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Removing a programme called Spy Alert [Solved]


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#31 OCD

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 05:41 PM

Hi beatles4life,

The Firefox helper failed to initialise because the system is shutting down' - what does it mean???

Just means Firefox didn't completely shut down before the system was ready to shut down.

What on Earth do I do now???

Let's run System Restore in Safe Mode.

=========================

Posted Image Reboot Windows XP in Safe Mode
  • Restart your computer.
  • When the machine first starts again it will generally list some equipment that is installed in your machine, amount of memory, hard drives installed etc. At this point you should gently tap the F8 key repeatedly until you are presented with a Windows XP Advanced Options menu.
  • Select the option for Safe Mode using the arrow keys.
  • Then press enter on your keyboard to boot into Safe Mode.
=========================

Posted Image How to use System Restore to restore Windows XP to a previous state
  • Log on to Windows as an administrator.
  • Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click System Restore. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).
Posted Image
  • On the Welcome to System Restore page, click to select the Restore my computer to an earlier time option, and then click Next. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).
Posted Image
  • On the Select a Restore Point page, click the most recent system restore point in the On this list, click a restore point list, and then click Next.
  • Select a Restore Point prior to the date Spy Alert was installed
  • Note A System Restore message may appear that lists configuration changes that System Restore will make. Click OK. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).
Posted Image
  • On the Confirm Restore Point Selection page, click Next. System Restore restores the previous Windows XP configuration, and then restarts the computer.
  • Log on to the computer as an administrator. Then, click OK on the System Restore Restoration Complete page. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).
Posted Image

Posted Image Reboot

=========================

Are there any sypmtoms other than the fedora icon in the task bar?

If not, right click on the fedora and select delete or hide (if either is available).

Posted Image Reboot

=========================

In your next post please provide the following:
  • Post back, how the computer is running.
  • System Restore results.

OCD

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#32 beatles4life

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 08:36 AM

After the 4th 'time travel' attempt, just after copying and pasting my previous post onto the forum, I put the computer in hibernate mode.

Then, a few hours later, as I was shutting down my housemate's laptop for the night, I got a message saying her computer needed to install seven updates. It then suddenly shut down after the message said it was installing the third update. Are these some sort of phantom updates, or are they legitimate?

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22.10.13 14.52 - Safe mode [with networking] restoration attempt 1: 'Time travel' back to 8 October 2013

Back in normal mode: still getting the disk check message...

After logging in, the message I got before ('Your computer cannot be restored to 8 October 2013. Software distribution service 3.0') appears again.

Just before restarting to try restoring it again, I get a message that the computer is ending Tea Timer. What is that?

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22.10.13 15.00 - Safe mode [without networking] restoration attempt 2: 'Time travel' back to 1 October

It seems to be taking longer than before to restore the laptop...curious...

Back in normal mode: disk check appears yet again...

Now it's taking much longer to log in, and it still won't let me restore it.

15.28 - hibernation time - took a full minute to react

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Should I try restoring it again, or do something else?

Edited by beatles4life, 22 October 2013 - 08:36 AM.

I love The Beatles and The Beatles love me.

#33 OCD

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 01:03 PM

Hi beatles4life,

Are these some sort of phantom updates, or are they legitimate?

I don't know.

I get a message that the computer is ending Tea Timer. What is that?

Tea Timer is part of Spybot Search & Destroy, it is a good program.

Should I try restoring it again, or do something else?

Don't try System Restore again for now.

  • Turn off hibernation.
  • Turn off any screensavers.
  • Referring back to my last post, right click on the Fedora icon do you have a disable or delete option available to you? Just check don't do it as of yet.
  • Are you having any issues other than the Fedora in the task bar? If so what symptoms are you experiencing?
Posted Image SpyBot's TeaTimer
  • Go to your desktop and double click on the "Spybot-S&D Start Center".
  • Now activate the "Experienced User Mode" at top by ticking the checkbox.
  • In the area "Settings & More Tools" please click on "Services".
  • Now start the "On-Access Monitor" by ticking the "Start" button.
  • Close the "Spybot - Search & Destroy Services" window.
=========================

Posted Image Disable FireFox plug-in

  • At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button (Tools menu in Windows XP), and then click Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager tab will open.
  • In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Extensions or Appearance panel.
  • Select the add-on you wish to disable.
    • Spy Alert
  • Click the Disable button.
  • Click Restart now if it pops up. Your tabs will be saved and restored after the restart.
=========================

Posted Image Reboot

=========================

In your next post please provide the following:
  • Answers to my question. (1 - 4)
  • Is the Fedora still present?

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#34 beatles4life

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 04:11 PM

There isn't any disable option available for the fedora icon - the only option is 'hide.'

I've switched off the screen saver, but I can't find the hibernation setting.

I found the Spybot Search and Destroy icon, but I don't see any Start Centre (or Tea Timer, for that matter). There is a setting in Spybot Search and Destroy called 'Advanced mode,' so I activated that, but I can't find the 'settings and more tools' or 'services' entries. Am I in the wrong application? If so, where is this tea timer?

I love The Beatles and The Beatles love me.

#35 OCD

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 06:07 PM

Hi beatles4life,

Am I in the wrong application? If so, where is this tea timer?

You probably have the older version of Spybot. The instructions I provided was for a newer version.

but I can't find the hibernation setting.

It's probably located in the Power Settings menu.

=========================

Posted Image Disable Spybot - Search & Destroy's Tea Timer.
  • Locate your copy of Spybot - Search & Destroy's and open it.
  • In the menu bar at the top select "Mode", then select "Advanced".
  • In the left hand menu expand the "Tools" menu.
  • Select "Resident", then remove the check mark for "Resident Tea Timer"
  • Then exit the program by clicking "File" then select "Exit"
=========================

Let's see if we can remove all traces of Spy Alert. These steps are from the software's web site. Please work your way through the steps as outlined below.

  • Windows Control Panel: Click Start > Control Panel > Add / Remove Programs > Spy Alert
  • Windows Program Files: Click Start > Computer > C Drive > Program Files > Spy Alert > Uninstall
  • Internet Explorer: Settings > Manage add-ons > Toolbars and Extensions > Spy Alert
  • Firefox: Tools > Add-ons > Extensions > Spy Alert > Remove
  • Chrome: Tool icon > Tools > Extensions > Spy Alert > Trash Icon
=========================

Reboot when you are finished, and check to see if the Fedora icon is still present.
OCD

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#36 beatles4life

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:16 AM

Dear OCD,

Here's what happened this time:

1. Windows Control Panel: No Spy Alert in the Add/Remove programmes list

2. Windows Programme Files: No sign of Spy Alert

3. Internet Explorer: No sign of Spy Alert

4. Firefox: Spy Alert was there, so I clicked 'Remove' in the 'Extensions' section

5. Chrome: My housemate doesn't have Chrome installed, so why do I keep getting messages about Chrome Helper?

末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末末

I've restarted the computer, and the fedora is still there. I also switched off the hibernation setting and disabled the Tea Timer.

Beatles4Life

I love The Beatles and The Beatles love me.

#37 OCD

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:29 AM

Hi beatles4life,

Posted Image Revo Uninstaller Pro

Please download Revo Uninstaller Pro and save it to your desktop.
(This version is a fully functional, 30 day free trial)
    • Windows XP : Double click on the icon to run it.
    • Windows Vista, Windows 7 & 8 : Right click and select "Run as Administrator"
  • From the list of programs click on
    Spy Alert
  • Chose "Uninstall". When prompted click Yes.
  • Make sure the advanced option is checked... then click Next.
  • The program will run, when prompted... click Yes... then Next.
  • Once the program has searched for leftovers click Next.
  • Check ONLY the bolded items on the list then... click Next... then Yes.
  • When done click Finish.
=========================

Are you experiencing any symptoms related to the Spy Alert?

What method/s did you use when you tried to remove Spy Alert?

The steps you took might have corrupt the install/uninstall. We may have to re-install Spy Alert, reboot then re-run Revo Uninstaller to get this stubborn program removed once and for all.

Let me know the results of the Revo step.
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#38 beatles4life

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 11:08 AM

Dear OCD,

I found Spy alert in Revo (with the same fedora icon), but it sneakily changed its name to 'Updater.' What a fiend!

A window appeared that said un-install spy alert. Then a message appeared saying 'Updater is no longer on your computer' (or words to that effect) - it flashed really quickly, then disappeared.

I checked the items in bold type and clicked Next every time, and it's still there.

A minute later: Just exited Revo, and the icon suddenly vanished (!). I then rebooted the computer, but I noticed the Windows update shield icon is still listed under the 'turn off computer' icon. Also, I'm still getting the check disk screen. Upon rebooting, there is no sign of the wretched fedora on the task bar.

Thanks,
Beatles4Life

I love The Beatles and The Beatles love me.

#39 OCD

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 09:40 PM

Hi beatles4life,

Glad to hear the fedora is gone. :woot:

but I noticed the Windows update shield icon is still listed under the 'turn off computer' icon.

Can you please explain this further or can you give me a screenshot?

Also, I'm still getting the check disk screen.

Does the computer run a check disk scan on each boot?

=========================

Posted Image Check for Dirty Bit
  • Click on your Start menu and open the Run dialog.
  • Type "cmd" and return (note: don't enter quotes)
  • Next type "fsutil dirty query c:"
  • If the return message indicates that the volume is dirty go to step 5
  • Next type "chkdsk c: /f /x"
  • After that finishes repeat step 3.
  • If it is no longer dirty then reboot and you should notice no more ckdisk.
=========================

In your next post please provide the following:
  • chkdsk results
  • How is the computer running, any remaining issues?

OCD

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#40 beatles4life

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 12:58 PM

I've attached a picture of the Windows shield I am referring to. I don't know how to take a screen shot in XP, so I took a photograph with my digital camera instead.

As for the check disk results, I still got the check disk message when I restarted the laptop, even though the cmd programme said the volume wasn't dirty.

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_2804.JPG

Edited by beatles4life, 24 October 2013 - 12:59 PM.

I love The Beatles and The Beatles love me.

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#41 OCD

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 01:21 PM

Hi beatles4life,

It looks like Windows is trying to install updates. The fact that it needs to update might be triggering the check disk on start up. Please follow the onscreen instructions to allow Windows to update.

Reboot afterwards, and see if the chkdsk message still appears.
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#42 beatles4life

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 03:46 PM

I let Windows install the updates, restarted the computer, and I still got the check disk screen.
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#43 OCD

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 04:47 PM

Hi beatles4life,

This issue occurs if any one of the following conditions are true:
  • You have scheduled the Chkdsk.exe program or the Autochk.exe program to run in Scheduled Tasks.
  • A Windows registry setting has been set to run the Autochk.exe program at startup.
  • Your hard disk is damaged and must be repaired.
Resolution:

To resolve this issue, use one of the following methods.

Posted Image Method 1: Remove the Chkdsk.exe or the Autochk.exe program from Scheduled Tasks
Follow these steps to remove the Chkdsk.exe or the Autochk.exe program from the list of scheduled tasks in the Scheduled Tasks feature.
  • Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Scheduled Tasks.
  • Click either Chkdsk or Autochk in the list of scheduled tasks.
  • Under Folder Tasks, click Delete this item.
=========================

Posted Image Reboot and check for chkdsk on start up.

=========================

If Method 1 didn't resolve the issue you will need to back up the Registry before proceeding to Method 2.

Posted Image Tweaking.com Registry Backup

Modifying the Registry can create unforeseen problems, so it always wise to create a backup before doing so.
  • Please download the installer for Registry Backup from here or here and save to your desktop.
  • Right-click on tweaking.com_registry_backup_setup.exe and select Run as Administrator >> Follow the prompts for a default installation
  • Ensure the option Open "Tweaking.com - Registry Backup" When Install Completes is selected >> Next >> Finish
  • Once the GUI (graphical user interface) has appeared/loaded:-
Posted Image

Click on Backup Now >> once the process is complete the below will be displayed in the GUI:-

Posted Image

Close Tweaking.com - Registry Backup

Note: There will now be a folder at the root of the Hard-Drive named C:\RegBackup, do not delete this as it is the actual backup just created.

=========================

Posted Image Method 2: Check the Session Manager registry entry
Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs.

You just completed the Registry Backup above.

Follow these steps, and then quit Registry Editor
:
  • Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  • Locate and then click the following key in the registry:
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\BootExecute
  • On the Edit menu, click Modify.
  • Type autocheck autochk *, and then press ENTER.
=========================

Posted Image Reboot and check for chkdsk on start up.

=========================

If the chkdsk screen stills pops-up please review this link for instructions on how to take a screenshot and post one in your next reply.

http://windows.micro...e-a-screen-shot

In your next post please provide the following:
  • Report back with the results.
  • How old is the computer?
  • Does the computer actually do the chkdsk scan?

OCD

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#44 beatles4life

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 08:35 AM

There aren't any files listed in the Scheduled Task folder called Chkdsk or Autochk the only ones listed are Adobe Flash Player Updater and Adobe AAM Updater.

The Tweaking registry backup was successful, but I couldn't find any Boot Execute file in the Session manager registry.

As for the computer's age, I'm not entirely sure. My house mate has had it for about 6 months, but she got it second hand from a friend. I do not know how long the friend had it. Is there a Windows equivalent of Apple's System Profiler? If so, that would give me an indication of how old the laptop is.

The computer definitely says it's doing the chkdsk scan, and even lists a percentage indicating how far it's progressing.

Edited by beatles4life, 25 October 2013 - 08:36 AM.

I love The Beatles and The Beatles love me.

#45 OCD

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 09:08 AM

Hi beatles4life,

Posted Image Download DevDiag, and save it to your Desktop:
    • Windows XP : Double click on the icon to run it.
    • Windows Vista, Windows 7 & 8 : Right click and select "Run as Administrator"
  • At the options screen, please type 2 and hit Enter.
  • The tool will take a few moments to scan. When finished, a report should pop-up, also available on your Desktop (DevDiag.txt).
  • Please do not copy/paste the report into your next reply. Instead, Attach it by clicking Add Reply, and scrolling down to the Attachments section.
=========================

In your next post please provide the following:
  • DevDiag.txt
  • Does it complete the chkdsk scan?

OCD

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