Re: computer hi-jacked
From: www.i--search.com (www.i--search.com_at_discussions.microsoft.com)
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2005 13:19:03 -0800
shenan, i did all of tip 10. i restarted the computer and that
www.i--search.com page came on again. it takes the whole screen up where you
can`t get off it at all.it has taken over the" search engine" completely.
anything you can do to help me will be appreciated.........thx
"Shenan Stanley" wrote:
> www.i - - search . com wrote
> > need help please!!! everytime i go to homepage or email a web site called
> > www.i- - search. com has taken over the computer. is there anyway i can
> > get rid
> > of this? i tried deleting it in cookies and history and it will not
> > delete.
> > please help thank you
> Punctuation. Try it.
> Scroll down to tip 10 to help get rid of your hijacker.
> Then I suggest you read through all the other tips - they likely apply.
> Protect your PC
> Let's take the cleanup of your computer step-by-step. Yes, it will take
> up some of your time - but consider what you use your computer
> for and how much you would dislike it if all of your stuff on your
> computer went away because you did not "feel like" performing some
> simple maintenance tasks - think of it like changing the oil in your car,
> changing the air filter on your home A/C unit, paying your bills on time,
> Let's go through some maintenance first that should only have to be done
> once (mostly):
> Tip (1):
> Locate all of the software (the installation media - CDs, etc) that you
> have installed on your computer. Collect these CDs into a single pile
> and locate the original installation media (CDs, disks) in a central and
> safe place along with their CD keys and such. Make backups of these
> installation media sets using your favorite copying method (CD Burner and
> application, Disk copier, etc.) You'll be glad to know that if you have
> a CD burner, you may be able to use a free application to make a
> duplicate copy of your CDs. One such application is ISORecorder:
> ISORecorder home page (with general instructions on use):
> Pre-SP2 version:
> Post-SP2 beta version:
> Tip (2):
> Empty your Internet Explorer Temporary Internet Files and make sure the
> maximum size for this is small enough not to cause trouble in the future.
> Empty your Temporary Internet Files and shrink the size it stores to a
> size between 10MB and 360MB..
> - Open ONE copy of Internet Explorer.
> - Select TOOLS -> Internet Options.
> - Under the General tab in the "Temporary Internet Files" section, do the
> - Click on "Delete Cookies" (click OK)
> - Click on "Settings" and change the "Amount of disk space to use:" to
> something between 10MB and 360MB. (Betting it is MUCH larger right
> - Click OK.
> - Click on "Delete Files" and select to "Delete all offline contents"
> (the checkbox) and click OK. (If you had a LOT, this could take 2-10
> minutes or more.)
> - Once it is done, click OK, close Internet Explorer, re-open Internet
> Tip (3):
> If things are running a bit slow or you have an older system
> (1.5GHz or less and 256MB RAM or less) then you may want to look into
> tweaking the performance a bit by turning off some of the memory
> using Windows XP "prettifications". The fastest method is:
> Control Panel --> System --> Advanced tab --> Performance section,
> Settings button. Then choose "adjust for best performance" and you
> now have a Windows 2000/98 look which turned off many of the annoying
> "prettifications" in one swift action. You can play with the last
> three checkboxes to get more of an XP look without many of the
> other annoyances. You could also grab and install/mess with one
> (or more) of the Microsoft Powertoys - TweakUI in particular:
> Tip (4):
> Understanding what a good password might be is vital to your
> personal and system security. You may not need to password your home
> computer, as you may have it in a locked area (your home) where no
> one else has access to it. Remember, however, that locked area is
> unlocked when you access the Internet unless you are taking proper
> precautions. Also, you aren't always "in that locked area" when using
> your computer online - meaning you likely have usernames and passwords
> associated with web sites and the likes that you would prefer other
> people do not discover/use. This is why you should understand and
> utilize good passwords.
> Good passwords are those that meet these general rules
> (mileage may vary):
> Passwords should contain at least six characters, and the character
> string should contain at least three of these four character types:
> - uppercase letters
> - lowercase letters
> - numerals
> - nonalphanumeric characters (e.g., *, %, &, !)
> Passwords should not contain your name/logon name. Passwords should
> be unique to you and easy to remember. One method many people are
> using today is to make up a phrase that describes a point in their
> life and then turning that phrase into their password by using only
> certain letters out of each word in that phrase. It's much better
> than using your birthday month/year or your anniversary in a pure
> sense. For example, let's say my phrase is:
> "Discharged from Marines in 1964"
> I could come up with this password from that:
> The password tip is in the "one time" section, but I highly
> recommend you periodically change your passwords. The suggested time
> varies, but I will throw out a "once in every 3 to 6 months for
> every account you have."
> Tip (5):
> This tip is also "questionable" in the "one time" section. However,
> if properly setup, this one can be pretty well ignored for most people
> after the initial "fiddle-with" time.
> Why you should use a computer firewall..
> You should, in some way, use a firewall. Hardware (like a nice
> Cable Modem/DSL router) or software is up to you. Many use both of
> these. The simplest one to use is the hardware one, as most people
> don't do anything they need to configure their NAT device for and
> those who do certainly will not mind fiddling with the equipment to
> make things work for them. Next in the line of "simplicity" would
> have to be the built-in Windows Firewall of Windows XP. In SP2 it
> is turned on by default. It is not difficult to turn on in any
> case, however:
> Enable/Disable the Internet Connection Firewall (Pre-SP2):
> More information on the Internet Connection Firewall (Pre-SP2):
> Post-SP2 Windows Firewall Information/guidance:
> The trouble with the Windows Firewall is that it only keeps things
> out. Truthfully, for most people who maintain their system in other
> ways, this is MORE than sufficient. However, you may feel otherwise.
> If you want to know when one of your applications is trying to obtain
> access to the outside world so you can stop it, then you will have to
> install a third-party application and configure/maintain it. I have
> compiles a list with links of some of the better known/free firewalls
> you can choose from:
> ZoneAlarm (Free and up)
> Kerio Personal Firewall (KPF) (Free and up)
> Outpost Firewall from Agnitum (Free and up)
> Sygate Personal Firewall (Free and up)
> Symantec's Norton Personal Firewall (~$25 and up)
> BlackICE PC Protection ($39.95 and up)
> Tiny Personal Firewall (~$49.00 and up)
> Perhaps you can find the right firewall for your situation in that
> list and set it up/configure it. Every firewall MAY require some
> maintenance. Essentially checking for patches or upgrades (this
> goes for hardware and software solutions) is the extent of this
> maintenance - but you may also have to configure your firewall to
> allow some traffic depending on your needs. Also, don't stack these
> things. Running more than one firewall will not make you safer
> - it would likely (in fact) negate some protection you gleamed
> from one or the other firewalls you run.
> Now that you have some of the more basic (one-time) things down..
> Let's go through some of the steps you should take periodically to
> maintain a healthy and stable windows computer. If you have not
> done some of these things in the past, they may seem tedious at
> first - however, they will become routine and some can even be
> automatically scheduled.
> Tip (6):
> The system restore feature is a new one - first appearing in Windows
> ME and then sticking around for Windows XP. It is a VERY useful
> feature - if you keep it maintained and use it to your advantage.
> However, remember that the system restore pretty much tells you in
> the name what it protects - "system" files. Your documents, your
> pictures, your stuff is NOT system files - so you should also look
> into some backup solution.
> I'll mainly work around Windows XP, as that is what the bulk of this
> document is about. I will, however, point out a single place for you
> poor souls still stuck in Windows ME where you can get information on
> maintaining your system right now:
> Windows ME Computer Health:
> Pay close attention to the sections:
> (in order)
> - Clean up your hard disk
> - Check for errors by running ScanDisk
> - Defragment your hard disk
> - Roll back the clock with System Restore
> Now back to the point at hand - maintaining your system restore in
> Windows XP SHOULD be automatic - but I have seen the automatic go wrong
> too many times not to suggest the following.. Whenever you think about
> it (after doing a once-over on your machine once a month or so would
> be optimal) - clear out your System Restore and create a manual
> restoration point. Why? Too many times have I seen the system restore
> files go currupt or get a virus in them, meaning you could not or
> did not want to restore from them. By clearing it out periodically
> you help prevent any corruption from happening and you make sure you
> have at least one good "snapshot".
> (This, of course, will erase any previous restore point you have.)
> - Turn off System Restore.
> - Reboot.
> - Turn on System Restore.
> - Make a Manual Restoration Point.
> That covers your system files, but doesn't do anything for the files
> that you are REALLY worried about - yours! For that you need to look
> into backups. You can either manually copy your important files, folders,
> documents, spreadsheets, emails, contacts, pictures, drawings and so on
> to an external location (CD/DV - any disk of some sort, etc) or you can
> use the backup tool that comes with Windows XP:
> How To Use Backup to Back Up Files and Folders on Your Computer
> Yes - you still need some sort of external media to store the results
> on, but you could schedule the backup to occur when you are not around,
> then burn the resultant data onto CD or DVD or something when you are
> (while you do other things!)
> Tip (7):
> You should sometimes look through the list of applications that are
> installed on your computer. The list MIGHT surprise you. There are more
> than likely things in there you KNOW you never use - so why have them
> there? There may even be things you KNOW you did not install and
> certainly do not use (maybe don't WANT to use.)
> This web site should help you get started at looking through this list:
> How to Uninstall Programs
> A word of warning - Do NOT uninstall anything you think you MIGHT need
> in the future unless you have completed Tip (1) and have the installation
> media and proper keys for use backed up somewhere safe!
> Tip (8):
> Patches and Updates!
> This one cannot be stressed enough. It is SO simple, yet so neglected
> by many people. It is especially simple for the critical Windows patches!
> Microsoft put in an AUTOMATED feature for you to utilize so that you do
> NOT have to worry yourself about the patching of the Operating System:
> How to configure and use Automatic Updates in Windows XP
> However, not everyone wants to be a slave to "automation", and that is
> fine - as long as you are willing to do things manually. Admittedly, I
> prefer this method on some of my more critical systems.
> Windows Update
> Go there and scan your machine for updates. Always get the critical ones
> as you see them. Write down the KB###### or Q###### you see when
> selecting the updates and if you have trouble over the next few days,
> go into your control panel (Add/Remove Programs), match up the latest
> numbers you downloaded recently (since you started noticing an issue) and
> uninstall them. If there was more than one (usually is), uninstall them
> one by one - with a few hours of use in between, to see if the problem
> returns. Yes - the process is not perfect (updating) and can cause trouble
> like I mentioned - but as you can see, the solution isn't that bad - and is
> MUCH better than the alternatives.
> Windows is not the only product you likely have on your PC. The
> manufacturers of the other products usually have updates as well. New
> versions of almost everything come out all the time - some are free, some
> are pay - some you can only download if you are registered - but it is best
> to check. Just go to their web pages and look under their support and
> download sections. For example, for Microsoft Office update, you should
> Microsoft Office Updates
> (and select "downloads")
> You also have hardware on your machine that requires drivers to interface
> with the operating system. You have a video card that allows you to see on
> your screen, a sound card that allows you to hear your PCs sound output and
> so on. Visit those manufacturer web sites for the latest downloadable
> drivers for your hardware/operating system. Always (IMO) get the
> manufacturers hardware driver over any Microsoft offers. On the Windows
> Update site I mentioned earlier, I suggest NOT getting their hardware
> drivers - no matter how tempting. First - how do you know what hardware
> you have in your computer? Invoice or if it is up and working now - take
> Belarc Advisor
> EVEREST Home Edition
> Once you know what you have, what next? Go get the latest driver for your
> hardware/OS from the manufacturer's web page. For example, let's say you
> have an NVidia chipset video card or ATI video card, perhaps a Creative
> Labs sound card or C-Media chipset sound card...
> NVidia Video Card Drivers
> ATI Video Card Drivers
> Creative Labs Sound Device
> C-Media Sound Device
> Then install these drivers. Updated drivers are usually more stable and
> may provide extra benefits/features that you really wished you had before.
> As for Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows XP, Microsoft has made this
> particular patch available in a number of ways. First, there is the
> Windows Update web page above. Then there is a direct download site
> and finally, you can order the FREE CD from Microsoft.
> Direct Download of Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows XP
> Order the Free Windows XP SP2 CD
> Tip (9):
> What about the dreaded word in the computer world, VIRUS?
> Well, there are many products to choose from that will help you prevent
> infections from these horrid little applications. Many are FREE to the
> home user. Which one you choose is a matter of taste, really. I wouldn't
> list one here I had not personally used - and they all work. Many people
> have emotional attachments or performance issues with one or another
> AntiVirus software. Try some out, read reviews and decide for yourself
> which you like more:
> Symantec (Norton) AntiVirus (~$11 and up)
> Kaspersky Anti-Virus (~$49.95 and up)
> Panda Antivirus Titanium (~$39.95 and up)
> (Free Online Scanner: http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/)
> AVG Anti-Virus System (Free and up)
> McAfee VirusScan (~$11 and up)
> AntiVir (Free and up)
> avast! (Free and up)
> Trend Micro (~$49.95 and up)
> (Free Online Scanner:
> RAV AntiVirus Online Virus Scan (Free!)
> Most of them have automatic update capabilities. You will have to
> look into the features of the one you choose. Whatever one you finally
> settle with - be SURE to keep it updated (I recommend at least daily) and
> perform a full scan periodically (yes, it protects you actively, but a
> full scan once a month at 4AM probably won't bother you.)
> Tip (10):
> The most rampant infestation at the current time concerns SPYWARE/ADWARE.
> I hate this stuff. It has no purpose. I have seen people try to justify
> it over and over - it's worthless. It slows down your PC, it can send
> your private information to people you'll never meet and did I mention,
> it's worthless. You need to eliminate it from your machine.
> If you use P2P software, this COULD make that stop working. Find some
> decent software to do the same thing - what you are currently using is
> Anyway - there is no one software that cleans and immunizes you against
> everything. Antivirus software - you only needed one. Firewall, you
> only needed one. AntiSpyware - you may need several. I have a list and
> I recommend you use at least the first 5. I know that sounds like a lot,
> and you may be saying "But you said earlier that I should clean my system,
> now you are telling me to install more software - 5 pieces in fact!" Okay,
> I get your point, but please consider that this stuff has prevented the
> install of the latest service pack for some people, it has the potential
> to slow and crater your PC, it can send your private information around
> the world to people you do not know - it is all around BAD.
> First - make sure you have NOT installed "Rogue AntiSpyware". There are
> people out there who created AntiSpyware products that actually install
> spyware of their own! You need to avoid these:
> Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware Products & Web Sites
> Also, you can always visit this site..
> For more updated information.
> Then, my suggestion again is that you at least install the first five of
> these: (Install, Run, Update, Scan with..)
> Lavasoft AdAware (Free and up)
> (How-to: http://snipurl.com/atdn )
> Spybot Search and Destroy (Free!)
> (How-to: http://snipurl.com/atdk )
> Bazooka Adware and Spyware Scanner (Free!)
> (How-to: http://snipurl.com/ate3 )
> SpywareBlaster (Free!)
> (How-to: http://snipurl.com/ate6 )
> IE-SPYAD (Free!)
> (How-to: http://snipurl.com/ate7 )
> CWShredder (Free!)
> Hijack This! (Free)
> ( Tutorial: http://hjt.wizardsofwebsites.com/ )
> ToolbarCop (Free!)
> Browser Security Tests
> Popup Tester
> The Cleaner (49.95 and up)
> If used properly, you should have a malware free system now. The last
> two of the first five I suggest you install are immunization applications.
> None of these programs (in these editions) run in the background unless you
> TELL them to. The space they take up and how easy they are to use greatly
> makes up for any inconvenience you may be feeling.
> Unfortunately, although that will lessen your popups on the Internet/while
> you are online, it won't eliminate them. I have looked at a lot of options,
> seen a lot of them used in production with people who seem to attract popups
> like a plague, and I only have a few other suggestions that should help.
> one ends up serving double duty (search engine and popup stopper in one):
> The Google Toolbar (Free!)
> Yeah - it adds a bar to your Internet Explorer - but its a useful one. You
> can search from there anytime with one of the best search engines on the
> planet (IMO.) And the fact it stops most popups - wow - BONUS! If you
> don't like that suggestion, then I am just going to say you go to
> www.google.com and search for other options.
> Please notice that Windows XP SP2 does help stop popups as well.
> Another option is to use an alternative Web browser. I suggest
> "Mozilla Firefox", as it has some great features and is very easy to use:
> Mozilla Firefox
> One more suggestion is to disable your Windows Messenger service. This
> service is not used frequently (if at all) by the normal home user and
> in cooperation with a good firewall, is generally unnecessary. Microsoft
> has instructions on how to do this for Windows XP here:
> So your machine is pretty clean and up to date now. If you use the sections
> above as a guide, it should stay that way as well! There are still a few
> little things you can do to keep your machine running in top shape.
> Tip (11):
> You should periodically check your hard drive(s) for errors and defragment
> them. Only defragment after you have cleaned up your machine of
> outside parasites and never defragment as a solution to a quirkiness in
> your system. It may help speed up your system, but it should be clean
> before you do this.
> How to use Disk Cleanup
> How to scan your disks for errors
> How to Defragment your hard drives
> I would personally perform the above steps at least once every three months.
> For most people this should be sufficient, but if the difference you notice
> afterwards is greater than you think it should be, lessen the time in
> its schedule.. If the difference you notice is negligible, you can increase
> the time.
> Tip (12):
> SPAM! JUNK MAIL!
> This one can get annoying, just like the rest. You get 50 emails in one
> sitting and 2 of them you wanted. NICE! (Not.) What can you do? Well,
> although there are services out there to help you, some email
> servers/services that actually do lower your spam with features built into
> their servers - I still like the methods that let you be the end-decision
> maker on what is spam and what is not. I have two products to suggest to
> you, look at them and see if either of them suite your needs. Again, if
> they don't, Google is free and available for your perusal.
> SpamBayes (Free!)
> Spamihilator (Free!)
> As I said, those are not your only options, but are reliable ones I have
> seen function for hundreds+ people.
> Tip (13):
> ADVANCED TIP! Only do this once you are comfortable under the hood of your
> There are lots of services on your PC that are probably turned on by default
> you don't use. Why have them on? Check out these web pages to see what all
> of the services you might find on your computer are and set them according
> your personal needs. Be CAREFUL what you set to manual, and take heed and
> write down as you change things! Also, don't expect a large performance
> increase or anything - especially on today's 2+ GHz machines, however - I
> at each service you set to manual as one less service you have to worry
> someone exploiting. A year ago, I would have thought the Windows Messenger
> service to be pretty safe, now I recommend (with addition of a firewall)
> that most home users disable it! Yeah - this is another one you have to
> work for, but your computer may speed up and/or be more secure because you
> took the time. And if you document what you do as you do it, next time, it
> goes MUCH faster! (or if you have to go back and re-enable things..)
> Task List Programs
> Black Viper's Service List and Opinions (XP)
> Processes in Windows NT/2000/XP
> There are also applications that AREN'T services that startup when you start
> up the computer/logon. One of the better description on how to handle these
> I have found here:
> If you follow the advice laid out above (and do some of your own research as
> well, so you understand what you are doing) - your computer will stay fairly
> stable and secure and you will have a more trouble-free system.
> <- Shenan ->
> The information is provided "as is", it is suggested you research for
> yourself before you take any advice - you are the one ultimately responsible
> for your actions/problems/solutions. Know what you are getting into before
> you jump in with both feet.