Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

Seeking Technical Advice: Free AV and search diversion

I know a number of people here are more tech savvy than I am. I'm having a couple of problems that I'd like advice about. One is choosing which free anti-virus program to use. I've been using AVG through the 8.5 version but lately having troubles with it. The other is addressing a recent problem with searching: searches being redirected to ad sites. I've started using a free spyware program (Spyware Doctor) but that seems not to have solved the problem.

If you're able to advise me I'd welcome input, but don't want to distract you, so answer on your own time schedule here. My goal is not to divert you from whatever tasks you might have that need to be done.



To George re: virus question

Hi George!

I think you have what I had in January. Your symptoms sound exactly the same.

That's a worm or type of malware.

Those worms redirect your google, and also redirect your anti-virus updates to bogus sites. They are clever and not obvious. You can get them even if you NEVER click on email attachments. They spread their contagion in more insidious ways.

I thought I was protected, but I wasn't.

I suggest reading the site .

Read and follow the directions on the first ("stickied") post on their malware help forum, then post for help.

They might take a few days to reply, but you'll get professional advice, for free. (donations optional)

NOTE: don't follow the advice given to any other person, even if your problem sounds similar. Do the preliminary steps they ask for, then start your own thread.

The folks at rock.

But listen and follow directions, as they are professional Microsoft security gurus who volunteer their time, and need to use their time wisely.

Another similar site (which I haven't tried yet) is

Note: If my guess is correct, and you have the type of thing I described, then you won't be able to download correct up-to-date antivirus from your infected computer. Why? Because this infection doesn't allow you to update the antivirus.

So'll you'll need to:
FIRST: Find out diagnosis
SECOND: Download the corrective software that the professionals tell you to use from a SAFE computer. A safe computer would be a computer belonging to a person with great regularly updated antivirus, a good firewall, regular updates from "microsoft update", and a passion for security -- and no recent history of sites being redirected to bogus sites. Burn the professionally-recommended repair software virus-fighters and updates -- to a CD. (NOT a flashdrive). (flashdrives often cause reinfection). Then bring CD to your infected computer.

-- movingalong

Thanks. Looks like I'll need to set aside some time... address this.


Thank you very much...



The Hero's Code:

Show up. Pay Attention. Speak the Truth. Let Go of the Outcome.

To George re: setting aside time

Aww. Hope I didn't depress you.

But I battled that thing for weeks, so I wanted you to have a "heads up".

Thankfully, security professionals know a lot more now -- about these infections and their cures. What I mean is -- that they know a lot more NOW -- than than they did a few months ago when I was infected.

Hopefully, you won't have the struggle that I had.

-- movingalong

Don't worry about that...

You didn't depress me and I very much appreciated your advice, which I am following. Working on my wife's apparently clean laptop while working to untangle the problems on my desktop AND getting my work done. AARGH!!! :-P




The Hero's Code:

Show up. Pay Attention. Speak the Truth. Let Go of the Outcome.


I don't know about free ones, I use Norton, but not for any really good reason - just because it came on my first computer and I've used it ever since.   It works for me, but not free.  

I use Adaware from Lavasoft for spyware, and it is free.   Be sure you don't get sucked into something called "Adware" instead, I've heard of a couple of people who downloaded Adware thinking it was Adaware and it's a virus or a trojan or some such nonsense. 


There is a proper balance between not asking enough of oneself and asking or expecting too much.  - May Sarton

virusbarrier x4

virusbarrier x4 --recommended to me by my computer gurus because it doesn't cause the interference of some antivirus measures