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How to Block Unapproved Toolbar Download

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-26-2010
Tom461
 

Posts: n/a
How to Block Unapproved Toolbar Download
My internet provider Earthlink, which partners with Comcast and Time Warner,
is automatically installing in my computer a "twc" toolbar whenever I do a
search with no returns. I put search terms in google but sometimes get the
Earthlink Search Assistant coming up instead of google. I do not want this
feature, which feels invasive and was never requested. So, I put in
"Earthlink Toolbar" in the FIND feature in the registry and came up with
"twctoolbarle7.dll". The "twc" is apparentlly "Time Warner Cable". After a
number of long online chats with Earthlink tech support, I was told to delete
this registry entry and reboot. After rebooting, I put gibberish in the
search box, and Earthlink Search Assistant appeared again. When the page
appeared, I noticed that the 'permissions bar' (I don't know its accurate
name) flashed briefly above the web page area before the full web page came
up. I did not approve the download and had no opportunity to do so either. I
looked again in the registry, and what I had just deleted before rebooting
per instructioons had reappeared. So the download of the twc toolbar is being
forced in, under the radar of the desktop user. I don't want to use the
complicated opt-out of changing to a fixed DNS number because I think that
could cause other problems. My question to those who know a lot about IE8 and
Windows 7 is as follows: Is there no configuration I can select to block this
forced download of a toolbar? This toolbar does not appear in Windows
Programs. Also, I have never downloaded Earthlink Toolbar or Earthlink Total
Access. I know this for certain because this computer is only weeks old.
Reply With Quote
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 02-27-2010
Don Varnau
 

Posts: n/a
Re: How to Block Unapproved Toolbar Download
Hi,
I would try to find the browser add-on that's causing this and disable it.
If it's disabled, not uninstalled, the constant reinstallation should cease.

In Tools> Manage add-ons> Show: All add-ons, disable a suspect add-on or
two. Restart IE and browse/search. If the behavior persists, disable another
add-on until you find the guilty party.
For troubleshooting information see:
IEBlog Troubleshooting and Internet Explorer’s (No Add-ons) Mode:
http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2006/07/25/678113.aspx

Possible third-party solution...
Try the free trial of WinPatrol from http://www.billp.com/ WinPatrol should
be able to block installation of the add-on/search assistant.
-
Hope this helps,
Don
[MS MVP- IE]


"Tom461" <Tom461@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:3E35BF47-2866-499A-BB68-7BF49E73ABA9@microsoft.com...
> My internet provider Earthlink, which partners with Comcast and Time

Warner,
> is automatically installing in my computer a "twc" toolbar whenever I do a
> search with no returns. I put search terms in google but sometimes get the
> Earthlink Search Assistant coming up instead of google. I do not want this
> feature, which feels invasive and was never requested. So, I put in
> "Earthlink Toolbar" in the FIND feature in the registry and came up with
> "twctoolbarle7.dll". The "twc" is apparentlly "Time Warner Cable". After a
> number of long online chats with Earthlink tech support, I was told to

delete
> this registry entry and reboot. After rebooting, I put gibberish in the
> search box, and Earthlink Search Assistant appeared again. When the page
> appeared, I noticed that the 'permissions bar' (I don't know its accurate
> name) flashed briefly above the web page area before the full web page

came
> up. I did not approve the download and had no opportunity to do so either.

I
> looked again in the registry, and what I had just deleted before rebooting
> per instructioons had reappeared. So the download of the twc toolbar is

being
> forced in, under the radar of the desktop user. I don't want to use the
> complicated opt-out of changing to a fixed DNS number because I think that
> could cause other problems. My question to those who know a lot about IE8

and
> Windows 7 is as follows: Is there no configuration I can select to block

this
> forced download of a toolbar? This toolbar does not appear in Windows
> Programs. Also, I have never downloaded Earthlink Toolbar or Earthlink

Total
> Access. I know this for certain because this computer is only weeks old.


Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 02-27-2010
PA Bear [MS MVP]
 

Posts: n/a
Re: How to Block Unapproved Toolbar Download
> My internet provider Earthlink, which partners with Comcast and Time
> Warner...


I don't think so!

Did you upgrade to Win7 or is it a brand-new computer that came with Win7
preinstalled?

1. Does the behavior persist if you start IE in No Add-ons mode?

=> Start | (All) Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Internet
Explorer (No add-ons).

Troubleshooting and Internet Explorer’s (No Add-ons) Mode [Applies to IE7 &
IE8 in all OSS]
http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2006/07/25/678113.aspx

2. Does the behavior persist if you Reset IE Advanced settings (RIES)?
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/w...lorer-settings

3. What anti-virus application or security suite is installed and is your
subscription current? What anti-spyware applications (other than Defender)?
What third-party firewall (if any)?

4. Has a(nother) Norton or McAfee application ever been installed on this
machine (e.g., a free-trial version that came preinstalled when you bought
it)?
--
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
MS MVP-IE, Mail, Security, Windows Client - since 2002


Tom461 wrote:
> My internet provider Earthlink, which partners with Comcast and Time
> Warner,
> is automatically installing in my computer a "twc" toolbar whenever I do a
> search with no returns. I put search terms in google but sometimes get the
> Earthlink Search Assistant coming up instead of google. I do not want this
> feature, which feels invasive and was never requested. So, I put in
> "Earthlink Toolbar" in the FIND feature in the registry and came up with
> "twctoolbarle7.dll". The "twc" is apparentlly "Time Warner Cable". After a
> number of long online chats with Earthlink tech support, I was told to
> delete this registry entry and reboot. After rebooting, I put gibberish in
> the search box, and Earthlink Search Assistant appeared again. When the
> page
> appeared, I noticed that the 'permissions bar' (I don't know its accurate
> name) flashed briefly above the web page area before the full web page
> came
> up. I did not approve the download and had no opportunity to do so either.
> I
> looked again in the registry, and what I had just deleted before rebooting
> per instructioons had reappeared. So the download of the twc toolbar is
> being forced in, under the radar of the desktop user. I don't want to use
> the complicated opt-out of changing to a fixed DNS number because I think
> that could cause other problems. My question to those who know a lot about
> IE8 and Windows 7 is as follows: Is there no configuration I can select to
> block this forced download of a toolbar? This toolbar does not appear in
> Windows Programs. Also, I have never downloaded Earthlink Toolbar or
> Earthlink Total Access. I know this for certain because this computer is
> only weeks old.


Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 02-28-2010
Tom461
 

Posts: n/a
Re: How to Block Unapproved Toolbar Download
I disabled all the Add-ons, and I still get Earthlink Search Assistant.
Oddly, the twc toolbar does not appear in the registry, so the connection
Earthlink made between Elnk Search Assistant and the twc toolbar does not
hold. I see the permissions bar flash and then I get the Elnk Search
Assitant, when I put in some nonesense word. I have not tried WinPatrol, but
I will consider it. If the twc toolbar is not the culprit, how is the Elnk
Search Assistant loading with bypassing permissions?

"Don Varnau" wrote:

> Hi,
> I would try to find the browser add-on that's causing this and disable it.
> If it's disabled, not uninstalled, the constant reinstallation should cease.
>
> In Tools> Manage add-ons> Show: All add-ons, disable a suspect add-on or
> two. Restart IE and browse/search. If the behavior persists, disable another
> add-on until you find the guilty party.
> For troubleshooting information see:
> IEBlog Troubleshooting and Internet Explorer’s (No Add-ons) Mode:
> http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2006/07/25/678113.aspx
>
> Possible third-party solution...
> Try the free trial of WinPatrol from http://www.billp.com/ WinPatrol should
> be able to block installation of the add-on/search assistant.
> -
> Hope this helps,
> Don
> [MS MVP- IE]
>
>
> "Tom461" <Tom461@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
> news:3E35BF47-2866-499A-BB68-7BF49E73ABA9@microsoft.com...
> > My internet provider Earthlink, which partners with Comcast and Time

> Warner,
> > is automatically installing in my computer a "twc" toolbar whenever I do a
> > search with no returns. I put search terms in google but sometimes get the
> > Earthlink Search Assistant coming up instead of google. I do not want this
> > feature, which feels invasive and was never requested. So, I put in
> > "Earthlink Toolbar" in the FIND feature in the registry and came up with
> > "twctoolbarle7.dll". The "twc" is apparentlly "Time Warner Cable". After a
> > number of long online chats with Earthlink tech support, I was told to

> delete
> > this registry entry and reboot. After rebooting, I put gibberish in the
> > search box, and Earthlink Search Assistant appeared again. When the page
> > appeared, I noticed that the 'permissions bar' (I don't know its accurate
> > name) flashed briefly above the web page area before the full web page

> came
> > up. I did not approve the download and had no opportunity to do so either.

> I
> > looked again in the registry, and what I had just deleted before rebooting
> > per instructioons had reappeared. So the download of the twc toolbar is

> being
> > forced in, under the radar of the desktop user. I don't want to use the
> > complicated opt-out of changing to a fixed DNS number because I think that
> > could cause other problems. My question to those who know a lot about IE8

> and
> > Windows 7 is as follows: Is there no configuration I can select to block

> this
> > forced download of a toolbar? This toolbar does not appear in Windows
> > Programs. Also, I have never downloaded Earthlink Toolbar or Earthlink

> Total
> > Access. I know this for certain because this computer is only weeks old.

>
> .
>

Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 02-28-2010
Tom461
 

Posts: n/a
Re: How to Block Unapproved Toolbar Download
I tried the no-addons mode with no improvement. Oddly, the twc toolbar in the
registry has not returned, yet I still get Earthlink Search Assistant
appearing with no chance for me to approve it in the permissions bar. It was
an Earthlink tech who connected the twc toolbar with Elnk Search Assisant. My
computer is new Win 7 onto which I loaded Windows Security Essentials. I did
not activate the included Norton and in fact removed it promptly. I did put
on Malwarebytes and Ad-Aware, nothing else. Previously, I did reset IE
Advanced settings, which did not remove Earthlink Search Assistant.

"PA Bear [MS MVP]" wrote:

> > My internet provider Earthlink, which partners with Comcast and Time
> > Warner...

>
> I don't think so!
>
> Did you upgrade to Win7 or is it a brand-new computer that came with Win7
> preinstalled?
>
> 1. Does the behavior persist if you start IE in No Add-ons mode?
>
> => Start | (All) Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Internet
> Explorer (No add-ons).
>
> Troubleshooting and Internet Explorer’s (No Add-ons) Mode [Applies to IE7 &
> IE8 in all OSS]
> http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2006/07/25/678113.aspx
>
> 2. Does the behavior persist if you Reset IE Advanced settings (RIES)?
> http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/w...lorer-settings
>
> 3. What anti-virus application or security suite is installed and is your
> subscription current? What anti-spyware applications (other than Defender)?
> What third-party firewall (if any)?
>
> 4. Has a(nother) Norton or McAfee application ever been installed on this
> machine (e.g., a free-trial version that came preinstalled when you bought
> it)?
> --
> ~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
> MS MVP-IE, Mail, Security, Windows Client - since 2002
>
>
> Tom461 wrote:
> > My internet provider Earthlink, which partners with Comcast and Time
> > Warner,
> > is automatically installing in my computer a "twc" toolbar whenever I do a
> > search with no returns. I put search terms in google but sometimes get the
> > Earthlink Search Assistant coming up instead of google. I do not want this
> > feature, which feels invasive and was never requested. So, I put in
> > "Earthlink Toolbar" in the FIND feature in the registry and came up with
> > "twctoolbarle7.dll". The "twc" is apparentlly "Time Warner Cable". After a
> > number of long online chats with Earthlink tech support, I was told to
> > delete this registry entry and reboot. After rebooting, I put gibberish in
> > the search box, and Earthlink Search Assistant appeared again. When the
> > page
> > appeared, I noticed that the 'permissions bar' (I don't know its accurate
> > name) flashed briefly above the web page area before the full web page
> > came
> > up. I did not approve the download and had no opportunity to do so either.
> > I
> > looked again in the registry, and what I had just deleted before rebooting
> > per instructioons had reappeared. So the download of the twc toolbar is
> > being forced in, under the radar of the desktop user. I don't want to use
> > the complicated opt-out of changing to a fixed DNS number because I think
> > that could cause other problems. My question to those who know a lot about
> > IE8 and Windows 7 is as follows: Is there no configuration I can select to
> > block this forced download of a toolbar? This toolbar does not appear in
> > Windows Programs. Also, I have never downloaded Earthlink Toolbar or
> > Earthlink Total Access. I know this for certain because this computer is
> > only weeks old.

>
> .
>

Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 02-28-2010
PA Bear [MS MVP]
 

Posts: n/a
Re: How to Block Unapproved Toolbar Download
> I did not activate the included Norton and in fact removed it promptly.

Norton (and McAfee) applications are notorious for not uninstalling (or
upgrading) cleanly.

1. Download the Norton Removal Tool, saving it to your desktop:
ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/englis...moval_Tool.exe

2. Close all open applications (i.e., anything with an icon on the taskbar).

3. Right-click on the file you saved in #1 above and select Run as
Administrator to run the utility. Don't TOUCH your keyboard until the run
completes, then reboot.

4. Test.


Tom461 wrote:
> I tried the no-addons mode with no improvement. Oddly, the twc toolbar in
> the registry has not returned, yet I still get Earthlink Search Assistant
> appearing with no chance for me to approve it in the permissions bar. It
> was
> an Earthlink tech who connected the twc toolbar with Elnk Search Assisant.
> My computer is new Win 7 onto which I loaded Windows Security Essentials.
> I
> did not activate the included Norton and in fact removed it promptly. I
> did
> put on Malwarebytes and Ad-Aware, nothing else. Previously, I did reset IE
> Advanced settings, which did not remove Earthlink Search Assistant.
>
> "PA Bear [MS MVP]" wrote:
>
>>> My internet provider Earthlink, which partners with Comcast and Time
>>> Warner...

>>
>> I don't think so!
>>
>> Did you upgrade to Win7 or is it a brand-new computer that came with Win7
>> preinstalled?
>>
>> 1. Does the behavior persist if you start IE in No Add-ons mode?
>>
>> => Start | (All) Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Internet
>> Explorer (No add-ons).
>>
>> Troubleshooting and Internet Explorer’s (No Add-ons) Mode [Applies to IE7
>> &
>> IE8 in all OSS]
>> http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2006/07/25/678113.aspx
>>
>> 2. Does the behavior persist if you Reset IE Advanced settings (RIES)?
>> http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/w...lorer-settings
>>
>> 3. What anti-virus application or security suite is installed and is your
>> subscription current? What anti-spyware applications (other than
>> Defender)? What third-party firewall (if any)?
>>
>> 4. Has a(nother) Norton or McAfee application ever been installed on this
>> machine (e.g., a free-trial version that came preinstalled when you
>> bought
>> it)?
>> --
>> ~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
>> MS MVP-IE, Mail, Security, Windows Client - since 2002
>>
>>
>> Tom461 wrote:
>>> My internet provider Earthlink, which partners with Comcast and Time
>>> Warner,
>>> is automatically installing in my computer a "twc" toolbar whenever I do
>>> a
>>> search with no returns. I put search terms in google but sometimes get
>>> the
>>> Earthlink Search Assistant coming up instead of google. I do not want
>>> this
>>> feature, which feels invasive and was never requested. So, I put in
>>> "Earthlink Toolbar" in the FIND feature in the registry and came up
>>> with
>>> "twctoolbarle7.dll". The "twc" is apparentlly "Time Warner Cable". After
>>> a
>>> number of long online chats with Earthlink tech support, I was told to
>>> delete this registry entry and reboot. After rebooting, I put gibberish
>>> in
>>> the search box, and Earthlink Search Assistant appeared again. When the
>>> page
>>> appeared, I noticed that the 'permissions bar' (I don't know its
>>> accurate
>>> name) flashed briefly above the web page area before the full web page
>>> came
>>> up. I did not approve the download and had no opportunity to do so
>>> either.
>>> I
>>> looked again in the registry, and what I had just deleted before
>>> rebooting
>>> per instructioons had reappeared. So the download of the twc toolbar is
>>> being forced in, under the radar of the desktop user. I don't want to
>>> use
>>> the complicated opt-out of changing to a fixed DNS number because I
>>> think
>>> that could cause other problems. My question to those who know a lot
>>> about
>>> IE8 and Windows 7 is as follows: Is there no configuration I can select
>>> to
>>> block this forced download of a toolbar? This toolbar does not appear in
>>> Windows Programs. Also, I have never downloaded Earthlink Toolbar or
>>> Earthlink Total Access. I know this for certain because this computer is
>>> only weeks old.

>>
>> .


Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 02-28-2010
rob^_^
 

Posts: n/a
Re: How to Block Unapproved Toolbar Download
Hi Tom,

If you know how to merge a registry script here is a script that will clear
IE's SearchHook registry value and then re-instate the default provider.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\URLSearchHooks]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\URLSearchHooks]
"{CFBFAE00-17A6-11D0-99CB-00C04FD64497}"=""


Note: you have to keep your Earthlink toolbar and Browser Helper disabled or
Uninstall it to stop it from re-establishing its own SearchHook when you
restart IE.

Regards.

"Tom461" <Tom461@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:AEF09202-C5CB-4641-84DF-AE93A754CFB7@microsoft.com...
> I tried the no-addons mode with no improvement. Oddly, the twc toolbar in
> the
> registry has not returned, yet I still get Earthlink Search Assistant
> appearing with no chance for me to approve it in the permissions bar. It
> was
> an Earthlink tech who connected the twc toolbar with Elnk Search Assisant.
> My
> computer is new Win 7 onto which I loaded Windows Security Essentials. I
> did
> not activate the included Norton and in fact removed it promptly. I did
> put
> on Malwarebytes and Ad-Aware, nothing else. Previously, I did reset IE
> Advanced settings, which did not remove Earthlink Search Assistant.
>
> "PA Bear [MS MVP]" wrote:
>
>> > My internet provider Earthlink, which partners with Comcast and Time
>> > Warner...

>>
>> I don't think so!
>>
>> Did you upgrade to Win7 or is it a brand-new computer that came with Win7
>> preinstalled?
>>
>> 1. Does the behavior persist if you start IE in No Add-ons mode?
>>
>> => Start | (All) Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Internet
>> Explorer (No add-ons).
>>
>> Troubleshooting and Internet Explorer’s (No Add-ons) Mode [Applies to IE7
>> &
>> IE8 in all OSS]
>> http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2006/07/25/678113.aspx
>>
>> 2. Does the behavior persist if you Reset IE Advanced settings (RIES)?
>> http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/w...lorer-settings
>>
>> 3. What anti-virus application or security suite is installed and is your
>> subscription current? What anti-spyware applications (other than
>> Defender)?
>> What third-party firewall (if any)?
>>
>> 4. Has a(nother) Norton or McAfee application ever been installed on this
>> machine (e.g., a free-trial version that came preinstalled when you
>> bought
>> it)?
>> --
>> ~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
>> MS MVP-IE, Mail, Security, Windows Client - since 2002
>>
>>
>> Tom461 wrote:
>> > My internet provider Earthlink, which partners with Comcast and Time
>> > Warner,
>> > is automatically installing in my computer a "twc" toolbar whenever I
>> > do a
>> > search with no returns. I put search terms in google but sometimes get
>> > the
>> > Earthlink Search Assistant coming up instead of google. I do not want
>> > this
>> > feature, which feels invasive and was never requested. So, I put in
>> > "Earthlink Toolbar" in the FIND feature in the registry and came up
>> > with
>> > "twctoolbarle7.dll". The "twc" is apparentlly "Time Warner Cable".
>> > After a
>> > number of long online chats with Earthlink tech support, I was told to
>> > delete this registry entry and reboot. After rebooting, I put gibberish
>> > in
>> > the search box, and Earthlink Search Assistant appeared again. When the
>> > page
>> > appeared, I noticed that the 'permissions bar' (I don't know its
>> > accurate
>> > name) flashed briefly above the web page area before the full web page
>> > came
>> > up. I did not approve the download and had no opportunity to do so
>> > either.
>> > I
>> > looked again in the registry, and what I had just deleted before
>> > rebooting
>> > per instructioons had reappeared. So the download of the twc toolbar is
>> > being forced in, under the radar of the desktop user. I don't want to
>> > use
>> > the complicated opt-out of changing to a fixed DNS number because I
>> > think
>> > that could cause other problems. My question to those who know a lot
>> > about
>> > IE8 and Windows 7 is as follows: Is there no configuration I can select
>> > to
>> > block this forced download of a toolbar? This toolbar does not appear
>> > in
>> > Windows Programs. Also, I have never downloaded Earthlink Toolbar or
>> > Earthlink Total Access. I know this for certain because this computer
>> > is
>> > only weeks old.

>>
>> .
>>

>

Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 03-03-2010
Dan
 

Posts: n/a
Re: How to Block Unapproved Toolbar Download
Are you using the address bar to search Google? If so, use the search bar
instead - this way your search goes straight to Google if you have it set as
your default search provider, and so you should never see the Earthlink
Search Assistant site unless you end up clicking on a link on the that is
not longer valid, or enter an invalid URL in the address bar.

Earthlink Search Assistant is a web page, it's not an add-on in your
browser. What happens is that when your browser tries to contact an address
that doesn't exist (the hostname is not found in DNS queries by Earthlink)
the Earthlink DNS servers return an IP address for their Search Assistant
website, which is what you are seeing. The only way to avoid this is to
change your DNS server settings to not use the Earthlink ones.

Verisign did something similar a few years back, but that affected pretty
much everyone using the web rather than just one ISP.

Dan


"Tom461" <Tom461@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:87B8BA52-1959-4580-9094-34DEF1107AE0@microsoft.com...
> I disabled all the Add-ons, and I still get Earthlink Search Assistant.
> Oddly, the twc toolbar does not appear in the registry, so the connection
> Earthlink made between Elnk Search Assistant and the twc toolbar does not
> hold. I see the permissions bar flash and then I get the Elnk Search
> Assitant, when I put in some nonesense word. I have not tried WinPatrol,
> but
> I will consider it. If the twc toolbar is not the culprit, how is the Elnk
> Search Assistant loading with bypassing permissions?
>
> "Don Varnau" wrote:
>
>> Hi,
>> I would try to find the browser add-on that's causing this and disable
>> it.
>> If it's disabled, not uninstalled, the constant reinstallation should
>> cease.
>>
>> In Tools> Manage add-ons> Show: All add-ons, disable a suspect add-on or
>> two. Restart IE and browse/search. If the behavior persists, disable
>> another
>> add-on until you find the guilty party.
>> For troubleshooting information see:
>> IEBlog Troubleshooting and Internet Explorer’s (No Add-ons) Mode:
>> http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2006/07/25/678113.aspx
>>
>> Possible third-party solution...
>> Try the free trial of WinPatrol from http://www.billp.com/ WinPatrol
>> should
>> be able to block installation of the add-on/search assistant.
>> -
>> Hope this helps,
>> Don
>> [MS MVP- IE]
>>
>>
>> "Tom461" <Tom461@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
>> news:3E35BF47-2866-499A-BB68-7BF49E73ABA9@microsoft.com...
>> > My internet provider Earthlink, which partners with Comcast and Time

>> Warner,
>> > is automatically installing in my computer a "twc" toolbar whenever I
>> > do a
>> > search with no returns. I put search terms in google but sometimes get
>> > the
>> > Earthlink Search Assistant coming up instead of google. I do not want
>> > this
>> > feature, which feels invasive and was never requested. So, I put in
>> > "Earthlink Toolbar" in the FIND feature in the registry and came up
>> > with
>> > "twctoolbarle7.dll". The "twc" is apparentlly "Time Warner Cable".
>> > After a
>> > number of long online chats with Earthlink tech support, I was told to

>> delete
>> > this registry entry and reboot. After rebooting, I put gibberish in the
>> > search box, and Earthlink Search Assistant appeared again. When the
>> > page
>> > appeared, I noticed that the 'permissions bar' (I don't know its
>> > accurate
>> > name) flashed briefly above the web page area before the full web page

>> came
>> > up. I did not approve the download and had no opportunity to do so
>> > either.

>> I
>> > looked again in the registry, and what I had just deleted before
>> > rebooting
>> > per instructioons had reappeared. So the download of the twc toolbar is

>> being
>> > forced in, under the radar of the desktop user. I don't want to use the
>> > complicated opt-out of changing to a fixed DNS number because I think
>> > that
>> > could cause other problems. My question to those who know a lot about
>> > IE8

>> and
>> > Windows 7 is as follows: Is there no configuration I can select to
>> > block

>> this
>> > forced download of a toolbar? This toolbar does not appear in Windows
>> > Programs. Also, I have never downloaded Earthlink Toolbar or Earthlink

>> Total
>> > Access. I know this for certain because this computer is only weeks
>> > old.

>>
>> .
>>




Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 03-03-2010
Tom461
 

Posts: n/a
Re: How to Block Unapproved Toolbar Download
Thanks Dan--a very thoughtful response. I can't figure out how Earthlink gets
its hand on my Google searches. Now I do restrict myself to using the right
side search bar, but I used to be able to use the search bar without leaving
Google. This is not exactly a welcome change, although there is a
work-around, as you say. I think Earthlink is being paid to do this by Yahoo.
The Earthlink opt-out involves going to a fixed DNS, apparently. Does doing
this have any negative effects elsewhere for my net experiences?

"Dan" wrote:

> Are you using the address bar to search Google? If so, use the search bar
> instead - this way your search goes straight to Google if you have it set as
> your default search provider, and so you should never see the Earthlink
> Search Assistant site unless you end up clicking on a link on the that is
> not longer valid, or enter an invalid URL in the address bar.
>
> Earthlink Search Assistant is a web page, it's not an add-on in your
> browser. What happens is that when your browser tries to contact an address
> that doesn't exist (the hostname is not found in DNS queries by Earthlink)
> the Earthlink DNS servers return an IP address for their Search Assistant
> website, which is what you are seeing. The only way to avoid this is to
> change your DNS server settings to not use the Earthlink ones.
>
> Verisign did something similar a few years back, but that affected pretty
> much everyone using the web rather than just one ISP.
>
> Dan
>
>
> "Tom461" <Tom461@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
> news:87B8BA52-1959-4580-9094-34DEF1107AE0@microsoft.com...
> > I disabled all the Add-ons, and I still get Earthlink Search Assistant.
> > Oddly, the twc toolbar does not appear in the registry, so the connection
> > Earthlink made between Elnk Search Assistant and the twc toolbar does not
> > hold. I see the permissions bar flash and then I get the Elnk Search
> > Assitant, when I put in some nonesense word. I have not tried WinPatrol,
> > but
> > I will consider it. If the twc toolbar is not the culprit, how is the Elnk
> > Search Assistant loading with bypassing permissions?
> >
> > "Don Varnau" wrote:
> >
> >> Hi,
> >> I would try to find the browser add-on that's causing this and disable
> >> it.
> >> If it's disabled, not uninstalled, the constant reinstallation should
> >> cease.
> >>
> >> In Tools> Manage add-ons> Show: All add-ons, disable a suspect add-on or
> >> two. Restart IE and browse/search. If the behavior persists, disable
> >> another
> >> add-on until you find the guilty party.
> >> For troubleshooting information see:
> >> IEBlog Troubleshooting and Internet Explorer’s (No Add-ons) Mode:
> >> http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2006/07/25/678113.aspx
> >>
> >> Possible third-party solution...
> >> Try the free trial of WinPatrol from http://www.billp.com/ WinPatrol
> >> should
> >> be able to block installation of the add-on/search assistant.
> >> -
> >> Hope this helps,
> >> Don
> >> [MS MVP- IE]
> >>
> >>
> >> "Tom461" <Tom461@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
> >> news:3E35BF47-2866-499A-BB68-7BF49E73ABA9@microsoft.com...
> >> > My internet provider Earthlink, which partners with Comcast and Time
> >> Warner,
> >> > is automatically installing in my computer a "twc" toolbar whenever I
> >> > do a
> >> > search with no returns. I put search terms in google but sometimes get
> >> > the
> >> > Earthlink Search Assistant coming up instead of google. I do not want
> >> > this
> >> > feature, which feels invasive and was never requested. So, I put in
> >> > "Earthlink Toolbar" in the FIND feature in the registry and came up
> >> > with
> >> > "twctoolbarle7.dll". The "twc" is apparentlly "Time Warner Cable".
> >> > After a
> >> > number of long online chats with Earthlink tech support, I was told to
> >> delete
> >> > this registry entry and reboot. After rebooting, I put gibberish in the
> >> > search box, and Earthlink Search Assistant appeared again. When the
> >> > page
> >> > appeared, I noticed that the 'permissions bar' (I don't know its
> >> > accurate
> >> > name) flashed briefly above the web page area before the full web page
> >> came
> >> > up. I did not approve the download and had no opportunity to do so
> >> > either.
> >> I
> >> > looked again in the registry, and what I had just deleted before
> >> > rebooting
> >> > per instructioons had reappeared. So the download of the twc toolbar is
> >> being
> >> > forced in, under the radar of the desktop user. I don't want to use the
> >> > complicated opt-out of changing to a fixed DNS number because I think
> >> > that
> >> > could cause other problems. My question to those who know a lot about
> >> > IE8
> >> and
> >> > Windows 7 is as follows: Is there no configuration I can select to
> >> > block
> >> this
> >> > forced download of a toolbar? This toolbar does not appear in Windows
> >> > Programs. Also, I have never downloaded Earthlink Toolbar or Earthlink
> >> Total
> >> > Access. I know this for certain because this computer is only weeks
> >> > old.
> >>
> >> .
> >>

>
>
>

Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2010
Dan
 

Posts: n/a
Re: How to Block Unapproved Toolbar Download

Switching to another DNS should have no noticeable effect other than to
bypass the Search Assistant results when the hostname lookup fails. However,
if you're going through a HTTP proxy at Earthlink (and they may have this
forced for all connections, I've never had any dealings with Earthlink so
couldn't tell you if they do this or not) then they could still intercept
HTTP response codes and spit their Search Assistant up depending on the code
returned (or lack of any response at all).

It's worth a try though - if it does cause problems, switch the DNS settings
back to automatic so they use the Earthlink assigned DNS servers.

Do you have any add-ons installed like IE7Pro, or using AVG with it's
Linkscanner? It's possible that the reason you see this sometimes with
Google searches is that you have something performing a "pre-fetch" on all
those search result links (IE7Pro has this as an option you can turn on,
with AVG you need to deselect the Linkscanner part when installing or remove
it if already installed) and if any of those links points to a hostname that
can't be looked up by DNS you could end up with that Search Assistant being
forced up somehow (again, possibly back to a transparent proxy, although if
this was the case I'd expect the results to be somewhat slow as it would
require the Earthlink proxy to wait till all the requests had been made to
monitor the responses ...)

Only other thing I can think of is that maybe Earthlink randomly switch in
their Search Assistant IP address when searching Google to force customer's
browsers to pull up the Search Assistant page. If so, this would be
something else you could bypass by switching DNS.

Dan


"Tom461" <Tom461@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:1E5D428C-AC5F-4B17-841B-461D04239CDD@microsoft.com...
> Thanks Dan--a very thoughtful response. I can't figure out how Earthlink
> gets
> its hand on my Google searches. Now I do restrict myself to using the
> right
> side search bar, but I used to be able to use the search bar without
> leaving
> Google. This is not exactly a welcome change, although there is a
> work-around, as you say. I think Earthlink is being paid to do this by
> Yahoo.
> The Earthlink opt-out involves going to a fixed DNS, apparently. Does
> doing
> this have any negative effects elsewhere for my net experiences?
>
> "Dan" wrote:
>
>> Are you using the address bar to search Google? If so, use the search bar
>> instead - this way your search goes straight to Google if you have it set
>> as
>> your default search provider, and so you should never see the Earthlink
>> Search Assistant site unless you end up clicking on a link on the that is
>> not longer valid, or enter an invalid URL in the address bar.
>>
>> Earthlink Search Assistant is a web page, it's not an add-on in your
>> browser. What happens is that when your browser tries to contact an
>> address
>> that doesn't exist (the hostname is not found in DNS queries by
>> Earthlink)
>> the Earthlink DNS servers return an IP address for their Search Assistant
>> website, which is what you are seeing. The only way to avoid this is to
>> change your DNS server settings to not use the Earthlink ones.
>>
>> Verisign did something similar a few years back, but that affected pretty
>> much everyone using the web rather than just one ISP.
>>
>> Dan
>>
>>
>> "Tom461" <Tom461@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
>> news:87B8BA52-1959-4580-9094-34DEF1107AE0@microsoft.com...
>> > I disabled all the Add-ons, and I still get Earthlink Search Assistant.
>> > Oddly, the twc toolbar does not appear in the registry, so the
>> > connection
>> > Earthlink made between Elnk Search Assistant and the twc toolbar does
>> > not
>> > hold. I see the permissions bar flash and then I get the Elnk Search
>> > Assitant, when I put in some nonesense word. I have not tried
>> > WinPatrol,
>> > but
>> > I will consider it. If the twc toolbar is not the culprit, how is the
>> > Elnk
>> > Search Assistant loading with bypassing permissions?
>> >
>> > "Don Varnau" wrote:
>> >
>> >> Hi,
>> >> I would try to find the browser add-on that's causing this and disable
>> >> it.
>> >> If it's disabled, not uninstalled, the constant reinstallation should
>> >> cease.
>> >>
>> >> In Tools> Manage add-ons> Show: All add-ons, disable a suspect add-on
>> >> or
>> >> two. Restart IE and browse/search. If the behavior persists, disable
>> >> another
>> >> add-on until you find the guilty party.
>> >> For troubleshooting information see:
>> >> IEBlog Troubleshooting and Internet Explorer’s (No Add-ons) Mode:
>> >> http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2006/07/25/678113.aspx
>> >>
>> >> Possible third-party solution...
>> >> Try the free trial of WinPatrol from http://www.billp.com/ WinPatrol
>> >> should
>> >> be able to block installation of the add-on/search assistant.
>> >> -
>> >> Hope this helps,
>> >> Don
>> >> [MS MVP- IE]
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> "Tom461" <Tom461@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
>> >> news:3E35BF47-2866-499A-BB68-7BF49E73ABA9@microsoft.com...
>> >> > My internet provider Earthlink, which partners with Comcast and Time
>> >> Warner,
>> >> > is automatically installing in my computer a "twc" toolbar whenever
>> >> > I
>> >> > do a
>> >> > search with no returns. I put search terms in google but sometimes
>> >> > get
>> >> > the
>> >> > Earthlink Search Assistant coming up instead of google. I do not
>> >> > want
>> >> > this
>> >> > feature, which feels invasive and was never requested. So, I put in
>> >> > "Earthlink Toolbar" in the FIND feature in the registry and came up
>> >> > with
>> >> > "twctoolbarle7.dll". The "twc" is apparentlly "Time Warner Cable".
>> >> > After a
>> >> > number of long online chats with Earthlink tech support, I was told
>> >> > to
>> >> delete
>> >> > this registry entry and reboot. After rebooting, I put gibberish in
>> >> > the
>> >> > search box, and Earthlink Search Assistant appeared again. When the
>> >> > page
>> >> > appeared, I noticed that the 'permissions bar' (I don't know its
>> >> > accurate
>> >> > name) flashed briefly above the web page area before the full web
>> >> > page
>> >> came
>> >> > up. I did not approve the download and had no opportunity to do so
>> >> > either.
>> >> I
>> >> > looked again in the registry, and what I had just deleted before
>> >> > rebooting
>> >> > per instructioons had reappeared. So the download of the twc toolbar
>> >> > is
>> >> being
>> >> > forced in, under the radar of the desktop user. I don't want to use
>> >> > the
>> >> > complicated opt-out of changing to a fixed DNS number because I
>> >> > think
>> >> > that
>> >> > could cause other problems. My question to those who know a lot
>> >> > about
>> >> > IE8
>> >> and
>> >> > Windows 7 is as follows: Is there no configuration I can select to
>> >> > block
>> >> this
>> >> > forced download of a toolbar? This toolbar does not appear in
>> >> > Windows
>> >> > Programs. Also, I have never downloaded Earthlink Toolbar or
>> >> > Earthlink
>> >> Total
>> >> > Access. I know this for certain because this computer is only weeks
>> >> > old.
>> >>
>> >> .
>> >>

>>
>>
>>




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