I have a toolbar on my computer that I cannot get rid of. It is characterized by different colored blocks that have "Hotspots", then a box to enter stuff, "Remove Toolbar", "Gambling", "Internet", "Pharmacy" and so on. When I click on the "Remove Toolbar" link it sends me to "Link 1" or "Link 2" I click on either one of them and it sends me to an advertisement to Stopzilla, but nowhere else on the screen can I click to uninstall, so basically if I want this toolbar off, I will have to buy Stopzilla, that is the only way to get it off, however, I don't want to do that. I tried to right click on the toolbar to uncheck it but it doesn't even appear? Any help or anything would be appreciated. I tried to go into my remove programs, but it wasn't there either.
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search google for the free downloads: spybot search and destroy, install and update then wipe out those bastards and it will keep them off too. If that doesn't remove them then the other tool is "cwshredder" , this is free and has to be the most heavy duty spyware removal tool available (hopefully the guy is still putting it out, I have a slightly older version)
Since a couple of days I have this same toolbar on my PC (Windows XP - SP1).
I tried AdAware, SpyBot SD, MS Antispyware, Symantec Internet Security all with most recent updates but they don't even detect it !
What I could find out myself is that (at least) following files are related to the problem but there can be more and I don't have any idea what registry-keys could be involved : spgag.dll ; ie2ctrl.dll ; diskperff.dll in the Windows-folder (c:\windows\). I was able to remove the toolbar by renaming these files but from time till time it tries to install itself (blocked by MS AntiSpyware). So, it is still hanging arround somewhere.
In addition there is something strange with notepad : I remove notepad.exe (by renaming it) from the Windows-folder but after a refreshing the foldercontents (e.g. by pushing F5) notepad.exe is back !
I don't find any more information on the Internet (searching by Google and AltaVista). I don't find any usefull information on the Symantec web-site.
I hope that at least someone can tell me the name of this ad-ware ?
You need to run those scans in safe mode. Something is running in the backround to avoid detection. Some home made viruses are really hard to beat, it could be on the boot sector (not that I know much about that) but in a worst case senerio boot to another drive if possible then do a thorough scan of all files. It is possible for Norton to be disarmed and not able to detect this bug so using another boot installation such as putting the infected drive into a clean computer as a non-boot drive then scan the hell out of it, just don't run any apps from it. You may even try using Norton's web based scanner first, it won't remove anything but it will tell you what files it finds to be infected with "known" viruses. You'll probably want to use start/run/msconfig/ok then in the startup tab click "disable all" Apply and then restart computer. This disables all startup apps as you probably already know, but it may help to allow the web based scanner to detect the offender. Go here and click on the globe at the bottom right a for virus scan:
Thought I would add this for anyone else that may be interested.
Hey, I read an article in PC Mag that details a new type of virus that runs at a very low level in the system process that allows it to alter the normal operation of the operating system preventing it to even report the correct file name and location of the infected file. This can cause the actual virus file to change names, size or location that the system reports it to be.
These are called "Rootkits". There are several free tools that have been developed to try to snif out rootkits, I have not had the chance to try any of them but here is what is listed in the article: