Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Unwanted and even malicious tools can be downloaded along with free or upgraded software. Time to run some anti-malware tools.
I'm using Windows 7 and IE 9. Recently, as part of downloading the Adobe Flash Player 11 update, Google Chrome was installed. I didn't want it so I uninstalled it. Since then, when I type search terms in the address window, fantastigames.metacrawler.com/fantastigames2/search has taken over instead of plain old Google. How can I get rid of this? I've looked on your site but I don't see the topic. I'd really appreciate your help.
In this excerpt from Answercast #53, I look at a case where suspected malware was installed as part of an upgrade installation.
So, the short answer is that this is typical of malware. You have malware on your machine.
What I'm going suggest you do is run up-to-date scans with your anti-virus software, your anti-spyware software, and that you also consider running a scan using the free tool from Malwarebytes.org.
Now, one thing I wanted to point out here - is exactly how this happened to get on your machine.
One of the things I've been cautioning people on, for quite awhile, is to pay special attention whenever you're downloading software, whenever you're installing software - and that apparently also includes updates to software that you already have installed. Updates to otherwise very legitimate software.
Unfortunately, what a lot of software vendors are doing (in an opportunity to make a little additional revenue from their otherwise free software) is they are promoting additional, and unrelated, software packages with their download.
Typically, you are offered a choice:
But the choice is often hidden;
The choice often defaults to being, "Yes, I want this other software;"
And the choice is often such that it is only displayed if you choose the advanced setup options when you're installing software.
So, my recommendation in the future is that you make sure to (whenever installing, or updating, or running an installer that updates anything) is to make sure to choose the Advanced option. Then make very special note of everything that it's asking you to install.
If it's asking you to install something that is not related to the software that you're updating or installing, just say no. Uncheck the option. If it's a toolbar, if it's a browser, if it's something else unrelated to what you're actually downloading and installing, just uncheck it, say no.
That will help you to avoid problems very much like this in the future.
Next from Answercast 53 - Is downloading .torrent files without downloading the files they point to a problem?
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