Help from computer wiz


New Member
In recent months my computer has begun to recieve pop up adds even when Internet Explorer is not operating, will not open, and various files and folders have began acting very strange. I think it's about time to put this crappy system to rest!

When I purchase a new system I want to be protected from intruders and pop up adds. What do I need to get to protect myself? Firewall, Pop up blocker, what about cookies that webpages give you?

I am really not good with this stuff, I just don't want a brand new system to get overloaded with junk that I have no idea what it is doing on my computer.
You don't happen to use Kazaa, do you? I remember one time after installing it I kept getting popups like that, even when I wasn't doing anything. There is a program called Adaware you can download that might help to get rid of what's causing them. Or you can search or post at Computing.Net. Hope that helps...
I had that problem too for the longest time, and finally I tried a trial version of AbsoluteShield ( ) popup blocker. It worked so well, I paid the $20 and got the real great. They have a trial version you can use free for 10 days. You might want to try that, and maybe run defrag. and scandisk and stuff like that- might help things out a bit.

Oh yeah, and let me add a disclaimer: I am far from a computer genius, so take it for what its worth...
There's a lot of pop-up ads that are on a timer, as I get them popping up when I visit my own site, and I know I don't have pop-up ads... I highly recommend Ad-aware; it's free, and you'd be amazed at the amount of spyware on your computer (especially if you have AOL
). Try it, see what it comes up with. Hopefully that will help. I know it helped me.

BTW, props to Eagle for the original recommendation of Ad-aware...
Also try emptying your 'cookies' folder. Go to the start menu, select search, and enter 'cookie' it will bring up a folder with the title cookie. Open the folder and delete all cookies that you do not recognize. Some pop up ads are triggered by those obnoxious cookies that some websites put on your computer without you knowing. There are two great programs from lavasoft, one is called Cookie Wall, and the other is Pow. Cookie Wall allows you to control your cookies, keeping ones from website you know and trust (such as your bank, jetcareers, etc). Pow is a program that lets you register pop up ads in a program that once you register a pop up ad with the program, any time that same pop up ad tries to load, Pow will kill it instantly, you'll never see it again. They are great programs, small so they're easy to download, and very easy to use. You can download these programs for free from
Well, I've used all your advice. Ad-aware found and removed 65 items, but when I go to the start menu then click search nothing happens. I can't get it to open. Lots of weird things are going on similar to that. For instance, I can't drag desktop items to place them in another folder. I think it's time to shoot this thing!

Also, how do I run a scandisk and defrag? I've tried going run and then typing in scandisk but it says that it can not find it.
I suggest a complete hard drive reformat. Irritating and time consuming, but it will solve your problems.
If you have Win XP:

Click Start>Run type "msconfig"

Click on Startup folder. UNCHECK msmsgs

Click on Services folder. UNCHECK Messenger.

If you use outlook express these processes will start up again, so you will need to go to ctrl-alt-del - process - and kill them

Messenger is responsible for thoe gray popup windows with the "ok" button on them.

Excellent information on this at

Adware is good - so is cookie pal at
How do I do that? Or do I not do that? Should a computer wiz be consulted for this sort of thing?
I have Windows 2000.

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Now that is your problem. I can't stand working with Windows 2000, it sucks. That probably isn't your problem though, I just don't like it.

And to run the defragment your computer, got to start, programs, accessories, system tools, and defrag. Warning, this takes forever.

Good Luck
I would click on your link but that doesn't work either! WTF, I can't check email, links don't open a new window, if this was a horse I would have put it down! I think I'm just going to have to take all of your advice on the next system, this one isn't worth saving. In fact, I'm really looking forward to recreating the scene in office space with the copy machine.
I haven't researched all the previous ideas, but with today's pop-up and e-mail spam technology you also run a risk of de-activating some features you may need in the future.
If you can handle not getting certain features on certain webpages, then I would go ahead and utilize anti pop-up software. Just keep in mind you may not be protected from every pop-up. Seems like we are a step behind pop-ups and spam technology in our efforts to stop them.
option 1:
back up whatever you must have from the old system, back up any settings info, reformat drive, re-install system & apps.

something like that should be done from time to time anyway. especially on Windoze.

option 2:
make a trip to the local Comp USA (or equivalent) and pick up a copy of system maintenance softwar. do not hesitate to ask the all mighty sales help for what the best pick would be.

read the instructions, run the thing, see what happens.

if you're running Win 2000, your box can't be that old.
what do you mostly use it for? e-mail and surfing? in that case there's no sense in spending money on a new system. if you're truly starving that is ;>

now, if you do decide to splurge for the new setup, i firmly believe it should reflect you as a pilot. so what kind are you? "starving" ain't much to go on, but, say you're airline minded. then definitely WinXP is for you. pretty soon you won't be able to break a fart without getting clearance from MicroSoft. Everything going through their servers is their property - i.e. your e-mails going through Hotmail. so they pretty much own you a**. nothing wrong with that, just something to be aware of.

if you really like to fly 'different', go the Apple way. you fly different, you think different. i got my private in a Katana DA20/100. but that's a different story.

now, if you're trully a real pilot and get aroused by the sight of an exposed engine, Linux is the way to go. you can even use your Intel box for it too. you'll have no problems with e-mail, web surfing and such, and on to of that you'll be able to compile your own kernel if the night gets too long and lonely ;>
pretty soon you won't be able to break a fart without getting clearance from MicroSoft.

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Hysterical, and so true.
If you get XP, I highly suggest the Pro edition.

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Good point John, I second that. I have used both of them and the Pro edition is by far the superior performer. I think it is easier to use and I really like the software.
Yes Pro is much better. And by the way, you cannot "upgrade" from Home to Pro easily. In almost all cases we have had to backup, reformat and install Pro from scratch.

They supposedly both use NTFS, but it seems to be different methods.

I used to actively sell turnkey systems, now I only do it on special order. I'm often called out to fix someone's computer, though. I've driven as far as Tampa to clean up a system.
To kill Cookies:

Open IE (or Netscape ... I'll be referencing IE here but most ofthe commands will also work in Netscape)

Select Internet Options (on the top menu - the one with

Go To Internet Options

On the main page of this menu you'll see three buttons: Delete Cookies, Delete Files and underneath these two, Clear History. Click all three.

To control what cookies are allowed select the tab labeled "Privacy" at the top of the internet options page (the page/window you're working with when clearing fies and cookies). Look around in the Provacy menu and you can set paramaters to help with the cookie thing.


To defrag and run scan disk open the Control Pannel

Select the hard drive you want to defrag/scandisk (it'll usually be C or D)

Right click on the harddrive icon(s)

Click Properties

Click the "Tools" Tab at the top of the properties window

Select Defrag/Scandisk

Note: Run defrag before you go to bed ... on these large harddrives it can take several hours to completely defrag the drive. Also turn off any screen savers as they will intereupt the process.