Tag Archives: anti virus


I had not seen this myself. A friend contacted me and said he had been infected with it. I started doing a little research.

Seems to be adware more than anything. I personally despise adware, viruses and malware. When I see it on my computer I get rid of it and anything associated with it.

The first thing you could try if it hasn’t been on your computer long is to restore your machine to a previous date (before you were infected). Even if you do that I would suggest scanning the machine to make sure.

Rather than duplicate everything that is already out there about it you can check this page for detailed information. They have a lot of details about it and links to all the tools to scan and remove.

Hope it helps.


Machine won’t boot

Windows XP Pro

Worked on a machine that wouldn’t boot up. The message it gave was “A problem is preventing windows from accurately checking the license for this computer. Error Code:0x80040017”

My first thought was a virus or malware but since I couldn’t log into the machine I managed to log into safe mode and did a system restore to about 10 days earlier, that didn’t work so I tried a different restore point and that didn’t work either so I started searching the internet and trying all the different things I found. None of that worked.

I had read some posts by people who ran chkdsk /r and it solved their problem so I tried that, found problems and corrected them still had same problem. Ran defrag and chkdsk again. Booted into windows normally and thought I had it till it gave me the blue sceen we all hate to see, tried booting into safe mode and it just froze and wouldn’t do anything. Turned it off and back on and it ran chkdsk on it’s own and found some more problems (some of which were in the restore folder) after which it still gave me the original error. Went back into safe mode and picked a different restore point again and it worked this time.

Scanned for Malware and fixed problems then did a deep scan for malware and fixed those problems.

From this point it would be a matter of making sure there are no other malware items, viruses or spyware but the machine seems to be fine now.

Zango Spyware

Windows XP


Over the weekend Sept. 8 2008 while working on a machine I ran spybot. It found some adware called Zango. Spybot said it had to reboot to remove some of it and that is where the problem starts. When it reboots you will see

The parameter is incorrect.” Clicking it keeps reporting error message over and over. The system never really goes beyond that point.

Took a little research but here is how I corrected it

Log on to the system in safe mode. Start regedit. Navigate to the following registry key and see if there is an entry with “c:\windows\system32\command.com …” in the data portion of the entry:
It had several entries to run Spybot and remove things so I deleted those entries and restarted the machine. Ran Spybot again and undid the changes to that section and it seemed to work fine.

I didn’t do it because it wasn’t my machine but they say you can remove it instructions here.

Virus Protection

We have all heard horror stories about the damage a computer virus can do to your computer and many of those stories are true.

The good news is that you can protect your computer with a little thought and preparation.

The first thing to be aware of is that there are people out there that rejoice at the idea of causing as much trouble, inconvenience and damage as possible. Which means that you need a good anti virus program. There are the big names that you pay for initially and think you have the best and they do come pre installed on new machines. I have noticed that many people didn’t realize that they only got free updates for a limited time. After that you were only protected up to the time the software expired and any new virus that came out after that date was a threat. You could subscribe to the updates and pay the fee of course and stay protected.

There are other programs out there. The one I like and use myself is AVG AntiVirus. The software has a free version for personal use and one you pay for. The free one has worked very well for me and I update it almost daily and even though I haven’t purchased a copy I would feel comfortable with it if I did.

The next thing is understanding how a virus is spread! The most common is via an email attachment: Be aware of what you are opening! If the email comes from someone you don’t know it’s a potential threat! Even if you know the sender be careful, a virus will send itself out from an infected machine to addresses in the address book on that machine and it may fake a from email address the same way. Many times when a virus is sending itself out it will put something in the subject field that won’t be the way the person in the from field would express themselves, if you know them you should catch that. Bottom line is that I delete more emails than I read because I’d rather be safe than sorry. When I do open an attachment I save it to disk first, AVG scans it when you save it so I know it’s virus free.

Another common way for a virus or spy ware to spread is by piggybacking on other software that you download. If you just can’t resist the latest toolbar, file-sharing gizmo, coupon dispenser or email enhancer, you may be at risk. Often these and other downloads come with malware, free of charge. Running a good anti-spy ware program will reduce your risk.

Next would be when you are on a website and a window pops up telling you to install and run something. Unless you are at a site like Microsoft doing updates or something similar the best advice is to click NO. I have personally been caught like that myself so I KNOW it happens and believe me it can be a mess.

Next would be sharing your drive on a network. If you don’t have to DON’T. The reason being that you can never speak for someone else and you don’t know if they practice safe computing or not.
Finally there is all that removable media, floppy disks, cd’s, usb hard drives etc. Any file on any one of them could be infected. Keeping your Anti virus software enabled and updated should protect you but YOU make the difference.

One other thing that can help protect you is to do an online scan. The problem there is it takes some time especially on a dial up connection. The one I like the best is at Trend Micro.