Posted 29 November 2011 - 05:34 PM
I have been getting random pop-ups once or twice a day for the past few weeks, which I ignored. They became much more frequent within the last week or so. They would usually pop up when I entered a new url, but not always. They would appear on top of the window I was using, but would not interrupt my activity on the original website; i.e., I could continue typing as if it hadn't popped up at all. Today I got fed up with them and tried to open SpyBot to start fixing things up. I clicked on it multiple times and each time a window would pop up saying that it either wasn't safe or that Windows 7 security something-or-other wouldn't let it run. I tried to update it, then tried to uninstall the program via the start menu, neither of which worked. I went into Add/Remove Programs and uninstalled it with no problems. I also uninstalled a program that had eBay in its title, as I had no idea what it was. Thus, my major problems began.
From that point on, I have been unable to open any applications. When I click on Internet Explorer (ONLY for example, as it's the only browser with an immediately available option on the menu), a prompt pops up that states 'Choose which program you want to use to open this file'. When I choose Internet Explorer, it bring me to my Downloads screen and asks if I want to Run or Save the program. When Save is clicked, I am given the option to Run it. When I do, it loops back to the very first window, asking me which program I'd like to use to open it with. It does this for every browser I have (Firefox, Chrome, Safari). The only way I have been able to bypass this is by clicking the link at the bottom of the window that asks if you want to 'look for the appropriate item on the Web', which opens up Chrome.
I am unable to run any programs, including newly-downloaded ones, so I have no way (that I know of) to remove or review whatever is wrong. I implemented a system restore, and nothing has changed. I downloaded 3 Windows updates, and they (of course) did nothing.
Is there anything I can possibly do about this? I would desperately prefer not to have to back up my files and do a system reset. Help me, BleepingComputer, you're my only hope!!