Windows Legacy OS forum

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Can't connect to the internet

by snowbabe / July 16, 2005 1:50 AM PDT

I am posting here in the hope that someone will help, I am a Mac user and know very little about PC operating systems, however I need help with regards to a Windows XP problem. My b/f cannot connect to the internet and we fear/think it may be a virus? Basically all we know is that when the computer came on there was some kind of message like.. "MSN Messenger cannot open.." then something about virus protection... but then.. it said "cannot connect to internet provider". All I know is that the computer is reeealllly slow or nothing works at all, the startup taskbar does nothing when clicked. He has Norton (but I'm not sure if he can access this as the startup task bar doesn't work - again I may be wrong I have never used Windows XP in my life - or a PC). Please someone help us?

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"the startup task bar doesn't work"
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 16, 2005 2:01 AM PDT

That's the only clue I can latch onto that makes me think the OS has been infected by some sort of malware. More clues are needed to determine the malware's name and how to recover.

Some malware hijacks the TCPIP settings which I can put back into place with WINSOCKXPFIX which I download from the internet and carry on a CD with common tools I use to recover from malware.

-> More details could reveal that the owner is a P2P user (a common source of trouble), has an expired antivirus, or no firewall.


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by snowbabe / July 16, 2005 2:28 AM PDT

Would one way around this be to perform a ''system restore'' back to a time when things were operating successfully, then hopefully re-creating the internet connection & running a virus check etc etc?

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Not a bad idea.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 16, 2005 2:32 AM PDT
In reply to: idea

But today's malware is rarely detected as a virus. SPYWARE and other malware is rarely a virus so scanning for it with an antivirus won't find it.

The tools I noted may correct it.

Did you try?


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by snowbabe / July 16, 2005 2:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Not a bad idea.

Please excuse my what must seem terrible lack of intelligence, but I have never switched on a PC in my life lol (I'm a Mac user).. and what tools? I'm new to the internet & all this virus stuff too..


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Finding the tools.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 16, 2005 2:50 AM PDT
In reply to: err..

WINSOCKXPFIX is found with

These forums are great, but are a poor replacement for most tech support where they work directly on your machine. Also, you may want to post in the Newbies Forum and see if more step by step are offered. I only offer guidance and will not work very hard since you can use, read web sites and "learn along."

Most people that end up in your situation:

1. Find the tools, use them and they work or not.
2. Toss the system recovery CDs into the machine and start over.
3. Get in-person support at some shop or phone.

-> In closing you didn't reveal any further clues or answer my question. This can restrict what suggestions I may offer.


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by snowbabe / July 16, 2005 3:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Finding the tools.

Thank you so much for the help you have given, I was thinking along the lines of telling him to re-install the whole system again from scratch (would this actually work u think?).. I would have included more details but he is at this very moment in the USA playing a national tournament as we speak & I can't get hold of him.. I am in UK trying to sort some kind of ideas to fix it.. (lol)

Again many thanks I really appreciate it, I am more than willing to do the read web sites & ''learn along'' thing but when you have no clue what you are loking for, for a system you have never even looked at it makes it harder.. thanks for pointing me in the right direction.


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by Marcel Bakker / July 16, 2005 2:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Not a bad idea.

what you should actually do is switch off all the programs that run at startup. to do this click on start, click on run, type msconfig and press enter.
on the firstpage you'll see some ticked items, disable the tick on start-up, then ok and reboot.
If it boots up and you can reconnect to the internet, then download the following programs
stinger (mcafee)
Spybot s&d
Lavasoft adaware SE
First run stinger to check for viruses, then
install spybot,lavasoft adaware, and ccleaner
and download all the updates. Run spybot, immumnize, do a check all and finally clean the system. Then do a full scan with adaware (updated!) and clean that trash out too, finally do a clean with ccleaner and delete all it finds.
After all this is done (you might have to reboot after spybot has run) run winsockfix to clean the TCP/IP stack's possible hijackers. This will require a reboot!
rerun msconfig and select the tab startup and check the list of things started, and make sure at least your virus scanner will start again on reboot. Now double check the other stuff that runs on what it is, anything you don't trust, you don't check the box, but share the info on this list.

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by snowbabe / July 16, 2005 3:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Virus/Malware

Thank you so much.. I have emailed that over to him so he can pick it up on his phone.. however is this still possible if the start menu isn't responding?.. (whatever that is -lol I have never used Windows).

And isn't it easier to just reinstall and start over from scratch with the re-install cd's.. I am aware he will lose programmes & files, but is this one way to get rid of viruses/malware stuff?

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An example.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 16, 2005 3:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Reinstall?

Details matter. In one post you write the startup taskbar isn't working. Here you write about the start menu.

These are 2 different items.

And yes. We only lose what we don't backup. How is the System Restore working for you as well as SAFE MODE?


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by snowbabe / July 16, 2005 3:37 AM PDT
In reply to: An example.

I wasn't aware that those were 2 different things, I did explain I have never switched on a PC in my life.. I will advise him to completley clean install and start from scratch..

I was advised not to do a system restore back to a previous date as this could make matters worse..?

Safe mode I have never heard of.. am trying to find out.


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How can it get worse?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 16, 2005 3:55 AM PDT
In reply to: unaware

But first a simple question. Does the mouse work at all? I had this "broken machine" and the Start menu didn't work. In short, the mouse was unplugged.

From what I've read, the machine is non-operational. System Restore to a day it worked is a proper repair response.

Do share why you think this would make it worse?

As to what things are, that's something you can learn as you go. SAFE MODE is accessed with the F8 key (tapping a bit faster than once a second during startup) and widely found articles with can help you understand it more. You can run system restore from SAFE MODE.


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by snowbabe / July 16, 2005 5:12 AM PDT
In reply to: How can it get worse?

I quote...

''I was advised not to do a system restore back to a previous date as this could make matters worse..?''

So in answer to your question ''Share why I think it would make it worse''.. I have NO idea, I was advised this at another forum.. I have explained multiple times I am a Mac user, and have NEVER switched on a PC before in my life let alone used one or had the opportunity to make such opinions..

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