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The Google Redirect Virus: a great site that can help you kill it for good

Our rhubarb patch

Our rhubarb patch

Computer health is something that most of us take for granted. Especially if you have bought and installed a reputable anti virus software and spyware programme  – McAfee in my case. This programme chugs away daily – updating and searching and protecting. Having paid your annual subscription you can relax.


A few weeks ago I began having problems with browsing. I’d click on one site and be redirected to another – Toronto Real Estate, motor parts, shopping selection sites and so on. This started to drive me nuts. I jumped through hoops to avoid the redirects – clicking on the cached pages of the sites that I wanted to visit. The redirect seemed to be worse at the beginning of the day sometimes I could actually check the TV listings in the evening.

However my laptop began to run more and more slowly. I could see that the disk activity light was constantly lit. Writing emails meant several seconds delay between letters – the simple word Hello took 30 seconds. Shortened to the more familiar Hi, an indolent snail on the keyboard would have achieved faster speeds.

Eventually I discovered that my laptop had been infected with the Google Redirect Virus. Apparently this virus can affect search engines such Bing and Yahoo too. It can also affect many other web browsers.

I tried installing various pieces of anti spyware software without success. I visited forums for advice and just found that I was trudging round and round in ever decreasing circles. The computer speed was grinding to a semi halt and there were so many people trying unsuccessfully to remove this virus that I began to give up hope.

As my frustration grew I longed to smack the laptop into shape. In the end I closed the lid gently and stopped using the computer. A pointless, Luddite decision but at least I could catch up on my reading.

Yesterday I was determined to track down a solution. It took some time but eventually I and found this excellent site . Initially, feeling lazy, I just uninstalled McAfee (you need to go to the McAfee to get the software for this) and installed a trial version of Kaspersky Labs. The latter scanned my laptop and picked up two Trojans and two viruses. These were quarantined and suddenly the computer was the speedy boy racer that I’ve come to know and love. However the Google Redirect Virus reappeared after rebooting. Aaaargh…

So I printed off the instructions from and diligently followed every point. The Combofix mentioned in section 6 killed the virus dead. The virus was programmed to reinstall at boot up. When I rebooted two warning windows informed me that the two relevant virus files could not be found. Yey!

So if you are grappling with the Google Redirect Virus please visit this site. If you follow every section you will get rid of the Google Redirect Virus.

Why didn’t McAffee pick up this virus? I’ve switched to Kaspersky as at least it will alert me to viruses on my system. Have you had this virus and if so how did you delete it?

  Leave a reply


  1. Juanita

    I stopped using that bastardly MS OS years ago and switched to OpenSource (Linux) instead. Currently running Ubuntu. I never, ever have problems with viruses anymore….like, ever! And don’t have to pay for any anti-virus software either.

    So glad you got yours sorted though!

  2. Hi Fi, bit of a lurker but happy to weigh in with something I’m familiar with. Just to re-iterate the points on Security Essentials, its pretty nifty, not overly invasive and I use it on every machine I look after. However, I would recommend you run with two user accounts. The first is your ‘Everyday’ account and used for virtually all of your tasks, the second is your ‘Admin’ account and is only used for installing new applications and low-level tasks (i.e. configuration, etc.). Your ‘Everyday’ account must be configured as a ‘Standard’ User, the ‘Admin’ account as an administrator. The reasoning is that many machines run as ‘Administrator’ mode by mode allowing the less persausive viruses / hacks, etc. to automatically install. If you remove this priviledge, you prevent the installation. I get dragged in to resolve a lot of computer problems for friends, the above configuration means they don’t have to come back 😉

    Finally, once your machine is comprised (like it is now) – I would highly recommend you wipe it and start again. There are certain viruses that are extremely difficult (Root-Kits) to find and may have been installed / not removed. The time spend re-formating and re-installing is a pittance compared to sorting out Identity Theft or recovering from a security breach on your site.

  3. I had a redirect virus on a previous PC and it was a nightmare to remove. I couldn’t agree more with Louise H about Microsoft Security Essentials – free and effective, and recommended to me by several IT bods who work for major comnpanies in the City. I would also recommend which found over 100 threats when I first ran it that AVG had somehow missed. I also completely agree with Veronica – I used to have McAfee, switched to Norton when I found McAfee becoming slow and cumbersome, then dumped Norton when it slowed my machine down more than a virus would! I’ve been so pleased with MS Security Essentials that I don’t think I’ll bother to renew my AVG licence when it expires. And yes, that rhubarb is magnificent!

  4. Peter

    I’ve never had virus problems until this past 6 weeks or so since when, despite not changing my surfing habits at all, I’ve been hit repeatedly, mainly with those fake antivirus programs. Even though MSE warns about the attack, the nasty stuff has already got through. The source of the problem seems to be malicious code in banner ads and other website advertising. MalwareBytes’ Anti-Malware and the TDSSKiller rootkit removal tool got me fixed up. I’ve started using the Firefox add-ons Adblock Plus and noscript, which I hope will help.

  5. Louise H

    Hi Fiona,

    FREE and darn good (if you have an MS Operating System) is Microsoft Security Essentials. I got hit on my brand new workplace laptop – so badly it just continually re-ran an exec virus program, not allowing me to exit. You can nearly always open in ‘Safe Mode’ to install anti-virus software, by the way.

    Anyway, being idle I took it to our wonderful geeky techies who all use the above (as had I) and had missed loading it before passing the laptop over to me. As I said, blissfully free and runs alongside Norton, Macafee, etc

    If you have an MS/OS then I advise you all to at least google it and have a look.

    Just in case y’all think I am an agent for chinese virus propagation – I’m an IT teacher!

  6. Aargh! Sooo infuriating! I admire your diligence and patience in trying to rectify the problem. We got ‘antimalware virus’ and it drove us mad, until we persuaded a computery minded friend to have a look at it……. not one…. but 54(!) viruses. No wonder our computer was chugging!

  7. Veronica

    McAfee and Norton may be market leaders, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best. Horrible bloatware, and judging by your experience, not even effective! We use eSet’s NOD32. Not the cheapest, but even slow machines cope with it and we have never, ever had a problem with it in 5 years of using it.

  8. Helen

    Gosh – I’m impressed you have been busy and patient and competent. I’ve never caught and e.virus only the regular kind and I hope I never do:)

  9. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Ben

    Yes it is! We have three giant crowns – semi shady spot and they love it.

  10. Is that your rhubarb patch this year? Our’s is looking very sad after the dry spring we’ve had in Bedfordshire.

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