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About toniok

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  1. Sometimes smilies just aren't enough, lol. Thanks Lynx.
  2. Hi Lynx. I hope you didn't take my comment about using ComboFix as an insult, it certainly wasn't meant that way. I was actually looking for guidance as to how to avoid misusing it. I am a relatively experienced user (think Fortran and punch cards , been editing registries for 10 years+ without error, and loaded my own TCPIP stack back in the Win3.1 days, long before AOL even came into existence. I also maintain a number of people's PCs (for free), and need to know as much as I can to help others. I (obviously) don't specialize in malware removal, only deal with it as necessary. My question about ComboFix was serious; I don't want to (can't afford to) cause problems, on my machine or others, but I can't afford to completely ignore a tool either - unless I determine it just isn't in my interest to learn... and that is possible. If you don't have the time or if this is not the right forum to ask that question please tell me where to go to learn more. And again, thank you for all your help. Tony
  3. Hi Lynx. Maybe not, but running in safe mode was the answer to the reboot-before-scan-finishes-problem; it worked! Well, it was up to date when I started this mess 48 hours ago! I have never used any s/w that had such a large update after such a short time. Kinda scary/amazing to see that! Can and did. Looks good now; I had one "high risk" piece of untested software (Reimage Repair) I manually deleted, and two other "low risk" apps that I'm pretty sure are ok, an XP key changer it lists as a hack tool and a Vista (now Seven) Transformation Pack that makes XP look like the new versions. So I think I'm good now. Please tell me about that. It was the first time I used ComboFix, and yes I did it solo. I thought it was quite easy, I just followed the bleepingcomputer guide. There were no user parameters to be set prior to running it, more a "point and click" application. Now interpreting the results for manually making subsequent changes would be quite another thing altogether... I realize of course that it could cause the same kind of issue I ran into with a-squared, where it "fixes" something (quarantines it) causing a state of non-operation. Is there more to be worried about than that? I'm attaching the latest report below though I think it is now uninteresting. Thank you for all your thoughts and inputs. Tony
  4. Well, running in safe mode the scan finished fine. I've attached the report as requested. After quarantining the hits I've started another scan (in safe mode again) just to see if it comes up clean. I'm going to bed now; I really appreciate the input. The PC is what I use for school and it would be <unpleasant> for me to have a problem 4 weeks before finals.
  5. Hi Lynx. All are doing better, thank you. It was just a nasty cold, but when you have two little ones, especially a 6mo who. has minor breathing issues anyway, it makes for very long days and nights. I'm writing from my wife's PC. I sat and waiting the last ~2 hours for a scan to finish, walked away and came back to the login screen and "windows has recovered from a serious problem" message. So I don't know yet what's going on, but suspect I'm not done yet... I didn't capture the initial report, having not read that in time. I booted into safe mode a bit ago and am re-running the scan now; not surprisingly it's going much faster. I did notice two things under c:\I386\, MPLAY32.EX_/mplay32.exe and WEXTRACT.EX_/wextract.exe. Don't know if those mean something to you - other than trouble. And yes, I did get suckered, big time, in not only paying for limewire but installing it. Seems even a relatively knowing and suspicious guy like myself can get taken. When the scan finishes I'll post the results. Tony
  6. My thanks to both of you. Your diagnosis was right on the money, and I have learned my lesson about hitting "quarantine" without paying particular care. And yes, I did read the "sticky". In my defense it was 4am and I was taking care of a a sick wife, a 2yo, and a 6mo baby, and obviously my attempt at multitasking was stretched a tad far... It's a compliment to a-squared that it found the infection when Malwarebytes, Superantispyware, Adaware, and Antivir did not. I have to say I've never seen explorer.exe infected before, that's a new one on me. Sadly it's my own fault, I got suckered into, believe or not, paying for Limewire - something I would never knowingly install on my own. I'm going to re-run a-squared and see how it turns out now, and if necessary will post a followup. Many thanks!! Tony
  7. I hope someone here can help me. I'm running XPSP2 with an updated a-squared Free. Did a scan and made the mistake of saying "quarantine" to the 38 problems it found. PC now makes it through the Windows splash screen to the desktop, but desktop is devoid of all items including Start menu. Safe mode and restore last known good are no help. Can I extract quarantined files on another PC by running the hard drive externally? If so, how do I know where to restore them too? Please..!? Tony