Spyware Doctor - free spyware scanner
I was interested in Spyware Doctor because it's rated highly at Download.com. I decided to give it a try even though I think my system is fairly clean. It will scan your PC and remove spyware. The version you download is "crippled" and they want you to pay $30 US to be able to use all the really nice features.
I downloaded and installed SD and the installation was very easy. No questions or registrations. WinPatrol noticed that SD set itself up to start with Windows, and also registered two dll's as Internet Explorer browser helper objects (BHO's). If this hadn't been antispyware software with good credentials, I would have been scrambling to kill it off as quickly as I could.
When I ran SD it first asked me if it could run a full system scan and I allowed it to do that. About 67% of the way through the scan it really started slowing down and after 2 hours it had only gotten to 72% so I stopped the scan. SD had detected 42 objects on a system that I had just previously scanned with Adaware and reported clean. I examined some of the flagged objects and they appeared to be legitimate entries as far as I could tell. Before I removed the objects, I scanned my system with HiJackThis for a "before" logfile. I removed the flagged objects with SD and then took an "after" logfile with HiJackThis. I compared the two logfiles and there was no difference. Apparently SD had flagged 42 objects that really weren't important enough for HiJackThis to notice them.
Conclusion: I believe Spyware Doctor is easy to use and good at detecting spyware but it's not going to replace any of my current detection tools. I had problems with it's scanning and I don't like seeing disabled features in a free program. I would recommend it for an occasional scan after your normal scans with Adaware and Spybot S&D, but I wouldn't buy it for the extra features. Those features are available in other security tools for free.
Here are the features that are disabled in this free version:
* OnGuard runs in the background to monitor and protect your PC from browser infections and tracking cookies
* Immunize your system against more than a thousand known web-browser hijackers (BHO) and ActiveX threats
Quote from the website - Spyware Doctor is a multi-award winning spyware removal utility that detects, removes and protects your PC from thousands of potential spyware, adware, trojans, keyloggers, spybots and tracking threats.