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Time to cry Uncle - how to remove Ad.yieldmanager

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I'm over my head and ready to cry Uncle. I have a gremlin that hijacks me from various websites. It takes me to a Google page where I find this message: "Sorry, we couldn't find http://ad.yieldmanager.com/st%3Fad_type"

I have tried a variety of things to fix this, so far unsuccessfully, and would appreciate any help I can get here.

I am running Windows XP SP3 with all security updates installed

Antivirus program: Avast

Spyware prevention: Spyware Blaster

Spyware scanning with MBAM and also Superantispyware

(I also have AdAware installed, and have scanned with that previously, but that too failed to fix the problem)

MBAM first found and quarantined Adware.180 Solutions. I rebooted and rescanned - the rescan is clear, but the problem persists.

Superantispyware then found 105 cookies, which I removed. I rebooted. But the problem persists.

Here is my last MBAM log file (the clean scan):

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.33

Database version: 1668

Windows 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3

1/19/2009 12:34:08 PM

mbam-log-2009-01-19 (12-34-08).txt

Scan type: Full Scan (C:\|)

Objects scanned: 136572

Time elapsed: 52 minute(s), 59 second(s)

Memory Processes Infected: 0

Memory Modules Infected: 0

Registry Keys Infected: 0

Registry Values Infected: 0

Registry Data Items Infected: 0

Folders Infected: 0

Files Infected: 0

Memory Processes Infected:

(No malicious items detected)

Memory Modules Infected:

(No malicious items detected)

Registry Keys Infected:

(No malicious items detected)

Registry Values Infected:

(No malicious items detected)

Registry Data Items Infected:

(No malicious items detected)

Folders Infected:

(No malicious items detected)

Files Infected:

(No malicious items detected)


And here is a HijackThis logfile:

Logfile of Trend Micro HijackThis v2.0.2

Scan saved at 3:10:38 PM, on 1/19/2009

Platform: Windows XP SP3 (WinNT 5.01.2600)

MSIE: Internet Explorer v6.00 SP3 (6.00.2900.5512)

Boot mode: Normal

Running processes:








C:\Program Files\Intel\Wireless\Bin\EvtEng.exe

C:\Program Files\Intel\Wireless\Bin\S24EvMon.exe

C:\Program Files\Intel\Wireless\Bin\WLKeeper.exe

C:\Program Files\Lavasoft\Ad-Aware\aawservice.exe

C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\aswUpdSv.exe

C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashServ.exe

C:\Program Files\Intel\Wireless\Bin\ZcfgSvc.exe






C:\Program Files\Apoint\Apoint.exe

C:\Program Files\Intel\Wireless\Bin\ifrmewrk.exe

C:\Program Files\ATI Technologies\ATI Control Panel\atiptaxx.exe

C:\Program Files\Dell\QuickSet\quickset.exe

C:\Program Files\Apoint\Apntex.exe

C:\Program Files\CyberLink\PowerDVD\DVDLauncher.exe

C:\Program Files\Microsoft IntelliPoint\point32.exe



C:\Program Files\Dell Support Center\bin\sprtcmd.exe


C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jusched.exe

C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe

C:\Program Files\RFA\rfagent.exe

C:\Program Files\Google\GoogleToolbarNotifier\GoogleToolbarNotifier.exe

C:\Program Files\DellSupport\DSAgnt.exe

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\Schedule2\schedul2.exe

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop Elements 3.0\PhotoshopElementsFileAgent.exe

C:\Program Files\SUPERAntiSpyware\SUPERAntiSpyware.exe

C:\Program Files\Kaiser\VPN Client\cvpnd.exe

C:\Program Files\Digital Line Detect\DLG.exe

C:\Program Files\Executive Software\Diskeeper\DkService.exe



C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jqs.exe

C:\Program Files\Maxtor\Maxtor Backup\MaxBackServiceInt.exe


C:\Program Files\Maxtor\Utils\SyncServices.exe

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop Elements 3.0\PhotoshopElementsDeviceConnect.exe

C:\Program Files\Intel\Wireless\Bin\RegSrvc.exe

C:\Program Files\Dell Support Center\bin\sprtsvc.exe

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\Fomatik\TrueImageTryStartService.exe


C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashMaiSv.exe

C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashWebSv.exe




C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\WINWORD.EXE


C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe

C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware\mbam.exe


C:\Program Files\Trend Micro\HijackThis\HijackThis.exe

R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = about:blank

R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Page_URL = http://www.dell.com

R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://www.dell.com

R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Local Page = C:\WINDOWS\pchealth\helpctr\System\panels\blank.htm

R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Local Page = c:\WINDOWS\pchealth\helpctr\System\panels\blank.htm

F2 - REG:system.ini: UserInit=C:\WINDOWS\system32\userinit.exe,C:\WINDOWS\TSI32\tsircusr.exe,

O2 - BHO: Adobe PDF Reader Link Helper - {06849E9F-C8D7-4D59-B87D-784B7D6BE0B3} - C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\ActiveX\AcroIEHelper.dll (file missing)

O2 - BHO: CitiUS Shared Browser Helper Object - {387EDF53-1CF2-4523-BC2F-13462651BE8C} - C:\WINDOWS\system32\BhoCitUS.dll

O2 - BHO: DriveLetterAccess - {5CA3D70E-1895-11CF-8E15-001234567890} - C:\WINDOWS\system32\dla\tfswshx.dll

O2 - BHO: Java Plug-In SSV Helper - {761497BB-D6F0-462C-B6EB-D4DAF1D92D43} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\ssv.dll

O2 - BHO: Google Toolbar Helper - {AA58ED58-01DD-4d91-8333-CF10577473F7} - C:\Program Files\Google\Google Toolbar\GoogleToolbar.dll

O2 - BHO: Google Toolbar Notifier BHO - {AF69DE43-7D58-4638-B6FA-CE66B5AD205D} - C:\Program Files\Google\GoogleToolbarNotifier\5.0.926.3450\swg.dll

O2 - BHO: Google Dictionary Compression sdch - {C84D72FE-E17D-4195-BB24-76C02E2E7C4E} - C:\Program Files\Google\Google Toolbar\Component\fastsearch_219B3E1547538286.dll

O2 - BHO: GoogleAFE - {CA6319C0-31B7-401E-A518-A07C3DB8F777} - c:\Program Files\GoogleAFE\GoogleAE.dll

O2 - BHO: Java Plug-In 2 SSV Helper - {DBC80044-A445-435b-BC74-9C25C1C588A9} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jp2ssv.dll

O2 - BHO: JQSIEStartDetectorImpl - {E7E6F031-17CE-4C07-BC86-EABFE594F69C} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\lib\deploy\jqs\ie\jqs_plugin.dll

O3 - Toolbar: &Google Toolbar - {2318C2B1-4965-11d4-9B18-009027A5CD4F} - C:\Program Files\Google\Google Toolbar\GoogleToolbar.dll

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [ehTray] C:\WINDOWS\ehome\ehtray.exe

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Apoint] C:\Program Files\Apoint\Apoint.exe

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [intelWireless] C:\Program Files\Intel\Wireless\Bin\ifrmewrk.exe /tf Intel PROSet/Wireless

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [ATIPTA] "C:\Program Files\ATI Technologies\ATI Control Panel\atiptaxx.exe"

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Dell QuickSet] C:\Program Files\Dell\QuickSet\quickset.exe

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [DVDLauncher] "C:\Program Files\CyberLink\PowerDVD\DVDLauncher.exe"

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [iSUSPM Startup] "C:\Program Files\Common Files\InstallShield\UpdateService\isuspm.exe" -startup

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [iSUSScheduler] "C:\Program Files\Common Files\InstallShield\UpdateService\issch.exe" -start

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [intelliPoint] "C:\Program Files\Microsoft IntelliPoint\point32.exe"

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [dscactivate] "C:\Program Files\Dell Support Center\gs_agent\custom\dsca.exe"

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [dla] C:\WINDOWS\system32\dla\tfswctrl.exe

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [avast!] C:\PROGRA~1\ALWILS~1\Avast4\ashDisp.exe

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [DellSupportCenter] "C:\Program Files\Dell Support Center\bin\sprtcmd.exe" /P DellSupportCenter

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [sunJavaUpdateSched] "C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jusched.exe"

O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [MSMSGS] "C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe" /background

O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [rfagent] "C:\Program Files\RFA\rfagent.exe"

O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [swg] C:\Program Files\Google\GoogleToolbarNotifier\GoogleToolbarNotifier.exe

O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [DellSupport] "C:\Program Files\DellSupport\DSAgnt.exe" /startup

O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [DellSupportCenter] "C:\Program Files\Dell Support Center\bin\sprtcmd.exe" /P DellSupportCenter

O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [sUPERAntiSpyware] C:\Program Files\SUPERAntiSpyware\SUPERAntiSpyware.exe

O4 - HKUS\S-1-5-18\..\Run: [Picasa Media Detector] C:\Program Files\Picasa2\PicasaMediaDetector.exe (User 'SYSTEM')

O4 - HKUS\.DEFAULT\..\Run: [Picasa Media Detector] C:\Program Files\Picasa2\PicasaMediaDetector.exe (User 'Default user')

O4 - Global Startup: Digital Line Detect.lnk = ?

O8 - Extra context menu item: E&xport to Microsoft Excel - res://C:\PROGRA~1\MICROS~4\OFFICE11\EXCEL.EXE/3000

O9 - Extra button: Citi - {4C730913-3961-439b-83D5-F4E445520422} - C:\Program Files\Citi Virtual Account Numbers\CitiVAN.exe

O9 - Extra button: Research - {92780B25-18CC-41C8-B9BE-3C9C571A8263} - C:\PROGRA~1\MICROS~4\OFFICE11\REFIEBAR.DLL

O9 - Extra button: Real.com - {CD67F990-D8E9-11d2-98FE-00C0F0318AFE} - C:\WINDOWS\system32\Shdocvw.dll

O9 - Extra button: (no name) - {e2e2dd38-d088-4134-82b7-f2ba38496583} - C:\WINDOWS\Network Diagnostic\xpnetdiag.exe

O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: @xpsp3res.dll,-20001 - {e2e2dd38-d088-4134-82b7-f2ba38496583} - C:\WINDOWS\Network Diagnostic\xpnetdiag.exe

O9 - Extra button: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe

O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Windows Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe

O16 - DPF: {05CA9FB0-3E3E-4B36-BF41-0E3A5CAA8CD8} (Office Genuine Advantage Validation Tool) - http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=58813

O16 - DPF: {3BFFE033-BF43-11D5-A271-00A024A51325} (iNotes6 Class) - https://ive-crdc.kp.org/iNotes6.cab,DanaInf...t=8080,CT=java+

O16 - DPF: {6E32070A-766D-4EE6-879C-DC1FA91D2FC3} (MUWebControl Class) - http://www.update.microsoft.com/microsoftu...b?1192849632796

O16 - DPF: {E5F5D008-DD2C-4D32-977D-1A0ADF03058B} (JuniperSetupSP1 Control) - https://ive-crdc.kp.org/dana-cached/setup/J...perSetupSP1.cab

O16 - DPF: {F6676623-8BBD-479C-A51B-05868728708C} (DigitalDM) - http://www.leonardotravelebooks.com/ebooks/DIGITALDM2.cab

O20 - Winlogon Notify: !SASWinLogon - C:\Program Files\SUPERAntiSpyware\SASWINLO.dll

O23 - Service: Lavasoft Ad-Aware Service (aawservice) - Lavasoft - C:\Program Files\Lavasoft\Ad-Aware\aawservice.exe

O23 - Service: Acronis Scheduler2 Service (AcrSch2Svc) - Acronis - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\Schedule2\schedul2.exe

O23 - Service: Adobe Active File Monitor (AdobeActiveFileMonitor) - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop Elements 3.0\PhotoshopElementsFileAgent.exe

O23 - Service: avast! iAVS4 Control Service (aswUpdSv) - ALWIL Software - C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\aswUpdSv.exe

O23 - Service: Ati HotKey Poller - ATI Technologies Inc. - C:\WINDOWS\system32\Ati2evxx.exe

O23 - Service: avast! Antivirus - ALWIL Software - C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashServ.exe

O23 - Service: avast! Mail Scanner - ALWIL Software - C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashMaiSv.exe

O23 - Service: avast! Web Scanner - ALWIL Software - C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashWebSv.exe

O23 - Service: Cisco Systems, Inc. VPN Service (CVPND) - Cisco Systems, Inc. - C:\Program Files\Kaiser\VPN Client\cvpnd.exe

O23 - Service: Diskeeper - Executive Software International, Inc. - C:\Program Files\Executive Software\Diskeeper\DkService.exe

O23 - Service: DSBrokerService - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\DellSupport\brkrsvc.exe

O23 - Service: EvtEng - Intel Corporation - C:\Program Files\Intel\Wireless\Bin\EvtEng.exe

O23 - Service: Google Updater Service (gusvc) - Google - C:\Program Files\Google\Common\Google Updater\GoogleUpdaterService.exe

O23 - Service: Java Quick Starter (JavaQuickStarterService) - Sun Microsystems, Inc. - C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\jqs.exe

O23 - Service: MaxBackServiceInt - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\Maxtor\Maxtor Backup\MaxBackServiceInt.exe

O23 - Service: NICCONFIGSVC - Dell Inc. - C:\Program Files\Dell\NICCONFIGSVC\NICCONFIGSVC.exe

O23 - Service: MaxSyncService (NTService1) - - C:\Program Files\Maxtor\Utils\SyncServices.exe

O23 - Service: Photoshop Elements Device Connect (PhotoshopElementsDeviceConnect) - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop Elements 3.0\PhotoshopElementsDeviceConnect.exe

O23 - Service: RegSrvc - Intel Corporation - C:\Program Files\Intel\Wireless\Bin\RegSrvc.exe

O23 - Service: Spectrum24 Event Monitor (S24EventMonitor) - Intel Corporation - C:\Program Files\Intel\Wireless\Bin\S24EvMon.exe

O23 - Service: SupportSoft Sprocket Service (dellsupportcenter) (sprtsvc_dellsupportcenter) - SupportSoft, Inc. - C:\Program Files\Dell Support Center\bin\sprtsvc.exe

O23 - Service: Acronis Try And Decide Service (TryAndDecideService) - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\Fomatik\TrueImageTryStartService.exe

O23 - Service: TSI Remote Control Service (TSIRCSRV) - Laplink Software, Inc. - C:\WINDOWS\System32\TSIRCSRV.EXE

O23 - Service: WLANKEEPER - Intel

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I'll add one more thing. I used to use Spybot Search and Destroy until I developed an odd problem with Internet Explorer and ended up having to remove Spybot.

I came across the following web page:


Here they give the following advice:

UPDATE: ....it seems a number of people may be having this problem after Spybot Search & Destroy modifies their hosts file after using the

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Setting Read only on the HOSTS file is false protection as any software can go in and change it then do whatever it wants to it then change it back.

Windows Defender that I update daily from its portal monitors modifications to the HOSTS file.

I do not use the Spybot S&D HOSTS file as I believe that they do not do effective maintenance on it and remove dead entries.

I like hpHosts and MVPS HOSTS files manged buy HostsMan and I use its browser speedup proxy in HostsServer.

I don't use Spybot S&D anymore as it never finds anything after its l o n g scan.

Same goes for Ad-Aware as it has become just a bloated application that has gone downhill since its v8.0 release.

Try Secunia Online Software Inspector to check for other application vulnerabilities:


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I believe that I have found the solution. I will post it here in case someone comes along with a similar problem. This was a toughie - it took me many months, and much trial and error, to resolve this. I hope the following helps someone else.

I did try working with the Hosts file, as discussed above. You can find MVPS Hosts by doing a Google search on that term. I installed it, but that did not fix my problem.

The following discussion thread provided a major clue:


In post #14 of this thread, the author writes:

I have just been informed that one of the following programs can cause this issue:

Google Toolbar Helper

Browser Address Error Redirector

So I would uninstall both of those programs

I searched for more info on Browser Address Error Redirector. I found these 2 threads:



Older versions of Browser Address Error Redirector may be called ''GoogleAFE''.

I opened Control Panel, and then Add/Remove programs. There on the list of installed programs was GoogleAFE. I never installed this program. This must be crapware that was pre-installed on my Dell computer. I therefore removed it. TA DA - end of problem. ;)

Because the Google Browser Address Error Redirector (or GoogleAFE) is considered legitimate software, I think this explains why AdAware, MBAM, and Superantispyware all failed to identify it and remove it.

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