How to Remove the Blank Page Virus

by Elizabeth Chaplin

Computer viruses can be devastating. One type, referred to as the “blank page virus” or “Home OldSP Hijacker,” is actually a hijacker and not a virus. This hijacking program attacks Internet Explorer, making the user’s homepage appear as “About:Blank.” There are many variations of the blank page virus, and each one is somewhat difficult to manually remove. The causes of the hijacker are two hidden .dll files that must be deleted. By using the registry manager on the computer and hijack removal software, these files can be found and removed.

Registry Manager

1

Open the computer’s registry manager. If the computer does not have a registry manager program, download a free program from the internet. Registrar Lite, the program suggested by both PC Hell and SecuriTeam, can be downloaded from Resplendence.com.

2

Navigate to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows” in the console tree on the left hand side.

3

On the right section of the manager in the “Value” window, find the key named “AppInit_DLLs” and double-click on it. There will be a hidden file ending in “.dll” that appears. Make a notation of the file.

4

Right-click on the .dll file and select “Properties.” Navigate to the “General” tab and uncheck “Hidden” and “Read-Only.” Go to the “Security” tab and check “Full Control.” Exit Properties.

5

Right-click on the .dll file and select “Delete.” Apply the changes by hitting “Apply” or “OK.” Exit the registry manager.

Hijack Removal Software

1

Open the hijack removal software and select the “Scan” command. Depending on what type of software is being used, this may vary. The “Scan” command will scan the registry. PC Hell and SecuriTeam recommend a freeware program called “HijackThis.”

2

Check the boxes next to any folder that contains a .dll file under Internet Explorer. For example, “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Bar = res://C:\WINDOWS\System32\hidden.dll/sp.html.” This is the second file that must be deleted.

3

Go to “Start” and select “My Computer.” Then select “Tools,” and then “Folder Options.” Select the “View” tab, click on “Advanced Settings” and choose “Show Hidden Files and Folders.” Click “OK” and exit “My Computer.”

4

Click on “Start” and go to “Search.” Set the search to look in “C:\Windows.” Search for the hidden .dll file found in the registry manager and delete it. Then, search for the .dll file found with the hijack removal software and delete it.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera virus alert image by Pontus Edenberg from Fotolia.com