Tech Tip – Megaupload toolbar

I just did something very stupid and not at all like me – I installed a piece of free software without checking it out, despite my reservations. I got an e-newsletter from Brian McLaren which said that someone had loaded one of his early records onto the net and I was fascinated, because I didn’t realise that he had made records, so I followed the link. It said I needed to install this software and I did.

It is spyware. It also highjacks your browser and tries to route it through their site, which means that you can no longer access any of the subscription journals through your library’s catalogue. And I couldn’t work out how to get the download to work.

I quickly decided to uninstall it. It seemed to uninstall quite well from Internet Explorer, but not from Firefox. Although I also needed to uninstall the Yahoo toolbar that it also installed, and the Yahoo installation software. I googled a solution and found a very complex techie one that involved installing Hijack This and looking at log files. I didn’t have any of the files, but I did have a directory called Megaupload Toolbar, which I deleted. I wasn’t able to do several of the other techie things because I couldn’t get Hijack this to work in Safe Mode.

I then found another site that told me that I needed to uninstall it from Firefox directly. This worked like a charm – I think. So, it seems that what you need to do is uninstall it and the two Yahoo files using the Control Panel, then uninstall the plugin directly from Firefox by clicking on tools Tools and then Addons, and then remove the folder in Program Files that is called Megaupload. You may or may not need to clear your cache in any browsers you have installed – I did this early on. You do need to run your anti-spyware software and remove anything that shouldn’t be on your computer, however.

It appears that contrary to techie advice, you do not need to turn off your system restore before you reboot after this.

Of course, a more sensible route is not to install the rotten software in the first place!!! 😦

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