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Spyware Questions and Answers - Cannot Change Desktop Background
Katie writes in with a spyware question
Question: I cannot change my background, when I go to display in the control panel, I go to desktop and it shows my options, but they are greyed out and I cannot select any of them. My background is just white???
Answer: It sounds like you got some spyware/malware on your system. Some of them will do exactly what you are talking about. There are a couple of registry changes you can make to see if they will enable your desktop wallpaper options. I will attach 2 registry files. Download them to your desktop and then double click one and pick run then it will ask if you want to add the information to your registry. Click on yes. Start with the wallpaperenable.reg file first. Then check your wallpaper settings again. If it didn't work then try smitfraud.reg. Keep in mind that these files were not created by us so use them at your own risk. Editing the registry can damage your computer if done incorrectly. Many people have used these files before so you should be ok.
After that or maybe even before you run them you should do some spyware and virus scans and then check your wallpaper settings. I would do them within Safe Mode. You can start with SpyBot and AdAware since they are free. Check out these links for instructions.
You can download SpyBot here
and AdAware here.
You can also try the Trend Micro free online scan.
There are also free virus checkers that may be of some help.
Another thing you should do is check your startup items and uncheck anything that looks suspicious or that you don't want running with your computer.
Finally you can look in your Add/Remove Programs and uninstall anything that doesn't belong there such as toolbars you didn't install or anything else you don't want.