Page created 2 April 2005, updated 13 June 2008.
This is an article about a problem that I encountered during Easter 2005. The moral of the story is, "Be careful what you click on".
SURFING THE NET
I was looking for search engines, so that I could add my site, and looking to see who was linking to it. When I finished, I had two viruses, and a Toolbar linking me to Web Search. Eventually I managed to remove the Toolbar, but it has taken one week to get back to something like normal. If you want their Toolbar on your site, make sure you don't want to remove it.
Eventually, one week later, I calmed down enough to send them an email:
I was surfing the web for a search engine during the Easter holiday. Then I found your toolbar on my browser. That was very difficult to get rid of, and it took a lot of work restoring everything to normal. I also got two viruses which I believe came from your site. Now I've got a pop up asking me if I want to install your tool bar. HOW DO I GET RID OF THAT?????
I want a satisfactory reply, otherwise I will be running a campaign against your web site.
Hi from WebSearch,
WebSearch Toolbar is a common MS Windows application working on the same base as any other application. It doesn't corrupt either register files or operating system. It uses HKLM and HKCU\branches in registry as common applications and it is removable through Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel.
WebSearch Toolbar uses many distribution channels but it always requires user's consent to be installed (you have to click on "YES" on the Active X). Our appplication is by mistake identified as a spyware or virus. Most of anti-spyware applications are not able to clean our application but they damage its files. This may cause that you are not able to uninstall it. WebSearch Toolbar tries to repair itself and this might result in reinstallation or problems with uninstallation. We don't enforce you not to use the anti-Spyware and anti-virus programs, but you should know what and why are you deleting something. To stop popups, uninstall Search Assistant.
WinTools consist of two modules:
WebSearch Tools integrated search solution combining results of 8 major search engines Search Assistant gives you alternative search results and special Ads & money saving Information If you uninstall the WinTools Easy Installer, you will uninstall both WebSearch Tools & Search Assistant.
SEARCH ASSISTANT UNINSTALLATION
If you decide that our software is not right for you, you can easily remove it through the ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS menu in your Microsoft Windows CONTROL PANEL.
To uninstall SEARCH ASSISTANT, please, do the following:
1. Click on the START button
2. Click SETTINGS and then CONTROL PANEL
3. Double Click ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS
4. Locate the Search Assistant
5. Click once on the program to be uninstalled
6. Click on the CHANGE/REMOVE button.
7. After the warning window appears, click YES to continue uninstallation.
8. When the next window appears, click YES to finish the uninstallation.
Sincerely, Ludmila, Product Support Assistant
I didn't want this Toolbar on my Browser! It went onto my computer very easily, and it was very difficult to get rid of! Other programs usually have an uninstall application, so it is quite obvious that they don't want you to remove it. I can't say for sure where the two viruses came from. So all I can say is that you have to be very careful what you click on, when surfing the Internet.
THE MESSAGE BOARD
Please use the Computer Support message board regarding any problems. If we all contribute information about problems, we will be able to find a solution, and then get on with finding the stuff we want.
Update 3 April 2005:
CHECKING FOR PROGRAMS
When you press Ctrl + Alt + Delete, a box appears that tells you which programs are running. I found a program wtoolsa.exe which I have removed. To remove the program, I followed the above instructions, and removed Win-Tools Easy installer (by WebSearch). I thought that I had removed their garbage from my computer, so obviously, I was wrong. I have run the computer again, and so far it looks like I've got their rubbish off of the system!