I need help. I have a Dell Dimension 4400 running XP SP2. I have Ashampoo Firewall, Avast AV, Spybot, Spyware Blaster, AVG AS and Ad-aware SE personal (unsupported now so not updated). All have been run and updated recently. Wired cable connection, Linksys router, 2 other computers networked.
Last night I was on the 'net as usual, checking a few forums, etc. All of a sudden, my internet connection disappeared. According to the computer and the router and modem, I *was* connected, but I could not run IE or get my email. Weird. I tried to pull up the Linksys network analyzer, and it ran and ran and never fully loaded. Weirder. I tried right-clicking on the Avast logo to check it out, no response. I got a little message box that said "Ashampoo Firewall - Out of Memory!" and that is REALLY weird b/c ashampoo is not memory intensive. When I clicked OK on that window, it just kept popping back up.
I did not want to shut down so I put the computer on standby and went to bed, hoping that it would improve miraculously overnight.
This morning things continued to go south...as I tried to open My Computer to back up my latest files, at first it worked, but after I connected a USB backup drive, I tried to use the "explore" function to drag and drop files, but I then lost all my desktop icons after some weird memory error box asked if I wanted to debug. I tried My Computer again, and all the disk names were "Local Disk," not even C: or D:
OK, that was enough for me - I got the start menu up, sort of, and managed to click on the right area for the shut down screen...tried reboot, nothing happened, tried shutdown, nothing happened. I did a hard shutdown and it's still off.
My questions: Does this sound like a virus and if so, should I try to reboot in safe mode? I still want to get files off the HD so if rebooting is likely to do permanent damage, I'd rather not. Should I try system restore, assuming it was enabled? Is that the least harmful approach at this point? Also, I have thought of removing the drive and hooking it up to this laptop to see if I can get the stuff off of it before wiping it, but if it sounds like a virus I don't want to infect the laptop. If I remove the HD, get a new system, and replace the D disk with this one, will I be able to see and retrieve all my files? What would you try first? Thanks for your help. I have a bad tendency to continue trying until the system is FUBAR.
Edited by JulianeB, 06 March 2008 - 02:08 PM.