You may want to read through this thread. Although the info is not on the "good news" side of your issue, there is some valid info there.
It is located on this site under the "Security / Am I Infected?" forum.
For me, I wound up exporting my favorites to a flash drive, then removing and re-installing IE8. However, I first made sure I had IE7 installed and running. Why that made a difference, I don't know. It may have no impact but, if I had experienced another problem with IE8, I would have IE7 there & available.
I would also strongly recommend considering a switch to another browser like Firefox. I've been told that Opera and Safari are also good but, I have no experience with them. With that said, these FREE (Gotta love it!) third-party browsers have better security, according to all of the independent test results I've read, than IE7 or Microsoft's "new and improved" IE8. About the only thing I use IE8 for is Microsoft Updates. And that is only because Microsoft seems to have a problem if you try to get around using their super duper stuff! (Can you tell I'm not their biggest fan?)