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Error message means a virus has struck


© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 2, 2001

Q. When I boot up my computer and the icons appear on my screen, this window appears: "Click the program you want to use to open file kak.hta." Then there is a list of files with symbols next to them such as Accw12, Acrord32, adbook, cog, Cchat, etc. I have to click OK, Cancel or Other. Why am I getting this window and how can I get rid of it?

A. You have the KAK worm virus, which has been written about in this column 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 drive letter for your hard disk 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 other Kak-related files in the Search Results box, right-click the files, click Delete, then close the Search Results dialog box.

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

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

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, then close Registry Editor.

There also is a site that has an automated cleanser for this virus that will execute the previously detailed steps for you. Download the program from, then double-click on it to clean the KAK worm from your system. For more information and to download the security patch, go to bulletin/ms99-032.asp.

When Content Advisor balks

Q. I thought it would be a good idea to use the password setting on Internet Explorer. It worked for a while, but now whenever I launch Explorer I receive the following message: "Please check your Content Advisor settings for missing information. Click the tools menu, then click Internet Options. On the Content tab, check the Content Advisor settings." The only way to view a Web page is to follow these instructions, enter my password, click OK, click Disable Password, enter my password again, then click Refresh. How do I get rid of the password and the message?

A. This problem is known to happen when the Ratings.pol file is missing or damaged or if there is another Ratings.pol file in the C:\Windows folder. According to Microsoft, doing the following should resolve the problem:

1. Quit Internet Explorer.

2. Check your Windows\System folder to see if a Ratings.pol file exists. (Make sure you turn on the option to view hidden files by clicking Options on the View menu in My Computer or Windows Explorer, click the View tab, click to select the Show All Files check box, then click OK.)

3. If there is a Ratings.pol file, rename it to Ratings.old.

4. Start Internet Explorer and click Internet Options on the Tools menu.

5. Click the Content tab, then click Settings in the Content Advisor area.

6. Type the Supervisor password and click OK.

7. Select the Ratings options that meet your needs, then click OK.

The changes will take effect when you restart Internet Explorer.

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