How much software do I have to buy to keep clean of all intrusive items,and how important is this to do?
I think you have bought enough.
It is important to do it.
Some files running on your PC can be quite destructive.
Others can be quite annoying, but relatively unharmful.
New ones are developed and 'unleashed" constantly online to seek out & infect us.
Nice situation, huh?
Is there a program that gets ALL?
Some are better than others at specific targets.
It has to do with the way they "clean" and also the definitions
Some define targets differently than others.
Some are quicker to spot a problem,
and add it as an update to their program.
Most all require ongoing analysis of
the malware (malicious software)
present online from literally
thousands of sites.
Some malware searchs for ANY PC that has a particular vulnerability
Hundreds of vulnerabilities have been identified in the different windows OS.
Each version has 'em, but winXP seems to have more than others.
They are "patched" as they are identified as exploited.
That explains why there are Service Packs and updates.
The critical ones generally are fixing codes or files
that crapware authors have learned how to
manipulate, usually for financial gain,
sometimes for nothing more
than "bragging rights".What do we do?
Fighting back consists of three main elements.
TIME * MONEY * UNDERSTANDING
In some ways, the more time you spend to get the understanding(s)
the less money you will need to spend.
Not wonderful news, I'm afraid to say.
Like I said, you can ease up on the purchasing of anti-spyware applications.
The ones you have are effective to the degrees that they presently are.
I recommend using them, and being particularly careful to check
for updates each time you use them.
Whereas only ONE firewall & ONE resident anti-virus program should be running
multiple "anti-other stuff" is encouraged, and basically you need to
discipline them (and yourself) with regards to overlapping
of automatic updating and/or "resident" protection.
Too much convenience can plug up your
PC performance by slow booting
or evidently, conflicts.No problems starting each manually and running them separately from the start menu.
As ridiculous as it must seem to you, I'd recommend downloading
more programs, in addition to the ones you have.
Online virus scans are in a constant state of definition updating, too.
They potentially catch the new worldwide irritations the quickest.
So, from my perspective (admitably not uninformed, but no master of it)
I'd say your PC has a problem that your programs designed to cure won't.It's not that you haven't tried.
We use Hijack This! to discern both subtle & obvious problems.
It is in common use online as a counter-measure of last resort.
Thousands of such reports are posted daily worldwide.
You should do so here.http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/how-to-post-a-hijackthis-log/
You have already done basic step one & two.
Register as a member & use anti-spyware/ anti-virus programs
in an attempt to clean your PC of problems identified by
evidence and symptoms of poor performance.
Please be aware of the fact that a poorly configured OS and it's varietal software added to it can also be a reason.
We can at least help eliminate those problems the others haven't.
Help you learn about them, too.
Spybot Search & Destroy 1.3
Microsoft Anti-Spyware Beta 1
can be added to your "arms locker".
You'll be made aware of specific, small utilities designed for limited special functions, also.
Edited by phawgg, 19 March 2005 - 12:39 PM.