Saturday, February 23, 2008

Beware of the Ekxdvft Toolbar

At some point within the last 24 hours, my computer was infected by the Ekxdvft toolbar. Possibly as a side effect, when I rebooted my computer, I had to log in as a new user, which meant among other things that I had to work with a new desktop. I rebooted a couple of times to no avail. (Memo to self: Never again use the desktop as parking space for unfinished documents.) I had been using the Google toolbar for all my browsing for some time, so at least I didn’t lose any bookmarks of significance.

I wound up using the SmithfraudFix freeware off this website. This and other websites had detailed instructions for removing the files manually. If you know your way around computer software, it’s probably safer. However, I am strictly WYSIWYG as these things go, so I took my chance with the freeware. The toolbar is gone; I only hope that this incarnation of yours truly will be back the next time I reboot.

SmithfraudFix worked for me; that does not mean that it will work for you. But I’m posting this, just in case you have the same problem and are even less capable around computers than I am. Oh, and since I had to use a new desktop every time I rebooted, I saved the freeware into a file of its own in the hard disk and copied it to the desktop after I rebooted.

I hope you never have to go through this, but in case you do, I’ll be happy if this will be of help.

I couldn’t boot in Safe Mode according to the webpage popup instructions. If you have the same problem and your computer, like mine with its generic Windows Vista OS, does not come with a hardcopy manual, just kill it before it boots up properly, then reboot. The computer will ask you what mode you want to boot it in.

Recently, I’ve become ever more reluctant to support the death penalty. Having said that, I must confess that I would not be too unhappy to learn that whoever wrote the code for the Ekxdvft toolbar dies a gruesome death.

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