Laptop pop up add problems

detroitdad

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I have an older laptop, Thinkpad. In the last week pop up add's have taken it over. We can't use it because the pop up adds are slowing it down so much.

I tried restoring it back to a month ago (don't know how to restore it further than that).

I'm not an idiot, but I'm also not a computer guy. If you can help, please be specific with what to do, lol.

btw I'm using my sons tablet. So far I hate this damn thing.
 

spikeithard

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+1 for malwarebytes.
before I got using the anonymous IP address in the US that filters everything in the cloud first I have not gotten 1 piece of virus or malware in about 6 months and before it I was getting a couple hundo every month.
 

CdnBeerLover

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If I wasn't 8 hours away, I'd take a look at it. As it is, these things can be notoriously difficult to remove. Here's a few thoughts:

1) What make/model of laptop is is?

2) I'm assuming it's a Windows machine. What version of Windows is it running?

3) Do you have the install disks for the machine? If not, is there a recovery partition?

4) Are their any files on the machine that you need to keep?

5) When you restored the PC, did the pop up ads go away for a time, or were they still there?

My preference in cases like this is to nuke the machine and re-install from scratch. Sometimes you can download the install images from the manufacturer. Unfortunately, that has the side effect of wiping out data you want to keep if you aren't careful.

So, I'll make a few assumptions
- you don't have the install disks, or otherwise do not want to re-install the machine.
- there is data you want to keep, but you can't get at it because of the pop-ups

Here's what I would try
1) Try to clean the infection.
a. Restore the machine as you did before.

b. Get an anti-virus that can run off of a bootable cd or usb. That will allow you to attempt to clean the infection while the windows installation isn't active. Kapersky has a Rescue Disk that should work pretty well. Boot from it, and follow the instructions to run a thorough scan. http://support.kaspersky.com/viruses/rescuedisk#downloads

2) Install an antivirus. Depending on the vintage of Windows, you may be able to get Windows defender. Otherwise, use AVG (free) or Avast (free), Kapersky (paid), or ESET NOD32 (paid). The free ones can be a bit of a nuisance with offers to periodically upgrade.

Do not install McAfee or Norton. in my experience, they are coasting on their reputations.

3) Install Malware Bytes, and run a scan.

4) Create a limited user account.
Don't run as administrator for most of your usage of the laptop. If the current user is the admin, go into Control Planel, then Users, and create a new limited user account. That will be the "normal" account for day to day use of the machine.

Log in as the limited user, and
5) Install Firefox, and set it up as the default browser. You will probably be prompted to provide the administrator password, or use the "Run as Administrator" option. Do...not...use...Internet Explorer...ever.

6) Install AdBlock Plus for Firefox from the add-ons. Only allow ads on trusted sites (like PCF).

7) Install NoScript for Firefox.

8) Back up the machine. I use ToDo Backup from http://www.todo-backup.com/, and they have a free version. The only downside is that they provide you with the license key by email, and will send an email for paid upgrades every few months.

If the above works, then you are probably good to go. If it comes back, it means that the pop up ads have replaced or corrupted something critical within a Windows system file, and a "nuke from orbit" approach is warranted. Backup the machine regularly.

If you have to install other software, always choose a "custom" install option if available. In many cases, especially free software, there will be a box to install toolbars, etc, and it's normally selected by default. You have to de-select them.

I hope this helps. Good luck!
 

spikeithard

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oh .. and also cover your webcam at all times when not using it with black tape. Yes it has been discovered that hackers can take control of it. and with lots of pop ups, you may have this issue.
 
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