General discussion

Program won't run

I am running XP Media Center, Dell Dimension 9100. Recently, one of my programs (ZAC Browser - a special web browser for kids w/ autism) suddenly stopped working. I try to open it, it'll show up in "processes" in the task manager for a second or two, then it's gone. It never shows up in the programs tab. I haven't made any significant changes to the system since the last time it was used. I've tried uninstalling, reinstalling, rebooting, system restore and various registry fixes I've found in other forum threads. So far, no luck.

Everything else seems to be working fine, with one exception. I'd tried to install Malware Bytes (?) in hopes of tracking down the search redirect issues I've been having (different subject), and that program would not run, either. Behaved exactly the same way.

I'm using PCTools SpyWare Dr. It runs regularly, but so far I've only caught tracking cookies - nothing significant.

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What I see

PCTools isn't a suite, (anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall), that we ever recommend. What I see is that Malwarebytes anti-malware is not working, and that is often caused by malware. malware will often do it's best to disable anti-malware and anti-virus scanners.

I think that the same problem is causing the ZAC browser from working, and in fact you have mentioned search redirecting issues, so that is another clue.

I would get MBAM working. Did MBAM install properly and just doesn't run, or did it not even install properly?

If it did install, you have two choices. Before trying either, I would disable XP's System Restore. Malware can hide in the SR files and are not easily removed from there. How to disable System Restore;
Don't use Microsoft's 'Fix' if it is offered. Follow the manual instructions. Re-enable System restore immediately.

1] Run it from XP's Safe Mode. It should have enough generic anti-malware definitions in the basic install to run a full scan. Let MBAM find and quarantine anything it finds.

When the scan is finished, reboot back into Normal Mode and see if MBAM will work properly. If so, open it, update it's definitions, and run another full scan.

2] Or, rename MBAM's executable file and run it from Normal Mode anyway. Find mbam.exe on this computer, (it normally installs in C:\Program files\Malwarebytes Anti-malware folder), right click the file, and rename it to something else, eg, gogetem.exe. Double click that file to run MBAM and see if it works. If it does, immediately update the definitions then run a full scan.

Either way, once MBAM has finished scanning I would also visit an online scanning service like Trend Micro's Housecall at;

I hope that helps.


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some progress...

Following your suggestions I was able to get Malwarebytes to run (using the name-change option) and did a full scan. Nothing showed up. I also ran Housecall, again nothing. I've gotten one program to work, but the ZACbrowser still won't open, and I'm still getting redirects on searches using Firefox and IE.

Any other ideas from here?

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Only A Note Regarding The ZAC Browser..


I would agree with Mark, in that the redirect issue, is something which needs to be addressed. The below may not work, if the browser closing, is at all related to what's causing the redirects. That said, it's worth trying, if you haven't done so already.

The problem you're experiencing with the ZAC Browser, MAY be able to be resolved, by making use of the "Zac Crash Recovery" option. Its purpose is to reactivate the browser, when it closes abruptly. It's a known issue.

The ZAC Crash Recovery option was first introduced with ZAC Browser version l.5. If you have v.1.5 or v2.0 installed, there should be a shortcut on your desktop for "ZAC Crash Recovery". Try double-clicking on it. If the shortcut isn't there, try going to Start>Zac Browser>Zac Crash Recovery.

Best of luck..

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Zac Browser

Just to clarify, the problem is not that the program opens and then crashes. It doesn't open at all. I see it show up in "processes" in the task manager for a couple of seconds, and then it's gone like I never tried to open it.

I have tried the Zac crash recovery - it does exactly the same thing.

I tried the workaround that got Malwarebytes to work (changing the name of the .exe file) but that didn't work for this.

Also, to further clarify for people who aren't familiar with the ZacBrowser - it's technically a browser, but it doesn't have search functions, only preset bookmarks. I have never had a problem with redirects on the Zacbrowser, only on my other browsers, which was why I'd indicated that it was a (potentially) unrelated subject.

Thank you all for your suggestions. I hope we can find a solution before my daughter asks for her favorite "game" again Sad

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Are You Still Experiencing Redirect Problems?


You wrote, "I've gotten one program to work, but the ZACbrowser still won't open, and I'm still getting redirects on searches using Firefox and IE."

As Mark also alluded to, you need to find what's causing the redirect issues. It could be responsible for the Zac Browser not opening. And it is probably why you initially had problems trying to run Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware.

If you haven't resolved the FF and IE redirect issues, while the forum was down for maintenance, you might want to check the two settings listed below. In all likelihood, the first setting hasn't been changed, but check it anyway. Additionally, I included a couple of tools, which are geared towards these type of issues. (The first, especially)

- Open IE and go to Tools>Internet Options>Connection Tab. Click on the LAN settings button. IF there is a checkmark next to "Use a proxy server for your LAN", uncheck it. Click OK. Then OK, again.

- Go to Start>Control Panel>Network Connections. After double-clicking on Network Connections, right-click on the "Local Area Connection" icon. Choose "Properties" from the menu. On the "General Tab", highlight "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)". Click on the "Properties" button. There should be a tick mark next to "Obtain DNS address automatically". Is there? Some user's have found it had been changed to "Use the following DNS server addresses" (with addresses entered), instead.

Scan with Kaspersky's TDSSKiller Utility. The instructions and download can be found here:

ESET's Online Scanner :

If neither have detected anything at this point, download a trial copy of Hitman Pro. It's free to use for 30 days:

Let us know how you make out..

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We'll see from here!

I checked all the suggested settings - they were all fine.

I *did* finally get a hit with the TDSSKiller! I'll get back to you and let you know whether this has resolved my problems.

Thank you so much for your help so far!

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Hopefully.... TDSSKiller did the job!

If so, let us know if it also straightened out your Zac Browser problem. My hopes are.. it did!


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All set!

Yes - ZAC Browser is working fine now! Thank you so much!

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(NT) Glad we were able to help. :)
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Yep, me too

Glad we, (mainly Carol), could help, and thanks for reporting back.


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