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Uninvited programs

How is it that programs I didn't order or download end up on my computer, such as MaxSpeed and MediaMotor, among others?

Is there any way to prevent this?

Is there a practical way to find out what various programs are that are on my computer? Just as one example, my Add/Remove shows KLE/PLE and Utilities. Find doesn't show any files with KLE or PLE in the name and I don't know how to find out what use it is to me or whether I can safely remove it.

Today, when I downloaded an updated video driver, I got a second listing on Add/Remove, VIA Tech KLE/PLE with Utilities. I assume that is the video driver and so needs to stay, though I didn't think that downloading a driver resulted in a program being added to the computer.

I have other programs that apparently were added by an outsider, such as MaxSpeed, MediaMotor and others. Again, it's hard for me to tell from Google what exactly these programs are for and whether I am using them in some way.

I wonder if there is some website or help source that helps a person know what programs such as these are for? My troublie is that I'm not sure whether the programs are there because of something I did and need to stay there or whether they are useless and can be removed.

Thanks, grandpaw

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Re: Uninvited programs

In reply to: Uninvited programs

ok drivers are software programs...if you didn't know so the Add/Remove thing has the tab to remove your drives...don't remove them...it will affect your computer
But that MaxSpeed thing is probly Spyware...look on google for some spyware removale software...it's usually free and if you find one that you need to pay for just keep looking for a free spyware/adware killer/swater.
Every computer gets Adware/Spyware
Well hope this helps...

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Why don't all drivers have something listed in Add/Remove?

In reply to: Re: Uninvited programs

Thanks for the info, ozos, that drivers are software programs. But what I am wondering is this: there are a lot of drivers on the computer but I'm not aware that any of them except this video driver I downloaded are listed as a program. Could you perhaps comment on that? grandpaw

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Such is Windows.

In reply to: Why don't all drivers have something listed in Add/Remove?

Grandpa,

A driver is specialized software, very different from a 'normal' application program (like Word or Outlook Express). Devices and drivers generally are managed by Device Manager. That's the way Windows works.

A better question would be: why do some driver-packages put some components in Add Remove Programs? Maybe some driver designer at Nvidia or Logitech or Creative (or Cursorcowboy) can answer it. But normal Window users like you and me just have to accept these things as they are.

Kees

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Re: Uninvited programs

In reply to: Uninvited programs

You may see me note that exclusive use of Internet Explorer is giving malware writers a ready "conduit" to install software onto your machine without you asking.

http://www.doxdesk.com/parasite/ explains this.

Bob

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Re: Uninvited programs

In reply to: Re: Uninvited programs

not to question your methods or anything...but what does that help him? It just educates him while not solving the problem...

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Without knowing where such come from.

In reply to: Re: Uninvited programs

They just wiggle in. The article is reference material since few will accept any statement without such.

Detection and removal tools are noted in the article.

Bob

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Thanks, Bob, for the info

In reply to: Re: Uninvited programs

Actually, ozos, it does help me deal with the issue, and it always good to get better educated.

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Re: Thanks, Bob, for the info

In reply to: Thanks, Bob, for the info

Bob has posted over 17,000 times since October 2003. There should be a medal for someone who is that devoted to helping others. However, there is a discrepancy in his profile----it lists his computer proficiency as intermediate. If that's the case, I'm somewhere below terrible. grandpaw

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Good info, but unanswered questions

In reply to: Uninvited programs

Perhaps digging and detective work are the only way of knowing what otherwise unknown programs that get on a computer are about. But maybe someone knows of a shortcut to all that hard work.

I mentioned that my Add/Remove has two KLE/PLE entries. One clearly covers the video driver I downloaded today because it contains VIA Tech in the name, and that is the company which gave me the driver. But I still wonder how I can find out what there is a second KLE/PLE entry, which doesn't have any wording identifing its purpose.

That is part of a larger question as to how a person can determine if a program has inserted itself on his computer and does some kind of damage or has undesired consequences, just as attracting spyware.

Anyone? Come on in, the water's fine.

thanks, grandpaw

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Re: Good info, but unanswered questions

In reply to: Good info, but unanswered questions

I see Bob's point....I didn't think it was relevent at first. I know that it's better to get educated but usally I prefer to learn what I need to do to fix the problem, fix the problem, and then learn any little question about the problem that wasn't necisary to fix it.
Also, may I suggest you move to Firefox for better anti-spyware anti-virus anti-hack pro-saftey reasons...
www.mozilla.com

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About Bob

In reply to: Re: Good info, but unanswered questions

Bob has been extremely helpful to me on this forum and I am sure to many others. So it is a painful to see him criticized when he should be thanked and lauded, especially in a thread which I initiated. About Bob? What a great guy to get help from!! I don't recall see anything he has posted that wasn't helpful.

Thanks for the headsup about Firefox. I've been thinking about giving it a shot and your comment helps me transition from thought to action.

grandpaw

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What About Bob

In reply to: About Bob

Thanks for the kind words. Be assured I have a very thick skin.

There is always something for me to learn and I admit it.

Bob

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Re: Good info, but unanswered questions

In reply to: Good info, but unanswered questions

KLE/PLE obviously (http://www.google.com/search?&q=kle/ple) is related to your video driver. If you've two now, one of them might be an older version.

I would advise anybody (not especially you) NOT to touch drivers as long as things work. And only use Device Manager and/or downloaded newer versions to update (or remove) them, NEVER add/remove programs. So just leave it alone, and don't worry.

In general, there is no good solution to your problem.
It helps to keep track of what software you installed and removed, and what's in Add/Remove programs after each install or remove. Word or Excel are excellent tools to do so, but it needs discipline to keep it current. It's like your car: it helps to maintain them if you note somewhere when you last checked the oil or the tyres or the battery, and when you had your last 10.000 miles service. Some people have it all in their head, others would profit from writing it down.

Then do a regular check of the Startup-tab of MSCONFIG to be sure that now unknown program is in it. Keep your anti-virus, Adaware and Spybot up-to-date. Don't download programs from unknown sources. Never click on links in untrusted emails; better throw them away without even looking at them. Don't use p2p-programs.

You're never 100% safe, but all of this should help to keep your system healthy.

I hope you find a trusted person somewhere around to help you solve the more difficult problems with your machine. I'm sure most of us would be happy to do it for you, if we were living in your neighborhood. I've got the impression you're the grandpa all of us would love to have had.

Kees

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Thank you, Kees

In reply to: Re: Good info, but unanswered questions

I must admit I just about teared up at your compliment. thanks.

And thanks as well for the info about driverl software and about dealing with uninvited programs. Also, for reminding me to get my oil changed. I plan to be more careful about keeping tabs on programs per your suggestions; I just hope my plan doesn't go for paving on that road of good intentions.

One thing I need to correct is my desire to go through the program list in Add/Remove and remove those that look foreign to me; I need to put on my Sherlock Holmes hat and look into what they are first.

grandpaw

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Re: Thank you, Kees

In reply to: Thank you, Kees

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Re: Good info, but unanswered questions

In reply to: Good info, but unanswered questions

1. The Add/Remove Programs dialogue in the Windows Control Panel simply lists programs installed that were supposed to be designed with a Windows-compatible uninstall feature built-in. Some programs add a reference to their uninstaller (part of the requirement for a 32-bit aware program to have the official Microsoft "Windows Logo" on their packaging), some simply provide a shortcut in the Start Menu only -- particularly those which do not have the logo, and some do both.

2. Even when an "Uninstall item" is added to this listing or an icon exist elsewhere, -- which an installation wizard for that program added or should -- we can never be sure whether a program author is lazy or incompetently writing their uninstall wizards which should in fact clean-up not only their programs but added applet and the system registry. We therefore learn from experience who to trust most of the time.

3. I've always heard, "If you don't like how something is done, do it yourself." I use the "Fee" based PCMag utility "Inctrl5" to help with the job. If I have the choice -- and most of the time I do, anything installed in downloaded first, placed in the folder I want, and then I use the "setup" or "install" program to place it on my computer where wanted. But like anything else, control is accomplished before anything is started, not after-the-fact.

4. Since you've mentioned video adapter drivers and may be interested:

a. Start the System Registry Editor. Simply type regedit in the RUN box and then press Enter.

HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Class\Display

Notes

b. Click on the Plus box in front of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE to expand it. Continue clicking/expanding appropriate folders (each word preceded by a slash) until reaching the last labeled, Display. Click it, to bold/highlight.

c. Please note that underneath this address in the left window, you'll most likely find one or more addresses labeled with either four zeros or three zeros and then a 1, 2, etc.

Note: We are only interested in the last adapter installed which would be the one with the highest numeric number after the first three zeros only. You can verify this by checking all the key names "DriverDesc" for each address in the right window and you'll find the one dipicting the lastest adapter installation.

d. Click Registry in the main menu and select Exit. Or simply click the x in the URHC of the window to close the Registry Editor tool.

Hint: Usually when I find other or older video adapter drivers resident in the system registry which I feel are useless, I remove them.

5. The article [Q141497] describes how to use Device Manager to check the status of a resource (such as an IRQ line, DMA channel, memory address range, or I/O address range) and stresses the importance of checking the status of a resource when installing a new device or when a resource conflict is suspected that cause a device not to function.

a. When the operating system does not correctly find and identify installed devices and drivers (gives you a hassle about having to insert the CD so it can go through the process of procuring them -- again), you and I both know those files (drivers) are still on the hard disk somewhere and hopefully not corrupt, so simply point Windows to the correct location to satisfy the query (usually the System folder will do). In some instances, it may actually be necessary to use "Add New Hardware" to reinstall a "device manually" (Click to see an example screenshot). This can be done by clicking, Change Driver, Show All Devices, and in the "Manufacturers" box, click the manufacturer of the device in the "Models" box and then click the driver wanted. Click OK. If a device is currently listed in DM with problems, remove it first from there -- as well as from anywhere else it may be recorded.

b. The article [Q311261] discusses a procedure for removing duplicate CD-ROM devices listed in Windows Device Manager by restarting the computer in Safe Mode, but could apply to any other device as well. Please be advised that anytime there appears to be a problem with devices -- or not in some cases - just do it, boot the system in Safe Mode, progress to Device Manager, check every item listed for duplicates (more than one item of the exact same device) and remove each and every one. Upon completing the entire tasks, then reboot the computer and note that Windows will restructure itself and the appropriate device(s) it finds present on the computer.

c. Remember, an item removed from Device Manager only removes the entry from the system registry (where the records of every item in DM is kept -- files or drivers are not actually deleted). Device and driver identification reflected in DM is received from the system registry and is simply displayed for the user's convenience. Normally, if Windows does not find a resident device installed (present and identified by the CMOS) at the time of boot or reboot, the information read from the registry is simply ignored and nothing is displayed.

Warning: Even though the above information may appear rational, if device information such as a modem is still recorded as installed in another Windows section and using resources, that section along with DM queries during boot will ensure an entry is re-recorded even though the device may not physically exist. Always ensure that a device (such as a modem) is removed from every applicable section throughout all Control Panel applets as well as DM to preclude this anomaly.

d. Anytime a system boots or is rebooted, Windows reads the system registry to identify resident devices and ensures they are listed. If the operating system cannot identify a resident device or cannot find proper drivers, it displays a device code and leaves it up to the user to determine the cause and fix, [Q125174].

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Very good advice Bill..

In reply to: Re: Good info, but unanswered questions

"Warning: Even though the above information may appear rational, if device information such as a modem is still recorded as installed in another Windows section and using resources, that section along with DM queries during boot will ensure an entry is re-recorded even though the device may not physically exist. Always ensure that a device (such as a modem) is removed from every applicable section throughout all Control Panel applets as well as DM to preclude this anomaly."

Just installed a new modem last week. Removed old in DM, then removed drivers in Windows Add/Remove Programs.
Did not think about checking Modems in Control Panel. Result was my old modem was still listed after installing the new one, and the new one was installed on Com 4, I suppose since the old one was listed on Com3.
Even though all worked fine, I deleted the old modem entry, and changed the new modem to use Com 3. May not amount to a hill of beans, since my new modem worked fine, but think your info is helpful.

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Thank you, CursorCowboy

In reply to: Re: Good info, but unanswered questions

Thanks for the explanation about the Add/Remove dialogue; it answers questions I have had. And puts me on notice to be more careful.

I couldn't find out how much the Inctrl5 program costs and I am not sure if it something I should get. There are so many programs to help keep things shipshape that I get a little overwhelmed as to what might be worthwhile for me; usually, that results in my doing nothing, which at least saves me money and time, and perhaps frustration at having something I don't understand and have trouble operating.

I did check out the System Registry Editor suggestion and found three display items; I see the one that apparently came with the computer, another one which I think came with an upgrade of the computer and then the one I just downloaded. I think you said that you would remove the first two that don't get used, but before I would do that I would want to be sure that I am understanding you correctly.

I checked out Q141497, Q311261 ane Q124174. They overtax my ability to really comprehend how I could or should use them.

Thanks for the input. I haven't yet lined up someone to take over my computer problems because I'm still checking out some possibilities. In any event, I want to do some taking care of things myself if it looks like it won't be too time demanding. I decided to pay myself a dollar an hour for my computer fixing time; so far I've earned about five hundred dollars I think. All tax free.

grandpaw

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Welcome.

In reply to: Thank you, CursorCowboy

1. I couldn't find out how much the Inctrl5 program costs and I am not sure if it something I should get.

That's okay. My input was just an explanation of how I look at things "up front" generally which this utility does and which also give me all the necessary details to eradicate it later should I want.

2. I did check out the System Registry Editor suggestion and found three display items; I see the one that apparently came with the computer, another one which I think came with an upgrade of the computer and then the one I just downloaded. I think you said that you would remove the first two that don't get used, but before I would do that I would want to be sure that I am understanding you correctly.

No. All three. When booting next, install the latest driver or before shutting down altogether, reinstall the required video drivers -- re the resolutions explained in Q311261.

3. I checked out Q141497, Q311261 ane Q124174. They overtax my ability to really comprehend how I could or should use them.

a. Q141497 explains that when there is a conflict in device resources -- rarely today if programmers have written their programs correctly and there have not been much doodling by the user in such an area in the past, the procedures of how to work on resolving . . .

b. Q124174 explains the circumstances of the problem codes a user may find in Device Manager if there is one. Perhaps I should have also included [Q133240] which describes the symbols and explains that if there is a problem, a symbol is denoted that indicates the type of problem and suggests ways of correcting them.

4. I decided to pay myself a dollar an hour for my computer fixing time; so far I've earned about five hundred dollars I think. All tax free.

There you go. It pays to learn and really isn't all that hard -- daunting maybe but it's remembering again later which I find is a task. Your username indicates what I am.

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If ! I understand Your question

In reply to: Good info, but unanswered questions

Once you agree to EULA's you are pretty well stuck with the extra's. How ever most spyware programs catch the really bad stuff right away and offer to loose it for you. Most of them are freeware.

A really neat shareware program "registery cleaner at www.docsdownloads.com",it lets you view what you have in English. It allows you to see and remove the stuff you can't see in any simple way. Is backs up what you do, unlike regedit. Norton System tools tracks program installation and removal and provides a safe way to remove programs and then put them back. This lets you fool with the programs you don't recognize and then recover a terrible mistake.

There were some really great and technical answers to your question. I hope these tools at least help you deal with the garbage once you get it.

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