slow computer and new window hijack

Dell / Mm061...
January 6, 2009 at 20:05:30
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, 1.595 GHz / 1014 MB
this just started happening the other day:

while using firefox, a new window will occasionally open automatically and redirect to a random advertisement website.

the status bar at bottom will read "receiving data from" before the webpage displays.

it *seems* harmless for now, and is more annoying than anything else.

however, my computer is also slower to load, and applications take longer to open. when i shut down, a dialog box appears that says "explorer.exe is not responding" and i have to manually end the process.

i have ad-aware SE and norton internet security installed, and have run both twice and removed all infections detected. problems still persist.

any help would be greatly appreciated!

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January 6, 2009 at 20:29:39
sorry, just ran ad-aware and norton again and the new window problem seems to have been resolved.

computer is still acting slow, however...

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January 6, 2009 at 21:23:39
It sounds like you have a serious spyware contamination. I suggest that you check to see: 1) That everything is running correctly, 2) That everything is updated, and 3) That everything is run and cleaned up.

1) Click 'Start', 'Control Panel', then 'Security Center'. Windows should be set for automatic updates; your anti-virus should be running, and the firewall should be working.

2) Update everything. Windows XP Home should be using Service Pack 3. (If you haven't update Windows in a very long time, then it won't include 'Security Center' in the Control Panel, nor a firewall.) If you don't like the Windows firewall, then Comodo and ZoneAlarm have good ones.
Update your browsers, IE and Firefox; check their security settings; then just use Firefox. ;)
Update your anti-virus definitions. If your subscription to Norton's runs out, then I'd suggest a free anti-virus program. I'm partial to avast!, but Avira and AVG are good. (They're free to home users.)
Update Ad-Aware from SE to 2008 and get the latest definitions.
Additionally, you'll want another spyware program or two. They'll check for stuff that Ad-Aware doesn't. I like Spybot S+D, and Windows Defender from MicroSoft. You may prefer Spyware Terminator, Webroot Spy Sweeper, or Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware.
Also, get something to clean and backup your registry. I like CCleaner which is quick, and Glary Utilities which has more options.
All programs that I've suggested are free and can be found at, though you may find them at or

3) Finally! Disconnect from the Internet, if you're using DSL or cable. Run your anti-virus, then the spyware/adware programs, using the thorough or deep cleaning options. Next, clean out junk/temp files; then run the registry cleaner after backing up. When this is all done, I'd suggest defragging your C drive.
All of this may take a few hours, but it will definitely clean up your system and make it run most smoothly.
Good luck!

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January 7, 2009 at 22:19:43
A follow-up:

While this may take a few hours, it really depends on the speed of your Internet connection, how out-of-date your definitions are (more to download), speed of processor, amount of RAM, and number/size of files on your hard drive.
Another program that you may like is WinPatrol from BillP Studios. It will help you keep up with changes to programs, startups, etc.

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January 8, 2009 at 19:04:41
thanks jCarmichael.

i followed your recommendations and installed/ran both searchbot s+d and ccleaner last night. immediately after cleaning i restarted and things seemed to work more or less as they normally do.

however, this evening when i logged into windows xp, all that appeared was my desktop background. using the ctrl+alt+del i was able to bring up the task manager, and through that i opened firefox in order to post this reply.

i'm getting frustrated and confused because it seems every time i start up my computer or run a scan of sorts, a different issue appears. any thoughts??

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