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Issue #451: March 13–19, 2016

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Q: I am receiving what I think is malware on my desktop in a blue box “SPORTHDWALL.COM” and I can’t delete it. Tried a few free malware sites but nothing has worked.

– Tony C.
Navarre, Florida

A: Reading your question, Tony, I would have sworn that was a carelessly typed URL, and you meant to put SPORTSWALL or something like that. Upon investigation, I found that your URL was more-or-less correct. There is no current website associated with that URL or a similar URL with an S at the end. It is not malware either, but rather a domain name broker attempting to sell the URL for a site that sells high-definition sport-themed wallpapers, hence the name “Sport HD Walls”.

Your description of something “on your desktop in a blue box” does not ring a bell. The fact that you cited a URL would be indicative of something in a browser rather than on the Desktop. It’s possible that this URL was accidentally set to be your browser’s home page, and now it loads automatically whenever your browser starts. You can fix that, but the exact method depends on which browser you’re using. For Internet Explorer, click the gear icon and select “Internet options”. Then go to the “General” tab. All the addresses that automatically load are listed in the “Home page” box, which you can edit as you like. In Google Chrome, click the menu button, choose “Settings” and check the “Show Home” option under “Appearance”. Click “Change” and you can edit the home page. Also make sure you visit the “On startup” section and click “Set pages” to make sure that there are no additional pages programmed to automatically load. In Firefox, click the menu button and select “Options”. Go to the “General” tab, and edit the information in the box labeled “Home Page”. If the troublesome blue box is not a web site after all, please send me a screen capture of it and I’ll try again.

• • •

 Q: How can I get rid of that annoying reminder to speed up browsing by disabling add ons? I’m using IE 11. I also get the same message when I boot up the Web Edge. Is there a way to stop that message from coming up? It comes up every day.  I have two laptops one with Windows 7 and the other one has Windows 10. Thanks for all the help you’ve given us over the years – your “Official Geek”.

– Judie D.
Navarre, Florida

A: For those of you wondering, Judie is my one and only “Official Geek” – a title I bestowed on her at a personal appearance that I made at the Center for Lifelong Learning way back in 2007, not too long after I started writing It’s Geek To Me. Thank you, Judie, for being an IGTM reader and supporter all these years, and proudly bearing the banner as my Official Geek.

There is indeed a way to disable the message in question. Unfortunately, it involves messing with what Windows calls “Policies” which are a layer of rules that govern how Windows behaves. Policies are often what corporate IT departments use to “lock down” systems to prevent people from making unauthorized changes. Fortunately (see what I did there?) many policies, including this one, translate directly to entries in the Windows registry.

I hate it when my advice includes telling people to go poking around in their system’s registry. Although you are my Official Geek, Judie, many of my readers are self-proclaimed abject novices, who wouldn’t know the difference between a Registry and a Register Receipt. So, I’ve made this very easy for anyone who would like to try this. Head over to my website at ItsGeekToMe.co and click on this week’s column, which is Issue #451. In the “Bonus Web-only Content” at the bottom Below, you’ll find downloadable .zip files that contain a little registry macro that will automatically add the keys for you. Good luck!


Bonus Web-only Content:

Click one of the links below to download a .zip file containing a registry macro that will add the key or keys necessary to disable the “Disable Add-ons” message in Internet Explorer.  Select the appropriate file for either 32-bit or 64-bit Windows.  “Hey Geek!”, you might ask, “How do I know whether I’m running the 32-bit or 64-bit version?”  Easy.  Simply right-click on “My Computer” or “Computer” on either your Desktop, or from within File Explorer, and select “Properties”.  Look for a line that  says “System type:”  It will clearly say which version you are running.

Once you have downloaded the appropriate .zip file, you’ll need to open it up.  Double-click the .reg file contained inside.  Depending on how your system is set up, you might need administrative privileges to do this. 

Click here for the 32-bit version

Click here for the 64-bit version

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