Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Norton Power Eraser solves my pesky Web browser hijack problem
I tried lots of different anti-malware products but nothing could clean the virus from my computer. The anti-virus and anti-spyware products would say they had removed the offending software, but after a reboot it would appear again. Crafty little bugger.
The virus buried itself deep into my Windows XP operating system to the point that I was getting the blue screen of death. I hadn’t experienced that kind of system crash in a while.
The malware hijacked my Web browsers – Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox. If I conducted a search in my Google and Yahoo browser toolbars it would take me to unwanted websites. (Examples: Mind Quiz, Pure Crush, HealthiNation, Scour, Fresh Deals, adBrite, etc.) Sometimes it just launched those spam websites on its own. It also wouldn’t let me open new browser tabs.
The virus disabled other functions on my PC and I kept getting an error message that read, “Generic Host Process for Win32 Services has encountered a problem and needs to close.”
Plus, my infected computer would hang and eventually crash in programs like Word and Outlook.
Actually it was more than one virus. It included Trojans (Win32/Renos.LX, DOS/Alureon.A and Hiloti) and hijacks (Click.GiftLoad, etc.)
I ran anti-malware tools from CyberDefender and McAfee, but they were worthless against this threat.
Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware and Spybot Search & Destroy did a good job identifying the problems, but couldn’t do the deep scrub necessary to remove my malware.
Then I tried Norton Power Eraser from Symantec. Available as a free download, Norton Power Eraser boasts that it “eliminates deeply embedded and difficult to remove crimeware that traditional virus scanning doesn't always detect.”
That’s an accurate description.
I ran it and it cleaned my PC of the malware and my problems. (For good measure, I ran Malwarebytes and Spybot afterward.)