My Wife's Laptop

Welcome to Just Ask Matt! Today, (lost the name during network outage) writes:

Hi Matt, I’ve got a good one going on my wifes’s laptop. She is running XP Pro SP2.

When you start IE, it will bring up a privacy screen asking if you want to accept a cookie from, that window locks up and you can’t do any more with IE.

If you go into the Internet Properties and add to allowed list, then IE just closes without doing anything.

If you run Slimbrowser or Firefox, they work fine.

I’ve run AdAware and Spybot S&D over everything multiple times; they did find some things but the problem is still there.

I’ve run AVG and TrendMicro’s online anti-virus with nothing being found.

I reinstalled IE from the SP2 disk, no luck.

I just don’t know what else to do. Something bad is in her computer and I don’t know how to kill it. I’ve looked everywhere I can think of on the Net, but no luck.


OK, first off you have done a great job at eliminating some things for me to go over. :o) Now, to me it looks like it is going to be a spyware issue. So I would get myself a copy of either Sygate or Zonealarm on that system. This will prevent the little bugger from connecting to whatever it is trying connect to.

Now that is out of the way, you will need to install a copy of Microsoft’s AntiSpyware (that or Pestpatrol). Since the firewall is in place, you will be prompted to allow/disallow the spyware remover access to the Internet. You will want to allow it that access when you go to download updated definitions for said program(s).

Now since you are using XP, it is up to you if you are willing to disable system restore during the spyware removal process. Some do not like that idea, while others, such as myself, always do. If you decide to, just be sure to re-enable it and create a new restore point afterward.

What has me curious is that you are being prompted to accept a cookie from localhost ( To be honest, I find that a little distressing and would say that the firewall program is an immediate thing before going to any new steps).

Assuming that one of the removal programs that I mentioned above is able to help you resolve the problem, I would encourage you to upgrade to the latest IE ASAP via Windows updates. While there, be sure to install all critical patches as well.

While I am not a huge fan of MS, I am very happy with its removal program. I have yet to have it let me down. As for IE usage… if you insist in using it after this is resolved, you had better be VERY careful to make sure that all security updates are in place as it is a magnet for spyware and other junk. Hope this helps!

Do you have an IT-related question? Perhaps you are just burnt out on writing on the walls with crayons? Whatever the comments may be, drop me a line, and you too can “Just Ask Matt!”