Can you help?

Discussion in 'Computers & Website Forum' started by Gina B, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    I got an old computer from a guy who was gonna toss it because it was old and slow. I got it up and running much better with some basic maintenance and such, COOL! Made me happy, but then when some suspicious ads came up despite my pop-up blocks, I ran a program called "everything" and it found around five different p*rnographic items. So I went and searched for a p*rn removal tool that gets into the hard-drive and it found THOUSANDS of items in the hard-drive that I don't know how to get to and delete on my own and it doesn't give enough info to figure out where it is so I can manually delete it.

    Are there any FREE programs out there that will do a decent job of finding these deeply hidden files and getting them off the computer? The free ones I've tried don't find them, they just scan the obvious stuff. I'd like to make this my work computer, it really just needed some basic updates and maintenance to get it in decent order but I don't care how deeply hidden this stuff is, I want it GONE and I'm guessing that getting rid of those thousands of things will help the computer run faster and more smooth.

    What can I do?
     
  2. exscentric

    exscentric
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    1. you can start by emptying the cache on your browser. Go to options and snoop for cache - the help file might tell you how, depending on version of browser and windows.

    2. Open windows explorer and go down alphabetically and see if there is a "temp" directory. If there is empty it. Also go to the windows directory and see if there is a "temp" directory there - if there is empty it.

    Run your search and see if they are still there. If they are you could do a search for the following and it should find the pics.

    *.jpeg
    *.jpg
    *.gif
    *.bmp

    that might find the pics, you can then delete them.

    Probably the easiest if you have the restore disks is to restore the hard drive - be sure to format it first. This will get rid of some of it at least. You can get free disk wipe programs that could wipe everything before you reinstall. If you don't have the restore disks if you have a spare version of windows wipe and install.

    Possibly others can tell you about removal tools.
     
  3. th1bill

    th1bill
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    Without some idea of the date purchased or some specs on your computer it hard for me to make an iron clad recommendation for you but here goes my best effort.

    I am a former Windows Beta Tester that has abandoned the sinking ship, the USS MicroSoft, and Iḿ very busy recovering old computers and giving them away to students for their school work, at no cost to them. Since I left MS in ´07 I ran for 24 months without so much as a firewall and never found one virus. worm, trojan, root kit or porn-ware on my ´puter. I am running the fastest growing OS in the world, Ubuntu/Linux, that has this year become the number 2 most popular system.

    if your computer is old enough that it has, say, a 7 gig harddrive, you can run Puppy Linux and it will run like a modernday quad core with 4 gig of memory... very impressive and it is a clone of Ubuntu for old and small computers. If your unit is newer than that, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Long Term Support) goes from push the button to complete rest at the Desk Top in 40 seconds and you might even co0nsider the just released Natty Narwhal v. 11.04 with the ultra user friendly Desk Top that I am using right now. Iḿ better than 4 years into this and it has been a very pleasing experience. Puppy can be found by googeling ¨Puppy Linux¨ and Ubuntu can be found at www.ubuntu.com. If you go with the Ubuntu you will be very pleased because when you do the install the default choice is to install it beside your Windows, insuring that you are not trapped if you happen to dislike the system. Thus far I have only had one convert back out on me and that is my daughter and she did not even give it two hours testing.

    Cod bless and if you need help I am always available because I am a 100% disabled Vet.
     
  4. Don

    Don
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    Don't forget video files: .mov, .wmv, etc.

    Unfortunately, I don't know of any free, easy programs that will do this. And for the life of me, I can't figure out the claims of some of these programs; how, for example, do these programs figure out that a file with extension .jpg is pornographic vice one that is a family photo?

    Seems to me the best thing you could do is not load any of *your* stuff on this computer; use Revo Uninstaller and uninstall all programs you don't need, or aren't familiar with; use MalwareBytes to check for spyware; and use CCleaner, GlaryUtilities, or something similar to clean up the registry. After that, you'll still have to delete temporary internet files, temp folders, and go through the directories to see what's still there that could be deleted in order to clean this thing up.

    Bill's recommendation to install Linux might be the easiest way to go....
     
  5. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Oooohhhh. I'd love to use Linux...nobody else in this house will know how and that will keep the computer mine Mine MINE! Mwah ha ha ha!

    I did clean out quite a bit, but it's the stuff hidden within the hard-drive that I can't get to.

    But...maybe you can help me more. I have a computer I'd love to be using instead and the only reason I'm not is that when I moved and transported it, something happened to it. Two things...the video output doesn't work. I bought a video card but when we opened up the computer and installed it but still...nothing. After that it seemed that the harddrive wasn't starting up. It sounded like it did at first, but maybe I tried started and restarting it too many times before thinking of that, now it doesn't sound right. Any ideas on what to try?

    My husband is an 80% disabled vet...but doesn't know computers so yeah, I'll be taking advantage of you as I try to work this out. LOL Thanks for offering! I could make things easy and take them to someone but there's just something much more satisfying about the hand-on part of doing it myself, even if I get how to do it from others. Guess I'm stubborn or I'd have asked about this long before now. :eek:
     
  6. exscentric

    exscentric
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    Relating to Linux: If you format and put linux on does that wipe the drive or just format it like windows does. If it does not wipe the drive the pics are still there if you are worried about someone finding them someday future.

    The video card: On some motherboards you have to shut the internal video off with a little jumper. Only then will the new one work. You would need the motherboard/computer book/manual. You might find it on the manufacturer site if you don't have it.

    I ask about the formatting as I do not know how Linux does formatting. In windows you can format and the files are there, you just can't get to them without special software - like law enforcement uses.

    Question: Why do you think the bad files are buried somewhere? I don't know why they would unless the previous owner "hid" them. If just downloaded from the net they would go to the cache unless they were "saved" somewhere else which might have gotten them "hidden."
     
  7. Gina B

    Gina B
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    I think they're hidden because of two things.

    1. I ran a program that told me they were in the computer, yet I cannot find them.

    2. I was pretty sure that it's nearly impossible to not have everything ever done on a computer still accessible to those who know their way around them. I did some research to see if that was true and on almost every site I checked out, they stated that yes, this stuff especially stays on computers, often with file names that make it virtually impossible to recognize even if you do run across the file name.

    I had a computer once that contained some sensitive information on it because of the type of work I was doing at the time. (nah, not the corner, lol, reporting) When it came time to get rid of the computer I had to gut it and manually destroy the insides with a hammer before I tossed it. I was told that nothing is ever really deleted off a computer no matter how hard a lot of people try unless they really know what they're doing. That's how so many stupid criminals get caught. They think they erased their virtual activity and don't realize that experts can retrieve it. It's kinda sad because schools and colleges toss perfectly good computers when they get newer models because those who know how will be able to retrieve sensitive information off them if they're so inclined. There are so many wasted that could go to people who could really use them!
     
  8. exscentric

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    Only the hard drive/s can retain information once the power is off.

    There are programs that lay down information (garbage) on the entire drive, then do it again and then again which pretty much destroys anything on the drive, but the program only works on the entire drive so you lose the operating system/programs you want, that is why you need the restore disks or a windows disk.

    If you can't find the manual for the video problem unit post its make and model number, someone might accidentally know how or if you need to shut off the onboard video.
     

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