XP (Vista, 7) Antivirus 2011 Rogue App Removal

I just spent some time helping someone get rid of XP Antivirus 2011 from their XP machine. This method worked, so I thought it was worthwhile reaffirming the process.

First, several online posts suggest using Malwarebytes to get rid of this fake antivirus scam infection. This is great advice except for one small problem. Many cannot even open the Malwarebytes application because this malicious infection blocks it from starting. Even in Safe Mode, Malwarebytes will not start. For those who have not already downloaded Malwarebytes, downloading it from the Internet might also be a problem if the user cannot get beyond being blocked from opening a browser.

Meanwhile, the XP Antivirus 2011 (also found as variants Vista Antivirus 2011, Windows 7 Antivirus 2011, Windows 7 AntiSpyware 2011, etc.) continues to pop up warnings the computer is infected (of course, it is… with this insidious so-called antivirus app, but possibly nothing else). The solution is to get this app shut down so it cannot continue its interference with what we need to do.

Thanks to the guys over at My AntiSpyware, there is a short registry edit that allows us to stop the rogue app from running long enough for us to get Malwarebytes to install, run, and clean up the mess. Go to their site for complete, detailed instructions if you are not sure how to download, install, or run Malwarebytes. If this method does not work, they have a second registry edit that you can try that also works for some.

The first registry edit is just a few lines you will type into Notepad, found in Accessories (You are forewarned that mistakes in your registry editing can toast your system… don’t yell at me if you don’t do it right):


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.exe]
[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\pezfile]
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe\shell\open\command]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command]
@="\"%1\" %*"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe]
@="exefile"
"Content Type"="application/x-msdownload"

You will save this file to your desktop, named as “fix.reg” (without quotes) and as “All files” under file type (not a text file). Find the file on your desktop and double click it. Follow the prompts to accept the registry edits. Reboot your computer and you should be able to get to work with Malwarebytes or get online so you can download it.

While you can type the edit in manually, I would recommend using a flash drive or something else to transfer the code. If you have to type it manually, just be careful and make sure the line breaks and spaces are correct before you save it.

Last, I would recommend you make sure Malwarebytes and your REAL antivirus applications are updated. Run scans again and get rid of anything else they find.

Protect Your Data

These days, it is hard to turn on the television or listen to the radio without being subjected to at least one advertisement for Carbonite or other online backup services. And we actually agree that having a good backup plan in effect BEFORE a problem arises is one of the best things you can do to protect your data.

However, were you aware that there are other alternatives? In fact, depending on your requirements, alternatives to cloud-based backup services might be more effective and cheaper.

One such method is to use an external storage solution such as this Western Digital 2 Terabyte featured on Amazon.com. At less than $100, it is only a bit more expensive than one year’s worth of service from Carbonite (as advertised via recent radio spots). But a benefit is that you won’t have to worry about what happens to your data if you decide not to continue service, you won’t have upload and download limits placed upon you by either your online backup provider or your ISP, and you’ll have instant access to your backup even in the event you do not have Internet access.

Our point is, regardless of what data backup method you choose, we hope you make the decision to do it now. Do it before you have a problem. For the same reason you might carry a winter survival kit or road flares in your car. It isn’t that you want to have to use them. But getting stalled out without them is not always the preferred scenario. So, call a backup solution your hard drive crash survival kit (or whatever you like). Put that solution in place and hope you never have to use it… but be confident you have it just in case.

Android Gmail App Not Syncing

If your Gmail app is not retrieving emails and providing a notification like it once did on your Droid phone, here’s a solution that should work.

Settings verification

First, I want you to go in and verify some settings. From your applications menu, select Settings>Data Manager>Data Delivery>Email and Corporate Sync>Email Delivery. Make sure Data Push is checked. Select the option arrow for Fetch schedule and ensure anything besides Manually is picked.

Finding the widget

Droid X touch and drag to change home screens

Now, find the stock power management widget on your Home screen. To do this on the Droid X touchscreen (Refer to your user manual for other phones), simply touch and drag your screen to the left or right until you find the home screen with the widget.

Widget appearance and button selection

Droid X standard power widget

On it, you will see buttons to enable/disable five functions (icons for WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, Refresh/Sync, and display brightness). Is the Refresh/sync button (icon has double arrows) green? If not, press it to turn it on.

 

Your Gmail app should now automatically receive emails from your email account.

Quickly Change Desktop Icon Size

Windows Vista and 7 users can quickly and simply change the size of their desktop icons with this neat little trick. Follow these steps to make you icons ridiculously large, small, or somewhere in between:

1. Click an empty spot on your desktop screen

2. Press and hold the CTRL button

3. Roll your mouse’s scroll wheel forward or backward to make your icons larger or smaller

4. Release the CTRL button

You’re done! For laptop users without a separate mouse, you may be able to do the same thing with your touchpad. In your case, touch and glide your finger on the scroll area of your touchpad or other device.