ok.... to take things one at a time.
but I keep getting those nasty popups, both in IE and Firefox: WinFixer, System Doctor, random ads, etc.
there's a self help guide to fix 'Winfixer.... Here
Recently I was on a dell forum, because I googled a suspect O17 entry on my Hijack log and found it in a topic there (http://forums.us.dell.com/supportforums/board/message?board.id=si_hijack&message.id=45945). I went through their procedure
Every Hjt procedure is exclusive to a particular pc.... please don't try to follow anyone elses fix. It could really mess your computer up.
Now, I can't find Hijackthis anywhere on the internet
You will find all you need .....Here
Just scroll down to the Hjt download link.
run this program called SmitRem, HijackThis, and finally ewido,
Ewido has been renamed now..... It's now called AVG Anti-Spyware 7.5
It is recommended that you uninstall Ewido and download this new version.
Avg Anti-Spyware can be downloaded from.....Here
1. After download, double click on the file to launch the install process.
2. Choose a language, click "OK" and then click "Next".
3. Read the "License Agreement" and click "I Agree".
4. Accept default installation path: C:\Program Files\Grisoft\AVG Anti-Spyware 7.5, click "Next", then click "Install".
5. After setup completes, click "Finish" to start the program automatically or launch AVG Anti-Spyware by double-clicking its icon on your desktop or in the system tray.
6. The main "Status" menu will appear. Select "Change state" to inactivate 'Resident Shield' and 'Automatic Updates'.
7. Then right click on AVG Anti-Spyware in the system tray and uncheck "Start with Windows".
8. Go to Start > Run and type: services.msc
* Press "OK".
* Click the "Extended tab" and scroll down the list to find AVG Anti-Spyware guard.
* When you find the guard service, double-click on it.
* In the Properties Window > General Tab that opens, click the "Stop" button.
* From the drop-down menu next to "Startup Type", click on "Manual".
* Now click "Apply", then "OK" and close the Services window.
9. Select the "Update" button and click "Start update". Wait until you see the "Update succesfull message. Exit AVG Anti-Spyware when done - DO NOT perform a scan yet.
Step 2: Reboot your computer in "SAFE MODE" using the F8 method. To do this, restart your computer and after hearing your computer beep once during startup [but before the Windows icon appears] press the F8 key repeatedly. A menu will appear with several options. Use the arrow keys to navigate and select the option to run Windows in "Safe Mode".
Step 3: Scan with AVG Anti-Spyware as follows:
1. Launch AVG Anti-Spyware, click on the "Scanner" button and choose the "Settings" tab.
* Under "How to act?", click on "Recommended actions" and choose "Quarantine" to set default action for detected malware.
* Under "How to Scan?" check all (default).
* Under "Possibly unwanted software" check all (default).
* Under "What to Scan?" make sure "Scan every file" is selected (default).
* Under "Reports" select "Automatically generate report after every scan" and UNcheck "Only if threats were found".
2. Click the "Scan" tab to return to scanning options.
3. Click "Complete System Scan" to start.
4. When the scan has finished you will be presented with a list of infected objects found. Click "Apply all actions" to place the files in Quarantine.
IMPORTANT! Do not save the report before you have clicked the Apply all actions button. If you do, the log that is created will indicate "No action taken", making it more difficult to interpret the report. So be sure you save it only AFTER clicking the "Apply all actions" button?
5. Click on "Save Report" to view all completed scans. Click on the most recent scan you just performed and select "Save report as" - the default file name will be in date/time format as follows: Report-Scan-20060620-142816.txt. Save to your desktop. A copy of each report will also be saved in C:\Program Files\Grisoft\AVG Anti-Spyware 7.5\Reports\
6. Exit AVG Anti-Spyware when done, reboot normally.
Note: Close all open windows, programs, and DO NOT USE the computer while AVG Anti-Spyware is scanning. If Explorer or other programs are open during the scan that means certain files will also be in use. Some malware will insert itself and hide in areas that are "protected" by Windows when the files are being used. This can hamper AVG Anti-Spyware's ability to clean properly and may result in reinfection.
Hope this helps