I have an old desktop with an AMD Sempron processor that runs Windows XP. It is mostly unused except for times when it is needed for downloading large chunks of data that takes hours or days. My brother had been using it to download themes for his PSP (PlayStation Portable) when I noticed that the trial version of some anti virus that I installed long ago had already expired. Not wanting to spread any unwanted snippets of code to and through our gaming consoles, I opted to download another trial of another AV software. I tried pulling up the usual security websites but all told me that the pages could not be displayed. The odd thing was that all the other websites were loaded just fine. I even tried pulling up the pages on my laptop and it worked without a hitch. The first thing I checked was for proxy servers on the browser itself. There weren’t any. I did ping tests and checked which ports were open and I came up with nothing. I then proceeded to uninstall all the software on it that I was not familiar with, leaving only the basic ones. The results were the same. I hopped over to my laptop and searched for the keywords “virus blocking antivirus websites”. The very first article that came up had the answer I was looking for. I did the first option under malware.
1. Go to Start.
2. Click Run.
3. Type “mrt.exe” and hit enter.
4. Choose “Full Scan”.
5. Restart once done.
The culprit was found and eradicated. After restarting the old box, I immediately tried going to one of the most popular anti virus software websites. Lo and behold, it opened without any issues. I downloaded a free copy of the AV that they were offering, did the updates, scanned and ran the anti rootkit feature. It’s clean for now. My brother still swears that he wasn’t the one who downloaded the nuisance.