Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

In most cases getting rid of malware involves running up to date scanners for viruses and spyware, and then making sure you're behind a firewall.

I run Win XP PRO. As I am connecting to the internet I see in the tool bar the two screens for the internet connection always active and the received bytes increasing continuously. I think this is a worm or spy program but I don't know how can remove it without formatting my hard drive. Do you have any tips?"

Well certainly formatting shouldn't be needed. Just follow the steps from the previous article: How do I keep my computer safe on the internet?. In a nutshell:

  • Run a virus scanner.

  • Run a spyware scanner.

  • Use a firewall.

Article C1953 - May 27, 2004 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

37 Comments
JOHN VLASTOS
May 30, 2004 11:27 AM

VERY GOOD AND VERY HELPFUL AND IN THE CORECT TIME
THAKS AGAIN
JOHN

sep
July 10, 2004 10:14 PM

I have two os on my computer:
1-windows98
2-windows xp

now in win98 ,speed of programs is slower than
of winxp, why?
it has virus??
or it has other problems?
Please tell me.

Leo
July 10, 2004 10:25 PM

It may not have any problems at all. Windows XP is simply a better operating system. If the slowdown is significant on Windows 98, then you're certainly safe in running a virus scan if that's what you're concerned about, but there are many other factors, all legitimate, that could be contributing to the speed difference. A lot depends on how you have things set up. On the surface, though, I wouldn't worry about it.

colin pennington
September 4, 2004 3:43 AM

I have spybot but can't get rid of dso exploit?

Leo
September 5, 2004 9:49 PM

You want this article: http://ask-leo.com/whats_a_dso_exploit_and_how_do_i_get_rid_of_it.html

paul
June 1, 2005 8:35 PM

i can read my e-mails but i can't send e-mails. i've deleted my cookies and caches, lowered my security levels (big mistake), rebooted, refreshed, checked my hosts file, run ad-aware - mccaffe - and spybot, NOTHING has solved this problem! the page never loads and when i press send it never sends. what do i do?

Leo
June 2, 2005 1:43 PM

I would review some of the ideas in this article:
http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_resolve_my_msn_hotmail_sign_in_problems.html
Many apply to more than just sign-in.

Awate
July 18, 2005 9:54 AM

i had msn messenger and it was running very well until 2 months later. i got sent a virus. the person who sent it to me wasn't responsible, all of their contacts came up and sent files. whenever i opened messenger, it would do this to me. i tried deleting the files but they just re-appear. i cant't open up messenger now, or sign into hotmail. when i want to download an antivirus, a box comes up and says adware/spyware... in red writing, this happans when i need a pop-up to come up as well. i need to get my computer working again without re-booting it as i need all of my files. please help me sir.

Leo
July 19, 2005 12:09 PM

I would download anti-spyware and anti-virus software using another machine, and then copy it, probably using a CD-ROM, to the machine that is infected. Bottom line is that you need to get an up to date anti-virus and anti-spyware scan run on that machine somehow.

william stadnyk
August 28, 2005 11:03 PM

my wife has lopdotcom on her computer,she has spysweeper and window washer.she uses them regularly but lopdotcom just keeps coming back.please help ! thank you very much.

Leo
August 29, 2005 10:11 PM

If it keeps coming back, then you're not fully protected and/or not "playing safely" on the internet. This article would be a place to start: http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_keep_my_computer_safe_on_the_internet.html

snowraven
December 12, 2005 6:24 AM

I'm not sure what I have but... I keep getting random popups and something has taken control of my desktop. I also can't keep Norton running because my desktop fills up with email scanning windows. I have run so many different scans and nothing seems to help. I have HiJack This and can post the log here if it will help you in identifying my problem. I thought it might be the sasser worm but my system isn't shutting down nor does it have any of the other "symptoms" I've been reading about. Please help if you can. Many Thanks in advance.

paola
December 25, 2005 4:31 PM

Leo help!!!
I cant open messenger, hotmail, gmail or anything!!
someone told me if i get the name of the virus that infected my laptop, i could be able to download a program to fix it. Is this true?
Do you know the name of this virus?
please help!!!

paola

Leo
December 25, 2005 7:33 PM

Could be any of a number of viruses. Get yourself a good anti-virus program and run an up-to-date scan. http://ask-leo.com/viruses_how_do_i_keep_myself_safe_from_viruses.html

josh sattler
April 27, 2006 9:37 PM

my comp keeps saying that i have spyware, the little icons at the bottom of the screen and one will pop up an ! mark and it says spyware infection and i right click on it it pops some page up iput my windows task manager up and it changes soi cant do ne thing with it and cant exit out, i have virus protect and ijustgot spyware stuff and i run it remove everything and it is still there this is my grandmas new 1000$ compi need helpplz!!

Lindsay Wolkowski
March 26, 2007 10:36 AM

Hi I mistackenly downloaded a program vidio active x.I belive i have removed it but it still has this question mark flshing into a red circle with a line through it on the task bar next to the clock it allways pops up and says system alert telling me i need to download this certain anti-spyware is it a problem with the active x or what can you help me get rid of it.It also takes a long time it connect to the inter net i am running xp ,for anti spy spybot ad-aware spyweeper and Macafe anti spy. thanks for your time Lindsay

Craig Brown
May 21, 2007 11:54 AM

Leo,
I was sent an .mp3 format sound file via e-mail, and although I have not tried to run the file, I am unable to delete it. If I right click the file I am not provided with a cut/copy/paste option, I am not provided with an option to rename or delete the file. I am worried that this item of software is disguised as an .mp3, but is actually tracking my internet activity. I am running Windows XP SP2. Can you enlighten me as to how I get rid of the file?

Thanks,
Craig Brown

Leo A. Notenboom
May 22, 2007 9:05 AM

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

You didn't indicate where the MP3 is stored, or what email program you're
using.

So I have to guess.

I'm guessing that you use HotMail, and that the MP3 is still in the email. I
don't think you can delete an attachment from an email in Hotmail - you need to
delete the email that contains it.

Leo
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (MingW32)

iD8DBQFGUxTGCMEe9B/8oqERAqT2AJ94BfsXl59exSNrnjnV40l1MDGnNgCfVQu8
iuY5nmeEkLv2/35tLScLr/Y=
=SgVD
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

George Arauz
June 3, 2007 9:44 AM

A trojan gives alot of random pop ups. There are a few good removers for free at Download.com But last time it happened to me i reformatted my comp

Per
July 21, 2007 6:07 AM

Hi Leo.
I got the same problem as Craig Brown does. I don't know how it got there now. I'm trying to sort my "my music" folder, and there's a file in there which I can't remove, or rename. The only options opening when I right click is "play" and "open with". I've run Norton antivirus, but it can't find the file, or doesn't think there's something wrong with it.

elliot
August 21, 2007 9:18 PM

Hi I mistackenly downloaded a program vidio active x.I belive i have removed it but it still has this question mark flshing into a red circle with a line through it on the task bar next to the clock it allways pops up and says system alert telling me i need to download this certain anti-spyware is it a problem with the active x or what can you help me get rid of it.It also takes a long time it connect to the inter net i am running xp ,for anti spy spybot ad-aware spyweeper and Macafe anti spy. yea i have the same problem as lindsay and i downloaded active x to plz help i'm still getting pop ups

America
January 31, 2008 7:21 PM

Hi I downloaded limewire(not my brightest idea) about a few months ago and limewire kept on poping up with out my clicking it. I checked on the limiwire website and it said that my computer has probably been infected by a worm called Alcra. Please help me! I don't know how to get rid of it!

wendy
July 7, 2008 10:31 AM

I have a worm called csrss.exe, does anyone know how i can remove it, have tried everything even system restore and its still there.

konark
July 22, 2008 3:26 AM

hi..i think my laptop has a worm which reads as worm.IM.sohanad...how to get rid off.i downloaded spyware doctor from net which only is detecting but not removing.. Is this worm dangerous...

wani
September 17, 2008 1:32 AM

how i want to get rid the Worm.win32.autoRun.nns?
can i have two/ more anti - virus prog in my pc?what will be happens if i let that worm remain in my comp?

Karen
September 18, 2008 12:54 PM

Leo,

About 2 weeks ago a Trojan Horse was discovered while running Windowssecurity Trojan scan. I quarantined and deleted it.

Three days ago I ran the program again and the dreaded win32 worm was there. I quarantined and deleted it BUT I believe it is still in there.

Some kook keeps coming into my "by invitation only" MSN IM, which is apparently where the worm got in to begin with. Last night I kept deleting the "person" over and over again and they kept coming back in.

Today I ran "VirusTotal" directly on the MSN IM and the following came up:

F-Secure 7.60.13501.0 2008.08.27 Suspicious:W32/Hidd.k!Gemini

"F-Secure" is one of the companies that VirusTotal utilizes to search for viruses and the like.

What is W32/Hidd.k!Gemini and how do I get rid of it????

Is this the worm again?

I've run the programs mentioned above and also AVG and Spybot and only VirusTotal finds anything but doesn't offer a solution to get rid of the problem.

Thanks, in advance.

Karen

angela
September 30, 2008 12:17 PM

The only spyware/virus detector that worked on my comp was windows one care. All the others didn't pick up anything at all. That picked it and stopped it from working too and then I delted it.

jay
October 10, 2008 4:37 AM

i was surfing net with no antivirus got a free download of sheild then iy said trojan it clean it up but i still feel my pc i ill because its still ok but was faster before to load a page i am running 20 meg aswell can u advice is it worth it to just reformat or how can i check to c if it gone

robert
November 6, 2008 11:30 AM

thank you for your honesty.

Ellie
December 5, 2008 1:00 PM

I have had my laptop for a year. A few months ago, I started getting pop up ads even before I went on the Internet. My mom suspected a virus, but I failed to do anything about it. Now I can't connect to the Internet, as soon as my desktop fully loads, my hard drive starts crashing.

I don't have any antivirus software like I should and I can't connect to the Internet to download any. Is my computer totally trashed or can I fix it?

The safest thing to do is to back it up entirely so you don't lose any data, and then reformat and reinstall Windows and everything else from scratch, and this time install anti-virus and anti-spyware scanenrs.

An alternative is to use a different computer to download the anti-malware software you need, and put it on a CD or flash drive and then copy it to your machine that way. But it sounds like you're in bad enough shape that a reinstall will actually be quicker.

- Leo
06-Dec-2008
Marjorie
March 4, 2009 9:41 PM

Leo, i got a worm threw my computer..
it was sent to me threw msn and i cant get rid of it ! even if i search and destroy it, it keeps on infecting my MSN windows live messenger.
plz helP! how can i get rid of this?

,Marjorie.

Ella
June 5, 2009 8:04 PM

I have a worm. Got it from tagged. How do I get rid of it.Have a virus scanner. Do I use this to get rid of the worm?
Elly

Nina
February 27, 2010 7:41 AM

Hi. I think i have two worms on my computer, I had Avg to scan my computer but it didn't work so i tried t re install it but i couldn't. Now the Icons on my descope are gone. and i cant open any of my files. Not games no internet or anything Please help !

Eugene
October 19, 2010 5:00 PM

well this is not really a comment but i need some advice while i was surfing through my myspace i had clicked on a profile and i got a parasite named adware and i used anti-virus programs avg free 8.5 and malware bytes anti- malware and avira antivirual control center and right about now i'm trying to get rid of the adware parasites how long will it take for me to get rid of the adware parasite and if not what can i do to get rid of the parasite and how can i repair my computer.thankyouverymuch sincerely eugene

Bill Ross
November 15, 2010 5:11 PM

Hi Leo. I copped a worm/virus/hacker yesterday. Yeah, no wories. Removed it with Spybot but now when I connect my Internet USB it comes up again. Something tells me my Sim card in the USB may have it. How do I remove it from there? Please.
Bill

The most common way to remove a virus from a USB stick is to copy off the data and reformat the stick. That's what I recommend. If not an option you'll need to instruct your anti-malware tools to perform a scan of the device.
Leo
16-Nov-2010

Bill Ross
November 15, 2010 5:13 PM

Oh. It over-rides my Security and Firewall as well.

Richard
November 21, 2010 11:39 AM

I have Webroot Antivirus Spysweeper to detect and deal with cookies and spyware...Today, I found 1 Spyware cookie and my computer froze...as well as 7 cookies that showed up.


Time and again, these cookies are quarantined..and I have the choice of "selecting"

or "deselecting" them..What action should I take?

My guess is that they're simply tracking cookies and they'll just keep coming back no matter which you select. More here: Why does my anti-spyware program keep reporting the same cookies?
Leo
22-Nov-2010

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