>> What happens when you try to uninstall these programs?
> They're malware, installed without permission and without warning. There
> is no uninstall procedure for them. No "Start" icons, and no uninstall in
> the "Programs and Features". They run uninvited when turning on the
> computer, serving up unwanted ads for unwanted services. It took me ages
> just to find how to disable them.
> That's why I'm totally in the dark as to how to get around them. If you
> have any ideas for me to follow up, I'll be happy to try.
> Otherwise, I'll just have to do a full reformat and restore all files.
Even if malware has an uninstall entry in "Programs and Features" it is rare
for that to actually work. Malware lies.
You cannot get rid of the malware by tinkering with IE7; you can simply
break your machine further. You need to remove the malware in a systematic
way (see link below) or look on the BleepingComputer link below, or follow
the instructions in the "when all else fails" paragraph.
Go through these general malware removal steps systematically -
Include scanning with David Lipman's Multi_AV and follow instructions to do
all scans in Safe Mode. Please see the special Notes regarding using
Multi_AV in Vista.
- download site
The site is in German but David's tool is in English so don't let that worry
you. Scroll all the way down to almost the bottom of the page and you'll
see a box titled "Infos Zum Download - Multi-AV Scanning Tool". You'll see
"Download von www pctipp.ch" and the live link to download Multi_AV.
You can also check to see if there are targeted removal steps for your
Bleeping Computer removal how-to's -
When all else fails, run HijackThis and post your log in one of the
specialty forums listed at the first link above (not here, please).
Not all tools used will work in Vista and you will need to run them
elevated. If you are unable to remove the infection by following the
general steps, register at one of the HijackThis forums as suggested.
Standard disclaimer: I can't see and test your computer myself, so these are
just suggestions based on many years of being a professional computer tech;
suggestions based on what you've written. You should not take my
suggestions as a definitive diagnosis. If you can't do the work yourself
(and there is no shame in admitting this isn't your cup of tea), take the
machine to a professional computer repair shop (not your local equivalent
of BigComputerStore/GeekSquad). Please be aware that not all local shops
are skilled at removing malware and even if they are, your computer may be
so infested that Windows will need to be clean-installed. If possible, have
all your data backed up before you take the machine into a shop.
Elephant Boy Computers