I appologise in advance for the inevitable rant and will try to keep it as short as possible.
About 2 months ago, having had to replace the HDD in my desktop, I had to reinstall my OS, XP Pro x32, but I only had a recovery disk so I used that to reinstall thinking I'd get Dad to email me the activation key for it later, only to discover I'd been using a disk for an ancient machine which has since been scrapped/dismantled/taken to the tip/is lounging in the computer graveyard of our attic. I had about 16 days left to activate it when it stopped letting me log in so I got a copy of a friend's VLK XP Pro and tried to recover my OS with that. Which sort of worked. After 3 attempts I booted up the computer to see whether it had actually done anything and I could log in but half my stuff, including all my virus, adware and malware checkers and firewall weren't working. At all. So now I have a ton of viruses I'm sure, I managed to get rid of two adware things but haven't seen anything else. Whilst messing around pulling HDDs in and out and booting off Windows/Ubuntu 10.10 live disk about 30 times during the course of yesterday trying to recover my boyfriend's Suse HDD something in Chrome broke and I had to uninstall it. Thought it would be super simple to rectify, download the installer onto another computer, copy it across and run it. Only I can't run any installers, they just don't work. Reactivaed IE, won't work, discovered I could use the internet through the search the internet function on My Computer but only through Bing and it won't download anything through that so basically I now have a totally broken computer that I can't recover due to lack of working disk and can't back up onto the internet and there is absoloutely no way I am going to plug my ext HDD into it if it doesn't have working antivirus checkers.
Does anyone have any ideas on what I could possibly do to fix it, or is it utterly beyond repair at this point and needs to be destroyed and reinstalled?