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Google Chrome startup page is hijacked

  stlucia2 14 Oct 13
Locked
Answered

Very recently I posted about problems I was having getting Google Chrome to display only the simple Google search screen as its home page, in this thread 1">[click here, and it seemed to have been resolved.

But after a few days of running as I wanted it, now when I start Google Chrome the simple Google search screen appears for a split second, but is replaced almost instantly by a new screen which I can't identify. The screen has no heading, but displays large thumbnails for Amazon, Yahoo music, tumblr., facebook, Yahoo games, flickr, instagram, and groupon. At the bottom right is a link for 'Recently Close' which, if I click it, gives me back my simple Google search home page.

Any idea what's going on, please?

  stlucia2 14 Oct 13

Oops, seems like I didn't do the link properly. Here it is correctly, I hope.

  Woolwell 14 Oct 13
  stlucia2 14 Oct 13

That article shows the screen I had in my previous thread, which I got rid of because it was slowing down Chrome's loading (as noted in the article).

But what I've got now is something different -- that screen is replaced almost instantly, without any action on my part, by a new screen. The new one has no identification, no 'Google' headline, just the large thumbnails I've mentioned with an unidentified search bar above them.

I've just noticed that if I use the search bar, the results page's tab is labelled 'Mysearchdial'. I've used Windows Explorer to search for that term on my C:/ drive, and all it shows is three .pf files named MYSEARCHDIAL0702.EXE-2E4B45CC.pf and similar, in C:/WINDOWS/Prefetch/. Problem now is I can't find it in the list of programs to uninstall using CC or Control Panel.

  Woolwell 14 Oct 13

You have malware probably by accidentally downloading an extra toolbar. How to remove mysearchdial

  Woolwell 14 Oct 13
  stlucia2 14 Oct 13

Thanks Woolwell, but my attempts to remove 'Mysearchdial' are stymied by the fact that it's not listed in the list of programs when I go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs (Windows XP), or when I use CCleaner.

I've also gone through the process described in your second link, to remove it from Google Chrome. I can find it in the list of extensions, and remove it, but it re-installs itself when I start Google Chrome the next time -- presumably because I haven't removed the actual program.

The only time I've rushed an update recently, and maybe missed an 'option' checkbox, was with ZA. I haven't knowingly downloaded/installed any other software, and all the software in the Add/Remove Programs list is stuff I recognise. So is ZA the source?

  stlucia2 14 Oct 13
Answer

Update:

I've run a quick scan with Malawarebytes and it seems to have solved the problem. It found about 20 'infections' on my PC, a few of which were related to mysearchdial registry entries, and removing them has got Chrome's home page back to normal.

Just to be sure, I did a Windows Explorer search for mysearchdial and found the same three .pf files as before. I manually deleted them for good measure.

  Woolwell 14 Oct 13

Did you download ZA from Cnet? Cnet seems to cause problems nowadays.

  stlucia2 14 Oct 13

I don't remember which site I downloaded it from -- I just did an automatic update when I returned to my PC after 8 weeks' absence, and I seem to remember many more check-box 'options' and ads, some of which I may have missed.

I'll try and remember Cnet, and avoid it if possible, when I do further software updates. Thanks woolwell.

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