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Antivirus won't update...

by jonBUCK / July 20, 2008 10:19 AM PDT

Unfortunately, my pc was recently infected and it is bad. After going through a few antivirus/spyware/malware programs, things have improved slightly, but there are still problems. I am currently running Norton and Super Antispyware and I can't update either. I have a connection, but everytime I hit update, the error messages say no connection found. I've deleted AVG and Trend's, they did the same. As does AdMuncher. Before the infection, this was not a problem, all updates were automatic.

Also, there are certain sites that I am completely blocked from, including any site that involves an antivirus.

Lastly, when I do a web search and click on one of the links given, I am redirected to other sites that are usually trying to get me to dl software or buy something. It's like my computer has been hijacked and I'm taking to what ever site the virus wants me to go.

I'm running Windows XP. Any help would truly be appreciated?

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Time to format
by Jimmy Greystone / July 20, 2008 10:37 AM PDT

It's time to format I would say. You may or may not be able to dig yourself out of this particular hole if you kept at it long enough, but the quick and easy solution here is just to format and start over.

Hopefully you have some backups from before you got hit with whatever hit you, because if you back up anything now, there's no real way to tell whether or not you'll just end up reinfecting your system when you go to restore them. Among other lessons, let this be a lesson on the importance of regular backups.

Be sure to go to some other system and burn a CD with any updated drivers, an AV program installer, the offline installer for SP3, and a firewall program if you don't want to use XP's.

Now, disconnect your system from the Internet, and do not reconnect it again until you have formatted, installed SP3, and have an anti-virus and firewall up and running. That's why you put all that stuff onto a CD earlier.

Then you can set about IMMEDIATELY downloading the latest security updates from Windows Update. Do NOTHING else until that is finished.

After you've done all that, you can start loading on your usual assortment of programs. I'm also going to include my list of things to do and not do in order to avoid problems like this in the future.


The more of these suggestions you follow, the fewer problems you should have. Follow them all, and you've probably eliminated at least 95% of all potential problem sources.

Things you should NOT do
1: Use Internet Explorer
2: Use any browser based on Internet Explorer
3: Use Outlook or Outlook Express
4: Open email attachments you haven't manually scanned with your virus scanner
5: Open email attachments you were not expecting, no matter who they appear to be from
6: Respond to spam messages, including using unsubscribe links
7: Visit questionable websites (e.g. porn, warez, hacking)
8: Poke unnecessary holes in your firewall by clicking "Allow" every time some program requests access to the Internet
9: Click directly on links in email messages
10: Use file sharing or P2P programs
11: Use pirated programs

Things you SHOULD do
1: Use a non-IE or IE based browser
2: Always have an up to date virus scanner running
3: Always have a firewall running
4: Install all the latest security updates (the exception to the no-IE rule)
5: Delete all unsolicited emails containing attachments without reading
6: Manually scan all email attachments with your virus scanner, regardless of whether it's supposed to be done automatically
7: Copy and paste URLs from email messages into your web browser
8: Inspect links copied and pasted into your web browser to ensure they don't seem to contain a second/different address

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That's easy?
by jonBUCK / July 20, 2008 11:39 AM PDT
In reply to: Time to format

Thank you for your help. You are sooo right about making backups, which I didn't do. As for everything else, I feel very "new". Formatting is likely the best thing I could do right now, but I'm not sure where to start. For instance, I'm assuming everything needs to be cleared out, but how? And what about my music and videos? (very important) Could I keep them? Please, if you can, point me in the right direction of a thread or website that would help me.

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by Jimmy Greystone / July 20, 2008 12:38 PM PDT
In reply to: That's easy?

Well, formatting gets rid of everything, so you don't need to worry about that. If there's anything you want to save, you'd best be putting it onto CDs, DVDs, flash drives, or whatever else you can. This is why you have backups of anything important.

If you need a step by step guide, then google is your friend. There are probably countless websites out there that offer various levels of hand-holding. I don't really do that anymore, so I'll once again say that google is your friend.

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by jonBUCK / July 20, 2008 10:23 PM PDT
In reply to: Well...

Hand holding is never necessary, just simple directions. Anyhow, I've already found what I needed. Thank you for the head start.

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Before doing a format and re-install ...
by Edward ODaniel / July 21, 2008 1:51 AM PDT

search for your HOSTS file and rename it with any extension (such as HOSTS.old or even rename the file OLDHOSTS) as it is quite likely that this is all that is preventing your accessing the sites assuming you can access other sites on the web. The HOSTS file can be located in the following location windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts assuming that your Windows directory is named Windows and not Winnt or something similar.

Another possible location of your connection problem would be your Firewall (which you didn't mention having or not having) - check it to see that it is not set to deny the apps making connections for updates.

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I tried it
by jonBUCK / July 22, 2008 12:05 AM PDT

Thank you, but changing the host name didn't work. I'm using Norton's AV's firewall. It won't turn off, but it's probably not blocking itself. Windows firewall is turned off.

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jonBuck - Were you able to fix your problem?
by sweetmelissa77 / December 17, 2008 2:44 PM PST

I don't know if you (or anyone else) is still reading this thread, but if so, please let me know if you fixed your problem and how. I too am on Windows XP and for at least two weeks now, have had the EXACT same issues that you listed from the anti-virus software not updating to the link redirecting to the wrong sites, mostly ones trying to get me to buy their anti-virus/spyware software. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Please Try This..
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 18, 2008 2:05 AM PST

It would be nice if you told us exactly which antivirus software you're having problems with..

In the meantime, follow the instructions below:

Please use a friend or family member's "clean" computer and download the Malwarebytes tool and it's manual update from the link below.. Once downloaded, rename the program installer "mbam-setup.exe" file to something else like "Gogetum.exe", then copy the installer file and the update file to a CD or flash drive.. Transfer the file to the problem machine, then install the "Gogetum.exe" file, then run the update to get the program current.. After that, run a full system scan and delete anything it finds.

Malwarebytes Download Link (Clicking on the links below will immediately start the download dialogue window.)

Malwarebytes Manual Updater link

If the program installs correctly but then won't run, please access the "C:\Program Files\ Malwarebytes Antimalware folder and rename the "mbam.exe" file to something else.. Make sure it has a .exe file extension and then double click on the newly named file. Malwarebytes should run correctly now..

After doing that, then download the free tool from the link below, install it, update it, then run a full system scan:

SUPERAntispyware Removal Tool

Please note that I'll delete your other post in this thread.. There's no need to post twice about the same thing..

Hope this helps and let us know how it goes.


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Software I'm using
by sweetmelissa77 / December 18, 2008 9:35 AM PST
In reply to: Please Try This..

Grif - Thank you for the response. So far, I've downloaded AVG 8.0 and Kaspersky. I downloaded AVG when I realized the Norton software on my computer had expired and at the advice of a couple others who use it and also have Windows Vista. For the first couple of days, it seemed to update and work just fine and then it stopped updating and no matter what I did, it would not allow me to update. I even tried updating from the directory and that didn't work. I looked into downloading Windows Defender and couldn't get past the validation process to download the software. I uninstalled AVG and the downloaded and reinstalled it and after it didn't work the second time, decided to try another software, Kaspersky (at the recommendation of CNET). It too will not update no matter what I do. In between downloading AVG and Kaspersky, both of which are on my computer, I also downloaded Glary's Utilities and have been using that. When I first downloaded Glary's, it did detect a spyware program and removed it. I'm hesitant to download anymore tools at this point, b/c none of them seem to be working anyway and I don't want to cause anymore problems. I'm able to scan for viruses, but since the tools won't update, they're not tracking any new viruses/spyware. I'll try some of the suggestions here, but again, if any other advise can be given, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

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Please Follow The Steps I Gave..
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 19, 2008 7:56 AM PST
In reply to: Software I'm using

There are a number of malware types which prevent access to update sites for antivirus and antispyware.. That's why I gave you instructions to hopefully workaround those blockages.. You need to get a good antispyware on the machine, update it, and run it.. Start with Malwarebytes per the instructions I gave.. It's your choice.

Hope this helps


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the same problem
by jailam ahmed / January 11, 2010 2:21 PM PST

hey guys my antivirus(nod32 4.0) is not updating. it is saying "updating failed" i tried to do as you said but nothing worked please tell me any altermative methods please.................guys.. anyone?

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We Need More Information..
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 11, 2010 11:54 PM PST
In reply to: the same problem

Unfortunately, you've told us NOTHING about your computer.. Operating system, make and model, the type of internet connection you've got and whether other computers are able to connect to the internet coorectly on that connection, EXACTLY what you've tried so far, etc. If you've run any scans on the computer, what tools have you used and what did they find..

In the meantime, try the steps in the link below to hunt for malware..

Download ALL of the tools below on a friend or family member's, CLEAN computer and copy them to a CD or flash drive, then transfer them to the problem machine.

First, please download and run the following tool to help allow the removal programs below to run. (courtesy of Grinler at
There are 4 different versions. If one of them won't run then try to run the other one.
Vista and Win7 users need to right click and choose Run as Admin
You only need to get one of them to run, not all of them.


IMMEDIATELY after running the "Rkill" tool above, run/install the Malwarebytes and SuperAntispyware installer and update files from the links below which you've also copied to a CD or flash drive, and transfered to the problem machine. Do NOT restart the computer after running Rkill.

Once downloaded and before transferring Malwarebytes and SuperAntispyware to the problem machine, rename the program installer "mbam-setup.exe" file to something else like "Gogetum.exe", then copy the installer file and the update file to a CD or flash drive.. Transfer the file to the problem machine, then install the "Gogetum.exe" file, then run the update to get the program current.. After that, run a full system scan and delete anything it finds.

Malwarebytes Installer Download Link (Clicking on the links below will immediately start the download dialogue window.)

Malwarebytes Manual Updater link

Next, install and run a full system scan with the SuperAntispyware program and the manual updater from the links below. As before, you may need to rename the installer file to get the program to install.:


SuperAntispyware Manual Updater

In a few situations, in order for the program to run, it was also necessary to rename the main "mbam.exe" file also after installing it.. It resides in the C:\Programs Files\Malwarebytes Antimalware folder....

Hope this helps.


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