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Can't uninstall TopArcadeHits extension

Posted

I downloaded something from download.com and installed it - it ended up unleashing a world of crap into my computer (malware, etc). I seem to have gotten rid of all of it, except for this Extension that cannot be removed from Firefox called TopArcadeHits.

I've tried restarting Firefox in Safe Mode, using the "Reset" button from the Troubleshooting menu in Firefox, manually going to the Extensions folders in the Firefox install directories, and completely uninstalling and re-installing Firefox, being sure to have it wipe out all my bookmarks, cookies, and customizations in the process - nothing works, this damn extension is still in there. It is disabled, but I want it gone forever. It's kind of weird, a couple of other extensions always stay put too, like Logitech SetPoint and another, which I'm not concerned about - but just odd that those don't get wiped out with the actions I've taken.

How can this be banished from my browser?

Thanks.

Chosen solution

I had this problem too, and here is how I successfully removed it from FF21 in Windows 7. After uninstalling the base software from my machine, it was still listed as an addon and "unremovable". After perusing the registry I found that this extension was stored in an unusual location: C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Extensions

I.e. same level as top firefox user appdata, instead of under the extension folder in the profile under firefox folder. Moreover, the actual offending extension is buried within another "container" extension folder...tricky. Once this extension folder was deleted, it disappeared from firefox. (I also cleaned up my registry as well, but that was not necessary for the removal.)

There may be other places that extensions can be placed. It would be nice if future releases of FF enforced the location of extensions to the local and global directories only (content location cannot so easily be controlled, but extension location should be).

This should also be added to: Cannot uninstall an add-on (Note the above location is distinct from the global extension location in the install folder referred to in this article.)

Hope this helps...

Read this answer in context 19

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 11.7 r700
  • The QuickTime Plugin allows you to view a wide variety of multimedia content in Web pages. For more information, visit the QuickTime Web site.
  • Google Update
  • Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape 10.1.7
  • Google Talk Plugin Video Accelerator version:0.1.44.28
  • Version 3.19.1.13088
  • iTunes Detector Plug-in
  • Amazon MP3 Downloader Plugin 1.0.17
  • GEPlugin
  • Next Generation Java Plug-in 10.15.2 for Mozilla browsers
  • NPRuntime Script Plug-in Library for Java(TM) Deploy
  • Citrix Online App Detector Plugin
  • 5.1.20125.0
  • NPWLPG
  • OnLive Game Service Detector 1.0.7.213.53986
  • The plug-in allows you to open and edit files using Microsoft Office applications
  • Office Authorization plug-in for NPAPI browsers
  • DLM Netscape Plugin (2.3.10.115)

Application

  • Firefox 21.0
  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:21.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/21.0
  • Support URL: http://support.mozilla.org/1/firefox/21.0/WINNT/en-US/

Extensions

  • Troubleshooter 1.1a (troubleshooter@mozilla.org)
  • Logitech SetPoint 6.5 ({F003DA68-8256-4b37-A6C4-350FA04494DF}) (Inactive)
  • ocplugin 1.1 (ocplugin@webex.com) (Inactive)
  • TopArcadeHits 1.0 ({0113D088-8ED1-468C-B225-585A9C53B5E3}) (Inactive)

Javascript

  • incrementalGCEnabled: True

Graphics

  • adapterDescription: AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series
  • adapterDescription2:
  • adapterDeviceID: 0x6818
  • adapterDeviceID2:
  • adapterDrivers: aticfx64 aticfx64 aticfx64 aticfx32 aticfx32 aticfx32 atiumd64 atidxx64 atidxx64 atiumdag atidxx32 atidxx32 atiumdva atiumd6a atitmm64
  • adapterDrivers2:
  • adapterRAM: 2048
  • adapterRAM2:
  • adapterVendorID: 0x1002
  • adapterVendorID2:
  • direct2DEnabled: True
  • directWriteEnabled: True
  • directWriteVersion: 6.2.9200.16492
  • driverDate: 12-19-2012
  • driverDate2:
  • driverVersion: 9.12.0.0
  • driverVersion2:
  • info: {u'AzureCanvasBackend': u'direct2d', u'AzureFallbackCanvasBackend': u'cairo', u'AzureContentBackend': u'direct2d'}
  • isGPU2Active: False
  • numAcceleratedWindows: 1
  • numTotalWindows: 1
  • webglRenderer: Google Inc. -- ANGLE (AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series)
  • windowLayerManagerType: Direct3D 10

Modified Preferences

  • browser.cache.disk.capacity: 358400
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size.first_run: False
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size.use_old_max: False
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size_cached_value: 358400
  • browser.places.smartBookmarksVersion: 4
  • browser.startup.homepage_override.buildID: 20130511120803
  • browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone: 21.0
  • dom.mozApps.used: True
  • dom.w3c_touch_events.expose: False
  • extensions.lastAppVersion: 21.0
  • gfx.direct3d.prefer_10_1: True
  • network.cookie.prefsMigrated: True
  • places.history.expiration.transient_current_max_pages: 104858
  • plugin.disable_full_page_plugin_for_types: application/pdf
  • privacy.sanitize.migrateFx3Prefs: True

Misc

  • User JS: No
  • Accessibility: No
Amit Kumar Thakur 83 solutions 863 answers

Hello mrbungle, have you checked Cannot uninstall an add-on or extension

John99
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
622 solutions 8010 answers

This is probably adware that is annoying enough for some people to consider it malware. See

  1. http://botcrawl.com/how-to-remove-the-top-arcade-hits-virus/
  2. Firefox "Infected" By "Toparcadehits" Extension?
    http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=2711837

Please say what you have read, and what you have tried when you post back to say how you are getting on.

Aug 10kHits

Modified by John99

Question owner

Yes, thanks guys - I had actually found, read, and followed the instructions you guys have posted.

Here are the steps I have followed (will try to recall them all):

  1. . Removed TopArcadeHits from Windows Control Panel-->Uninstall programs
  2. . Manually removed the add-on from all browsers (simply can't do this for Firefox, because there's no "remove" button - this is my issue)
  3. . Downloaded AdAware; ran full scan and removed anything it found - didn't remove this
  4. . Downloaded Malwarebytes, ran a quick scan first, removed all; then later ran a full scan, found only 1 item which was completely different; removed that; TopArcadeHits extension still in Firefox
  5. . Downloaded Hitman and ran that - it found a bunch of stuff, but it couldn't delete a lot of it, because they require you to pay for the full version, I think
  6. . Ran CCleaner a few times throughout this process - removing all temp files and cleaning registry each time; TopArcadeHits extension still there in Firefox
  7. . Started Firefox in Safe Mode (not Safe Mode for the whole computer, just FireFox) - still couldn't remove this extension
  8. . Uninstalled completely and re-installed Firefox 2 or 3 times - still there!

Short of manually trying to find the registry settings this thing dropped in, I'm at a loss as to what else to try.

Thanks guys

formatted with leading # in paragraphs ~J99

Modified by John99

Question owner

So, I just did go and find all registry entries matching TopArcadeHits - there were at least 10 of them. I deleted everything I could, but there are a few that regedit simply won't allow me to delete. For those, I had to go so far as adding a new permissions entry on the registry key for myself (even though I am always logged in to an Admin-level account), then delete them. Very frustrating.

And guess what?! IT'S STILL THERE!!!

Any hackers out there want to earn some money taking down a business?  ;)

John99
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
622 solutions 8010 answers

Did you read the mozillazine post I linked to ? They did succeed in removing TopArcadeHits.

Also see the post in that thread about the uninstaller. If you try that I would suggest as precautionary measures

  1. back up your Firefox Profile and put a copy somewhere safe outside Firefox profile or program paths.
  2. scan the uninstaller for malware, and watch for any more bundled software !

It would be interesting to know exactly what has been installed. Your system details shows

 In addition, the Software automatically modifies your browser settings with Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer to enable our requested add-on rather than requiring you to manually enable it. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS, INCLUDING OUR USE OF YOUR INFORMATION AS PROVIDED IN THE TOPARCADEHITS PRIVACY POLICY, YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO PLAY PREMIUM GAMES, YOU SHOULD NOT DOWNLOAD THE SOFTWARE, OR, IF YOU HAVE DOWNLOADED THE SOFTWARE, YOU SHOULD DEACTIVATE IT. See “Deactivate Software ” below in Section 5.1. 

Question owner

OK, I did read that but I haven't yet tried uninstalling with that "Revo" program yet. As for downloading and running the uninstaller from the scammers who created this crap in the first place, like the guys in that thread said, I just can't bring myself to do that. I'll try the Revo thing and see how it goes. Thanks guys!

Question owner

OK, I just installed and ran Revo - did a complete uninstall on Firefox, and did the Advanced Scan afterwards. The Advanced Scan found the extension - it's installed through this "SweetPacks" bundle (which piggybacked on something I downloaded through Download.com). I thought maybe this was finally going to kill it - I checked to remove everything on that list. Revo reported it all was removed. I then downloaded Firefox again, and re-installed. Lo and behold, all the extensions are gone EXCEPT TopArcadeHits. I can't even believe it. This is easily the most resilient piece of shit that's ever been loaded into any computer I've ever dealt with.

And I forgot to mention earlier - when I downloaded the original program that this was attached to, I gave it a scan with Microsoft Security Essentials, which I have running at all times. In fact, I never don't scan things that I download from the internet, even if they are coming from a supposedly "trusted" site like Download.com, or even my place of work. I scan everything before I open it. Nothing caught this thing. And even after multiple passes of virus / malware scans, I still had to find and delete a bunch of registry files myself too. This is why I have no reason to believe the same wouldn't happen if I downloaded their "uninstaller".

Well, I guess I give up. Appreciate all the help from you guys.

John99
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
622 solutions 8010 answers

Sorry you are having problems still. Seems this is not a standard extension install and they may not have a user friendly uninstall method.

Have you tried a clean re-install removing the all the Firefox program files.

I have actually asked on their site about manually uninstalling the software. If they are a legit Company they should be willing to provide such information and that may get a quicker answer than trawling through and enquiring on anti-malware sites.

I am hazarding a guess that they may be hiding files within the Firefox path that you are not removing when re-installing, or that they have some other global install file that you have not yet discovered.

Question owner

Thank you John, you're really going above and beyond here. I'm very curious as to what they'll say or if they'll respond. I tried to send a message through to the SweetPaks site but it wouldn't let me - kept complaining that my email address was invalid (but it wasn't).

I'm actually leaving for vacation today so I won't be able to try the thing you just posted for a while, but I'll return in about 3 weeks and will give it a go then.

Thanks again!

John99
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
622 solutions 8010 answers

I suspect we are going to see other users wanting to uninstall this software. Maybe someone already has and may explain what to do.

If the software proves detrimental to Firefox and difficult to uninstall it is possible consideration may sometimes be given to blocking it, but if it is malware and globally installs that is not going to be an option.

Did you try the clean reinstall method by the way ?

Enjoy the vacation.

pderas 0 solutions 8 answers

I am having EXACTLY the same problem. I's been going on ever since I got shafted on Download.com a couple of weeks ago. I've been uninstalling programs and Firefox Add-ons ever since. And no sooner do I gewt everything cleaned off that there they are back again.

Today I have a new wrinkle: Red highlighted advertising links on all of the web sites I visit.

HELP!

John99
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
622 solutions 8010 answers

Hi pederas,

Please

  1. start a new thread of your own, using /questions/new
    • and try to follow the prompts about including troubleshooting information when you post.
  2. post back here to confirm you have done that.

We can easily cross link the threads, but you probably have a slightly different set of extensions/malware.

I also suggest after posting you look at the following articles and see if any of them help.


And mainly as a reminder to myself of recent changes of paths etc

3n+1 1 solutions 1 answers

Chosen Solution

I had this problem too, and here is how I successfully removed it from FF21 in Windows 7. After uninstalling the base software from my machine, it was still listed as an addon and "unremovable". After perusing the registry I found that this extension was stored in an unusual location: C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Extensions

I.e. same level as top firefox user appdata, instead of under the extension folder in the profile under firefox folder. Moreover, the actual offending extension is buried within another "container" extension folder...tricky. Once this extension folder was deleted, it disappeared from firefox. (I also cleaned up my registry as well, but that was not necessary for the removal.)

There may be other places that extensions can be placed. It would be nice if future releases of FF enforced the location of extensions to the local and global directories only (content location cannot so easily be controlled, but extension location should be).

This should also be added to: Cannot uninstall an add-on (Note the above location is distinct from the global extension location in the install folder referred to in this article.)

Hope this helps...

Modified by 3n+1

oneeye 0 solutions 2 answers

I came here with the same problem. The last post gave me some clues as to where they had installed the files and sure enough they were there, in what is by default a hidden folder. But I found that I had a Start menu item with Uninstall also still there after supposedly removing the program conventionally. I ran it and restarted. I have checked as thoroughly as I can for all files on the date it originally installed and today, and can't find any new files, folders or registry entries that look suspicious. And the extension has gone from Firefox. It was a leap in the dark, possibly reckless, to run an uninstall program from the same source but I figured I had little to lose having tried everything else despite my paranoia. No guarantees but I seem to have got away with it. Malwarebytes is reporting clear as is ADW Cleaner and CCleaner.

pderas 0 solutions 8 answers

Running the Start Menu uninstaller worked for me too! So far anyway. Thanks a bunch!

John99
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
622 solutions 8010 answers

oneeye,

You say

No guarantees but I seem to have got away with it. Malwarebytes is reporting clear as is ADW Cleaner and CCleaner. 

From that do I understand correctly, you are saying that all those three previously detected and reported this problem.

pderas 0 solutions 8 answers

I can't speak for oneeye (obviously). I ran Malwarebytes and CCleaner, both before and after running the uninstaller. Neither seemed to be able to see TopArcadeHits.

I have also gotten rid of SweetIM and other Sweetware/Adware that seemed to me to all be part of the same drive-by download as TopArcadeHits, by installing NoScript. It's a pain to constantly deal with having to disable NoScript on pages I visit all the time, but worth it to me to be finally rid of the Sweetware that kept reinstalling itself into C:\Program Files every time I rebooted.

Modified by pderas

Waka_Flocka_Flame
  • Top 25 Contributor
529 solutions 5045 answers

This is not even tolerable, so I wrote a bug to block this type of Junk. Bug 880858 - Block TopArcadeHits Addon

Waka_Flocka_Flame
  • Top 25 Contributor
529 solutions 5045 answers

You should also check for Malware with all these programs:

Modified by Noah_SUMO