Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
How to get spyware off relative's computer (long distance tech support)?
Old 11-10-2010, 02:36 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Houston
Posts: 1,435
How to get spyware off relative's computer (long distance tech support)?

One of my relatives called - sounds like his computer has a bad case of spyware/malware installed. I've cleaned up infections myself but only when I had the computer in front of me - he's not tech savy enough to troubleshoot with me over the phone. I had previously installed Malwarebytes and AdAware on his computer to try to prevent this but the spyware has disabled them and they won't even start.

I was going to tell him to take it to Best Buy but I saw they want $200 to remove spyware! The computer isn't even worth that - I'd tell him to buy a new one for $400 before he spent $200 on a service. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get him fixed up for under $100? Thanks.
__________________

__________________
soupcxan is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-10-2010, 02:43 PM   #2
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
Truthfully, I used an online malware forum to fix mine. They were very helpful and I took some risk, I guess, but I had a terrible browser hijack that I couldn't get rid of.
Here's the folks that helped me, for free.
SpywareInfo Forum
__________________

__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2010, 02:48 PM   #3
Administrator
Janet H's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 4,957
If he has access to the internet still have him download malwarebytes. (free) Malwarebytes

Last time I got infected my browser kept getting hijacked and I couldn't go to any security type sites. It's possible to download this to a thumbdrive on another machine and then run it on the one with beasties. If your friend is running norton they have an online removal tool as well (but it misses a lot of stuff) but I would still run malwarebytes as well.
__________________
E-R.org Custom Google Search | You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. (Robin Williams)
Janet H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2010, 03:03 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
target2019's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,708
As the malware digs in, it gets worse and worse. I've had systems on my bench for hours and hours getting rid of it completely. Each situation is different, and you don't know the extent.

I did two last week. Synopsis follows. Reboot to safe mode as administrator (with networking). Install malwarebytes and update. Update the av software if possible. May have to repeat all of this. Eventually you will be able to boot normally, and repair the hidden damage. For instance, bad guy may have changed registry settings and most programs won't run. Also, bad guy may have changed the hosts file. Lastly, bad guy may have changed IE settings to a proxy.

Frankly, I don't believe any big box electronics store will do it 100% correctly. It takes a lot of time, t/s experience and so on. It is more than just running malwarebytes.
__________________
target2019 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2010, 05:45 PM   #5
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,544
Agree with target2019. If the malware has dug deep the easiest way out for someone without the tech savvy is probably to cold boot off a known-good CD (diskette if it's that old) format the drive and reinstall from scratch. Then restore from backup. He does have a backup, right?
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2010, 06:17 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Following the nice weather
Posts: 6,430
I didn't see anything in the OP about needing to rescue files. I'm with Walt. If it were me (and it has been on occasion), I would back up whatever files are important, format, reinstall, and start over.
__________________
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Will Rogers, or maybe Sam Clemens
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2010, 06:26 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,644
Quote:
Originally Posted by harley View Post
I didn't see anything in the OP about needing to rescue files. I'm with Walt. If it were me (and it has been on occasion), I would back up whatever files are important, format, reinstall, and start over.
+1
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2010, 06:32 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,891
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
One of my relatives called - sounds like his computer has a bad case of spyware/malware installed. I've cleaned up infections myself but only when I had the computer in front of me - he's not tech savy enough to troubleshoot with me over the phone. I had previously installed Malwarebytes and AdAware on his computer to try to prevent this but the spyware has disabled them and they won't even start.

I was going to tell him to take it to Best Buy but I saw they want $200 to remove spyware! The computer isn't even worth that - I'd tell him to buy a new one for $400 before he spent $200 on a service. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get him fixed up for under $100? Thanks.

Seems like helping him clean up the spyware would be easy for you if you were in front of his computer. You can remote control his computer (if you both have an internet connection) with free software called Teamviewer. That way, he can see what you are doing and you won't have to travel all the way to his place. All he needs to do is run a program, give you an access code and you enter that access code, then you can remote is computer.

You can download the program here:

TeamViewer - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET Download.com

A nice feature about TeamViewer is you install and run it on your computer. From there you can have to program send an email to the person you are helping out. So if that person is a newbie, tell that person that he/she will be getting an email invite to run the program, then that person when on the internet gives you the id and access codes and you start Teamviewer, enter those codes, then soon you'd be connected to the other computer.

I've used it to help my niece who was away at college, but I was able to remote to her computer. Worked out great.
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2010, 04:07 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,869
A friend of mine recently had some nasty spyware/virus which not only prevented him from opening up any of the anti-spyware and antivirus programs I put on there, but it also prevented other common utilities such as MSCONFIG from opening. I could not even run System Restore!

What I did was to reboot into Safe Mode (press F8 while system boots up) so I could run MSCONFIG so I could then run System Restore which reloaded the system's settings to a point before the bad stuff first appeared. This enabled me to open the anti-spyware programs (Spybot S&D and Malwarebytes) and antivirus program (Symantec) so I could download the latest versions and updates. Running all 3 of these programs found different things and cleaned up the mess. Took a few hours but all has been well since then.
__________________
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
scrabbler1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2010, 05:12 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: E. Wash
Posts: 1,060
Second the use of starting up in Safe Mode. Also important that he keeps his Malwarebytes updated (free-there is a link once Malware opens). My DW had her browser hijacked and the only thing that got rid of it was HitmanPro3--also a free download.
NwSteve
__________________
nwsteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2010, 01:13 AM   #11
Full time employment: Posting here.
Calgary_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Calgary
Posts: 775
Our laptop caught a virus last week and I had to call the tech guys from ISP today. Even after downloading Malwarebytes, still couldn't shake it. The tech guy had to walk me through a system restore to a date before the virus hit.

Can your relative call the tech dept. at their ISP?
__________________

__________________
I can only be nice to one person today! Today is not your day...tomorrow doesn't look good either.
Calgary_Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Computer CD Tech Question TromboneAl Other topics 5 11-16-2007 11:14 AM
#*&^#$ing tech support, aided by the feds cute fuzzy bunny Other topics 0 02-22-2006 07:25 PM
cheapphonecards.com long distance phonecard MJ Other topics 0 11-30-2005 11:52 PM
My first week of email-based tech support TromboneAl Other topics 0 07-08-2005 05:24 PM
Cheap long distance sgeeeee FIRE and Money 10 03-10-2004 07:29 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:59 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.