Posted 04 February 2009 - 10:43 PM
I used to run Norton Antivirus on my box, but when I started living on my own, I started using Avast because a friend got it for me for free roughly 2-3 years ago. When I left that job, I wasn't able to use Avast anymore, and (foolishly, I now know) just ran the box without antivirus protection.
So late last year I started getting the pop-ups trying to get me to download Antivirus 2008. I had a feeling it was bogus, especially when they would re-open after closing them ("I mean come on, that's got be spam or something" was my mentality at the time). Didn't think much of it at the time, until we started getting affected by the re-routing thing; how (at least as Wikipedia defines it) Antivirus 2009 will re-route your search engine results, or block access to sites. My gf tried to download a new version of Norton (which I questioned the logic in, trying to download antivirus software on an infected computer, but anyways), and what I can only presume is the virus would prevent us from downloading the purchased software.
I downloaded a free version of the Avira Antivirus software in December 2008 and it did okay detecting/deleting lots and lots of Trojans on the machine, at least for a while. Any scans done more recently show nothing, either implying that the trojans have stopped or Avira isn't detecting them anymore.
I had a Norton/Symantec agent on the phone who remotely assumed mouse control of my computer and almost immediately informed me that I had a virus and he would refer me to a virus removal technician who would charge me $99.99 to remove the virus. *click*
Then this started happening: when the computer would boot, it would show the Windows XP loading bar, but then flash a bluescreen with code on it for a split second, then reboot. This would happen over and over, constantly rebooting and never actually completing the boot. A friend told me about hitting F8 during the boot and choosing Safe Mode manually, which finally allowed us to bypass this rebooting thing and some modicum of access.
It was then that I heard through the Wikipedia page on MS Antivirus (as well as Googling how to remove Antivirus 2009) about Malwarebytes, which supposedly can detect & get rid of AV 2009. Tried to download that, but got re-routed (of course) trying to access the Malwarebytes site. I was, however, able to get to download.com, where I was able to download the mbam_setup.exe, and eventually run the installation, which got the program's icons on the Desktop, Start Menu & QuickLaunch. The program, for all intents and purposes, is installed (it's listed in Add/Remove Programs), but when I double click the desktop icon (or trying to choose any of the other mentioned access methods), simply nothing happens. Malwarebytes does not run, and that is where I am stuck right now.
Probably the most recent thing I've done with regards to solving this is, I watched some YouTube videos on removing Antivirus 2009 (the ones I watched all implied that I needed to run Malwarebytes), but the only thing I've accomplished with that is turning System Restore off. I can't turn it back on now, either, because apparently you can't do that in Safe Mode (which if you'll recall two paragraphs up is the only way I can access my computer now).
What I would like to do is, if I can figure out how get Malwarebytes to run, I can theoretically "remove" AV 2009, and, if it doesn't re-route my searches & prohibit visiting sites, I'm going to complete that Norton download, and run that & Malwarebytes simultaneously from here on out.
I'm stuck having to write this on my parents' computer, and I do searches for cures on my computer at work, because my infected computer will not access bleepingcomputer.com. Can anyone recommend what to do that would help?
Thanks in advance, because I'm running out of options, and if it gets to be too much longer, I might fork over the hundred to the Norton guy.