IMHO Spysweeper 3.x
is the most thorough (adware/spyware) removal tool available right now, and it has more robust signature database than any other application. Spysweeper also detects a lot of programs/traces that AdAware & Spybot seem to miss everytime. IMHO you need to use at least 4 different applications to clean systems that are mucked up with internet garbage, and I've been cleaning 30+ pc's a week now using the combination of Spysweeper 3.0
, AdAware SE 1.05
, Spybot 1.3
, and HiJackThis 1.98.2
Before you start the cleaning process, download the Option Explicit Winsock Tool for Win 98/ME/2K/XP
in case you cannot access the internet after removing certain pieces of spyware/adware.
Empty your temp and temporary internet files folder for each account (start > run > cleanmgr), then reset your IE security settings. Be sure to install and update each spyware/adware utility mentioned above, and reboot to safe mode to run the scans. Run HiJack This last, and be sure you know what you are removing. In some cases you will have to find the files manually to delete them. If you have any questions about your HiJack This log, please email it to me or post them for review.
Reboot your system back into normal mode, then run an online virus scan using Housecall
One way to reduce the amount of spayware/adware that could hop on your system is to update to SP2 if you are using Windows XP and/or disable ActiveX. You should also use Sun Java
since the MS Java VM is full of security holes. Another way to help prevent spyware is to switch over to Firefox
I hope this helps.