‘I got the Startnow.com virus on my Chrome browser. It is a redirectional virus which won't let me navigate, and keeps sending me to various other websites. I finally just stopped using Chrome and I uninstalled it from my computer. After a couple of days I tried reinstalling Chrome from Google's website. Startnow.com was there again, so I am assuming it is lurking somewhere on my hard drive although Norton didn't pick it up. What do I do? I am currently using Explorer as my browser, but it seems to be acting oddly too. Is there something out there which will help me get rid of this virus?’ – Description from startnow victim.
Let’s have a glance at its interface:
Many people would fall into the trap, thinking it is a legitimate and useful search engine because there’s a Bing next to the search box. Is Bing a collaborator? Spyhunter would give a positive answer – NO! ‘Bing’ is taken advantage of, making Starnow more convincible to be kept on the system. Some people didn’t realize startnow.com is a browser malware since the search engine did not block the webpage and really did a good job. However, they didn’t notice the lagging PC performance as they considered the slowness was due to the age of the machine, and never thought that the issue could be triggered by startnow.
While some people really get disasters and don’t want to start with startnow search engine because startnow simply appears without permission in a new tab next to the search result. And some of the others get automatic pop up saying ‘The StartNow Toolbar Add-on from unknown publisher is ready to install’. The arbitrary act makes itself repulsive.
Why Startnow Acts Differently
OS, security rate should be taken into consideration. But the command startnow receives is the dominating factor. Once startnow is in, a backdoor is built up thanks to modified key values. A backdoor usually serves to do the things listed below:
Load down tracking cookies to collect your information by tracing surfing history/ log keystrokes;
Alleviates malware installation;
Help to send and receive information as well as commands;
Make unauthorized access from unknown third party, placing the infected computer in a risky situation where privilege will be taken over.
Conclusion on What Startnow Does
- Replace the default homepage and refuse to be replaced back;
- Providing search results that are ‘startnow’ domain-based in a bid to tracking down surfing habit;
- Downloading additional viruses and junks which will slice down the overall PC performance;
- Cause browser crashes from time to time;
- Steal information that’s related to privacy;
- Open up a backdoor to run on malevolent commitment.
How to Remove Startnow Easily?
Plan A: Remove Startnow Manually1. If your computer is choppy in normal mode, you can remove PUP.CrossFire.SA either in safe mode with networking or create a new User Account
a) Get into the Safe Mode with Networking
step: Reboot your computer. As the computer is booting but before Windows launches, tap the "F8 key" continuously which should bring up the "Windows Advanced Options Menu" as shown below. Use your arrow keys to highlight "Safe Mode with Networking" option and press Enter key.
b) Create a new User Account
For Windows XP
- Click the Start button in the lower left corner of the desktop.
- Click Settings, then click Control Panel.
- In the Control Panel window, click User Accounts.
- In the User Accounts window, click Create a new account.
- Enter the user account name in the Account Name field and click Next.
- Select the Limited radio button, then click Next.
- Click Create Account.
- In the User Accounts window, click on the new account.
- Click Change the password.
- Enter the desired password (this should be different than the administrator password). Be sure to use a strong password.
- Verify the password and add a password hint.
- Click Change Password.
- Log out of the administrator account by hitting CTRL-ALT-DEL and selecting Log Off. Then log back in as the new user account.
2. Disable any suspicious startup items.
For Windows XP:
step: Click Start menu -> click Run -> type: msconfig in the search bar -> open System Configuration Utility -> Disable all possible startup items including those of startnow.com:
3. Remove add-ons:
1) Go to Tools -> ‘Manage Add-ons’;
2) Choose ‘Search Providers’ -> choose ‘Bing’ search engine or ‘Google’ search engine and make it default;
3) Select ‘Search Results’ and click ‘Remove’ to remove it;
4) Go to ‘Tools’ -> ‘Internet Options’; select ‘General tab’ and click website, e.g. Google.com. Click OK to save changes.
1) Click on ‘Customize and control’ Google Chrome icon, select ‘Settings’;
2) Choose ‘Basic Options’;
3) Change Google Chrome’s homepage to google.com or any other and click the ‘Manage Search Engines…’ button;
4) Select ‘Google’ from the list and make it your default search engine;
5) Select ‘Search Result’ from the list to remove it by clicking the ‘X’ mark.
1) Click on the magnifier’s icon and select ‘Manage Search Engine…’;
2) Choose ‘Search Results’ from the list and click ‘Remove’ and OK to save changes;
3) Go to ‘Tools’ -> “Options”. Reset the startup homepage or change it to google.com under ‘General tab;
4. Disable proxy
- Click on Tools on the menu bar
- select Internet options
- go to Connections tab
- select LAN settings at the bottom of the dialog
- under the Proxy sever, untick 'use a proxy server for your LAN (These settings will not apply to dial-up or VPN connections).'
- Click OK
5. Show hidden files
a) open Control Panel from Start menu and search for Folder Options;
b) under View tab to tick Show hidden files and folders and non-tick Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) and then click OK;
c) Click on the “Start” menu and then click on the “Search programs and files” box, Search for and delete these files created by startnow.com:
6. Open Windows Task Manager and close all startnow running processes.
step: Use CTRL+ALT+DEL combination to open Task Manager
7. Delete all startnow.com related registry values in your local hard disk C.
step: Hold down the Windows key on your keyboard and press the "R" button. Type in "regedit" and hit "Enter" to gain access to the Registry Editor.
Plan B: Remove Startnow automatically (with SpyHunter)
Step A. Download removal tool SpyHunter
1) Click here or the icon below to download Free SpyHunter automatically.
2) Follow the instructions to install SpyHunter
Step B. Run SpyHunter to block Startnow
Run SpyHunter and click "Malware Scan" button to scan your computer, after detect this unwanted program, clean up relevant files and entries completely.
Step C. Restart your computer to take effect.
Are you thinking about making the Startnow removal 1 stone 2 birds happen? There is actually one antivirus program can help you. Download and install Spyhunter to remove Startnow and protect your computer in the futher!