McAfee security center keeps asking to renew

September 16th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in Spyware, Virus, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

Hi, I have McAfee Security installed on my computer and it is now asking me to buy a new version. Should I do this?

We’re not great fans of the McAfee computer security and anti virus products and for most Windows users there’s plenty of free options. We recommend you don’t upgrade and instead replace it with one of the free online security problems.

First, you’ll need to download the McAfee Removal tool and the free antivirus you want to replace it with. Generally Microsoft Security Essentials is the easiest of the options. We look at them at our Which Free Antivirus is Best post.

Then, once you’ve downloaded the removal tool and the replacement anti virus, disconnect from the Internet and uninstall the McAfee products by going to Add/Remove Programs and uninstalling all the listed McAfee products.

Once you’ve uninstalled the programs (you may have to reboot a few times), run the McAfee Removal Tool you downloaded earlier.

Having run the removal tool, and possibly been asked to reboot again, you can then install the new antivirus by running the program you downloaded earlier.

Reconnect to the Internet and let the anti virus progam update and scan your computer before surfing the net and downloading email.

Without McAfee on your system, you should find it running far quicker and more reliably.

Strange error message when I open an Internet site

December 17th, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple, Internet, Internet Explorer, Spyware, Windows 7, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

Everytime I open an internet site I get a box with the following dialogue:

Line 11
Char 56
Error Object does not support this properly or method
Code  0
URL   http/
sourceid = navclient&ie=UTF


I use a Toshiba Satellite laptop and have Windows 7.

The problem is in the start page of your web browser. For some reason it’s trying to open a Google search page, although the part of the link that reads navclient indicates it may have something to do with Norton Antivirus.
Changing the browser start page is relatively easy, here’s the instructions for changing the three most popular browsers;
Internet Explorer
In Microsoft IE, open the browser, click the Tools menu, choose Internet Options and under the General tab you’ll find a box named Home Page. Delete anything in that box, click OK and Apply.
Mozilla Firefox
For Firefox, click the Tools menu, select Options and in the General section click the Restore to Default button. Click OK and Apply.
Google Chrome
Unlike the other two browsers, Chrome doesn’t have a menu bar so click the wrench (spanner) icon in the top right hand corner. Select Options and in the Basics tab click the Open the home page radio button in the On Startup section. Click Close.
That should clear the problem however it could be a Norton Anti Virus setting is causing this, if you are no longer using the program we’d recommend removing Norton as we discuss in Norton Antivirus will not uninstall.
Page hijacking, which is what this problem is sometimes called, is also a common problem when you have a malware, or virus, infection. We’d also recommend checking your computer for Trojans.

Removing Smart Engine

November 2nd, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple, Internet, Spyware, Virus, Windows 7, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

An anti-virus program called Smart Engine has been installed on my pc

I have sent 3 e-mails to them find how to remove it – the 3rd answer gave a link to an uninstall file however Windows Defender says the file is infectected with the Win32/FileVimes trojan & will not allow me to download the full file – smart Engine advised me to turn off Windows Defender to allow the uninstall file to be installed – this does not sound like a good idea to me

Can you please give me any advise on how to remove this program?

It’s not worth calling Smart Engine an anti-virus. It’s actually a scam that claims you’re infected with all manner of viruses and asks you to pay them to remove the non-existent malware. If anything, it’s more likely to be adding viruses than removing them.

The best way to deal with this program is to download Malware Bytes and follow the instructions in our Removing a Trojan post. This will clean it off.

Before doing it, it’s worthwhile backing up important data just in case something serious goes wrong.

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.

Computer reboots while on the net

January 27th, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in Hardware, Internet, Spyware No Comments »

When I am on the internet, there will be times that my computer completely goes off and back to the screen where you click your name to log in. This happens at random times and with no specific website. I have run a virus program. No virus issues. This started about a month ago and is progressively getting worse. I am working on a Compaq Presario pc in windows xp home edition. Never had this problem in the past.

If this is only happening while you are on the net then malware is the most likely culprit regardless of what your virus program says so you should follow our Removing a Trojan instructions to make sure you don’t have an infection.

Should you be clear of any infection, it’s likely your computer is overheating and causing it to reboot. You may need to call a technician to clean out dust out of the system and check all the internal fans are working.

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.

Norton 360 may be infected

June 8th, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in A/V, security, Spyware, Virus, Windows XP 1 Comment »

I have Norton 360 V.3 on my PC running on Windows XP.

For the last month the Norton 360 Live Updates have not been working. I’ve contacted the Norton people and had them manually updated but this hasn’t fixed the problem as the automatic update still doesn’t work.  They uninstalled and reinstalled the programme twice but this made no difference.

They’ve now told me that I have a ctfmon.exe virus which will have to be fixed by Microsoft.  How can I have a virus when I have Norton 360 running all the time and how do I have it fixed?

First the ctfmon.exe file may not be a virus. This is a normal Microsoft Office file, so you shouldn’t assume you have an infection.

The first thing is to check you don’t have a virus and you should do this by following the instructions in our removing a Trojan page.

Once you’re happy you’ve cleared any possible virus infection, you’ll need to clean up your computer.

The next step is to update your Windows Scripting Host as Norton 360 relies on this to work properly.

With your computer now cleaned and up to date, download the latest Norton 360 update and install this.

After rebooting, check Norton 360 is updating. If not, follow the Troubleshooting Live Update instructions on the Symantec website.

SVCHOST errors slow down computers

May 8th, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in Spyware No Comments »

Recenty my computer is behaving very oddly.. i am gettieng lot of error messages while browsing on inetrnet.
the most important and annoying message that i am getting is– “ 
Svchost.exe error” and asks me to debug after which the whole system hangs up.

Plz tel me why i am getting this kind of error message and plz help me in fixing this problem.

Comp specification- compaq presario d290mt., 512mbram,winxp,2.66ghz,p4. I am using ca antivirus on my system.

SVCHOST errors are a fairly generic warning. They really could mean anything as we’ve explained in a previous post

In your case this sounds like a serious malware  infection and it really would be a good idea to check your system for viruses or Trojan horses.

How to fix hijacked browsers

February 1st, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in security, Spyware, Virus 2 Comments »

Both it appears Google searches are being hijacked whether  using Internet Explorer or Mozilla.  This  has started in the last 2 weeks. We have AVG   free  installed and  current. Can you  suggest some free downloads to fix the  problem? Tks

First, be careful you didn’t fall victim to the recent Google mistake. If Google’s your homepage any site you went to it from there may have been caught with the malware warning.

If it appears you have been hijacked, then we have a comprehensive run down on fixing these problems on our Removing a Trojan page. If you follow those instructions it should clear the problem.

Remove Antivirus 360

December 23rd, 2008 Paul Wallbank Posted in Spyware, Uncategorized 1 Comment »

I recently had Antivirus360 on my computer somehow. I had it removed, but everytime I try to access a website it says it is blocked and I get this message on a blank page: https error. I have nothing in my restricted/ blocked zone. I have no idea how to fix this. I appreciate any help

Antivirus 360 is one of these irritating rip off programs that worms its way onto a computer then nags you to buy it so you can remove, usually false, malware infections.

The really frustrating part with these programs is you almost certainly have an underlying malware infection that has come in with this program.

The problem sounds like the thing hasn’t been fully removed so it would be best to follow our instructions in our Removing a Trojan post.

One common way these programs get on your system is through Internet Explorer bugs. We’d also suggest using an alternative browser to reduce your chances of accidentally downloading the thing.