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changing default search engine

Discussion in 'Earlier Versions of Windows' started by douggibb, Jan 25, 2002.

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  1. douggibb

    douggibb Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
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    My default search engine has been changed to one of those annoying advert things. How can I change it back?
     
  2. Gnosisless

    Gnosisless

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    Dec 17, 2001
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    482
    First, download and run AdAware from

    http://www.lavasoft.de

    That search engine was put into your registry somehow, and there could be a program on your PC that will just put it back. AdAware should find and eliminate it for you.

    Then, run a current virus scan.

    Then, visit winguides.com and and perform this registry tweak (I'm assuming you use Internet Explorer):


    http://www.winguides.com/registry/display.php/957/
     
  3. douggibb

    douggibb Thread Starter

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    Oct 4, 2001
    Messages:
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    my internet explorer search page has been changed to an annoying advert thing. How do I change it back ?
     
  4. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    Dec 9, 2000
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    45,855
    Doug, please post just one thread per topic; I've merged the two to avoid duplication and confusion.

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q171853

    http://www.winguides.com/registry/display.php/957/

    If modifying the value under that key doesn't hold up, then you likely have some "malware" installation which is enforcing the change.

    In that case we need to look at what is loading and running at startup.

    Go to the Reticulated Toys site, download Startuplog.zip, unzip and run Startuplog.com

    Copy and paste the full contents of the Startuplog.txt file (not stubbpaths.txt) in your next reply.

    http://home.earthlink.net/~rmbox/Reticulated/Toys.html
     
  5. TonyKlein

    TonyKlein Malware Specialist

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2001
    Messages:
    10,392
    You should start by checking whether there's anything at startup that's causing this, or it will come back whatever you do:

    Close Internet Explorer and Outlook Express.
    Go to Control Panel/Internet Options, and clear your temporary Internet files.
    Now click on Settings/show files, and delete your cookies.
    Or, if you're running IE 6.0, delete your cookies on the Privacy tab.
    Empty your Recycle Bin, and delete everyting in your C:\Windows\Temp folder.

    Now go to Start/run, and type Msconfig. On the Startup tab, look to see if you can find one or more of the following entries:
    SWPortal, SWCaller, Sp.dll, winn32.html, runme.hta, reg.hta, adshow.exe , OPQfile, and/or MSKernel32 (Win32.hta).
    If you should find one or more of these, uncheck them.
    Also anything that has 'regedit.exe/s' in its path.

    Ad-Aware actually doesn't check for most of these.

    Now click OK, close Msconfig, and reboot.

    If your undesired site is 'GoHip', you need to download and run GoHip Remove.exe

    Also have your computer scanned on line at Trend Micro HouseCall.
    THere are malicious scripts like JS.Exception.Exploit which can do that as well.


    After you've done all that, open Internet Explorer, and go to your favorite Start Page.
    Go to Internet Options, General tab, and click 'Use current'.

    If that doesn't stick take a look in your registry whether the value Homepage described in the Winguides article Gonosisless provided is actually there.

    If it is, you'll need to remove that first, before being able to set your own homepage again.
     
  6. Gnosisless

    Gnosisless

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    Dec 17, 2001
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    Thanks for merging the two articles, Rog; I didn't see the other one. Tony, I understood Doug to mean his search engine, not his start page, but I'm betting you're right about that being the problem.

    It's surprising AdAware doesn't scan for this kind of program; thanks for the tip.
     
  7. TonyKlein

    TonyKlein Malware Specialist

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2001
    Messages:
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    Gnosisless,

    I misread myself: he did say 'search engine'.

    However, there might be something in startup either way, so it can't hurt to check that out.

    Cheers,
     
  8. rds33

    rds33

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Messages:
    110
    Below are two command procedures, one to set Google as your default search engine, the other to reset to your MS default.


    Set default to Google

    REGEDIT4

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main]
    "Search Page"="http://www.google.com"
    "Search Bar"="http://www.google.com/ie"

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchURL]
    ""="http://www.google.com/keyword/%s"

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search]
    "SearchAssistant"="http://www.google.com/ie"

    Reset search engine to MS default

    REGEDIT4

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main]
    "Search Page"="http://home.microsoft.com/access/allinone.asp"
    "Search Bar"="http://home.microsoft.com/search/lobby/search.asp"

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchURL]
    ""="http://home.microsoft.com/access/autosearch.asp?p=%s"

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search]
    "SearchAssistant"="http://ie.search.msn.com/{SUB_RFC1766}/srchasst/srchasst.htm"

    Copy these procedures to a text file then change the file extension to .reg Then just click on the file. Windows will ask you if you're sure you want to do this. If you're comfortable modifying your registry, answer "Yes". If you're not comfortable modifying the registry, don't run these procedures.

    -rds33
     
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