When Spyware gets Bad: What to do when you can’t do anything

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Sometimes spyware gets so bad, it’s hard to do anything. You can’t go online and download Malwarebytes or Spybot or any anti-spyware (see this post), because your browser–that is, your Internet Explorer or Firefox–is hijacked and redirected and won’t let you go anywhere of use and certainly won’t let you download anything. So you take the next step, and reboot your computer into Safe Mode with Networking by tapping F8 as the computer restarts. But sometimes even in Safe Mode, the malware keeps you from downloading anti-spyware or, if you manage to download it, running it. So now you face reformatting your hard drive and losing all your data and the programs, at least the programs you’ve lost your disks to, or never had disks for in the first place.

What do you do now? You take the computer to a tech who nine times out of ten will recommend reformatting. Or you find a tech like Ms. Ducktoes who will fight the malware without reformatting. Ask your tech if he or she will do this. Ask if he will use Malwarebytes or SuperAntispyware.

Or…you can do this.
1. Go to the computer store and buy a device that lets your hard drive to another computer by USB. It’s called a USB to IDE/Sata Adapter and costs from $25 to $35 dollars.

This is what you need an IDE to USB converter. There are also ones that work with Sata and laptop drives.

2. Find another Windows computer either your own or a friend’s or relative’s. Download and update Malwarebytes and AVG and SuperAntispyware and Spybot to that second computer. (You have many choices, just make sure you use Malwarebytes and AVG among them.)

3. Turn off the power to badly infected computer and unattach the cables. Open up the case of the and remove the hard drive. Some cases will have large buttons to push–like Dell– others will have screws. Remove the case.

Open the case by unscrewing the screws or pushing a button or lever.

Open the case by unscrewing the screws or pushing a button or lever.

Make sure your computer is turned off and unplugged before you do this.

4. The hard drive will have a wide-band white/gray cable attached to it and a four-prong power cable.

Here is the power cable.  You can see a bit of the ribbon cable in back of it.

5. Remove the cables. (Take a digital photo with your camera or cell phone if you think you may forget how they are attached.

What a ribbon cable looks like

What a ribbon cable looks like

5. You’ll probably have to unscrew the hard drive from the where it is attached to the case.

Use a screwdriver to unscrew hard drive screws.
Use a screwdriver to unscrew hard drive screws.

6. After removed, attach the hard drive to the right (same size) IDE/SATA adapter and plug in the power.

Here the hard drive is attached to the adapter.

Here the hard drive is attached to the adapter.

7. Connect USB cable to the USB port of the second computer.

Plug the USB cable into the USB port of the second computer.

Plug the USB cable into the USB port of the second computer.

The computer should recognize that new hardware has been attached. If you go into My Computer, you’ll see it as a USB mass storage device and listed as a letter such as E, F, G, or H, depending on how many cd/dvd and hard drives are on that computer.

You'll see this in the right-hand corner of your monitor screen.

You’ll see this alert “Found New Hardware” in the right-hand corner of your computer screen.

This window will appear on your desktop.  Choose the "Open folder to view files" option.

This window will appear on your desktop. Choose the “Open folder to view files” option.

Your hard drive is attached!

7. Now run the anti-spyware and anti-virus programs one at a time. If you can, do a custom scan and single out the attached hard drive. Let each anti-spyware run and then remove or quarantine the viruses.

This is the AVG interface.  It allows you to pick the hard drive you want to scan.  Here E and F are selected.

This is the AVG interface. It allows you to pick the hard drive you want to scan. Here E and F are selected.

8. If you have enough skill, go into the desktop of that drive (the one that is connected by USB) and copy and paste the Malwarebytes installer to the desktop of your user. Find the All Users desktop folder and drag the MBAM installer icon into the window.

Drag Mbam icon into the "All Users" desktop.

Drag Mbam icon into the “All Users” desktop folder.

Then you can run it later when you reattach the hard drive in its own computer.

9. Unattach the hard drive from the USB and put it back into its own case. Reattach the cables all the way so they fit snuggly. Start up the computer. You should now be able to go into Safe Mode with Networking and download the anti-spyware and run it. You still will have a lot of spyware to contend with but now you have more of an edge. If you put the Malwarebytes icon (Mbam) on the desktop you can click on it and run it. Make sure that you update it.

Good luck and let Ms. Ducktoes know how it goes. Please feel free to comment and make suggestions.

See this post for more detailed information on how to download and run the anti-spyware.

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Be Careful on "Hallmark and Postcard.exe virus removal" Searches

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I’m concerned. Today while researching the Hallmark card and postcard.exe virus, I got these results on Google.

Google Results for

Image of Google Results

The highlighted result in the middle leads to a download site for Windows XP Antivirus 2008/2009, a rogue Antivirus that is really a deadly virus for your computer. I mean a nasty.

So this is the dramatic scenario, my innocent ducklings, you receive a Hallmark card or other e-card e-mail. You know you are not supposed to open attachments on e-mails especially those ending with .exe or .dll but on this e-mail there are none. So you feel safe. There is a link, however, for you to see the Hallmark card (or other e-card) someone sent you. You click the link. Instead of an ecard, your computer fills with the Hallmark card virus, and depending on what variant you download, a pretty bad virus.

Your computer is now looking and acting strange. You’re worried. You search online for solutions. You search for “Hallmark card virus removal”. You get results such as the ones above. You may luck out and click Ducktoes or another legitimate antispyware site or you may click a link to the fraudulent rogue anti-virus Windows XP Antivirus 2008/2009 above. Immediately your computer starts to fill with an even more lethal virus. So now you have one bad virus and one very bad virus.

The fraudulent website looks like this:

Bogus Antivirus Site

Bogus Antivirus Site

Now Ms. Ducktoes has to go to her day job fixing computers and get back to this later. Please be careful until then. Let me know what’s happening to your computer right now, so I have more information on what new variants there are and the type of frustation and problems you’re having, so I can help you more effectively.

Click on the Comment or No comment tag below. Or e-mail me at [email protected]

And the virus removal techniques in yesterday’s post about How to Fix Vundo in Safe Mode should also be quite effective agains the Hallmark Card and Windows XP Anti-virus. Give them a try. Until later.

Also I’m curious. What spyware or virus are you struggling with right now? Or if you don’t know, what symptoms do you have? I invite your comments. Comment here.

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Free Anti-Spyware Programs and Tools

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People often think that if they have an antivirus software such as Norton they are safe against malware. This is a dangerous misconception that creates a lot of work (and $!!!) for techies like Ms. Ducktoes.

Most anti-virus programs fight only viruses and provide very poor protection for the increasingly dangerous and sophisticated malware and spyware on the web.

It never hurts to have more than one antispyware. Thousands of malware and spyware are developed for the first time or re-versioned everyday (to elude detection) and no one antispyware can catch it all.

If you want real time, effective protection that just runs automatically on your computer without effort or knowledge on your part, then buy Spyware Doctor. Otherwise you need to run many antispyware and learn how to use them.

Below are the best ones for you to try:

  • MalwarebytesAntiMalware – Malwarebytes removes most malware quite effectively. Many techs now use it as their first defence against difficult spyware.

My son at university called and asked how he could remove some bad malware that his antivirus and anti-spyware couldn’t catch or remove. His computer was so bad he was thinking of reformating his drive. I told him to try Malwarebytes, and it fixed the problem.

I’ve used it against a bad case of Windows XP AntiVirus 2008. I had to use it in combination with other anti-spyware applications, but it did most of the work.

This is a feisty little program that got rid of some potent meanies on clients’ machines. I encountered it in my search to find effective anti-spyware solutions for some of the BAD malware out there. It seemed quite useful against Windows XP Antivirus 2008/2009. Dr. Web Cureit is created by a Russian company and is endorsed by the Ministry of the Defence of the Russian Federation. Now there’s an endorsement most antispywares can’t claim.

Whoa. This one really caught a lot on the spyware tests I put it through.

Antivirus Tools

AVG 8 Free for Personal Use

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The Difference between Spyware and Viruses

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“What’s the difference is between spyware and viruses?” people often ask.

A virus is vandalism. Or rather self-perpetuating vandalism. it doesn’t really do anything for anyone, including it’s creators. No one makes money on viruses. A virus just breaks into a computer and makes a big mess. It writes grafitti of code all over your data and registry. It damages computers by smashing your OS against the wall, so to speak. It also spreads. But no one makes a profit on it. It’s a waste of everyone’s time and energy.

On the other hand, spyware (including adware and trojan horses) can make money for its creators. Profit’s its aim. It spies on your computer–and therefore, you–trying to get credit card numbers or bank account numbers and passwords. Maybe it forces you (hijacks your browser) to go to a bogus search engine, so instead of Google or Yahoo or Live Search, only the Adware’s ineffective Search Engine, and all its advertisers will open. Your computer and you are therefore captives to the bogus search engine’s ads. Or with less malicious forms, it just collects information on your interests and sends you ads, specialized just for you. Or in the case of rogue anti-spyware, it pretends to be a legitimate anti-virus or anti-spyware, trying to get you to buy it, but really doesn’t work against any viruses or spyware, except ones that it deposited into your computer.

In the case of Windows XP Antivirus 2008/2009, it seems to be a combination of spyware and virus. It not only floods your computer with spyware and steals your credit card numbers, it also behaves like a virus and returns after you think you’ve gotten rid of it. It also, left untreated, trashes your computer like a virus. It’s a nasty.

I hope this makes things clearer.

Now be good little duckies and never go without anti-spyware and anti-virus protection…And stay away from porn sites and P2Ps, where you’re guaranteed to pick up terrible computer diseases. If you must go to porn sites, at least practice safe computer sex and use top of the line anti-spyware protection such as Spyware Doctor. Even if you never go to dangerous sites, your computer can pick up spyware almost anywhere and that is why anti-spyware is necessary for all computer. And for those who can’t live with a free P2P please use this one.

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Remove Windows XP Antivirus 2008 and 2009 with Spyware Doctor

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Ms. Ducktoes is still in a flap due Windows Xp Anti-virus 2008/2009. Too many people are losing everything on their computers and having to reformat their hard drives. People are losing irreplaceable family photos. Businesses are losing all their contacts and documents at enormous expense.

If your computer is infected, you can fix it without losing your precious photos, music, business data, and files. Spyware Doctor with Antivirus is one easy, no fuss solution. And as a bonus, afterward, your computer will be safe against future infections of other types of malware. Otherwise if the malware progresses, you’ll may lose everything and end up hiring a tech to reinstall your operating system. Save yourself a lot of trouble and cost now and by using this top-rated anti-spyware. It repairs Windows XP Antivirus and many other difficult malwares.

Windows XP Antivirus 2008/2009 is a rogue antivirus. It is made by criminals in Russia. They’re trying to get your money by invading your computer. Their malware manufactures fake alerts about trojans and spyware right on your desktop. Eventually it’ll wreck your operating system. And if you actually buy this fraudulent product, the owners steal your credit card numbers. And then flood your computer with even more spyware and malware. It can be difficult to remove and hides deep in the coding of the operating system. Once removed, it tends to return.

So all you darling ducklings out there everywhere, never buy anything that creates ads or alerts right on your desktop. No legitimate company invades your desktop (nest-top) like that.

The creators of this destructive malware are generating many, many versions of their malware. This is to make it difficult for anti-spyware and anti-virus programs to catch, remove, or heal all the different variants. Elizabeth Rood of PC Tools says, “…last count, we have defined at least 22 variants of the program being offered. They (creators of Windows XP Antivirus 2008) update the program every week, however, so keeping up is tricky. I believe the changes in the program behavior are being randomized via an automated programming method.”

To get rid of this menace once and for all, this is what she and I recommend:
1. Instead of just Spyware Doctor, purchase Spyware Doctor with Antivirus.
2. Update Spyware Doctor with Antivirus and then run multiple scans.
3. After running one full scan, reboot in safe mode (Restart computer, tap F8 as computer starts up, choose Safe Mode.)
4. It typically takes more than one scan to remove it.

I found Spyware Doctor with Antivirus very effective against Windows XP Antivirus. If you just want to get rid of this terrible danger to you computer easily and prevent future dangers of all types, then get Spyware Doctor with Antivirus. It’ll remove Windows XP Antivirus now, at this instant. Click the small ad of Spyware Doctor below.

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If you need help with the install, let me know, and I’ll help you via phone or remotely over the computer.

Call 403-483-0105.

Click here for my e-mail.

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