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Message signals virus infection


© St. Petersburg Times, published January 8, 2001

Q. I have a window that pops up only when I boot up my computer: "C:\windows\startmenu\Programs\startup\KAK.HTA." How do I rid the machine of this problem?

A. You have the KAK worm virus, which I have written about several times. You need to update your anti-virus software as soon as possible. Meanwhile, these are instructions from Microsoft on how to delete the virus:

1. Click Start, point to Find and click Files or Folders.

2. In the Named box, type kak*.* and click the letter for your hard drive in the Look In box.

3. Click to select the Include Subfolders check box, and click Find Now.

4. When you see the Kak.hta file and all other Kak-related files in the Search Results box, right-click the files, click Delete and close the Search Results dialog box.

5. Click Start, click Run, type RegEdit in the Open box, then click OK.

Now you need to edit the registry. As always, make sure you make a backup of the registry:

1. Click Start, Run and enter: REGEDIT

2. Locate the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\cAgOu

3. Right-click the registry key, click Delete and close Registry Editor.

There is a site that has an automated cleanser for this virus. You can download it from the following link, then double-click on it to clean the KAK worm from your system:

For more information and to download the security patch:

Holding e-mail

Q. Is there a way to put a hold on incoming e-mail? I run Outlook Express in Internet Explorer 5.5, and I have Outlook 2000 as well. When I am away from my PC, I would like to stop the e-mail, similar to the way you stop snail mail.

A. Most Internet service providers' e-mail systems are known as Store and Forward systems. When you log on with your e-mail program, a request is made to send your e-mail to your PC. If you don't run your e-mail program, your e-mail will be held on your ISP's server. You may want to check with your ISP to see if it offers an out-of-office service, where an automated response is sent to anyone sending you e-mail notifying them that you are unavailable.

Restoring ratings file

Q. A box continues to come up with every program I open. It has a red X in it and says: "Please check your content adviser settings for missing information." Microsoft promised to send instructions to fix it but hasn't.

A. According to Microsoft, this problem occurs if the ratings system has been enabled but the Ratings.pol file is missing or damaged. Microsoft says to:

1. Quit Internet Explorer.

2. Check your Windows\System folder to see if a Ratings.pol file exists. (To view hidden files such as the Ratings.pol file in My Computer or Windows Explorer, click Options on the View menu in My Computer or Windows Explorer, click the View tab, click to select the Show All Files check box and click OK.) If there is no Ratings.pol file, skip to step 3. If there is a Ratings.pol file, rename it to Ratings.old.

3. Start Internet Explorer and click Options (or Internet Options) on the View menu.

4. Click the Content tab and click Settings in the Content Adviser area.

5. Type the Supervisor password and click OK. (If you do not know or have forgotten the Supervisor password, Microsoft recommends contacting its Product Support Services for assistance at:

6. Choose the ratings options that meet your needs and click OK.

When you restart Internet Explorer, the changes take effect.

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