What is trying to access the internet?

  akpak 20:01 23 Feb 2004

Something is repeatedly happening on my PC roughly every 2 minutes, irrespective of whether I am using it or it is idle. It's not recorded in the Event Viewer, but each time it is shown in the Norton Internet Security log (under Firewall) as follows:
"An instance of C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe is preparing to access the Internet for the first time".
(I don't have a permanent connection to the internet, and am using Windows XP Home SP1.)

Windows Messenger/MSN Messenger is turned off, and as far as I can tell there isn't anything unexpected shown as running in either Services or the Configuration Utility. The Startup folder is empty, and the only scheduled task is a weekly virus scan.

I tried switching on Program Launch Monitoring in NIS, but it didn't alert me; as it only does this with unrecognised programs, presumably either Messenger is launching itself, or else NIS thinks that whatever is doing it is safe.

Has anyone any suggestions as to why Messenger should be trying to access the internet, or how I can find out what is telling it to do so? And how can I stop it? It's very irritating, and it stops the computer switching itself into Standby.

  [email protected]@m 20:07 23 Feb 2004

Same as another thread today, download Cwebshredder click here

  kyprosman 20:17 23 Feb 2004

or here click here

  akpak 21:01 23 Feb 2004

Can you tell me which thread today, please, [email protected]@m? Your link didn't work, but kyprosman's did - but none of the problems mentioned there seem to be related to what's happening on my PC. I'm not getting redirected to other websites etc - the only thing I'm aware of is this repeated Messenger attempts when I'm off line. My virus definitions are up to date and I've done a recent full scan.

  temp003 02:39 24 Feb 2004

If you don't use Windows Messenger at all, to remove it click here

If you just want to disable it, click here (and choose only to disable).

Or, to disable (with an option to re-enable), click here scroll down to the third method, and download and apply the script. You can download the Undo script as well in case you want to re-enable it in future.

Both Doug Knox and Petri are reliable, so don't worry about the scripts they've written.

  akpak 15:32 24 Feb 2004

I already have Windows Messenger turned off, and have now set the firewall to block it from accessing the internet. However, all of these things are only treating the symptom, not the cause. Some program or other is still trying to activate it, presumably in order to send messages. One possibility could be spyware, I suppose, but I can't find what it is or where it is. I'm also extremely reluctant to install or run anything else on my PC unless I know exactly where it is from, and what it's going to do, since this may be how the problem started in the first place.

  Beth 16:00 24 Feb 2004

I'm not one of the experts around here but if you
think it might be spyware why not try Adaware. It downloads free from the Lavasoft site. I first heard about it in this forum and I've used it for a couple of years now - trouble free. Most of the stuff it finds is cookies, but it picks up a lot of junk as well.

Messenger seems to be linked to Outlook Express - I've seen a couple of PCs where Messenger has been disabled and then OE manages to re-enable it somehow. Also I note you've got Norton - if you've got the 'Live Update' function set to check automatically, this will try accessing the internet at very chort intervals.

  velodrome 19:48 24 Feb 2004

I have been unable to access the Merijn site reffered to by [email protected]@m for the last couple of days. Message returns "Page is currently unavailable". Has the problem that existed last week ie denial of service attack.

  velodrome 19:51 24 Feb 2004

Sorry last sentence should be: Has the problem that existed last week ie denial of service attack returned to the site.

  akpak 19:31 27 Feb 2004

Thanks for all suggestions on this - I seem to have finally found the answer by looking through the forum on MS's own Messenger support site, and thought I would post it here.

Someone suggested that the problem is an incompatibility between MS Messenger and Norton Anti Virus's handling of instant messages, and that you need to turn off NAV's default setting as follows:
In NAV click Options, then Instant Messenger, and uncheck the "MSN Instant Messenger" option, then OK.

This seems to have done the trick - so far, no more hard disk activity every 2 minutes or corresponding entries in the NIS firewall log , and the computer put itself to sleep properly. Hope it lasts!

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