Google Chrome startup page is hijacked

  stlucia2 11:40 14 Oct 2013

Very recently I posted about problems I was having getting Google Chrome to display only the simple Google search screen as its home page, in this thread 1">[click here, and it seemed to have been resolved.

But after a few days of running as I wanted it, now when I start Google Chrome the simple Google search screen appears for a split second, but is replaced almost instantly by a new screen which I can't identify. The screen has no heading, but displays large thumbnails for Amazon, Yahoo music, tumblr., facebook, Yahoo games, flickr, instagram, and groupon. At the bottom right is a link for 'Recently Close' which, if I click it, gives me back my simple Google search home page.

Any idea what's going on, please?

  stlucia2 11:48 14 Oct 2013

Oops, seems like I didn't do the link properly. Here it is correctly, I hope.

  Woolwell 12:00 14 Oct 2013
  stlucia2 12:23 14 Oct 2013

That article shows the screen I had in my previous thread, which I got rid of because it was slowing down Chrome's loading (as noted in the article).

But what I've got now is something different -- that screen is replaced almost instantly, without any action on my part, by a new screen. The new one has no identification, no 'Google' headline, just the large thumbnails I've mentioned with an unidentified search bar above them.

I've just noticed that if I use the search bar, the results page's tab is labelled 'Mysearchdial'. I've used Windows Explorer to search for that term on my C:/ drive, and all it shows is three .pf files named and similar, in C:/WINDOWS/Prefetch/. Problem now is I can't find it in the list of programs to uninstall using CC or Control Panel.

  Woolwell 12:27 14 Oct 2013

You have malware probably by accidentally downloading an extra toolbar. How to remove mysearchdial

  Woolwell 12:29 14 Oct 2013
  stlucia2 13:09 14 Oct 2013

Thanks Woolwell, but my attempts to remove 'Mysearchdial' are stymied by the fact that it's not listed in the list of programs when I go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs (Windows XP), or when I use CCleaner.

I've also gone through the process described in your second link, to remove it from Google Chrome. I can find it in the list of extensions, and remove it, but it re-installs itself when I start Google Chrome the next time -- presumably because I haven't removed the actual program.

The only time I've rushed an update recently, and maybe missed an 'option' checkbox, was with ZA. I haven't knowingly downloaded/installed any other software, and all the software in the Add/Remove Programs list is stuff I recognise. So is ZA the source?

  stlucia2 13:37 14 Oct 2013


I've run a quick scan with Malawarebytes and it seems to have solved the problem. It found about 20 'infections' on my PC, a few of which were related to mysearchdial registry entries, and removing them has got Chrome's home page back to normal.

Just to be sure, I did a Windows Explorer search for mysearchdial and found the same three .pf files as before. I manually deleted them for good measure.

  Woolwell 13:47 14 Oct 2013

Did you download ZA from Cnet? Cnet seems to cause problems nowadays.

  stlucia2 14:07 14 Oct 2013

I don't remember which site I downloaded it from -- I just did an automatic update when I returned to my PC after 8 weeks' absence, and I seem to remember many more check-box 'options' and ads, some of which I may have missed.

I'll try and remember Cnet, and avoid it if possible, when I do further software updates. Thanks woolwell.

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