Could someone else be running an "invisible network" in the background on my computer while I'm in front using Windows 7? Or, was the 2nd Norton Online Tech Guy correct when he implied that I'm a paranoid idiot? I'm having a few problems and hope you can help.
My cable tv company provides my internet service and a phone line. I work from home, live alone, have never been added to a network. I'm using Wiindows 7 Home Premium (it was installed on this computer when I purchased it). A couple of weeks ago, I noticed my computer seemed slow, didn't "feel" right and began finding unwanted toolbars, Numerous scans didn't identify the problem ; neither did Norton when the 1st tech guy accessed my computer remotely (as he recommended, I obtained a new IP address) Basically, I gave up and "restored" Windows 7 on 6/21/2013 (restored - not re-installed) and renamed my computer "CleanSlate." At first, I thought the problems had been resolved but things started happening again; programs I deleted were back. I've tried many times but haven't been able to see my "Network Map" for my Internet Connection lately; so I was very surprised when it finally came up earlier today:
CLEAN_SLATE ====== ?
Clean_Slate ====== gateway ======== (world icon)
I've been reading other posts in this forum. There's a lot going on with my computer; many of those people only seem to be having only one or two of the issues I've experiencing. I don't know if that means I have multiple malware programs or if the other members just haven't seen the other stuff yet. Anyway, I already downloaded and ran several recommended programs and saved the results.
Toolbar/folder Names I found: Widgi, SearchSettings,Spigot - Google & IOBit (both fake), Amazon Links (just checked, looks like I now have ZoneAlarm &AVG. Spigot. Who are they? After changing a Firewall rule in Norton to "block", I received a red flag. Long story short - I discovered Administrative Tools, found security events, opened up the events around that time and, by chance, discovered one with an UNKNOWN IP ADDRESS in it. When I googled that unknown IP address, Spigot was one of the names listed and, that's when I contacted Norton! Afterwards, I obtained a new ip address as their tech guy recommended.
What is Hot Start & Windows Mobile PC?
I didn't know about the Administrative Tools before this but I've found numerous instances where my Firewalls were turned off/turned back on. Time was stopped/restarted.
I ran the Unhide program and learned I have an E drive. I knew about C: and Q:(protected). Is there something I can enter in the command prompt that will allow me to view/list what's on the E drive?
There's so many more things going on. I ended up creating new user accounts because I couldn't access some things (not an Administrator) and I've found "Searches" folders where everything I do has been saved. It's just creepy at this point.
At this point, I'm ready to re-install Windows 7 (I have the disks from Toshiba). If that's what its going to take to resolve this, please let me know the best way to erase my hard disk, etc