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Author Topic: Been asked a MILLION times...Internet explorer  (Read 6327 times)

dtrud0h

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Been asked a MILLION times...Internet explorer
« on: December 27, 2005, 11:57:53 AM »
Hi Forum,
  I have been using Firefox  since 0.85 or so and have recently switched to Linux on my system.  I have installed Firefox on my mothers computer and she is also happy with it, the problem however lies in the XP setup on her system.  After "Disabling Access" to Internet Explorer and never opening it I have a never-ending supply of pop-ups in Explorer windows as soon as I access the internet.
  I've tried to teach mom how to browse wisely, but she is addicted to shopping and "Exciting" websites.  The question is how do I get rid of IE?  I've read that it is unwise to completely remove it but I can't stand it any longer.  I've killed sixteen popups so far just typing this message.  I also googled about it and thought I had hit a good article about ActiveX and removing that.  Is there any benefit to ActiveX?, What does it do? 
  I use AVG personal and that runs clean every time it runs, also using CCleaner, Xoftspy,and Starter by codestuff.  I watch open ports with Activeports by smartline and the only programs I find out of normal are something called RAS_DISP.exe that are accessing the internet, but a search of the system turn up no such file.

Any suggestions would be appreciated and SOLUTIONS are most welcome.  I've kind of steered away from an active firewall because I find the training phase might be too much for mom who is not computer savvy and gets easily frustrated with questions she doesn't know how to answer.  Thanks all and Happy New Year.

<- I have nothing witty to put here ->

mouser

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Re: Been asked a MILLION times...Internet explorer
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2005, 12:04:54 PM »
you're saying that as soon as you connect to the internet you are getting the popups even though you arent using internet explorer itself?

if so then it does sound like you have some kind of advert software that managed to install iself.
you need to run a proper spyware/adware checker like ad-aware, etc.

dtrud0h

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Re: Been asked a MILLION times...Internet explorer
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2005, 12:33:22 PM »
Hey mouser,
  I just ran Ad-Aware 6 and came up wit 3 tracking coohies and 2 reg entries re-started and fired up the fox, got three pop-ups,  ugh,   I can't say what I feel and be Politically correct about it.  Will keep searching for an answer.
  Just to clarify, I have High speed through a cable connection and it's always on.  I don't get popups as long as I don't have a browser running.  As soon as I open Firefox I get them.  kind of like Artificial Stupidity, or whatever Micro$... incorporates into their OS.
<- I have nothing witty to put here ->
« Last Edit: December 27, 2005, 12:35:58 PM by dtrud0h »

mouser

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Re: Been asked a MILLION times...Internet explorer
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2005, 12:37:06 PM »
its only happening when you start up firefox?
can you connect to the internet without starting up a browser and see if it happens then?
do you use a special isp-provided thing to connect to the internet? they might build it into that as a way of forcing you to see some ads.  what are the pop ups ads for? that might yield a clue.
are you sure its not the homepage that your browser is set for?

nudone

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Re: Been asked a MILLION times...Internet explorer
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2005, 01:54:11 PM »
sounds like something nasty is on the machine somewhere. ad-aware isn't guaranteed to find ALL nasties so running a few other utils ought to help.

lanux128

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Re: Been asked a MILLION times...Internet explorer
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2005, 11:20:28 PM »
hi there dtrud0h,

sorry to state the obvious, but have you updated your mom's pc at www.windowsupdate.com?

i also always make it a point to run these apps, whenever i install Xp in a new pc as a preventive measure...
Shoot The Messenger
UnPlug n' Pray
SpywareBlaster 3.x

and at the risk of sounding didactic, here's an article that you may find handy... 10 things you should do to a new PC before surfing the Web

anyway, good luck
regards
lanux

Hirudin

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Re: Been asked a MILLION times...Internet explorer
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2005, 01:35:02 AM »
Does the same thing happen when you open IE?

Try the web browser "OffByOne"

I personally use about:blank (or whatever the firefox equivalent is) as my homepage, but I know how mothers need something to open automatically too. Maybe change her homepage to something like www.cnn.com (assuming they don't have pop ups) or www.homestarrunner.com.

Also, there are a few online virus/spyware scanners. I think Housecall is good (but they remixed their web page, and it's less user freindly now), Kaspersky also has an online scanner, it's probably good.
If you're in the market for a new Spyware scanner, you might give Webroot Spysweeper a try, it takes over your system, but it's supposidly very good.

dtrud0h

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Re: Been asked a MILLION times...Internet explorer
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2005, 06:03:10 PM »
Hi all,
  Thanks for getting back to me.  I use firefox and the startpage I use is a plugin for firefox called about:bookmarkshome, it uses your bookmarks as a startpage I love it and mom does too, I don't think it's what is doing it, but the more I think about it, it just may be.  I also had installed this plugin on my laptop shortly before I started getting innundated with pop-ups.
  As far as connecting to the internet, it's always on,  cable modem, lan card, little blue "local area connection" screens in system tray at startup and always there.  Do I get pop-ups with IE?  I will never know, that would be the last program I would start on any computer, I don't want to come off as whatever, but I'm very anti-Microsoft, nuff said 'bout that.
  Strangely enough I went to Adelphia's (cable Co.'s) site and they offer a program called Zero Knowledge Freedom Suite, I tried to install it and it ended up making the computer go into a restart loop that wouldn't end, that's gone, thay also recomended housecall, tried to run that and computer locked up and rebooted. 
  I believe that there is something going on deep inside this possessed machine that is not being detected. 

  Also all updates have been done and are done automatically with windows update.
I'm not really actively seeking a solution to the problem,  I'm hoping it somehow convinces mom to give linux a shot. 
<- I have nothing witty to put here ->

Edvard

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Re: Been asked a MILLION times...Internet explorer
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2005, 06:08:11 PM »
From all I've heard, and your mom is ok with trying linux, and you want the least amount of headaches, you should try Ubuntu or, if you want a KDE Desktop, Kubuntu.
I have no experience with either, but just about everybody says this IS your mom's distro.

Renegade

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Re: Been asked a MILLION times...Internet explorer
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2005, 06:18:23 PM »
The first thing to do is to clean the computer from viruses and spyware/adware (may require a reinstall - do not reconnect for updates - download them & burn them to CD from a clean system first). Once you've done that, DO NOT let your mom run in an administrator account. Limit her to being a user. That will protect her from some things, like installing software. There's a reason why the *nix crowd always rants on about not running under root if you don't have to - it's not a good idea, but most Windows users run with admin priviledges. If she needs software installed, you should check it out for her. So, no more free smilies or screensavers or other crapware. A lot of popular freeware has crapware bundled with it because they aren't smart enough to figure out how to make money otherwise  :mad:
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2stepsback

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Re: Been asked a MILLION times...Internet explorer
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2007, 06:17:03 AM »
hi,
try Hijack This! ( http://www.spywarein...~merijn/programs.php )
It does not cure, merely states what is abnormal on your PC. Often it gives a list of things of harmless things.

But, be assured, 99% of malware is detected by it. So be sure to have it on your PC. Always.

Another great tool is Spybot Search and Destroy (from www.safer-networking.org/ - also may be found at http://patrick.kolla.de/spybotsd.html ) It is *excellent*

HTH
-2stepsback
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f0dder

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Re: Been asked a MILLION times...Internet explorer
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2007, 07:35:52 AM »
Adaware is pretty junk, for one they lie about the amount of junkware they detect - Spybot, as 2stepsback recommends, is better.

If you haven't done so already, make sure the XP computer is running SP2, and enable the firewall. That's really all you need to prevent the automated "sweep attacks" that are continuously run on the internet.

While you're not going to use IE to browse the web etc., do try to just start it, perhaps visit google.com, to see if you also get the popups using that. And know that you can't remove IE from your system, the farthest you can go is removing iexplore.exe... which is just a very thin wrapper around the IE components. If you remove those, lots of software will break.
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dhuser

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Re: Been asked a MILLION times...Internet explorer
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2007, 08:32:49 AM »
It will probably be safe to assume that one of the add-ons or extensions are not causing these ads to appear.

One problem with removing IE, is that is hard-wired into the system. It must be available for System Restore and many other Microsoft/Non-MS Applications

If you ever do get IE removed, make sure the installer does not remove system files, required by Windows.

Run a Anti-Spyware and Anti-Virus Scan
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« Last Edit: April 12, 2007, 08:36:09 AM by dhuser »

Curt

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Re: Been asked a MILLION times...Internet explorer
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2007, 09:44:34 AM »
..., the problem however lies in the XP setup on her system.  After "Disabling Access" to Internet Explorer and never opening it I have a never-ending supply of pop-ups in Explorer windows as soon as I access the internet.

You should not disable anything!
Please:
1) reset XP settings for IE, and
2) make Firefox the default browser.

Nothing else.