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Solved: Ad Options & Better Surf won't go away


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WhizMomof4's Avatar
WhizMomof4 WhizMomof4 is offline
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04-Dec-2013, 12:14 PM #16
using safe mode to communicate
Hi, Mark1956
Last night my computer froze when I started it up to go online and then wouldn't shut down, so I unplugged it and let the battery die overnight. This morning, I am not able to open windows normally and use the taskbar icons. When I start task manager it takes a long time for the window to appear on my desktop and it doesn't function normally. Logging off stalls because the Task Scheduler Engine Process (TaskEng) and Task Host are still running so I forced them to close.
Yesterday I deleted the GeekBuddy which came with the Comodo Firewall through control panel. Today I noticed that I had Comodo Dragon as well as Comodo Firewall, so I deleted Comodo Dragon through the control panel, thinking maybe it is an antivirus and causing a conflict with my AVG. Nothing seems to be helping.
Do you have any ideas for me to fix what has happened?
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WhizMomof4 WhizMomof4 is offline
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04-Dec-2013, 02:40 PM #17
boot up is slow without safemode. shut down stalls due to TaskEng and Task Host Window.
Computer shuts down normally in safemode but I can't use the control panel to delete Comodo Firewall, either with or without networking. I'm going to try safemode with a command prompt to see if I can find an uninstall executable in Comodo Firewall to take it off like that.
Also, when I start up normally, the taskbar now still looks like it is in safemode, but none of the icons work and the start button icon don't work either. For example I set my stopwatch and tried to open control panel and after 7 minutes it still hadn't listed all the programs.
I have no audio (which isn't critical, but it is a new development this morning.
Also the Comodo Firewall which I'm trying to delete had a little tray that stayed on my desktop til yesterday afternoon, but it is gone this morning.
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WhizMomof4 WhizMomof4 is offline
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04-Dec-2013, 02:48 PM #18
I guess the other thing I don't think I mentioned is that I'm going to try going into safemode with a command prompt. It has been a while since I've used dos commands so all I'm going to do is see if I can find an uninstall exe file in the comodo firewall folder to try to get rid of it. I won't do anything other than look around, Mark and let you know if I find what I'm looking for.
I look forward to hearing back from you.
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WhizMomof4 WhizMomof4 is offline
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04-Dec-2013, 05:32 PM #19
I couldn't remember how to do anything in Dos.
I did a recovery from the system restore point I made on Dec 1st after you instructed me to. But still the task bar icons don't work. I do have the comodo dragon back in my list of programs, however the control panel only works in safe mode and it tells me that it can't uninstall programs in safe mode.
Please tell me what to do.
Mark1956's Avatar
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05-Dec-2013, 05:13 AM #20
Something has got very messed up on your system which looks like it might be related to Comodo, but I've not come across it causing this kind of issue before and have recommended it to many people.

As system restore has not corrected the problem the best thing I can suggest is a Repair Install, instructions below. Make sure you have all your important data backed up to an external drive or CD/DVD's before you start. I would suggest you use a fully functional PC to create the DVD.

Please go here: Windows 7 ISO downloads and download the version of Windows 7 that matches what you have on your PC.

If you have downloaded the ISO on a Windows 7 PC right click the ISO file, select Open With, then select Windows Disc Image Burning Tool then follow the prompts.

For PC's using other versions of Windows you must burn the ISO image to a DVD using an ISO image burner, copying the ISO to a DVD will not work, if you do not have an ISO burner download this free software and follow the instructions below to burn the disc.ImgBurn When you install ImgBurn make sure you uncheck any boxes offering bundled software.

Install the program and start the application. Select the top left hand option to burn image file to disk and then on the next window click on the small yellow folder icon and browse to the ISO file you wish to burn. Then click on the two grey discs with the arrow in between (bottom left) and leave it to complete the operation.

Once done, please go here Windows 7 Repair Install and follow the instructions.

When complete, test the system to see if the original problems have been resolved.
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WhizMomof4 WhizMomof4 is offline
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06-Dec-2013, 02:35 AM #21
Thank you so much, Mark for those instructions. It will take me a few days to do it. My only question is that I'm going to have to burn the DVD using a mac. Are there any other instructions that I'll need? If not, I'll come back here when I'm done and let you know how I did.
Thanks again.
Whiz Mom is feeling Whizzy again now that I have instructions.
Mark1956's Avatar
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06-Dec-2013, 02:54 AM #22
I know very little about Mac PC's but burning an ISO to a DVD should be a very similar process.
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06-Dec-2013, 09:27 PM #23
I downloaded the ISO to a disc using the MAC then wentback to instructions on the Repair Instal -- Windows 7 Help Forums that said:
A) If you have not already, you will need to install a program like 7-Zip that supports extracting a ISO to a folder.
B) Using the program (ex: 7-Zip) from step 1, extract the Windows 7 SP1 ISO file to a folder on a partition or HDD other than the current Windows 7 partition. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: For example with 7-Zip, right click on ISO, click on 7-Zip, Extract files, browse button, select where you want to extract to, and click on OK twice.

So my question is this: Is my external hard drive (where I store my restoration point, and where I have all my backed up documents stored a "partition"? Or is the DVD I burned the files onto the "Partition"?
And if it is, do I need the 7-zip program? The problem is, I can't install it in safe mode because it is in safemode, and my computer hangs when trying to open it up in normal mode.
I'll try a few more times and get back to you. It is slow because when booting up in normal mode it takes over 5 minutes, and it is worse shutting down. I usually just force it to shut down from normal.
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WhizMomof4 WhizMomof4 is offline
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07-Dec-2013, 02:30 AM #24
I have removed AVG Free 2014 to make sure it is not blocking the iso disc. I have shut off all protection from spyware blaster to make sure it is not the problem stopping the setup.exe file from the repair disc to run. I have done what I could to disable the comodo firewall but it has put a bunch of its files into lists of protected files and I don't know how to get them out.
That may have been the problem when I did the partial uninstall.
Normal mode is painfully slow but if I walk away from it for 10 minutes or 2 hours, it does what I tell it to. Can you tell me how to remove comodo safely or should I try asking the chat person or their tech support? I may not have to do the repair if I can get comodo off.
Problem is also that I can't get the setup.exe file to run. an error message pops up and then there are 8 more small windows that pop up, one after the other, saying System Error. Code: 5. Access is denied. with the windows defender logo (the blue and yellow shield in the top left hand corner.)
But when I go to turn defender off, it looks like it already is. It used to say that firewall was being managed by AVG, but now that I've taken AVG off, Defender is still unresponsive.
I think that if I could get Comodo deleted then I might be able to turn spywareblaster on and reinstall AVG free 2014 and my computer might work. The buttons on the taskbar are working now and I can go online if I wait long enough --- 5-7 minutes.
Could you please confirm my next steps for me to do over the weekend?
Thanks Mark.
Mark1956's Avatar
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07-Dec-2013, 05:20 AM #25
You've followed instructions to use the ISO by extracting it. You need to follow the instructions to use the DVD you have burned from instruction 5.
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WhizMomof4 WhizMomof4 is offline
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08-Dec-2013, 10:00 PM #26
Hi, Mark
I've been away from the computer for a couple of days. It gave me some perspective and time to think. When I uninstalled AVG in normal boot up, comodo began to show up again so I decided that I would try to use their tech support to get help uninstalling it, tonight or tomorrow.
However, when I looked tonight to open the program, I saw the install/uninstall option in the menu in the start button (which wasn't there before).
So I have just successfully uninstalled Comodo Firewall, turned on all protection in SpywareBlaster, and downloaded another copy of trial version of AVG 2014 which I will activate when it expires in 22 days.
It doesn't look like I will need the DVD that I burned after all, but I will use my computer for a couple of days and get back to you to confirm that.
I always thought it would be neat to be as knowlegeable as you and your compatriots are about computers, but I am grateful that I can follow all the instructions you gave me, mostly pretty much on my own. I try to tell people what I've had to do and I can just see their eyes glazing over as a start to speak.
Working with you on this has beven my confidence another shot in the arm and I'm grateful.
I'll talk to you in a couple of days.
Mark1956's Avatar
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09-Dec-2013, 07:11 AM #27
Ok, sounds like you are getting there and you're most welcome, that's what we are here for.
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WhizMomof4 WhizMomof4 is offline
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10-Dec-2013, 11:47 AM #28
Okay, so here's what I can't figure out
I am running the newest version of firefox but since I went into safe mode the first time, it has not behaved the way it used to. For example, in gmail, the screen is completely white (as is the techguy site) where there used to be colours. But in gmail I have outlines of boxes for the buttons to do things, but no labels. They are just a shape outlined in black on the screen. for most of them, the function of the box will appear when I hover with my cursor over the box, but the select feature no longer works (so I can't check emails and delete a bunch of them at one time.
Also on my desk top, the taskbar at the bottom no longer looks like it used to. It looks now like the old windows style of 15 years ago or more. But I've only had this computer for 4-5 years.
I no longer have google docs (which had some files stored on it and which I used occasionally) or google calendar (which is okay because I didn't really use it).
Can you help me with that? It is like I'm using old versions of these things but the computer tells me I'm uptodate.
I look forward to your reply.
Perhaps I'll need to do a repair after all?
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WhizMomof4 WhizMomof4 is offline
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10-Dec-2013, 09:43 PM #29
I've found something else that doesn't work anymore. I have tried several times to create a new restoration point because I don't want to use one from before when I had the adware or comodo installed.
I'm pretty sure that I have always saved these to my external drive, but now, I get an error message which says, "This drive cannot be used to store a system image because it is not formatted with NTFS."
Help!
Mark1956's Avatar
Malware Removal Specialist with 14,043 posts.
 
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11-Dec-2013, 05:21 AM #30
I would try running the Repair Install first and then let me know how things are.

It sounds like you may have a partition problem on your external drive, try using the Easeus partition recovery from here: http://www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm
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