I ran a virus/spyware scan but didn’t find anything. I installed, updated and ran Ad-Aware Plus, which didn’t find anything either.
Then I found your site. I initially thought Zlob was the problem, so I followed the Option 1 instructions on “How to Remove Zlob.trojan.Media-Codec, Goldcodec, Silvercodec, Braincodec” -- I downloaded SmitfraudFix (by S!Ri), removed the infected files it found, and saved the textfile log.
The problems persisted, though, so I then found your instructions on Malware Removal (“You Must Read This Before Posting a Hijackthis Log”).
1. I downloaded and ran ATF-Cleaner.exe. I then created a new System Restore point.
2. I downloaded and ran Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware. It found and removed about ten things, and I saved the log.
3. I downloaded and ran SUPERAntiSpyware Home Edition. After 2.5 hrs, it found an additional five things which it quarantined; I successfully rebooted and everything was looking great! No more warning pop-ups, no more homepage redirection. I copied and saved the log information.
4. I went to the Online - Panda ActiveScan site. There was no “Scan your PC” button, just a “Scan Now” or a “Register” button. I registered, then clicked the “Scan Now” button; I believe it installed an ActiveX component (which your instructions said was OK), but I couldn’t get the scan started. I wasn’t too concerned because I really thought I was out of the woods at this point. I’d found and cleaned Winifixer, Rogue.VirusIsolator, Zlob, (maybe others but those are the ones I remember), so I proceeded to the next step.
5. Windows Update – I found a critical update for Windows XP Service Pack 3, which I installed. When I rebooted, I got the following blue screen message:
A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.
An attempt was made to execute non-executable memory.
If this is the first time you’ve seen this stop error screen, restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:
Check to make sure any new hardware or software is properly installed. If this is a new installation, ask your hardware or software manufacturer for any Windows updates you might need.
If problems continue, disable or remove any newly installed hardware or software. Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing. If you need to use safe mode to remove or disable components, restart your computer, press F8 to select Advanced Startup Options, and then select Safe Mode.
***STOP: 0x000000FC (0xF7AA98E8, 0xF7AA9848, 0x00000001)
Rebooting in safe mode brings up the same stop screen and I either can’t or don’t know how to do anything else from there. Too late, I read your warning about installing SP2 if malware is still present. I’m guessing that warning applies to SP3 as well and that there was still some malware present when I installed SP3.
I’d gladly send you the logs but at this point I can’t get to them. So I’m stuck -- what do I do now (besides cry in frustration)?