The baddies can shut down your firewall and your antivirus and turn your computer into a zombie. Too many strange things running in the background can also affect performance.

    4. insufficient memory. Too little memory and the computer cannot function without swapping back and forth from the hard drive constantly, slowing the computer drastically. Recommended minimum requirements: XP = 512 MB Ram, Vista 2 GB Ram. Depending on how you use resources, Vista can function on 1 GB, but 2 is better.

    To see how you're doing: Go to Start -> Run and type:
    msinfo32
    and hit enter to see the system properties. Pay attention to the amount of physical memory and available physical memory.

    In Vista, IIRC, type it into the blank above the start button.

    You can also check performance in the Task Manager. Page file usage should be relatively light.

  6. #6
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    Another good freebie is housecall.trendmicro.com. It's free and has found some things for me. Even if the free version won't eradicate it for you, at least you will know you have a virus.

    bob...

  7. #7
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    The laptop I'm on right now is used by a few dozen people, used to get a lot of what you're describing. It's been fine since I downloaded Spybot S&D, and AVG. I run them once a week.

    Both free, both update very regularly, both find stuff that Norton misses.

    Also - basic prevention - don't use IE, use Mozilla Firefox.
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    Plumber patrick88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchie View Post
    The laptop I'm on right now is used by a few dozen people, used to get a lot of what you're describing. It's been fine since I downloaded Spybot S&D, and AVG. I run them once a week.

    Both free, both update very regularly, both find stuff that Norton misses.

    Also - basic prevention - don't use IE, use Mozilla Firefox.

    I agree stop running IE it has some problems letting junk into your system.

    I would check out Antivir it has a free version. I never had any problems. Spybot is great too. I would also stop using windows firewall. It to has some questionable ways of doing things. I like ZoneAlarm personal. It is free too. It is also very user friendly.

    The best advise I can give Is run Linux instead of Winjunk.
    I'm just starting to work with an old friend of mine to bring solar electric and hot water systems, wind turbines, Flex Fuel Boilers, batteries, hydroponic gardening, books, pellet grills and more. Also the parts for DIY installation.

  9. #9

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    Defrag the hard drive and that should help, if not that something screwy is going on. Try using a different browser like Firefox, or call your ISP.

  10. #10
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Yes both Spybot and Ad-a-ware are still free, the old versions wouldn't do an update without sending you off to purchase the programs. Both web sites allow downloading the latest free version and I did on both computers the other day.

    I stopped using Zone Alarm when I got XP.
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  11. #11

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    Well although everyone has a lot of good suggestions about what it might be I think I can provide a little more insight on your issue.
    1.) Remember that your computer has whats called Swap Space. This is space used like the RAM on your computer but its actually hard-drive space. Swap Space is used so that you can run more programs and since its pulling from another location... i.e. the hard-drive it gives us more speed to the machine.
    So that is most likely why your computers hard-drive is spinning.

    If you do have a virus no big deal clean up... Spyware same thing...
    Now everyone telling you to stop using Internet Exploder is a good suggestion but you only have a few options.
    1.) Firefox
    2.) Opera
    Now both are good suggestions I am starting to get to like Opera now as Firefox has a major issue for me. It is a memory hog and doesnt do a great job freeing up memory after its in use. So if you load up Youtube for an hour or so you will be way up in the 125,000kbs of ram being used by firefox even though you are done with those sites.

    Speeding up your computer is a time old tradition that we all must learn.

    Here is my diagnosis to why things are running slower.
    As most users are guilty of you install new things such as music programs itunes whatever maybe some messengers a lot of crap gets installed.

    So a time honored tradition is to stop these things from being loaded until you call upon them.

    This is not something I am going to take responsibility for if you break your machine but I will attempt to help you get through it.

    Services.
    Right click my computer go to manage
    In manage there is a location called services and applications drill that open and select Services
    Now this part can be a lot of trial and error for the newbie but disabling services is step one in this process.
    Let me give you a few that are okay to disable in most situations.
    Remote Registry is a big one! Security issue here...
    I turn off all the Help stuff and also the Error Reporting service. Thats the one that everytime your machine crashes it says should we send an error report to microsoft?
    Another one I live without is messenger as I dont use MSN messenger. That one is your call...
    Task scheduler most antivirus programs have there own task scheduler in there so this is not needed either.

    Now if you really want to speed things up even more I suggest you take a look at what is automatically starting up on your system.
    The first area that does this is in the start menu
    Start Programs Startup
    For me there is nothing in this folder.
    You can use a program called autoruns to disable stuff starting automatically the program comes from sysinternals.com
    However this is dangerous if your not familiar with windows tweaking.

    Now you can also speed the machine up by adjusting the performance settings. Right click my computer select properties advanced tab performance settings
    These can be tweaked by every users so play with the options and turning some off will give you better results on computer speed.
    Doing a lot of these things should increase your speed but overall making sure you are virus free spyware free are a big piece to increasing speed.

    Reboot and call me in the morning

  12. #12
    Plumber patrick88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sapling View Post
    Well although everyone has a lot of good suggestions about what it might be I think I can provide a little more insight on your issue.
    1.) Remember that your computer has whats called Swap Space. This is space used like the RAM on your computer but its actually hard-drive space. Swap Space is used so that you can run more programs and since its pulling from another location... i.e. the hard-drive it gives us more speed to the machine.
    So that is most likely why your computers hard-drive is spinning.
    I agree with that swap space spinning the drive but it will not do it often unless the computer has low mem or the user is running alot of programs.
    Quote Originally Posted by sapling View Post
    If you do have a virus no big deal clean up... Spyware same thing...
    Now everyone telling you to stop using Internet Exploder is a good suggestion but you only have a few options.
    1.) Firefox
    2.) Opera
    Now both are good suggestions I am starting to get to like Opera now as Firefox has a major issue for me. It is a memory hog and doesnt do a great job freeing up memory after its in use. So if you load up Youtube for an hour or so you will be way up in the 125,000kbs of ram being used by firefox even though you are done with those sites.
    stop running IE is fine but you need to stop it from having free run of the internet. IE needs to be blocked from getting onto the net. That is why I Install ZoneAlarm just a click and I can block IE from having free reign.
    Firefox did have a memory problem in version 2.something but that is fixed with the newer version. Opera is nice but I have not used it much.
    Quote Originally Posted by sapling View Post
    Speeding up your computer is a time old tradition that we all must learn.

    Here is my diagnosis to why things are running slower.
    As most users are guilty of you install new things such as music programs itunes whatever maybe some messengers a lot of crap gets installed.

    So a time honored tradition is to stop these things from being loaded until you call upon them.

    This is not something I am going to take responsibility for if you break your machine but I will attempt to help you get through it.

    Services.
    Right click my computer go to manage
    In manage there is a location called services and applications drill that open and select Services
    Now this part can be a lot of trial and error for the newbie but disabling services is step one in this process.
    Let me give you a few that are okay to disable in most situations.
    Remote Registry is a big one! Security issue here...
    I turn off all the Help stuff and also the Error Reporting service. Thats the one that everytime your machine crashes it says should we send an error report to microsoft?
    Another one I live without is messenger as I dont use MSN messenger. That one is your call...
    Task scheduler most antivirus programs have there own task scheduler in there so this is not needed either.

    Now if you really want to speed things up even more I suggest you take a look at what is automatically starting up on your system.
    The first area that does this is in the start menu
    Start Programs Startup
    For me there is nothing in this folder.
    You can use a program called autoruns to disable stuff starting automatically the program comes from sysinternals.com
    However this is dangerous if your not familiar with windows tweaking.

    Now you can also speed the machine up by adjusting the performance settings. Right click my computer select properties advanced tab performance settings
    These can be tweaked by every users so play with the options and turning some off will give you better results on computer speed.
    Doing a lot of these things should increase your speed but overall making sure you are virus free spyware free are a big piece to increasing speed.

    Reboot and call me in the morning
    I would be very careful giving advise to mess with system internals. You could end up removing things you need. I have seen the out come of what people do when they are not sure how to fix it after. If your real brave Click on the run option and run msconfig and check out the startup list. I would check it often to see what is running in it and what you know you need and have installed. Installing more programs will only add to an ever growing problem. That is a hard drive getting filled and fragmented.

    Good Luck With Everything.
    I'm just starting to work with an old friend of mine to bring solar electric and hot water systems, wind turbines, Flex Fuel Boilers, batteries, hydroponic gardening, books, pellet grills and more. Also the parts for DIY installation.

  13. #13

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    Lose anything Norton and I would use avast which is beyond awesome. It is free at avast . com and I would continue to use Spybot. Mozilla beats IE for use and security!

  14. #14

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    Insufficient memory will greatly effect a startup virus scan, even with no applications running. It will page it self crazy!

  15. #15
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Let me just say Norton is a virus! Viruses cause your computer to slow down right? Norton is such a resource hog it make any computer running it slow way down.

    A lot of the suggestions are great! I'd just like to add 2 more computer condom type programs that you would be wise to consider both of them by Javacool... Spyware Guard and Spyware Blaster both are free and they block known spyware from loading... Spyware Guard is older and offers some protection no recent updates (last update was by Fred Flintstone) but still is worth loading as it does offer other protections as well. Spyware Blaster is heavy duty with frequent updates and loads of protection

    Link to download.com Spyware Blaster 4.1 page http://www.download.com/SpywareBlast...dlPid=10852839

    Link to download.com Spyware Guard 2.2 page http://www.download.com/SpywareGuard...dlPid=10514468

    The suggestion to get Hijack This is an excellent one! Several years ago I had an infestation that crippled the pc I was using, it was so bad that that it even prevented me from going to sites where I could get help. It blocked them! I downloaded to a disc then ran it. Its a good idea to get it and put it in a folder just in case you ever need it! Be very careful in using it! You could delete things and cause severe problems. basically you run it then post a log on a forum and the experts will tell you what to do then run it again and post until the infestation is finally clear. often as you take steps it tries to replicate itself and it can be very nasty. The version I used was an earlier version from before Trend Micro pick it up. I spotted a bug in it and reported it so I actually got helped by the guy who wrote it! He already knew about the bug and was fixing it in the next version that was coming out... Awesome program but very advanced and use with caution and guidance.

    Link to Download.com Hijack This page. http://www.download.com/Trend-Micro-...dlPid=10781312

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