I have a job because of spyware. And I hate it so much. No I don't benefit from the advertising profits etc. I get paid to remove it from peoples computers and it is becoming harder and harder to get the slime off. Every week I'm adding a new method with dealing with the stuff. Here's my procedure.
1. Do backups of critical files.
2. Download a trial of f-prot for windows (if using winxp) Free dos version works best with win9X and ME. when using dos version boot from a write protected floppy.
available at www.f-prot.com
3. Run Ad-Aware first. Be sure to do the updates. This gets rid of lots. www.lavasoftusa.com
4. Run Spybot Search & Destory (gets the leftovers that ad-aware misses) www.safer-networking.org
5. If coolwwwsearch appears in any of the found Items download and run CWShreder www.spywareinfo.com (hasn't been up lately so try http://www.lurkhere.com/~nicefiles/ good mirror with others)
6. Use HijackThis to remove the stubborn stuff out of the startup. (this is more advanced than the average user can handle there are many spyware support pages that can help) also available from the maker of CWShreder www.spywareinfo.com (see mirror)
7. Many spyware install LSP's that none of the spyware removal tools detect. Use LSP Fix to remove them. This is again for more advanced users do some research on using this first. http://cexx.org/lspfix.htm
8. If you have VX2 that keeps coming back try VX2 finder. This one is a real pain and may need to be done several times. http://download.broadbandmedic.com/
9. install Spyware Blaster. This app does not remove spyware. It attempts to stop the machine from becoming infected in the first place. http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html
10. Stop using Internet Explorer and use Mozilla FireFox www.mozilla.org
edited Aug 2 1:15pm
As I said I am constantly changing my removal method. Today I find that the small spyware/adware list that norton anti-virus 2004 kept is growing real fast and finds things that ad-aware and spybot skip. So add that to the list. Everyone should have some anti-virus.. it's well worth the money.
I like to install all the apps then go into safe mode so there aren't as many programs running that might prevent the removal of the spyware.
Please make a sticky