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Other/Misc => Computer Stuff => Topic started by: ranger on March 07, 2011, 10:55:46 AM

Title: Another Virus
Post by: ranger on March 07, 2011, 10:55:46 AM
Ok this is my second virus >:( and third problem since December.  It is clear to me that Mcafee is useless for virus protection.  Windows 7 is also on my @@it list as well as Dell. The other problem involved WIndows updates getting stuck.  I have bought 3 Dell computers in the past 5 - 6 years and none of them is working right now.  My first laptop does not connect to wireless (wireless card not working said the Comcast guy), the desktop I bought my brother cannot connect to the internet and now laptop #2 has another virus.

I spend 8 hours on the phone on Saturday calling Comcast, Mcafee, MicroSoft, Dell, QVC and the router company.  None of these people could help me with the virus or getting my old laptop working. Oh and when I contacted Dell they said my laptop was not registered to me :o.  The purchase date however was correct ???.  Feeling a lot of angry since this computer was purchased in December 2009.

Does anyone know where to get computers fixed?  Someone at work suggested Staples, someone else suggested the Geek Squad.

I am going to buy an Apple next.

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: NedF on March 07, 2011, 11:04:59 AM
Don't use Geek Squad unless you are willing to lose all your data.

Is your computer working at all? If you can use it, then download Avast Antivirus and run it to see what virus is causing you problems. It can fix most problems for you. There are other programs to try after to catch anything Avast misses, but I would try that one first. It will take a while for it to scan your entire hard drive.

I have never had a problem with viruses. I use Avast Antivirus and ZoneAlarm Firewall. I also use Firefox with No Script and Ad Block Plus.

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: ranger on March 07, 2011, 12:51:56 PM
No I can't get on at all.  I got this vocal message (a woman's voice) saying you have a virus.  This part really freaked me out, who was the voice and where did that come from??  I forgot to mention this in my first post. 

Then I got a you have a trojan and your email is sending out message.  I think that was in writing but I'm not sure it happened so fast.

Now all I can get is the windows did not close down properly screen and alternatelly the dreaded blue screen with something about if you installed any new program uninstall it.  I didn't install anything.  I didn't download anything.  I didn't open any attachments.  I don't go to chat rooms.  I haven't been on facebook for months.

I'm a good girl ;) I shouldn't be getting viruses.  I think someone sent it to me in an email.

I don't really have anything on the computer except for pictures and a few word documents.  I have all the discs that came with the computer and I have all the pics still on my camera.

I just need to get the stupid thing to get back on.  And of course I am concerned about the email thing.  Like which email is it my hotmail account?  That's the one I use.  Or my comcast email which I never use?

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: NedF on March 07, 2011, 01:14:33 PM
Don't worry about the messages right now.

Have you tried starting the computer in safe mode?

If it will start in safe mode, then run your antivirus program and see what you get.

Make sure the computer no longer has internet access when you try this.

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: JustMe on March 07, 2011, 02:10:48 PM

Are you getting "fake" virus alert popup messages?  I got one once last year and did not click on it.  Instead, I rebooted my computer and it was gone.

They might look like this example at the microsoft site.

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: JJ on March 07, 2011, 03:23:04 PM
Judy how frustrating this all must be. Just read a few weeks ago to be careful when clicking on attachments in emails, even those from friends because of just exactly what seems to be happening to you. Not saying yours is from the emails but that could be a place to start. Once you are able to get your computer up and in running mode again you should go to hotmail and in your profile change all the security permissions to either yourself & your brother to protect your computer. Takes awhile to do but more protection you have the better.

Maybe check out the Avast anti-virus free protection as Ned suggested and use that instead of the other ones you always have a problem with when you call them for help.........

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: caylee on March 07, 2011, 03:33:01 PM
Is there anyone at your work who would be willing to try to fix the problem for you? Sometimes one can find someone like that - maybe for the price of something home-baked?

Hope you can find someone. Maybe Steve here on the forum can help you, too.


Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: Mandycat on March 07, 2011, 09:34:39 PM
For some reason you seem to be getting fake alerts about viruses.  I use McAfee and it has worked just fine.  I had one Trojan a couple years ago, and I never got any voices, or e-mails or anything like that about it or anything else.  There ARE problems that can be caused by these fake alerts, though, if you click on certain things they prompt you to click on.  You need to find a good local computer repair person to get your computer back in shape.  I'm so sorry this has happened to you.   :(

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: ranger on March 08, 2011, 05:31:40 AM
This was NOT a fake virus since it shut down my computer.  I have had no luck getting it to work.  I can't get past the windows has shut down screen.  I tried clicking on all the options listed for "safe" options but they all just lead back to the blue screen and then back to the windows has shut down unexpectitly again.

I tried just letting it cycle several times to see if it would let me on but no luck.

Has anyone ever had a virus announced by a voice? ???   Where did that come from, is that some crazy new virus that talks?  I don't understand that at all. The more I think about it I wonder if someone hasn't taken over my computer completely.

ETA thanks for all the suggestions and thoughts.   It does have a webcam but I have never used it in case that makes a difference.

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: caylee on March 08, 2011, 06:00:58 AM

By 'fake virus alert' is meant that a screen pops up announcing that you have a virus, but at that point you do not - thus the word 'fake'. But clicking on the notice DOES give you the real virus. So no one here is saying that you do not NOW have a virus on your system. I had one of those 'fake' notices once and clicked on it to 'clean' the virus, but that is what actually gave me the virus. I managed to clear it out using my real anti-virus software. Those fake notices are very real looking, so don't feel bad that it happened to you.


Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: lesliek on March 08, 2011, 06:27:54 AM
I had 1 of those also ,with flashing lights & warning sounds. Since I'm not really computer smart ,I did a hard shutdown [pulled the plug] & called my brother to get talked through a restart & scan. Some of them will download the virus even if you click to x out of the warning. It sounds like that happened to you. I hope you can find someone through friends or co-workers who can do that for you.

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: Spartycats on March 08, 2011, 06:47:10 AM
I'm lucky to work where we have strong systems support.  Judy, I hope you can find someone to help you.
For others, maybe this will help out.

Here is a recent letter they sent us:

Hi, all--
Over the weekend, two staff members saw the return of a particularly nasty bit of malware: the fake anti-virus.  Because it can damage a computer to the point that it needs to be completely rebuilt, we in Systems thought it would be a good idea to send a reminder about it.

It works like this: a window pops up on the screen, warning that a virus has been detected, and stating that special software must be downloaded and installed immediately to deal with this virus.  Usually there is no "X" in the upper right corner to close the window; if there is one, it doesn't work.  No virus has actually been detected, but pressing either the "OK" or "Cancel" button will download a real virus and install it on the computer.  At worst, your computer will then be virtually unusable until Systems rebuilds it for you.  In addition, any information you have on that computer is at risk for theft.

If a message pops up on your screen warning of a virus, please DO NOT CLICK OR TYPE ANYTHING except as described below.  Instead, do the following:
Hold down the Ctrl and Alt keys, and press the Delete key.  A window will appear in the middle of your screen.
Click on "Task Manager" (middle button in the lower row).  A window labeled "Windows Task Manager" will open.
There are four tabs in the window; the left one (Applications) should be open.  If not, click on it.
Click on any one of the tasks that says "Internet Explorer."
Click on "End Task" at the bottom of the window.
If a window with two buttons, "End Task" and "Cancel" appears, click on "End Task."
The task you selected, and all other "Internet Explorer" tasks, should disappear.
If other browser tasks remain, click on them and end them similarly.

Please note: tens of thousands of legitimate web sites are infected by the worm that causes this problem.  It does not mean that anyone has been visiting web sites that they shouldn't.

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: ranger on March 08, 2011, 10:05:56 AM
Ok maybe I'm not clear in my writing.  I got the voice message, then I got the warning I had a trojan and my email was sending out mail and then the blue screen then poof I was out.  These all happened within a few seconds, I didn't click on anything nor did I get the chance to.  It was just boom, boom, boom.

Ok that's my technical terms, I'm not computer savey at all.

I think I'm toast or the computer is anyway,  it sounds like I will have to take it somewhere and have it debugged (or whatever it needs) and reinstall all the discs.  My stuff is probably gone right? >:( Bummer, I still blame Macafee for not catching these things, it updated the night before so I don't understand the point if they don't catch virus before they strike and do damage.

Spartycats let's just say I'm not lucky like you ;).  Anybody taken a computer to Staples?

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: Mandycat on March 08, 2011, 02:07:15 PM
Unfortunately, there is not one anti-virus program that will be 100% effective at protection.  Sometimes new versions of viruses are released before the companies are aware of them and develop a fix.  As for the voice, that is very strange, and, IMO, just makes it even more probable that you were hit by a "fake alert" that installed the virus.  I have McAfee, and I can tell you that there is NO VOICE alerts for viruses or anything else.  Please have a professional look at your computer.  Your data may not been totally lost, and there are recovery programs that they may be able to use.  Good luck!

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: lesliek on March 08, 2011, 03:35:14 PM
My next door neighbor has used Geek squad, but it took several visits to get it right. They did retrieve all her info. I used Staples about 7 years ago when my mother board went. They downloaded my pix [which was all I cared about] to a zip drive. I replaced the computer.

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: Steve on March 08, 2011, 04:00:25 PM
Unplug your internet cables and try booting up in Safe Mode again.

Press and hold the F8 key as your computer restarts. You need to press F8 before the Windows logo appears.

If you can get into safe mode successfully run your anti virus and see what happens.   If this doesn't work head to a tech shop. 

If you decide to stay with PC get a solid Internet Security Program that has Live Updates.  Which means virus definitions are automatically downloaded daily.

Network World
Wed, 03/02/11
Nasty Fake Antivirus
Aggressive malware leaves its victims dead in the water

I recently saw a demonstration of a more modern version of fake antivirus. The bad guys have made this scam more effective and sinister. When the fake AV appears on your system now you notice a steady progression with no way out. First, it shuts down your real antivirus and removes the icon from your system tray. It then shuts down any applications you have open, claiming that they may be infected. Finally, it blocks any file with a .exe extention so you can't open any processes. This blocks all of the things you would normally try to alleviate the problem. I tried launching pre-installed antivirus software to perform a system scan, opening Windows Task Manager to kill a process, and going into Windows tools to restore the system configuration to an earlier recovery point. All of these actions were blocked. Oh and don't bother re-booting the system. This won't help either.

Basically, fake AV launches a denial-of-service attack, making your PC absolutely useless. It reminded me of the insidious pop-up spyware and adware from the early 2000s. With this type of attack, even users who know better are tempted to buy the fake AV in order to get their PC, and their precious data, back. If you can open a browser and are willing to fight on, there are numerous downloadable tools that claim to overcome fake AV. Guess what? Many of them are just another kind of malware. Cybercriminals know how to kick you when you are down.

If you do get infected, there is actually a relatively easy way out. You have to reboot your system in safe mode (press the F8 key as you do), go into system tools, and then restore your system to an earlier recovery point. When this action is completed, I recommend updating Windows and doing a full system scan with your real AV immediately.

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: Mandycat on March 08, 2011, 04:37:01 PM
McAfee updates daily, and sometimes more than once a day, automatically.  But, you have to have the setting set for the automatic updates.  

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: NedF on March 08, 2011, 10:00:49 PM
If you do take your computer in to be fixed, make sure you tell them the most important thing is to retrieve all your data. Geek Squad has been known to wipe the drive and then reinstall windows, therefore losing all data. This happened to a friend of mine who lost all her pictures and she was quite upset about it.

If this is a laptop, unplug it and take out the battery and turn off your wireless so it doesn't try to connect to the internet. Let it sit for 10 minutes then plug it in and turn it on. Hold down the F8 key to start it in Safe Mode. If it allows you to start in safe mode, then run your anti virus program.

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: JJ on March 08, 2011, 10:23:50 PM
I had 1 of those also ,with flashing lights & warning sounds. Since I'm not really computer smart ,I did a hard shutdown [pulled the plug] & called my brother to get talked through a restart & scan. Some of them will download the virus even if you click to x out of the warning. It sounds like that happened to you. I hope you can find someone through friends or co-workers who can do that for you.
I had that happen also leslie and did same thing - hard shutdown. From Steve's post there is no X in the corner to close the box telling you you have a virus and when I couldn't close it - hard shut down.

Judy yours is first I have heard of a voice 'talking and telling' one that they have a virus. That probably through you off too.

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: JJ on March 09, 2011, 09:39:08 PM
Judy you mentioned your email a/c. By any chance did you receive any from UPS stating something to the likes of 'you had been sent a package and here was the tracking #" - which is in a zip file (UPS does not send tracking #'s in zip files, misspelled words and ending in .ru (as in from russia). The zip file contains a virus that has been doing what you describe to your computer. If you have a chance search for UPS fake email and see what they recommend to fix the problem if that is what happened to your computer from opening an email like this. (also mine was addressed to a bunch of other people besides myself that is strange right there)

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: karvskitties on March 11, 2011, 12:53:18 AM
Things I've learned from hard knocks, etc.

Even though I am on Vista, I have Windows Mail turned off.  Even though I have Office Professional 2007, I don't use Outlook.  On this account, there is no email access.  I use Yahoo email for this user account, and I have images turned off on all Yahoo email accounts.  I also have a Gmail account set up only for mailing objects from Calibre to Kindle.

On my other User Account, I still use Thunderbird mail.  I have it set to text only mode.  You can switch view to simple html for trusted sources only.  I don't open mail I don't know.  I have filters carried over from Outlook Express (whien I used to use that - those were the days), and can dump junk mail if it gets through.

I use Firefox with adblockplus and (the most important, though not pretty), NoScript add on.  Therefore, I can read a blog or link from here - and not have to worry about anything from the site.  On this User Profile, I have the older NoScript, it doesn't even allow redirections - unless I explicitly know what I am doing.

I have the McAfee firewall only (bought for use of 9.99 for year, special to Comcast Customers).  However, it is not playing well with my new Wireless, so there is no outbound report, vs the Router itself, which seems to be only recording inbound.  I also removed the trusted portion of the Ipv6 address added to the firewall during installation of the router, AND - due to recommendations, some things are shut down (don't remember what they are - because), the router can only be configured using LAN, which means I keep the ethernet cable handy for plug ins.

I use the free Avast antivirus (why not the free Norton with Comcast? Too many false positives - AND I'm sure Comcast is allowing those annoying continuous UDP tests through the firewall).

When the year comes up - I need to take time to RESET up the router, since it is using drivers on the Computer to run - and this is not good.  I will probably go with Zone Alarm firewall, and continue the free Avast.

But your browser and email are THE most important to ward off attacks.  I have IE (and I haven't updated it), set to not allow access unless is needed (just deny permissions, don't block - through firewall).  You do this by setting the firewall to SHOW smart recommendations, as opposed to Enable Smart recommendations.  Using firefox with the minimum Noscript - works wonders.  Also - on Amazon, some folks got a nasty from an ad - so in the forums - everyone was highly recommending AdBlockPlus - we don't even see any other advertisements on Amazon besides the site options itself.

This also provides a very clean Facebook experience.

It takes a little work (and I myself still need to do some), but its the best defense against folks just dying to compromise the computer.  PS - with this setup, it is impossible for email to be sent from my computer, since thunderbird is set on a standard User Account, and the nasty would have been sent to a different user account.  Of course, all User Accounts should have their own passwords.

Also, for the Laptops, when unplugging to clear memory - remove battery, and hit the power button several times for 15 seconds.  This tries to start up the computer, and dumps the memory.  Also - clearing out your pre fetch files once in awhile is a good clean up tool.

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: JJ on March 11, 2011, 01:12:50 AM
Also received a fake Fedex one today. Will have to probably dump that one a/c and set up another.

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: ranger on March 11, 2011, 05:24:41 AM
Oh boy karvskitties, I'm afraid I don't understand most of that :o.   I'm going to print this out and see if I can do anything on my own but I think I will need to find someone to help me. I will try to remove the battery though.  I'm afraid I am very techno challenged. ::).  If I can get my Dell up again I'm still going to buy a MAC as soon as I can.

Oh JJ I didn't open any of those type of emails but I am really thinking that someone on one of the freecylcle groups I belong to is sending virus's because both times I had been to the website and answered an email there.  After the first one I stopped receiving emails directly and only got the daily digest but now I'm going to remove myself from them entirely.

Do you think I will have to get a new email address?

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: caylee on March 11, 2011, 05:40:12 AM
I always look at my account through webmail first. The webmail feature allows me to delete any emails that look like spam from my account before I download the mail to my computer.


Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: catbird on March 11, 2011, 06:31:27 AM
I use only online email services that are stored in the "cloud" and don't use my own mail client at all.  That way, like caylee, I can scan what's there before it gets downloaded onto my computer by opening.

Besides the fact that you know I'm going to plug Macs as inherently less vulnerable ;D, I have to say that Gmail seems to be the most spam-free email service I have ever found.  Whatever analytics they use seem to keep anything unsolicited from hitting my inbox.  You do have to put up with the Google ads on the page, which base themselves upon keywords in the text, but they are easy to ignore (and actually sometimes quite funny to see.)

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: JJ on March 11, 2011, 07:05:29 PM
Judy you probably would only need a new email if yours is listed on the freecycle site to prevent any further 'contamination' by any members on there.

I'm trying to trace why I'm getting these fake mails and for 1st time ever bought something from ebay and seems since then the fake emails started to happen. Going to have to dis-member myself from there and pay pal and see if they stop.

Really sucks that you have to go thru this again Judy. Wish you success in finally having everything up and running smooth once you get it all fixed.

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: ranger on March 12, 2011, 08:36:35 AM
OK so I'm at the library using a computer and I just checked my hotmail account and there is a nasty message and it came from a message I sent in reply to a freecycle request.  I was pretty sure that's where I got the virus and now I know.  I guess I will have to close that email address.  Does anyone know if i can safely move anything I want to save without bringing along the virus?

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: lesliek on March 12, 2011, 10:48:04 AM
I don't know the answer to that, but you should report the senders address to freecycle along with a description of the email & what happened.

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: caylee on March 12, 2011, 12:54:58 PM
I don't think there is really any way to close a hotmail account down other than letting it die a natural death by not signing into it.

But that aside, if you want to save anything and you want to be sure that the virus does not come along, you could do a copy and paste function either into another email account directly or you could open up word pad at the library and copy any files you want and either print them out from word pad or paste them into another email account from word pad.

Hope you get to the bottom of this problem.


Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: JJ on March 12, 2011, 03:53:40 PM
caylee has good suggestions for keeping the 'safe emails' that you want from the hotmail account. There is also USB flash drives you can buy for $15.00 which can be a 2GB which will let you save what you want onto them with using drag and drop that goes into the USB slot in the back of any computer whether desk top or laptop. I bought one to transfer from old to new computer and took all my mail, documents, etc. and put them on it-works great and is simple.

Also you can delete your hotmail account. Must have winXP or better to use the function. If you do not have any personal friends/family that email you there you can save off, copy/paste, use the USB flash drive, etc. and once you have all the things you want and delete what you don't then go into  your account and use the close my account feature. I tried it w/old computer and would not let me.

Once you close the hotmail account do not sign into it or access it with your user name and password or it will reactivate and you will have to wait to let it die a natural death as caylee stated.

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: Scratch on March 14, 2011, 08:11:34 AM
I have used Avast Antivirus for years and have been very happy with it.  You must completely remove all other antivirus programs before you install it. 

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: lesliek on March 14, 2011, 03:53:44 PM
Good to see you Scratch !

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: Scratch on March 16, 2011, 07:00:44 PM
Thanks Leslie,  I have a rabbit that became quadriplegic 8 months ago.  Eats like a pig and is in pretty good spirits, so I take care of him 24/7.

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: catbird on March 17, 2011, 05:16:55 AM
Really sorry to hear about what happened to your rabbit, Scratch.  I am very glad that he has you.

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: lesliek on March 17, 2011, 01:55:32 PM
That is a shame, its very good he has you to take such good care of him ! Sounds like he is still happy though and good appetite is always a positive sign.

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: caylee on March 21, 2011, 04:15:53 PM

Have you discovered how to solve your virus problem with your home computer yet?


Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: ranger on March 22, 2011, 09:53:40 AM
No I haven't found anyone yet.  I really think I got the virus on freecycle, there was a woman who was looking for a fannypack and I wrote her and said I had one and the next day boom.  I don't know if I got it from the website or from this woman.  Her follow up email to me was "A$$HOLE get a job."  I didn't see that one until I wrote her to explain why I hadn't gotten back to her.  Well she sent me another email saying she was sorry she called me that and when could she pick up the fannypack.  I didn't bother to respond, it would not have been pleasant if I had.  People honestly. ::)

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: JJ on March 22, 2011, 01:19:43 PM
Judy are you opening attachments from this woman (the one w/fanny pack correspondence) (if she sent you any in her emails to you) or clicking on links, ads on the freecycle site that may have given you something ? Did you contact freecycle to see if anyone else has had problems w/a virus from their site?

p.s. That woman was a real piece of work. Can't understand what your giving a fanny pack away has to do with her nasties about getting a job.........

Title: Re: Another Virus
Post by: ranger on March 23, 2011, 09:44:02 AM
I never open links from emails, especially from people I don't know >:(  I did get a reply from another freecycler asking me if I had opened a link from a picture, (I did post about getting a virus before canceling my membership) apparently there was a virus there but I never look at pictures either.  I guess I'm going to have to go to the Geek Squad and see if they can get that stupid computer up and running. 

Of course now I think my router is broken from the friendly Comcast guy, so I'll probably have to buy a new router also.

Don't know what that woman's problem was I couldn't believe she actually expected me to give her my address after that.  What an idiot.