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Whats the BEST way to get rid of this CRAP!
Published on September 27, 2004 By RomanDA In Internet


Because my friends and associates think I am a computer person (*IE Someone who knows what to do with these stupid things OTHER then turn them on, leave them on for years, and once a month check email, OK I was an IT Manager for 13 years that might help too) I am bombarded by people asking me how to fix their totally screwed up pc's.

I have found that 99% of these people have either MALWARE, SPYWARE or other types of processes/programs running or TAKING OVER their pc. It is amazing to me how much crap people can load onto their pc's. One friend & wife (who share their home pc with 3 teenagers!) had over 400 running processes that AD-AWARE found. It took Ad-Aware over 4 hrs of checking this pc, and letting it boot into Ad-Aware to remove this junk. I had to run it on every persons login, and it found so many things in each one.

My question's to you are:

  1. How do you find and remove these from your computer.
  2. What do you use to KEEP your pc free from these programs?
  • PLEASE post links to download it
  • If it is free or cost $$ (and how much)
  • As well as how hard they were to run.
  • Any issues you have found with other programs.

Please do NOT post things like "Yeah me too", I only want you to post info that can help others.
I am looking to make a CD for the people who's pc's are so screwed up that they cant even get onto the net any longer.
I want to offer them some choices to work from, incase one doesn't work.
Thanks in advance for all your help!

As for me:
I use: AD-AWARE SE to remove these, but I don't have anything to keep them off my pc.

Visit my web site

on Sep 27, 2004
From my experience Ad-Aware is a great program. But it doesn't seem to be complete for me.

I also use Spybot Search and Destroy. It is free, very easy to use, and picks up some things that Ad-Aware will miss. It is very simple to keep up to date. I usually run Ad-Aware and then follow that with a sweep of Spybot.

In addition I find it helpful to keep the internet cache small (I keep mine set at 5 megs) and clear out temporary internet files regularly.

I also find that a virus scanner is a must (obviously) and for those who don't want to pay there are some good, free options out there such as AVG antivirus. There are also free versions of Zone Alarm firewall and Kerio personal firewall. Best bet IMO is to just get a router as so many are so cheap these days and enable the hardware firewall, but free software options work as well.
on Sep 27, 2004
On my home system I have:

1) a router with firewall
2) Sygate Personal Firewall (available from www.download.com here)
3) Ad-Aware 6.181 (referenced above)
4) Spybot Search and Destroy (referenced above)
5) Norton Anti-Virus, corporate edition (supplied by my company since I use my home PC to connect to our VPN)
6) Mozilla FireFox (available from www.mozilla.org), instead of Internet Explorer
7) an understood policy that I alone load new programs.

on Sep 27, 2004

Sounds like a GREAT plan. My son's pc is getting changed so that he only had icons for programs I allow him to use, as well as removing links on his web browser, and the address bar to type things in with. Even at that its amazing how simple it is for crap to get thru.

Thanks for the input!
on Sep 28, 2004
Mailwasher: (Free version) ...checks email while it's still on the host server, so you delete the crap in emails before it gets to your computer.
ZoneAlarm Pro
Norton AV Pro
Spybot S&D
Ad-Aware (latest vers.)
Mozilla Firefox

....and the router is coming soon. But nothing gets through my configuration (yet)
on Dec 05, 2004
Giant Antispyware. try it and never look back....its awesome. you can scedule stuff, it prevents stuff from loading, keeps IE sealed, stops startup items from loading....
on Dec 05, 2004
ooooops.....ok its free for 15 days then you have to pay for updates
get it from www.giantcompany.com
cost is $15 i think
on Jan 17, 2005
Don't forget JavaCools Spyware Blaster. There's a link to it on Spybot S&D when you immunize.

on Jan 17, 2005
Spyware gets on computers generally in two ways. Users installing 'free' programs and so called 'drive-by' installations.

The drive-by can be pretty much eliminated by a combination of keeping the OS updated with the latest patches and adjusting the security settings in IE for less access. Your best bet for this info is to do a web search as there are many sites that have recommended settings to lock down IE.

Users installing software is a more difficult problem to correct since some people just can't live with this free screensaver or that free toolbar. In addition, there are the windows that pop up on web pages asking the user if they want to "Install some specified software". It is hard for the novice to know what is safe to install and what is not.
on Jan 17, 2005
No one has mentioned these so here it is:


Both free - and both prevent spyware from installing in the first place. My last ad aware scan yeilded only one piece of spyware thanks to those proggies.
on Jan 17, 2005
I have put together a "rescue CD" that I use to bail out friends & family who've become clogged with spyware (first 5 are for cleaning up, the rest for immunizing):
1.AdAware SE
2. Spybot S&D
3. HiJackThis
4.CWS Shredder
5. NAV 2004 Installer
(The NAV installer is what I DLed when I bought my last suscription. It gives them a 15 day trial, assuming they don't already have an AV program.)
* I also have SP2 on CD in case they haven't istalled that yet.
6. BHO Demon (if they insist on staying with IE)
7. SpywareGuard
8. SpywareBlaster
9. Sygate Personal Firewall/ ZoneAlarm firewall, their preference
10. Firefox 1.0 http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/
11. I also inlude KazaaBegone in case they've had that installed
1,2,3,4,6,7,8,11- DL from: http://majorgeeks.com/downloads31.html
9 at: http://majorgeeks.com/downloads34.html
I know a lot of these are already recommended by others here, but that's my "little-black-bag"
on Jan 17, 2005
I am using the new Microsoft Anti-Spyware, and it seems to work pretty good.
Anyone find anything in it that is a problem?

I need to put together that same Recovery CD.

on Jan 18, 2005
i use firefox and that gets rid of most of the spyware (most spyware is designed to come thru IE) so im happy...

also got adaware, spybot S&D and spyhunter.
on Jan 18, 2005
i use firefox and that gets rid of most of the spyware (most spyware is designed to come thru IE) so im happy...

also got adaware, spybot S&D and spyhunter.
on Jan 18, 2005
IE6 with SP2 installed
MS AntiSpyware Beta
Spybot S&D
Norton's Internet Security

So far...system is clean
on Jan 18, 2005
Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird (e-mail)
XPSP2 (for IE when I'm forced to use it and for firewall)
Spybot S&D
Spyware Blaster
MS Anti-Spyware Beta (used to be Giant, but then MS bought the company)

My system is clean, I get almost no spam (I get so little to begin with that Thunderbird is still learning), and I didn't pay a cent for any of it other than the cost of Windows XP when I bought the computer. Having a secure computer can be cheap and easy provided you know what you're doing and you don't download any free programs without checking up on them first.