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I can't open an internet browser or e mail on my account

edited March 2011 in Troubleshooting
Can anyone help :-

A couple of days ago, when I opened a new tab to look at a different site, I was getting automatically redirected to other sites I didn't want.
Then I had windows popping up from Windows Troublemakers Agent (which I've never heard of) saying I had viruses, trojans & worms. I can't understand this as I have McAfee protection paid for.
I ran a couple of scans & McAfee said all was ok, but the problem continued.
So I thought I would follow what the Windows Troublemaker Agent said to do. I'm far from great with PC's, but I would say I "installed" it ,in as much as the icon was showing at the bottom of the page, alongside my McAfee icon. However, WTA said it had removed approximately half the viruses, trojans & worms, but I needed an update to remove the others. Of course when I clicked on the updates, I was asked pay about $80 (which I did not).
Not sure if this is a scam or not.
But the problem is that the WTA window comes up on MY user account and you cannot apparently close it. Furthermore, if I open internet explorer or my e mail, they close straight down again.
This problem appears to be on my account only as I am typing this up on covered end juniors account.
I've spent hours trying to sort this, by possibly trying to deinstall WTA, but I can't see that it is actually installed apart from the pop ups and the icon at the bottom of the page.
Leroy or anyone, can you help please ?


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    edited March 2011
    WTA is a form of spyware (or adware). Things like that can be an absolute nightmare to try and remove., you need to try something like Spyware Doctor/ Spyware search and destory / Avast to remove it. You can download them for free. Also, If you type "Windows Troublemaker Agent" into google there are loads of different sites suggesting how to remove it. You should always have 2 or 3 different anti-virus programmes. Certain programmes only tackle certain viruses, so it's best to cover your bases and have ones that tackle the different viruses.
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    Do you know how to do a system restore? if so thats your best bet, if not google it.
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    I concur with siblers' advice above. I would give up trying to remove it directly, and try to use some real anti-virus software to remove it. Since it's clearly malware, it's intentionally going to be very difficult to uninstall.

    You should NEVER have to pay for anti-virus software. Avast should be able to cope with the everyday user's needs. I would install it and chances are it might be able to remove WTA.

    [as an aside, McAfee and Norton also hog resources more than some of the free offerings]
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    I've been trying for hours to remove it from a couple of google sites, but keep end up getting nowhere.
    I'll try installing avast.
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    Scream .......... Half way through installing Avast & it says it's incompatible with McAfee which I've paid for. I give up for tonight as I've spent about 5 hours on this and got nowhere.
    Any other suggestions welcomed and thanks for the previous suggestions.
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    edited March 2011
    Download malwarebytes to a USB stick from another PC. Disconnect your PC from the internet. Plug the USB stick into your PC and install it. Run the scan and fix what it finds, then let it reboot once its finished. That should clear most crap off your system.

    If your machine doesn't let you install it, you need to find a tool that will prevent the malware which is currently running on your system (memory resident) from interfering with it. Safe Mode (hit F8 during boot) probably won't work, so the best thing for this is to use a 'live CD' - you can download an image file of one of those (Avira do a good free one) - and burn it to a CD, then boot your machine from it. You may need someone to help you do that. Make SURE you do this from an uninfected PC (someone else's machine, or a laptop that you know to be clean, for instance). Once you have the LiveCD, boot Windows from it (put the CD in the drive, shut Windows down then turn it on and let it start up - it will start up in a new environment that will allow you to install malwarebytes and remove the malware before it has a chance to start and take over your system again.

    Then, once you machine is clean, make sure you keep updating malwarebytes and let it monitor your system in realtime. Make sure you use a pop-up blocker. If any ads sneak through and tell you to run a 'system scan' or something similar - do NOT click ANYWHERE on the ad (even the little 'x' in the top right corner) as that will instantly infect you. Bring up your task manager (right click on the taskbar at the bottom of your PC, select 'Start Task Manager') and, under the 'Applications' tab, select your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox or whatever other browser you may be running) and select 'End Task'. When Windows asks you if you're sure you want to do it, select 'Yes'. When you restart your browser, do NOT select to restore your last session.

    Good luck
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    Leroy a massive thank you. I installed malwarebytes and it has got rid of it, along with 17 other viruses. (Thanks to others as well).

    Leroy, can I ask whether you should have more than one protection product - ie as well as McAfee (paid for) & now of course I have Malware as well. As some people are saying the more the better as none give you total protection. Also, if that's the case, how do you know what's compatible ie when I tried to install Avast it told me to remove McAfee, as they weren't compatble (I didn't).
    Finally, there appears to be differing views as to whether or not you should be paying for these products, because the better ones aren't free ?
    I ask openly as it is likely to be of interest to all on here.

    Thanks again !
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    McAfee is very poor. Norton is by far the best. Use Google Chrome as well.
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    What some people don't realise is that even if you have up-to-date virus protection you can still get into trouble by clicking on the wrong thing. It's a bit like Dracula - he can't come in unless you invite him, but once you've let him in you're in trouble.
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    No problem Saga. PITA, but it saved you from a rebuild at least!

    BTW - don't listen to the advice above. Norton is, always has been and always will be by far the worst security suite for reliability, resource usage and difficulty of removal. McAfee is the best for 'technical' users, but not for 'home' users. You'd be better off going with AVG or Kaspersky (although the former is becoming saddled with foistware and the latter has recently had a high-profile breach on its website (via a malicious ad being hosted ona third party network))
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