Should I use two anti-virus programs?

May 6th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in A/V, security, Windows 7, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP 1 Comment »

Hi can you help me regarding internet security? I have McAfee security and also Microsoft Security Essentials? Do I need both and if not which one is best?

You don’t need two Internet security programs, one will be fine and having two or more security programs running on your system runs the risk of them interfering with each other.

On balance, we’d recommend the Microsoft program simply because it uses a lot less of your computer’s resources than McAfee’s Internet security and anti-virus programs. The computer security companies also have the habit of stinging you with expensive upgrades every year or so.

We have a list of the free internet security programs available on our Four Free Anti-Virus Programs post. All of these software packages are fine for home use.

How do I get rid of a dllhost error?

March 22nd, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in A/V No Comments »

I am getting an error on my laptop running Windows 7 Ultimate Program:C:\\Windows\\System32\\DllHost.exe It is very frustrating popping up when I open photos etc., Appreciate any help with this. I run avg free antivirus and ccleaner.

It sounds like something has slipped past the AVG anti virus and found its way onto your computer.

We’d suggest downloading and running Malwarebytes and then follow our Removing a Trojan instructions.

AVG has had some major upgrades recently and it is possible malware has got around it because the software isn’t the latest upgrade. So you may want to download and reinstall AVG or one of the free alternatives.

Free antivirus programs

July 14th, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in A/V, security, Windows 7, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

please list current free anti virus software downloads that are thorough and efficient for windows 7 home?

The free anti virus programs we’d suggest for Windows 7 Home users are the following;

Microsoft Security Essentials: Microsot’s free anti-virus program for Windows XP, Vista and 7.
: Will offer to give you the Premium edition for free as well, but we don’t like the sign up process
AVG Free: The sign up will also try to steer you towards the paid for package
Avast!: Avast is one of the longest standing free products

While AVG pushes their paid for version the hardest during the download process, all of the free versions are loss leaders for their paid versions.

The paid versions are good value for money compared to the bigger brand name products and give you more features than the free version and tech support for when there are problems.

We’d recommend the paid versions of all of these programs as well.

Note that all of these programs, with the exception of Microsoft Security Essentials, are free only for personal use; if you want to use them in a business you have to shell out for the paid versions.

Error messages on startup after removing a virus

June 6th, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in A/V, email, security, Windows 7, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

I have received a fraudulent email from a bogus UPS parcel delivery site. As I have been expecting a delivery, I mistakenly opened the email and clicked on the attachment.

My AVG 9 program promptly detected 2 viruses which I thought I had then successfully removed. However now, when I boot up, I get the following 2 error messages:
C:\\WINDOWS\\rhstap.dll – Specified module could not be found
C:WINDOWS\\olamobel.dll -Specified module could not be found

1. Does this mean the registry is damaged?

2. How can I repair the registry and avoid getting these error messages … can you recommend a safe registry repair tool?

It’s good your antivirus picked up the problem and removed the malware. Just to be safe, we’d recommend following our Removing a Trojan instructions as well.

Once you’re happy you’ve cleaned the computer out, you can fix the missing .dll issues. The registry itself isn’t damaged, it’s just trying to find the files the malware installed and told it to run on startup.

The best tool for cleaning out the errant registry entries is CCleaner and running that after making sure you are free of viruses should give your computer a significant performance boost.

things keep being strangely deleted

February 22nd, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in A/V, security, Spyware, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

Hi Paul,
Unfortunately you had run out of time on the excellent radio program last night when I called. Wondering if you have any idea what has suddenly happened to my pc, XP o/s, HP9002.
1. All of my Inbox in Outlook Express disappeared. The 400 emails had been sent to the Deleted folder. This always happens when I first go in to Outlook
2. The Delete keyboard key no longer works.
3. When I click on the task bar Start menu a pop-up asks me if I want to send the Start Menu to the Recycle bin. This only seems to happen intermittently.

Do you think I have a virus? I tried to install AVG but it failed to install with a “virtual memory” issue.

You mentioned Avast on the program last night. Would I have better luck trying to install it?

Hope you can help.

This certainly is very suspicious behaviour and the first step would be to follow our Removing a Trojan instructions. Before doing that, make sure all your data has been backed up.

Both free versions of AVG and Avast! are good programs and you should use whichever one you find easiest to install.

If no malware is found, it might be best to have a technician look at the system and your security settings.

Norton is blocking the Internet

December 27th, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in A/V, Internet No Comments »

Since installing Norton Antivirus I can’t access the Internet. I already have a firewall so why is NAV stopping me getting online?

The culprit is the Internet Worm Protection in some versions of  Norton Antivirus. You’ll need to disable this function.

First, open Norton by clicking the Start Button, selecting Programs and Norton Antivirus. If you have a number of Norton Products installed you may have several different Norton folders in your programs list.

In the Norton screen click Options, select Norton Antivirus(this may vary on the version) and on the left pane click Internet Worm Protection.

On the right, turn off the box for Enable Internet Worm Protection or Turn Internet Worm Protection on. Click Okay and exit the program.

When you restart the computer the system will no longer have Internet Worm Protection working and you should be able to access the net.

Firefox detected as the Banload Trojan

November 30th, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in A/V, security No Comments »

Just downloaded firefox from the net (English version) on my new HP computer as an alternative to Internet Explorer and my new Trend Micro Professional scan identified an infected file after the download:


the threat name was


It’s been quarantined in a temp file.

May be a problem with the link to download or the free download may be infected?

There’s recently been a spate of false positives being detected in the Firefox download with AVG users reporting similar problems.

While it’s likely to be a false alarm, you should assume the worst by deleting the quarantined files, updating Trend Micro and scanning your computer just to be sure.

The next step is to go to the official Mozilla site and download Firefox from there.

If Trend Micro still reports the download as infected, then Trend is detecting a false positive. You’ll have to tell Trend the file is safe and then install Firefox. If Trend won’t let you do that, then you should disable Trend while you download and install Firefox, just take care not to do anything on the net, such as check emails while Trend is disabled.

cannot remove Cyber Security

November 20th, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in A/V, security, Spyware No Comments »

I downloaded what i thought was a trojan blocker the name of the program is cyber security and now its reporting a number of virus now i can’t access some pages. I have tried add/remove and system restore and its still on my pc. What can i do?

Unfortunately you’ve been conned into downloading some malware. These sort of scams are unfortunately more common than they should be.

The best remover for this is Malware Bytes and we go through the process of fixing this problem in our Removing a Trojan page.

Be warned though that these Trojans often block the spyware remover sites so you may have to download the programs to another computer, transfer them to a USB stick and install them that way.

If it all sounds too complex, and it often is, then you should call your local computer tech.

Upgrading to AVG Free version 9

November 17th, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in A/V, security No Comments »

We have just received an AVG pop-up informing us that as from 1 December 2009 this will be superseded by AVG 9, which we will have to pay for, approx $50 for one year. With the prices/costs of everything increasing, as aged pensioners we cannot afford this. Do you have an alternative suggestion?

You’ll find there is a free AVG 9, the link is just hidden away in the small print where it asks you to upgrade for $50.

The direct link to the AVG Free homepage is a and you can download it from there.

Keep in mind $50 for the full AVG protection suite and $35 for the anti virus is good value compared to some of the better known security patches so the full priced program is not a bad deal.

Norton Antivirus will not uninstall

October 8th, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in A/V, software No Comments »

I was using Norton Antivirus which expired few days back. Hence i uninstalled it. But it is still showing in my Add/Remove programs list and its not allowing any other antivirus to get installed.

Norton can be problematic to remove and it’s one of the reasons why we don’t endorse the product.

Symantec are aware Norton doesn’t always uninstall with ease or grace so they provide the Norton Removal Tool to eradicate all traces of the product.

Before running the removal make sure you have downloaded your new antivirus program and you’ve backed up important data. Also note the Norton Removal Tool will remove older Symantec products like Winfax and ACT! so if you are using those, take care.