malware?/ smart defragmenter

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  #1  
Old 10-29-10, 08:32 PM
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Question malware?/ smart defragmenter

i have a 2nd desktop p/c- windows xp
(was told i could have it - if i could fix it)
it has been in a closet for a year-has no antivirus or any thing.
it has some kind of malware/spyware'SMART DEFRAGMENTER' - it keeps poping up with all kinds of warnings/errors/defragment now! - regester for $$!
i can get to I explorer, but as soon as i try to log on to AVAST/ or any other (free)
anti virus web site- it logs windows off almost imediately!
any ideas on how to defeat this thing?
cheaply- i do not want to invest in the p/c yet.
thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 10-30-10, 03:31 AM
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See if you can get into safe mode. Then go to add/remove programs and remove anything you don't recognize as a good program. You will be installing the things you trust, anyway, so any loss of programs won't be a big deal.
Not sure of the problem you have, but my wife blessed me with one a while back, and it acted similarly to the one you describe. That was the only way I could expunge it.
 
  #3  
Old 10-30-10, 07:20 AM
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i have looked in 'add/remove programs' i can't find it there.

i also-am unable to remove the old / AOL / ATT YAHOO programs ?

on the same note- what is the difference between a - virus-worm-maleware-etc?
 
  #4  
Old 10-30-10, 07:24 AM
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Most of this type of virus can be automatically removed by a downloaded app. The next time it pops up note the exact name and search it. Before you download & run anything, search that program's name and do some research to make sure it won't make things worse.

Or, you could download & run HijackThis and post the log text to one of the HJT helper sites.
 
  #5  
Old 10-30-10, 08:42 AM
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this virus won't let me do much of any thing.
as soon as i open something it dosent like-it shuts windows down.
as of now i have the cat5 dsl cable unplugged.

i tried to 'format' the hard drive so i could use the 'dell reinstalation' cd.
but the 'fornat' option is not available in the window that opens under system management
 
  #6  
Old 10-30-10, 08:55 AM
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What about safe mode? I had this kind of issue and after fighting with it for days and downloading every recommended fix..I finally was able to remove it by downloading MS Security Essentials in "safe mode w/networking". I think maybe because it is so integrated with the MS operating system the bug couldn't get around it.

Safe mode can be found by repeatedly pushing F8 function key during system startup (before Windows starts loading)

From Wiki...."the term "computer virus" is sometimes used as a catch-all phrase to include all types of malware, even those that do not have the reproductive ability. Malware includes computer viruses, computer worms, Trojan horses, most rootkits, spyware, dishonest adware and other malicious and unwanted software, including true viruses. Viruses are sometimes confused with worms and Trojan horses, which are technically different. A worm can exploit security vulnerabilities to spread itself automatically to other computers through networks, while a Trojan horse is a program that appears harmless but hides malicious functions. Worms and Trojan horses, like viruses, may harm a computer system's data or performance. Some viruses and other malware have symptoms noticeable to the computer user, but many are surreptitious or simply do nothing to call attention to themselves. Some viruses do nothing beyond reproducing themselves."
 
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Old 10-30-10, 09:06 AM
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i tried safe mode earlier- could not get to it.
as of now 'c/c' is running.
when it is done i will try the safe mode again.- just to verify- i use f8 as soon as i see the dell logo?- that is where i see- in the top right-f12/or f2
 
  #8  
Old 10-30-10, 10:05 AM
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How old is this Dell? If it's 5 or so years or younger you can try CTRL+F12 at the Dell Logo screen and that "MIGHT" take you into the factory restore program.
 
  #9  
Old 10-30-10, 10:52 AM
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it looks as if 'I' or the 'c/c' program removed/damaged something.

the dell logo appears-press f8 / all i can get is a black screen with 'a disk read error occurred'.

the dell logo appears-i can use -f12 - i get/boot device menu - i scroll down to idec/d rom device,with dell reinstalation disk in drive. still get 'disk read error occured'
have not found a 'restore' option
 
  #10  
Old 10-30-10, 11:59 AM
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ransomware

it probably a variant of this

Remove System Defragmenter (Uninstall Guide)

i have run into a few with the infamous AV Suite 2008/2009/2010 and removing them is suprisingly easy.
 
  #11  
Old 10-30-10, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mikerios View Post
it probably a variant of this

Remove System Defragmenter (Uninstall Guide)

i have run into a few with the infamous AV Suite 2008/2009/2010 and removing them is suprisingly easy.
it was 'smart defragmenter'(some kind of virus) / not system defragmenter.
as of now-i get a black screen- primary drive not found.
 
  #12  
Old 10-30-10, 01:11 PM
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Bios

there are variants of all types of these programs, system defragmenter is not a virus, but malware / ransomware, hence why i figure you have the same type of program albeit with another name or "skin" to the program, but they usually infect he same way ( drive by web pages with active x enabled ) and do the very same behavior ( prevent you from installing or going anywhere other than there re directed website ).

if you get primary drive not found then that's a IDE issue / BIOS issue reboot to the BIOS and see if it see all the drives in the system ( CD, Hard drives )
 
  #13  
Old 10-30-10, 02:43 PM
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SmartDefrag

My husband for the last week is unable to get on the internet unless he turns off his McAfee firewall. He also was getting a Thinkpoint popup that kind of took over everything. Until we did the ctrl-alt-delete and ended the hotfix.exe but still had to turn off the firewall. Now today he got a Smartdefrag popup and asked me to do a search on it on MY computer, which has been ok. (We are on the same modem/router.) All I find is good things about Smartdefrag and cnet.download.com recommends it. Except I said don't download it through the popup but find it separately like on download.com, since the popup might be malware.
How is he able to get back on the internet WITH his firewall on? And what is Thinkpoint and the Smartdefrag popup? We are going nuts!

By the way, he did not want to download the Smartdefrag; he just wanted to know what it was.
 
  #14  
Old 10-30-10, 03:39 PM
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I found my original thread regarding another similar issue:
"System Security

Any one had their fun with the trojan System Security, yet. Just hang on, it's coming. Apparently my wife received a video from a friend, and it said she had to download a certain video codec in order to view it. Free delivery right to her computer.
It takes over everything, and it will not let an antivirus or antispyware program run, nor will it let taskmanager or msconfig run. Those are the only ways you can get rid of it.
SO, without the help of overseas tech support, I think I found a way, and it worked.
You have to restart the computer in safe mode and remove the program piece by piece from msconfig, task manager, and add-remove programs.
Maybe this will help if you get the bug."
Newtofta, as soon as you hit the power button, start pressing and releasing in one second intervals the F8 key. Don't wait until the Dell screen shows up. Let us know if you get into safe mode or not.
 
  #15  
Old 10-31-10, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by newtofta View Post
all i can get is a black screen with 'a disk read error occurred'.
It is possible that you have a Rootkit virus and it destroyed the master boot record on the hard drive. If so, the only option at this point may be to do a full (not quick) format on the hard drive and reinstall everything. If you try to retrieve the data on the drive before you format you may carry the virus to the new installation.
 
  #16  
Old 10-31-10, 07:06 AM
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chandler-
i did the f8 key as u told me
i get-black screen/phoenix rom bios plus / dell syst dimension2400/bios ver ao5 / keyboard failure(it is new) / primary drive 1 not found/secondary drive 1 not found / strike f1 to continue-strike f2 to run set up.

where should i go from this screen?

Rick J.- stated to do a 'full format' - HOW ?
if done- do i use the 'dell o/s reinstalation' c/d?

thanks for working with me.
 
  #17  
Old 10-31-10, 07:13 AM
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i did f1-/ now it reads - a disk read error occured
press ctrl/alt/del-to restart.
i did- went black/ did the f8 -(back to the same screen as before)- f2 goes to 'setup'-??
 
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Old 10-31-10, 11:59 AM
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Go to F2, that will take you into Bios. You may find a booger in there. Check your boot sequence and make sure it goes to hard drive first.
 
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Old 10-31-10, 12:09 PM
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Or if you are restoring...you may want to set boot sequence to CD first if it isn't already. That way it will look at your restore disk before the HD error.

Not sure that will help...but if you have nothing on the HD you need then it won't hurt.
 
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Old 10-31-10, 04:09 PM
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Thinkpoint and it's ilk

luganrn

Thinkpoint is what is known as "ransomware", in that the program installs typically on a drive by web page where you are unknowingly infected, and thus once it installs it takes over the system and it look legit, like you are infected , it does a fake scan and then displays the results, of course to fix it you are redirected to a website ( and no place else ) where you enter your Credit Card info and of course you never get the fix, and then you get charged on your credit card, and possible other on going, difficult to remove, re-occuring charges. The programs infect your host file and , change the IE proxy settings and then disable any other program ( usually AV ) from running and scanning. They have registry entries to re run on boot and sometime reinstall in case of deletion. There are variants of this same program ( AV Suite 200x , and so on ), there is even a version where it encrypts your contents of the hard drive bu never decrypts it back after you had paid the ransom, though someone has figured out the encryption method and offered a free work around to decrypt back.

In almost every case i seen this happen it was on systems that use
Internet Explorerer and Active X, not with those running Firefox. Smart Defrag does install it's own malware, and in my book that means the program cannot be trusted, even it if does defrag as it says it does, and if it does not come from CNET.COM , then do not trust it.
 
  #21  
Old 10-31-10, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
Go to F2, that will take you into Bios. You may find a booger in there. Check your boot sequence and make sure it goes to hard drive first.
there might be a 'booger' in there! but if it don't look like a snake 'I' probably won't see it!
 
  #22  
Old 10-31-10, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Or if you are restoring...you may want to set boot sequence to CD first if it isn't already. That way it will look at your restore disk before the HD error.

Not sure that will help...but if you have nothing on the HD you need then it won't hurt.
all i want to keep is the o/s (windows xp)

i do not understand how to/ what to do-in the setup menu to make the c/d boot first-
i have tried a couple of attempts at the menu?
 

Last edited by newtofta; 10-31-10 at 05:33 PM. Reason: spelling
  #23  
Old 10-31-10, 06:29 PM
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Dell BIOS

f12 will let you set boot option at boot time, cd rom will be listed as an option

f2 gets you to the BIOS area

How to Set BIOS to Boot from CDROM - www.hiren.info

but a drive read error means there is something wrong with the mother board controller ( either configuration, or a dead battery )


once you switch the boot order and boot to the CD, if you get the same error, it not the OS, it's hardware related.
 
  #24  
Old 10-31-10, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mikerios View Post
f12 will let you set boot option at boot time, cd rom will be listed as an option

f2 gets you to the BIOS area

How to Set BIOS to Boot from CDROM - www.hiren.info

but a drive read error means there is something wrong with the mother board controller ( either configuration, or a dead battery


once you switch the boot order and boot to the CD, if you get the same error, it not the OS, it's hardware related.
i pulled the battery out of the mo/bo for 5min-reinstall-it requested a time& date reset-which i did
''hard ware''-as in'' hard drive''?
 
  #25  
Old 10-31-10, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by newtofta View Post


i pulled the battery out of the mo/bo for 5min-reinstall-it requested a time& date reset-which i did
''hard ware''-as in'' hard drive''?
i used the link- i think i got it to boot from 'c/d' - went as far as tthe blue screen states 'WELCOME to Setup'
to setup windows press ENTER
toto repair XP press R
to quit press f3
nothing works here -not even the clr/alt/delt-to restart!!
 
  #26  
Old 10-31-10, 09:56 PM
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I/O and IDE controllers

after the welcome to the set up, windows will usually show you availible drives to install too, if at this point it stalls, then possibly one of the drives has died or the on board IDE controller has failed,

inside the DELL BIOS set up, it should auto detect the drives, ( all drives, hard disk and cd rom )

one possibility is that the 4 pin molex power connector is not supplying the 12 volts needed to spin up the drive

to test this

power down
open up the case
unplug the 4 pin molex connector for the cd rom ( since we know that works )

check to make sure the 4 pin molex connector is on tight on the hard drive

check to make sure the 42 pin ribbon connector is also secure on both the mother board and drive, it only goes on one way

now power up

you SHOULD hear the hard drive spinning up

if not, power off, use the 4 pin molex connector from the cd rom, and plug it in there, power up again, you SHOULD hear the drive spin up, if not, then then IDE controller has failed and there is nothing you can do save for buying a new hard drive

if it does power up now see if you get any sort of POST message displayed on the monitor or if you get some sort of OS level error ( such as ntloader not found or so on.. or even drive read error ) you still may not out of the woods yet

you can have a dying IDE controller on the drive and still have it spin up the drive, but then you might get disk read errors as it will spin down the drive, the I/O controller on the motherboard will then post drive read error since it no longer sees the hard drive

but it can read the cd rom drive since it still functions
 
  #27  
Old 10-31-10, 10:06 PM
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USB and keyboards

BTW is the keyboard a USB, either wireless or wired keyboard?

as you must have ENABLE USB KEYBOARD in the BIOS on
otherwise you key keyboard errors

or no keyboard response

also on some systems you need keyboard or mouse on USB port number 1
since on some motherboards they assign those for keyboards an mice and the
others for other plug in devices

does your keyboard have any small LEDs?

on boot you should see them light up temporarily as the BIOS will poll all port to test the system to ensure all devices are present and ports function, if your keyboard has small LEDs and no light, then it can be a I/O ( input / output ) issue or BIOS setting, some settings will have the computer halt on any errors, depending on the settings

i always keep a cheap ps2 keyboard and a ps2 mouse to check a system to see if I've got a keyboard or mouse issue
 

Last edited by mikerios; 10-31-10 at 10:08 PM. Reason: additional info
  #28  
Old 11-01-10, 06:51 AM
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IF this plays into your thoughts of the IDE controler/hard drive failing?-the p/c was working/hard drive running-with this 'smart defragmenter' virus thing 'constantly' popping up & stoping/shutting down windows-if i was doing any thing to try to get around it.
I was running the 'crap cleaner' program for about the 3rd time (the virui thing-kept interupting)-when the 'black screen' with the 'disk read error' problem started.
quite possibly my fault-after the last c/c try-'I' checked "all' the available boxes in the c/c list-& ran the program again.
that is when the disk read error ploblem staeted.
 
  #29  
Old 11-01-10, 06:36 PM
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hardware errors

the C & C cleaner program would not have killed the drive, now would a virus, they can corrupt the boot sector ( the virus ) you you will still be able to read the disk, you get a OS not found message or similar indicating a bare drive with no data present

If the disk read error message does not come until your system has already completed its bootup, then It is possible that your BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) is simply unable to locate the drive. Since the BIOS is responsible for the booting-up process, it will typically be the origination of the disk read error message.

download knoppix on another computer, burn the iso, then boot to it, see if it see the hard drive, even if the mbr is gone, it will still see the drive, if it does not see the drive

then it's either the BIOS
the IDE controller that going bad
or power supply not supplying the power to the drive

keep in mind an old computer will be tempermental
and sure it ca n work for a while
then all of sudden errors come up

and yours are hardware, not software related
 
  #30  
Old 11-01-10, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mikerios View Post
the C & C cleaner program would not have killed the drive, now would a virus, they can corrupt the boot sector ( the virus ) you you will still be able to read the disk, you get a OS not found message or similar indicating a bare drive with no data present

If the disk read error message does not come until your system has already completed its bootup, then It is possible that your BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) is simply unable to locate the drive. Since the BIOS is responsible for the booting-up process, it will typically be the origination of the disk read error message.

download knoppix on another computer, burn the iso, then boot to it, see if it see the hard drive, even if the mbr is gone, it will still see the drive, if it does not see the drive

then it's either the BIOS
the IDE controller that going bad
or power supply not supplying the power to the drive

keep in mind an old computer will be tempermental
and sure it ca n work for a while
then all of sudden errors come up

and yours are hardware, not software related
i did a google on the 'knoppix' - all i found were sites wanting me to down load a computer check up / or something similar?
am i missing something?
 
  #31  
Old 11-01-10, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mikerios View Post
BTW is the keyboard a USB, either wireless or wired keyboard?

as you must have ENABLE USB KEYBOARD in the BIOS on
otherwise you key keyboard errors

or no keyboard response

also on some systems you need keyboard or mouse on USB port number 1
since on some motherboards they assign those for keyboards an mice and the
others for other plug in devices

does your keyboard have any small LEDs?

on boot you should see them light up temporarily as the BIOS will poll all port to test the system to ensure all devices are present and ports function, if your keyboard has small LEDs and no light, then it can be a I/O ( input / output ) issue or BIOS setting, some settings will have the computer halt on any errors, depending on the settings

i always keep a cheap ps2 keyboard and a ps2 mouse to check a system to see if I've got a keyboard or mouse issue
the key board is th elcheapo-hard wired with the purple corrector
 
  #32  
Old 11-02-10, 03:42 PM
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iso/knoppix

i found the knoppix-&downloaded it.
i downloaded 'iso' program.
used it to burn knoppix to a c/d.
put said c/d in the p/c with all the problems- the c/d drive does not spin up when i boot to it? - it spins up when the dell instalation c/d is in the drive?

still getting the 'key board failure' code/warning.

if the ide controller / or bios has failed - are they repairable?

when - if - all is said & done is this 5 ro 6 year old dell 2400 with pentium 4, any better/faster than the7 year old emachines t2542 /celeron 2.5 i have?
 
  #33  
Old 11-02-10, 06:36 PM
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old p4s

it seems like your system is getting worse with each boot

BIOS are not repairable, there uses to be a web site long ago that had replacement BIOS back when BIOS chips were seated and not soldered to the motherboard, but that is long gone

IDE controllers on the drives are not repairable, once they die, they die, you can swap out the controller for another of the same make and series, but the site that used to sell the used IDE controllers is also long gone ( it was based in Honk Kong ), I did use it once it worked to retrieve data of a small 40 Gb Quantum hard drive,

in my opinion it not worth resurrecting the computer unless you can scavage parts ( used IDE drives ). I give away such system when I run into them ( free ) since I am usually working on somebody's system and in inevitable it come to upgrade and then my parts bin grows once more, but i stopped doing that, made a few working computer ( with P4s ) and gave those away.

you did not mention what Mhz speed the P4 and it might indeed be faster than a Celeron based, even if the Celeron has a faster clock speed, asuuming the same OS installed.
 
  #34  
Old 11-02-10, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mikerios View Post
it seems like your system is getting worse with each boot

BIOS are not repairable, there uses to be a web site long ago that had replacement BIOS back when BIOS chips were seated and not soldered to the motherboard, but that is long gone

IDE controllers on the drives are not repairable, once they die, they die, you can swap out the controller for another of the same make and series, but the site that used to sell the used IDE controllers is also long gone ( it was based in Honk Kong ), I did use it once it worked to retrieve data of a small 40 Gb Quantum hard drive,

in my opinion it not worth resurrecting the computer unless you can scavage parts ( used IDE drives ). I give away such system when I run into them ( free ) since I am usually working on somebody's system and in inevitable it come to upgrade and then my parts bin grows once more, but i stopped doing that, made a few working computer ( with P4s ) and gave those away.

you did not mention what Mhz speed the P4 and it might indeed be faster than a Celeron based, even if the Celeron has a faster clock speed, asuuming the same OS installed.
i do not know theMHZ of the p4-it just has a intell p4 decal on the ft of the case.
from what i understand- if the bios is at fault,it needs a mother board?
is the IDE controler part of the m/board also?
& it might need a hard drive as well?
& i probably have lost the o/s too?
(both p/c's have -xp)
 
  #35  
Old 11-02-10, 09:50 PM
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I/O and IDE controllers part 2

the IDE controller is on the hard drive, the mother board has a what is called a I/O chipset ( input, out put ) that controls all the device plugged into the motherboard ( USB, PS2, IDE, Serial, etc.. ),

and you are correct, if the bios is at fault a new motherboard is needed, consequently DELLs are propietary ( built to their specs ) ,as are there power supplies, so you generally can just put in nay mother board or power supply.

if the drive will not spin up, then yes you have lost the OS as well
 
  #36  
Old 11-04-10, 10:30 AM
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To: mikerios



Re:Thinkpoint and it's ilk



Thanks. I'll pass this info onto my husband. Seems he has a different problem at least every other day and is calling Dell techs regularly. Now he is getting hijacked to other websites, but is able to recover by just clicking Back and then click the desired website again successfully. It is like some malevolent playful spirits have haunted his computer...
 
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