How To: Fix 'Cannot find file:///C:/WINDOWS/s.htm'

Applies to: Microsoft Windows (any version)

Symptoms

When you start Internet Explorer you receive the message: Cannot find file:///C:/WINDOWS/s.htm.

Cause

This message is a symptom of spyware being installed on the computer. The spyware has changed your browser homepage to a non-existent file C:\Windows\s.htm.

Solution

In Internet Explorer, click on Tools, Internet Options and reset the Home page to a page of your choice. However, you may find that the options to change the home page have been disabled, or that after you change the home page, it reverts back to the non-existent file. This indicates that the spyware is active on your computer.

This spyware is a variant of CoolWebSearch. If your computer has been infiltrated by CoolWebSearch spyware, it may also have been infected by other forms of spyware and malware. To clean your computer completely of CoolWebSearch and other spyware, and to prevent further infestations of spyware, we recommend Spyware Doctor.