Spyware Doctor interfering with legitimate programs, and won't uninstall

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Steve, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. Steve

    Steve Guest

    This is just a warning to others who may trip over this. I'm working
    from memory, so it's possible I'm mistaken about the source, but I
    remember downloading Spyware Doctor from PCtools.Com to check for a
    possible infection (found nothing real). Then I noticed that two
    different compilers would no longer run, and the AOL software (I
    ditched them long ago, but still run the software on occasion to get
    into my own filing cabinet) wouldn't even start up. Time having passed,
    I didn't connect the problems to Spyware Doctor until the VERY sharp
    tech support folks at htsoft.com put me onto it.

    After a bit of a google search, it appears that I'm not the only person
    who downloaded this fake spyware removal tool from pctools.com (a
    website I used to trust) a month or two ago. This proved to be one very
    tough nut to kill (and I know most of tricks - and used several of them
    here). I first uninstalled it (I thought I did that right after I first
    ran it - I didn't like its intrusiveness), but it still showed up under
    installed software. That left two files and a subdirectory under
    \Program Files\Spyware Doctor, that wouldn't delete. Using TaskMgr I
    killed sdhelp.exe and then was able to delete that file, though there
    was no trace of it in any of the usual startup locations, and I think
    I've got most of those covered. Still couldn't delete smpg.dat, which
    windows claims is a video CD movie, but the internal header looks a
    whole bunch like an EXE file. Booted to safe mode, renamed the Spyware
    Doctor directory to "Delete Spyware Doctor", rebooted to normal
    Windows, and presto, the compiler runs fine.

    So henceforth I'll be very wary of pctools.com, though I previously
    trusted them. And don't run any purported spyware removal tool without
    checking the archives here! There's an awful lot of spyware out there
    masquerading as protection.

    Side benefit: my PC now runs much faster as well.
    Steve, Aug 24, 2006
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  2. Steve

    Jim Watt Guest

    Running it resident is an option, not one I chose to do
    and have had no problems with it.

    Its a serious bit of software and not a scam.
    Jim Watt, Aug 24, 2006
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