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How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again?

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How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? Matt2992 12/1/11 7:13 PM
Google Chrome version15.0.874.121 m:  Operating System Windows 7

When I went onto youtube I tried to view a video and in the window where the video shows up, it said that in order to view this video I have to download a new video player first.  So I downloaded it (unfortunately) and apparently it changed my google chrome homepage to startsearcher.com.  I am unable to change the settings back to my original home page as the option can't even be highlighted.  It also changed my home page for internet explorer but I was able to change the home page for that site.  I have been digging around for at least 6 hours total and no option has worked.  I have tried multiple anti malware programs in the process and none of them have worked.  

Please help
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? Ganordan 12/1/11 8:01 PM
i am also having this exact same problem, and i dont like my default search being stupid yahoo either.
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? Stefan vd 12/2/11 2:05 AM

Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? Scooter1203 12/2/11 9:45 AM
I've been trying numerous fixes, but nothing works.  Unable to change the Chrome settings because the selections are greyed out.  Uninstalled and reinstalled Chrome; that didn't work.  Malware applications didn't work either.  Downloaded Firefox to see if could do a fix through that; nothing.  Deleted the youtubeplayer.exe application; nope.  I haven't hit the registry yet, but that would be my next step.  Help!
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? Stefan vd 12/2/11 11:16 AM
+Scooter1203
Create a new chrome profile, this reset the settings from you Google Chrome browser.
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? MelindaNicole 12/2/11 6:42 PM
I also had downloaded the new player 'required' for youtube. I had firefox and chrome both infected with startsearcher. I have tried changing my homepage but it's grayed out, un/reinstalling, can't remove from control panel, can't remove by creating a new chrome profile, is not getting removed through my anit malware software. I got it off firefox I think by going to about:config, but when I do the same for chrome (about:network, etc) it says the webpage is broken so I assume I can't use anything like that for chrome. please help, I can't get rid of this! I don't have any other ideas.
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? Stefan vd 12/3/11 2:09 AM
+MelindaNicole
If you remove you Chrome profile, it reset the browser setting to the default value.
Try to remove all profile in that folder. And the open Google Chrome. It create self a new Chrome profile folder. 
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? Williston3 12/6/11 7:18 PM
I did the same thing; downloaded the 'required' youtube player.

However, I found a folder that was created the same day and time I downloaded the player:

Program Files (x86) > SSearch > InternetSearch

Another guy with the StartSearch problem I was talking with found a different directory:

Program Files(x86) > StartNow Toolbar

It has files in there named "chrome.manifest" and "firefoxOverlay.xul". I snooped around in notepad and found out that one of the files runs a script that redirects the hompage to http://www.startsearcher.com. So that is the culprit.

I couldn't alter the file even as an administrator but I deleted the directory. I'm gonna restart my machine / reinstall Chrome / make a new profile and I'll post any results. Hope this can help.
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? Spoonykim 12/8/11 1:04 AM
@Williston3 Good find on that SSearch, found it in my Program Files. I deleted the directory, but to no avail. I have now spent a frustrating 4 straight hours researching this pesky malware. I still cannot find a solution. I have tried reinstalling chrome, deleting profiles, running antivirus/malware/spyware programs, searching program files/control panel/registry, and nothing seems to work for chrome. It can be fixed in Firefox with "about:config", searching "startsearcher" and deleting files associated. However, chrome has been my preferred choice of browser, and would like to find a fix to chrome. If anyone knew of some comparable function to "about:config", perhaps we can kill it on chrome. I have browsed through the "about" functions for chrome and it doesn't seem like there is one. I'm hoping someone with more knowledge of malware will lend a sympathetic ear!
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? Stefan vd 12/8/11 3:21 AM
+Spoonykim
All change you can make in Google Chrome can be found here:
for plugins here:
about:flags
for experiment
about:flags 
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? tormentedfan 12/15/11 6:49 PM
I had this problem and emailed he...@zugo.com, as when I first tried to get rid of startsearcher.com by reading the directions (which of course didn't work, as the choices to change either my default home page or default search engine were grayed out), it said to email them if I had problems, so I gave it a try.

They first recommended I uninstall Chrome, which I had already tried, but I tried again & that still didn't work. Then they sent me these instructions, which did finally work:

"The QA suggested last resort option (but unfortunately they described it as "a stab in the dark") -

modifying the registry keys. Please be aware that removing any other files may have serious

consequences on the way your computer work (depending on what you delete ).

       - Click Startbutton on Windows Operating System
       - In the search box search for "regedit"
       - Once regedit appears in the list that will be displayed click on it.
       - "Registry Editor" folder will open. Type Ctrl + f.
       - A "Find " pop box will appear. In the "Find what" box, type "startsearcher" and click on find.
       - In the search results if "startsearcher" appears under the Name field then click on it and delete it.
   
I would also advise you uninstall SSearch (if it's still installed)."

So I wound up deleting more than a dozen files (maybe 2x that), basically I deleted anything with "starsearcher" either in the name field or in the description field. Then I restarted my computer and startsearcher was gone and Chrome now works. Everything else seems to work fine too. Startsearcher or SSearch never showed up in my add/remove programs so I didn't uninstall anything. Hope this helps.
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? Stefan vd 12/16/11 2:54 AM
Do then a spyware/malwere scan with "Spybot search and destroy". This program look also inside the registry file.
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? Computer Wench 12/19/11 1:34 AM
tormentedfan ... YOU ARE MY PERSONAL HERO!!!  

Your suggestion worked....see the copy and pasted version for all to see below here.

'modifying the registry keys' and 'I would also advise you uninstall SSearch (if it's still installed)'

As Matt2992 said and several other people stated I did go to YouTube and saw the message about I needed to download a video player....'When I went onto youtube I tried to view a video and in the window where the video shows up, it said that in order to view this video I have to download a new video player first.  So I downloaded it (unfortunately) and apparently it changed my google chrome homepage to startsearcher.com.  I am unable to change the settings back to my original home page as the option can't even be highlighted.  It also changed my home page for internet explorer but I was able to change the home page for that site.  I have been digging around for at least 6 hours total and no option has worked.  I have tried multiple anti malware programs in the process and none of them have worked.'  

OK so I also read this threads posts and saw a suggestion to 'Create a new chrome profile, this reset the settings from you Google Chrome browser.' from Stefan vd with the link of how to do it....        
*Creating a new browser user profile - Google Chrome Help
If your browser user profile is corrupted, you can create a new user profile to replace the broken one:

Windows instructions

    Exit Google Chrome completely.
    Go to the Start menu > Run.
    Enter one of the following directories in the text field, then press OK.

        Windows XP: %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\
        Windows Vista/ Windows 7: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\

    Locate the folder called "Default" in the directory window that opens and rename it as "Backup default."
    Try opening Google Chrome again. A new "Default" folder is automatically created as you start using the browser.

If you wish, you can transfer information from your old user profile to your new one. However, this action is not recommended, since a part of your old profile was corrupt. With that in mind, to transfer your old bookmarks, copy the "Bookmarks.bak" file from the "Backup default" folder to your new "Default

Creating a new user profile by creating a new BACKUP DEFAULT folder worked as far as I could rename the current DEFAULT folder BACKUP DEFAULT and then log onto Chrome and it would create a new one.  That worked but as far as fixing the problem of getting rid of startsearch.com as my home page it did nothing other than start a clean slate version of Google Chrome with it still having startsearch.com hijacking my home page.  So I went back and deleted my new DEFAULT folder that was created as as result of renaming the old DEFAULT folder BACKUP DEFAULT and renamed the BACKUP DEFAULT folder (which was the origional DEFAULT folder) as DEFAULT again making it again truly the DEFAULT folder that would be used with all my origional files just as I had started out with. So the creating of a new BACKUP DEFAULT worked as far as making it make a new DEFAULT folder but it did not get rid of the hijacked home page problem as far as startsearch.com was concerned.    So I read on in the posts and found the one from         'tormentedfan'.....and if your careful about finding your 'startsearcher' files and removing them it works great and all is back to the happy way it was before 'startsearch.com' darkened your doorstep of your computer.  I changed all the places I found the name 'startsearcher' to the page I wanted as my home page origionally. I used 'http://www.dogpile.com/info.dogpl.t3.2/search/home' I wanted that as my home page and use it faithfully as my search engine. So in FIND I right clicked when it found the name 'startsearcher' and erased the link to 'startsearcher.com' and put in 'http://www.dogpile.com/info.dogpl.t3.2/search/home'.  I continued to do this til FIND found no more things named 'startsearcher' to change.  I then went into Chrome to see what I got.  It worked...I still can not change my home page but at least my home page is what I wanted as the home page not some hijacked home page from 'startsearcher.com'.  The home page still shows greyed out as in you can NOT change it....but I was able to put in the page I did want to show as my home page and it does now. So all in all I changed my home page and search engine to 'http://www.dogpile.com/info.dogpl.t3.2/search/home' which is now locked in place unless I want to go in and change the registry keys to reflect something else besides that. So it is not perfect but my home page is what I chose not what it was hijacked over to.  So be careful about changing the right things and putting in the right names....but you can get rid of 'startsearch.com' as your home page.  It is not perfect in the sense you can not change the home page the normal way and have to go edit your registry keys but it is a solution to rid yourself of 'startsearch.com'.

I also did do a 'search' on the word SSearch and found my one file in my Program Files and deleted it.  I then researched the name SSearch to make sure all by that name were deleted as suggested.  

Because I was careful about NOT EVER using the 'startsearch.com' search and used my 'http://www.dogpile.com/info.dogpl.t3.2/search/home' always. It did not get to add up any data or whatever it is designed to do or track on your use of it as far as searches go and I don't think I had too much to remove.  There was under 10 places I had to change the name from 'startsearch.com' to my 'http://www.dogpile.com/info.dogpl.t3.2/search/home'. I knew it was not right when I saw that the home page I chose before all this happened was not available or changeable back to what I wanted it to be. I searched the internet using my 'http://www.dogpile.com/info.dogpl.t3.2/search/home' on the subject of removing 'startsearch.com'  I did not see the name of 'startsearcher.com, SSearch, or Zugo (The Startsearcher.com Start page is owned and operated by Zugo Ltd)' to UNINSTALL from my computers ADD/DELETE or UNINSTALL areas.

Below is the instructions I followed from 'tormentedfan'.
 (and again I say THANK YOU  'tormentedfan for the fix)


 ***THE FIX THAT WORKED***
'modifying the registry keys. Please be aware that removing any other files may have serious

consequences on the way your computer work (depending on what you delete ).

       - Click Startbutton on Windows Operating System
       - In the search box search for "regedit"
       - Once regedit appears in the list that will be displayed click on it.
       - "Registry Editor" folder will open. Type Ctrl + f.
       - A "Find " pop box will appear. In the "Find what" box, type "startsearcher" and click on find.
       - In the search results if "startsearcher" appears under the Name field then click on it and delete it.
 
I would also advise you uninstall SSearch (if it's still installed)." '
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? Computer Wench 12/19/11 1:46 AM
By the way I forgot to mention I am running Google Chrome 16.0.912.63 m and use Windows 7 Starter.
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? Computer Wench 12/19/11 1:53 AM
One more note....I did also run Malwarebytes to see if it would find the 'startsearcher.com' that hijacked my home page. It found a few things but never found the 'startsearcher.com'. After the Malwarebytes got done and I did the restart of my computer the home page was still hijacked same as it was with no change other than I cleaned up a few things in my system.  I always try to be super careful about what I add to my computer to not get anything like this 'startsearcher.com'.  But I am only human and well did get it.
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? Tink1972 12/19/11 1:54 PM
This solution worked for me on Windows 7 64 bit , should work on all versions.

 1. Open regedit - On Windows XP the Registry Editor is started by going to Start, clicking Run ( or the search box on Windows 7 / Vista )  and in the box typing "regedit" (without the quotes) and hitting the Enter key or clicking OK .

 2. Navigate to : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /SOFTWARE /Policies /Google/Chrome
 
 3. Look for two files  
                 1. DefaultSearchProviderName
                 2. HomePageLocation

 Right click the first file choose Modify and enter your desired home page URL .
 do the same thing for file number two .
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? smimattso 12/20/11 4:51 PM
Hey, guys. Does anyone remember what caused that problem? Was that YouTube downloader? Because a friend of mine caught the same, but it seems that he had "caught it" from facetheme... I am installing quite lot of staff and wanna make sure I don't end up with this things, sounds frustrating! But still - I want to keep using the net.

What should the rest avoid?
Thank you
MS
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? Tink1972 12/20/11 8:03 PM
The trojan payload is in the facetheme download ( at least on the computer I cleaned ) . I personally would avoid it .
Basic awareness on the internet and good judgement will be your best tools .

The same type of "infection" can easily occur even while just browsing a website . I use firefox with the NoScript and ghostery extentions ( a few other things too but those are the two main protection ones ) which prevents most scripted drive-by's , the downside is that is not easy to use for a novice as a protection layer .

Best of all if it seems like an awesome "free" deal .... it IS too good to be true !!!
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? Dagelf 1/6/12 7:19 AM
Use http://voidtools.com/ "Everything Search" to find "ssearch"

Right click, open Path. Doubleclick uninst.exe

In Google Chrome, click the Spanner, and choose your default search in the search section. (And go to Manage Search Engines and delete the evil ones!)
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? Williston3 1/12/12 6:19 PM
CONFIRMED. This fix does work. Thanks tormentedfan for posting it. Someone on another forum pointed me in the direction of regedit but he told me to delete 3 or so entries, I had no idea startsearch had well over 10 or so entries in there I had to get rid of.

THANK YOU! I have my Chrome back :D
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? thegeeksquadofone 1/14/12 8:19 PM
The solution to this virus is the following:
1.    Go to Start and click the search box
2.    Search for "regedit" (without the quotes)
3.    Run the program and navigate to - HKEY_USERS/S-1-5-21-3547188102-539016206-435202000-1000/SOFTWARE/
4.    Search around this folder until you find the affected browser's folder

Mozilla Firefox is found in - "Mozilla"
IE is found in - "Microsoft"
Chrome is found in - "Policies"
Safari is found in - "Apple Computer, Inc."

5.    Look for the files named "DefaultSearchProviderName" and "HomePageLocation"
6.    Right click them and choose to modify
7.    Make the desired changes and restart your computer
      (Eventually, you will be able to edit it directly through the browser)

This worked for me, so...
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? Huntermblackburn 2/4/12 1:10 AM
Everyone is complicating things too much... you're all putting people in a position to damage their registry keys and f-everything up.

All you need to do is this:

Find the "SSearch" Folder in your program files. Use the Windows search assistant if you need to and delete the entire folder. If it won't delete then then use your task manager to end user processes (not SYSTEM processes) until whatever is using those files is stopped...

Then regedit->find "startsearcher" and "Ssearch" then delete any entry with these in it. The programs will automatically update the keys once they've been deleted and SSearch no longer runs shit.

this has yet to remove the admin restrictions in Chrome's options for me however... wtf?
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? Tim1191 4/28/12 12:30 PM
did it it multiple times doesn't work
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? forgotten being 5/3/12 12:21 PM
I ended up having to go into the registry editor (regedit)and deleting all files that came up under the search of "startsearcher","start searcher", and "ssearch". After that, I opened up Google Chrome and was able to change everything again. That said, it was a truly glorious moment...
Re: How do i get rid of startsearch.com and enable changing my home page again? zookyster 8/22/12 2:54 PM
I used said Tool, it worked just fine.  Then, it came back.  I hit the Home icon and start.search came right.  

Mumble, mumble, plus a few words I can't say here.

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