Although I only recently noticed the magnitude of the problem, all updates of my 32-bit version of Windows Vista have failed for the last two months. The only attempted installations were Definition Updates for Windows Defender, and each resulted in a Code 8024402C error. Following instructions in the Microsoft Knowledge Base, I reset my proxy server through the command prompt (netsh winhttp reset proxy, net stop wuauserv, net start wuauserv). However, my current WinHTTP proxy is set to "Direct access (no proxy server)" and it therefore seems to have had no effect. I have also enabled "Automatically detect (LAN) settings" in Internet Explorer, but this did not resolve the issue either.
I suspect this may have something to do with a scareware program I was sucked into installing a while ago (I do not remember what exactly it was but it did warn me, among other things, about a particularly high internal temperature). Once I realized what it actually was, I uninstalled it and cleared all the suspicious files I could find from my hard drive. Despite my efforts, unfortunately, Internet Explorer began to act strangely, with the IE window and snatches of what seemed like online streaming radio loading randomly and spontaneously. I uninstalled and reinstalled IE, which seemed to make the streaming go away, except IE still sometimes tries to flood my screen with pop-ups all pointing to the URL hxxp://bl8yl8rahh6lii1eudy5zif8/.
I wanted to run a scan with latest version of msert.exe, but I was unable to download it from the Microsoft Update servers. I am also unable to access http://www.yahoo.com, even though it works perfectly fine on other computers using the same home network ("Firefox can't find the server at download.microsoft.com/www.yahoo.com"). I think these two symptoms are likely connected.
A Full msert.exe scan (a copy of which I eventually found at http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-us/default.aspx, hosted elsewhere from download.microsoft.com) and a Full Symantec Endpoint Protection scan did not find anything serious. So, I would appreciate any help you could give me; thank you all in advance!
Edited by Orange Blossom, 19 August 2011 - 01:46 PM.
Deactivated link. ~ OB