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Disabling Popup Messenger Service in Windows XP

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Friends,I recall reading, on various forums here and elsewhere, that some people have been subject to intrusive POPUP messages in Windows. This is a particularly intrusive and annoying method of spamming, that I think should be addressed.I have recently been subject to these 'popups', which, incidently, drops you out of any game you are playing. Very, very annoying.Anyway... I think I have found a solution to this, but I guess the proof of the pudding will be whether or not I receive any more messages! Here is a method...Disabling this service in no way changes the functioning of MSN Instant Messenger.To disable it in Windows XP:Right-Click on "My Computer" (on your desktop)Choose "Manage" from the menu that appears. In the left column Highlight "Services and Applications" In the right column Double-Click on "Services". Double-Click on the service called "Messenger".(at this point you will be able to see a description of the service)Click the "Stop" button to stop the service. Change the "Startup Type:" to "Manual" Click "Apply". Click "OK". Close "Computer Management" The service should no longer accept those pop-up messages. This does not DISABLE the service, but merely stops it from runnning automatically when Windows XP boots. Any other application which depends on it, will fail to run. To manually start the service, the path to the executable is as marked in your messenger properties dialog box (that is the box in which you stop and change the startup type)The standard run path for the messenger service is this:C:WINDOWSSystem32svchost.exe -k netsvcsSo you can start it up manually if you need to.I just wanted to share this bit of info and I hope this helps.Cheers,Simonp.s. I'd be interested to know whether the inbuilt Windows XP firewall also prevents these popups.

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I get these stupid, intrusive, dill hole, butt biting, son of a *&^%, pop up ads also. I assumed it was something that got loaded onto my computer and I have not been able to find out how to get rid of the donkey breath, mud bog, additions. Do you mean to tell me this is something M$ added to my XP on it's own? How nice of them.http://www3.telus.net/dport1/dansig.jpg

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Interesting,Never seen any popup ads of that kind out of MSN. Are you referring to the messages that shows when someone sends you a message or logs on? Personally I just renamed the EXE file first time... But then I got convinced to use the thing... Why not simply set status to offline before you launch your game?The XP firewall is a very simple one and does not stop any popup ads. Try an adblocker if you need one. I've tried some but didn't find any that was perfect. Don't remember the name right now either as I mostly run Linux anyway. ;)A recommendation for you both is to check out Ad-Aware, though. It will remove any ad- /spyware on your computer. Very good. You might get some unpleasant surprises as well.http://www.lavasoftusa.com/Dave

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The pop-up spam is nothing to do with MSN messenger. The only similarity is the name.The 'messenger' I'm talking about is a system messenger service, which can be used, for example, to send a message from a server to a remote PC. Such as if a network print job fails or a network support manager might message a company to inform everyone that the network will be down for a while.Nor is this the same thing as a set of pop-up or pop-under ads when you enter a homepage.This is an intrusive message, that appears in a system dialog box... in much the same way as a system error might pop up. i.e. a solid grey box with simple black text and an 'ok' and/or 'cancel' button at the bottom.Check this out:http://news.com.com/2100-1001-962483.htmlhttp://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,55795,00.htmlI see that the standard XP firewall IS supposed to stop these pop-ups. However, the firewall affects the functionality of squawkbox for VATSIM and other online ATC/multiplayer services. So this is a good alternative method of disabling the pop-ups.Cheers,Simon.

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It's good to see this thread; I should probably have started one on this subject the other day but I got sidetracked.A few days ago I suddenly had a message appear on my screen; it was an ad (for mortgages I believe, and came from a site ending in ".tv"), and it looked something like an instant message. This was really different, and very annoying indeed; it was not the same as the pop-up ads that appear when visiting various Web sites. Also, while connected to the Web (via AOL), I believe I was working in a spreadsheet when this thing popped up, though I can't remember exactly.The next day the same thing happened, and at the time I was looking at the Flightsim.com forums, so I e-mailed Nels and asked if he knew of any advertiser at Flightsim who was using this type of ad, but in fact it had no connection with Flightsim, and did not originate from there. (I have since forwarded the information that appears below to Nels, and it was news to him.)So I sent a technical question to AOL, and got some really helpful information that explains what these darn things are. Here is the relevant clip, along with instructions on how to disable the Windows Messenger Service that appear to be the same as the instructions at the top of the thread:...If you are referring to the odd pop-ups which appear to come from AOL. They don't. They are also not virus or spyware related.What is it?The pop-ups are a new form of spam sent from outsiders accessing your computer via the Windows Messenger Service. Messenger is loaded by default upon startup of Windows XP, 2000 or NT and must be manually installed on Windows 95 and 98.Microsoft has been using this tool for years to send messages between its clients and servers if problems should occur. Now spammers have found this to be a new spam tool for automatically sending untraceable spam.Who's at risk?-- Only those with messenger installed and "any" Internet connection.What can I do?Disable the messenger service in XP, 2000 and NT.-- Click on the Start button-- Open the Control panel.-- Open Performance and Maintenance-- Go to Administrative Tools.-- Double-click on Services.-- Scroll to Messenger.-- Double-click on Messenger-- Click Stop to stop the service.-- Change the Startup type to Disabled.Use a firewall like ZoneAlarm to prevent access to your open ports. It's available free for personal use from the Anti-virus Security library. (Check often for updates.)What are the side effects to disabling Messenger?-- Disabling Messenger can break a number of applications that use internal networking. It is also used by many programs that have multiple components to allow the components to communicate.Does disabling Messenger make me secure?-- No. If your computer is adequately protected with a firewall or even with proper network settings it should not be necessary to disable Messenger. If it is not adequately protected, disabling Messenger will cure the symptom of the pop-ups, but will not protect the computer from outside hackers.How can I check to see if I'm secure?-- Head to grc.com and run ShieldsUp. It will show if your system is exposed to the Internet.So there it is. I found this information from AOL to be very helpful, and I hope it's useful to you too. Hopefully MS will be able to issue some sort of Win XP update to prevent this kind of thing, otherwise I should think these new intrusions will drive people crazy.

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>I see that the standard XP firewall IS supposed to stop >these pop-ups. However, the firewall affects the >functionality of squawkbox for VATSIM and other online >ATC/multiplayer services. So this is a good alternative >method of disabling the pop-ups. >>Cheers, >>Simon. One more thing Simon: I just checked the services listing for my Win XP Home system, and it shows my Internet Connection Firewall is running, and it would also have been running when I received those two messenger ads I wrote about below, so in my case the XP firewall didn't help at all. Norton's Internet Security also didn't stop them from coming in.

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Yeah alright I was as you pointed out referring to MSN and to those popup windows you think of when browsing... Silly me. :)Thanks for explaining mate - I will check out these articles now. :)Dave

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No you did!Get rid of messenger, I did.You don't need to expose your system to the internet world.It's a back door that can access your data.

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Thanks for the information!! I keep getting that pop-ups as well!Greetings,Christopher------------------------------------Visit my aviation site:http://www.rhodesyell.com/fly/Read my first solo report (11/23/02)

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