Review of Ad-Aware SE Personal 1.06

Ad-Aware SE Personal 1.06 by Lavasoft
Date Reviewed: 1/15/2007
Download Ad-Aware SE Personal

I originally reviewed Adware SE Personal 1.06 in August 2005. My test machine was loaded with such programs as Bargain Buddy, Gator, My Web Search, N-Case, Web Rebates, and the Websearch.com toolbar with WinTools. Since that time, many of these programs have disappeared, went out of business, or morphed into something else. 

My current test machine contains toolbars like My Web Search, Zango, and Starware, along with other programs like New.Net, Web Rebates, and Deluxe Communications. The company behind Zango (180 Solutions) acquired Hotbar and was responsible several years ago for N-Case. I also added a virus infection (Lop.com) and a few others to give the software a real test.

I personally would not want these programs on my computer, so I purposely loaded them on this test machine to see how well these removal programs would fair removing any of these pests.

Running Ad-Aware SE 1.06 using the full system scan, after updating the signatures, it found 202 critical objects grouped  in 11 families. After quarantining the items it displayed the following screen asking to re-run Ad-Aware after rebooting, which I did. On the second scan, 49 critical objects were found. A third scan (run in Safe Mode) discovered an additional 11 objects.  

After Ad-Aware SE

Upon rebooting, I ran Hijackthis which showed the following items left on my computer.

R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://my.starware.com/dp/startpage?src_id=305
R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search,SearchAssistant = http://as.starware.com/dp/search?x=wKX1
ILEOi+Vh7AfA98Gm4Me69ZMbubcD3RW7BXlKjveGF4AwCwT67fUJvQBwJBF9/FJag+fq5gxg59GwbiCWltBD1f2EubmO
5BkuV49LZMGTztGQSkez+xMfEcxQEne/wP1myARfG5FuDrdd7seRWX6MKP4bYntHmtQd7xSJtlddCLivn5Yp96Ikw7j
BBMMG7lrd9YeSY7z8zen+IY+LGzvxjnQZ+dReRl5WP9SZ68w=
R3 - URLSearchHook: (no name) -  - (no file)
R3 - URLSearchHook: (no name) - {A8BD6820-6ED7-423E-9558-2D1486B0FEEA} - (no file)
R3 - URLSearchHook: (no name) - {00A6FAF6-072E-44cf-8957-5838F569A31D} - 
C:\Program Files\MyWebSearch\SrchAstt\1.bin\MWSSRCAS.DLL
O2 - BHO: MyWebSearch Search Assistant BHO - {00A6FAF1-072E-44cf-8957-5838F569A31D} - C:\Program Files\MyWebSearch\SrchAstt\1.bin\MWSSRCAS.DLL
O2 - BHO: mwsBar BHO - {07B18EA1-A523-4961-B6BB-170DE4475CCA} - C:\Program Files\MyWebSearch\bar\1.bin\MWSBAR.DLL
O2 - BHO: URLLink - {4A2AACF3-ADF6-11D5-98A9-00E018981B9E} - C:\Program Files\NewDotNet\newdotnet7_48.dll
O3 - Toolbar: My &Web Search - {07B18EA9-A523-4961-B6BB-170DE4475CCA} - C:\Program Files\MyWebSearch\bar\1.bin\MWSBAR.DLL
O3 - Toolbar: Starware305 - {9FB3908C-6565-4CB0-95F8-E9F85258723C} - C:\Program Files\Starware305\bin\Starware305.dll

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [My Web Search Bar Search Scope Monitor]
                                       "C:\PROGRA~1\MYWEBS~1\bar\1.bin\m3SrchMn.exe" /m=0
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [MyWebSearch Email Plugin] C:\PROGRA~1\MYWEBS~1\bar\1.bin\mwsoemon.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [bowsthespamwarn] C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\IsoProgramBowsThe\pokeslow.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [DeluxeCommunications] C:\Program Files\DeluxeCommunications\Dxc.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [New.net Startup] rundll32 C:\PROGRA~1\NEWDOT~1\NEWDOT~2.DLL,ClientStartup -s
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [MyWebSearch Email Plugin] C:\PROGRA~1\MYWEBS~1\bar\1.bin\mwsoemon.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [deafbold] C:\DOCUME~1\Owner\APPLIC~1\SIZECI~1\grey trust.exe

O8 - Extra context menu item: &Search - http://edits.mywebsearch.com/toolbaredits/menusearch.jhtml?p=ZWYYYYYYYYUS
O16 - DPF: {1D4DB7D2-6EC9-47A3-BD87-1E41684E07BB} - http://ak.exe.imgfarm.com/images/nocache/funwebproducts/ei/MyWebSearchInitialSetup1.0.0.15.cab

Conclusions

Most of these removal programs focus on adware and spyware. Since the term spyware has become such a negative word, companies have tried hard to create EULAs that show their products are not spyware. Because of this many of these removal programs now leave a lot of programs untouched that they might have either marked or removed years ago. I prefer the term "not wanted" ware. Software that I simply do not want on my computer. Each computer user is different in what they want installed. In my test, I was hoping software like Starware, MyWebSearch, Net.Net, Deluxe Communications, and others would be removed, but they were left intact along with the Lop.com infection. 

Would I recommend this program? Sure, its an excellent free antispyware removal program which has been around for a very long time. However, since no removal program takes the same approach, I would use it in conjunction with another removal software program to keep your computer clean of software you don't want.

Files found by Ad-Aware SE Personal 1.06 on test machine

Ad-Aware SE Build 1.06r1
Logfile Created on:Monday, January 15, 2007 5:40:11 PM
Created with Ad-Aware SE Personal, free for private use.
Using definitions file:SE1R144 15.01.2007
»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»

References detected during the scan:
»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»
Adware.WebRebates(TAC index:3):5 total references
Coulomb Dialer(TAC index:5):2 total references
DeluxeCommunications(TAC index:10):9 total references
ImIServer IEPlugin(TAC index:5):33 total references
Possible Browser Hijack attempt(TAC index:3):16 total references
Roings(TAC index:8):1 total references
Starware Toolbar(TAC index:5):5 total references
SurfSideKick(TAC index:7):1 total references
TopMoxie(TAC index:3):2 total references
Tracking Cookie(TAC index:3):24 total references
Zango(TAC index:4):105 total references
»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»

Hijackthis Log Before Running Ad-Aware SE Personal 1.06

R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Bar = http://websearch.shopnav.com/sidesearch.cgi?uid=12248223&id=5.20013
R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search,SearchAssistant = http://as.starware.com/dp/search?x=wKX1
ILEOi+Vh7AfA98Gm4Me69ZMbubcD3RW7BXlKjveGF4AwCwT67fUJvQBwJBF9/FJag+fq5gxg59GwbiCWltBD1f2EubmO
5BkuV49LZMGTztGQSkez+xMfEcxQEne/wP1myARfG5FuDrdd7seRWX6MKP4bYntHmtQd7xSJtlddCLivn5Yp96Ikw7j
BBMMG7lrd9YeSY7z8zen+IY+LGzvxjnQZ+dReRl5WP9SZ68w=
R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Page = http://websearch.shopnav.com/sidesearch.cgi?uid=12248223&id=5.20013
R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://my.starware.com/dp/startpage?src_id=305
R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Page_URL = http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=69157
R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Search_URL = http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=54896
R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Bar = http://websearch.shopnav.com/sidesearch.cgi?uid=12248223&id=5.20013
R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Page = http://websearch.shopnav.com/sidesearch.cgi?uid=12248223&id=5.20013
R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=69157
R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search,CustomizeSearch = http://websearch.shopnav.com/sidesearch.cgi?uid=12248223&id=5.20013
R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchURL,(Default) = websearch.shopnav.com/q.cgi?q=
R3 - URLSearchHook: (no name) - {00A6FAF6-072E-44cf-8957-5838F569A31D} - C:\Program Files\MyWebSearch\SrchAstt\1.bin\MWSSRCAS.DLL
R3 - URLSearchHook: (no name) -  - (no file)
R3 - URLSearchHook: (no name) - {A8BD6820-6ED7-423E-9558-2D1486B0FEEA} - C:\Program Files\DeluxeCommunications\DxcBho.dll
O2 - BHO: MyWebSearch Search Assistant BHO - {00A6FAF1-072E-44cf-8957-5838F569A31D} - C:\Program Files\MyWebSearch\SrchAstt\1.bin\MWSSRCAS.DLL
O2 - BHO: SnagIt Toolbar Loader - {00C6482D-C502-44C8-8409-FCE54AD9C208} - C:\Program Files\TechSmith\SnagIt 8\SnagItBHO.dll
O2 - BHO: Band Class - {01F44A8A-8C97-4325-A378-76E68DC4AB2E} - C:\WINDOWS\systb.dll
O2 - BHO: mwsBar BHO - {07B18EA1-A523-4961-B6BB-170DE4475CCA} - C:\Program Files\MyWebSearch\bar\1.bin\MWSBAR.DLL
O2 - BHO: (no name) - {45A4902E-4479-4EAE-A186-8D0F7E4C78DE} - C:\Program Files\Starware305\bin\Starware305.dll
O2 - BHO: URLLink - {4A2AACF3-ADF6-11D5-98A9-00E018981B9E} - C:\Program Files\NewDotNet\newdotnet7_48.dll
O2 - BHO: Zango Search Assistant Helper /fleok=1D8A83A5C5E011789CA975760EA83FA5EF80752B94E2DE76587D472A37C1 - {56F1D444-11BF-4879-A12B-79CF0177F038} - c:\program files\zango\zangohook.dll
O2 - BHO: Zango Toolbar - {5CBE2611-C31B-401F-89BC-4CBB25E853D7} - C:\Program Files\ZangoToolbar\Bin\4.8.3.0\ZbHostIE.dll
O3 - Toolbar: SnagIt - {8FF5E183-ABDE-46EB-B09E-D2AAB95CABE3} - C:\Program Files\TechSmith\SnagIt 8\SnagItIEAddin.dll
O3 - Toolbar: My &Web Search - {07B18EA9-A523-4961-B6BB-170DE4475CCA} - C:\Program Files\MyWebSearch\bar\1.bin\MWSBAR.DLL
O3 - Toolbar: (no name) - {2CDE1A7D-A478-4291-BF31-E1B4C16F92EB} - (no file)
O3 - Toolbar: Starware305 - {9FB3908C-6565-4CB0-95F8-E9F85258723C} - C:\Program Files\Starware305\bin\Starware305.dll
O3 - Toolbar: Zango Toolbar - {5CBE2611-C31B-401F-89BC-4CBB25E853D7} - C:\Program Files\ZangoToolbar\Bin\4.8.3.0\ZbHostIE.dll
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [hpsysdrv] c:\windows\system\hpsysdrv.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [KBD] C:\HP\KBD\KBD.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [DDCM] "C:\Program Files\WildTangent\DDC\DDCManager\DDCMan.exe" -Background
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [DDCActiveMenu] "C:\Program Files\WildTangent\DDC\ActiveMenu\DDCActiveMenu.exe" -boot
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Recguard] C:\WINDOWS\SMINST\RECGUARD.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [NvCplDaemon] RUNDLL32.EXE NvQTwk,NvCplDaemon initialize
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [IgfxTray] C:\WINDOWS\System32\igfxtray.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [HotKeysCmds] C:\WINDOWS\System32\hkcmd.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [S3TRAY2] S3tray2.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [PS2] C:\WINDOWS\system32\ps2.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [My Web Search Bar Search Scope Monitor] "C:\PROGRA~1\MYWEBS~1\bar\1.bin\m3SrchMn.exe" /m=0
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [MyWebSearch Email Plugin] C:\PROGRA~1\MYWEBS~1\bar\1.bin\mwsoemon.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Win Server Updt] C:\WINDOWS\pxckdla.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [toprm] "C:\Program Files\Web__Rebates\webrebatesv.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [bowsthespamwarn] C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\IsoProgramBowsThe\pokeslow.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [QuickTime Task] "C:\Program Files\QuickTime\qttask.exe" -atboottime
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [zango] "c:\program files\zango\zango.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [DeluxeCommunications] C:\Program Files\DeluxeCommunications\Dxc.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [New.net Startup] rundll32 C:\PROGRA~1\NEWDOT~1\NEWDOT~2.DLL,ClientStartup -s
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [MSMSGS] "C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe" /background
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [ctfmon.exe] C:\WINDOWS\system32\ctfmon.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [MyWebSearch Email Plugin] C:\PROGRA~1\MYWEBS~1\bar\1.bin\mwsoemon.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [deafbold] C:\DOCUME~1\Owner\APPLIC~1\SIZECI~1\grey trust.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [DeluxeCommunications] C:\Program Files\DeluxeCommunications\Dxc.exe
O4 - Global Startup: SnagIt 8.lnk = C:\Program Files\TechSmith\SnagIt 8\SnagIt32.exe
O8 - Extra context menu item: &Search - http://edits.mywebsearch.com/toolbaredits/menusearch.jhtml?p=ZWYYYYYYYYUS
O8 - Extra context menu item: Web Rebates - file://C:\Program Files\Web__Rebates\toprt\toprC5.htm
O9 - Extra button: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Windows Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
O11 - Options group: [INTERNATIONAL] International*
O16 - DPF: {02BF25D5-8C17-4B23-BC80-D3488ABDDC6B} (QuickTime Object) - http://a1540.g.akamai.net/7/1540/52/20061205/qtinstall.info.apple.com/qtactivex/qtplugin.cab
O16 - DPF: {1D4DB7D2-6EC9-47A3-BD87-1E41684E07BB} - http://ak.exe.imgfarm.com/images/nocache/funwebproducts/ei/MyWebSearchInitialSetup1.0.0.15.cab
O16 - DPF: {6414512B-B978-451D-A0D8-FCFDF33E833C} (WUWebControl Class) - http://update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/v6/V5Controls/en/x86/client/wuweb_site.cab?1168836801921
O16 - DPF: {AD7FAFB0-16D6-40C3-AF27-585D6E6453FD} - http://217.73.66.1/minidialler/US.exe
O20 - AppInit_DLLs: dxclib303562752.dll
O23 - Service: NVIDIA Driver Helper Service (NVSvc) - NVIDIA Corporation - C:\WINDOWS\System32\nvsvc32.exe

Hijackthis Log After Running Ad-Aware SE Personal 1.06

R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://my.starware.com/dp/startpage?src_id=305
R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search,SearchAssistant = http://as.starware.com/dp/search?x=wKX1
ILEOi+Vh7AfA98Gm4Me69ZMbubcD3RW7BXlKjveGF4AwCwT67fUJvQBwJBF9/FJag+fq5gxg59GwbiCWltBD1f2EubmO
5BkuV49LZMGTztGQSkez+xMfEcxQEne/wP1myARfG5FuDrdd7seRWX6MKP4bYntHmtQd7xSJtlddCLivn5Yp96Ikw7j
BBMMG7lrd9YeSY7z8zen+IY+LGzvxjnQZ+dReRl5WP9SZ68w=
R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Page_URL = http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=69157
R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Search_URL = http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=54896
R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=69157
R3 - URLSearchHook: (no name) -  - (no file)
R3 - URLSearchHook: (no name) - {A8BD6820-6ED7-423E-9558-2D1486B0FEEA} - (no file)
R3 - URLSearchHook: (no name) - {00A6FAF6-072E-44cf-8957-5838F569A31D} - C:\Program Files\MyWebSearch\SrchAstt\1.bin\MWSSRCAS.DLL
O2 - BHO: MyWebSearch Search Assistant BHO - {00A6FAF1-072E-44cf-8957-5838F569A31D} - C:\Program Files\MyWebSearch\SrchAstt\1.bin\MWSSRCAS.DLL
O2 - BHO: SnagIt Toolbar Loader - {00C6482D-C502-44C8-8409-FCE54AD9C208} - C:\Program Files\TechSmith\SnagIt 8\SnagItBHO.dll
O2 - BHO: mwsBar BHO - {07B18EA1-A523-4961-B6BB-170DE4475CCA} - C:\Program Files\MyWebSearch\bar\1.bin\MWSBAR.DLL
O2 - BHO: URLLink - {4A2AACF3-ADF6-11D5-98A9-00E018981B9E} - C:\Program Files\NewDotNet\newdotnet7_48.dll
O3 - Toolbar: SnagIt - {8FF5E183-ABDE-46EB-B09E-D2AAB95CABE3} - C:\Program Files\TechSmith\SnagIt 8\SnagItIEAddin.dll
O3 - Toolbar: My &Web Search - {07B18EA9-A523-4961-B6BB-170DE4475CCA} - C:\Program Files\MyWebSearch\bar\1.bin\MWSBAR.DLL
O3 - Toolbar: Starware305 - {9FB3908C-6565-4CB0-95F8-E9F85258723C} - C:\Program Files\Starware305\bin\Starware305.dll
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [hpsysdrv] c:\windows\system\hpsysdrv.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [KBD] C:\HP\KBD\KBD.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [DDCM] "C:\Program Files\WildTangent\DDC\DDCManager\DDCMan.exe" -Background
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [DDCActiveMenu] "C:\Program Files\WildTangent\DDC\ActiveMenu\DDCActiveMenu.exe" -boot
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Recguard] C:\WINDOWS\SMINST\RECGUARD.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [NvCplDaemon] RUNDLL32.EXE NvQTwk,NvCplDaemon initialize
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [IgfxTray] C:\WINDOWS\System32\igfxtray.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [HotKeysCmds] C:\WINDOWS\System32\hkcmd.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [S3TRAY2] S3tray2.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [PS2] C:\WINDOWS\system32\ps2.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [My Web Search Bar Search Scope Monitor] "C:\PROGRA~1\MYWEBS~1\bar\1.bin\m3SrchMn.exe" /m=0
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [MyWebSearch Email Plugin] C:\PROGRA~1\MYWEBS~1\bar\1.bin\mwsoemon.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [bowsthespamwarn] C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\IsoProgramBowsThe\pokeslow.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [QuickTime Task] "C:\Program Files\QuickTime\qttask.exe" -atboottime
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [DeluxeCommunications] C:\Program Files\DeluxeCommunications\Dxc.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [New.net Startup] rundll32 C:\PROGRA~1\NEWDOT~1\NEWDOT~2.DLL,ClientStartup -s
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [MSMSGS] "C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe" /background
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [ctfmon.exe] C:\WINDOWS\system32\ctfmon.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [MyWebSearch Email Plugin] C:\PROGRA~1\MYWEBS~1\bar\1.bin\mwsoemon.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [deafbold] C:\DOCUME~1\Owner\APPLIC~1\SIZECI~1\grey trust.exe
O4 - Global Startup: SnagIt 8.lnk = C:\Program Files\TechSmith\SnagIt 8\SnagIt32.exe
O8 - Extra context menu item: &Search - http://edits.mywebsearch.com/toolbaredits/menusearch.jhtml?p=ZWYYYYYYYYUS
O9 - Extra button: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Windows Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
O11 - Options group: [INTERNATIONAL] International*
O16 - DPF: {02BF25D5-8C17-4B23-BC80-D3488ABDDC6B} (QuickTime Object) - http://a1540.g.akamai.net/7/1540/52/20061205/qtinstall.info.apple.com/qtactivex/qtplugin.cab
O16 - DPF: {1D4DB7D2-6EC9-47A3-BD87-1E41684E07BB} - http://ak.exe.imgfarm.com/images/nocache/funwebproducts/ei/MyWebSearchInitialSetup1.0.0.15.cab
O16 - DPF: {6414512B-B978-451D-A0D8-FCFDF33E833C} (WUWebControl Class) - http://update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/v6/V5Controls/en/x86/client/wuweb_site.cab?1168836801921
O23 - Service: NVIDIA Driver Helper Service (NVSvc) - NVIDIA Corporation - C:\WINDOWS\System32\nvsvc32.exe

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Written by Mark Hasting


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