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DELL comes pre-installed with SPYWARE


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#1 dl4562001

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 10:42 AM

The MyWay Search Assistant is a browser hijacking software that came pre-installed on my Dell system. It frequently is trying to change my default Internet Explorer home page to this:

www.dell4me.com/mywaybiz

I have installed Microsoft Anti-SPyware software found here:
http://www.microsoft...&displaylang=en

MyWay Search Assistant cannot be removed via control panel. I have tried to remove it and upon reboot, the program appeared back in control panel and now there is no "remove" button. I booted my PC in safe mode and verified that the program is still actively re-directing my browser without my confirmation even AFTER I supposedly removed it from the control panel. Spybot, Adaware, Microsoft Anit-spyware, all cannot remove this program at the moment.

I urge everyone who reads this to think twice before purchasing a Dell computer with pre-installed hijacking software that is not removable. I suggest building your own PC and forgoing the nuisance and wasted time I have gone through. Dell wants to charge me money for technical support to remove the software! This is no joke; I called Dell and they actually want me to pay for support time to remove their own browser-hijacking software.

Needless to say I have informed my IT department and my boss of this and I am suggesting the return of my PC to dell and for my company to seriously think about future purchases from Dell.

You can find more information by doing simple searches; here is one that explaines the exploit used to make the "remove" button vanish from the control panel rendering the software non-removable:

http://castlecops.co...0&sid=6162#1710

To Dell: Re-think your position on this, is all I can say. I have read internet reports of the denial of spyware but I have actual proof of browser hijacking and it is easy to prove. This is not right.

#2 JG427

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 02:06 PM

It can be removed.

negster22, refered to in your castlecop link, posted the instructions for removal.

Get Rid of My Way Search bar
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#3 VashonDude

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 11:55 PM

dl4562001, please see this article.

-- LB
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#4 Lord of The Rings

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 10:50 AM

Dear dl4562001 :oops:

Please read my post iro HP, a few below yours. :rant:

I think that you will find that all manufacturers are now including their own specific spyware. :gasp: In HP you can remove it, but by doing so lose their update facility. Heads you lose, tails they win! :wtf:

Best Wishes, :D

Edited by Lord of The Rings, 27 August 2005 - 10:52 AM.

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#5 Misereor

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 06:16 AM

I think that you will find that all manufacturers are now including their own specific spyware.


Considering all the bloatware that comes on pre-installed PC's, I'd say your IT department is made up of idiots if they don't format and install an image of their own on any purchased PC. :hmmm:

#6 hornet777

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 05:29 AM

So it sounds like when planning to buy a PC today, one must budget in the cost of an XP install, just so one can have a clean system and that is actually yours. :-) Ah, capitalism (and no I'm not a socialist either)
After all is invested in correctness, then how does it stand with truth?

#7 theCaptain

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Posted 19 September 2005 - 04:40 PM

Some Dell computers come with the MyWay Search Assistant pre-installed. This is a configurable address bar search allowing you to direct searches a select group of search engines (including Ask Jeeves, who owns the MyWay site and software). If you not want it and only want to have Microsoft advertisements ( :evilgrin: ) on your address bar searches, you can simply uninstall it by going to the add/remove programs control panel.

-K
(who works for Ask Jeeves)

#8 racooper

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Posted 19 September 2005 - 11:32 PM

er...my attempts to uninstall this (using the Add/Remove control panel) leave an 'orphaned' MyWay Search entry in Add/Remove, without a "remove" button. Not sure what's with that, but it seems to be acting like malware to me....

#9 Indrid_Cold

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 01:14 AM

Not sure what's with that, but it seems to be acting like malware to me....

Purposely set via the Windows Installer. See the very first post in this thread.

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#10 Misereor

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 03:16 AM

So it sounds like when planning to buy a PC today, one must budget in the cost of an XP install, just so one can have a clean system and that is actually yours. :-) Ah, capitalism (and no I'm not a socialist either)

View Post


If you buy from a vendor who uses preinstalled images (which includes all major vendors), then yes.
It is only prudent to be wary of any "free" software you get with a new PC.
(Not including share/trial-ware. That's just sound business intelligence.)

#11 racooper

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 08:31 AM

Not sure what's with that, but it seems to be acting like malware to me....

Purposely set via the Windows Installer. See the very first post in this thread.

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Indrid: I was responding to TheCaptain's comment "simply uninstall it by going to the add/remove programs control panel", based on personal experience....

#12 theCaptain

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 05:37 PM

er...my attempts to uninstall this (using the Add/Remove control panel) leave an 'orphaned' MyWay Search entry in Add/Remove, without a "remove" button.  Not sure what's with that, but it seems to be acting like malware to me....

View Post


Really? I've heard of that before but not come across anyone who it actually happened to. Apparently it's uninstalled already, just the entries in add/remove control panel remain. (A bug that has been fixed). There is an uninstaller exe that you can run to remove the entries - I'll try and track it down for you.

-K

[Edited]

Note that you should only use the uninstaller only if you have encountered this bug. Otherwise you should just use the normal add/remove programs control panel.

The Uninstaller can be found here: (PM me for the uninstaller)

How can the problem be fixed manually? (for those that prefer to use Regedit)
The problem is fixed by deleting the following two registry keys created by MSI describing the My Way Search Assistant:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT,"Installer\Products\7D449D87B79A4004BAA05BDA60389904"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE,"Software\Classes\Installer\Products\7D449D87B79A4004BAA05BDA60389904"

Edited by theCaptain, 24 October 2005 - 02:16 PM.


#13 hornet777

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 10:15 PM

If its install programme was an .MSI file, then M$ has a tool that will completely edradicate all traces of that install. Search their site for the Microsoft installer, and you'll run across the eradicator/uninstaller. If its a "regular" installer, and it leaves the entry in the Add/Remove list, you can try 1) removing it again (which didn't work in this case) and sometimes it'll offer to remove it fromt he list; 2) TweakUI (98 version) has a tab to edit the Add/Remove list (not sure if the XP version has it or not, can't remember). Lastly, there is the option of manually installing the files then cleaning the registry: Danger, Will Robinson! Also, a royal pain in the backside.
After all is invested in correctness, then how does it stand with truth?




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