Spyware won't remove and keeps coming back!

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Jim L. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

Please Help! I have apparently acquired some kind of virus (or Spyware) on my computer. I scanned my computer using AdAware and Spy Sweeper in hopes of resolving the issue; AdAware (downloaded the latest 'free' version) refuses to delete or quarantine any of the detected programs, and eventually locks up -- preventing me from even closing it down.

Spy Sweeper continuously pops up a window telling me if I want to remove the detected Spyware, even after I click on 'remove'. One of the filenames is iekw32.exe, and another one was ipna.exe. It also says my start page has been changed and if I want to restore it, which I do of course, but Spy Sweeper can't seem to do revert it.

Norton Antivirus says it has detected a Trojan but can't repair it.

I also noticed that under Start -> Run there are a large number of web site addresses that refer to porn web sites and search portals. I've tried removing the URLs but they just keep coming back. Please help if you can! "

My response:

Spyware is getting to be nearly impossible to remove these days. There are a few things to note with respect to your problem, however:

1. The .exe file names you mentioned are most likely Randomly generated (iekw32.exe doesn't even come up Google) -- so, researching a filename in hopes of stumbling across removal instructions isn't the best method.

2. If you can, identify the Spyware variant name (hint: use programs like Spy Sweeper, AdAware, or SpyBot Search and Destroy to do this). Once you get the variant name, search it in Google followed by the word "remove" in an attempt to find manual removal instructions posted somewhere on the web.

3. Once you find the removal instructions, disable XP System Restore and reboot into Safe Mode and proceed with the removal. System Restore can be disabled by going to the Control Panel -> System -> System Restore. Safe mode is accessible by clicking Start -> Shutdown, and then press F8 on the keyboard repeatedly until you get a "boot menu" option to "boot into Safe Mode".

You can also refer to a few of my Spyware removal guides for more info:

How to remove any Spyware / Adware Toolbar

Uninstall, Remove Bargain Buddy Spyware and related Adware Toolbars?

Is your computer infected with Spyware?

Every time I post an article about Spyware, a handful of users will email me asking for customized instructions on how to remove their particular brand of Spyware / Toolbar.

Please note that the instructions in this article are generic and can be applied to 99% of all Spyware infections. As such, I would kindly ask that you please do not email me asking for removal tips, as I will refer you back to this article. Thank you.

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