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stevewallis
2008-04-17, 16:34
I have a problem with Internet Explorer on Windows XP (with Service Pack 2 but no other updates). At a seemingly random time, I get an error, with a pop-up window saying "Generic Host Process for Win32 Services" has closed. The EventType is BEX and P1 is svchost.exe. The error report (if I sent it to Microsoft) would contain two temporary files, svchost.exe.mdmp and appcompat.txt.

I did have a problem with pop-up windows containing adverts, but for some reason I started getting this error instead. Running Spybot found quite a lot of bots on my laptop and removed them (Rotue being the most persistent).

Maybe I should have downloaded updates from Microsoft and/or installed a virus checker, but I prefered to put up with a computer that was generally working than risk introducing more problems that may lead to me needing to reinstall Windows (especially since I haven't got a functioning CD/DVD drive and have some expensive software that I no longer have the discs for).

Could someone please suggest the least risky way I can solve this problem?

Thanks in advance,
Steve.

Terminator
2008-04-17, 17:11
A Firewall and Virus Scanner are a MUST especially in this day and age and not having one is suicide. I've had a few close-calls with viruses and hackers in the last 6 months all of which would have been disasterous if I hadn't had Avast! and Zone Alarm installed.

There plenty of freebies on the market, I can personally recommend the following:

Spybot 1.5.2 (with Bad Downloads Blocker active)

Zone Alarm Free 7.1.248.000 (Vista Edition)

Avast! Antivirus Free 4.8.1169

Spyware Blaster 4.0

EULAlyzer Free 1.2

Script Defender 1.02

Script Fix 1.0

Foxit Reader 2.2.2129 (faster, More reliable and more secure than Adobe's "bloatware" reader

Google Toolbar 4.0

None of these programs need a CD/DVD-ROM drive and Avast! only needs to be re-registered once a year (which is completely free).

Avoid McAfee and Symantec Products as they cause nothing but trouble and install ALL Microsoft Updates.

Browser Wise try Firefox (Currently on 2.0.0.14) or Opera (Currently on 9.27) as both of othese are covered by Spybot/Spyware Blaster. Faling that (if you havn't already) install IE 7.

PS: XP Service Pack 3 will be released shortly so I recommend you install it.

stevewallis
2008-04-17, 17:13
I have restarted Windows XP and rerun Spybot. Rotue's uninstall settings are found again. Maybe a virus has reinfected my system with Rotue...

stevewallis
2008-04-17, 18:07
Thanks for your advice, Terminator. I hadn't been on-line for ages using my laptop, and having a virus checker built in to Yahoo mail made me think I was safer than I really was.

In line with your motto "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" I don't want to install the Avast virus checker if it doesn't deal with Rotue. Is there any way of checking? When many different people are responsible for the same software, some of them may introduce bugs trying to fix others.

Also, it sounds like Avast may be incompatible with TeaTimer. Is there any way of turning the latter off? And is ZoneAlarm a firewall (I'm currently using the default one in Windows XP)?

Thanks again, Steve.

Terminator
2008-04-17, 19:26
Thanks for your advice, Terminator. I hadn't been on-line for ages using my laptop, and having a virus checker built in to Yahoo mail made me think I was safer than I really was.

In line with your motto "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" I don't want to install the Avast virus checker if it doesn't deal with Rotue. Is there any way of checking? When many different people are responsible for the same software, some of them may introduce bugs trying to fix others.

Also, it sounds like Avast may be incompatible with TeaTimer. Is there any way of turning the latter off? And is ZoneAlarm a firewall (I'm currently using the default one in Windows XP)?

Thanks again, Steve.

I've never had any problems with Avast! and Tea Timer but then again i've never really used the Tea Timer function. To turn off the Tea Timer un-tick the relevant Box under "Resident Protection" in Spybot > Advanced Tools

Zone Alarm IS a firewall and I have been using it for a couple of years. I did have problems with some of the earlier versions of it but the last few have been reliable and (touch wood) trouble free.

Avast! only removes Viruses and Rootkits but It has (and so does Spybot) absolutely bulletproof Resident protection to stop you gatting re-infected once you've got rid of this particular Malware pest, so I highly recommend Installing it after you've removed the Rotue Parasite. Once the problem has been removed I would also delete all the old System Restore points so as to prevent accidental re-infection.

All the programs I mentioned are a dream to customise and once set, you can sit back and relax knowing your system is in good hands:D:

The Windows Firewall is a joke and is fiddely as hell to configure, fortunatly Zone Alarm disables it for you so you don't have to worry about conflicts.

stevewallis
2008-04-19, 22:03
Thanks a lot, Terminator. The problem is now solved and my system is a hell of a lot more secure, with a combination of Spybot, Avast and ZoneAlarm (all free versions). Maybe I should upgrade Internet Explorer as you suggest too. [I'd use Firefox but Control-N doesn't clone browsers which I find a very useful facility of IE. Copying the URL into an empty browser doesn't allow the Back button to work. Or is there some other way to do this that I missed?]

I included the following text in a message I put on an Avast forum, since I had a problem setting it up:

Avast spotted a virus called Win32:SdBot-gen44 [Trj] in svchost.exe.hdmp and svchost.exe.mdmp files, and Win32:Trojan-gen {UPX} in istsvc[1].exe, and stopped a number of attacks on my system. It didn't stop the problem at first, but after restarting Windows, it seemed to do the trick. I was recommmended on the SpyBot forum to use the free ZoneAlarm firewall as well, and turning that off (which I did because Internet Explorer wouldn't work with ZoneAlarm) caused the problem to recur immediately. After rebooting, I managed to get ZoneAlarm working with Internet Explorer (I'm using version 6 and have been recommended to upgrade to version 7 or use a different browser), and everything seems to be working well...