I was working on someone's computer today because they said it had been working, but all of a sudden this program, Optimizer Pro, started popping up. A quick google search told me that it was spyware and I was lead to this post: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/431108/remove-pc-optimizer-pro/.
When started up normally, the computer is unusable. The system32 folder shows up on startup along with the Optimizer program and when hovering the mouse over the start menu, it becomes an hourglass and cannot be clicked. Booting up in Safe Mode with Networking did not have the 2 pop ups, but once again, the Start Menu was not clickable.
Starting the computer in Safe Mode finally allowed the start menu to be used. I went into Add/Remove Programs and uninstalled Optimizer Pro. Then I followed the steps on that forum post but could not find any of those registry entries so I downloaded, on a different computer, the uninstaller program recommended on that forum topic, transfered it, installed and ran it. However, the optimizer program was not listed.
After restarting the computer, the Optimizer Pro window no longer popped up but the system32 folder still pops up when Windows starts and the computer is still frozen with the mouse as an hourglass. I tried running System Restore in Safe Mode but it said "System restore is not able to protect your computer. Restart then run system restore again."
I am running a deep virus scan now but I am not hopeful. My only thought is that prehaps Windows itself is messed up so I will try to do a repair using the installation cd or else I will reinstall.
Any other thoughts and what to try before I have to erase everything?
Edited by hamluis, 25 February 2013 - 07:27 AM.
Moved from XP to Am I Infected - Hamluis.