Gut Rumbles

August 02, 2005

idiot wind

I have a question.

Is it ME, my computer, or has Internet Explorer become kinda froggy lately? I've started getting those pesky warning notices about loss of "virtual memory" (whatever the hell that is) and when I try to log off the internet, Windows won't close the program. If I TELL it to, it locks up everything and I have to do a hard-boot to get the damn thing running again.

I've been very careful over the years NEVER to open any attachments on emails. (Sorry, Catfish-- if you send me something that way IT WILL NOT be opened) I also beware when these pop-ups come to tell me that "NEW DOWNLOADS ARE AVAILABLE. WOULD YOU LIKE TO INSTALL THEM NOW?"

I always just delete that shit.

So, I ask. Is it ME, my computer or Windows that's causing this problem? Should I download those ubitquitous "updates?" Or, should I stick to my guns the way I've always been doing?

I've said before that I am a computer maroon. I know NOTHING about this crap.

But I know that someone out there can help me. I'm asking now.


Switch to Firefox RIGHT AWAY.

I did it and I never looked back.

It blocks popups like magic and using it is very similar to IE.

Posted by: rightisright on August 2, 2005 09:21 PM


Get Firefox. I'm not a Linux geek by any stretch of the imagination, but that damned browser is a hundred times safer, spyware wise, than IE, and I love the tabbed browsing.

- D

Posted by: Donnie on August 2, 2005 09:22 PM

You definitely need to download the updates that come from microsqash. There's a load of recent (and not so recent) stuff that protects against hacks and attacks on your machine.

You sound like you've got a classic case of malware/spyware infestation. I assume you at least have an up to date virus scanner and software firewall?

In addition you probably need to download a good spyware remover and keep it updated/running regularly.

AND, ditch IE in favor of Firefox. It's not perfect, but it helps.

Posted by: Desert Cat on August 2, 2005 09:44 PM

I agree, get Firefox. IE is notorious for not exiting gracefully even when you close it properly. If you click CTRL+ALT+DELETE and bring up your Task Manager (I assume you are running Windows XP, this being the 21st century and all), often you will see under Processes that "iexpore.exe" may still be running, even though you've closed the browser. Feel free to kill it when that happens. (DO NOT mistake it for explorer.exe and kill that instead. Very Bad Things will happen if you do.)

Posted by: Joni on August 2, 2005 09:44 PM

That was iexplore.exe already. (Can you believe I make my living typing?! Yeesh!)

Posted by: Joni on August 2, 2005 09:47 PM

1. Go to
2. Search for 'adaware' and download it.
3. Search for 'spybot' and download it.
4. Install and run both, no particular order.

Between the two programs most of the spyware on your system will get cleaned. If it still gives you problems take it to a competent PC shop.

Posted by: Gmac on August 2, 2005 09:51 PM

Firefox rocks. Explorer blows goats.

Any questions?

Posted by: Elisson on August 2, 2005 11:00 PM

I had the problem until I installed a 10 buck walmart spyware program and about forty bucks worth of forewalls. I still have a trojan horse that bucks once in a whiole and slows everything down. When it does and I'm not afraid of losing anything I just shut down at the main frame figuring that the thieving asshole will lose whatever it is that he is working on in my system. have a computer expert scheduled to come to the house and close the port which I can't figure how to close.

Posted by: GUYK on August 2, 2005 11:41 PM

I am a Linux person...Trust me...Get Firefox and Thunderbird. Donnie is right.


I'm serious, you know how to reach me.

Posted by: Sam on August 3, 2005 12:34 AM

Get a mac no problems,never crashes, no worries. My dad likes to say having a mac is like having a classic muscle car, people don't like to fuck each others up. But of course I am biased. Just my opinion

Posted by: gravdigr on August 3, 2005 01:03 AM

FIREFOX user here. I love it. And would never go back to IE.

Posted by: Ruth on August 3, 2005 06:26 AM

guess FIREFOX is your answer.. I been usin it bout a year now and I NEVER frikkin use IE....IE is like takin a bath with your sox on, whatever the hell that means

Posted by: johndeerebilly on August 3, 2005 06:59 AM

Rob, how long have you had that computer. You need to take it in to a technician for its routine maintenance.

Have them rotate the hard drive, and change the RAM (you should be doing that every 3,000 bootups anyway).

Posted by: McGehee on August 3, 2005 07:48 AM

I agree 100% A-Man. I have been using Mozilla for more than a year. Spybot is an excellent tool as well. I would also suggest downloading AVG Anti-Virus. It is free like Mozilla and Spybot. Mozilla will import all of your favorites from Explorer. It is VERY simple to use.

Posted by: Tony on August 3, 2005 08:07 AM

Sorry. Forgot to add that you can download the AVG software at:

Posted by: Tony on August 3, 2005 08:07 AM

I use what tony uses and I am satisfied works great and it is free. I am using windows xp

Posted by: arathorn on August 3, 2005 08:24 AM

Along with the excellent recommendations for Firefox, Spybot and Ad-Aware it also wouldn't hurt to let Windows update do it business. Even if you don't go all the way to SP2 it is worth your time to patch SP1.

Also, if your using Outlook Express for email do a bit of research on tweaking the default security settings. With an unpatched copy of XP and the default settings on OE/IE it is entirely possible to have malicious code injected without ever opening an attachment.

Posted by: Zappatista on August 3, 2005 10:06 AM

See above.

There are sites out there that use bad java or whatever that make you have to use IE to visit them, but most places work with Firefox. Using Firefox all the time all but eliminates future infestations with malware (my name for adware and spyware, collectively).

You want to dowload, install, update and run Ad-Aware. For good measure, you probably also want to download, etc., Spybot Search & Destroy.

For what it's worth, Microsoft Antispyware is a superior product, better than any of the others in my experience (they did the usual "pick a company with a good product and buy it" thing), but they are wanting to be nosy in the process, recording the serial number of your Windows install and making sure it is unique.

Anyway, clean things up with the adware/spyware purging programs, install Firefox, use it religiously, and you will largely stay clean. Run scans periodically, at least with Ad-Aware, even if you are using Firefox exclusively.

Also, in a pinch you can go to and run that online scanner in comprehensive mode. That gets viruses plus "spyware," which includes cookies. Sometimes it can't remove it all, but it's a start and will give you an idea where you stand so you can be even more sure you need the download. FWIW, ironically, Housecall can give problems running via Firefox so you may have to use IE for that.

Posted by: Jay on August 3, 2005 10:23 AM

1) IE is a horrible piece of shit. If you must use windows, get FireFox.

2) Windows is a horrible piece of shit. Do yourself a favor and get a Mac.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on August 3, 2005 10:56 AM

Rob --

I just spent the better part of two days ripping Spyware out of a computer. Got lots and lots of the exact same error message that you're getting. You're out of memory because there are _lots_ of little programs (spyware etc.) running in the background of your computer.

You haev two choices:
A) Chuck that shit in the trash and go get yourself a Macintosh.

B) Perform computer surgery thus:

1. Download "Spybot Search & Destroy", "Ad-Aware", and "Mozilla FireFox". Install them both. Run each one and allow them to download any available updates.

2. Reboot your computer. Right after it starts to reboot, start hitting F8 repeatedly until a menu comes up offering you the option (among others) to boot into "Safe Mode". Finish booting in Safe Mode.

3. In Safe Mode, Run Ad-Aware. (You _did_ get the updates, right?). Let it do a full system scan. Whatever it finds, let it rip out.

4. Repeat step 3, using Spybot Search & Destroy.

5. Reboot.

6. Download and install all those critical Windows Updates you've been letting slide.

7. Delete the Internet Explorer icon from you desktop. (No I'm not joking.) Use FireFox. Never use Internet Explorer unless you come across some site that requires it; even then think twice about whether or not you _really_ need to see that site.

7.a. You might opt instead (or "also") to download Netscape 8, which reportedly can properly view those "Internet Explorer only" sites. I can not personally vouch for this software as I have never used it.

8. After all this, you may still have some minor spyware and such installed, but you should be a lot better than you were. Once in a while run Ad-Aware and Spybot again, let them downlaod their updates, and scan again. They may catch something they missed before.

C) You actually have a third option overall: Save all your personal data files, wipe the hard drive, reinstall Windows and all you programs. Good Luck with that one (or hire a pro).

Oh yeah. Either way, you also _must_ have virus protection software on your computer. (Arguably not if you go get the Mac....)

Posted by: Strider on August 3, 2005 12:52 PM
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