Hi, I'm a newbie. But hoping someone can help.
Last week I seem to have gotten SweetPacks virus. (See below for all the details.) And I googled it and found a link online to remove it http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/remove-sweetpacks-toolbar
But is this link the right instructions for me, given that my files seem to be disappearing as well?...ie maybe I am infected with something else additionally?
I say 'disappearing' because AVG scans usually shows 'number of objects scanned' at about 1,200,000. Since this virus incident last week (see details below...), AVG reported it scanned only 120,000 objects. And today it scanned only 103,000 objects.
I've been very good about using AVG Free anti-virus and weekly scans have never found any suspicious files.
Last week I was prompted to upgrade to AVG 2014 Free. It didn't seem to take - showing 'protection not active' - and I contacted AVG who sent instructions for removal of old version and how to do a clean install.
But upon reboot, AVG 2014 showed that components were active. (So I ignored the removal/reinstall). Thought I was good.
Since things were goofy, I googled "registry cleaner tools' and clicked on a CNET downloader of some registry cleaner with 4 or 5 stars. It offered to add additional software tools (twice) and i "declined" both times but then got cold feet and tried to abort.
AVG then showed that its four components were again NOT active. Rebooted and the AVG 2014 tools were active again. Did an AVG scan and it found no threats... and I didn't notice immediately that 'objects scanned' was fewer than normal.
My browser then mentioned sweetpacks and I googled it and was instructed to go to Add/Remove. I found sweetpacks there and the options were <Hide> "recommended" or <Remove> and next to remove was <Important info>. I clicked "important info" and was now frozen out of Add/Remove. Sweetpacks has never again showed up in Add/Remove - although I never clicked to remove it.
Browsers now are all bad.
Mozilla won't open, giving error message: [ Firefox.exe application error: The exception unknown software exception (0xc0000417) occurred in the application at location 0x100da84f. ]
Chrome gives the same error. And the three bars in chrome turned orange and when opened showed [attempting to add sweetpacks extention ] which i clicked to "not allow."
Internet Explorer opened ok but then insisted on trying to opening a sweetpacks site. Version with 'no add-ons' opened ok.
The AVG phone answerers had me send them files and have been saying Tier II folks will help me and will get back to me in 24-72 hours -- but it has been 10 days now of calling them everyday and hearing that Tier II is very busy and that they will expedite my case and I'll hear from them as soon as possible.
So, I'm thinking I will follow the steps in your link above -- if I'm not barking up the wrong tree?! Is that link appropriate for me?
Also, someone suggested I just delete and reinstall my browsers. That is fine with me. Is that safe?? I'm afraid the virus is logging keystrokes and or has partitioned the harddrive and is running my system without my being able to see it or something more than what is obvious.
btw the laptop is an old Dell Inspiron E1505 running XP (actually I guess still running Media Center Edition of XP)