My computer information:
For the last few weeks, i've been dealing with the display driver on my laptop randomly failing. The screen would freeze up for a few seconds, and then go black. It'd stay black for a minute or two, and then would come back on with a small notice from my Action Center messages saying the Display Driver had failed. When it did it the second time the next day, I ran MalwareBytes to see if my lappy was infected. It came back clean.
It did this (freeze up, go black, report that the display driver failed) about once a day for about a week, and then progressed into the screen freezing up, going black, and then turning on only to give me the "blue screen of death". By that, I mean the blue screen with white font saying that something in windows had failed, and it was doing a cashe dump. Soon as that happened, I knew something bigger was going on. I ran a scan on Malwarbytes, and still nothing. But upon running a scan on Symantec, it did find one virus. It successfully detected and quaranteened the virus, and I did a reboot as always. My laptop seemed fine after that for a good number of days, and then I got another blue screen. This time, it didn't just cycle through and restart. When my computer shut off after the bluescreen like it was going to restart, I got the black screen saying it needed to do a disc check. Basically that it was 'Checking Files on C:' and that one of my disks needs to be checked for (something). My computer got through all 3 stages, but when it started booting up again, I noticed weird coloring on my screen. Instead of a solid black screen behind the boot-up Windows logo, there were red dots.
I looked online, and everywhere I went seemed to suggest that my harddrive was failing. So, I took my laptop to a small repair store. I let them know everything my computer was doing and asked them to run a check on the harddrive to see if it was failing. In the end, they said it wasn't the harddrive. That the harddrive was fine, and that malware had corrupted Windows on my laptop and that it needed to be reinstalled on my computer. So I had them back up my information and reinstall Windows. I lost all programs, as always, but had all my documents, pics, and music.
The very next day, however, the cycle continued. My screen froze up, went black, and turned on a few minutes later to say my driver failed. Also, I noticed that Internet Explorer had popped up randomly with a random website. I.E is not my default browser -- Firefox is. I started to run Symantec, and my laptop did the blue screen of death again. Then it was stuck in a loop -- blue screen, start up, blue screen, start up. I couldn't actually get ON my laptop unless I went to Safemode (with or without networking). So I took my laptop back to the shop, and they had it for another few days. In the end, the guy said the virus must've been carried over in one of the files he'd backed up. ((That was the first sign that these people are complete IDIOTS and shouldn't be working on ANYONE'S computers)). They said they'd gotten it off and sent my laptop back with me. I started my computer up in the shop this time instead of waiting until I got home. Right away it began the check disc process. The man at the store informed me that it was 'expected' behavior and that as long as it got through the process, everything would be fine. It finished up and started up fine, so I took my laptop home. Almost right away, randomly when I was using firefox, Internet Explorer would pop up. The pop-ups were not excessive, though. It was about one every few hours of internet use.
It's been two days since I had my laptop back and have been dealing with Internet Explorer's stupidity. Today, my computer has begun the cycle AGAIN of freezing up, blue-screening, and crashing. Yet again, I am trapped in Safemode (with networking) in order to get on my laptop. I am done taking it to that shop, as they're clearly not able to fix the problem for me. Whatever this nasty virus is, I would like to deal with it myself. I almost never rely on companies to fix my computers - I do it myself, usually by following the step-by-step processes this very website offers. I keep up on my virus scans actively, very often check my programs for any programs that snuck themselves onto my computer (such as toolbars) and remove them. So overall, my computers are fairly clean and run smoothly. This time, however, I just can't seem to fix it. Help me?
So you know the latest steps I have taken, here on safemode I ran MalwareBytes and it came up clean. I came on here and downloaded MalwareBytes Anti-Root Kit, and that also came up clean. Symantec is gone off my laptop since the reinstallation of Windows, and I can't find a free version to download, so that's a no go. I did download AVG, and that, too, came up clean.....though it did skip a lot of files that it said were locked, so the virus could be in there?
I do not have my original Windows 7 CD so I cannot reinstall it myself if that is what you guys ask of me. I also don't have the Windows repair disc....but I think you have that in your downloads? So if I need to try that, I certainly will.
I'm just not sure what to do from this point. I hope my problems where made clear. If the rambling made it difficult to understand, the issues I am currently going through are:
Screen going black and then an alert saying the Display Driver failed
Blue Screen 'cache dump'
Red-dots on the start-up screen
A looped cycle of blue-screening, restarting, and blue-screening again.
Internet Explorer popping up when I am using Firefox as my default browser.
I am currently using Safemode with Networking, which ends the cycle. And in this mode, I.E doesn't pop up.
I eagerly await your advice on the next steps I can take.