Computer Help

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about: blank removal?

by jco / December 1, 2004 9:00 AM PST

Dell Dimension 8200, 512 RAM, WinXP SP2, Intel Pentium 4,and I've probably forgotten something.

I have NAV 2003 with all updates (automatically installed); Spybot S&D, with all updates; I run these programs, plus clean and defrag the hard drive once per week.

For about two weeks now, when I "X-out" of Microsoft Picture It 2002, I get an MS warning window regarding "about:blank", which I understand is a real dirty hijacker. The window gives me the options to Run, Save to Disk, or Cancel.

Never will I choose Run; when I choose Cancel, the window just pops up again, and I can't exit Picture It, except by Ctrl-Shift-Esc, and ending it via the Task Manager.

I have tried the Save to Disk option, thinking I could get rid of it this way, but then I get a message saying IE can't download the file.

I've been web-reading all day, and all I come up with are "about:blank" problems related to IE browser, and $30 programs to wax it out. I haven't read anything about anyone having this mess keep them from exiting Picture It.

Is there some way to get rid of the thing, without spending $30.00? Thanks for any help, and thanks for this forum.

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Re: about: blank removal?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 1, 2004 9:25 AM PST
In reply to: about: blank removal?
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Re: about: blank removal?
by jco / December 2, 2004 1:58 AM PST

Thank-you, Grif, for the link. I'm going to go there right now, and check it out.

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(NT) (NT) Jco, Let Us Know How It Goes
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 2, 2004 2:11 AM PST
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Re: (NT) Jco, Let Us Know How It Goes
by jco / December 3, 2004 12:53 AM PST

Hi again, Grif. I'm not sure I can tell you positively how well it went. The weird "about:blank" window didn't always pop up when I closed out of Picture It, but sometimes it did. So far, since your advice, I have NOT, halleluja, seen its ugly face, and hope to not see it again. I'll watch it for a few days, and post again to let you know the status. Thanks so much again for the help!

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(NT) (NT) Jco, Good Job & Thanks For Posting Back
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 3, 2004 7:14 AM PST
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Re: about: blank removal?
by jco / December 6, 2004 1:25 AM PST
In reply to: about: blank removal?

Hi again, Grif. Unfortunately, "about:blank" did show up again this morning. This time I jotted more info:

Upon closing out of Picture It, the window I get is "File Download Security Warning."
Name: blank
Type: HTML Document, 30 bytes
From: about: blank
Options are to "Open," "Save," and "Cancel."

If I click Save, IE gives me an error message that says "Internet Explorer cannot download blank. Internet Explorer was not able to open this Internet site. The requested site is either unavailable or cannot be found. Please try again later." (And I'm not even on the internet at the time.)

If I click Cancel, I get another security warning:

Name: navcancl_htm
Type: HTML Document, 2.04 KB
From: C:\WINDOWS\System 32\shdolc.dll

If I click "save" on that, I get another error message that says "Internet Explorer cannot download navcancl_htm," etc.

This pleasant little cycle will go 'round and 'round, and I can close Picture It only with the task manager. Thanks again so much for the help, and if the extra news I've relayed brings up any more ideas, I'll be glad to hear them, and let you know the outcome.

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about: blank. How to install it.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 6, 2004 1:31 AM PST

It's rather simple and worth noting. Use of Internet Explorer on a malicious web site can install this pest.

Some get tired of this and start using a non-Internet Explorer based browser.

Bob

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Jco, At This Point...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 6, 2004 3:58 AM PST

I would download and run the HijackThis program and post the log it creates to one of the forums listed in the link below. (The link also provides download locations for the "HijackThis" program.)

How to use HijackThis and where to post the log.

Hope this helps.

Grif

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Re: about: blank removal?
by billwiese89 / December 6, 2004 1:50 AM PST
In reply to: about: blank removal?

I suggest that when it pops up the next time you should restart windows and uninstall the program before going on it again, once uninstalled you should redownload, pop in the disk, or do what ever you did to get it, and reinstall the program. If you continue to recieve "about:blank" pop-ups you should either choose a different but similar program, or run a complete viris scan.

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Re: about: blank removal?
by jco / December 8, 2004 5:33 AM PST

Sorry it took me so long to post back. Been kinda busy lately. Thanks to all -- Grif, R. Proffitt and billwiese89. I do appreciate all the info, and I've learned so much from the forums. Still a novice, but not as novice as I was before. One more thing I forgot to add to my last post: So far, if I get out of Picture It by using "Close" and then "Exit," the about:blank ugly doesn't pop up. I have twice uninstalled Picture It, and reinstalled it, but within a day or less, the ugly is back. I'll follow the advice, and, again, will let you know what happens. Thanks again so much!

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Re: about: blank removal?
by jco / December 8, 2004 11:30 PM PST

Hello to all again, and I may have good news. While researching the web regarding "about:blank," I found a site called FAQ Farm, with a URL of http://www.faqfarm.com/Computer/Virus/19285. There were a lot of suggestions, including this one:

"The hidden culprit (using Windows XP Pro) that keeps reinfecting the machine is the registry key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows\AppInit_DLLs
You need to remove it. Some folks say to change the registry key value to random characters using the free reglite utility (which may work as well) but I removed the key. The value of the key is hidden and causes Windows to load the trojan DLL every time any application is run.
The way to remove the registry key is not obvious. If you just delete it from regedit, the trojan DLL will undo your handy work. Here's what worked for me:
1. Rename the HLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows folder to Windows2.
2. delete the AppInit_DLLs key under the Windows2 folder.
3. Rename the Windows2 folder back to Windows.
Now that AppInit_DLLs is gone, run your favorite spyware/adware utilities such as Adaware 6, CWShredder, and Hijack This. I also run Norton Utilities, which helps if you don't trust your instincts for repairing registry files. Remember, I'm not a geek and just want to use computers & software rather than reinvent them from the ground up.
Reboot and computer should be free at last."

I had been trying all kinds of things when I posted here, and my computer didn't show any of the signs and symptoms that had appeared on other computers, related to "about:blank." But this one was a direct hit. (Oh, and I have XP Home SP2) I followed the instructions and it worked. Considering the tenacity of "about:blank," tho, I'm afraid it might pop up again. I'll let you know how it goes in a few days.

Oh, and SpywareBlaster now has an option to disable the "change your homepage" feature in IE. Hopefully that will stop a lot of hijacks.

Thanks again so much for everything!!

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(NT) (NT) Jco, Thanks For Posting Back With Your 'Fix'
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 9, 2004 12:24 AM PST
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Re: about: blank removal?
by jco / December 13, 2004 3:24 AM PST
In reply to: about: blank removal?

Hello to all again. Well -- the "about:blank" messages started popping up again, and I stumbled upon the Major Geeks Forum, which has a long list of freeware programs to use. They also recommend "Hijack This," and the only reason I haven't tried it yet is because I'm intimidated. Gotta' figure things out a bit more, so I don't post the log incorrectly. As of right now, all signs show that "about:blank" is no longer about. But... Thanks so much again, and I'll keep in touch. Just thinking: maybe my case is different because about:blank never did hijack my homepage; it just pops up sometimes when I'm trying to close Picture It. Haven't heard of anyone else with the same situation.

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Re: about: blank removal?
by roddy32 / December 13, 2004 3:42 AM PST
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about:blank removal
by jco / December 14, 2004 6:20 AM PST

Thanks for the info, Roddy. I just knew I should be intimidated for some reason(s).

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Jco, Maybe It's Not A Hijacker At All...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 13, 2004 5:35 AM PST

Many times when a webpage starts to load, but finds nothing, the user will see an "about:blank" page immediately before something else appears. In addition, many websites are able to load small "about:blank" hook which allows their pages to load quicker. After doing all of the "fixes" so far, you've found basically nothing as to hijackers or spyware..

I'll make a guess that the problem lies in the "PictureIt" program and some unknown attempt to access the internet when closing.

I'd still recommend running HijackThis and posting the log at one of the appropriate forums for deciphering. At least, it would be good to know EXACTLY if there is a problem.

Hope this helps.

Grif

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about:blank removal
by jco / December 14, 2004 6:29 AM PST

Thanks for the response, Grif. I'm glad for the new info on about:blank. There's so much about computers I don't have a clue on, and then there's spyware, adware, hijackware, viruses, worms, etc. The amazing thing to me is that I can muddle thru. And I do get so much info from the forums. They're great. Thanks again.

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