Questions

Internet Connection Slowed

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Internet Connection Slowed

j_aaberg
Just about a week ago now we upgraded our dial-up to a satellite internet connection. It was working great up until a few days ago. I have a younger brother who was on Windows Live Messenger and had clicked on one of those virus/spyware hidden links. After I found that out I had to spend $40 to renew our McAfee Security Center which we had not been using for around 3 months due to not re-subscribing. So I ended up buying and downloading that, then I realized that surfing the web become very slow compared to what it was at when we had gotten our new internet. I don't know if it is because of the virus/spyware that my younger brother clicked on or because of the newly updated McAfee. I have been trying everything I can think of and frankly I am out of ideas. I am only a Junior in high school so if it is an obvious problem please don't give me too much grief ;). But I would really appreciate anybodies insights on what the problem could be and how to fix it. Thanks.
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    Jacky Howe

    A couple of things to try.
    Use a spyware program like Spybot to check for malaware. Install it but run it in Safe Mode.

    Download HijackThis v2.0.2 for Spyware
    http://aumha.org/downloads/hijackthis.exe

    Post your hijackthis log to an appropriate forum. Then follow their instructions.

    http://forums.spybot.info/forumdisplay.php?f=22
    http://castlecops.com/forum67.html

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    OnTheRopes

    Last night I called Hughesnet satellite support because <i>our</i> connection slowed to a crawl. At the end of the call I was asked to perform their speed test for 3 days, 4X throughout each day, 3 tests each time and then call them back with the results. It may be <i>them</i> having some type of problem and not me. That may be your case as well.
    <br><br>
    Re: Fair Access Policy- The satellite service we use has a fairly low cap, 350mb in 24 hours. That seems to be equivalent to a day of normal browsing followed by watching 3 hours of youtube movies. I've hit my cap once and the speed was abysmally slow, less than dial-up. You can check your usage yourself by going to the web page your ISP will provide to see if you've hit the FAP limit.

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    j_aaberg

    But I also have a PS3 and it is connected to our wireless router so I tried that to see if it was the network, but that runs the exact same as it did before. I did forget to mention before though that I have been having problems with my Windows Live Messenger so in the end I deleted it and downloaded it again. It still is rarely working and when it does it lags badly (like you would click on something and it won't realize it for a few seconds). So right now I am almost totally lost. I am tempted to just delete the whole McAfee Security Center and see if that was the problem but if it wasn't I'm not sure if I can re-download the new version I had to pay $40 for. And if that was it, I don't know if I just want to risk not having any type of security system. Any ideas?

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    OnTheRopes

    Many applications have a tab or someplace where you can look to view license information. Try looking in ?Help/About? or ?Information?, it should be there somewhere. Once you find it write down the key number as you'll be prompted for it if you decide to **** it away and re-download.<br><br>
    It's been a couple of years since I've run McAfee Security Center so I can't tell you exactly where to look. <br><br>
    For what it's worth: I'm connected thru a Linksys router and just use Windows Firewall. I have the free versions of AVG Anti-virus and Anti-Spyware. I also use SpywareBlaster, Spybot Search and Destroy and Adaware SE Personal though I don't think you can get the latter anymore.<br><br>
    Over the last couple of years I've tried a lot of different applications, Mcafee among them. All I know is that my computer runs pretty well <i>without</i> my feeling that it's full of security programs that slow it down. <br><br>
    I haven't had any problems since I installed and configured the router. Prior to that I had to run Internet Connection Sharing due to the satellite connection being USB. I couldn't find a router that would work. <br><br>
    Everyones security solution is going to be different. What I do works for me.

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    j_aaberg

    I talked to my computer teacher about this today and she says she thinks it's spyware because the only thing that is lagging right now is uploading web pages. So I just downloaded SpywareBlaster like you said you use and I also downloaded Spybot Search and Destroy. SpywareBlaster is just a prevention one right? I couldn't find anything on it to scan and destroy the spyware. Spybot Search and Destroy I scanned my computer with and said I have 1705 infected files on the computer. I cannot delete them without paying the $39.95 it asks for to register. If I pay for that will it take out all the spyware threat? Because if it doesn't I definitely don't want to pay for it. I have already paid the $40 for McAfee so if I have to pay for anything else I would really like it if it would take out the problem completely. I'll wait until I hear what you think before I spend the money on the Spybot Search and Destroy. And thank you for the help so far, we've got to be close to getting this thing fixed.

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    Mayhem1969

    Make sure its Spybot Search and Destroy (Spybot S&D)which is freeware, not Spyware bot, which is just teaser software.

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    OnTheRopes

    I should've posted the link to the Spybot S&D download. My oversight. This is the link: http://www.safer-networking.org/index2.html
    <br><br>
    The Spybot S&D I'm talking about is free and fully functional. You may have a program by the same name but it's not the same one. I suggest that you uninstall the program you have before proceeding further and then get the one at the link. Don't forget to get all updates.
    <br><br>
    SpywareBlaster does prevent spyware from loading. The free Spybot S&D I'm talking about does too. It has an immunize feature. If you can't figure it out after you get it I'll provide instructions.<br><br>
    With as many infected files as you have I suggest that you get the free, fully functional, trial version of Sunbelt Software's Counterspy too. That's available here: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/Home-Home-Office/
    <br><br>
    After running scans with <i>the</i> Spybot do a "deep" scan with Counterspy after getting all of it's updates. You'll see "deep" scan as an option. It could take awhile to run a scan depending upon your set-up. After removing all infections and your Spybot and Counterspy scans are clean with no infections I suggest that you reboot and scan with both programs again. If those scans come up clean you can uninstall Counterspy before the trial expires. Be aware that you won't normally be able to install Counterspy again after the original trial period expires.<br><br>
    If your scans don't come up clean the second time around, after rebooting, there are options to fix that depending upon what is still infected. Let me know what happens.<br><br> With any luck the Spybot S&D from the link I've provided and Counterspy will get rid of anything that might be slowing you down. <br><br>
    Let me know how it goes. I'm subscribed to this question so I'll see if you post anything. Thanks for the thumbs up too. <br><br>
    My satellite connection is running just fine during the day. I've noticed from the speed tests that it begins to slow about 4-5 in the afternoon. Hopefully Hughesnet will fix that. I have two more days of tests to run for them before I call them to see what's going on.
    <br><br>
    What do you use for a browser?

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    j_aaberg

    I deleted the 'wannabe' SpybotS&D program. Downloaded the right one. I downloaded all updates, immunized everything, and then did the 'search and destroy' and ended up deleting 98 spyware (red) items. I haven't rebooted the computer so I'm not sure if it has made a difference yet, I'm hoping so. I have not yet downloaded Counterspy. I should get some sleep here shortly since I have to get up for school in the morning :(. Early evening tomorrow I will be going hard on trying to fix this again. I'll download the Counterspy and scan it a few times with each program and let you know how it turns out.

    Thank you very, very much for helping me out with this. Without any of this I would be lost and I have no idea what I would do. So thank you!!

    The browser I am using now is just Explorer 7. I did download Firefox right when this slow-down occurred to see if that could fix the problem but I think it was running even slower so I deleted it.

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    OnTheRopes

    When I had gotten the Internet Explorer 7 upgrade my computer slowed way down. At that time I'd been using Firefox for awhile. I didn't need the "upgrade" to IE7 so I uninstalled it. All I use Internet Explorer for is to get updates from Microsoft and use my gmail account ever since gmail went to 2.0.
    <br><br>
    I wouldn't expect IE7 to throttle your bandwidth though you might want to read here at TR and elsewhere about comparisons between Firefox and IE regarding security. Maybe you'll want to try Firefox again after you get your PC straightened out.
    <br><br>
    Do you <i>use</i> Windows Live messenger? I have mine turned off. It's annoying if you don't use it.
    <br><br>
    There are other free anti-spyware and utility solutions besides the ones already mentioned. We should get your pc squared away yet.<br><br>
    Something else I should've mentioned in my first post- back up all of your data to external storage. If you've got important pix and papers on your pc you don't need to lose them. Save them while you can. <br><br>
    You didn't say whether or not Spybot S&D found any trojans or not. I think it does search for them. Hopefully you just have spyware possibly due to using IE as a browser. Like I said, you'll want to read up on that. <br><br>
    If you've found trojans I'm going to recommend that you save all of your data then reinstall your operating system. There are several good articles and posts here at TR on how best to do that. I can direct you to them.
    <br><br>
    One more time, back up your data. I don't need to be sorry that I didn't say something sooner. It's good practice to <i>always</i> have at least one backup of any important info just in case something eats your hard-drive. :0 <br>I'm patiently waiting to see the results of your scans.

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    j_aaberg

    Spybot S&D and Counterspy 15 Day Trial. I've scanned with S&D 3-4 times and Counterspy twice. With both of them currently scanning too. Like I said before, with S&D I first had 98 infected files and deleted them all (I can't remember how many, if any trojans there were). The 2nd time I had 2 (not trojans), the 3rd time I had 1 (also not trojan), and the 4th time none. With Counterspy, the first time I had quite a few but only one that was above 'low'. It was 'Very High'. The 2nd time I scanned with that I got 1 trojan and that was it. I deleted that.

    I have not seen any improvement whatsoever for the computer. If anything it might be getting worse. Windows Live Messenger (which I do use quite a bit) does not work very well. It will sign in normally but it is very prone to just locking up and 'not responding'. All websites are VERY slow to load and about half the time is also 'not responding'. This is very frustrating as I thought we were getting closer to getting rid of the problem but instead it seems that the problem is getting bigger. If I cannot fix this in another week at most I think I'll have to bring it in to a computer place. I did have one idea though. Do you know if you can save iTunes to an external hard-drive? If that is at all possible I think I might just do that and then wipe the whole computer. That is the only thing that is of real importance to me on the computer. Everything else that I can think of can be easily replaced. But with iTunes after you download your purchased music/videos once, you cannot do it again, without paying for it. iTunes is way too protective of everything :(.

    Oh, and I actually don't back-up anything on my computer. For one, I never learned how to do it (as I said before I am only a Junior in high school) and I also don't really have anything I need to back-up. Atleast I don't think so. I just don't want to lose my 2,000 songs and 30 hours of video.

    Any help with any of these situations will be greatly appreciated..again. And thank you for all your efforts so far.

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    OnTheRopes

    Never used it. It would be a expensive shame to lose all of that. Seems like you should be able to back up a license for the music and videos.<br><br>

    I'm guessing that there should be info at their website or in a Help file somewhere.
    <br><br>
    Have you uninstalled Mcafee after getting the installation key?
    <br><br>
    Before reloading your OS, if I were you, I'd try uninstalling IE7 first. Give it a shot and see what happens. It really did slow my computer. You can always go back to it if it turns out that IE7 is going to be your browser of choice.
    <br><br>
    It may be a good idea to take your PC to a local pro and/or reformat <i>after</i> backing up your data. Have the mindset that your data (music, videos) is <i>your</i> responsibility. Look at a reloading of your OS as your <i>last</i> step but it might be the first thing that a pro recommends. If you've got your data off it's not a big deal. Starting over means that you should do it correctly too. A good read: http://downloads.techrepublic.com.com/download.aspx?docid=173365<br><br>
    Take care in what programs you use to protect yourself. I suggest that Mcafee didn't do such a great job.
    <br><br>
    I'd hate to have to start-over here.
    <br><br>
    I keep a couple of Ghost images to restore my computer if I ever have a meltdown. The most I'd lose would be time to restore and a weeks worth of data at the most. I have a partition just for the OS and keep everything else in either separate partitions on on other drives including external storage. Disk space and external storage is so cheap that in some cases I've got backups of backups and hard backups, my music mostly. That is all on DVD, on another drive and on an external drive. I'd hate to have to re-rip everything.
    <br><br>
    How much RAM do you have? Do you have a separate video card? I know that my wife's computer browses a lot faster now that she has more RAM and a video card.
    <br><br>
    Try removing IE7 and Mcafee after you've gotten it's license key. See what it does, again, you can always go back to them.
    <br><br>
    Please let me know what's going on because I'm interested.

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    TechExec2

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    Hi j_aaberg...

    I noticed my buddy OnTheRopes helping you and thought I would jump in and help.


    "...Do you know if you can save iTunes to an external hard-drive? If that is at all possible I think I might just do that and then wipe the whole computer..."

    Yes. You can copy your iTunes files to an external HDD, to another computer, or anywhere you like. In order to use them in iTunes on another computer, you'll need to import them into iTunes (from whereever you copied them to) and then activate your iTunes account in iTunes on that computer. Then, that copy of iTunes will play all of your DRM-controlled iTunes music. You can activate your iTunes account on up to 5 computers/devices at a time.

    Reminders: Be sure you test the copy of your music and prove it all of it works in iTunes on another computer before you delete the original or reformat the original drive. And, before your turn off your old computer (old HDD with operating system install) for the last time, be sure to de-activate your iTunes account on the old iTunes so you don't lose one of your five activations.


    "...I also don't really have anything I need to back-up. Atleast I don't think so. I just don't want to lose my 2,000 songs and 30 hours of video..."

    I think this experience has taught you a valuable lesson. You do have a lot to lose if you lose your hard drive or your computer. Essentially everyone does.


    More Suggestions

    If I were in your situation with so much malware, I would remove my current hard drive and put it in an USB external enclosure. I would then put a new HDD in my computer and start over.

    When copying files from your old HDD in the external enclosure, you will need to be very careful not to re-infect your new HDD. In particular, don't copy any executable program files. If they are infected, the first time you run them you will get re-infected. Even data files can be infected with malware. For example, if you have an MS Word macro virus, your MS Word document files could be infected and you could re-infect your new HDD by merely opening them. You have to be careful. This is why I suggest you keep the old HDD and start fresh. This way you don't have to try to get it all and quickly get re-infected in the process of "getting it all" before you erase and reuse the drive. You can take your time, be very careful, run malware scanner/removers, and avoid reinfection.

    Good luck!


    P.S. Backup. Backup. Backup. There is no substitute for a regular backup regimen. If you had a current backup from before you got infected with malware, you could erase, reinstall the OS, restore your data, and you would be completely fine right now. Or, if you use a product like Symantec Ghost, you could restore the entire HDD.

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    gabrield

    It could be that the spyware that your brother clicked on got installed and they(spyware softwares) tend to hog your bandwith,try the following; go to the Control Panel and under "Add or Remove Programs" look if you can see any unfamiliar softwares on the list an uninstall any softwares that you do not know of(that you did not install your yourself).

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    j_aaberg

    I just deleted the new McAfee I got and now everything is running fast again?!? Currently I don't have any virus protection and I'm just using Windows Firewall, but amazingly its running fast again. I'm still guessing that I have some of these infected files on my computer so I'll still have to figure out what to do there. But wow, right now I'm just in shock. I haven't gotten rid of IE7 yet but I plan on doing that tonight or tomorrow morning to see if that will make it even better.

    I don't understand why McAfee was making this run so slowly. Any thoughts?

    I now know for sure that I am going to back up my stuff, pretty much just iTunes, to an external hard-drive that I am going to buy this week. I've never backed up a computer before so I don't even know how to back up some of the system files and such.

    I really don't think this is the end of it, but what a huge step that was!! Like I mentioned, I no longer have any protection so what do you think I ought to do about that?


    WOW!!!

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    OnTheRopes

    I connect thru a properly secured router and use Windows firewall. For anti-virus and anti-spyware I use AVG's free products.<br>
    http://free.grisoft.com/doc/2/us/frt/0
    http://free.grisoft.com/doc/download-free-anti-spyware/us/frt/0
    They don't seem to slow my computer at all.<br><br>
    I use SpyBot Search and Destroy, available here:<br>
    http://www.safer-networking.org/index2.html<br><br>
    I use SpywareBlaster, available here:<br>
    http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html<br><br>
    Both SpyBot Search and Destroy and SpywareBlaster prevent malicious spyware from loading on my computer in the first place.<br><br>
    One other preventive measure I use is to have Firefox as my browser with the free McAfee Site Advisor and Adblock Plus plug-ins. <br><br>
    I pay attention to what I download and where I get it from. I've gone for months without having any problems <knock on wood> and I'm not exactly ultra-conservative in my browsing habits. <br><br>
    I stay away from any file-sharing software though I don't recommend that everybody do the same. I just don't "share" and I'm happy with my decision. I've never been happy with P2P software in the past and besides, my ISP's cap on bandwidth is so low at 350MB down per day that downloading large files is out of the question.
    <br><br>
    That's about it for me. Nothing exotic and definitely nothing expensive. I've used and own commercial versions of Norton Internet Security and TrendMicro's PC-Cillin Internet Security Suite. Over the past few years I've tried about every version of firewall, anti-spyware and anti-virus I could find. I'm sticking with what works for me until I find a compelling reason to change.<br><br>
    -------End Copy-------<br><br>
    Some people will recommend going with an integrated suite of tools. If that works for them, fine. It didn't work for me. Suites always seemed to slow me down too. Norton's Internet Security was the worst. Different strokes for different folks. <br><br>
    Glad to see that you're getting it all sorted out. You might want to spend a little time reading about Firefox vs. Internet Explorer. The only reason I use IE6 is to get Windows updates and access my gmail account. Firefox with the plug-ins works just fine for me otherwise. You might like it too.<br><br>
    Don't be too concerned about backing up system files and whatever. Be more concerned about your data. As long as you have a way to reload your OS and have your data backed up that's all you need.<br><br>
    It's a pain to have to reload an OS and all of the applications you use and you'll have to be the judge of whether you need to or not. System Restore is a handy tool. After you get your pc to the point where you like it and everything is running well set a Restore point.
    <br><br>
    I'd run scans with Spyboy Search and Destroy, Counterspy and download a trial of Zonelabs ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite to run a byte level scan.It takes a long time to complete a scan depending upon your set-up. Download a free trial from here: http://www.zonealarm.com/store/content/catalog/products/sku_list.jsp?dc=12bms&ctry=US&lang=en<br><br>
    If all three scans come up clean uninstall Zonelab's trial software with Add/Remove Programs from Control Panel.
    <br><br>
    If your scans don't find anything I'd think twice about reloading the OS. It's cool that you're going to backup your data. That's a good habit to get into.
    <br><br>
    If all of the scans come up clean you night have dodged a bullet. If that's the case you may also want to consider a free program called CCleaner available from here:http://www.ccleaner.com/download<br><br>
    Download it from FileHippo.com. It's not necessary to make a donation to use the software.<br><br>
    CCleaner has a function under the Registry icon that will clean the registry and may help remove all traces of defunct programs and will help keep your pc tuned up. There's some small controversy at TR about registry cleaners but CCleaner allows you to restore any changes if you choose to keep track of them. Do choose that when you run the tool. I use CCleaner along with a commercial tool (Fix-it Utilities Pro) and haven't had any problems from cleaning the Registry. <br><br>
    I think that McAfee is a powerful program but as with anything that tries to do it all I think it promises more than it delivers. I've heard programs like that called "bloatware" for their "bloated" code slowing you down. Give AVG's free programs a try and see what you think. Like I said, my set-up works for me.<br><br>
    I just want to add that I've got three computers on my home network all setup with the same tools and none of them have any trouble. My wife's pc is going on three years now and it's still just fine.

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    Jacky Howe

    A couple of things to try.
    Use a spyware program like Spybot to check for malaware. Install it but run it in Safe Mode.

    Download HijackThis v2.0.2 for Spyware
    http://aumha.org/downloads/hijackthis.exe

    Post your hijackthis log to an appropriate forum. Then follow their instructions.

    http://forums.spybot.info/forumdisplay.php?f=22
    http://castlecops.com/forum67.html

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    OnTheRopes

    Last night I called Hughesnet satellite support because <i>our</i> connection slowed to a crawl. At the end of the call I was asked to perform their speed test for 3 days, 4X throughout each day, 3 tests each time and then call them back with the results. It may be <i>them</i> having some type of problem and not me. That may be your case as well.
    <br><br>
    Re: Fair Access Policy- The satellite service we use has a fairly low cap, 350mb in 24 hours. That seems to be equivalent to a day of normal browsing followed by watching 3 hours of youtube movies. I've hit my cap once and the speed was abysmally slow, less than dial-up. You can check your usage yourself by going to the web page your ISP will provide to see if you've hit the FAP limit.

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    j_aaberg

    But I also have a PS3 and it is connected to our wireless router so I tried that to see if it was the network, but that runs the exact same as it did before. I did forget to mention before though that I have been having problems with my Windows Live Messenger so in the end I deleted it and downloaded it again. It still is rarely working and when it does it lags badly (like you would click on something and it won't realize it for a few seconds). So right now I am almost totally lost. I am tempted to just delete the whole McAfee Security Center and see if that was the problem but if it wasn't I'm not sure if I can re-download the new version I had to pay $40 for. And if that was it, I don't know if I just want to risk not having any type of security system. Any ideas?

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    OnTheRopes

    Many applications have a tab or someplace where you can look to view license information. Try looking in ?Help/About? or ?Information?, it should be there somewhere. Once you find it write down the key number as you'll be prompted for it if you decide to **** it away and re-download.<br><br>
    It's been a couple of years since I've run McAfee Security Center so I can't tell you exactly where to look. <br><br>
    For what it's worth: I'm connected thru a Linksys router and just use Windows Firewall. I have the free versions of AVG Anti-virus and Anti-Spyware. I also use SpywareBlaster, Spybot Search and Destroy and Adaware SE Personal though I don't think you can get the latter anymore.<br><br>
    Over the last couple of years I've tried a lot of different applications, Mcafee among them. All I know is that my computer runs pretty well <i>without</i> my feeling that it's full of security programs that slow it down. <br><br>
    I haven't had any problems since I installed and configured the router. Prior to that I had to run Internet Connection Sharing due to the satellite connection being USB. I couldn't find a router that would work. <br><br>
    Everyones security solution is going to be different. What I do works for me.

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    j_aaberg

    I talked to my computer teacher about this today and she says she thinks it's spyware because the only thing that is lagging right now is uploading web pages. So I just downloaded SpywareBlaster like you said you use and I also downloaded Spybot Search and Destroy. SpywareBlaster is just a prevention one right? I couldn't find anything on it to scan and destroy the spyware. Spybot Search and Destroy I scanned my computer with and said I have 1705 infected files on the computer. I cannot delete them without paying the $39.95 it asks for to register. If I pay for that will it take out all the spyware threat? Because if it doesn't I definitely don't want to pay for it. I have already paid the $40 for McAfee so if I have to pay for anything else I would really like it if it would take out the problem completely. I'll wait until I hear what you think before I spend the money on the Spybot Search and Destroy. And thank you for the help so far, we've got to be close to getting this thing fixed.

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    Mayhem1969

    Make sure its Spybot Search and Destroy (Spybot S&D)which is freeware, not Spyware bot, which is just teaser software.

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    OnTheRopes

    I should've posted the link to the Spybot S&D download. My oversight. This is the link: http://www.safer-networking.org/index2.html
    <br><br>
    The Spybot S&D I'm talking about is free and fully functional. You may have a program by the same name but it's not the same one. I suggest that you uninstall the program you have before proceeding further and then get the one at the link. Don't forget to get all updates.
    <br><br>
    SpywareBlaster does prevent spyware from loading. The free Spybot S&D I'm talking about does too. It has an immunize feature. If you can't figure it out after you get it I'll provide instructions.<br><br>
    With as many infected files as you have I suggest that you get the free, fully functional, trial version of Sunbelt Software's Counterspy too. That's available here: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/Home-Home-Office/
    <br><br>
    After running scans with <i>the</i> Spybot do a "deep" scan with Counterspy after getting all of it's updates. You'll see "deep" scan as an option. It could take awhile to run a scan depending upon your set-up. After removing all infections and your Spybot and Counterspy scans are clean with no infections I suggest that you reboot and scan with both programs again. If those scans come up clean you can uninstall Counterspy before the trial expires. Be aware that you won't normally be able to install Counterspy again after the original trial period expires.<br><br>
    If your scans don't come up clean the second time around, after rebooting, there are options to fix that depending upon what is still infected. Let me know what happens.<br><br> With any luck the Spybot S&D from the link I've provided and Counterspy will get rid of anything that might be slowing you down. <br><br>
    Let me know how it goes. I'm subscribed to this question so I'll see if you post anything. Thanks for the thumbs up too. <br><br>
    My satellite connection is running just fine during the day. I've noticed from the speed tests that it begins to slow about 4-5 in the afternoon. Hopefully Hughesnet will fix that. I have two more days of tests to run for them before I call them to see what's going on.
    <br><br>
    What do you use for a browser?

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    j_aaberg

    I deleted the 'wannabe' SpybotS&D program. Downloaded the right one. I downloaded all updates, immunized everything, and then did the 'search and destroy' and ended up deleting 98 spyware (red) items. I haven't rebooted the computer so I'm not sure if it has made a difference yet, I'm hoping so. I have not yet downloaded Counterspy. I should get some sleep here shortly since I have to get up for school in the morning :(. Early evening tomorrow I will be going hard on trying to fix this again. I'll download the Counterspy and scan it a few times with each program and let you know how it turns out.

    Thank you very, very much for helping me out with this. Without any of this I would be lost and I have no idea what I would do. So thank you!!

    The browser I am using now is just Explorer 7. I did download Firefox right when this slow-down occurred to see if that could fix the problem but I think it was running even slower so I deleted it.

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    OnTheRopes

    When I had gotten the Internet Explorer 7 upgrade my computer slowed way down. At that time I'd been using Firefox for awhile. I didn't need the "upgrade" to IE7 so I uninstalled it. All I use Internet Explorer for is to get updates from Microsoft and use my gmail account ever since gmail went to 2.0.
    <br><br>
    I wouldn't expect IE7 to throttle your bandwidth though you might want to read here at TR and elsewhere about comparisons between Firefox and IE regarding security. Maybe you'll want to try Firefox again after you get your PC straightened out.
    <br><br>
    Do you <i>use</i> Windows Live messenger? I have mine turned off. It's annoying if you don't use it.
    <br><br>
    There are other free anti-spyware and utility solutions besides the ones already mentioned. We should get your pc squared away yet.<br><br>
    Something else I should've mentioned in my first post- back up all of your data to external storage. If you've got important pix and papers on your pc you don't need to lose them. Save them while you can. <br><br>
    You didn't say whether or not Spybot S&D found any trojans or not. I think it does search for them. Hopefully you just have spyware possibly due to using IE as a browser. Like I said, you'll want to read up on that. <br><br>
    If you've found trojans I'm going to recommend that you save all of your data then reinstall your operating system. There are several good articles and posts here at TR on how best to do that. I can direct you to them.
    <br><br>
    One more time, back up your data. I don't need to be sorry that I didn't say something sooner. It's good practice to <i>always</i> have at least one backup of any important info just in case something eats your hard-drive. :0 <br>I'm patiently waiting to see the results of your scans.

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    j_aaberg

    Spybot S&D and Counterspy 15 Day Trial. I've scanned with S&D 3-4 times and Counterspy twice. With both of them currently scanning too. Like I said before, with S&D I first had 98 infected files and deleted them all (I can't remember how many, if any trojans there were). The 2nd time I had 2 (not trojans), the 3rd time I had 1 (also not trojan), and the 4th time none. With Counterspy, the first time I had quite a few but only one that was above 'low'. It was 'Very High'. The 2nd time I scanned with that I got 1 trojan and that was it. I deleted that.

    I have not seen any improvement whatsoever for the computer. If anything it might be getting worse. Windows Live Messenger (which I do use quite a bit) does not work very well. It will sign in normally but it is very prone to just locking up and 'not responding'. All websites are VERY slow to load and about half the time is also 'not responding'. This is very frustrating as I thought we were getting closer to getting rid of the problem but instead it seems that the problem is getting bigger. If I cannot fix this in another week at most I think I'll have to bring it in to a computer place. I did have one idea though. Do you know if you can save iTunes to an external hard-drive? If that is at all possible I think I might just do that and then wipe the whole computer. That is the only thing that is of real importance to me on the computer. Everything else that I can think of can be easily replaced. But with iTunes after you download your purchased music/videos once, you cannot do it again, without paying for it. iTunes is way too protective of everything :(.

    Oh, and I actually don't back-up anything on my computer. For one, I never learned how to do it (as I said before I am only a Junior in high school) and I also don't really have anything I need to back-up. Atleast I don't think so. I just don't want to lose my 2,000 songs and 30 hours of video.

    Any help with any of these situations will be greatly appreciated..again. And thank you for all your efforts so far.

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    OnTheRopes

    Never used it. It would be a expensive shame to lose all of that. Seems like you should be able to back up a license for the music and videos.<br><br>

    I'm guessing that there should be info at their website or in a Help file somewhere.
    <br><br>
    Have you uninstalled Mcafee after getting the installation key?
    <br><br>
    Before reloading your OS, if I were you, I'd try uninstalling IE7 first. Give it a shot and see what happens. It really did slow my computer. You can always go back to it if it turns out that IE7 is going to be your browser of choice.
    <br><br>
    It may be a good idea to take your PC to a local pro and/or reformat <i>after</i> backing up your data. Have the mindset that your data (music, videos) is <i>your</i> responsibility. Look at a reloading of your OS as your <i>last</i> step but it might be the first thing that a pro recommends. If you've got your data off it's not a big deal. Starting over means that you should do it correctly too. A good read: http://downloads.techrepublic.com.com/download.aspx?docid=173365<br><br>
    Take care in what programs you use to protect yourself. I suggest that Mcafee didn't do such a great job.
    <br><br>
    I'd hate to have to start-over here.
    <br><br>
    I keep a couple of Ghost images to restore my computer if I ever have a meltdown. The most I'd lose would be time to restore and a weeks worth of data at the most. I have a partition just for the OS and keep everything else in either separate partitions on on other drives including external storage. Disk space and external storage is so cheap that in some cases I've got backups of backups and hard backups, my music mostly. That is all on DVD, on another drive and on an external drive. I'd hate to have to re-rip everything.
    <br><br>
    How much RAM do you have? Do you have a separate video card? I know that my wife's computer browses a lot faster now that she has more RAM and a video card.
    <br><br>
    Try removing IE7 and Mcafee after you've gotten it's license key. See what it does, again, you can always go back to them.
    <br><br>
    Please let me know what's going on because I'm interested.

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    0 Votes
    TechExec2

    .
    Hi j_aaberg...

    I noticed my buddy OnTheRopes helping you and thought I would jump in and help.


    "...Do you know if you can save iTunes to an external hard-drive? If that is at all possible I think I might just do that and then wipe the whole computer..."

    Yes. You can copy your iTunes files to an external HDD, to another computer, or anywhere you like. In order to use them in iTunes on another computer, you'll need to import them into iTunes (from whereever you copied them to) and then activate your iTunes account in iTunes on that computer. Then, that copy of iTunes will play all of your DRM-controlled iTunes music. You can activate your iTunes account on up to 5 computers/devices at a time.

    Reminders: Be sure you test the copy of your music and prove it all of it works in iTunes on another computer before you delete the original or reformat the original drive. And, before your turn off your old computer (old HDD with operating system install) for the last time, be sure to de-activate your iTunes account on the old iTunes so you don't lose one of your five activations.


    "...I also don't really have anything I need to back-up. Atleast I don't think so. I just don't want to lose my 2,000 songs and 30 hours of video..."

    I think this experience has taught you a valuable lesson. You do have a lot to lose if you lose your hard drive or your computer. Essentially everyone does.


    More Suggestions

    If I were in your situation with so much malware, I would remove my current hard drive and put it in an USB external enclosure. I would then put a new HDD in my computer and start over.

    When copying files from your old HDD in the external enclosure, you will need to be very careful not to re-infect your new HDD. In particular, don't copy any executable program files. If they are infected, the first time you run them you will get re-infected. Even data files can be infected with malware. For example, if you have an MS Word macro virus, your MS Word document files could be infected and you could re-infect your new HDD by merely opening them. You have to be careful. This is why I suggest you keep the old HDD and start fresh. This way you don't have to try to get it all and quickly get re-infected in the process of "getting it all" before you erase and reuse the drive. You can take your time, be very careful, run malware scanner/removers, and avoid reinfection.

    Good luck!


    P.S. Backup. Backup. Backup. There is no substitute for a regular backup regimen. If you had a current backup from before you got infected with malware, you could erase, reinstall the OS, restore your data, and you would be completely fine right now. Or, if you use a product like Symantec Ghost, you could restore the entire HDD.

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    gabrield

    It could be that the spyware that your brother clicked on got installed and they(spyware softwares) tend to hog your bandwith,try the following; go to the Control Panel and under "Add or Remove Programs" look if you can see any unfamiliar softwares on the list an uninstall any softwares that you do not know of(that you did not install your yourself).

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    j_aaberg

    I just deleted the new McAfee I got and now everything is running fast again?!? Currently I don't have any virus protection and I'm just using Windows Firewall, but amazingly its running fast again. I'm still guessing that I have some of these infected files on my computer so I'll still have to figure out what to do there. But wow, right now I'm just in shock. I haven't gotten rid of IE7 yet but I plan on doing that tonight or tomorrow morning to see if that will make it even better.

    I don't understand why McAfee was making this run so slowly. Any thoughts?

    I now know for sure that I am going to back up my stuff, pretty much just iTunes, to an external hard-drive that I am going to buy this week. I've never backed up a computer before so I don't even know how to back up some of the system files and such.

    I really don't think this is the end of it, but what a huge step that was!! Like I mentioned, I no longer have any protection so what do you think I ought to do about that?


    WOW!!!

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    OnTheRopes

    I connect thru a properly secured router and use Windows firewall. For anti-virus and anti-spyware I use AVG's free products.<br>
    http://free.grisoft.com/doc/2/us/frt/0
    http://free.grisoft.com/doc/download-free-anti-spyware/us/frt/0
    They don't seem to slow my computer at all.<br><br>
    I use SpyBot Search and Destroy, available here:<br>
    http://www.safer-networking.org/index2.html<br><br>
    I use SpywareBlaster, available here:<br>
    http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html<br><br>
    Both SpyBot Search and Destroy and SpywareBlaster prevent malicious spyware from loading on my computer in the first place.<br><br>
    One other preventive measure I use is to have Firefox as my browser with the free McAfee Site Advisor and Adblock Plus plug-ins. <br><br>
    I pay attention to what I download and where I get it from. I've gone for months without having any problems <knock on wood> and I'm not exactly ultra-conservative in my browsing habits. <br><br>
    I stay away from any file-sharing software though I don't recommend that everybody do the same. I just don't "share" and I'm happy with my decision. I've never been happy with P2P software in the past and besides, my ISP's cap on bandwidth is so low at 350MB down per day that downloading large files is out of the question.
    <br><br>
    That's about it for me. Nothing exotic and definitely nothing expensive. I've used and own commercial versions of Norton Internet Security and TrendMicro's PC-Cillin Internet Security Suite. Over the past few years I've tried about every version of firewall, anti-spyware and anti-virus I could find. I'm sticking with what works for me until I find a compelling reason to change.<br><br>
    -------End Copy-------<br><br>
    Some people will recommend going with an integrated suite of tools. If that works for them, fine. It didn't work for me. Suites always seemed to slow me down too. Norton's Internet Security was the worst. Different strokes for different folks. <br><br>
    Glad to see that you're getting it all sorted out. You might want to spend a little time reading about Firefox vs. Internet Explorer. The only reason I use IE6 is to get Windows updates and access my gmail account. Firefox with the plug-ins works just fine for me otherwise. You might like it too.<br><br>
    Don't be too concerned about backing up system files and whatever. Be more concerned about your data. As long as you have a way to reload your OS and have your data backed up that's all you need.<br><br>
    It's a pain to have to reload an OS and all of the applications you use and you'll have to be the judge of whether you need to or not. System Restore is a handy tool. After you get your pc to the point where you like it and everything is running well set a Restore point.
    <br><br>
    I'd run scans with Spyboy Search and Destroy, Counterspy and download a trial of Zonelabs ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite to run a byte level scan.It takes a long time to complete a scan depending upon your set-up. Download a free trial from here: http://www.zonealarm.com/store/content/catalog/products/sku_list.jsp?dc=12bms&ctry=US&lang=en<br><br>
    If all three scans come up clean uninstall Zonelab's trial software with Add/Remove Programs from Control Panel.
    <br><br>
    If your scans don't find anything I'd think twice about reloading the OS. It's cool that you're going to backup your data. That's a good habit to get into.
    <br><br>
    If all of the scans come up clean you night have dodged a bullet. If that's the case you may also want to consider a free program called CCleaner available from here:http://www.ccleaner.com/download<br><br>
    Download it from FileHippo.com. It's not necessary to make a donation to use the software.<br><br>
    CCleaner has a function under the Registry icon that will clean the registry and may help remove all traces of defunct programs and will help keep your pc tuned up. There's some small controversy at TR about registry cleaners but CCleaner allows you to restore any changes if you choose to keep track of them. Do choose that when you run the tool. I use CCleaner along with a commercial tool (Fix-it Utilities Pro) and haven't had any problems from cleaning the Registry. <br><br>
    I think that McAfee is a powerful program but as with anything that tries to do it all I think it promises more than it delivers. I've heard programs like that called "bloatware" for their "bloated" code slowing you down. Give AVG's free programs a try and see what you think. Like I said, my set-up works for me.<br><br>
    I just want to add that I've got three computers on my home network all setup with the same tools and none of them have any trouble. My wife's pc is going on three years now and it's still just fine.