Windows Error Messages


Every time I'm on the Internet the same warnings pop up constantly- Critical System Error -Windows Registry Appears to be infected. Go to and download RegistryCleaner or Stop! Windows requires immediate attention. Windows has found critical system errors. Run Registry Repair from I'm confused - what should I Do.



This question was answered on February 17, 2006. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

It sounds like you are being bombarded by an old exploit of the “messenger” service that is built into Windows and turned on by default (look for the words “Messenger Service” in the blue bar above the actual error message).

This messenger service was originally intended as a communication tool for network administrators to use to broadcast a single message to all users (i.e Please logoff of the network in 15 minutes for maintenance purposes).

This saves the IT staff from physically having to go to every user of the network to alert them or hope that they saw an e-mail and remembered to logoff.

This pop-up message is a great way to get the user’s attention and some deviously clever folks on the Internet figured out how to exploit this tool to send you an advertisement disguised as a Windows error message.

Microsoft does not have anything built into the operating system that would direct you to a website to download a repair tool, especially tools that are not written by Microsoft.

The reason that these devious pitchmen are able to reach across the Internet and repeatedly send you ads is that your computer is wide open to the entire Internet and was basically waiting to be contacted by outsiders because of the way you are setup to connect to the Internet

There are a number of things that you can do to eliminate this problem from ever occurring again.

The first is to disable the built-in Messenger Service in Windows that is turned on by default

For Windows 2000 users, go to Start | Control Panel | Admin tools | and Select "Services"

Once in services locate the "Messenger" service Right click it and Select STOP

For Windows XP users, go to Start | Control Panel | (For those in Category View) select Performance and Maintenance | Admin tools | Services | Locate "Messenger" then right click and Select STOP (For those in the "classic" view Use Win2K instructions above.)

Another reason that you are getting these messages is that you are not protecting yourself behind a firewall If you have a high-speed (or broadband) Internet connection, you should strongly consider purchasing a “broadband router” that essentially makes your computer invisible on the Internet By cloaking your system, these intruders don’t have a way of knowing that you are connected.

While most of these ads are just a ploy to get you to spend your hard earned money, some will also try to direct you to rouge websites that will attempt to get you to give up your personal information.

Identity theft is a big target of international organized crime syndicates, so always be wary of “repair” or “quick fix” utilities Before you download anything into your computer, make sure you get it from a trusted source or don’t download it.

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Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on February 17, 2006