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Old 06-14-2008, 11:07 PM   #1
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Lost screensaver function?

I got some annoying spyware or some damn thing on my computer, and I thought I got rid of it. It might have come back, although from what I can see on the McAffee site, it's an annoying thing, not a harmful thing.

Bacially it made my desktop background change to this blue screen that said "warning, you have spyware" or something like that.

Now I seem to have lost all my screensavers or even the ability to turn on any screensavers. If I right-click on the desktop and go to properties, any option to turn on/turn off/mess with a screensaver is gone.

Crap.

Any suggestions?
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:08 AM   #2
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Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore. Select a restore point one day earlier than when the spyware showed up.
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Old 06-15-2008, 12:05 PM   #3
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I tried to do that yesterday, and it wouldn't let me back up far enough. I never used to actually create system restore points - the few times I've done it, I was always able to go back a few weeks.

But when I tried to do it yesterday, it would only let me go back two days, which is when I had installed MacAfee (mine had expired) ... and that was after I got the spyware.

MacAfee called out the spyware, and I kept clicking the option to remove it, but it was still there. Later I figured out there were actually two files I had to delete, and then it was fine ... but then my screen saver functions were gone.

I had the warning pop up again yesterday, saying it was in a new location, but I couldn't even find the folder it was pointing me to. It hasn't popped up today yet, and the "joke" blue screen hasn't forced itself onto my desktop, so maybe it's fine now.

And I guess not having my screen saver isn't the WORST thing ever.
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Old 06-15-2008, 04:24 PM   #4
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If it's spyware you might try Ad-Aware 2008 Free - Lavasoft
and download Ad aware. It's free for personal use and will remove the spyware and tracking cookies.
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Old 06-15-2008, 05:01 PM   #5
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Another good suggestion ... already tried it. I ran Ad-Aware, and it didn't even find the program.

MacAffee found it again - it's called Joke-Bluescreen, and the end of the filename is .scr

Unfortunately, the location it's given me is a mystery:

C:\system Volume Information

I don't have a folder called that on my C drive. Before, it was in the system 32 folder, and I was able to find and delete it.

And when I select "remove this program," it doesn't do the trick - yesterday I discovered it's actually two files, and it didn't completely disappear until I deleted the other mystery file, a .exe file. Then I think I figured out where it's coming from, because I visited the site again after deleting it, and lo and behold, it got back on my computer.

SO ANNOYING.
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Old 06-15-2008, 05:15 PM   #6
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Man, it gets weirder and weirder. When I Google the name of the joke program, I get links telling me it's a joke that came from Microsoft, to give people a fake "blue screen of death". What the hell?

Download of the Day: BlueScreen Screen Saver (Windows)

I did see that exact screen when I first caught the program - I haven't seen it since. How do I make it go away, and where did my regular screensaver options go?

Goddamn, Microsoft. Goddamn.
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Old 06-15-2008, 05:16 PM   #7
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Boot the computer into Safe Mode, then run a full McAfee scan and an AdAware scan (not at the same time). Neither program can touch files that are currently running/in use.
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Old 06-15-2008, 05:21 PM   #8
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Thanks, I'll try that!
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Old 06-15-2008, 07:55 PM   #9
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Or you can dance the Security Tango Security Tango - Virus, Spyware, Worm - How to Keep Your Computer Safe on the Internet
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Old 06-15-2008, 10:36 PM   #10
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The scan turned up nothing.

The more I read about this joke bluescreen thing, the more it seems to be a harmless thing and is causing no harm. Apparently MacAffee will call it out if it sees it, but it doesn't actually remove it.

But damn it, I want the option to turn on a screensaver again!
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:22 PM   #11
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Behold! I have a screensaver again. The internet is an amazing thing. I found this person's site to help repair common and not so common things in XP, and got something that has to do with registry, and lo and behold, my screensaver tab is back where it should be.

I'm not even going to try and understand why or how, but it's back.

Thanks for your help, lynnok and liesje!
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:12 AM   #12
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They probably had you run a file that alters the registry. I would watch out for more symptoms in the future. Could very well be harmless, but I've seen some do the same thing that actually involved rootkit viruses (so "deep" they cannot be removed by reinstalling the operating system).

viruses
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:03 PM   #13
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I'll keep my eye out. The site was recommended by someone on a tech support forum somewhere. I suppose it wasn't the wisest thing to just blindly do it, but ... oh well!

Maybe if my computer up and dies, that'll be my excuse to get a laptop.
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:25 PM   #14
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laptops
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Old 06-16-2008, 05:07 PM   #15
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Cori,

What was that website, just out of curiosity?
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