This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
1: It was one of the bits of junk put on your laptop by the supplier. A lot of software suppliers pay to have their apps put on your laptop, and in a recession the suppliers are glad of every penny. You may even find it is on the recovery disc they supplied.
2: You downloaded some other “free” app which is paid for by advertising. There was some small print which you didn’t notice saying you had to try the speed up app along with it.
Those two scenarios are benign. If either of those is the case, it is a minor annoyance. If your app was paid for by advertising, then uninstalling speed up may cause your app to stop working. Begging the question of whether you want that sort of app in the first place.
3: There are websites which charge only £9.99 to clean up the junk on your computer. I can probably find one and it will tell me there are 12345 bits of junk in my registry, and if I pay the £9.99 it will tell me it has deleted them. Brilliant. Even on my Linux box which ain’t got a registry!
4: It may come bundled with ad‑ware, which monitors your browsing habits and sends you targeted advertising.
Less benign, just a minor scam or moderate annoyance.
5: It is bona fide malware.
I think it is probably not malware, otherwise your anti‑virus program would have found it and complained. I searched for Uniblue etc on CNET and found this, which reassures me the program is not harmful. If you click through the CNET link, it makes some interesting remarks at the end of the review.
1: Set a system restore point and take a backup of your work
2: Uninstall the speed up program.
3: Get some anti-adware apps, eg AdAware, Spybot search & destroy. There are others. If you use SS&D, read the licence agreement carefully. You can find several apps here.
4: Run a full malware scan with your anti‑virus program.
5: Run the adware and spyware programs. It may be worth using more than one, but don’t run two scans simultaneously.
6: Get the adware programs to remove anything they find.
7: Set a new system restore point.
8: Make a new recovery disc and take a new backup.
You may find that improves the performance of your PC more than any tune‑up program. Ashampoo make a tune‑up program which you can try free of charge for a week.
Joined: May 06, 2003
Thanks very much for the detailed analyses and guidance.