Questions

Close a program (any program) and IE opens up to "about:blank"

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Close a program (any program) and IE opens up to "about:blank"

The Weekly Geek
Ok, open IE and go straight to whatever home page is set, AOL, Google, any web page.
Run any program (Word, McAfee, Notepad, Media Player) and close the program and IE opens to a blank page labeled "about:blank".
So I figure it is the old about:blank hijacker in a new form. Install and run latest McAfee (that is on the PC, paid for and up to date), AVG anti-spyware, A-Squared, Spybot, Spyware Blaster, Ad-Aware, Fsecures Black light, SmitfraudFix, DCOMbob, CWShredder, ie-spyad2, socketlock. All are updated, all that could be were run in "safe mode".
Yes, I disabled "System Restore".
I manually went through the registry, none of the "normal" about:blank stuff was there before or after the scans.
Lots of "normal" spyware and tracking cookie "stuff" was found. No Trojans, no viruses.
This even occurs when programs are closed when in Safe Mode.
BTW, this only happens when closing a program, not when opening or using.
When connected to dial-up internet, when connected to high speed internet and when not connected to the internet this happens.
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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    You could have a new variant of the trusted old problem if it's something fairly new to start happening.

    About the only other possibility is that it's hiding under a different name that isn't being recognised by the various scanners that you have used. But if the Web Site is going to the About:Blank you know what the problem is but finding it sounds as if it's going to be a lot harder than it really needs to be.

    Is this your machine or someone else's that you are trying to fix?

    Col

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    The Weekly Geek

    It's a customers PC.
    It has been occuring "a while".
    a few weeks? months? since Christmas?
    "A while".

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    I wonder if they have renamed something that was the original problem so that's why you can see no reference the the About:Page

    Well as you've done everything right the only thing short of a reload is to look at what is running and see if there is anything odd there.

    This may not even be considered a problem by the owner and though it isn't right it could be the result of some other software that they have installed and they know all about it. Quite a lot of the Software that is downloaded free has add on bits included and this could just be a by product of something that they think is Cool to have installed.

    Is there any outbound traffic on the Ethernet when IE Opens with the blank page?

    Col

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    The Weekly Geek

    I did forget to mention that I have installed and been using "process Explorer" to watch for anything "wierd".
    So far nothing that I cannot explain but the nasty could be inside one of Windows processes.

    Search does not work on the PC either it errors with "a file that is required to run Search Companion cannot be found. You may need to run setup." It is so generic I wonder what they had and then uninstalled.

    Now McAfee Active Shield is erroring out on bootup, maybe from too much cleaning.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    You may try this

    http://tinyurl.com/4y24g

    Which may get things working again but at this stage I think that you're stuck with a data save wipe and reload. If you haven't got a wiping utility Boot & Nuke works quite well in destroying all the data on the HDD and is available here

    http://tinyurl.com/4rfur

    But what you are describing sounds very much like Vista's WGA where it shuts down the OS till it gets reactivated or the OS Stops working completely. As this doesn't happen or at least isn't supposed to happen with XP it really sounds as if there is something in there attacking what gets used the most and destroying the processes that are required to allow these things to run.

    Col

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    vincelyse

    To fix this I went to Tools, Internet Options, Advanced, Reset, and when it was finished resetting I downloaded the Windows updates and everything is back to normal.

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    equinelover

    You are a genius!! Thank you, I was about to pull my hair out. That worked just fine.

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    spamscanner

    i was looking at a complete reformat / re-install cause of the about:blank thing... the reset has saved me alot of time. THANKS AGAIN

    i agree with the other guy.. pure genius

  • +
    0 Votes
    HAL 9000 Moderator

    You could have a new variant of the trusted old problem if it's something fairly new to start happening.

    About the only other possibility is that it's hiding under a different name that isn't being recognised by the various scanners that you have used. But if the Web Site is going to the About:Blank you know what the problem is but finding it sounds as if it's going to be a lot harder than it really needs to be.

    Is this your machine or someone else's that you are trying to fix?

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    The Weekly Geek

    It's a customers PC.
    It has been occuring "a while".
    a few weeks? months? since Christmas?
    "A while".

    +
    0 Votes
    HAL 9000 Moderator

    I wonder if they have renamed something that was the original problem so that's why you can see no reference the the About:Page

    Well as you've done everything right the only thing short of a reload is to look at what is running and see if there is anything odd there.

    This may not even be considered a problem by the owner and though it isn't right it could be the result of some other software that they have installed and they know all about it. Quite a lot of the Software that is downloaded free has add on bits included and this could just be a by product of something that they think is Cool to have installed.

    Is there any outbound traffic on the Ethernet when IE Opens with the blank page?

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    The Weekly Geek

    I did forget to mention that I have installed and been using "process Explorer" to watch for anything "wierd".
    So far nothing that I cannot explain but the nasty could be inside one of Windows processes.

    Search does not work on the PC either it errors with "a file that is required to run Search Companion cannot be found. You may need to run setup." It is so generic I wonder what they had and then uninstalled.

    Now McAfee Active Shield is erroring out on bootup, maybe from too much cleaning.

    +
    0 Votes
    HAL 9000 Moderator

    You may try this

    http://tinyurl.com/4y24g

    Which may get things working again but at this stage I think that you're stuck with a data save wipe and reload. If you haven't got a wiping utility Boot & Nuke works quite well in destroying all the data on the HDD and is available here

    http://tinyurl.com/4rfur

    But what you are describing sounds very much like Vista's WGA where it shuts down the OS till it gets reactivated or the OS Stops working completely. As this doesn't happen or at least isn't supposed to happen with XP it really sounds as if there is something in there attacking what gets used the most and destroying the processes that are required to allow these things to run.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    vincelyse

    To fix this I went to Tools, Internet Options, Advanced, Reset, and when it was finished resetting I downloaded the Windows updates and everything is back to normal.

    +
    0 Votes
    equinelover

    You are a genius!! Thank you, I was about to pull my hair out. That worked just fine.

    +
    0 Votes
    spamscanner

    i was looking at a complete reformat / re-install cause of the about:blank thing... the reset has saved me alot of time. THANKS AGAIN

    i agree with the other guy.. pure genius