Help! People PC Hijacked My Browser's Home Page!
I always enjoy your great info every week. Recently I changed our ISP to peoplepc.com and now I can not get your start page for the start up on our computer. I downloaded WinPatrol, but it still is not working. Maybe I'm not using the WinPatrol correctly. Can you help - I understand this is called home page hi-jacking, but I want to try & get around it & get back your start up home page. Thanks for any help you can give, Kay.

Answer
Hello Kay, Thanks for trying to make our start page your home page. People PC charges $10.95 a month. The cost is low for a reason. They're going to get you with advertising and "partner" sites; and we'll bet these partners are selling something too. They do not want you to change your start page because they make a lot of money from the advertisers who pay People PC for advertising slots on People PC's portal (start page).

Now, we're not saying that People PC does not have the right to encourage folks to use their start page; and they certainly have the right to put any kind of advertising on it they want. Their rights stop at your computer though. They don't have the right to hijack your computer, your start page, or your search engine. Their rights stop where your computer begins.

Now let's see if we can fix your problem and banish People PC from ever hijacking your start page again.

First read the information on this page to see some of the shenanigans of which PeoplePC is being accused.

Next, you're going to have to be brave and remember you don't have to have PeoplePC software installed in order to dialup and use their service. You're going to have to create a new Internet Connection, type in the local number you dial (including the area code) and you're going to need your password. So before you start removing all the software and hijackers that PeoplePC has installed on your computer, you're going to need to set up a separate Internet Connection.

Click Start/Control Panel/Network Connections

  • Click "Create A New Connection" - The wizard starts

  • Select "Connect to the Internet"

  • Select "Set Up My Connection Manually"

  • Select "Connect using a dial-up modem"

  • Type in PEOPLEPC at the next prompt

  • Type in the phone number you dial to connect to People PC (There should be a list on their Web site)

  • At the next prompt type in your PeoplePC username, password, and confirm it - leave the two boxes checked.

  • Follow the remaining instructions to complete your connection

Now create a desktop shortcut by going to Control Panel, Network Connections, and find the new connection you just created and right-click it - choose "Create Shortcut" - you'll get a message that you cannot create a shortcut here - would you like to place it on your desktop. Say yes (of course). You can either leave that connection on your desktop or move it to your Quick Launch Toolbar by dragging it.

Now, make sure you're NOT connected to the Internet and click your new shortcut. Make sure it works correctly - and if it does:

  • Click Start/Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs

  • Find PeoplePC (or anything with People PC in its name) and click it to highlight it

  • Click the "Change/Remove" button and remove it

  • Click OK

  • Reboot your computer

We're almost done. Now, go to http://thundercloud.net/start/index.htm (or whatever page you want to set as your home page). Once you're on the page click Tools/Internet Options. Make absolutely sure you're on the page you want to be your new start page, if you are, click "Use Current" click Apply/OK.

Now shut down Internet Explorer. Open it up and ensure that it goes to your new home page (the one you just set). If it does, we've conquered the PeoplePC hijacker.

Open WinPatrol and click on the Options Button. Click the box in front of "Detect Changes To Internet Explorer Home and Search Pages" and check Monitor in Real-time". As long as you're there, click the box in front of "Warn of any changes my Internet HOSTS file and critical system files". Make sure "Monitor in Real-time" is checked. Those of you who don't have WinPatrol can get the free version from www.winpatrol.com .

If you're using any other ISP who does the same thing (hijacks your home page) and you're using a dialup connection, follow the same procedures as above - only uninstall the software from your ISP.


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