So I need some advice regarding my computer!!!! I apologise in advance, I'm not the most technically minded, but I am being as specific as I can.
First of all, a little background info - my operating system is Windows 7, and unfortunately I'm travelling abroad for a couple of months and let my Norton Antivirus license expire :/ I know, I know, I should have made sure I could renew it, but nothing I can do now!
My computer starting running slowly, freezing, pop ups when using the internet, all the usual stuff when you have a virus. Then my Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 said it couldn't confirm the license! I have currently uninstalled it off my computer, and will reinstall it once I've got my laptop sorted out. At the same time as my Microsoft Office playing up, I also got a pop up every time I turned my computer on saying that I had no AMD Graphics Driver installed. This pop up has now stopped occuring, so I think either I've solved the problem or the pop up was generated by a virus.
I immediately downloaded AVG free virus software, and AVG free PC tune up software. I ran a scan and fixed everything flagged up by BOTH programmes. However, this did not totally solve the problem. I next used the control panel to open my programmes list and uninstalled everything that looked suspicious or that I didn't recognise (no need to have a heart attack - I googled the names first to ensure it wasn't anything important that I had mistaken for dodgy software!). This worked well - until I hit a programme called SecretSauce. As soon as it hit a certain point in the uninstall process, it would freeze and stop responding. I couldn't uninstall it using the control panel. So I immediately googled the software to get some more information. This software is well known Adware, usually downloaded with free software from the internet (I confess to being a user of things like Calibre that I have downloaded from the internet).
I then googled how to uninstall it. I found some software to download called SpyHunter 4 at http://uninstallspyware.virusremovalguide.org/uninstall-secret-sauce-how-to-uninstall-secret-sauce and decided to use it. I downloaded it, ran a scan, and it found a ton of Malware and Adware files, including this SecretSauce programme that alerted me. However, whenever it reached a certain point in the scan it froze and became unresponsive. When I did further research I realised you needed to buy it for $30 :/ So it found all the infected files, but I couldn't eradicate them using that programme unless I paid (which I didn't want to do, as I had never heard of the software and was very unsure).
So I continued my search and found some free software called HitmanPro at http://malwaretips.com/blogs/secret-sauce-virus-removal/ but this software did not recognise all the infected files I required.
So I am now at a loose end!!!! I've exhausted all my computer knowledge in terms of solving this problem :/ The only other thing I know I could do that would solve my problem completely is to take the laptop back to factory settings and start from scratch. A couple of reasons I don't want to do this though :/ As previously mentioned, I'm currently traveling, and won't be home untl February. Unfortunately I was a total idiot and didn't bring my external hard drive or any other form of back up with me. On top of that, it's a huge headache to set up my laptop from scratch! I use software such as Microsoft Office, Itunes, Calibre, Kindle for PC and many more that I would need to load on to my laptop again, not to mention all the internet bookmarks and website settings that I have set up to my liking and preferences :/
So if anyone has any advice or experience it would be much appreciated! Do I need to take it to a professional who knows what they're doing? Should I go to a computer shop and ask for some advice on software that would remove the infections? Or is there something (SIMPLE I might add, not hugely computer minded, but I get by) that I can do myself? Any advice appreciated! Thank you.