Redirecting on Google

Microsoft Windows xp home edition with s...
August 12, 2010 at 15:56:15
Specs: Windows XP
Every time i click on a link in Google, it redirects me to other sites. How do I get rid of this, is it a virus?

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August 13, 2010 at 00:32:14
As far as the "is this a virus" part, what you have described here sounds like what we call a "browser hijacker". Super high-power computer gurus generally don't categorize this as a "virus" per se, we generally consider it "malware" a.k.a "malicious software." But since so many people in the general public use the term "virus" to mean "any software that is messing up my computer and got onto my computer without my knowledge", I suppose you could call it a "virus" if you define the term "virus" that way.

All this aside since "naming" the problem doesn't "fix" the problem, regardless of what you really call it, although sometimes proper terminology does help solve the problem when conducting web searches, etc.

Obviously, I'm guessing that you want to get rid of whatever the heck is causing this. Most anti-malware programs such as Norton (which works for some people, but is certainly not my personal favorite), McAfee, etc. should be able to hunt down and destroy this for you. Or at least this would be the place to start. My person favorite program for doing this is PC Tools "Spyware doctor". I don't work for that company or anything, it's just that of all the anti-malware programs, I've personally had the most success with this one, and the fewest problems. It is usually important that these programs be current with all updates.

In the event that such a program does not fix the problem, it may be possible that such a program is sufficiently new that the malware (or virus if you like) does not appear in Norton's (or McAfee's, or Spyware doctor's) database of known malware. These programs don't just "know" malware when they see it -- they compare all software on your computer with known malware programs, generally speaking. Also, some malware is designed to interfere with your anti-malware software. This is generally not the norm, but certainly not unheard of.

In the event that McAfee or Norton, or whatever doesn't solve the problem, it is also useful to observe exactly which website are you being redirected to. If any link on google take you to a website called "CoolWWWsearch" or "ShoppingDirectWebHost" or something of that nature, this is useful information. One might (on a computer with a working internet browser) type in "get rid of CoolWWWsearch hijacker" or "get rid of ShoppingDirectWebHost", whichever applicable.

Please let me know if this info is helpful!

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August 17, 2010 at 08:21:40
Hey thanks, I've looked up "Google redirecting virus" as it seems to be called (though it is malware as you suggest) and there are a number of people who have this problem and also a number of suggested tools to remove it (antimalware malware bytes, superantispyware, TDSSKiller). Like most people on the forums I have found, none of these tools have removed it - yes they have found threats and removed them...then it starts again! As of yesterday, I now have no internet connection now either and it has disabled my firewall, which are all symptoms of this "virus" mentioned on help sites. I am at my mum's just now having to use the net.....think I'll need to put it into a PC repair shop for a hefty fee :(
thank you though

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August 17, 2010 at 08:28:31
Ireenie, have you looked at the tutorial in the "How-To" section?. There's a guide on how to remove it from there.

Helpful tips before getting started:

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