Question about Dell Inspiron 6400 Notebook

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Intermet Explorer will not stay open!

I have had my Dell Inspiron 6400 for just over a year now and have encountered a problem. When we were uploading a photo from our camera a message box popped up to say a trojan had been detected but removed, so we closed the box and carried on as normal.

After this the automatic updates switched off and will not turn back on and when I try and run Internet Explorer it opens for a second before closing again.

I have tried to run a system restore, however when I get to point to click next to carry out the restore it just sits there doing nothing. I cancel it and when I restart the mahcine it pops up with eplorer.exe is not responding and I end The program now.

Can anyone suggest what I can do to get the laptop going again?

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  • stevenevans7 Dec 19, 2008

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the advice. I will give it a go and see how I get on. Will it make any difference that I am running XP Home?

    I had always meant to download firefox but kept putting it off!!!

    Will let you know how I get on and thanks again for the prompt reply.



  • stevenevans7 Dec 22, 2008

    Run into further problems! The spybot software wanted to access an IP address and would not install. I have tried other programs with no luck as the system will not install any of them. I did get Firefox working but then it crashed and not even it will open now!

    I have ven booted the system in Safe Mode and still no joy in installing any spyware removal software!

    Any more advise would be much appreciated.

  • stevenevans7 Dec 22, 2008

    Thanks for the help and advice, I kind of thought that it would have to a complete start from scratch.

    Thankfully we don't have any essential documents on the hard drive!!

    Thanks again and I will keep you posted on how I get on.



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Hey Steve,

Welcome to Fixya, my name's Chris.
This is unfortunately a common problem, known as malware. Fortunately it has a simply solution.
You need to download Spybot from here:

As you cannot open your internet browser, the best idea would be to download the Spybot.exe file onto a friend's computer, or at an internet cafe, and copy it over to a USB drive or cd-r/dvd-r. Then install it onto your computer.
Run it, search for updates and download them. Then click Scan for Problems. It'll take a while, maybe 20 minutes or so, depending on the specs of your machine. Don't use Messenger or browsers or anything while you are doing this. When it has finished, click Fix Selected Problems.
Then click the Immunize tab. Click Immunize.

That should fix it for you, mate. If you noticed that SPybot wanted you to use Elevated Administrator Privileges when Immunizing, just navigate to User Accounts in Control Panel and turn off User Control Access, reboot, and Immunize again. I think this is just an annoying feature of Vista, however.

For general further maintenance, you could download ncleaner from here:

and install it, Clean, Cleanup Registry etc

Good Luck!


PS Try downloading Firefox and having that as an emergency in case you need a working browser in the future, or better, having it as your default browser. Chris :)

Posted on Dec 19, 2008

  • 2 more comments 
  • chris grams
    chris grams Dec 19, 2008

    Oh Steve, Chris again, try starting Windows in Safe Mode. That'll let you run Windows Explorer at least...

    1. Restart your computer.

    2. When the machine first starts again it will generally list some equipment
      that is installed in your machine, amount of memory, hard drives installed
      etc. At this point you should gently tap the F8 key repeatedly until you are
      presented with a Windows XP Advanced Options menu.

    3. Select the option for Safe Mode using the arrow keys.

    4. Then press enter on your keyboard to boot into Safe Mode.

    5. Do whatever tasks you require and when you are done reboot to boot back
      into normal mode.

    Chris (ziraffa)

  • chris grams
    chris grams Dec 22, 2008

    Hi Steve,
    I'm afraid that it sounds like your computer is infected with a worm. You'll have to completely format, and don't plug any USB drives or devices like that into the machine or they'll probably get infected to any re-infect your computer when you plug them into your re-formatted computer.
    I wish I had better news for you :(

    However, before you reinstall you operating system, try booting up the machine when it's unplugged from the internet, in case it has been 'rooted' and turned into a 'zombie' host, which is continually pinging some server or other. Then try installing Spybot again and see if you can finish installing it without it checking for updates.. there might be a radio box that you can uncheck during the installation?

    That might help, but you've tried that already, then I'm afraid it's time to wipe the drive clean and start again with a fresh system..

    After you reformat, I would suggest not ever running and any spyware programs apart from Spybot and AdAware, and I would personally recommend Spybot as 'essential'. Most of the others are full of scripts that give false flag alerts and try to get customers to upgrade to a 'Premium' service!

    As for Antivirus, I use Avast! antivirus software, which is free and has served me well for 18 months now.. but there are others people recommend too, like Avira and AVG, so just choose whichever you prefer after you reinstall Windows.

    After you format, and have re-installed an operating system, you'll have to get Service Pack 2 (and 3, if you like) from the Microsoft website, and then you'll need the video, audio and SD drivers. You'll find them here:

    (Don't click on the 'Click here to update all your drivers!' link! That will download 'Scanning' software and give you false flag alerts, nag screens, and 'Premium Upgrade Recommendations'.)

    It only takes an hour to format using an XP disk and re-install the operating system.. it's worth it! The sooner you do it, the sooner you'll be back up and running.. so maybe get on with it tonight, when you get home.. Would be nice to have a working computer for the Christmas break, huh?

    Sorry I couldn't offer you any alternatives, Steve.

    Good luck :)

    Chris (ziraffa)

  • chris grams
    chris grams Dec 22, 2008

    (Sorry if that sounds full of doom and gloom, mate, it's just that a 'worm' will simply clone and rename itself when an attempt is made to remove it.)
    Chris (ziraffa)

  • chris grams
    chris grams Dec 22, 2008

    Just one more thing.. check the computer before you wipe it, to see which network, wireless, mousepad etc. drivers you were using, and write them down somewhere, you'll need to download and install this 'firmware' after you reformat too, to get all your devices fully working. It's a real hassle to find out the right ones to install otherwise, I've always found..
    Chris (ziraffa)



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