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Get Rid of Spyware, Adware, and Web Browser Hijackers -

by steamwiz
April 13, 2008

UPDATE: Please see our latest updated tutorial by clicking here.

The latest scourge on the Internet is the proliferation of adware, spyware, and programs that hijack your web browser and take you to sites you don't want to visit. These malicious programs go by the names of ErrorSafe, NetSpry, Midaddle, and others. Here we show you how to get rid of these programs and protect your PC once and for all.

Editors Note: This document was created by our foremost spyware expert, steamwiz, and is constantly updated with additions by our moderators and members of the Help2Go community.


This document may look daunting, but it won't take you long to complete all of the following (not counting download times). Most problems can be fixed simply by following Steps 1-3. Take your time while following these instructions and make sure you follow each step carefully. A very good thing to do is to print this document out NOW so you have it as a reference. (There's a "Printer Friendly" icon near the top of the page, just to the right of the title of the article)

If your PC cannot connect to the Internet at all, try first running the LSP-Fix program. LSP-Fix article


Step 1: Viruses

Run these scans (even if you have an anti-virus program on your computer). When it comes to viruses, you can never be too careful!

Do a free on-line virus scan here: Panda Activescan (Do NOT pay to have the Panda scan remove anything ... just post the log from the Panda scan, in your thread in the forum & we will help you remove anything shown.) and here: Housecall

Do both scans and delete all infected files found. If Housecall lists them as uncleanable, click the "delete" button.


If you do not have an anti-virus program such as McAfee or Norton installed on your PC, download and install the free version of AVG antivirus.

Step 2: Get Critical Windows Updates

Visit the Windows Update site, click Scan for updates in the main frame, and download and install all CRITICAL updates recommended.

Step 3: Clean up Temporary Files

Download and install CCleaner , then reboot into Safe Mode and run the program to delete your temp files. See our tutorial on CCleaner for detailed instructions


Step 4: Scan for Spyware/Adware

The following 2 anti-spyware programs are excellent in removing many of the most common malware infections from your PC. Make sure you install and scan with both - each program has different strengths and weaknesses. By scanning with both, you can ensure that your PC is cleaned most effectively.

a) Download Malwarebytes Anti-malware. Install it and scan your computer. A tutorial on how to use Anti-malware can be found here.

b) Download SuperAntiSpyware. Install the program, then run it and scan your computer. A tutorial for using SuperAntiSpyware can be found here.  


Step 5: REBOOT

Most problems will have been fixed by following the above steps. Try it out! If you are still having problems, continue to the next step. Otherwise, check out the article on how to prevent future Spyware/Hijack attacks.

If you are having problems with Ads234, Midaddle, or Netspry, follow the instructions here before continuing with Step 5.


Step 6: HijackThis

Click here to download HJTInstall.exe

  • Save HJTInstall.exe to your desktop.
  • Doubleclick on the HJTInstall.exe icon on your desktop.
  • By default it will install to C:\Program Files\Trend Micro\HijackThis .
  • Click on Install.
  • It will create a HijackThis icon on the desktop.
  • Once installed, it will launch Hijackthis.
  • Click on the Do a system scan and save a logfile button. It will scan and the log should open in notepad.
  • Click on "Edit > Select All" then click on "Edit > Copy" and Paste the entire contents of the log  (no attachments) into your next post.
    DO NOT use the AnalyzeThis button, its findings are dangerous if misinterpreted.
    DO NOT have Hijackthis fix anything yet. Most of what HJT lists will be harmless or even required by your Operating System, a spyware fighter will guide you.


    After the scan has finished the "scan" button will turn into a "save log" button. Save the log file.

    Notepad will automatically open the log file on your screen. Click on the Edit menu and choose Select All. Then click on the Edit menu again and choose Copy.


    Step 7: Help2Go Detective

    The next step is to use our automated HijackThis log analyzer, the The Help2Go Detective. Paste your log into the space provided, hit Submit, and then CAREFULLY follow the directions printed.


    Step 8: If Problems Persist, Post a Log File

    After you've followed all of the directions, run HijackThis one more time and create a new log. Now, create a new help request (new topic) in our Spyware Help forum by clicking here. Type a description of your problem in the window. Do not just type "Help me" -- we need to know what kind of symptoms your PC has. Make a note in your request that you have already followed the above directions. Then, paste your log file into the window by clicking on the Edit menu and choosing Paste.

    You may now close the HijackThis program. Do not delete anything yet, as most things HijackThis finds are harmless and needed.

    Check back on your help request in a day or so. Many of our members are in the USA, many are in the UK, and many are in Australia, so it may take awhile before someone is able to analyze your log and respond. Please be aware that Help2Go is strictly run by volunteers, so patience and friendliness will get you an answer more quickly. :)

  • Have a question? Need help? Get free, friendly person-to-person help with your computer questions or spyware questions in our help forums!

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