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A virus (apparently) is sending out spammy emails to addresses in my Yahoo email contacts list, and it has affected how Firefox runs.
Running WinXP Pro. My wife uses Yahoo as her default email handler. 2 days ago, several friends sent emails advising her they had received a spam email from her with nothing in the body except a website link. (She had not sent the email) The virus apparently got the addresses from her Yahoo contact list. Then, today she noticed that Firefox (default browser) would not boot after the first time (during system bootup, Firefox is booted and goes to Yahoo as a home page).Subsequently, clicking on the icon in the tray, clicking on New Window in File menu, and/or trying to Run the Profile Manager from the DOS prompt, all fail. No error message. They just refuse to function. Once FF boots up during system boot, it seems to run OK. But if she closes the program and tries to reboot, it refuses to do it.
So there appear to be a couple of problems: one, a virus has attached itself to either Yahoo or Firefox and is automatically sending out spammy emails when she sends a legitimate email. It's getting the email addresses contained in the Yahoo address book. Second, it is has emasculated FF by preventing it from booting. Normally, she can boot a half dozen versions of FF. Now, only one, and that only during initial system bootup.
I have worked around the problem by creating a new profile. But that doesn't get rid of the virus. It just goes around it. Certainly not the desired solution. Will appreciate any and all suggestions. Wes N.
Every time Firefox opened
All Replies (3)
As I understand it, there are three problems you're having:
- There is a virus or spyware on the computer
- Firefox will not open new windows
- After closing Firefox, it won't reopen without rebooting the computer.
Let me know if I read that correctly.
Problems 2 and 3 above are likely caused by an extension. Some older versions of antivirus toolbars can cause Firefox to hang or prevent new windows from opening. Try disabling extensions, following the instructions at Troubleshoot extensions, themes and hardware acceleration issues to solve common Firefox problems
For the first problem, I'd recommend running some virus and spyware scans. Here are some free programs I'd recommend using:
- The free version of malwarebytes from http://www.malwarebytes.org
- Avast Home, from http://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download
Reply back here with the results and let me know if it's fixed, and I'll get back with you.
Zzxc's got good solutions; It might be an add-on, or a theme, or even an unverified plugin, but the virus might also be located on the computer. If you do not have an antivirus, get one immediately! Good antiviruses are: AVG Free Edition (or: Home Page), McAfee, and (already mentioned) Avast. AVG might even detect it and get rid of it for you. You could try disabling add-ons, themes, and plugins one-by-one and see if that works.
Thanks for the comebacks, guys.
1. She has Microsoft Anti Virus and Firewall running. We both have had AVG since 2001. But this last upgrade (paid) to ver 9, it installed fine on my machine but would not, would not install on hers. Tried customer service several times but got no response. AVG, with 25 million customers worldwide, has gotten too big. I don't think they really care anymore about service.
So, yes, we have an anti virus-firewall running. Of course, with these types of viruses. not Microsoft, not AVG, not MacAfee, none of them can catch them.
Yeah, I have Malwarebytes, and a half dozen other anti spyware utilities. My experience has been, they're not much better. I have yet to have any of them find anything on either of our machines. Five months ago I had a virus, that despite all of this so called anti virus protection, completely took over my machine. It took three weeks of intense work with one of the expert volunteers at the Elder Geek forum, to finally get rid of it.
We used a half dozen anti virus programs. The trick is, and the average computer user will not be able to do this, the trick is to read the scan data these programs provide and know what to look for. Once the anomalies are spotted, then it's just a matter of deleting files. I could not have done it myself.
As this is written, I'm still not sure where the virus is located, Yahoo or her computer. I'm going to conatct Yahoo customer service to see if they can find anything.
As for the other problem, I know you are correct about it likely being an outdated FF extension or plugin. Changing the Profile solved the problem, and there weren't any plugins in the new Profile.
The only one she uses is ReminderFox, and I copied that over to the new profile with no problems I can probably fix the default Profile by shutting down plugins one at time til the problem goes away. But I don't really have the time, and the new one is working so I think I'll put that job on the back burner.
Now, if FF could only solve its lack of speed problem. It's become so big and bulky that any one with less than 2 gig of RAM (me, 512K), but not much longer) is just going to have to live with the slow motion, I guess.
Again, thanks for your help.