About Blank

Jeff Egan
8th July 2006, 13:28
My computer has been infested with Ad-ware and my home page taken over by "About blank" has anyone any ideas for removing it, I have tried many programmes but to no avail.
Thanks Jeff.

Tony Selman
8th July 2006, 13:44
Jeff, the best programme I have come across is called System Mechanic from a company called iolo. You can download a trial version of it and set it to work on your machine. I have found it very effective at eliminating adware, virus protection and general protection of your machine. If you are happy with it, which I was, then you can purchase it. I downloaded and subsequently purchased mine from a firm in Holland called BT Software as this was cheaper than doing it via iolo in the States, a google search will come up with them for you.

The only downside of the programme is that it tends to slow your machine down a bit but I consider this acceptable for having a very safe machine.

Jeff Egan
8th July 2006, 13:49
Thanks tony I'll check it out.

Bruce Carson
8th July 2006, 13:50
Jeff---enjoy this birthday and many more to come


The "About Blank" is a tough one: you might want to take a look at the following:

http://www.pchell.com/support/aboutblank.shtml

If you have "XP" and the "About Blank" problem is not too old, it would be a matter of a few minutes to run a "System Restore", setting the date back before your machine was infested. That would not remove any files, but set your operating system back to a point before the troubles began.

If the options sound too daunting, you may want to do a partial restore without reformatting from the manufacturer's CD that came with the machine.
That will save your files, although you will have to update Windows and restore some programs.

Bruce C

treeve
8th July 2006, 15:11
Problem with System Restore is that only tooooo often
the adware or virus has made a copy of itself to be
re-installed when you re-boot.
Only way I know is to clear the Restore completely and to
get down to grass roots level and get rid of any references
to unwanted software or URLs from the Registry.
I used to be "got at" all the time, but now it is extremely
rare.
I have any number of protection systems operating, not just
Firewall and Anti-Virus. Most useful of all is the HOSTS file,
to which I have a protection lock. On top of that there
is Spywareblaster, Spybot and Adaware. And if there is a
major attack on my PC, it just locks down and switches off.

When your default page has been hijacked it is the pits, as
I say, the only way I found was to edit the Registry.
Do a search through for all references to the offending
hijack page or website and change them back to what you want.
Best of Luck
Raymond

Lookout
8th July 2006, 15:36
Happy Birthday Jeff

The tool you need to fix your PC problem is "Spybot Search & Destroy" available free from http://www.safer-networking.org/

All the best

Jeff Egan
8th July 2006, 16:05
Crazy, its driving me crazy, tried system restore, tried spybot, tried other such as ad-ware, still got the blooming problem, now getting pop ups for anti spyware products and Billingham dating!!!! Billingham would you believe!!!! Grey hair starting to drop out, where's that Glenfidich, cyber dating I've got enough on me plate with wor lass!!!!!!

janbonde
8th July 2006, 16:38
I use this one it seems to keep me on top of every-thing http://www.grisoft.com/ also use Zonelab both very good for me,as Treeve says shut down restore when cleaning then reset it if you need it Best of Luck

treeve
8th July 2006, 16:42
Sorry but the problem is sitting deep in your Registry and no amount
of software will get it out; make a note of all the pop up screen
websites, and look for them in your Registry. The records will be in
your firewall files, and in your browser history. It is also clear that
the stuff is sitting in your System Restore Folders. It's tough, but you
will have to empty all the Restore files. Regedit is your only way out
as far as I can see; but it's no use doing it with System Restore folders
left intact. I had to do this whole procedure three years ago; and it
took me four hours, but it was well worth it. Been clear ever since.
I have all these scurrilous websites locked in my HOSTS file, and so
my PC is not taken to them.
If you want top know how to clear the System Restore folders,
let me know ....
Best Wishes
Raymond

Jeff Egan
8th July 2006, 17:27
Thanks everyone, have been on the phone for an hour to my daughters boyfriend who is an IT specialist still got a problem with my home page but he has sorted some of the pop ups for me, Billingham dating has gone, damn, I forgot to make a note of the address. treeve, I will see how it goes for a day or two and may get back to you if that is OK.

Hugh MacLean
8th July 2006, 17:33
Jeff,

I fear that Raymond is right.

Those anti-spyware programmes such as spybot adware etc are really good free programmes but I dont think they will help you if your machine is badly infected. They are quite good on a clean machine and will help keep it clean.

Your system restore files are probably compromised and a restore will just keep infecting you.

You could try installing a program called "Hijack this" which will tell you everything that is being called by your system. The problem is if you don't know what is spyware and what is not then its not much good to you. However you could run the program and post the scan results on here and maybe some of us who are comfortable with looking into the registry could guide you.

I would turn off system restore until you have the machine clean and then turn it back on.

Rgds

Jeff Egan
8th July 2006, 18:25
Thanks Hugh, the pops ups seem to have decreased since I ran spybot, the main problem now is my home page is an advert for a spyware product inbedded into something called "About blank" I reselect my normal MSN homepage but next time I got to internet explorer I have my advert back. Never had this trouble with my sliderule!!!

TaffTech
8th July 2006, 18:33
Hi Jeff, sorry to hear you've been caught by this nasty piece of malware.

Hugh is on the right track here; HijackThis is a great tool but needs considerable knowledge or use of Google to fix this.

Better to follow the instructions from http://forums.majorgeeks.com/showthread.php?t=35407

OR download HijackThis from http://www.majorgeeks.com/HijackThis_d3155.html run it from its own folder and save a logfile. Then join the forum at http://forum.hijackthis.de/forumdisplay.php?f=10 - read the sticky: http://forum.hijackthis.de/showthread.php?t=1668.

Next post a plea for help with the logfile attached as per the sticky instructions. Ruby or the helpers there will get you cleaned up :)

Cheers,

TaffTech.

PS - my first post here but I'm no stranger to this - I'm a moderator on an associated forum ;) - no need to welcome me, it's just part of what I do!

Jeff Egan
8th July 2006, 18:49
Thanks Taff, I will give it a go, tomorrow, my head is spinning with it now, the computer not the whiskey.

jaigee
8th July 2006, 18:56
The best anti-spyware program that I have found is Microsoft's own 'Windows Defender', it has found spyware on my PC that all the others did not, plus it's free. It can be set up with a real-time protection as well so that it detects and stops/warns you of any hijacking attempts. It might be worth loading it and running a deep scan before you take any drastic measures.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=435bfce7-da2b-4a6a-afa4-f7f14e605a0d&displaylang=en

Jeff Egan
8th July 2006, 19:34
jaigee, tried it but didnt work, pop ups seem to have gone for now but home page still a problem.
Thanks jeff

TaffTech
8th July 2006, 19:40
Jeff, it looks like I'll be online a little longer tonight, if you want to post a HijackThis logfile as an attachment to your next post, I'll take a look at it and try to get you sorted out.

Cheers,

Taff.

Jeff Egan
8th July 2006, 19:52
Taff, its my birthday and the glenfidich is kicking in (*)) , dinner on table in twenty mins and head spinning, think its the computer but not sure, your solution looks promising but it will have to wait till tomorrow (Thumb) , keyboard blurred, thought I had left glasses off but sadly no. (Cloud) Wife pouring Champagne and looking at me in scary way, it could be a long night! (K)
I should be so lucky.

Hugh MacLean
8th July 2006, 20:04
the glenfidich is kicking in (*)) ,A man with very good taste. Enjoy (Thumb)

John Rogers
9th July 2006, 02:50
A very lucky man indeed,have a good night and a good party Jeff.
John

Jeff Egan
9th July 2006, 11:53
Ooooh, my head, about blank just about describes my brain this morning!!!!! (Night)

dnobmal
9th July 2006, 13:19
Have u tried this site http://safety.live.com it found quite a few on my machine and those it could not remove they gave u advice about it is a Microsoft site and is free

calvin
13th July 2006, 18:33
theres also ad-ware away i had about blank and this cleared it i now run avast and avg 7 also try changing from internet explorer to mozillas firefox ive tryd this and have not had problems since

benjidog
13th July 2006, 18:50
Jeff,

I have heard that there are websites that display pictures of scantily clad ladies and that if you visit these you are likely to pick up something you don't expect - rather like you would visiting them in the flesh so to speak.

Of course I am sure that would not be what happened to you and have no personal experience of this myself!(Ouch)

You could try fitting a condom on your mouse to see if that helps keep infection at bay.

Brian

Jeff Egan
13th July 2006, 19:34
Brian, I dont know where I picked it up, can you catch it off a toilet seat? (*)) Billingham dating is not to be recommended, anyway whatever it was is now under control for the time being except for my home page which has turned into an ad for anti ad-ware products, my daughters chap is an IT specialist and he is going to try to get rid of it next time he visits. There is a lot of info on "About Blank" on the net but everything I have tried so far has failed. :@
My mouse has reacted badly to your suggestion as it does not like its little red light restrained.

meechingman
13th July 2006, 21:38
Has anybody mentioned Webroot Spysweeper yet? It's the best one I've come across - not free, and they don't seem to offer a trial on the site at the moment. It roots out more nasties than Adaware, Spybot or W-defender. Try them all first and then run Webroot to see what I mean. It also has built-in shields - mini firewalls basically - to stop nasties getting in. Since I've had it installed, my systems have been nasty-free zones. The only thing that's missing is a full pop-up blocker, but at least I'm not being bombarded with pop-ups.

Tinkering with the registry is not for the faint-hearted, and make sure you keep a backup.

Andy

Jeff Egan
14th July 2006, 16:13
Its gone, yipee, its gone, I've killed off "about blank" I downloaded a free programme called "AVG free" it found a virus called Zlob something or other zapped it and after I re-started my computer my home page was back. Now all I have to do is find Billingham dating lasses again, only kidding they looked a right hard bunch, one had so many tattoos she looked like a doodle.

Pompeyfan
14th July 2006, 17:59
Glad you have it sorted Jeff. Only just seen this thread. They say AVG is very good, and of course free. I was told this after paying to Norton Anti Virus Upgrade 2006!. As for Spyware programmes, I have found Spyware Doctor to be better than Webroot Spysweeper, although I did not have the latest Spysweeper. But Spyware Doctor found stuff that the older version of Spysweeper and Adaware etc did not find. Having said that, Adaware finds less dangerous spyware, so I run them both. David

Jeff Egan
14th July 2006, 18:09
Been trying for best part of a week now David, tried loads of free downloads but seem to have nailed it this time I hope. Not only did it seem to slow the computer down I was getting lots of pop ups and my home page was replaced by an ad, drives you mad, but fingers crossed its gone, it was a Trojan horse virus called "Zlob downloader".