I was instructed to post this here, by "boopme", after posting in the "Am I Infected" forum. Here is a link to the topic I started, and the text from my original post is below the link.
Boopme said it looked like the problem is with system file errors. This reminded me of a question that I wanted to post on this website, but I haven't got around to it. Whenever I run "scannow /sfc" it gets to about 95% and then I get a message saying, "Insert your Windows XP Professional CD2 now", which is something I don't have and it's something I've never seen or heard of. I've tried every solution that I could find, but haven't had any luck resolving the problem. I've read countless posts where others have this exact same problem, but I haven't found one where the problem is resolved.
My computer, a Gateway Desktop, came with 5 restore CDs, not a stand alone Windows XP operating system disc, but I have one that a friend gave me. This is the disc that I use whenever I have done the "scannow /sfc".
---------------------------------------------- Original Post ----------------------------------------------------------------------
In Windows XP SP3, in the start menu, under 'All Programs', there are two shortcuts that I don't recognize and I'm pretty sure that I didn't install these programs. I just noticed these entries today.
- NCH Software Suite
- Graphics Related Programs
About a week ago, the default program I use to view pictures changed to a program I'm 100% certain I didn't installed intentionally. Why I didn't take action when this happened is a mystery to me. The name of the software that is now the default picture viewer is 'Microsoft Photo Editor'. I'm assuming this program was bundled with a recently installation of 'Microsoft Office XP Professional', but I'm not sure.
(The above paragraph is something that I just realized while typing out this post)
I don't know if the two new entires under 'All Programs' and the change in the default picture viewing program are related, but I'm pretty sure this is the type of strange stuff that happens when a system becomes infected with malware.
I have Malwarebytes installed, but I haven't ran any scans yet, mainly because I've been infected with malware before without anything being detected by it and I've been busy. I do use 'CCleaner' several times a day, while also clearing my browsing cache and temporary files after browsing with 'Internet Explorer 8'.
I've also installed some Free VST's recently for a program I use for making beats. VST's are software simulated synthesized music instruments used in Digital Audio Workstations. I only download these VST's from two different websites, and I've never had issue with them in the past, but who can you really trust anymore?
I hope the information that I provided is useful for anyone that is trying to help figure out if my computer is infected. If there's anything I failed to mention that could be helpful, please don't hesitate to ask!
Another symptom of an infection just presented itself. The tray icon for "Avira Free Anti-Virus' indicates that it's not currently protecting my computer, in other words, the umbrella is still shut. I just restarted my computer and usually it takes about a minute for the umbrella icon to indicate it's protecting my computer, but it has not done this yet.. What's weird is when I double click on the icon and the program opens, it indicates that the real-time protection is enabled.
I'm going to restart my computer again to see if it fixes itself.....
I also did a 'quick' scan with Malwarebytes and it didn't find anything.
Edited by smoketwibz, 19 January 2014 - 03:27 AM.