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Vandyu

AdAware 2008 Download Trashed Computer

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Running WinXP Home SP3 on old Dell Dimension 4500 Pentium 4 with 1024 ram (topped out). Have AdAware 2008 free version. Hadn't used this software in a long time. All windows downloads up to date. Running Norton Internet Security 2010 up to date.

Saw "waiting for about.blank" while surfing net with IE7.0 and waiting for a webpage to open. Decided to use AdAware to see if I could get rid of about.blank. Tried to download updated definitions. Many windows popped up during download. Can't remember them all. Not a normal download. Now, after hours of trying to get this system working with no success, I will have to reload my OS most likely.

Problems: Did a safe mode Norton search for about 24 hours and found nothing. Msconfig will not allow me to do much of anything. I am sole user of this computer and the admin. Once I changed an entry in msconfig, such as going from normal start to diagnostic, I cannot return to normal start. It gives Access Denied-need admin designation. I cannot uninstall AdAware as going through Control Panel-Remove or Change-gives Access Denied window after attempting to make changes.

I can no longer access the internet. I've gone into the Registry and tried to be sure I am listed as admin in all categories. I have created a new identity with admin privileges. I have been able to send My Documents to my Zip Drive and CDRW OK. I know, Zips are history, but it works.

In MSCONFIG, I am unable to disable the services. Once I make any change, I am now unable to go back to original settings without adminstrator authority--but I am the admin. Something has taken total control. I cannot now run Norton to check it. I've done a system restore to no improvement. System shows that aawservice.exe is using 99-100% of the my cpu resources. Also in the registry there is an unknown identity with this: S-1-5-32-547. What does this mean?

Is there anyway to save the computer or must I reinstall WindowsXP and all software? It will take all day!! ;) Edited by Vandyu

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When downloading the updated definitions for Ad-Aware, did you use the GUI or the Lavasoft website? I don't think using the GUI would have caused so many problems, so maybe you tried downloading from a rogue website?

You could try a cleanup by reading the instructions in my signature for posting in the HijackThis forum where somebody can help you diagnose and remove malware, but that might take more than a day.

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[quote name='visitor' post='123258' date='Oct 17 2010, 06:14 AM']When downloading the updated definitions for Ad-Aware, did you use the GUI or the Lavasoft website? I don't think using the GUI would have caused so many problems, so maybe you tried downloading from a rogue website?

You could try a cleanup by reading the instructions in my signature for posting in the HijackThis forum where somebody can help you diagnose and remove malware, but that might take more than a day.[/quote]

Thanks for getting back, Visitor. I clicked on the desktop shortcut that brought up the control screen for AdAware and I clicked the update button. So, wherever that took me, which I thought was Lavasoft. The major problem I'm having is that I can't even connect to the internet now, can't install or uninstall. I hate to have to reinstall Windows and all the software. But, just repeating myself. It's amazing how whatever is doing this operates. For example, in msconfig, changing from normal startup to diagnostic then blocked me from returning to normal. You just keep losing privileges as you go along.

So if downloading and installing anything is required in the usual way, I guess I'm out of luck. I was hoping someone had seen this behavior before. I'll read your suggestion. Please get back if you have any other ideas. Thanks, again.

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Updating through the Ad-Aware interface should have connected directly to Lavasoft servers, so I think the download was safe. Not sure why msconfig has gotten jacked up, so I suspect it's some sort of infection which is why I recommended the cleaning forum here. But that can take a while as you go back and forth with the volunteer security advisor's procedures - so it's a matter of whether you think that would be easier than wiping the hard drive.

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