After so much generous help over at Malwarebytes Forum, and at their recommendation, I am reinstalling Windows.
I bought a Dell Inspiron 1525 3 1/2 years ago. Memory is foggy, but I think a "computer-y" friend of mine said "Yuck! Your computer came with Vista? Let me fix it. I'll give you Window 7, 64 bit. So I've run that with some glitches, such as issues with display drivers, issues with Adobe products. Then, the crazy updates started.
My computer is partitioned: C: is about 50GB, D: is about 200GB. I believe that windows was automatically storing updates onto my C: - and I think they were huge files, because over time, I noticed that there was no room on my C:. I moved all of my music and pictures to my D:, but with all of those huge files moved, very little space was created. I don't know why or where these huge files exist - but something is taking up 50G in C:.
There have been strange files appearing in my D: from time to time. These are Windows updates/backups, and are a mistery. I can only remove these files by "taking ownership" of them and deleting them.
These updates began appearing in their own folders everyday, starting in August. They're huge files. I worked with Malwarebytes for all of this time, and we were never able to get it under control. One reason is because there were some windows errors present - perhaps because I was using an Aro windows registry cleaner (someone told me to - now I know better). Also, working with Malwarebytes, I misread some instructions about removing Java, and I ended up moving thousands of crucial files into an arbitrary folder. After messing that up - I couldn't run some programs, I couldn't install most new programs, and I can't uninstall some programs. Also, there is always an Update to Windows in progress - it never completes. It's stuck in a loop.
So, at last I created two backups of all of my files and data. One backup was done by code (from Malwarebytes helper), the other was an Acronis True Image backup. This is all stored in my exteral hard drive.
This morning, I set about reinstalling. First, the directions said "Use the Applications Disc" - which erases everything and prepares the partitions. This disc didn't work. I got this error message right off the bat: Timeout: Drive not ready, DELLPART - Error preparing hard disk partitioning.
So I just did the Windows Re-install, and afterwards, noticed that my previous files are mostly still in place. Also, I can't connect to the internet - not by wireless, and not even by ethernet cable directly into the router. I inserted the drivers installation disc - and thought it ran, but maybe it didn't. There is a directory on the screen and I can navigate around the disc, but I can't find a button to click on that says "install drivers".
I tried the "Applications Disk" again. It gives me a choice about how much space to allot to the C and D partitions. I tried alloting 80G to the C, and I got a different error: "Timeout on ATA controller diagnostics"
It then gives me a choice about "continuing with the disk partitioning" - which just starts me all over - or quitting. If I quit, I get a command line. Is there any code I should enter? I just truly don't know what to do.
Edited by hamluis, 06 November 2013 - 06:23 PM.
Moved from Vista to Am I Infected - Hamluis.