Homepage defaults to MSN at random



I am having a problem where a couple of users have their IE open at MSN
rather than at the intranet site specified in Group Policy. Their IE homepage
settings are greyed out and set to the intranet site, but clicking the home
button or opening IE bring up MSN instead. This does not happen to everyone,
and does not happen consistently. All Group Policies up to the domain default
policy specify the intranet site as the home page.

Any help appreciated.

Jan Il

Hi Sportscover IT Department :)

You do not give us the version of Windows or IE that is used on these
machines (i.e. IE6 SP1, SP2). Have you scanned them for hajackware,
malware, Trojans? If so, what progarms did you use? Were the scans done in
Safe Mode? What was the result?

also...check the following and see if it helps:

If you have SpyBot S&D installed, go to the "Immunize" section.
Is "Lock IE Start Page Settings" ticked?

Homepage Problem errors & information
If so, uncheck it.

Unlocks the grayed-out Home Page section on the General Tab

Unlock My Homepage - Free

Hope this helps.

Jan :)
Smiles are meant to be shared,
that's why they're so contagious.

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Hi Jan

The affected users are both Win2000 SP4 and XP SP2 using IE6 SP1. Trojan,
virus and spyware checks with Adaware 6 Pro and Sophos are both clean (users
cannot install anything anyway and all executables and active-X are blocked
by strict proxy rules). I am thinking there is an issue with the machines
occasionally not picking up their group policies properly and therefore
defaulting to the IE defaults rather than the group policy settings.
Sometimes, sites in the Trusted zone also are not logged in automatically.
The IE start page is locked via group policy, end users cannot change it, and
even when MSN comes up, the start page is still set to the correct intranet
page anyway it just doesnt open it. I dont want to unlock the greyed out home
page option, and I could easily do that though Group Policy anyway, the
problem is that IE 'sometimes' ignores its home page settings for no reason.


Jan Il

Hi Sportscover IT Department :)

If the only programs you used to scan the machines with were AdAware Pro and
Sophos, then you cannot assume that the machines have been fully cleaned.
Neither of those program has all the necessary files to detect and remove
all of the types of Trojans, hijackers and other malware there is. And, if
you did not run the scans in Safe Mode with Hidden files enabled, then you
did not thoroughly scan the systems.

Therefore, if the other suggestions did not resolve the problem, then you
likely have some scumware on the systems causing the problem. In addition
to updating and running your AV, download, install and run the programs
below in Safe Mode with Hidden Files enabled. Some types of malware can
replicate itself repeatedly if not removed properly, so even if you have run
some of the programs listed here, it is important that you run them again
according to the information below so that Windows is not operating to hide
any files 'in use' Follow all instructions carefully:

First, Clear the TIF's and empty the recycle bin:

Also…empty your Recycle bin.

Then do the following:

WARNING>>>> Backup all documents and files before removing any spyware!!

Most importantly, download install and run CWShredder here
or here

Then download, install and immediately update these three programs before
AdAware SE - Update immediately after installing
SpyBot S &D - Update immediately after installing
Microsoft Windows Antispyware Program (Beta)

Then visit these sites (if possible) to test for parasites and help with
basic cleaning:
On-Line Check
Quick-Fix Protocol.
Next, do an Online scan here (if possible) -
Make sure that you choose "fix" or "clean".

Download Pocket Killbox from
and put it on the desktop where you can find it easily, if needed, but,
don't run it yet.

Download, install, and run HiJackThis - it is one of the most important
tools to help clean your system of scumware. Follow the instructions

How to download and install HiJackThis: (it does not need to be updated)

Please DO NOT post your log to this newsgroup. It is important that you go
to one of the HiJackThis Support Forums below:
CastleCops HiJackThis Forum
or Bleeping Computer HiJackThis Forum
to allow the program experts there to evaluate your log and advise you of
necessary steps to clean your system.
(Note: Look for and read the "Important- Read This First" messages in the
sections for HiJackThis logs so that you follow proper procedure. You will
have to Register before posting on these Forums. Please follow all posting
instructions carefully to avoid having your log deleted or ignored.)

Also, please post a link to the forum where you post your HJT log back to
this thread so that we can follow your progress there.

CAUTION!!!!! Before you try to remove spyware using any of the programs
below, download a copy of LSPFIX from any of the following sites:
(if your OS is Win2k or XP) The process of removing certain malware may kill
your internet connection. If this should occur, this program, LSPFIX, will
enable you to regain your connection.

You should also get a copy of WINSOCKXPFIX to have at hand if needed,
available at the links below, but, don't run it yet:
WinsockXP Fix- WinXP
with instructions, at
also... From LavaSoft- all versions of Windows-
(NOTE: It is reported that in XP SP2, the command netsh winsock reset
will fix this problem without the need for these programs.)
or Winsock Fix Utility

How to Restart in Safe Mode

How to Show Hidden Files

Hope this helps.

Jan :)
Smiles are meant to be shared,
that's why they're so contagious.

Replies are posted only to the newsgroup for the benefit or other readers.
How to make a good newsgroup post:

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