IE (both IE7 and IE8) has stopped connecting to sites. In fact, rather than displaying the url that it's trying to connect to in the status bar, it displays the ip address. Subsequently, it never finishes loading a page. I've tried loading in safe mode, as well as loading IE without add-ons, both yeilding the same results. Both Google Chrome and Firefox are installed and work fine with one exception. When I try to load a page via Firefox and use the IE add-on to "load the page in an IE tab", I get the same exact results as I do when running IE directly. The status bar shows the ip rather than the url and never actually finishes loading the page. Strangely the load never times out either to let me know that it couldn't connect to the page. It doesn't freeze and can be closed at any point.
In my attempt to fix the issue, I have run several infection scanners. I've scanned for rootkits, viruses, trojans, hijackers, and the rest of the usual suspects. A few days ago, MBAM was able to find and quarantine "Rootkit.Agent.H" that was found in my sys32/drivers/ folder. The log shows that it was succesfully quarantined and delted. Subsequent re-scans with the same arsenal of scanners used previously, still show everything as being clean. The only items found during these scans are warnings about other install files for the various scanners I've used. Typically, I uninstall each scanner after use, but leave the install file on the desktop temporarily in case I need to use it again.
After cleaning, I've reinstalled IE8. The same issue of non-loading webpages still exists.
One interesting thing to note is that when I tried to run Desktop Doctor 2.5 (provided by Comcast, a local isp) this morning I get a failure during its minimum requirement check. It says that one of the required OS's is Vista, and tells me that I'm running an incompatible OS that is identified as "Windows Vista 6.0 Service Pack 2".
Is this all somehow related to the destruction left behind from the rootkit? Will it be possible to repair all of this without having to do a format / factory restore?
I've spent over a week on this machine (yes, every day 8 to 5, including the weekend) with no improvements. I realize that I've gone beyond the point of a clean restore, but things are a little slow, and I would like to spend this time learning how to get to the ROOT of the problem and better understand how it got to this point.
Edited by hamluis, 31 August 2010 - 08:16 PM.
Moved from Web Browsing forum to Am I Infected ~ Hamluis.