Posted 10 May 2009 - 10:23 PM
To start with, I'm running XP and Firefox is my primary browser. I had Adaware installed to deal with malware, however it never found anything and the infection first appeared while I was browsing a site I know is clean, so I suspect it was lying dormant on my system for awhile. I also have CCleaner. Both Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware were downloaded in the process of trying to cleanse my system. Adaware and Malwarebytes are both deleted now, because I was told not to have more than one antimalware program at one time.
On to the problem. It happened very suddenly. I opened a page in a new tab, and suddenly all the links went red. A message popped up from the system tray. I can't remember the exact wording, sadly, but it went something like "Your computer is infected! Download antispyware now" and I believe it claimed to be from Windows security, though the icon was a red circle with a white x rather than the usual shield shape. There was also a red link at the top of every page I navigated to saying something similar "Too many errors were detected on your computer. Get antivirus now!" or something to that effect.
I ran first Malwarebytes and it found and cleared several problems. The pop up from the tray stopped and the false link was gone, however, my computer was now crashing every few minutes. I then ran SuperAntiSpyware and it also found and cleared a few problems, however, now my computer couldn't connect to the internet at all. Not with firefox, not with IE, not with MSN, not with my music scrobbler LastFM.
To further complicate the matter, though I don't recall visiting their site or downloading their product, Stop Sign "antivirus" was also installed on my computer during this process. It was while trying to get rid of StopSign that I realized that add/remove programs was now no-longer working. It would open, but it wouldn't generate a list of programs. I don't think I dealt with it's removal in the best of ways. Not having add/remove at my disposal (and forgetting that CCleaner actually has a similar tool) I tried just deleting the folder wholesale, but certain programs were always "protected or in use by another program" so I renamed them without file extensions and tried again, which worked, but I then found it actually had two program folders. One under "Stop Sign" and one under eAcceleration, so I did the same thing. I'm sure there are still fragments on my computer of this stupid program.
Desperate now, I turned to system restore to find it was like add/remove programs. It would open, but it wouldn't let me scroll through the calendar to choose a date, nor were there any restore points listed for May.
And, the final obstacle in my path, my computer was sold to me by Future Shop without a Windows disc.
I've run SuperAntiVirus, the program I settled on, several times since deleting the others, while not connected to the internet at all, and it can't find anything left on my computer, but there is obviously something wrong. I've run CCleaner too, hoping that some final piece of the puzzle was hiding in my computer's detritus, and of course, still nothing.
So, I guess what I'm saying is, would any ordinary downloadable program like AVG or something be able to do what the other three could not? Even if it could, would I be able to download the setup file to a flashdrive and then install it to my computer? Is it possible that the malware itself is gone but whatever this was infected some vital files which were removed from my computer? Could I possibly find out what they are and replace them? And if I can't do those things, how will I come by a Windows disc? At the very least, can someone possibly identify what this might be/have been so I can curse it's name?