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Malware Guide: How to remove OpenCandy

What is OpenCandy?

OpenCandy is an application that downloads and installs software, including other Internet Browsers to a computer system. Used as a bundle, this application installs additional programs that you may knowingly or unknowingly agree to install. Since most users don’t accept the challenge of reading the EULA in its entirety, they tend to download bundled applications unknowingly.

Assessment of OpenCandy PUP

During the initial assessment of OpenCandy, I was a little skeptical about what to look out for or expect. In fact, I had to install the OpenCandy.exe file twice to discern its behavior. I’m not sure how this application got its name but I do believe it has something to do with the fact that it supposedly helps Internet users open a new world of Internet browsing. That conclusion was arrived at after realizing that OpenCandy.exe installed mostly Internet browsers along with a tune-up tool on the test computer. However, as a result of the system requirements, there was a pop-up message indicating that Internet Explorer 8 was not compatible with the computer system in question.

In comparison to the malware I’ve encountered since I started researching malware, OpenCandy is everything but malicious. In fact, this application is only categorized as malware because of its’ subtle covert nature of installing bundled programs unsolicited by the user.

Additionally, OpenCandy coerces users into changing their Internet Browsers by installing those unrequested by the user. In fact, it’s no shock that OpenCandy chose to install the Internet Browser ‘Opera’ as a part of this bundle since it’s one of the least used browsers according to the Federal Government. Clearly, this was a smoothly disguised advertisement or promotion to force users into using the Opera Browser, along with Internet Explorer 8.0.

While these aforementioned browsers in themselves aren’t malicious and are in no way considered malware, they were installed as a promotional tool and without the request of the user. Despite being mentioned within the EULA, advertisers are capitalizing on this since most users do not bother to read the agreements when installing a program.

Furthermore, OpenCandy, like most other bundled applications I’ve dealt with, threw in a tune-up tool as a part of the promotion. I found this tune-up application annoying since I had to hassle my way into getting it to close from the computer screen. I can only imagine the hassle users would go through trying to remove this software.

Image 7: Depiction of a scan performed by Tuneup Utilities. The scan detected that several areas on the test PC could be optimized/tuned up.

Image 8: After a scan was completed using the Tuneup utility program, I was given an option to buy the full version. Nothing is wrong with this marketing strategy. In fact, most utility tools if not all will scan your computer to detect threats or loopholes, but they won't exactly allow you to fix those problems unless you buy the full version. It's not unfair, it's just business.

Programs installed during the installation of OpenCandy include:

  • Web Companion: Developed by Lavasoft, Web Companion is said to be an application that serves as a security defense for your Internet browsers by preventing unauthorized changes (see image below)
  • Tuneup Utilities: Tuneup Utilities does exactly as it says. It cleans up a computer system, whereby preventing unused programs from slowing it down.
  • Opera Stable 30.01.1835.88: Opera is a fast, simple, and effective Internet browser that allows users to get around on the web.

All in all, the intent of installing an application such as OpenCandy is to unleash a world of promotion or advertisements on your computer. They are pretty annoying and in some cases difficult to remove. Furthermore, as a user, you want to control what gets installed on your computer without being dictated to or coerced in some EULA that you probably overlook.

To completely remove OpenCandy PUP from your computer, click here to download and install Spyhunter.

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Option 1 – Disable Chrome & Firefox auto-update via Windows Services Manager

The first thing you can do to disable the Chrome auto-update is through the Windows Services Manager. To do so, follow these steps:
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  • After that, you will see a list of services and from there, look for the Google Update Services (gupdate) and Google Update Service (gupdatem).
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Option 2 – Disable Chrome & Firefox auto-update via System Configuration utility or MSConfig

  • Tap the Win + R keys to open the Run utility and type “msconfig” in the field and tap Enter to open the System Configuration.
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Note: Now that you’ve stopped the auto-update in Firefox, it’s time for you to stop the auto-update in Mozilla Firefox. To get started, follow the steps below.
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Further Information and Manual Repair

Even though the adobe.dll may severely influence the functioning of your Computer, it is really a trouble or malfunction that one can fix manually.
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  • Repair Adobe.Dll Files and Settings' Errors.
Considering that the adobe.dll malfunctions can be a result of the existence of malfunctions on your own PC's files and options, fix these properly. Begin by fixing the settings on the files and options utilized by your Computer to perform the adobe.dll, and you may have removed this issue completely. Finally, establish the source of the error message to effectively solve it. Once you do that and fix it, your PC will resume normal operations and even boost your work and productivity.
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About Browser Hijackers

Browser hijacking means a malicious code has control over and altered the settings of your web browser, without your approval. There are numerous reasons why you might experience an internet browser hijack; however commercial, marketing, and advertising are the key reasons for their creation. Generally, hijackers will force hits to websites of their preference either to increase web traffic generating higher ad earnings, or to obtain a commission for every user visiting there. Nonetheless, it is not that naive. Your internet safety is jeopardized and it is also very annoying. In a much worst case, your browser could be hi-jacked to download malicious software that will do a lot of damage to your computer or laptop.

Find out how to identify a browser hijack

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How it infects your personal computer

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Malware can cause plenty of damage to your personal computer. Some malware goes to great lengths to stop you from downloading or installing anything on your computer, particularly anti-virus software programs. If you are reading this now, you’ve perhaps realized that a malware infection is a reason behind your blocked net traffic. So how to proceed if you need to download and install an antivirus application such as Safebytes? There are a few steps you can take to circumvent this problem.

Install anti-virus in Safe Mode with Networking

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Use an alternate browser to download security software

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Install antivirus on a flash drive

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Protect your Computer against Malware With SafeBytes Security Suite

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Technical Details and Manual Removal (Advanced Users)

If you don’t wish to use an automated tool and prefer to remove SearchApp manually, you could possibly do so by going to the Windows Add/Remove Programs menu in the control panel and deleting the offending program; in cases of browser extensions, you can uninstall it by going to the browser’s Add-on/Extension manager. You’ll probably also want to totally reset your internet browser to its default configuration settings. In order to ensure the complete removal, manually examine your hard drive and registry for all the following and eliminate or reset the values as needed. But bear in mind, this is often a difficult task and only computer professionals can perform it safely. In addition, some malware is capable of replicating or preventing deletion. It is advisable that you carry out the removal procedure in Safe Mode.
Files: %Documents and Settings%\All Users\Application Data\Blpsearch.com %program files %\internet explorer\Blpsearch.com\random.mof %program files (x86)%\common files\speechengines\ %programData%\suspicious folders\ %windows%\system32\driver\messy code.dll %AppData%\blpsearch.com\toolbar uninstallStatIE.dat %app data%\Blpsearch.comn Blpsearch.com Registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MATS\WindowsInstaller\EAF386F0-7205-40F2-8DA6-1BABEEFCBE8914.07.30.07.52.18 ProductName=Blpsearch.com HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Tracing\Muvic_RASAPI32 HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Tracing\Muvic_RASMANCS HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\EAF386F0-7205-40F2-8DA6-1BABEEFCBE89\DisplayName=Blpsearch.com HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-3825580999-3780825030-779906692-1001\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstallf25211-852e-4d10-b6f5-50b1338a9271\DisplayName=Blpsearch.com
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Option 1 – Manage the Local Users via Windows PowerShell

  • You need to first open Windows PowerShell as an admin. To do that, just tap the Win + X keys and select the Windows PowerShell (Admin) option.
  • After opening PowerShell, you need to execute the “Get-LocalUser” cmdlet so that you can find all the details about all the local user accounts in your computer which would include the Account Name, Enabled status, as well as description.
Note: On the other hand, you can also get the customized data about several objects that are related to your account. For instance, if you want to check when was the last time the Local account’s password was set, then you need to execute the “Get-LocalUser -Name root | Select-Object PasswordLastSet” cmdlet. Thus, the structure for this cmdlet is “Get-LocalUser -Name root | Select-Object *”. Here are the objects you can use to get different sorts of data:
  • AccountExpires
  • Description
  • Enabled : True
  • FullName
  • PasswordChangeableDate
  • PasswordExpires
  • UserMayChangePassword
  • PasswordRequired
  • PasswordLastSet
  • LastLogon
  • Name
  • SID
  • PrincipalSource
  • ObjectClass

Option 2 – Manage the Local User Groups using Windows PowerShell

  • Like what you did earlier, open Windows PowerShell as admin and then execute the “Get-LocalGroup” cmdlet so you can get all the information about all the groups of all the local user accounts.
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  • And if you want to add Local User Accounts to a specific group, just execute the “Add-LocalGroupMember -Group '<NAME OF THE GROUP' -Member ('NAME 1','NAME 2','<ROLE>') -Verbose” cmdlet. You could also use the “Get-Localuser -Name john | Add-LocalGroupMember -Group '<NAME OF THE GROUP>'” cmdlet for the same purpose.
  • If you want to display all the User Accounts of a specific group, just use the “Get-LocalGroupMember –Group ‘ ’” cmdlet.
  • Now if you want to remove a local user account from a group, all you have to do is use the “Remove-LocalGroupMember -Group '<NAME OF THE GROUP>' –Member <NAME OF THE LOCAL USER ACCOUNT>” cmdlet.
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Option 1 – Perform a System Restore

Performing System Restore might help you in fixing the DRIVER_CORRUPTED_EXPOOL Blue Screen error. You can do this option either by booting into Safe Mode or in System Restore. If you are already in the Advanced Startup Options, just directly select System Restore and proceed with the next steps. And if you have just booted your PC into Safe Mode, refer to the steps below.
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Option 2 – Run the Blue Screen Troubleshooter

The Blue Screen troubleshooter is a built-in tool in Windows 10 that helps users in fixing BSOD errors like DRIVER_CORRUPTED_EXPOOL error. It can be found on the Settings Troubleshooters page. To use it, refer to these steps:
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  • Then go to Update & Security > Troubleshoot.
  • From there, look for the option called “Blue Screen” on your right-hand side and then click the “Run the troubleshooter” button to run the Blue Screen Troubleshooter and then follow the next on-screen options. Note that you might have to boot your PC into Safe Mode.

Option 3 – Update the Device drivers

The device driver installed in your computer might be incompatible with your operating system which is the reason why the DRIVER_CORRUPTED_EXPOOL Blue Screen error occurs. To fix that, you have to update your device drivers.
  • Tap the Win + R keys on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box.
  • After that, type “msc” in the field and hit Enter or click OK to open the Device Manager.
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  • Next, right-click on all the driver entries that are appropriately labeled, and then click the Update driver option.
  • Now restart your PC and check if the BSOD error is fixed or not.

Option 4 – Uninstall any faulty device drivers

  • Tap the Win + R keys on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box.
  • After that, type “msc” in the field and hit Enter or click OK to open the Device Manager.
  • From there, look for any device driver which has a yellow exclamation mark which indicates that something is wrong with them.
  • And then right-click on each one of them and click on Uninstall.
  • Once you’re done uninstalling the faulty drivers, restart your computer and allow your computer to reinstall the drivers you just uninstalled.

Option 5 – Try running the System File Checker

System File Checker or SFC is a built-in command utility that helps in restoring corrupted files as well as missing files. It replaces bad and corrupted system files with good system files that might be causing the Machine Check Exception BSOD error. To run the SFC command, follow the steps given below.
  • Tap Win + R to launch Run.
  • Type in cmd in the field and tap Enter.
  • After opening Command Prompt, type in sfc /scannow
The command will start a system scan which will take a few whiles before it finishes. Once it’s done, you could get the following results:
  1. Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.
  2. Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them.
  3. Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them.

Option 6 – Try updating the BIOS

As you know, the BIOS is a sensitive part of a computer. Even though it is a software component, the functioning of the hardware depends on it largely. Thus, you must be careful when modifying something in the BIOS. So if you don’t know much about it, it’s best if you skip on this option and try the other ones instead. However, if you are well-versed in navigating the BIOS, then follow the steps below.
  • Tap the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  • Next, type “msinfo32” in the field and press Enter to open System Information.
  • From there, you should find a search field on the bottom where you have to search for the BIOS version and then press Enter.
  • After that, you should see the developer and version of the BIOS installed on your PC.
  • Go to your manufacturer’s website and then download the latest version of BIOS on your computer.
  • If you are using a laptop, make sure that you keep it plugged in until you have updated the BIOS.
  • Now double click on the downloaded file and install the new BIOS version in your computer.
  • Now restart your computer to apply the changes made.

Option 7 – Try resetting Windows 10

To fix this BSOD error, you can try resetting Windows 10. Doing so won’t get rid of any file in your system – instead of erasing all your media files and documents, this reset option resets all the system settings and files.
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Fix Windows Updates Error code 0x80246007
Downloading Windows Updates does not always go smoothly as you can encounter several issues like the “Some updates did not finish downloading, We will keep trying, Error code 0x80246007” error. In fact, this error can also occur on other Windows applications like OneNote. According to security experts, this error happens for many reasons. For one, it could be that the Windows Update database is corrupted. It could also be that there is another process that’s in conflict with the Windows Update components or there might be some issue with the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS). Whichever the cause may be, you can fix it by following the solutions given below.

Option 1 – Delete the contents in the Temporary folder

You can also try deleting the contents in the Temporary folder – all the downloaded, pending, or failed Windows 10 updates. You can do that using the simple and easy steps below.
  • Tap the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  • Then type “%temp%” in the field and press Enter to open the Temporary folder.
  • After that, select all the folders and files within the Temp folder and delete all of them.

Option 2 – Try running the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Running the built-in Windows Update troubleshooter is one of the things you can first check out as it is known to automatically resolve any Windows Update errors like Error code 0x80246007. To run it, go to Settings and then select Troubleshoot from the options. From there, click on Windows Update and then click the “Run the troubleshooter” button. After that, follow the next on-screen instructions and you should be good to go.

Option 3 – Try renaming or removing the pending .xml file

The problem might be due to some pending .xml file so you need to rename or remove it. To do so, just go to C:/Windows/WinSxS folder. From there, look for a pending .xml file – you can either rename it or delete it. This will allow the Windows Update to delete any pending tasks and build a new and fresh update check.

Option 4 – Restart the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS)

The Background Intelligent Transfer Service or BITS is a part of the Windows Update service that manages the background download of Windows Update, as well as scans for new updates and so on. Thus, if your Windows Update fails a couple of times, you might want to restart BITS. For you to do that, make sure that you have admin privileges.
  • Press the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  • Then type “msc” in the field and hit Enter to open Services.
  • After opening Services, look for the Background Intelligent Transfer Service from the list of services and then double click on it to open Properties.
  • Next, set the Startup type to Manual and click on the Start button. If it doesn’t help, you can try setting it to Automatic (Delayed) and then reboot your PC.

Option 5 – Run the DISM tool

Running the DISM Tool helps in repairing the Windows System Image as well as the Windows Component Store in Windows 10. Using this built-in tool, you have various options such as the “/ScanHealth”, “/CheckHealth”, and “/RestoreHealth”.
  • Open the Command Prompt with admin privileges.
  • Then type in the following commands and make sure to hit Enter right after you type each one of them:
    • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
    • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
    • exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
  • Do not close the window if the process takes a while as it will probably take a few minutes to finish.

Option 6 – Delete the files from the Software Distribution folder

The downloaded Windows Updates are placed in a folder called “SoftwareDistribution”. The files downloaded in this folder are automatically deleted once the installation is completed. However, if the files are not clean up or if the installation is still pending, you can delete all the files in this folder after you pause the Windows Update service. For complete instructions, refer to the steps below.
  • Open the WinX Menu.
  • From there, open Command Prompt as admin.
  • Then type in the following command – don’t forget to hit Enter right after typing each one of them.
net stop wuauserv net start cryptSvc net start bits net start msiserver
  • After entering these commands, it will stop the Windows Update Service, Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS), Cryptographic, and the MSI Installer
  • Next, go to the C:/Windows/SoftwareDistribution folder and get rid of all the folders and files thereby tapping the Ctrl + A keys to select them all and then click on Delete. Note that if the files are in use, you won’t be able to delete them.

Option 7 – Reset the Catroot2 folder

After resetting the SoftwareDistribution folder, you need to reset the Catroot2 folder to restart the services you just stopped. To do that, follow these steps:
  • Type each one of the following commands.
net start wuauserv net start cryptSvc net start bits net start msiserver
  • After that, exit Command Prompt and restart your computer, and then try to run Windows Update once more.
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Application side-by-side configuration ...
A lot of users lately reported getting an error that says, “The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect”. This kind of error can pop up when you try to open a number of programs, regardless of their origin, the developer, and compatibility. Here’s the full context of the error message:
“<PATH OF THE EXECUTABLE FILE>, This application has failed to start because its side-by0side configuration is incorrect. Please see the application event log or use the command-line sxstrace.exe tool for more detail”.
This kind of problem has something to do with the C++ runtime package in the background. It could also be related to an error for a registry value. Whatever the cause is, you can fix this error with the help of some suggestions provided in this post. You can try to reinstall the application or check the registry setting or reinstall the suitable Visual C++ Runtimes or re-enable the Microsoft .NET Framework. For more details, refer to the instructions given below.

Option 1 – Try to reinstall the application

There are times when some supporting module for your application under the hood could have messed up the application. And so to fix that, you need to uninstall the concerned application and then try reinstalling it again. Once you’re done, check if it fixed the problem or not.

Option 2 – Try to change the Registry setting

  • Tap the Win + R key combination to open the Run dialog box.
  • Then type “Regedit” in the fields and tap Enter to open the Registry Editor.
  • Next, navigate to this registry key: Computer HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Microsoft Windows NT CurrentVersion SideBySide Winners x86_policy.9.0.microsoft.vc90.crt_1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b_none_02d0010672fd8219 9.0
  • From there, look for a String value named “default” and double click on it.
  • After that, change its Value data to match the one as the third value in BINARY.
  • Now restart your computer to successfully apply the changes made.

Option 3 – Try reinstalling the appropriate Visual C++ Runtime

  • You need to open the Event Viewer first by searching for it in the Windows Search box.
  • After opening Event Viewer, look for the error events that are sourced by SideBySide.
  • Next, look for the actual Visual C++ Runtime module that’s causing the error.
  • Now download the module from the official website of Microsoft Support and then install it and see if it fixed the problem.

Option 4 – Re-enable the Microsoft .NET Framework

You could also try to disable the Microsoft .NET Framework then enable the latest version of the .NET Framework on your PC and check if the error is fixed.
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World of Warcraft lost connection to server
World of Warcraft had been released on November 23, 2004, and even today it is the most successful MMORPG ever made. Some say that it was the right timing, others say it was Blizzard's history and its fans, it is even spoken that marketing team has responsibility for WOW's success. Whatever the reason may be, the fact remains that WOW is a really fun game to play. In this article we will cover the annoying issue of World of Warcraft's lost connection to the game server and how can you fix it. Please be aware that before you try any fixes go to the official World of Warcraft website and check to see if the server maintenance is not underway. If this is the case, you will have to wait for servers to come back online after the maintenance. Keep reading and try provided solutions as they are presented to fix this issue and continue gaming.
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Fix 0X800F080C Error in Windows 10
Error 0X800F080C is tied to corrupted system files and .NET framework issues. In this article, we will focus on how to fix it starting first with .NET fixes and then moving to system-related ones. Follow the guide step by step so you can fix this error fast and easily.

.NET issues

As previously stated 0X800F080C error can occur due to issues with .NET framework, 3.5 framework to be more precise and there are two ways we can fix this error. Follow the guide below as presented:
  1. Install .NET 3.5 framework from Windows features

    First thing is to try and install the framework from Window features itself. Sometimes installation and activation of .NET 3.5 in other ways can result in this error. To install it do the following: Press ⊞ WINDOWS + R to open the run dialog Inside run type in appwiz.cpl and press ENTER to open up the Programs and Features menu Inside the Programs and Features menu click on Turn Windows features on or off. Check the box associated with .NET Framework 3.5 (this package includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0) Press OK Click on YES and wait for the package to be installed then reboot your PC
  2. Run the .NET Repair Tool

    If the previous step was not successful or you already had .NET 3.5 installed then run the troubleshooter in order to fix issues. Go to the official Microsoft .NET framework repair tool website here and download it. Once downloaded install the tool and follow onscreen instructions.

Corrupted system files

If the previous solution has not provided you with results then you have system file corruption that needs to be fixed. Move from one solution to another as presented below:
  1. Run SFC scan

    SFC scan is a built-in Windows tool for solving corrupted system files issues, it is fully automated and does not require from the user any kind of knowledge or information. To run it and scan the system do the following: Press ⊞ WINDOWS + X to open the secret menu Left-click on the command prompt (admin) In command prompt type SFC /SCANNOW and press ENTER Wait for the process to finish, do not interrupt it and once it is done, restart your computer
  2. Run DISM scan

    DISM scan is similar to SFC scan but it tackles different types of system file corruption and it is recommended to run it also after SFC has been completed. Please note that for DISM scan to be successful you will need a stable internet connection since DISM will replace corrupted files with new ones downloaded from Microsoft. To run it do the following: Press ⊞ WINDOWS + X to open the secret menu Left-click on the command prompt (admin) inside command prompt type: exe /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth followed by ENTER, then type: Dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth also followed with ENTER. Leave scan to finish and reboot your PC
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