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Q: Getting rid of annoying spyware that brings up "about:blank" ( Answered,   7 Comments )
Subject: Getting rid of annoying spyware that brings up "about:blank"
Category: Computers
Asked by: beckmccall-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 14 Jun 2004 19:23 PDT
Expires: 14 Jul 2004 19:23 PDT
Question ID: 361200
Everytime I try to get my web browser, I get "about:blank"  It brings
up a page that has commercial search sites.  It is very annoying. 
I've tried everything to get rid of it.  I go to internet options and
try to change the home page, but it always comes back to "about:blank"
and all it does is gives me this stupid directory of commercial
subjects like:  air travel art, cars, entertainment, sexual health.  I
tried to load Spybot, but that made it WORSE.  Now I can't pull up a
URL from the address line.  I have to go through the google tool bar
to get to a site!  I've also tried ad aware, but that doesn't do
anything.  Help
Subject: Re: Getting rid of annoying spyware that brings up "about:blank"
Answered By: aceresearcher-ga on 15 Jun 2004 10:05 PDT
Greetings, Beck!

It sounds like you've been infected by a variant of CoolWebSearch.

Before you ran AdAware, did you make sure that you have the most recent version?
When you start it up, it should say AdAware 6.0 Personal, Build 6.181
in the lower right-hand corner. If it doesn't, click "Check For
Updates Now" and install any available updates. Then start it up again
and check that the version number in the corner is the one I
specified. If it isn't, you may need to uninstall your old version of
AdAware before installing the new one. You can do that by going to
your Control Panel "Add / Remove Programs", selecting "AdAware", and
"Remove". Then try installing AdAware again. If you're still having
problems, let me know.

The newest version of AdAware is supposed to be able to take care of about:blank. 


Likewise, before you run Spybot, you'll need to make sure that you
have the most current version by clicking "Search for Updates". If you
run Spybot, pull down the "Help" toolbar menu item, and select
"About", it should say "Spybot Search & Destroy 1.3, Latest Detection
Update 2004-05-29.

Spybot Search & Destroy 

Be sure to download the latest updates first **each time you run
AdAware or Spybot**.

Once you have run Spybot, reset your Home page to the desired website:
Open Internet Explorer and select Tools ==> Internet Options. Under
the "General" tab, enter the URL address of the website you want to
automatically come up when you start Internet Explorer. Click "OK".

Then do a Shut Down / Restart again. Spend some time surfing with your
browser to see if you're still experiencing the problem.

Sometimes successful removal of spyware can take several rounds of Clarifications.

Before Rating my Answer, if you have any questions about this
information or are still having problems, please post a Request for
I hope that this Answer provides exactly the information that you
needed, and that you are on your way to smooth surfing once again!
Subject: Re: Getting rid of annoying spyware that brings up "about:blank"
From: icemanwol-ga on 16 Jun 2004 13:03 PDT
I have created a guide on how to run Ad-aware and such incase you are
still haveing problems with it
Subject: Re: Getting rid of annoying spyware that brings up "about:blank"
From: harold1950-ga on 17 Jun 2004 13:24 PDT
I had the same "about:blank" problem you described. I tried
everything, spybot, adware, etc. I tried for days, to no avail.
Finally, I re-installed Internet Exporer and it worked. The
"about:blank" dissapeared. For you information, my "Favorites" were
not affected. I'm certain, this is the only way to get rid of the
Subject: Re: Getting rid of annoying spyware that brings up "about:blank"
From: guspaz-ga on 20 Jun 2004 12:34 PDT
It is also a VERY good idea to run an antivirus, as they often also
catch things that cause this sort of problem.

An excellent free antivirus (AVG) can be found here:

MaximumPC recently reviews Norton Antivirus 2004, McAfee Antivirus
(2004?) and AVG Free Edition. AVG won, because it took the same time
to scan as the other two, caught all the same viruses as the other
two, and was free.

It also has no ads, which means it has LESS ads than McAfee :p
Subject: Re: Getting rid of annoying spyware that brings up "about:blank"
From: chris66995-ga on 21 Jun 2004 00:05 PDT
Hi there! I've been following your debate on the about:blank hijacker
and checking other references to it because I've had the same problem
from our "friends" at CoolWeb. I came across a neat program called
CWShredder from Soeperman Enterprises Limited (a browser hijacker
removal tool v 1.59.1)
It cruised effortlessly through my registry and obliterated all signs 
of CW products. I reset my home page to the usual google site and hey
presto! It's been OK for three days now and doesn't seem to have
loaded any other spyware into the system at the same time. Give it a may do it for you too!
I can provide a website link if you can't find it!
Subject: Re: Getting rid of annoying spyware that brings up "about:blank"
From: wschloss-ga on 24 Jun 2004 15:43 PDT
I got rid of it by using a freeware download of startup inspector from  I got rid of a few other pesky items using
this as well.  It's kind of a "funky" looking app, not standard blah
like we're used to from Microsoft, but very usefull.  Good luck.
Subject: Re: Getting rid of annoying spyware that brings up "about:blank"
From: pinkfreud-ga on 24 Jun 2004 15:48 PDT
Here is a working link for Startup Inspector, mentioned above:
Subject: Re: Getting rid of annoying spyware that brings up "about:blank"
From: b0x0rz-ga on 26 Jun 2004 09:13 PDT
please see my answer here:
it is a very eacy cost effective FAST FREE way of removing these...
have fun

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