Don't Know How to Unravel....

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System crash, reinstalled XP.

Immediately tried to follow MS prompts to DL Service Pack 2 (since
reinstall lost me all my programs and updated AV, anti-spyware files,
etc.) and AV, Spybot etc.

Online I have issues never encountered before by me such as (1) can't
even sign off sometimes; (2) I try to download Spywareblaster as an
example, DL completes but dialog box closes and I can't install it
(tried this 3X with same result); (3) Favorites Folder not accessible
(it gerys-out after I click in in Toolbar); (4) I have been DLing
Service Pack 2 now for 3 days it is still only 40% completed;
(5)Surfing very slow some pages won't load; and (6) Many popups.

It seems that after XP reinstall, before I could get full protection, I
have been infested at least for online activities (offline my computer
is functioning decently for now).

Any thoughts would be appreciated. This "thing" seems to be preventing
me from Downloading programs which might kill it. I have NOD 32 AV,
Ad-aware and Spybot S & D, but can't get CWS Shredder, Spyware Blaster,
Hijack This or even Sygate Firewall to properly DL or install on my

Re: Don't Know How to Unravel....

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   Chicken-and-egg problem.  Your system is not safe to go fully exposed
to the internet, but you have to get on the internet to update your
machine so that it is safe to go on the internet.  The solution is to
set up at least partial protection before going on the net.  I suggest
the following steps...

   1) Unplug your machine from the internet.  That means any modems and
      also disable wireless.

   2) Back up data files to CD, blow away the OS, fdisk and reformat the
      drive, and re-install.  Yes, it hurts, but face it, you're 0wn3d,
      and it'll probably take less time to re-install than to "clean it
      up".  And if you try to clean it up you'll never be absolutely
      certain you got rid of every last trojan/backdoor.

   3) Now that you have a known clean install
      - get yourself a NAT'ing router.  It's *NOT* a full hardware
        firewall by any means, but it does offer *SOME* protection.
      - turn on Windows XP firewall.  Ideally, you should block all
        inbound TCP and UDP traffic to ports 0-through-1023 on your
        machine.  If that isn't possible, at the *VERY LEAST* block 135,
        137, 138, 139, and 445.  And do *NOT* enable print and file
        sharing yet.

   4) Set your NAT'ing router to reject *ALL* incoming traffic to ports
      0-through-1023.  Connect your machine to your NAT'ing router and
      connect the router to the net and immediately run Windows Update.
      Do not do *ANYTHING* else on the internet before updating.

   5) Check your firewall settings.  One of MS' "updates" had a nasty
      surprise in that it reset the firewall to an unsafe default.
      Reset your firewall if necessary.  Now you can think about
      allowing file and print sharing.  If you do, make certain that
      you only allow inbound port 137, 138, 139, and 445 traffic from
      other machines on your home LAN.  Do *NOT* allow such traffic from

   6) Use IE as a browser for the first/last/only time, and go to either or and download their
      browser.  Microsoft Update uses IE for remotely installing software
      on your machine and modifying your OS... and so do the bad guys.
      You do *NOT* want to go surfing with it.

   7) Install some anti-virus/anti-trojan software.

      Good luck.

Walter Dnes; my email address is *ALMOST* like
Delete the "z" to get my real address.  If that gets blocked, follow
the instructions at the end of the 550 message.

Re: Don't Know How to Unravel....

Mr. Dnes. Thank you very much for your detailed (but depressing)

My major gripe is that when the Dell techies were walking me through
the clean reinstall, they did not TRY to give me tips that would have
minimized the chicken/egg situation you mentioned.

When I called back to ask them to help me solve this "new" problem--you
leave a voice-mail message  with call back times--I of course have not
heard from them (they made me feel "lucky" they helped me with the
so-called clean reinstall of the operating system which crashed in the
first place through no known fault of mine).

My next computer will be a MAC for sure.

How could they have NOT anticipated after telling me to reinstall with
a 3 year old CD of XP (well before SP 2 plus many other updates) that
the minute I signed online I'd be vulnerable???

Screw Dell, Screw Windows, screw MS (but THANK YOU!!)

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