Sunday, November 27, 2005

My computer is sick

... and it is making me crazy! I've spent the past four days, which should have been a happy span of free time, dealing with a computer problem. I upgraded my antivirus program to Norton 2006, and right away started having problems. I cannot get into any sites affiliated with Yahoo, or Norton/Symantic. I cannot do a system restore; I cannot uninstall Norton.

I was able to do a free virus scan on Microsoft's site yesterday and discovered I had 9 viruses with 26 infected files. I was able to get rid of all but one virus. Of course I have no idea what the name of the virus is or what else it may be doing.

My e-mail cannot be scanned and every time I try to open a file, it tries to launch a virus scan but then runs into a delay of at least 30 minutes before the computer tells me Norton does not support the repair program and must shut down.

Anyone have a little hammer? I don't know what is going to happen tomorrow when I have to start working again, because I work from home on this computer. ARG!!!

Most of the time I can handle such problems myself, but this bugger seems to have found every back door and unlocked window so I can't even break in to see who's playing in the house. If only I could blame Dennis the Menace!!

All advice welcome and appreciated!


FrenziedFeline said...

Good grief! Nine viruses?!!

Sounds like a call to Norton is in order since it all started when you upgraded.

Good luck--computer and car trouble--my top two annoyances!

TECH said...

Trixie, I think somewhere on Norton's site is a program to completely remove all traces of Norton. You might try that out. Could you do a System Restore and restore your system the way it was before you installed Norton?

Teditor said...

Foller TECH's directions, and you might also find SpySweeper, which'll help with the spyware that's already attached itself to your computer. It might also help rid you of those nasty viruses.

You can get a 30-day trial of SpySweeper, but I'd recommend buying it. It's better and less expensive than a lot of 'em that're out there. You might also check into adaware.

My sis downloaded SpySweeper, let it run its thing. It's thing was to find 40 or 50 items as spyware. Seriously slowed down her computer. It's not that slow any longer.

Try that, and if you've accidentally downloaded some browser software, like you might get through Yahoo! or other places if you just update your IM, then get rid of it off your browser. It, too, is basic spyware, and Yahoo! sneaks it into a traditional form you OK when you want to update anything.

Trixie said...

Thanks guys. Apparently this is a w32.sober.x virus, and Norton is overwhelmed by it. It showed up Nov. 19 which is about the time I updated my Norton.

Problems are: I cannot do a system restore. That's one of the things knocked out.

I cannot get into Norton's technical support either online or by phone because of the high demand. The page with the removal instructions always shows up "Cannot Find Server". The phone has one of these options:
"Sorry, your call could not be completed."
"Female voice saying Symantec support is available 24 hours a day."
"Male voice saying demand is high, try this web site (the one I can't get to come up.)"

Some things are moderately better today. Some things are not. I'll keep working at it, running minimal programs and limiting what I can until I can get things resolved.

See, right now I don't even know if the error messages I am getting are for real. This virus spoofs so many things that you could wind up removing things that should be left alone.

This is one of those times when I hate people who are smart enough to cause other people such large problems!

TECH said...

From Norton's site, I copied these instructions. I hope they help.

Removal using the W32.Sober@mm Removal Tool
Symantec Security Response has developed a removal tool to clean the infections of W32.Sober.X@mm. Use this removal tool first, as it is the easiest way to remove this threat.

Manual Removal:

The following instructions pertain to all current and recent Symantec antivirus products, including the Symantec AntiVirus and Norton AntiVirus product lines.

Disable System Restore (Windows Me/XP).
Reinstall the current version of LiveUpdate
Update the virus definitions.
Run a full system scan and delete all the files detected.
Delete any values added to the registry.

For specific details on each of these steps, read the following instructions.

1. To disable System Restore (Windows Me/XP)
If you are running Windows Me or Windows XP, we recommend that you temporarily turn off System Restore. Windows Me/XP uses this feature, which is enabled by default, to restore the files on your computer in case they become damaged. If a virus, worm, or Trojan infects a computer, System Restore may back up the virus, worm, or Trojan on the computer.

Windows prevents outside programs, including antivirus programs, from modifying System Restore. Therefore, antivirus programs or tools cannot remove threats in the System Restore folder. As a result, System Restore has the potential of restoring an infected file on your computer, even after you have cleaned the infected files from all the other locations.

Also, a virus scan may detect a threat in the System Restore folder even though you have removed the threat.

For instructions on how to turn off System Restore, read your Windows documentation, or one of the following articles:
How to disable or enable Windows Me System Restore
How to turn off or turn on Windows XP System Restore

Note: When you are completely finished with the removal procedure and are satisfied that the threat has been removed, reenable System Restore by following the instructions in the aforementioned documents.

For additional information, and an alternative to disabling Windows Me System Restore, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article: Antivirus Tools Cannot Clean Infected Files in the _Restore Folder (Article ID: Q263455).

2. To reinstall the current version of LiveUpdate
Click download LiveUpdate.

Note: If you are not reading this Web page on the computer that is getting the error notice, the address for downloading the file is:

If necessary, you can type this address into the address bar of the problem computer. Changes to the Hosts file will not stop you from getting to this site.

Save the file to the Windows desktop.
Double-click the lusetup.exe icon on the desktop to install LiveUpdate.
Run LiveUpdate.
Did you see the message "LU1860: LiveUpdate has detected a potential security compromise on your computer"?
If you did, let LiveUpdate "Remove these entries from the hosts files" (Recommended).
This should allow LiveUpdate to run.
If you did not, that was not the cause of the problem. Return to the Removal section.

3. To update the virus definitions
Symantec Security Response fully tests all the virus definitions for quality assurance before they are posted to our servers. There are two ways to obtain the most recent virus definitions:
Running LiveUpdate, which is the easiest way to obtain virus definitions: These virus definitions are posted to the LiveUpdate servers once each week (usually on Wednesdays), unless there is a major virus outbreak. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by LiveUpdate, refer to Virus Definitions (LiveUpdate).
Downloading the definitions using the Intelligent Updater: The Intelligent Updater virus definitions are posted daily. You should download the definitions from the Symantec Security Response Web site and manually install them. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by the Intelligent Updater, refer to Virus Definitions (Intelligent Updater).

The latest Intelligent Updater virus definitions can be obtained here: Intelligent Updater virus definitions. For detailed instructions read the document: How to update virus definition files using the Intelligent Updater.

4. To scan for and delete the infected files
Start your Symantec antivirus program and make sure that it is configured to scan all the files.
For Norton AntiVirus consumer products: Read the document: How to configure Norton AntiVirus to scan all files.
For Symantec AntiVirus Enterprise products: Read the document: How to verify that a Symantec Corporate antivirus product is set to scan all files.
Run a full system scan.
If any files are detected, click Delete.

Important: If you are unable to start your Symantec antivirus product or the product reports that it cannot delete a detected file, you may need to stop the risk from running in order to remove it. To do this, run the scan in Safe mode. For instructions, read the document, How to start the computer in Safe Mode. Once you have restarted in Safe mode, run the scan again.

After the files are deleted, restart the computer in Normal mode and proceed with the next section.

Warning messages may be displayed when the computer is restarted, since the threat may not be fully removed at this point. You can ignore these messages and click OK. These messages will not appear when the computer is restarted after the removal instructions have been fully completed. The messages displayed may be similar to the following:

Title: [FILE PATH]
Message body: Windows cannot find [FILE NAME]. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again. To search for a file, click the Start button, and then click Search.

5. To delete the value from the registry
Important: Symantec strongly recommends that you back up the registry before making any changes to it. Incorrect changes to the registry can result in permanent data loss or corrupted files. Modify the specified subkeys only. For instructions refer to the document: How to make a backup of the Windows registry.

Click Start > Run.
Type regedit
Click OK.

Note: If the registry editor fails to open the threat may have modified the registry to prevent access to the registry editor. Security Response has developed a tool to resolve this problem. Download and run this tool, and then continue with the removal.

Navigate to the subkey:


In the right pane, delete the value:

" Windows" = "%Windir%\WinSecurity\services.exe"

Navigate to the subkey:


In the right pane, delete the value:

"_Windows" = "%Windir%\WinSecurity\services.exe"

Navigate to the subkey:


In the right pane, delete the value:

"command" = ""%1" %*"

Exit the Registry Editor.

Revision History:

November 22, 2005: Increased threat level to 3.

TECH said...

Here's the link to the removal tool.

The virus might be keeping you from downloading it. Let me know and I will download it on my home computer and email it to you. Or put it on a disk and mail it to you. Good luck.

TECH said...

Rats, it cut off the link. I'm trying again.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if you've resolved this or not, but if your having issues getting out to certain websites, its most likely a virus who has 'edited' your hosts file. Do a search for "hosts" on your computer. On an XP/2000 system it should be in the WinNT/System32 folder. (I think)

Open the file in notepad. It might look pretty 'blank' but look at the scroll bar on the right hand side, if you can scroll on it, its likely something has made an entry or entries. The only thing outside of some words at the top should be an entry saying local host. Most anything below that will be entries made by your virus type stuff. (usually not always)

This should restore your ability to get out to get updates for Norton. Hope that helps or that its already fixed!