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Spyware Questions and Answers - Browser Hijack & Broken Links

Mary Ann writes in with a spyware question:
Question:
Every time I get online, something redirects my home page. I can't go to links thru email, etc. I took my computer to a shop. They wanted $275.00 to remove 115 spywares off. Microsoft antispyware, nor adaware, can detect. How can I do this myself without completely erasing hard drive and reinstalling? (Which I'm not sure how to do without a floppy drive anyway!) Thanks for any help you can give me.

Answer: For the most part spyware is not too hard to get rid of. There are a few of them that are really hard to get rid of and you usually end up doing a format and starting over. Did you check out our spyware page for help and to download Spybot and CWShredder? These are also free like the Microsoft program and AdAware.

 
Be sure to check your startup items too (msconfig) to make sure there is nothing that seems out of place. Its better to do the spyware scans in safe mode as well. Make sure you update the programs like Spybot and AdAware beforerunning them.
 
Safe Mode
 
Msconfig
 
You should also check your Add/Remove programs too see if there are any items in there that don't belong and remove them as well.
 
Here is how you change your home page in Internet Explorer.

 
Check out this page for how to fix your broken links in e-mail and Internet Explorer.

If you do end up formatting you do not need a floppy drive. As long as you have your Windows XP CD or a recovery CD then you can boot with it and reinstall from there. If you have never done it I don't recommend doing it yourself.



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