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Doc Smiley's Cure for the Happy99 Virus:
First Aid for the Computer Illiterate
(last updated on April 6, 1999 - 9:45 AM Eastern)

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     It came in your email.  It had a cute name and it was sent by a friend.  So you ran the program and saw the neat fireworks display.  Cool!  Little did you know that your computer had just been infected by a virus.  You only found out when someone thanked you for the fireworks program that you sent them.  But you didn't send it to them!  That's when you knew that something strange was going on.

    You caught the Happy99.exe virus (also known as a worm or trojan).  It is propagated by attaching itself to newsgroup and e-mail messages.  You cannot get infected with this virus just by reading a newsgroup or e-mail message.  You have to execute the attachment (i.e., run the program).  Almost always, the person who sends it does not know that they are sending it out.  This virus does not affect DOS, Windows 3.x, S/2, Linux or WebTV (so far).  If you are aware of a version that does affect these systems, Please let me know.  I have had a few people with Windows NT and one with Mac who told me they were infected.  I will provide information about the virus and these systems in the near future.

     If you did not run the program, you can just delete the message containing the virus (or the downloaded virus) and move on. If you have already run Happy99.exe, to get rid of it, print out this page and follow the instructions.  I have tried to make them as simple as possible so that even if you are computer illiterate, you can safely clean your system of the virus.  Not all of these steps are necessary for everyone.  But rather than developing different procedures for people with different degrees of infection, I have written these steps so that they will work for almost everyone.  Occasionally someone has a problem, but in most cases, that is because the individual has made a spelling error or otherwise not followed the procedure exactly.  So, please follow these steps carefully and in order.  Some of the steps are optional and are so indicated.


 
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***** WARNING *****

Failure to follow instructions EXACTLY may 
cause problems in accessing the internet or email from your computer!  I make or imply no guarantees.  If you choose to use the information here, it is of your own free will.  You are solely responsible for the care of your computer.  If you do not feel comfortable with your level of knowledge, or your ability to accurately follow 
these procedures, contact a local computer technician.  Most problems are a result of not following the directions in order or by misspelling commands.  If you are careful, however, you should have no problems.


1)  If you have not already done so since 
     running the Happy99 program, restart 
     your computer.  This step is important 
     because the virus does not complete 
     the infection process until you restart
     the computer.  By following this step before
     deleting any files, you are less likely to
     encounter any error messages in the 
     removal procedure.

2)  If you have not already done so, delete the 
     Happy99 program from wherever you saved it.
     If you aren't sure where it is, go to your start
     button and use "find" then "files" on the 
     menu.  Search for Happy99.exe.  Once you
     find it, delete it.

3)  Make SURE all internet related programs 
     are turned off (this includes instant messaging
     services such as ICQ and AOL Instant 
     Messenger), then restart your computer
     in MS-DOS mode (Click on the Start button,
     select "shut down", then select "restart the
     computer in MS-DOS mode").

4)  Once it has restarted, you should see
     C:\WINDOWS> on the screen.

5)  Type in CD SYSTEM and press "enter". 
     You should see C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM>
     on the screen.  If that doesn't get you 
     there, try CD C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM or 
      CD WINDOWS\SYSTEM then press "enter".

6)  Type in ATTRIB -H WSOCK32.DLL and press
     "enter".

7)  Type in ATTRIB -R WSOCK32.DLL and press
     "enter".

8)  Type in COPY WSOCK32.SKA WSOCK32.DLL
     and press "enter". 

9)  If asked if you want to overwrite
     wsock32.dll, type "y" for yes, then
     "enter" and go to step 9. 

*** If you get a message indicating FILE NOT 
*** FOUND, complete steps 10, 11, and 13.  Then, 
*** return to Windows, click here and 
*** save the program wsockupd.exe someplace
*** where you can find it.  Lastly, run the 
*** program.  Do not do this if step 9 works.

10) Type DEL SKA.DLL, press "enter".  If you 
      get a message saying "file not found", 
      type ATTRIB -H SKA.DLL, then press "enter"
      and try again.

11) Type DEL SKA.EXE, press "enter".  If you 
      get a message saying "file not found", 
      type ATTRIB -H SKA.EXE, then press "enter"
      and try again.

12)  *OPTIONAL* If you have followed 
       all of the steps correctly, you may 
       type DEL WSOCK32.SKA and press "enter".

13)  Type in EXIT and press "enter".

Once you have returned to Windows, you might want to find the file "liste.ska" using the "find files" function on the start button.  If you have not actually sent the virus to anyone, you won't find this file.  You can open this file by double-clicking and selecting "notepad" when asked which program to use to open it.  Inside of the file is a list of people to whom you have emailed the virus.  You should contact them and let them know about the virus.  You might want to tell them about this website so that they can get rid of it.  After this, you can delete the file.

That should take care of the Happy99 virus.  HOWEVER - unless you are running antivirus software with an updated data or definition file, you could easily catch this virus again or another one.  If you already have the software, you should update your data or definition files at least monthly.  If you do not have antivirus software, you can follow one of the links on this page to obtain more information about several programs available from Beyond.com. 


Antivirus Literature


McAfee Anti-virus for Beginners
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Review (Amazon.com)

When it comes to name recognition in the computer virus realm, one name stands out: John McAfee, whose Scan and Clean programs were one of the earliest shareware success stories.  McAfee's commercial packages, VirusScan and WebScan, are some of the hottest selling products in the anti-virus market. If you own VirusScan and it's still sitting in the shrink-wrap or you are searching for an entry-level quick fix, then look no further. Brian Howard's book will show you how to make the most of the McAfee software; it even comes with a free trial version. This brief introduction to viruses and their history provides the virus basics: what they are, how they are contracted, how to avoid them, and what to do if your computer catches one. The purpose of this book is to train novices in a particular software package. The concise and easy-to-read text achieves this goal in an efficient and interesting fashion. The FAQ and the glossary both provide good references. The book is more than adequate for helping the beginner to correctly implement a
powerful security measure, but if you are looking for a more academic approach to the topic, you will have to look elsewhere. 

Synopsis

In 1986 there was one virus; today there are 7400! McAfee Anti-Virus for Beginners offers an introduction to protecting and securing your information. The first step toward creating a safe system is understanding what a virus is, how they replicate, how they're contracted, hide from your detection, what triggers are, and what the payload is--what happens! Newcomers will learn how to recognize viruses and learn to use VirusScan and WebScan. 

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Dr. Solomon's Anti-Virus Deluxe
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If you purchase one these programs through these links, I will earn a small commission.  So if you decide to purchase at a later time, I would appreciate your using these links to do so.  But even if you don't use these programs, just be sure that you use SOME program.  Surfing the internet without antivirus software is like having sex without protection.  The next virus you catch might be deadly to your computer.

 

ONE LAST THING!

Below is a web-based search engine which will allow you to find more information on this virus, other viruses, antivirus protection, or any other topic.  If you found the information on this page useful, I would appreciate it if you would use this search engine.  You see, I get paid $.02 for each person who uses it.  It may not sound like much, but I am getting thousands of hits each day.  It doesn't cost you anything but a moment of your time.  The information I am providing is free, but by using the search engine, you will help reimburse me for my time in maintaining the page and responding to questions.  Please don't feel obligated to use it, but I will be very grateful if you choose to help me out.

If you have any problems, feel free to email me (and don't forget the free software!).  Before emailing me, though, be sure you have followed all of the steps, spelling everything carefully.

Doc

Click to email me


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