I had a problem with my antivirus two days ago and am quite concerned about malware having made its way onto my computer. Here is what I'm working with.
Acer Veeriton M2 desktop running Windows 7 Professional. I have "Automatic Updates" enabled on the computer and get regular updates from Microsoft.
I have Windows Firewall turned on.
McAfee Antivirus software supplied by my ISP (Time Warner Cable). This software is updated automatically, almost every day. I also have McAfee's "Security Advisor" software running and do not visit sites that are flagged as being suspicious.
Here is a history of the problem.
1) Computer had been sitting idle for about an hour. I walked into the room and noticed that the HDD was being accessed almost continuously. My first thought was that McAfee was running a scan of the compuer. I looked down at the lower right corner of the screen and observed that the McAfee Shield icon was not present. I looked in the hidden icons area and it was not there. Something did not look right...!!!
2) I started the Task Manager to look for programs that were running, but none were listed. I then clicked on the Processes tab. I am far from a computer geek and and not familiar with all of the processes that were running, but all of them seemed to have names associated with them like Microsoft, Intel or Acer, so I'm guessing that there wasn't anything suspicious. However, the process "mcagent" was NOT in the list.
3) Hard drive was still being accessed, so I decided to shut down the computer to kill whatever was playing with the HDD. I wish that I had thought to power off the router to see if killing the internet connection would make the accesses stop.
4) The computer shut down, and then I restated it. I ran a full system scan but no viruses, malware, or tracking cookies were found.
1) My wife started the computer under her User login. She left it on when she was done.
2) Later, I got on the computer with my login and when the computer had displayed my Desktop, I checked for the McAfee icon in the lower right corner and saw that it was present.
3) I came back to the computer about 20 minutes later and saw that the McAfee icon was gone again. The HDD was not being accessed more than usual, however. I clicked START, ALL PROGRAMS, McAFEE ANTIVIRUS PLUS. The program would not start.I tried again and the program still did not start.
4) I started the task manager and looked for anything that seemed amiss, but everything looked okay.
5) I did a RESTART operation and the computer restarted normally. Since then it seems to work alright.
I did not want to be lulled into a false sense of security, so I called the Road Runner help desk and was transferred to the McAfee help desk. I explained the problem to the technician and he told me that no anti-virus software is 100% effective at catching all viruses and malware (I already knew that), but he told me to restart the computer in SAFE mode and run another full scan this way. I did this but still no bad stuff came to light. The McAfee tech told me to come to this site to see if you can help. Never having had a problem like this before, I have no idea how to proceed from here.
ONE LAST QUESTION
Since this problem only seemed to show up in the last couple of days, is it reasonable to assume that If I go back to a previous RESTORE POINT (say, one from last week) that this will solve the problem?
Thanks in advance for any assistance that you can provide.