So I've been saving up for a new computer for ages and, has befits my luck, I now have and within two months there's a problem. Obviously, I really want help with this and this is the best place to go after being shunned by PC World imo. Anyway, on with some details.
Computer: Sony VAIO
Stuff it has: 6GB Hardrive (I think), 2GB separate memory card thing, i5 Processor. Can't remember anything else
Operator: Windows 8
Browser: Internet Explorer, fairly sure it'll be the latest one, so that's 10
Security: Norton 360 (again, a fairly new version I think).
So, the problem started gradually. A couple of weeks ago, I started having the odd problem with internet explorer. I'd load up a page and an error message (can't remember exact wording) would come up saying can't access site blah blah. No problem. Hit F5 to refresh. There's the website, as usual. The problem gradually got worse with this occuring more frequently and a more worrying version occuring too: I'd load up IE and be faced with a white screen. Completely blank. No error messages or anything like that. Again, not much of a problem. Close it down, occassionally have to wait a but, and then re-load.
Now obviously these problems were really rather annoying so I looked to download another browser. I'd been reliably informed that Firefox was a no-go since it was full of cookies and lots of data that clogged up the system, so I ruled that out (something I kinda regret now). I downloaded Chrome, and after a few mishaps it worked. However, it had a combatability issue with the website I spend probably half my web-time on, so that ruled that out. Being, at the time what I thought to be clever, I unistalled the whole thing to save space and conserve speed. Then I switched to Opera and, well, this was the time the problems were pretty dire. It just wouldn't download. At all. Again, I'd been reliably informed that, other than those 4 browsers, none are that great. So I gave up on that.
Amongst these Internet issues, there have been some others too. Firstly, I noticed that my laptop would not restart. You could click 'restart' and then wait and watch the screen, but you could leave it for hours and nothing would happen. Shutting it down then turning it back on immediately after was fine, but not restarting.
Finally, one of the latest problems is concerning Anti-Virus. As I mentioned, I have Norton 360. I went on that since I suspected the above problems were down to a virus. I ran a scan and it did nothing. Just kept saying "Files Scanned 0", "Viruses Found 0" etc. I tried again in a day or two and, upon loading it, I saw that the "Security" thing was red (for those of you who don't use it, there are four 'boxes' you can click on on the main page. Security is one of them'). The others was fine, but Security was red, and it told me I needed to run a scan. You're telling me. So, there's a handy, "Fix Now" button which automatically runs whatever needs to be run to address the problem. In this case, a 'Quick Scan'. The quick scan screen would flash up for a second and then say it could not be completed, with a fitting red cross to demonstrate this. I tried to run a 'Full System Scan'. For those of you who don't know, this does a Live Update, then the scan, then a Tuneup and finally a back up. The Live Update would complete fine but then the Scan would be skipped again saying it could not be completed.
So, after these problems have escalated, I'm left with the following situations. I cannot run scans, as described above, nor can I restart. If I load up Internet Explorer, I'm faced with a completely white screen. No URL displayed, no error message, nothing. The only thing I can get to show is, if I click a new tab, I get shown the websites I visit most, as usual, though even those have gone funny lately. If I try to click on one of these, or indeed type in a web address, it will let me, though when I hit enter I'm faced with the same blank screen. I did try connecting to the Internet using some of Windows 8's Apps that use the Internet, such as News. These apps just didn't load, and nor did they update themselves as they should and once did.
What have I tried to do? Well, firstly, I made sure it wasn't my Internet Connection. I tried connecting to my internet with my iPod and another laptop. Worked fine. I then tried connecting the problem laptop to two separate internet connections, with the same result. Clearly that's not this issue. As you may know, Windows 8 comes with it's own little version of Internet Explorer, listed as one of the apps. I tried using this. I'm faced with a similar white screen. If I try to type anything into the URL bar, I can get a few characters in (my record is three) but then the whole app freezes. I've also tried doing the whole "Network Diagnostics" thing. The troubleshooting says that it cannot identify the options. Upon exploring additional ones, I chanced upon a PC Reset, or something called something to that effect. This, it said, would reboot my system, reset some stuff and uninstall apps that didn't come as a default but my files would be fine. Great, I thought. So I went ahead with it. To my dismay I encountered the same screen I see if I try to Restart my system. It takes forever. I, at first, put this down to the computer having to reset stuff etc, which'd take time. After about an hour, I've just decided it's the same problem that causes normal Restarts to malfunction.
Oddly enough though, the rest of the computer works fine. Other Windows 8 Apps that require no Internet, such as Photos, work fine. In addition, Microsft Word, Excel and their buddies work fine too. I can even watch DVDs on it, which run as smooth as they ever have done.
So, excuse my possible paranoia, I think this problem is down to a very clever virus which has got into my computer and is slowly eating away at it, first taking out its main weaknesses, disabling Anti-Virus and PC Restarts so it can't be removed and reset and stopping the internet from working to perhaps stop me downloading stuff that can kill it, or maybe just so it can break me, the user too
As a result, I've tried to use it as little as I can, which I hope will help. As for how I may have picked it up, I'm unsure, since I deliberately only accessed sites I know and trust and haven't opened any weird e-mails to try and avoid such a problem. My only though it that perhaps it came from a site I've momentarily accessed when I click on a picture belonging to that site that I've found on Goodle Images.
So anyway, I really hope that you guys could help me with this, or at least direct me to somewhere/one that can. I paid a lot for that laptop, and a fair amount for the Anti-Virus.
Thanks in advance,