Monday, August 04, 2008

Browser Freezes, Sitemeter, IE, Trojans and Other Fiery Viruses and Bugs

Like a lot of you, I had browser problems all weekend. At first, I just had the 'unable to load page' warnings but then nothing worked. No searches, no blogger, no sitemeter, no favorites, nothing.
I'd known for weeks and weeks that mylivesignature had brought it some add-on virus that had infected my blog and I've seen in on so many others blogs, that I did a short post on it warning everyone and showing them how I'd discovered that viral issue.

DO NOT CLICK:
JUST USE CURSOR OVER BOTH PARTS OF THE LINE THAT FOLLOWS:
Use your cursor to scan the first part of the link, you will see it is a correct linkage director. Now, use your cursor to scan the second half after the: you will see it instantly connects you to 'my live signature' instead. This is how a virus mutates and messes up connections.

I had to edit ALL of my blog postings...one by one, just to take out the direct linkage to 'my live signature' after each and every single link or post. I have always known you don't get anything for free from cutesy sites, but I only accidentally noticed that after I had added the cute signature feature many weeks ago, and then had blogging problems that this was why....this is a mutated viral infection. Luckily, I saw it and corrected it right off in my big listings posts. So, that was problem #1.
Now, this weekend, I was having problems with Sitemeter!
I knew that Sitemeter was under reconstruction and moving to a new site, but my blog was not among the listed numbers that will be most directly affected. Scheduled Outage August 3, 2008 (SM1, S17, S21, S26, S36, S37, S38, S39, S40, S41, S46 and S47)
and SiteMeter Icons Vanishing: "For the next 30 - 45 days we will be testing our servers and databases in preparation for the launch of our new SiteMeter platform. If you are currently using our NoScript tag (plain HTML) the little SiteMeter icon that appears on the pages where you have pasted our tag may dissappear. Please rest assured that nothing is wrong with your account. You can still log in and view your stats and all your traffic will continue to be tracked and stored. This is a temporary problem associated with the image only and will be resolved once we move the new platform." and: Web Sites Using SiteMeter Are Crashing with Internet Explorer

When you click a hyperlink in an e-mail message or on a Web page, or right-click a hyperlink on a Web page and then click Open in New Window, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
•Nothing occurs.
•The new window may be blank.
•You may receive a scripting error message that is similar to the following error message:
No such interface supported.
•Internet Explorer may not respond when you click Print or Print Preview in the File menu.When you try to connect to Web folders, you may receive the following error message:
The current operation could not be completed because an unexpected error has occurred

I attempted to use System Restore...Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Restore...and it failed over and over. I scanned my computer for viral infections, web trackers etc. repeatedly. I could remove the cookies and so on, but no virus was showing up.
I ran my free AVG...and Bingo: AVG found a Trojan virus that the others didn't!
Now What????
Looking that up and found this potential file corrosion by the virus:
•The following registry key is missing or damaged:
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\Interface\{00020400-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}
•One or more of the following files is missing, damaged, or improperly registered:
•Urlmon.dll, •Mshtml.dll •Actxprxy.dll •Oleaut32.dll •Shell32.dll •Shdocvw.dll
RESOLUTION from Microsoft help: click here (only for the brave and careful!)
If the problem is still not resolved, re-install Internet Explorer.
I still had problems. I couldn't fix IE 6.0...so even with my slow poke dial up, I installed IE 7.0. Better, but still some problems. Ran the above 'resolution' again, replacing/redirecting the damaged files. Worked!!!!

I quickly made a new System Restore Point...same progression from the start menu, above, only click on 'create new restoration point'...so I could at least restore back to this working point if more problems creeped up.

With all of our add-ins, and all of the changes being made by others, we have to keep up with our virus definitions, updates etc. And try more than one...they hide just like human viruses do.

It's not just Internet Explorer
If IE is infected, try Mozilla. If Mozilla is infected, try IE. We're taking in add-ons, adding in add-ons (like Sitemeter and other counters) and adding frills and fancies (like mylive signature and other glitzy fun things)

shown above:
By 10 pm on August 2, I had the sitemeter page back and I was almost as hot as my graph 'flames' looked! Phew!!!

6 comments:

  1. Michele,

    My head is still not fully as sharp as it was pre-virus, but if I'm reading this correctly, you have removed live signature from every post? And you've removed Sitemeter from your blog?

    I had problems, but nothing to the extent you and some others have described.

    You're right - there's no such thing as a free lunch!

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  2. My head is not as sharp now, post-the Trojan virus;), but in a nutshell, I removed mylivesignature..weeks ago, when I realized it had mutated and was causing problems in every single post that had my signature in it. I tried to repair IE 6.0, then replaced Internet Explorer with 7.0, when the add-ons (including Sitemeter and its program changes that upset so many browsers this weekend) and I repaired and double checked with virus programs, absolutely everything to make sure programs all worked fine without bringing the virus back in again. Something I did worked, so I'm posting about it, just in case I can help someone else with the same problem. I kept sitemeter, as it is working fine now, got rid of the pretty "Michele" signature after every post, just in case.

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  3. Wow! I am really glad that I never did the live signature. I just didn't want the slowness to creep into my posts. Little did I know I was on the right track. I experienced a bit of not loading on my desktop at home over the weekend. I need to go check out some things now. The laptop is working fine and so is the desktop at work. Thanks for the heads up!

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  4. I'm so sorry about your computer troubles. It is awful to have to deal with. There have been times when my page kept saying mylivesignature is loading, so upon hearing about your troubles, I decided to play it safe and take it off my formatting. Although now reading your post again, it looks like you had problems after you deleted yours. Wish me luck! I'm not adding it back.

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  5. I, too, have my live signature, but I don't link directly back to that page. I copied and pasted the html code on a word document because I thought I would like to have several different signatures. When I sign a post I just go to my document, copy the html code, and paste it on my post. That way I never have to link back to the page.

    Karen in IN

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  6. Goodness, gracious... it's a good thing I wasn't having any of those problems... I could have NEVER been able to do the detective work you accomplished to fix yours.... I would have probably thrown my computer out and just bought a new one by paragraph two. Whew...

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.