Reference, Questions and Help > Computer Help

Removal of Ad-ware & Spy-ware, etc.


Many people have asked me how to Remove Ad-ware.  I suggest you download these programs, they are free:

Click here to download Ad-Aware
Clcik here to download Spybot S&D
Click here to download HiJackThis!
Click here to download Microsoft® Windows AntiSpyware
They will remove most ad-ware.

This message is the one I refer to when I have to fix friends computers.

Another thing I use on occasion is Trend's Housecall.  It is free, and if you are working on someone else's PC and just want a scan, it is pretty good.  It scans for Virus and Spyware.  The url is

An important reminder, this is NOT a resident tool, and will not keep you safe.  It simply serves as an uh-oh! and decent removal tool for AFTER you got infected.  You still need a resident AV/Spyware tool on your PC.

As the Senior Network Administrator for a major medical practice, keeping viruses, spyware and other crap off the network is my #1 priority.

To do that, I use a simple but proven method which work just as well on a home PC or laptop.

Don't give them Administrative Privileges!

To do this, create a username you will use on your day to day basis. Also create an Admin login. I suggest using something like PCAdmin, LaptopAdmin or similar. Once you create the Admin login, give it full rights. Then disable the Administrator login. Don't delete it, just disable it. Give it a Strong password prior to this and give the same password to the Admin login. Once you have that all setup, install all your programs you want and then remove the Administrative rights to the day to day user, just make it a limited user.

What these virus writer do is try and break into your PC by using a combination of usernames and passwords. Many people don't set their Administrator password so they get right in. They try all possible combinations of administrator/admin/user and password lists like 1234, 12345, 123456, admin, password, Password, abcd, abcde etc. So setting up a strong password is a VERY important part.

Try taking a familiar place, childs or spouses name and capitalize the first letter and add some numbers to the end, like Susan1217 or even use symbols like $u$@n1217. Easy to rmember and strong!

What this does is deny the bugs administrative rights to the windows folder and therefore stops them dead in their tracks. Use the Admin login only for adding/removing/modifying apps that REQUIRE administrative rights. If you find an app that won't run without them while you are logged in as the day to day user, go to the program files folder, find the folder to the app and right click and give ONLY that folder administrative rights. You may have to turn off simple file sharing in folder properties, but this will stop 99.9% of all the bugs that drive us nuts.

Another great site for info is Sign up for their free newsletter and you are good to go.

I know this is an old thread, but these are current issues and I know someone can use them!

I am happy to help anyone who has a computer issue, just post here or send me a PM.



--- Quote from: Rennhack on Jul 06, 2004, 04:05 ---Click here to download HiJackThis!

--- End quote ---
Highly recommended, but use carefully.   This one tells you what is going on with your computer and will help remove items that any anti-virus program cannot once infected.   Even if you think your computer is healthy, this one might reveal otherwise.   For example, take a questionable looking item on the report and Google it to find out if it's safe, adware, virus, etc.

Be careful of what you tell it to "fix" though.



Mike's suggestions for Ad-aware, Spybot and MS's Safety Scanner are good ones.

However, IMHO if you're someone who has to ask for suggestions to how to clean a computer or you had to google "IMHO" to find out what I meant by it, then you should only use HJT under someone's tutelage. 

I'd add CCE (Comodo Cleaning Essentials) and Kapersky's TDSSKiller to the list.

I'd also warn you to be careful when reviewing your search results before you download any of these programs.  There are many miscreants who have developed programs with copycat names that will put more malicious software on your PC, instead of removing the crap you've already got. 

The article below has direct links to all the programs mentioned.  It has the added benefit of teaching you how and when to use them.

Of course, never having to clean one in the first place is better. If you use free anti-virus software, it lists the current top six programs available.  It also delivers links to 3 independent anti-virus testing labs so you can make an intelligent decision about which AV to buy.

For the record, I don't have any financial or familial relationship with  they just have a lot of great information and its all free.


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