Question about IBM ThinkPad T40 2373 Notebook

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Can't run internet searches, probably due to a virus issue...

To Whom:

I’m currently having a problem accessing certain key websites via IE on my PC. I was previously experiencing what I believe was a virus issue when searching with google… google would list URL’s consistent with the entered search, but selecting any of the listed URL’s would redirect me to a website hawking a variety of needless products. I downloaded and ran ad-aware, which identified multiple problems, and followed ad-aware’s recommended actions to clean up the issues. Now however, I get an IE error message when I try to run a google search off the google toolbar, or if I try to go to google’s website. This message is consistent with an attempt to access a nonexistent website. I’ve tried to alternatively run searches using yahoo and msn, with the same results.

I would very much appreciate any suggestions as to what I might do at this juncture. As you can imagine, being unable to run any kind of search with my pc is, to say the least, suboptimal. Is it possible that there is a list of websites which have been made inaccessible by the remnants of one or more viruses which ad-aware addressed? I did check explorer for such a list and that doesn’t appear to be the case. Is there a separate virus protection program which might be able to address this? I currently have Norton, which hasn’t addressed the problem, and I’m reticent to pay for another software program at this juncture. I have an IBM Thinkpad which I bought new several years ago (from Lenovo). The operating system is XP. I could try to dig up the disks which I’m hoping came with the pc, but reimaging my pc wouldn’t be my first choice. Would I have to find the original disk (if it exists) if I wanted to reinstall explorer. Sorry for such a long question. Thanks in advance for your time.

Michael D.

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OK, sounds to me like a malware or spyware issue. These types of programs will download straight to your computer when you visit sites, open emails or run .exe's. They track where you go on the internet to present ads to you that they believe you will buy into. This one seems most dangerous being that it prevents you from going where you want to on the web. I can suggest a few things. One is that you back up whats important and reformat your hard drive...if you have the operating system discs. Two, you can get software like DriveScrubber and it will essentially reformat your HD as well, but you will ahve more control over what its deleting. Three, if you know the exact file names and locations of the malware/spyware you can go into safe mode and delete them manually. Safe mode allows you to delete mal/spyware and viruses because they need to be running to prevent you from deleting them, which running in safe mode prevents.

Hope this helps

Posted on Feb 10, 2009

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You seem to have a nasty little virus at hand. Since you are running XP and you don't want to spend any more $$, I would suggest going to Microsoft's support and security page, there you can run a free scan of your system and it will identify and remove any virus, adware, malware, and any other ..ware on your system. My other recommendation is Norton's 360 Internet Security. (not the antivirus alone.) Once it's installed, I would run a complete system scan.

Then one at Microsoft is really good. I would use it first and see how you like it. Good Luck

Posted on Feb 10, 2009

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