April 4, 2014 by thesoapalchemist
I’m a natural soap maker. My typical day involves mixing soap, measuring oils and lye, pouring soap batter, and washing lots and lots of soap making equipment.
But I also spend a good deal of my day on my computer. I use it not only to access and maintain my website and write for my blog, but also to order supplies, fill orders and ship products. All of this activity leaves me vulnerable to malware infections, but through determination (and an unwillingness to pay for what I can do myself), I’ve managed to cure them all for free.
My favorite site for doctoring my computer is BleepingComputer.com.
The instructions they offer are simple (they look like laundry lists of computer jargon, but if you just do what it says- it works!), they are effective, and the best of all: they’re FREE.
My latest attack was an adware/search engine program called WhiteSmoke that came along for the ride when I tried to download a free version of a program I’ve been wanting. I even unchecked the boxes that offered to change my search engine and toolbars, but it happened anyway, courtesy of Softonic.com. After the download was complete, I opened a new tab, and White Smoke appeared.
Needless to say, I was not happy. I googled “uninstall White Smoke” and of course, WhiteSmoke.com has a lovely page devoted to this.
Only Three Easy Steps!
1. Delete the add-on from my firefox tools
2. Reset my search engine default
3. Delete the program from “my computer.”
Well guess what? WhiteSmoke (and even its creator, Conduit, Inc.), weren’t listed in any of these places, so there was no deleting to be done. It didn’t work. The nice folks at WhiteSmoke did have a lovely “if this didn’t work for you, please complete the following information and our tech support will contact you,” blurb, but I don’t like giving out my personal information to anyone, let alone to a company that installed a P.U.P. on my computer.
Enter, the best computer-self-repair company on the internet: BleepingComputer.com
BleepingComputer’s answer was to install a TDSS Rootkit tool that scanned my computer for certain malware. Finding none, they directed me to install an adware checker, and that lovely little tool found WhiteSmoke right away, and deleted it. I had to restart my computer, but as soon as I did, my toolbars were restored, the search features and home page were once again displaying my beloved Google, and the universe was content and peaceful.
Thank you BleepingComputer.com.
You can find their cure here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/483991/whitesmoke-toolbar/
A little disclaimer: I am not affiliated with BleepingComputer in any way, shape or form. I’ve simply used their fixes several times, and am thrilled to pass on their name to others.