At least, I think it is still around. It's unfortunate that I created an account here just to ask for help, but I'm at my wits end.
Earlier this week, I was given a laptop to fix. My family thinks I'm just amazing with computers and can do anything, but truthfully I'm not very savvy. However, I can do basic virus/trojan/spyware/malware removal and, if all else fails, reformat the computer. And that's just what I did. The laptop (Windows 8.1) was riddled with pop-ups and redirects. It had vosteran, some virus that gave a pop-up that asked you to call a number to be removed, and several other issues that I don't quite remember. I ended up performing a system restore to an earlier date and installed MalwareByte's Anti-Malware, Ad-Aware, and AVG. They took care of a LOT of problems and the computer was running much better after. However, even after removing most of the issues, when I opened the browser it wouldn't load any search engine page nor certain antivirus/antimalware pages. I tried to install Chrome with an already downloaded installer, but it wouldn't get past the "Connecting to the internet" screen. When I pinged www.google.com from the cmd prompt, it was fine! Other websites loaded great, just certain ones seemed like they were blocked.
I went through lots of forums and threads, following advice and still getting no where. The hosts files didn't have weird entries and I couldn't find anything else. I ended up just reformatting the computer. However, when I finished setting it up again, the browser was still not loading any of the search engines and having windows try to fix the issue doesn't do anything. I reformatted again just to be sure.
I've found a lot of threads that walk users through ComboFix and other powerful tools, but I didn't want to use them because I would end up wrecking the laptop. The laptop was bought brand new at Christmas time so it's not old hardware/software. I don't know what to do anymore and I would really appreciate help. : ( Thanks for reading this long-winded post. I tend to talk a lot when I get flustered.
Nevermind, thanks for all the help.
Edited by SophieSnow, 19 April 2015 - 07:49 PM.