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Solutions: Don't click on WinFixer or other popup 'help'

I keep getting popups advising me to get rid of WinFixer. When I click to uninstall it, a popup tells me to uninstall it myself. However, I cannot find this program in my computer. Every search I make turns up negative.

WinFixer is an one of a number of scam programs that claim to repair computer problems. They usually start with a popup window with false information about the user's PC, leading the user to believe it is infected with viruses, spyware and/or other forms of malware. The user then downloads the program, thinking it will "fix" PC issues. I can't stress this enough: Don't ever run any program from a popup window warning you about a supposed virus, spyware or registry problem. Most antivirus programs such as Norton Antivirus or Microsoft One Care will fix this. Make sure whichever antivirus you have is updated with the latest definition files. Run a full system scan, but it is usually a good idea to first disable System Restore since Windows prevents outside programs, including antivirus programs, from modifying System Restore. As a result, System Restore has the potential of restoring an infected file to your computer, even after you have cleaned the infected files from other locations.

To turn off System Restore: Click Start, Settings, Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System Restore. Click the System Restore Settings link and turn it off. The path to get to System Restore may differ depending on which version of Windows you have. Use the Help function on your PC if the above doesn't match what you see. Once done, run your antivirus' full scan. This should fix the problem. Remember to turn System Restore back on.

Regarding the article you had in the paper about event viewer/system log: I didn't have a problem like the one in the article but did check my computer anyway. When I did check my event viewer and system log, I found many with red and yellow errors. My question is: How do you solve those issues?

It is normal to see many warning (yellow) and error (red exclamation) flags in the system log for various actions taking place on your PC. The ones that need closer scrutiny are the critical (red X) errors. But sometimes even these are normal and/or one-time occurrences. Critical errors logged for your hard drive would be an example of something that would require more investigation. Rather than starting in the system log looking for errors, I usually consult it only when I'm having PC problems.

Do you have all of your columns in a book or something? I would like to read them all.

No, there is no book. Aside from my chronic laziness, the thing that has kept me from trying to write a book is that since technology moves so fast, it would be obsolete before I could complete it. However, I do have on my PC every column published as well as every question (I wish I could answer them all) that has been sent to me for the past 10 years. You can access many archived columns at: www.sptimes.com/Technology/archive.shtml. That URL is case-sensitive (not my doing), so you must remember to capitalize the 'T' in Technology, otherwise you will get a "page not found." This is all I can offer, along with my general computing philosophy of keeping things as simple and as homogeneous as possible.

Send questions to personaltech@sptimes.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Don't click on WinFixer or other popup 'help'

08/17/08 [Last modified: Thursday, August 21, 2008 2:34pm]
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