, I got my computer back. I found a new computer store and took it in (as my family demanded
) for "fixing". Thanks everyone for your continued support even during my absence. I couldn't face going back to the first computer store and consider the money I lost a lesson learned.
The store kept my computer for 7 days
and returned it with the following report:
**Computer was badly infected with viruses, trojans and hijackers.
**Logged on as user "Alice" for repairs
**AVG & AVG Anti Spyware were already installed - Updated both programs and ran - No viruses detected, but 17x Spyware incidents were found and removed.
**Ad-aware was installed, updated and ran - 13 x incidents were detected and removed
**Installed Spybot, updated and ran - 33x Spyware items detected and removed (Imbedded spyware and hijackers Virtumonde, AstraKiller & SmitFraud self installed after reboot - More drastic measures were taken for these)
**Installed and Ran CWShredder & ran - No CWS Hijackers detected
**Reset Restore Points
**Ran Disk Cleanup to clear trash, temp and cashe files
**Installed and ran Cleanup! to clear out residual cashe, bak, temp, prefetch, install and other files from system.
**Installed HijackThis and ran - studies log and noted abnormalities
**Installed Symantec FXVundo and ran - No Vundo detected
**Installed Vundo Fix & Ran - Detected 11 x Vundo links and self install files. Removed these and deleted
**Installed Reg Cure & ran - Nul & Void registry links, dead keys and start programs were detected and removed
**Ran Regedit and removed links manually for Astakiller
**Ran Drweb Cure and detected other residual trojan files linked to Smitfraud and Vundo hijackers
**Manually removed self install links to Vundo with Regedit
**Installed and ran Smitfraud tools and ran - Removed Smitfraud files and registry entries
**Reran HijackThis and removed the last of the links and entries in the registry refering to hijackers and trojans
**Installed Keparsky antivirus and ran - no viruses or trojans detected
**Reset computer and reran Ad-Aware, Spybot, AVG, Vundo Fix, Smitfraud Tools, Drweb Cure and Regcure - System reported as clean!
NOTES: Due to the extreme amount of spyware, viruses, trojans and hijackers detected and removed from the system I recommend running a full virus scan at least once a week. Programs that should also be run once a week and updated regularly are Spybot and Ad-Aware and CWShredder. If possible refrain from using peer2peer programs like Limewire and others as these free programs generally come packaged with spyware and hijackers or open ports that can be exploited. Other users should also run the programs listed above to ensure the system remains clean. If the computer becomes re-infected, run the free tools and programs installed under user "Alice" to clear. Due to the amount of intrusions removed, some programs may have been damaged or modified by the removed programs. In these cases, a reinstall of the damaged program will normally remedy problems. A full listing of the current status of the system is available in the log of HijackThis (installed under user "Alice")
I've used the computer for about 4 hours now and so far no problems.
I'm very pleased to be able to study the forum info sheets and practice with my new installations with a better state of mind (ie I'm not scared out of my wits), its much more fun.
I have Spybot 1.4 and I just ran it (for practice). The screens look different to the "Using Spybot" sheets I printed out. The screens are less colourful/user friendly I guess, do I have the wrong version?
Also I don't seem to have a firewall other than the WindowsXP one. Will it be OK to get one of the free ones (Sygate or ZoneAlarm) now?
I'm not really sure of forum etiquette. I need to know about "safe" sites for my family as well, and I don't know whether it is appropriate to ask all sorts of questions under this post or if I should start new ones.
Thanks so much everyone.