Hello - I posted this in the malware forum, before seeing it should've gone here first. I apologize in advance for the new user mistake.
I had the data recovery virus once before and was able to remove it without any trouble. Unfortunately, I haven't been so lucky this time around with the 'smart hdd data recovery' version - 2 different security programs/operating systems have let this attack my computer and I'm getting so frustrated!
At any rate - here is the basic 'background' info I can give you - I'm on a hp laptop running vista, 64 bit. My start menu is blank, files were hidden (I unhid the desktop/folders for now, but didn't bother fixing the start menu till the virus is gone), internet capability is disabled due to this virus. I have a wireless connection and it won't let me connect at all - not even unsecured. I do have a different, working pc - so I can copy files to/from USB drives.
I tried the suggested fix for removing this virus and have not had any success. Rkill didn't show any 'stopped process'. I had to run a 78 day 'outdated' version of malwarebytes b/c of the fact I can't connect to the internet - it came back clean. Kaspersky tdss comes back clean... I still have the 'data recovery' shortcut on the desktop, it made an icon in my task tray, the program only runs and displays errors if I am online (not possible now) or if I actually 'open' the program. I still see the bogus files in the program data folder. Each time this 'fake' program runs, it creates another version in the folder...so I renamed them to keep tabs on them since the names are not easily remembered. Other than that, I haven't messed with anything else. If I try to click on any other folder it has the permissions denied, won't let me access the contents, or anything else - including system restore, etc - all are disabled by this stupid thing.
At this point I'm wondering if I can just 'delete' the program files, remove the registry files pertaining to this virus (as listed on various virus removal threads) & restore my hidden files? Another suggestion which I read about, but did not attempt - someone claims you can actually 'register' the fake program and then 'supposedly' get your computer working enough to be able to clean it up. The thought of this is a bit scary, so I'm waiting for advice first!
I have no idea where to go from here and hope someone can help me...pretty please - it would be the best birthday present I could ask for!!