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Spyware Attacks! Windows Safe Mode is No Longer Safe

Many of us have run into an annoying and time-consuming error. With your machine running goofey you decide to run a scan for trojans and spyware. Following the scan, which usually takes fourty minutes or longer if you scan the entire system, you are hit with the "access denied" error. Frustrating, for sure, but being the savvy computer user that you are you decide to boot to safe mode to take care of the issue. No spyware can load when booted to safe mode, right?

Wrong.

The newer variants of the CoolWebSearch, HuntBar, and VX2 infections all load even when safe mode is used. There are a few different ways of accomplishing this, the most common being that the spyware registers itself as a critical system process. This ensures that it is loaded regardless of what happens, and makes it much harder to shut down.

If you can't prevent it from loading then how do you kill it? The answer to that is easier than it might seem. If you're running Windows 98 or ME, then the easiest way is to boot to DOS, and use a command-line scanner to search your hard drive. These scans actually tend to run a bit faster, since they have more system resources available to them courtesy of no GUI being loaded.

"Well, that's all fine and dandy", you're likely thinking to yourself, "I run Windows XP. You can't read it from DOS." True. You can't read NTFS hard disks from DOS. However, you can use Barts PE.

Barts PE is effectively a stripped version of Windows XP. It boots completely from a CD, and loads a simple graphical user interface. Coupled with plugins, McAfee, for example, you can scan your entire computer without the fear that your nifty little infection has somehow loaded.

For more information on how to setup Barts PE and McAfee within it, visit:

http://www.tweaksforgeeks.com/Setup_Barts_PE.html

http://www.tweaksforgeeks.com/B arts_PE_McAfee_Setup.html

Kevin Souter is a full time computer repair technician. He also operates a free spyware removal site, as well as a general computer repair site.

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