gator hell

so, last saturday night i broke my computer, have i mentioned that? well, i didn’t so much break it, as audiogalaxy did. oh my, it was ugly. froze in the middle of booting. (note: my computer has some issues to begin with, ymmv) anyway, the reason for the audiogalaxy was, well, it was late and me and the beers had us a hankerin’ for some mp3s. so there i was, nice and tipsy with a broken computer. lovely.

so i rebooted it a bunch more times just in case, you know? flukes happen. and then i tried to boot in safe mode but i for some reason desired the fancier levels of safe mode, for a few more unsuccessful boot attempts.

finally. had this big ugly resolution, and clicked start, and nothing. hung my head in despair … minutes later, as if by magic, the start menu pops up. and i’m not exaggerating — that’s minutes, plural. i carefully navigated to audiogalaxy and clicked uninstall. reboot and puter was better.

until today. oh. i forget where i was surfing, but there in the corner of the screen — look! it’s the gator! audiogalaxy left me a little present. i hate the gator. he’s just recently gone stealth (i had him once before, he used to be an ‘offer companion’ in the systray which could be deactivated, but no more). and you have to wrassle the gator to get him off your machine. he’s nowhere obvious, you know. not in the start menu, or in program files. deep in the registry. executables hidden with the ‘common files’ and such. sneaky. almost viral.

so i went and got adaware, which sniffed out some 40 instances of gator-related chicanery going on here and there. click remove and about half go — have to reboot for the rest (cannot delete, process is running). reboot, rescan, reclean.


21 thoughts on “gator hell

  1. many software companies and their programmers treat consumers like idiots and they wantonly exploit them with covert or shabby software. if they keep that up, people will just despise them.

  2. i must be the only person in the world who likes gator. well, i did. that security hole story convinced me to uninstall it but i was going nuts with ads popping up on my computer, so i finally got adaware – couldn’t believe all the gator-related stuff that was still there!

    gonna clean up my kid’s puter next.

  3. You are so cool. To be able to hunt out and destroy the gator, well Wow. I am impressed. Maybe we could get you in TV, as the real gator hunter – I would only take 10% of your pay as your agent. .

  4. Gator used to install itself all the time at the place where I worked. The way it was written, it would mistake the news application for a form-based program and screw people up.

    “But this is helpful” some idiot worker would say.

    “No it isn’t.” I’d record what they’d said, pass it to their boss, and leave it up to them to deal with the idiot. I didn’t feel like going in at 3 in the morning to wipe butts and clean diapers.

  5. and you know it’s not just the general viral nature of the way gator installs itself (and the one i caught at work, the one that used to be in the systray, suddenly vanished, went underground and wouldn’t let me deactivate it) — there was a news story awhile back about a huge security hole in gator’s programming.

    guess the programmers were too busy making it sneaky and getting it to run upgrades without asking, to bother with making it safe.

  6. Ok, help me out here – why is it programmed to want to stay? What do the programmers hope to achieve if they piss people off so much? What are they getting out of it? What is their nefarious plan????

  7. much the same way that we don’t understand why spammers and people who do multiple popunder ads do what they do, gator does what it does. i do not understand this mentality – but i do know that for the longest time i let it languish on my machine at work (it came with the weather bug, and i like my weather bug) until it went stealth, and wouldn’t let me turn it off.

    i suppose people were turning it off. and you know, if they can get you to clickthrough, that’s where their money is. when this thing starts jumping up and down in the corner of your screen, if you click it instead of the “x” in the corner, they’ve delivered you unto the advertiser.

    and i suppose people who didn’t know about adaware or other ways of cleaning out spyware, might just learn to live with it after searching around for a way to get rid of it, and failing.

    or, and i shudder to think of this, like file13 said, some people think it’s helpful? huh? what? but yeah.

  8. While posting this comment, I read the little pearl of wisdom at the top-right of this screen:

    “if i’m lucky, mr. talent will rub his tentacles on my art”

    I read it quickly, and substituted an “s” for the “n” in tentacles.

  9. yeah — that one is a spongebob quote — he’s trying to repeat after squidward, during an art class. and yes, it tends to fool the eye just a bit…

  10. Oh man, I got hit fine and hard with KaZaa. I know it was my own fault for not checking out what the son was downloading. He’s not allowed to dl without my permission and I went ahead and said it was okay, not knowing. ARGH!!! It took about a month to get rid of it. Whatta mess.

    I’m glad you fought the gator and won, kd.

  11. Three or four years ago, I would add software on my computer without thinking about it. Sometimes it was even things I had no use for, but I’d load it anyway “just in case”.

    Now I don’t add anything without a good reason, and I’m especially suspicious of “free” software. I know there is a price to be paid somehow.

  12. get this — i signed up for their PREMIUM service. $2.95 a month, you know, i figured, why not? me and the beers said what the heck, we’ll get faster downloads (so they claim). i wanted some mp3s, i really did.

    i know better now. back to googling “apache index mp3 (name of band)” and finding them on servers (usually in colleges) that don’t have an .htaccess file. yes, it’s wrong. no, i won’t stop.

  13. Hate the gator.
    I had uninstalled the gator, then got ZoneAlarm (free firewall software) which, immediately upon installation, asked me if it was all right that the gator wanted to act as a server on my machine.
    Hate the gator.

  14. How to kill the gator? Follow me :
    1. First step, you must identify that gator has two apps which called “GMT” and “Precision Time”.
    2. Step two, Disable or Exit Gator application in tray system.
    3. Go to Add/Remove Program in control panel.
    4. Remove apps supported by gator like “Gain”, “Precision Time”.
    5. Close the control panel program and click start>>program, delete “Gain” and “Precision Time” folders. Don’t forget to go to start>>program>>startup, delete them again.
    6. Explore your computer, find the gator apps folders called “CMEII”, “GAIN”, and “GMT” (usually they stay at program>>common files directory. Delete all of them and send them to hell (i mean recycle bin … hehehe).
    7. Empty your recycle bin, and reboot your computer.
    8. Good Luck.

  15. Ok – So Adware worked on Gator and a million other instances of tracking CRAP on my beloved computer…. Buttttt has anyone ever had a search frame that pops up on the left side of the screen when you do a regular search?
    When I clicked on its proporties, i traced it back to “”, and went through their opt-out BS – Didnt work… Tried Adware – Didnt work!!

    Im about to throw my computer out the window.. Anyone wanna catch it?

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