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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all, I'd just like to say that everything I've seen so far from lurking looks absolutely wonderful! I am pretty darn sure I'm in the right place for the questions I have.

I will try to be brief, but if I drag on a little then please bare with me.

I came accross TSG from doing a Google search on an executable that tried to access the Internet, so that's why I'm here. I am relatively new to broadband (hence the heightened concerns with security) but I consider myself an advanced PC user, so I'm not intimidated by "techy" things. Anyway, here are some particulars.

I am using Windows XP Pro. I currently connect to the internet via a cable modem that is connected to a wireless router. I connect to the router via a Cat5 cable. I have Norton Systemworks and the free version of Zone Alarm as my main lines of defense. I also have Ad-Aware installed, version 6-181.

I am a pretty intensive Internet junkie and I must admit that I freely visit sites that I should probably think a little harder about before doing so. Anyway, while investigating this executable I mentioned earlier I came accross several threads that mentioned several other utilities that many of the users here seem to use, namely HighjackThis (sp?), and several forms of Spybot. I would love to have my system analyzed by the good folks of this forum by posting some log files, as many people seem to do, but I don't know where to begin!

So...I would be interested in your reccomendations of which programs to download and in what order to run them. I'd also be interested in what the proper steps are in regards to posting the results of various scans and logs.

Lastly, just this evening I went to run Ad-Aware and there seems to be a problem in downloading the most recent update. When I click on the link for "Details" on the main Ad-Aware window after having attempted to update the software it says there was an error in attempting to download the most recent updates. Is this normal? I wouldn't think so.

Any help with my questions would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, and I have read most of the Sticky's and I will be downloading some of the utilities mentioned, but I think I'll wait for a response before proceeding.



123,571 Posts
Hi and welcome to TSG,

First of all, last night I encountered a problem connecting to the Lavasoft server for the update but tried again later and it worked fine. There was probably a lot of traffic. There have been one or two more updates today as well.

Most of the programs recommended here are:

Ad-Aware (which you already have)
SpyBot Search & Destroy
Hijack This
CWShredder (if you have a browser hijack)

It's also recommended to do one or two on-line scans once in a while in case anything has disabled your anti-virus program, such as Trend Micro, Symantec, etc.

Here is a link to a thread giving tips and other links on how to tighten security on your computer.

Hijack This is a diagnostic tool and you should posts the scan log after doing all the other stuff and the experts can analyze it for you and see if there's anything that needs their attention.


Go here:
and download Ad-Aware 6 Build 181

Install the program and launch it.

First in the main window look in the bottom right-hand corner and click on Check for updates now and download the latest reference files.

Make sure the following settings are made and on -------ON=GREEN

From main window: Click Start then Activate in-depth scan (recommended)

Click Use custom scanning options then click Customize and have these options selected: Under Drives and Folders put a check by Scan within archives and below that under Memory and Registry put a check by all the options there.

Now click on the Tweak button in that same window. Under Scanning engine select Unload recognized processes during scanning and under Cleaning Engine select Let windows remove files in use at next reboot

Click proceed to save your settings.

Now to scan just click the Next button.

When the scan is finished mark everything for removal and get rid of it. (Right click the window and choose select all from the drop down menu and click Next)

Restart your computer

Download and run: SPYBOT SEARCH & DESTROY, here:

Open Spybot Search & Destroy (Click Start, Programs, Spybot S&D (Advanced Mode). Click online, Search for updates, Download all available updates. Close all Browser windows, Click ''Check for Problems'', Put a check in every entry Spybot Search & Destroy flags with a red exclamation mark and click ''Fix Selected Problems'' , Then restart your computer.

Download both of these for added protection: SPYWAREBLASTER & SPYWAREGUARD, here:

Once you've done all that, download HIJACK THIS, scan and post the saved log here for an expert to take a look at as I’m not qualified to analyze the log.

Please do this. Click here: to download Hijack This. Save it to it’s own folder (not temporary files or the desktop).

Close all open windows and open HIJACK THIS. Click “Scan”. When the scan is finished (it only takes a second), the scan button will change to “Save Log”. Click on “Save Log” and save it to NotePad. Copy the entire log and paste it here.

DO NOT FIX ANYTHING YET, most items that appear in the log are harmless or even needed. Wait for someone to analyze the scan and advise.

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