Your sig caught my attention, especially after the sad saga of my computer woes.
I finally gave up and took the box to a shop today. They were able to recover most of my data from the hard drive, but the tech commented "wow, you sure had a lot of spyware". How, I asked, can you tell? Most of it sailed over my head but the gist of it was that even the things the HJT forum helped me to emove left traces behind. And that computer is dead, dead, dead. It's sitting in my garage until I decide what to do to fix it.
My initial response was "well, why doesn't the government *do* something to protect me?". Followed almost immediately by the realization that most of my problems with the rootkits/trojans/viruses were due to stupidity on my part. In RL, I don't put signs on this street saying "this way to aelfgifa's house, free stuff !!!" and leave my door unlocked. So - big surprise - I can't do it on the internet either. It's sad that things are that way, but oh well. I can whine to the government to take away even more personal liberties to supposedly make me secure, or learn how to protect myself.
With 20:20 hindsight, my problems probably started when I was writing a report and got tired of Norton's firewall popping up almost a window every 5 seconds telling me somebody was trying to access my computer. So, I (naturally
) concluded the problem was my firewall and disabled it. That probablly sealed my doom before I ever got here, but this is a very pleasant forum and I've learned a lot.
I don't know if this is the right place to say this or not, but I'd like to thank everybody that has helped me. It was too late to save my other computer, but I think I've finally got this laptop clean by doing repeated scans and following the advice I got in the other threads. I think there is going to be a router and a fresh Windows install/upgrade in my future, but I'm gping to lurk in the forums for a while before I spend any money.
So -- maybe I can have both security AND liberty. Without any "help" from the government. And I've learned a lot of new words like "zombified", "nuke and pave" and BIOS.