Dell MyWay Search Assistant

Discussion in 'other anti-malware software' started by buttoni, Aug 19, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. buttoni

    buttoni Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Posts:
    44
    Location:
    Central Texas
    For those not aware, Dell has been pre-installing MyWay Search Assistant software (spyware) on all new Dell pc's since Nov. 2004. It tracks web browsing habits (who knows what else?). I didn't believe it until I saw it on my original packing slip. Dell, heretofore, has been unwilling to facilitate removal, telling customers it was NOT spyware. Recently they were even telling people that called Tech Support for removal help there would be a hefty FEE for removal assistance!! Well, after many months they finally posted instructions for removal of this memory hog on their user forum! Either they were inundated with unhappy campers or someone threatened legal action! Instructions are at:

    http://forums.us.dell.com/supportforums/board/message?board.id=si_virus&message.id=42328

    They failed to mention the MyWay ActiveX control you'll also need to disable also via Internet Explorer's Tools, Manage add-ons. (I had done this ages ago when I saw it on my pc).

    I had been concerned about memory usage for 5 SVCHOST.EXE entries in my Task Manager lately and slower speed. The memory usage for those entries more than halved after doing the MyWay removal steps! And my DSL connection is surfing noticeably faster now!!

    Hope this will be useful to Dell users on the board. A mod might consider a sticky for these instructions, as they are so hard to obtain when you call Dell for help on this matter.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2005
  2. JRCATES

    JRCATES Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Posts:
    1,203
    Location:
    USA
    Thanks for the heads up, Peggy....this topic has also been discussed in prior threads, like this one:

    Dell Rejects Spyware Charge

    I didn't realize that they were actually asking for a FEE to remove it at one time, but I'm glad to see that they have done the right thing and posted instructions via their forums as to how to remove it.

    The search assistant in located in plain site, though, and can be removed (for the most part) through Windows Add/Remove programs....perhaps not easily, but can be. Also, it has never "officially" been classified as spyware. Every scanner that I had on my machine while this search assistant was on it (McAfee, Kaspersky, ewido, TrojanHunter, A-Squared, Spyware Doctor, Ad-Aware) did NOT flag it as even a suspicious item, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. It's pretty well documented that it is pre-installed on Dell PCs, and if there was any real cause for alarm, the CounterSpy's, Spy Sweeper's, etc., of the world would likely be flagging it, but they aren't.

    BTW....Dell also pre-installs "bundled" security software programs, like McAfee, Norton, Sunbelt, etc., and is a member of the newly formed "Anti-Spyware Coalition", discussed in this thread:

    New Anti Spyware Coalition (ASC)
     
  3. feverfive

    feverfive Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Posts:
    121
    Not to sound flippant, but anybody on this board should be able to handle a relatively simple re-format & reinstall of their OS. Best way to nuke the crap Dell installs.
     
  4. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,047
    Not to be too sarcastic, but an even better way is simply not buy Dell. My computer maker offers either Norton, or Mcafee trials, but it is optional. Really ticks me off that, Dell, HP, and a few others install this junk with no option not too. Of course we know they aren't paid advertising dollars for this.
     
  5. buttoni

    buttoni Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Posts:
    44
    Location:
    Central Texas
    Thanks for the reply Jcrates. I'm new to this forum and didn't know about the prior post and enjoyed reading it. Yes, I do know Dell pre-installs McAfee, Norton, etc., but it is an option purchased knowingly and they are not spyware. MyWay is spyware, by most forums' definition, and is put there without the knowledge/permission of the buyer. AOL, Netscape, Earthlink, etc. are advertising/sales come-ons you can delete easily via Add/Remove Programs. MyWay is not completely removed via Add/Remove. It has numerous Registry entries that must be found and deleted and an ActiveX that must be disabled.

    Dell wanted to make it hard for the novice like me to get it off their pc. I know I've certainly lost a lot of my former respect for Dell over this issue. Probably won't be buying another one, Peter 2150.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2005
  6. buttoni

    buttoni Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Posts:
    44
    Location:
    Central Texas
    Feverfive, you would be surprised to learn that there are members on this board, myself included, who are what you experts would say are "computer impaired" and have NEVER reformatted and reinstalled Windows OS. We all have to start somewhere, don't we? Judging by the number of posts herein and on two other well-recognised PC help forums, reformatting/reinstalling does NOT go smoothly for a lot of folks, for whatever reasons, some of whom are VERY experienced users. As a result of reading on that topic, I can certainly tell you that personally, I'm not looking forward to the day I have to do it. And I certainly don't think one should have to reformat and reinstall the OS on a brand new PC is my main point!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2005
  7. JRCATES

    JRCATES Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Posts:
    1,203
    Location:
    USA
    Yes, people do have that choice. But to me, getting a high quality machine at a ridiculously good price with an extended warranty is worth the headache and slight inconvenience of a few "pre-installed" software programs that I had to remove.
     
  8. RobZee

    RobZee Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Posts:
    290
    Location:
    Texas
    Buttoni -
    I definitely agree with you.

    Rob
     
  9. RobZee

    RobZee Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Posts:
    290
    Location:
    Texas
    JR - As a satisfied user of a Dell, I agree with you on this. As a relatively new computer user at the time, I even lived with some of the pre-installs until I gained a little more knowledge.

    Rob
     
  10. JRCATES

    JRCATES Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Posts:
    1,203
    Location:
    USA
    Exactly, Rob....I was the exact same way. I had it on my PC for a few months, and hadn't even really noticed that it was there. It wasn't until I heard all of the negativity about it, realized that I didn't need, it and started asking questions as to how to remove it before I did so. But unlike some others have indicated, I guess I must have been extremely lucky....because I removed it completely and relatively pain free from my system, once I was told what to look for and how to do it.
     
  11. feverfive

    feverfive Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Posts:
    121
    Oh gosh, I'm hardly an expert in any way, shape or form!! I guess my statement was intended to be more self-deprecating than anything else as I reformat everytime I buy a new machine, no matter the manufacturer (assuming, of course, I buy one w/ an OS pre-installed). I figure if I can handle it, anyone can!! There are some good online guides on clean installing XP (in particular), like this one http://www.theeldergeek.com/xp_home_install_-_graphic.htm
     
  12. RobZee

    RobZee Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Posts:
    290
    Location:
    Texas
    feverfive -
    Thanks for the link to theeldergeek.com - just what I've been looking for!

    Rob
     
  13. buttoni

    buttoni Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Posts:
    44
    Location:
    Central Texas
    Yes, thanks for the link, Feverfive. I'm sure I'm going to need all the help I can get when the time comes to format/reinstall my Win XP OS. :D
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.