This is my first time posting, so please bear with me. I am not overly knowledged about these types of things.
History: I have an old HP desktop that runs windows 98 and use cable for internet. I've updated that to Windows XP SP1. I was running that for a while when all of a sudden my computer slowed down trememdously. I was getting pop ups and then the browser began closing without me doing so. About two weeks ago I re-used windows XP to reformat (or so I think) the computer.
Currently: My system is running at a fine pace, however I was getting a message upon start up from mstskmgr.exe stating that an illegal instruction occured. Also, at times when I start up, it would state that efes.exe would not run and asked if I wished to send an error report. I assumed it was due to my reformatting and ignored it. The other day, when I turned my computer on, it said "new software installed". Obviously I was concerned, so after viewing my hard drive, I see there are a few .exe on it (with silly names) that I did not create. I finally decided to look up efes.exe and what I found was that it is possibly a virus that allows the virus author to control your PC, start or stop process, etc., and it's also a keylogger which sends off all your typings to one of many predefined email addressed every 2 hours.
Soooo.... I figured I must have a new virus... I'll just reformat my computer again with the Windows XP cd. For some reason after doing this, I still have the same exe.'s that I didn't put on my computer.
Problem: I use my computer for things like online banking, have several email accounts (some of which are business) and do pay bills on occassion online. I am wondering which route would be better....
1. Should I use my HP recovery CD that came with my computer (soo many years ago) which I know reformats the hard drive then install the Windows XP again? From there I would follow the suggestions listed on this site of adding spywear and virus protectors. By reformatting, will I definitely swipe out all viruses?
- OR -
2. Should I follow the suggestions on this site of downloading the spyware and virus protectors, firewall, etc. without reformatting my hard drive? If I do this, I am worried that I might miss something and not get all of the viruses/spywear off...
Also being new, can anyone advise about how to post a log through Hijack This or if I even need to? Thank you for your time and help... sorry for being ignorant on the subject!!! Rest assured, I am learning now...