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Old 04-10-2014, 08:49 AM   #41
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My friend may be lonely....He rarely has a girlfriend due to his various physical flaws; he is short, has the speech impediment, and has a partial physical disability from a car crash 30 years ago (before I met him in 1988), all of which sharply limit his dating prospects (he has some awkward social skills, too). .
Just a thought - could pity for your friend be helping to drive you to over-help him? If so, you are a kind, sympathetic friend, yet he does not seem to merit pity. Women are known to fall in love with, and marry, men who are quadruple amputees or quadriplegics, are serving life prison sentences, or are confided to mental institutions. Your friend sounds considerably more fortunate.
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:14 AM   #42
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I agree that he needs a Mac.

I hope he is not using his present computer for any financial use as it seems very vulnerable. Post his IP address here and I'll see if I can get in
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:46 AM   #43
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Malware is a PIA, most times it's innocently downloaded, by someone attempting to do a legitimate installation.

Most folks don't realize that AV software is useless against it. The removal of admin rights sounds like a great idea, or changing to a less hacker friendly OS.

If you want to have a frustrating day, try cleaning a system that's been infected. Tools like Malwarebytes, hijackthis are a great help, but no guarantee it can be cleaned.
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:14 AM   #44
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Malware is a PIA, most times it's innocently downloaded, by someone attempting to do a legitimate installation.

Most folks don't realize that AV software is useless against it. The removal of admin rights sounds like a great idea, or changing to a less hacker friendly OS.

If you want to have a frustrating day, try cleaning a system that's been infected. Tools like Malwarebytes, hijackthis are a great help, but no guarantee it can be cleaned.
MRG
When I work on a computer that has been compromised by malware, root kits, etc, I use Google to find out what variant is affecting the machine based on what is going on with the software, then search for a custom removal tool. Sometimes I get lucky and find one, or a detailed way to remove the problem.
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Old 04-10-2014, 01:57 PM   #45
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Malware is a PIA, most times it's innocently downloaded, by someone attempting to do a legitimate installation.

Most folks don't realize that AV software is useless against it. The removal of admin rights sounds like a great idea, or changing to a less hacker friendly OS.

If you want to have a frustrating day, try cleaning a system that's been infected. Tools like Malwarebytes, hijackthis are a great help, but no guarantee it can be cleaned.
MRG
All the more reason to make an image copy of clean system.

I've stumbled on one of those "false scans then can't login or pay" Malwares before. Though probably possible, not easy to recover when you can't even see the desktop.
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:30 PM   #46
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All the more reason to make an image copy of clean system.

I've stumbled on one of those "false scans then can't login or pay" Malwares before. Though probably possible, not easy to recover when you can't even see the desktop.
+1 well worth it.

I've been able to get by some of 'your screen is taken over 'using safe mode'.

As Aj8888 mentioned somtimes searching google will find an all encompassing fix.
Great ideas in this thread!
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:48 PM   #47
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Speaking of... I just picked up a laptop for cleanup. This one is infected with conduit search and a multitude of toolbars and other crap. And they have a paid for active subscription to norton360. This is what happens when you run with admin rights.

Sometimes you have to physically remove the HD and plug in to another clean PC to run the removal tool. I have some custom built bootable CDs with scanning tools on them for removal.
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:18 PM   #48
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Speaking of... I just picked up a laptop for cleanup. This one is infected with conduit search and a multitude of toolbars and other crap. And they have a paid for active subscription to norton360. This is what happens when you run with admin rights.

Sometimes you have to physically remove the HD and plug in to another clean PC to run the removal tool. I have some custom built bootable CDs with scanning tools on them for removal.
How about Ultimate Boot CD? Hiren Boot CD? Bart?
Once or twice I've used these to boot the machine, and run av software. The software can access network to get updated signatures.

Still, I don't look forward to spend a day cleaning up a Windows computer.
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Old 04-10-2014, 07:06 PM   #49
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How about Ultimate Boot CD? Hiren Boot CD? Bart?
Yes, I have those. I built a custom UBCD with my own apps installed
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:50 PM   #50
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My friend came over last night and we discussed the situation.

He understands that I don't want to be his regular, personal tech services man. I told him about some of the various proposals from those of you who replied to this thread. He agrees that my frequent help may have made him somewhat dependent.

I mentioned to him the AVAST remote assistance which costs $150 per year and I am trying to find more info on that. I also mentioned the TeamViewer thing which would not take me out of the equation but would at least enable me to help him from my home.

I also explained to him that some of his browsing habits (mainly games and music and email, NOT porn) have some built-in hazards but I don't really expect him to simply stop playing those games.

Because he bought his PC only 15 months ago, I don't expect him to but a Mac or some other PC. He is not looking to do some ghosting or saving an image of his PC, those are too drastic for both of us.

I don't think pity is driving me to help him. He has been my friend for 26 years. I help him out because he is my friend.

I am a little confused by the Admin versus regular status. Some of the tips offered here require admin status but others ask me to change from Admin to regular user status. If I decide to pursue multiple options in this direction, would any of them conflict with each other? Or would I pursue those which require Admin status first, then change it to regular user status?

When his previous PC got infected with the Windows Antivirus Pro 2009 virus, that nasty pest disabled common anti-spyware and anti-virus programs he had on his PC and disabled System Restore! First, I had to reboot in Safe Mode just to get to System Restore, then after the Restore I was able to run his anti-spyware and anti-virus programs. I had to run the scans multiple times because they could not clean up the main problem (WA Pro 2009) and all the other garbage which infected his system along the way. It took several hours to finally rid his system of everything.

I am still leaning toward that MVPS host 127.0.0.1 thing which would divert many of the pests to a black hole. If all this ends up doing is reducing the frequency of his problems from monthly to once every 6 months that would be okay. I just get tired of his calling me every other week, causing me to dread that flashing light on my answering machine ("....my computer is f**ked up!"). I am looking into that, it seems promising.
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:42 AM   #51
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You create another user such as "Admin" and assign the user to administrator. Then you downgrade the user account. When your friend now logs in, some bad programs will fail as they need to make administrative privileges. When you need to make a change, you would log in as "Admin" and change the hosts file, for example.

When it comes to security, think of protective layers. The ISP, ISP modem, router, wireless, computer OS, etc.

I tend about 100 computers for non-technical business users. There is hardly any policy to speak of. My key learnings (lol, hard to not use corporate speak).

- users will install everything that is presented to them. button appears on screen to destroy all of civilization, they click, and deny later.
- once a system is compromised, it tends to get re-infected many times.
- many problems lie between keyboard and chair
- you get better at stupid computer tricks, and hopefully get rewarded
- you can never be 100% certain you removed every bad thing from the computer

Since you're willing to be his support in the future, you are responsible by default for this system. In your case it is a mission of mercy, and perfectly understandable.

BTW, some of the clever things going around actually install, then create a restore point. So if you only go back so far in restore, you'll put the bad guys back in charge. The other point is that when you have restore points, the av software has to check all of that too. This might be heresy, but I turn off system restore first, then check and remove.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:38 AM   #52
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DW and I chose to remain "friends who bug us with their computer problems - free."

An Ann Landers survey showed folks who do not remain in friendships with friends that cause them to go off on rants have no regrets and have great lives.

It's a personal choice.
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:15 AM   #53
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99+ % of my computer time is spent logged in under a user account. I right click to open program as "Administrator" or utilize the Administrator account to facilitate changes to my computer.

User Account Control: Inside Windows 7 User Account Control
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:53 AM   #54
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I tend about 100 computers for non-technical business users. There is hardly any policy to speak of. My key learnings (lol, hard to not use corporate speak).

- users will install everything that is presented to them. button appears on screen to destroy all of civilization, they click, and deny later.
- once a system is compromised, it tends to get re-infected many times.
- many problems lie between keyboard and chair
- you get better at stupid computer tricks, and hopefully get rewarded
- you can never be 100% certain you removed every bad thing from the computer
This reminds me of a few years ago taking care of about the same number of user machines for my wife's company on a part time basis (1099 contractor). Same deal, total freedom with the users. After a few years of this, I gave up. It was like shoveling snow in a blizzard.
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:55 AM   #55
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After reading all these comments, I am going to put in another plug for the AVAST support. Your friend can call AVAST himself and find out all the details, they will explain the program completely, I believe there is a nice discount for multi-year subscriptions.No reason why the OP should have to call AVAST it's not his computer or his money. If your friend is going into the throw up his hands and call you mode every time something happens,it won't end well for you.

You will be helping him by nicely figuring out a way for him to keep his computer running and saving yourself some grief in the process. As far as I know, you can call AVAST as many times as you want and ask for a system check-up,they run many of the malware programs mentioned above for you and clean stuff up.

Good Luck on figuring this out, I think you are a good friend.
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:35 PM   #56
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Even after my episode with cleaning up 100's of business use computers for a few years, I had neighbors and relatives show up at the door with the typical dazed look on their face and the computer in hand saying "my computer is (infected, hacked, slow, got popups, won't start, kids had it, etc). So I would take the time to fix the ills........and after a while, I got tired of this, especially when it seemed to be expected without any thanks.

What got me even more frustrated was the lack of interest (or effort) on their part of not trying to fix it themselves, or try to learn how to accomplish that. What was even more frustrating was the lack of effort to even run the malware or antivirus tools I installed and showed them how to use.

So now if anyone calls or shows up (family members included) with a "my computer is....( fill in blank)", I direct them to a shop nearby that does this work for a fee.
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:27 PM   #57
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After reading all these comments, I am going to put in another plug for the AVAST support. Your friend can call AVAST himself and find out all the details, they will explain the program completely, I believe there is a nice discount for multi-year subscriptions.No reason why the OP should have to call AVAST it's not his computer or his money. If your friend is going into the throw up his hands and call you mode every time something happens,it won't end well for you.

You will be helping him by nicely figuring out a way for him to keep his computer running and saving yourself some grief in the process. As far as I know, you can call AVAST as many times as you want and ask for a system check-up,they run many of the malware programs mentioned above for you and clean stuff up.

Good Luck on figuring this out, I think you are a good friend.
Which level of Avast is the one with the unlimited remote access by Avast techies? Is it Internet Security or Premier?
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:32 PM   #58
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You can get the tech support with the free version of AVAST... I run the free AVAST and pay for the support there is a toll free contact number that will help explain this to anybody who is interested. I don't believe it is packaged with a pay version, but I don't use a pay version so I don't know.
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:21 PM   #59
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My friend called Avast but was dismayed after talking with some guy from Costa Rica he could barely understand. He found a local guy who will be visiting his place Thursday afternoon to fix his latest PC problems. I am going over there to visit Thursday night so I will find out if they were successful.
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:59 PM   #60
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My friend called Avast but was dismayed after talking with some guy from Costa Rica he could barely understand. He found a local guy who will be visiting his place Thursday afternoon.
Excellent! Local is way better anyway.
Very happy to see that he is on his way toward a better solution than bugging the $#!t out of you.
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