April 1, 2005
Dear CNET members,
I regret to inform you that we will be discontinuing the CNET Community Help & How-to newsletter. So I encourage all of you to stay strong and keep helping each other through our Community forums. I enjoyed writing these newsletters and will truly miss you all. So Tom, this week, you are on your own with this spyware issue, or you can take member Jim W.'s advice on how to physically remove pop-ups.
Gotcha! Just thought I'd have a little fun with you, after all, it's April Fool's Day! Now let's move on to tackle Tom's stubborn malware issue. This week, I received a ton of recommendations for resolving Tom's daughter's computer issue with spyware. Submissions were all over the map, from running additional spyware utilities to simply switching to a Mac. Coincidentally, at my office, I had two of my pretty tech-savvy coworkers get hit with the same type of malware you've experienced, Tom. And while they practically threw everything at it, including tinkering with their registry, it didn't resolve the issue. And using add/remove programs caused worse issues. Finally, the spyware severity was so bad, they had no choice but to back up all of their data and reformat to get the machines back up and running. Now that's some nasty malware!
So, Tom, while I would love to pick a concrete solution for your daughter's malware issue, depending on the severity, there really isn't a one-shot fix. Hopefully, this week's three winning answers (by Miguel K., Mark F., and Jacob S.), all of the honorable mentions, and other recommendations from our members will give you some insight on how to tackle your situation. If all else fails, there's always Jim's advice. Good luck, and please return to the forums to tell us what did the trick. And for those of you who have additional how-to advice or who have found yourself in Tom's shoes, join us in this week's discussion. Thanks, everyone.
Member Question of the Week
My daughter's Windows XP SP2 computer is full of spyware. I've used Spybot, Spy Doctor, and Ad-aware, and they've recognized some spyware and removed it, but some just won't go away. What's driving me crazy is her computer starts spitting out pop-ups (30 to 40 in 10 minutes) without me opening a single program while the computer is still booting up! Whatever this is, it's active as soon as the computer is on. Disconnecting my cable modem so far is the only way to stop all the pop-ups. Please help!! What's a dad to do?
Answer by Miguel:
While you alluded to the use of various antispyware utilities, you failed to mention whether your daughter's computer is protected by a firewall. This is a key consideration and the first part of the solution to your problem...
Miguel K. of Columbus, Ohio
Answer by Mark:
Spyware is an ever-increasing problem nowadays for all computer users, and it is good to see that you are trying to combat these nasty little beasts. However, although Spybot, (full name: Spybot Search and Destroy), is a very good...
Mark F. of Littleover Derby, United Kingdom
Answer by Jacob:
Unfortunately, once spyware and adware become installed, they can be very difficult to remove. Removing these programs can often take hours, if not days, to completely eliminate. The worst ones copy themselves like viruses, with...
Jacob S. of Fallbrook, California
Miguel, Mark, and Jacob's
efforts, we're sending them their choice of any Help.com Learning CD.
Each week we take a look at topics discussed in the forums.
How many drives can the
Best regards and enjoy!
So, you have two hard drives, a CD-RW and a DVD-ROM drive, and would like to add a DVD burner and an additional hard drive. Is this possible, even when you have no more IDE slots available in your computer? Will it be too much for the motherboard to handle? In this discussion, find out the options you have when your system is full to the brim with IDE peripherals and you want to add more.
More from the PC hardware forum
About:blank home page problem
This question of "about:blank" home pages comes up quite a bit in the forums, and the scenario goes as follows: no matter what you do to change your home page in Internet Explorer, about:blank stays as your home page. Yes, it is a problem, but did you know it is actually a virus and it has hijacked your browser? If you're experiencing this, check out this discussion and find a cure for it.
More from the Viruses & security alerts forum
Is Gmail the worst e-mail provider
Do you have a Gmail account? If so, do you experience a large amount of spoofing in your account? Member VAF815 just recently signed up for a Gmail account and quickly realized that his account is a spoofer's paradise, so he's pretty disappointed in the service. Do you agree with him, or is he just one unlucky Gmail user? Chime in with your thoughts.
More from the Communications & messaging forum
Should I buy an extended warranty?
When you buy an electronics item, do you purchase the extended warranty that's offered to you? Is it worth it, and does it really pay off? Or is it just a waste of your hard-earned money? If you have experience or knowledge of extended warranties, please share with all of us your insight on this subject.
More from the Notebooks forum
Color laser vs. inkjet printing
With color laser printers coming down in price, how do they compare to inkjet printers? Is a color laser printer much more cost effective? What's the print quality like? If you own a color laser printer, please tell us your experience so that we all can see if these printers are worth looking into.
More from the Small business forum
Check out next week's question:
I am currently running Windows XP Professional, which includes a DVD/CD burner, and I would like to copy my cassette tapes to CDs via the computer. What kind of hardware/software would I need that would enable me to do this? Step-by-step, detailed instructions would be appreciated.
If you have the answer,
e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If we choose your response, you'll get a
free Help.com CD.
Have a question?
What's the most effective way you protect yourself against spyware?
|Last week's poll results
What's the number one reason you switched to a digital camera?
Have a poll you'd like to ask our members?E-mail us
Simple question, simple answer
Help your fellow members
This week on CNET
Tech Nightmares: eBay nightmares
Ever been burnt by a seller on eBay? Here are few tips to help keep your auction shopping safe and scam-free.
Insider Secrets: Copying music--legally
Digital music rights don't make sense. Get some expert advice.