I have a question - volume 25 - No Do$h

******* Thread now closed, please see volume 26 ********


In this thread you may ask any question for which you need help, advice, suggestions or whatever.

It does not need to be motoring related. In fact, in this thread it should not be.

No politics
No Speeding, speed cameras, traffic calming
No arguments or slanging matches
Nothing which I think is not following the spirit of the thread
Nothing that risks the future of this site (please see the small print for details www.honestjohn.co.uk/credits/index.htm )

Any of the above will be deleted. If the thread becomes difficult to maintain it will simply be removed.

However, as has been said a couple of times, there is a wealth of knowledge in here, much of which is not motoring related, but most of which is useful.

This is Volume 25. Previous Volumes will not be deleted.

Volume 24 can be found here: tinyurl.com/z2tf1
Searching for Subjects in the BR - THe Growler
I do not ever seem to be able to find anything I want via the \"Search\" facility. Everything I enter seems to bring up extracts from road test data using the word(s)I am looking for but not the past thread on a specific subject which I seek..

Of course if I can\'t even find a rattle in my car then the cause is probably mine.

Are there are any specific protocols to be used when searching?
Searching for Subjects in the BR - frostbite
Are you using \'site search\' (top) or \'forum search\' (top right)?
Use the other one.
Searching for Subjects in the BR - mal
Growler, like Matt35 and I you just have never noticed the forum search in the right-hand column.

Pleased it\'s not just me.

Searching for Subjects in the BR - THe Growler
Thank you.
Leaking Flat Roof - DL
My flat roof over my outhouse (adjoining the house, like a utility room) is leaking when it rains.

Due to ££££\'s being directed elsewhere at the moment, is there a temporary repair that I can carry out?

At the moment I have it sheeted down with polythene but I don\'t hold out a lot of hope when the wind gets up....
groups.msn.com/honestjohn/problems.msnw?Page=1 - Pictures say a thousand words.....
Leaking Flat Roof - Dwight Van Driver
Aquaseal 88 - a Bituminous Mastic, under a tenner, from your local DIY can be used to seal a crack/hole/slit in the roof.

The repair is the easy bit, the hard part will be trying to identify the point where the water gets it.

Leaking Flat Roof - DL
Excellent news DVD - I\'m off to get a 25L drum of the stuff and will pour it over the roof! That should sort it!

No, seriously, I *think* I know the area in question, I\'ll see how I get on.

Thanks mate :-)
groups.msn.com/honestjohn/problems.msnw?Page=1 - Pictures say a thousand words.....
Credit Card Balance - Clanger
If anyone has any comments on the following longish post, I would be plased to hear from you.
Although I normally clear my credit card balance every month, in November I decided to pay off exactly £1000 and wrote a cheque for that amount. This cheque was credited to my account as only £10 giving rise to a fee of £20 and suspension of my card because the £10 didn\'t cover the required minimum payment. This caused bewilderment and embarrassment at the petrol station when I tried to use the card.
For some reason that I can\'t fathom, only £10 was debited from my bank account so no money is missing. The £990 difference is still in my account, rather than with the credit card company.
Call 1 to customer services very much put the blame on me. The operator was sure that I had put £1000 on the cheque counterfoil and written the cheque for £10. After I had got a copy of the cheque from my bank at a cost of £5 and faxed it to the credit card company, call 2 to customer services was along the lines of \"write to us with a copy of the cheque and we will put everything right, and can you let us take the minimum payment for November and December by debit card?\" so I duly let them debit my bank £41. This all sounded a bit glib so I wrote a letter enclosing another copy of the cheque and asked for the interest to be removed, the £20 fee to be removed and £5 cost of getting a copy cheque to be credited.
10 days after writing the letter and after another call to customer services to remind them that I hadn\'t had a reply, I was annoyed to get a standard letter from the credit card company with tick boxes on it asking for copies of the front and back of the cheque, a copy of the bank statement and to put a trace on the transaction. No mention of giving me back the £25 plus interest that I had asked for. So I faxed them a letter last Thursday asking them what had happened to the 2 copies of the cheque for £1000 that I had already sent them, and would the customer services manager call me before end of business on Friday so we could try and make some progress.
Having now reactivated another credit card and lost confidence in the current company, I would like to send the card back, clear the balance apart from the £28 or so I think I am owed and leave it at that. However I\'m worried that this will result in a blot on my credit history because at the current rate of progress, I can see it being months before they acknowledge it being their fault.

Stranger in a strange land
Credit Card Balance - Vin {P}
I would try one last (polite) letter, then buy Saturday\'s Telegraph, go to te \"Money\" section and look in the back couple of pages for the \"Ask Jessica\" column. Outline the details, with exact dates, etc of letters and she\'ll get her cudgel out for you.

All she asks is a polite first letter to her and thanks when she\'s done the job for you.

Credit Card Balance - Cardew
I would agree with writing to one of the newspapers who will get the problem sorted plus normally a gesture of a few pounds compensation. A couple of points though.

If you leave any sum outstanding on your monthly credit card bill you are charged interest on the whole amount - not just the balance.

Example if you have a bill for £1,100 and pay off £900 you will be charged interest on the full £1,100 not the outstanding £200. I found this out the hard way when I had a bill for £500.98 and mistakenly sent a cheque for £500.89 and next month found I was charged several pounds interest on an outstanding balance of 09p. (After my representation I got the interest refunded as a goodwill gesture!)

The other point is to be absolutely sure that there is no record of you being a \'defaulter\' as it is a real job to get off the register once you are put on it. Get this in writing.

Credit Card Balance - SteveH42
Not help as such, just to say you aren't alone in being messed around by CC companies. My sister had an occasion where her card company took the entire balance from her bank by direct debit rather than the minimum payment she had set up. This of course put her bank account overdrawn. Due to the direct debit guarantee, she was able to get it refunded. She did make an additional payment to the credit card for part of the balance but was told that despite this, the monthly payment hadn't been made so she'd be put on a credit blacklist and charged by the CC company. No amount of arguing could get them to budge on this and as she was a student at the time taking advantage of a 0% offer, she couldn't move to another card immediately. So, she ended up blacklisted with two charges due to no fault of her own and no amount of complaining could get a positive answer. The credit card company just said that by their T&Cs they had acted within their rights so tough... :(
Credit Card Balance - wemyss
I shoould have as many irons in the fire as possible. Inform the CC company that you intend to use the services of the financial ombudsman. tinyurl.com/z7p0
I would do this in writing.
Credit Card Balance - PhilW
Without going into details, I have recently (well, the last 6 months) had problems with a CC which resulted in me being credit blacklisted. Numerous telephone calls failed to get a result. In the end I wrote a letter to all the people at the CC who had written "threatening" letters to me, plus copies to various managers at various levels (including chief executive, managing director etc) of the controlling bank and demanded satisfaction within 7 days otherwise I would go to 1) Trading Standards (I had been "sold" and charged for an Income Protection Policy which I knew nothing about and had been charged on my CC without my knowledge) 2) Financial Ombudsman 3) My solicitor 4) BBC Watchdog, Ask Jessica and the Consumers Association and any other consumer organisations I could think of
These threats seemed to work - I immediately got phone calls, letters apologising, my name removed from the blacklist and £150 in compensation. In addition I now get e-mails from the head of customer services asking me how I am and can they help me get a very cheap loan and to use her personal e-mail address to consult her if I have any financial problems/questions she can help with!!!
Credit Card Balance - Clanger
Thank you all for your replies. Next letter is under construction ...

Stranger in a strange land
Legal age for babysitting - Rob the Bus {P}

Do any of you know the legal position regarding babysitting? What is the minimum age that an elder child can be left in charge of a younger child?

Thanks in advance,

Legal age for babysitting - Cardew
There is a mass of info on this on the internet. The below is a typical comment.


"There's no minimum age for babysitting. Working on the assumption you live in England or Wales, there's no straightforward answer to your question. There's no legal minimum age that a child can be left alone at home, although endangering a child by leaving them unattended is an offence. NSPCC guidelines recommend most children under 13 should not be left unsupervised for long. For more information, check out the NSPCC site."
Legal age for babysitting - Rob the Bus {P}
Thanks for that, Cardew. I've checked the site and it answers my questions perfectly.


Football Strip - BobbyG
My son has received a football strip as a birthday present but we are not sure what team it is. As the spend is usually £10 - £15, it is probably a last season strip.

It is purple with the white adidas stripes, sponsor is "Fortis"and part of the badge seems to have a flag with black, yellow and red vertical stripes in that order. Also has initials SCA in badge.

Any ideas?
Football Strip - Dwight Van Driver
Bobby G

I think (after long searches) that the Club is:

Sporting Club Anderlecht which has Fortis as a sponsor.


Cultivate the young one towards Middlesbrough.....

Football Strip - BobbyG
Thanks for that DVD, much appreciated.
Mind you, considering he is a Celtic fan, wonder why someone got him an Anderlecht top!!

Thanks again
Saddam Hussain - malteser
8< Snip 8<

{Sorry, Saddam Hussain questions do not fall into the rules of this thread. DD}
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - Stargazer {P}
No Dosh,

Thanks for the info on the CH....sorry I dont visit the BR over the weekend. It sounds like you have located the problem. I was surprised when you said that you had a partially pumped system with to valves as this is very unusual....you later corrected this to fully pumped which is what I was expecting.

Agree that if the valve is jammed open but not closing the micro-switch you are stuffed. In this case the CH will only appear to work when the HW is on.

Agree with the others, replace both valves with new ones while the system is drained. While you are at it give the primary circuit a chemical flush and then refill with a good inhibitor (Fernox or Sentinel). This should clean up the pipes and prevent a recurrence of the problem. I know you said that you may replace the boiler later....but if the pipework is the same then you want the pipes as clean as possible to avoid logging up a new boiler heat exchanger.


Ian L
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - No Do$h
Thanks Ian. Will be off downstairs to get stuck in to the heating in the next half hour...... {gulp}

I picked up some Fernox flush and inhibitor when I picked up the valves. Wish me luck!
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - Stargazer {P}
All fingers and toes crossed!
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - No Do$h
Update 37 of ???

The @#$%&* that plumbed the heating in thought it would be a really clever idea to put the CH valve in a position where it is impossible to undo the fittings without... wait for it..... removing the hot water cylinder! Yes, the only way I can get a spanner on the fittings and then actually move the spanner is by taking out the cylinder. I think the plumber may now be employed by Renault advising on the positioning of headlamp bulbs.

Cylinder now sat in middle of kitchen. Both cats exploded through the catflap when the swearing started and are now peering at NoDosh mansion from the relative safety of the woodshed.

I really hope I get the cylinder back in before Mrs ND gets home. She may just faint when she sees it sat in front of the fridge.
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - Phil I
Oh dear o dear. Sounds like N.D. is using automotive toolkit instead of genuine British Plumber Standard. Particularly short of the long right angled multi socket uni-jointed bar which is specially used for undoing nuts down at the bottom of 4" wide spaces. Had you mentioned it I could have loaned you one.:-))

Happy plumbing Phil I
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - billy25
even if N.D doesn't get it back in before mrs gets home, i bet he'll still get plenty of hot water! :-)
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - henry k
Update 37 of ???
The @#$%&* that plumbed the heating in thought it would be
a really clever idea to put the CH valve in a
position where it is impossible to undo the fittings without... wait
for it..... removing the hot water cylinder! Yes, the only
way I can get a spanner on the fittings and then
actually move the spanner is by taking out the cylinder.

I really hope I get the cylinder back in before Mrs
ND gets home.

I have just returned for your latest update. I am attempting to change my bath taps. your expletive The @#$%&* that plumbed applies in my household too.
Sorry but few alternatives to what you have done. The valve had to be removed by some means. Maybe you could have cut the pipe and reinstalled the valve elsewhere but that is probably too late now. Consider repositioning valves for the future?
Take the Mrs Dosh aggro but do not rush the job.
Consider swilling out the cylinder as there can be a big build up of loose fur in the bottom.
The Darby Arms is your next stop I would suggest, on foot of course.
To anyone else having CH done I suggest you do as I did and insist on the valves being installed so that future access is easy. Same applies to the pump.
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - No Do$h
Tank now back in place having been given a bit of a swilling.

I toyed with repositioning the valves but we are having a new boiler later next year and will be having it installed elsewhere in the house. Most of the current plumbing will be getting ripped out to accomodate this so I\'m working on the basis that having just fitted two new valves I shouldn\'t need to remove them in the next 9 months..... Where\'s that wood?

When the new boiler goes in I will be overseeing the installation and will be insisting on isolation valves, drain points and zone valves all being readily accessible. I\'m not going through this again!

I think your idea of spending some time at the Darby\'s this evening may have some merit..... I feel a pint or two of Tanglefoot calling. Fortunately it is a mere 850yds away according to Autoroute, although it tends to be shorter on the way back as I have been known to take a couple of beer-induced shortcuts that you wont find on any maps.... ON FOOT, I should add.
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - Mark (RLBS)
>>Fortunately it is a mere 850yds away according to Autoroute, although it tends to be shorter on the way back

Now, that's strange. From my house to the pub is 49 yards. From the pub to my house is roughly 20 minutes, or at least it was last night.
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - No Do$h
Ah, but you have to factor in the "as the crow flies" distance being just 500 yds. Now crows have been known to fly across peoples gardens, so when your bladder demands a Linford Christie of a run home, getting over a couple of fences in quick order is no challenge!
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - Mark (RLBS)
Find a pub which has toilets ?
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - No Do$h
Closing time + lack of judgement + cold air......
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - Dynamic Dave
Hmmm, looks like I'm gonna have to moderate some moderators!!

Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - No Do$h

Got it all back together, refilled the system, bled off all the air, heard hissing noise......

Pinhole leak at crown of hot water cylinder.

I am now about to fit a new hot water cylinder.

I have ordered takeaway pizza and have some cans to keep me company.

I am losing the will to live

Oh, Mark? Dave? You guys will have to do without me tonight.

{Rhythmic beating of head on monitor}
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - wemyss
Dosh why don't you just solder the pinhole. Very easy task with the cylinder being made of copper. before 2 and half inch bosses became standard in cylinders we used to have to do this by cutting the right size hole in the top and wiping a simple joint around the boss.
later came Essex flanges which made it easier. But with just a pinhole no skill is needed and is 100% satisfactory.
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - No Do$h
The cylinder is truly ancient - like the rest of the system! It's only a matter of time before it goes elsewhere. I figure that having taken the bleedin' thing out once already I may as well just sling it and start from scratch. There was all kinds of corrosion around the point where the immersion element is threaded into the crown, running down one side of the tank, so it appears it has been leaking there as well. It was also an unlagged tank with a wrap-around jacket. Hardly energy efficient!

In for a penny.....

Everything is now in place bar the last two connections as I'm going to have to redo a couple of sections of pipe. It can wait until tomorrow as I'm now rather tired. Water is back on so at least we can have a shower (electric, thank goodness) and drink copious amounts to tea.

Now I know how plumbers justify their rates. What a piggin' awkward job this has been. Still, beats sitting at the PC stopping squabbles in here......


Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - henry k
later came Essex flanges

As you are installing a new cylinder that may well be reused consider putting in the equivalent of the Essex flange.
You can get a fitting for the top of the cylinder that gives you TWO outlets thus permitting dedicated hot water for a non electric shower. No sudden chilling when another hot tap or washing machine nicks the hot water.
I think they are about £15. Once cylinders have been in a while they do no easily release fittings.
So back to it.
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - wemyss
Henry, When domestic central heating came into prominence in the early 60s instead of installing a new indirect cylinder a conversion from a direct cylinder was available which was then called a sidewinder with 3/4" BSP tappings. This was installed into an immersion heater boss. Yorkshire manufactured one later and they called it a Micraversion primarily intended for microbore systems.
I have never heard of these being used off the secondary system although it would be feasible and perhaps they have introduced one specifically for this application as its some years since I was in the trade. It would need a large surface area to maintain a hot water supply.
Spot on about difficulties in removing immersion heaters if the plumber has put boss white on the gasket? A junior hacksaw is often the way. I always used some vaseline or similar on the fibre washer and it would spin out easily later.. Another tip along the same line which is rarely done and this is to ensure before fitting taps, gate valves etc is to break! them in the vice first put some grease or similar on the threads and then just nip the head up again. Difficult without a vice as it must be someone like Arnie who tightens them up at the factory. Trying to remove heads from valves in situ can be hopeless.
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - Stargazer {P}

It is called a Surrey flange....two outlets in a coaxial form, the outer one takes the water from the top of the tank as normal...this is connected to the normal hot water pipe, the central pipe takes water from 6-8 inhes down and is connected to the shower. This second pipes still gets hot water but avoids the air bubbles and ensures that this is a dedicated hot supply for the shower.


Ian L.
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - henry k
It is called a Surrey flange.

Thats the one. Thanks Ian
Am in Surrey so no excuses.
My prices are way out of date. From your link What is a York flange?
Alvin. Will remember your tips.
No Dosh has gone quiet. I hope his sense of humour is OK.
He was talking about leaks earlier but thats bad luck to need an instant new cylinder.
I hope the old radiators do not complain next.
Wiring all fixed?
He will be living up to his name.
Total expenditure to date to the nearest £?
Estimated labour charges for said job?
I await the next update before the pub shuts.
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - No Do$h
Right. When I find the comedian who thought it would be funny to stuff a cellophane ciggie wrapper inside the cylinder whilst it was sat in the shop I will set fire to their grandma.

Having got the system refilled I was getting intermittent flow on hot water. After much scratching of the by now severely balding No Dosh head, decided to drain down the system again. When I undo lower connector, out pops half the wrapper. Much prodding with a straightened coat hanger later and the other bit flops out.


It's a good thing I don't have any work until some point in January......
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - No Do$h

Hot water

All working!

{Doing the "I've got hot water and can have a bath now" dance*}

* We have an electric shower so hygiene has not been an issue, but relaxation has!

I will tot up the total cost of all the bits and bobs tomorrow for those who have feigned interest in my troubles. Thanks to everyone for their assistance. The Mod Gods will surely smile upon you (well, this one will).
No Dosh
Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - henry k
All working!

I thought you had sunk without trace or got lost returning from drowning your sorrows but thanks for your late, great update.
I am glad you did not present us with your latest problem.
That really was not in the Murphy's law. I am impressed you identified it.
It is assumed that you will now undertake the rest of the plumbing challenge at No Dosh Palace so that all you need is a CORGI to legally commission it.
You should be able to dine out on your tale.

Boiler problems - continued from Vol 24 - Clanger
Well done. Ten out of ten for perseverance and diagnostic skill.

Home facilities management consultant (OK, handyman/plumber)
Sunglasses - arnold2
Sort of motoring related ! My Ray-ban\'s are crap quality (didn\'t realise until I looked, they\'re built in Italy!). Who makes:
a. well-made
b. good-looking Sunglasses ?
Sunglasses - Colin M
arnold2, most pilots I know wear Raybans but I similarly have had problems with the ones with plastic side arms.

The Luxottica Group bought Bausch & Lomb (original Rayban makers) a couple of years ago. They also own Sunglasses Hut plus a load of other sunglass names like Vogue, Persol, Arnette, Killer Loop, Revo, and Sferoflex.

Bausch seem to be a serious vision correction company whereas Luxottica are a fashion brand concious manufacturer which is perhaps why you have seen a drop in the quality of the product recently.

That said, I am happy with my latest Raybans (metal framed).

Request to a moderator - Obsolete
I have a request to make of a moderator.

An ex-user - Bogush J Mann - is telling everyone that I got him banned twice from this site. He was recently banned, posting as Health and Safety or something like that. He was also banned when posting as "Bogush J Mann". I would very much appreciate it if a moderator could contact BJM via email and let him know what role I played on both occasions in having him banned. I would also appreciate being cc'ed on the mail so I too can know.

Anyway, thanks in advance, and apologies for what seems a bit like wasting your time with silly trivial nonsense, but it is getting on my nerves as other people are also repeating the same thing.
Request to a moderator - Mark (RLBS)
Bogush got himself banned as he well knows. It was for bullying, endless, pedantic, marathon notes of incredibly tedious, repetitive detail involving deliberately misunderstanding anything he didn\'t like and the hounding of everything anybody said not acknowledging him as champion of all rights.

And if he wonders why HealthNSafety was banned, its because it took me about two nanoseconds to work out it was him, and since 1) he\'s a pain in the butt who drags any noticeboard down to his own tedious level and b) I intensely dislike him and his self-dellusionary kind, I dropped his registration.

He\'ll try again sooner or later, and then sooner or later we\'ll realise its him and will pack him off out of here to whinge in his own dirtbox about the injustices of the world again.

I don\'t need to copy anyone on this explanation, you can read it here and in a little while bogbrush will post it in his conference. He\'ll also give you the benefit of endless pages of why he is a saint and the rest of the world is out to get him.

I post this since you asked, not for any assistance to Bogush. I couldn\'t give a flying wotsit what bogbrush or his sycophants think, whichever noticeboard they are in.

I\'ll also confirm that I do know who posted him the spam, and it was not you (nor me). He wasn\'t banned for anything other than his own incessant inability to moderate his behaviour.

Nobody can get anyone banned from here other than themselves.

Finally, don\'t rise to it or to him. His only desire in life is to get a reaction and he will do whatever it takes. He\'s got one from you and now he\'s got one from me. Lets not give him any more.
Request to a moderator - Obsolete
Mark. Thanks for the reply. Leif.
Hotmail - Junk Mail - Cardew
I have 2 Hotmail addresses as does SWMBO.

We used to get 30/40 junk emails a day and despite the filter set to high, 10 or so would get thro' to the normal Mailbox. Since the new Hotmail format was introduced I seem to get very little junk mail - despite not taking up the offers to get my manhood increased in size!

The new rules only affect UK and most junk came from USA.

Have others experienced a reduction(in junk emails that is) or is it a temporary lull?

Hotmail - Junk Mail - Pugugly {P}
Yes.Its made Hotmail usable again.
Hotmail - Junk Mail - Dynamic Dave
Ditto. Very little spam is seen in my hotmail box these days as well. Used to get approx 30 to 40 msgs a day. Now only one or two get through.
* Please be aware of Trojans * - GolfR_Caravelle_S-Max
Mods, please move this if you feel the need, but I think many people will be affected by it...

**There is a Nasty "trojan horse" that has infected the PC's of several people I know, some in the IT industry, others just home users. CWS, or backdoor.oblivion.

IF - your windows tries to look at the search page "www.search-click.net or www.searchy-net.com or something similar (Rather than windows using the microsoft page to find a web address) when you type in a web address into Explorer, then PLEASE, please, contact an IT specialist. Ask them to look for trojans.

I have been in PC's for 15 years and it's Very high risk and could do a LOT of damage in my view.

This "infection" could lead to your internet banking, Ebay, HonestJohn password details ;-), Email, credit card details and Pins and other things being "harvested" by ne'er well doers, and potentially using your bank logins etc. If your bank account gets drained overnight, 'cos of a vulnerability on YOUR machine, the banks are unlikely to reimburse you.

I have had to completely rebuild the operating systems of 3 pc's so far, and I recommend a firewall. Antivirus programs provide little protection, and Windows updates and service packs MUST be kept up to date. More people I mention it to have seen similar issues and it's hard to clean it completely.

Hope no-one is compromised.
* Please be aware of Trojans * - Davy_S {P}
I would agree entirely, a good firewall, virus checker and 'ad-ware' checker is a must these days, even for those not on broadband.

Davy S.

Oops, where did that screw go!!
* Please be aware of Trojans * - carl_a
Ad-aware is a great program, another one you might want to try is Spy bot search and destroy www.safer-networking.org/

I find this one always find one or two things the other programs miss.

* Please be aware of Trojans * - jammods
Just used the above and cleaned my PC, cant believe the amount of unwanted stuff that was infecting me. I'm clean now and would recommend anyone with internet at home to download it and use it.

Thanks Carl!
* Please be aware of Trojans * - Manatee
Alfa, Davy,

Thanks for the warnings - now I'm worried but not sure if I need to do anything!

I keep my anti-virus up to date but rely on the XP firewall. I also download and install all relevant Windows updates. I don't have an "ad-ware" checker or know what it is - do I need one, and where can I get it?

Any further help on this would be appreciated - and I'm guessing not just by me!

* Please be aware of Trojans * - Baskerville
I keep my anti-virus up to date but rely on the
XP firewall.

XP firewall is next to useless and it's a scandal that M$ have marketed it as a firewall at all. It stops uninitiated attacks from outside but doesn't prevent anything from going out once your computer is infected. If you have a trojan on your PC it will look out at the Internet and you won't be aware of it. Download Zonealarm and use that as well.

I'm going to use the L-word: Linux. Try SuSe9.0 or Mandrake9.2. Mandrake can be downloaded for free, but only if you have broadband (three CDs full).

Alfapug--I assume this is transmitted by email and not something else.
* Please be aware of Trojans * - PhilW
Ad-aware site for info and downloads
* Please be aware of Trojans * - THe Growler
Along with your firewall Ad-Aware and Search and Destroy are both worth having. One often picks up what the other does not. However, it must be said they are stable door stuff.

When my phone company put in my broadband, they also installed
Spyware Blaster. This is free and you can get it at:


Spyware Blaster proofs your system against ad-ware by preventing it being installed in the first place. Every couple of weeks you need to update it (takes seconds). It isn't perfect but I find that now only one or two little data miner nasties get through whereas before I always had double figures.
* Please be aware of Trojans * - THe Growler
Forgot to add this one too:

* Please be aware of Trojans * - carayzee
Don't use Internet Explorer then. I've been using Mozilla Firebird for the last few months and it's great. No attacks/exploits and it blocks all pop-ups, which on this site drive me mad. I can have 15 ebay's open from browsing here on IE.
I'd like to know the name of this uber-trojan of which you speak all the same?
* Please be aware of Trojans * - Manatee
FWIW, as I'm no expert, following advice above I have checked out (lots of good reports) Spybot S&D and installed it.

It has caused no detectable problems, appears easy to understand and use, claims to have found and removed 11 problem items (mainly tracking cookies) and to have installed a "bad page blocker" in IE.

If it does half of what it says it's done then its a bargain, especially as it's free:-)

* Please be aware of Trojans * - smokie
You can see the latest virus threadts here securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/vinfodb.html
* Please be aware of Trojans * - Thommo
Well damn me (and according to my Mother I surely will be).

I have a firewall, virus checker and adware but I just installed and ran Spybot S&D and had 15 of the blighters...

I might even send him some dosh...

* Please be aware of Trojans * - malteser
Agree about Firebird. Great browser which can be customised with many "extensions". One, for example will replace Flash content- including ads - with a blank space with a "click here to play" button. If you want to see the animation you can. Mouse gestures are available too. The most useful for me is the ability to go "back" or "forward" to previously opened pages by holding the left button and moving the mouse left or right depending on which way you wish to go.
With a little trouble one can also provide a toolbar for external applications, so I have one which opens Mozilla Thunderbird, the mail client.
Have fun!
* Please be aware of Trojans * - Dwight Van Driver
Maybe this should be on ask a Question but as it is topical to this thread here goes:

I am about to download Spybot and like many other things I have put unseen, apart from whirrs, clanks and flashing greens, into my PC Tower, how do I know that Spybot etc are not putting their own little gremlins into my system?

* Please be aware of Trojans * - smokie
Excellent point DVD. There are definitely some "helper" programmes out there which include their own flavours of spyware or other malicious or plain inconvenient activity.

All you can really do is to only go by recommendation, hopefully from someone "in the know" who has actually used the product and whom you can trust (and I would include BR regulars in that)

Of course, having two unrelated products running side by side should mean that one will keep an eye on the other too...the overhead ought to be tiny compared to the potential for disaster
* Please be aware of Trojans * - THe Growler

A fair point. Paranoia doesn't mean etc etc..

However my phone company in fact recommended Spybot Search & Destroy and Ad-Aware (you do need both, because neither on its own picks up everything), so I am comfortable with their advice.

Added to which Spyware Blaster and Spyware Guard both free from www.wilderssecurity.net and recommended by the IT Manager of my late employer, have served me well without problems. His point was these or similar are now a must if you run broadband, which I do.

None of these install what I believe is known as "Malware", the computing equivalent of little green men.

Perhaps the over-arching thing here is had no one alerted me to any of this stuff ignorance, while being conventional bliss, might have meant all kinds of nasties on my PC. I think the experience of others recounted here bears out that the effort is worthwhile.
* Please be aware of Trojans * - arnold2
Where I work we use mainly Windows 2000, and have had lots of problems with Trojans - in fact, our ISP threatened to boot us out, after one of our machines became a Spam-mail server after becoming infected.

The problem is that, especially if you are on ADSL, as soon as you connect your Windows PC to the Net you are vulnerable to attack.

The only SURE way to avoid this is to load -

* Antivirus software - www.grisoft.com has AVG - free!
* Firewall - Tiny personal firewall (software based) works well
* Lavasoft Ad-aware 6 - free
* Make sure you have ALL the Windows patches installed - you can check using Windows Update in the Start menu

In fact, we found that if we put an UNPATCHED computer onto the network, with a clean install of Windows 2000, that it became compromised STRAIGHT AWAY ! The only way around this was to unplug the PC from the network completely, run both the antivirus & spybot programs to clean it, back up data, clean install the OS, apply all the patches/security programs whilst NOT connected to the network - we had to manually download all the patches from Microsoft !!

*** There is an easier way - go buy a Mac running OSX ***
* Please be aware of Trojans * - CM
I hope that I am not affected.

My home back keeps on being set to www.hugesearch.com and it is beginning to annoy me! Usually I have google as my home page.

When I go into Internet properties, this hugesearch has set itself as my default page. (Does anyone know how to get rid of this and delete all the other web addresses when asked for homepage?)

Is this hugesearch one of these bad boys? We have a decent (I think) anti-virus which seems to stop most things!?!
* Please be aware of Trojans * - GolfR_Caravelle_S-Max
Yes. it is a \"bad boy\".
You have been trojaned by hugesearch.
read this link to see a discussion on it.
This is worrying me more and more.

{Link edited. No need to surround it with \" \" as it stopped the link from working. DD}
* Please be aware of Trojans * - CM
Alfa - many thanks.

Used the first link on the www and all is sorted.

I can also now see what I am typing - before hand I would see the cursor move across the screen and the writing would catch up later!

What are the possible side effects from all this? Have my customers got dirty e-mails that I have been sent or is someone spying on me?
* Please be aware of Trojans * - GolfR_Caravelle_S-Max
You're welcome.
I STRONGLY recommend changing your passwords and pin numbers for all banking/ money related sites, ideally from a machine you KNOW is 100%.
Also, install a firewall (Zonealarm is free - www.zonelabs.com),

It is possible it has collected information on your pc email accounts, so change their passwords.

Create a user on your PC which does NOT have administrative rights, and make sure your default password for adminstrator
(and all others for that matter are ALPHA-Numeric with characters from the top row (!"£$%^&*) for example)

Make the account you log onto the PC with with limited rights - only give this user the rights to run applications - Browse and Execute. ie, for the web, allow access for the user "bob" to run Internet Explorer, Word and Excel if that is what you would use. If you know how, make sure this user cannot then change their settings (It has to be done as the main "adminstrator account".

Remove the Guest login account, or change the password to a complex password.

This should help your safety.

Also, make sure you have the latest microsoft updates...

(This is the Micro$oft website. Kerching.
* Please be aware of Trojans * - THe Growler
Phew. I've remembered another way which takes a bit longer, but at least you know who to disembowel if it goes wrong. It involves a runner and a message in a cleft stick.....
* Please be aware of Trojans * - scruffythedog118
wow, this is scary, have heard about this before but must admit never got round to doing it because I've had no problems with searching, and homepage has NEVER been altered -

But I have now installed and used both ad-aware and spybot s&d..
I was shocked to see something like 125 items were found and deleted... oh my god!!!
Will be running this on a regular basis

Cheers people!
* Please be aware of Trojans * - number67
I had this CWS problem last month.

McAffee didn't get it (it was new then) and even after I thought I'd removed it - it came back - rewriting homepage setting etc.

Resorted to tinkering with regedit and still couldn't delete the thing.

However after trawling round the net I found that this sorted me out.....

Spybot as previously mentioned and also more specifically 'cwshredder'


just looked for my symptons chose the correct version - nice quick download (for my antiquated dial-up modem) - ran it and now I'm clean again!

* Please be aware of Trojans * - John S
Now you've got me worried. I run Norton AV with auto-update, and regulary run Spider, but everytime I log into HJ (and some other sites too) I get regular pop-ups for AOL and Ebay, which drive me mad! Is it just me, or is this now a feature of the site? The Ebay one will happily keep popping up and leave numerous copies in the task bar. What should I do?


John S
* Please be aware of Trojans * - scruffythedog118
download a pop-up stopper.....
there are loads available most FREE.....
Email me if you cant find any and I will advise where I got mine from.
I get the ebay popups on this site as well, but a small price to pay for a good site - i do believe!!

* Please be aware of Trojans * - robZilla
It's worth mentioning that, like your virus scanner, in order to be useful SpyBot S&D needs to be regularly updated (use the 'Check For Updates Button') and download whatever it finds.
* Please be aware of Trojans * - Hawesy1982
Yes please remember that it is HJ's pop-ups and other ads that fund this site, i hope we can trust they are virus-free, and as scruffy says, a small price to pay for the wealth of information here - And i bet i've just beaten a moderator to saying the exact same thing!
* Please be aware of Trojans * - No Do$h
And i bet i've just
beaten a moderator to saying the exact same thing!

Gosh darn it, that sure is some trigger finger you got there!

No Dosh
* Please be aware of Trojans * - Baskerville
Like the man says, use Mozilla Firebird instead of IE Explorer. Download free from www.mozilla.org Popup stopper included, but gives you the option to view the ad if you want to.
* Please be aware of Trojans * - Mark (RLBS)
I let it stand alone for a day or so, now its better off here.

* Please be aware of Trojans * - frostbite
Mozilla Firebird on offer is v.0.7 which means (by virtue of the <1) it is a BETA version.

Probably OK, but beta versions are not for the cautious.
* Please be aware of Trojans * - Baskerville
>Probably OK, but beta versions are not for the cautious.

0.7 is absolutely rock solid in both Windows and Linux versions. I've been using it exclusively for a few weeks now, and 0.6 before that with no problems. It's actually extracted from Mozilla which in turn used to be Netscape. If you're worried download the full version of Mozilla, which includes the embedded mail client. You don't have to uninstall IE anyway, so if you don't like it just go back. I bet you don't though.
* Please be aware of Trojans * - Welliesorter
I was about to compose a post saying exactly the same as Chris's so I'll just place another vote for Firebird. Full Mozilla is fine too but the program is a bit big if you only want the web browser.

I must confess, I've been using Firebird (full Mozilla before that) for a month or two and wasn't aware of all the features mentioned above. My favourite feature is tabbed browsing. This enables you to have many pages open at the same time without cluttering your screen.

Ask Honest John

Value my car