Virus-- Help!


I appear to have a virus on my system, or I had one and now I've got a trojan. Every so often when I have Internet Explorer running and I navigate somewhere (especially on the 1st navigation after running IE), a new IE window gets spawned. This is especially odd since I have the Google Taskbar running with the pop-up blocker activated. Sometimes this window never shows up anywhere but the task bar, and then vanishes. Sometimes it appears off-screen as a 0-size window. Other times it's a pop-under with ads.

Task Manager shows no unusual processes running. My system registry has no unusual keys in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Run. I haven't found anything like this listed on AntiVirus sites, and my eTrust AntiVirus program doesn't detect anything awry. Has anyone else seen this? Help!


I've not had this happen, but it sounds a bit like "spyware". Have you tried any of the anti-spyware tools? A quick google search found, but I don't have any personal experience with them.

Yeah, sounds like spyware, I use Ad Aware which does a good job cleaning up. You can grab it at

I would strongly suggest getting SpyBot - it is the only SpyWare killer I have used that really works well, catching everything. There are lots of SpyWare killers out there that actually include their own SpyWare. AdAware is ok, but SpyBot catches more.

Just scroll down to the bottom and choose a link.

Oh - don't forget, after installation, run an update to get the latest patterns.

I also recommend using CWShredder to rid yourself of CoolWebSearch, a Trojan that caused the same problems you're describing on my machine. Ad-Aware and Spybot S&D got rid of a lot of my spyware, and they claimed they'd eradicated CWS every time I ran them, but the nasty little thing kept coming back until I ran this. Good luck.

Installed and ran Ad Aware, didn't help.

Installed and ran CWShredder, my system was clean.

Installed and ran SpyBot, seems to have done the trick. Not sure what I had, but I'm not seeing ads anymore. Thanks, all!

Scott - you may have needed to run in Safe Mode or played a little with the settings in SpyBot. Sometimes it can't get rid of things on the first pass or without being in Safe Mode due to the nature of the program being removed.

Pete - I think I should feel hurt that you took my suggestion last, all things considered. Luckily I don't really care about much of anything.

Larry: I saved the best for last, baby.


I tried yours first. And it seems to have worked for me. Thanks!

Well, Pete, while the sentiment is appreciated, you are causing some latent homophobia to rear its ugly head by calling me baby :)

Greg - no problem. If I didn't know how to fix this kind of stuff I'd be out of a job.

You may also want to check your services subdirectory. I had a similiar issue, and no matter what I did, IE was allowing windows to appear with ads and dialing programs. It finally stopped after I found this directory, and lo behold, there were the files that were allowng the windows to open. After I deleted them, the windows stopped comimg up. If you have WIn XP, then the path is c:/windows/system32/services. You can delete all the files that you find there,especially if you see anything with the word sex, poker, dialer, and if you see icons that are suspicious looking. This is something that no spyware was able to do for me. You have to do this manually. Good luck.

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