Posted 27 October 2009 - 08:56 AM
I’m an experienced computer user and have a decent knowledge of PC’s and other systems. This post relates to my home PC, a 6 year old Dell system, running Windows XP SP3. I have McAFee Security Centre installed (and pay for) and it is always kept up to date. I also use Spybot Search and Destroy and Malwarebytes software to scan and fix problems. I use Internet Explorer 8 and that and the other Windows software is also updated whenever advised. I have had viruses before and have managed to resolve the problems but this situation has me baffled.
I shall describe the events of the last 3 days.
Things started on the 23/10/09 at about 7.00 pm BST. I finished using my PC, left it turned on (not unusual), on a BBC web-page and went to eat. About 9.00 pm I returned to find my PC restarting itself. This had never happened to me before as all the software I use I have configured to ask me to allow it to install. I watched the reboot and saw a process (Kservice.exe) fail on the start-up. Once the system had restarted my McAfee Security Centre reported that it was not running and so I shut the PC down for the night.
When I rebooted on Saturday morning the same events happened. I was unable to access the internet (when I double-clicked on Internet Explorer nothing happened), so I used the system restore function to take me back before Friday evening. I updated the McAfee version to match the restore but I still couldn’t access the internet in any way and the whole system was extremely fragile, crashing or freezing very often.
I undid the restore and started the system without Kservice starting but this had no effect.
If I boot in ‘Safe Mode with Networking’ I can access the internet but as soon as I do my McAfee system reports that it is not protecting my PC and cannot be ‘fixed’. If I use ‘Google’ the browser crashes frequently but then recovers itself. If I use a different search engine (i.e. Orange) I can access the web to look for help and advice.
In safe mode I can download the latest definition files for Malwarebytes, Spybot and McAfee (but not in ‘Normal Mode’) and I can run the scans in Safe Mode, but they find no problems. When I try to run the scans (one at a time) in ‘Normal Mode’, the scans will start but after a few minutes the system CPU use drops to zero and the only way I can restart the system is to turn the mains power off and on. I have been unable to complete any scan in ‘Normal Mode’ since the events of the 23rd October.
My system is still very fragile, freezing if I start more than a process or two. I am fairly certain that it has become infected by some virus but I have no idea of how to find it and clean it. Any ideas and / or suggestions ?