Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Downloading Free Social Media Ebooks

While attempting to download a free social media ebook, I was prompted to install the iLivid program.  Big mistake!  I just spent about 2 hours trying to figure out how to remove this program and a toolbar called searchqu.

I discovered searchqu when I opened my Google Chrome browser.  Normally when I open Chrome, the first thing I see is my Google News page.  However, this time there was a blank page and was located in my address bar.  I immediately recognized that this was a problem.

I began the usual process of going to my Control Panel and uninstalling the culprit - the last program I had installed on my computer; in this case iLivid.  After I removed iLivid, I also uninstalled the Windows iLivid Toolbar, which when I clicked on its properties I saw searchqu toolbar listed.

I then went to Windows Explorer and performed a search on the words iLivid and then searchqu.  The search found an iLividv1(1).exe application, iLividv.exe, another iLividv.exe, and an iLividv1 player.  I deleted each of these along with a searchquband folder.

It was time to go to Google Chrome where I right clicked on the address bar and then clicked on edit search engines.  Under Default search options I saw a link, which was listed as the Default Browser ( - does the number 406 ring a bell?  You will find it in the searchq link above.)  I clicked x to delete it.  I moved my cursor over Google and clicked on Make default.  Read more on Google's site.

Under Other search engines there were about 10 search engines listed that I probably had visited at some point.  I clicked the x next to each of these to delete them as well.  I clicked the x to close the edit Search Engines screen.
On the Basics screen, under On startup I clicked Open the following pages and added to restore my Google News page on open.  Under the Home page section I clicked Open this page, deleted, and typed in  I was all finished there so I closed my browser.  For more help setting your home page click here.

Running Disk Cleanup [usually found by clicking on All Programs, Accessories, and System Tools] was my next step.  I checked all of the boxes after Disk Cleanup scanned my hard drive.  Details on how to do this can be found at my blog post How to Free Up Disk Space on Your Computer's Hard Drive.

I went back to Control Panel just to check one more thing.  Under Set Program Access and Defaults, I clicked on the drop-down arrow next to Custom, clicked on Google Chrome where it prompts you to choose a default web browser and clicked okay.

If you feel this is not enough, you could run an anti-malware program like Avast.

It turns out iLivid is a download manager for Megaupload, and several other sites.  I questioned whether I should download the program before I hit the download button, but my desire to get my hands on that free ebook was greater.  I found it was not free after all.  It cost me my time, which if I had followed my gut, I would have saved myself a lot of  it.  As they say, we live and we learn.

By the way, I never did get to read the ebook - the download was unsuccessful.

Recommended reading if you have this problem in Internet Explorer