Posted 06 January 2010 - 04:37 PM
I managed to get my computer infected with something over Christmas and I just can't get rid of it. I am running XP Home with SP3.
It started a few weeks ago when out of the blue my computer rebooted itself for no reason. Immediately, the first thing I noticed was that all Google search result links were being redirected to bizarre and random websites - as soon as I saw the link was being redirected I didn't hang around to see what website would load. This happened on both IE and Firefox. But, this wasn't every time I turned my computer on. I could always tell if redirection was going to happen as a strange image would appear at the top of the Google search results page - made up of the Google logo and a couple of dozen Google icons, like the back and forwards arrows, shopping trolley cart icons etc. If this image didn't appear, the results would not redirect.
I installed both Malwarebytes and Spybot S&D - these both found and fixed several things but the Google links were still being redirected on and off. During the scans I noticed that a HelpAssistant folder had popped up in Documents & Settings. I checked it out and lo and behold it had been created at the exact moment my computer had rebooted. I was able to manually delete the folder and its contents but it would reappear on boot up.
Currently, Google seems to be fine but I refuse to believe the problem just went away by itself. If I turn my PC on with the modem already on, AVG picks up c:\windows\system32\services.exe trying to make a connection to the internet. Of course, I block it but the HelpAssistant folder reappears. If I start the computer with the modem off, turning it on a few minutes after boot up, no HelpAssistant folder appears and services.exe doesn't try to connect (or at least AVG doesn't pick it up). However, some things I try to run (like my music sequencer software, Reason 3) last for a few minutes before the whole computer falls over - it gets slower and slower over the course of a few minutes and then freezes, and a constant beep sounds from the PC internal speaker until I turn the machine off (usually swearing at the time).
All current scans say my computer is fine, although AVG seems reluctant to let me update Malwarebytes.
I think that basically covers the problem - any help would be much appreciated!