Ask homepage

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Ask homepage

Postby Dannim » Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:08 am

Hey guys, came across an Ask homepage that cannot be removed/changed.

Utilities run:

- RogueKiller
- aswMBR
- MBAR
- SAS
- AdwCleaner
- JunkwareRemovalTool

Manually removed all Ask entries from the registry, uninstalled all junk software (Toolbars, adware, etc). Still the same thing, homepage comes up as "http://www.search.ask.com/?o=APN10645A&gct=hp&d=-&t=4".

Hijackthis shows the homepage as the Microsoft default, however Ask still comes up. I've also merged the default reg values for the homepage to no avail.

Came across this: http://help.ask.com/link/portal/30015/3 ... t-Explorer

I've removed IE completely, installed IE10, created a new user, same homepage.


Any ideas?
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Re: Ask homepage

Postby JohnTheComputerGuy » Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:15 pm

I've never found Ask to be an issue. It's a PUP at the very worst. Run the uninstall for it in CP and then reset the homepage. Done. If you didn't run the uninstall first, then you've left something in the registry.
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Re: Ask homepage

Postby GEGeek » Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:23 pm

You could try this.
ASK Toolbar Remover
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Re: Ask homepage

Postby Dannim » Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:11 pm

Used the Ask remover as well Geek, no change.
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Re: Ask homepage

Postby Marshall » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:03 am

Sounds to me like there could possibly be remnants of an infection.

If the system is 100% clean I would re-install whatever Ask Bloatware set the homepage, and then use Revo Uninstaller in an advanced scan to remove it. d7 should be able to help you reset IE settings if you are unable to manually. Switch d7 to system access, and try again. If this fails I would check the Malwarescan for rogue entries.

Also I noticed Malwarebytes Anti-Malware was not in your list of apps ran. In my opinion you should always put this to the top of the list.
Hijack this is a great product, but for the most part d7's Malwarescan does the same thing, and even more, so I would suggest using it instead/as well.

Also have you tested IE (without addons)?
Do other browsers go to the Ask homepage as well?
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Re: Ask homepage

Postby EagleTech » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:41 pm

HMWMCT wrote:Also have you tested IE (without addons)? Do other browsers go to the Ask homepage as well?


Right where I was going. Also in Internet Options>Advanced uncheck Third Party Browser Extensions.

Also ditto on MBAM.
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Re: Ask homepage

Postby Dannim » Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:46 am

d7 Malware scan was run as well and no Ask entries were found.

MBAR will do the same scan for PUPs that MBAM will do.

IE is the only browser affected, and of course no addons was tried. ;) Browser extensions was disabled with no effect.

There is a rather large selection of software that will install Ask junk, do you have a particular method for knowing what in particular installed this instance when no relatable entries are in appwiz?
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Re: Ask homepage

Postby Marshall » Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:36 am

do you have a particular method for knowing what in particular installed this instance when no relatable entries are in appwiz?

Nope. Trying to find how it came in would be a waste of time at this point.

If you want to Dannim run OTL on the system if you still have it, and have yet to resolve the problem. Post the log here and I will do my best to help. I'm no pro at reading OTL logs, but that's the next step I think.

Below are a links to information regarding this issue. If you have not yet seen these pages please take a look as they may have insight into your issue.

http://help.ask.com/link/portal/30015/3 ... t-Explorer

A fix that applies to IE 7, and IE 8.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2493729

Removal guide of the Ask Toolbar and Ask Search Bar...it may be relevant, or may not.
http://malwaretips.com/blogs/remove-ask ... nd-search/

Also is it possible that this system has "Bloatware" still installed on it? Toolbars, cheaply made and distributed software, and all around other crap software that people just don't realize sneak their way in?

I'm fairly sure you have probably gone through most if not all of this, but two heads are better than one. If all of the above doesn't fix your issue please post an OTL log for me.
Good Luck!
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Re: Ask homepage

Postby GEGeek » Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:57 pm

In addition to all of HMWMCT's advice, which was all very sound. Just got wind of a new toolbar remover today called Anti-Toolbar - http://www.anti-toolbar.com/
In the the description it mentioned searching out for changes to homepages caused by toolbar add-ons, among other features.
Might be worth a shot since I assume you are still having the issue. Saw the program and remembered your issue. I hope it works because we all need a viable solution
to this pandemic.
Review from MajorGeeks
Let's face it, few of us wake up in the morning thinking to ourselves, "Hey, I'm going to install a bunch of toolbars on my browser today!" Yet because of fast clicking fingers, it happens. Antitoolbar can help you with that.

Anti-Toolbar will automatically detect any Toolbars installed on your PC and give you the opportunity to erase or disable them.

AntiToolbar finds and displays a list of toolbars, homepage, and search settings on your browsers and then lets you choose the ones you want to remove.

More than just disabling add-ons that you no longer need, AntiToolbar's intelligent technology ensures that the settings you selects remains on your PC. AntiToolbar gives you the opportunity to regain control of your Internet preferences and even boosts your browser performance.
Identifies toolbars, homepage and search settings
Provides transparent and reversible choices
Eliminates difficult to remove add-ons and change defaults
Improves Internet experience i.e. crashes, slowness
Support the most popular browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer


Good Luck
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Re: Ask homepage

Postby Marshall » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:08 pm

Just tested it out, that's pretty nice.

The only thing I don't like about it is that it installs to your system, and they allow 3rd party marketing/software installs. Otherwise it appears to be totally free, from the same company that does reimageplus.com.
If this could be turned into a portable app, that would be pretty good. I like the homepage feature, but question its viability, and have no way to test right now to see if it will fix a problem like the one Dannim is facing.
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