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Anonymous
(Unregistered)Thu 12-Apr-12 01:57:37
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Removing Netintelligence software ?


[link to this post]
 
OK. Bought a used laptop on Ebay recently, running Win 7. Everything fine until I try to use Chrome browser and find it fails. Eventually find out there's Netintelligence (internet blocking software available since 2004 [TBB news item covers it!], home version to 'protect' youngsters from 'adult' sites, games/gaming, gambling, drug info, inappropriate activities {whatever that includes!}, newsgroups, peer-to-peer and no doubt other categories like social networking services).

OK, my look-out for not asking "was this a Home Access computer" or "does this have Netintelligence installed" (which I will do on all future purchases) but Netintelligence response is that they won't help, as these computers were supplied under Govt scheme and were not meant for resale...

Netintelligence gave me list of Home Access computer suppliers but I (and the person I bought from, who has no reason to put himself out) don't know who bought it or from where, so no proof of purchase and supplier XYZ won't really be interested in identifying the laptop and what the 'activation key' is for that machine, when it means locating old purchase (and red herring inquiry for 9 out of 10 of the suppliers as it wasn't them who supplied this one anyway).

Activation key needed to register the software and be able to get/set a password to enable the uninstall of software. Without uninstallation, Chrome won't work and (as yet unknown) websites can be blocked in every other browser.

As indicated, absolutely a "no go" with Netintelligence. "Safe mode" uninstall does not work (though described on a few websites). Other websites have teenager attempts at uninstall. Seriously considering just overwriting with Linux but want to see if others have found a way to uninstall.

Also, as a warning to others, that nice bargain machine you spot online might be "locked down" if it was bought through the Home Access scheme 2 years or more ago.

As an adult wanting an uncensored and fully usable machine, I'm seeing just what the {misguided} MPs might have in store for us if they ever pass these ISP-based blocking controls as the 'default' for all access...

Just off to look for 'prostate cancer' and fingers crossed that's not blocked.

WebUser
Standard User cavillas
(knowledge is power) Thu 12-Apr-12 10:23:12
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Re: Removing Netintelligence software ?


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
Could be a computer that has been stolen from a school somewhere, many of them are being stolen all the time and have that particualr software installed. They are often sold on ebay.

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Standard User nemeth782
(regular) Thu 12-Apr-12 11:23:27
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Re: Removing Netintelligence software ?


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
I work as a Team Manager on the support department for one of the larger of those suppliers - I'll leave you to guess which wink

Removal without a password/activation key is relatively simple.

NI has two services which run, and an LSP in the TCP/IP stack that intercepts URLs and sends them to the service for checking.

The services are labelled "Netintelligence Client" (exact wording may vary as this is from memory) and "Service Monitor". The second is there to reinstall/restart the first if it breaks.

If the LSP is removed while the services are still running, the services will reinstall it.

If one service notices the other is stopped or disabled, it will re-enable it.

You need to open services.msc and disable both services quickly, as they only check the other every 20 seconds or so. Then verify both services are stopped and not running.

Once this is done, the LSP will just reject all internet requests as it cannot contact the services. You can remove the LSP in the registry, or easily with this tool : http://www.cexx.org/lspfix.htm

The one to remove is "NIHLP.DLL" or something very close from that, again writing this from memory.

After a reboot, NI will be inert and the directory can be deleted if you like.

While the software is annoying, you can understand it on something like this. These laptops were provided to low income families etc, and were for the express purpose of helping with the child's education. Social networking, chat sites, porn, etc were important to block.

Imagine the scenario of a child with one of these laptops getting stalked, abducted, raped, and murdered by someone they met in a chat room. The Sun would pick up a story like that and run it with a headline of "GOVERNMENT SCHEME A GOLDMINE FOR PAEDOPHILES".

EDIT: I should probably mention that disabling the services first is important, advice you will find online in a lot of places will just tell you to remove the LSP. This may work for a while but the services will autoupdate themselves still and the latest versions of them will reinstall the LSP, although they didn't always do this.

Edited by nemeth782 (Thu 12-Apr-12 11:34:00)


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Standard User Spasch
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 12-Apr-12 12:19:56
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Re: Removing Netintelligence software ?


[re: nemeth782] [link to this post]
 
Great advice here, and another solution is to use a Linux Live CD. Once booted, rename the installation folders (or delete if you want) in question and reboot into Windows. Then the services can be disabled without any issue of them attempting to restart themselves, unless they're installed into %WINDIR%\system32 or the like, but that can be checked in the services applet.
Standard User Deadbeat
(knowledge is power) Thu 12-Apr-12 22:12:03
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Re: Removing Netintelligence software ?


[re: nemeth782] [link to this post]
 
Once stopped (Or in Safe Mode if the services aren't launched at all), the services can actually be deleted using the sc delete fullservicename command from either the command prompt or the "Run" box. Administrative priveleges will be needed.
There are also several simple third party tools for removing unwanted services.

IIRC, LSP-Fix is for use only on 2K/XP boxes!

Edited by Deadbeat (Thu 12-Apr-12 22:16:35)

Standard User nemeth782
(regular) Fri 13-Apr-12 09:07:22
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Re: Removing Netintelligence software ?


[re: Deadbeat] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Deadbeat:
Once stopped (Or in Safe Mode if the services aren't launched at all), the services can actually be deleted using the sc delete fullservicename command from either the command prompt or the "Run" box. Administrative priveleges will be needed.
There are also several simple third party tools for removing unwanted services.

IIRC, LSP-Fix is for use only on 2K/XP boxes!


You are right they can be deleted, although when disabled they aren't doing anything anyway wink

LSP-Fix works fine on Windows 7 Home Access machines, I've had my team use it on hundreds of them!
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Mon 16-Apr-12 19:29:58
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Re: Removing Netintelligence software ?


[re: nemeth782] [link to this post]
 
Many thanks for all the suggestions.

Yes, fully appreciate the (sound) reasoning behind such security measures.

Had understood part of the mechanism for checking (I used a ROUTE ADD command to prevent lookups, but obviously that's not a solution!). Big pain for me was that Chrome was blocked completely (as I use that a lot of the time in preference to others).

Anyway, many thanks for the useful info, from all quarters. It goes back to being a bargain purchase now, not a white elephant (though I am just as happy with a linux 'live' [or installed] system as with Windows 98SE / XP (only just getting round to using Win 7 now... gave a laptop with it to my BiL 2 years ago as his need was greater than mine, and told various friends they'd be "on their own" if they had Win 7 problems !! XP has served me very well for years and will probably do so for a good few more)
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Tue 10-Jul-12 04:12:15
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Re: Removing Netintelligence software ?


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
After much searching today I was finally able to solve this using the instructions here...

http://www.wikihow.com/Remove-Netintelligence-Withou...

A lot of the links around the web led you into downloading trials of paid software and so on, and I wasn't able to follow the instructions in this thread as I couldn't get the suggested software to run on Win7, but the instructions in that Wiki post worked perfectly.

I just deleted the 4 files in the first part and then one instance of the NI software under the user tab (the only user is me) and that was all. I've rebooted a few times now and it's been about 12 hours since I did it and I can access everything fine.

Hope this is helpful.

Paul
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