My problem is very complicated, at least to me. I'm not very comp savvy, so please bear with me. I don't really speak computer, so go easy on me I'll be as thorough as possible, since I can't give you a HJ report yet.
This is the only computer we have, and I use it mainly for work, but some playing around as well
System: XP 2002 Service pk 3
I started experiencing random pop ups and redirects a few weeks ago. Had Norton AV, but no spy ware program installed. Upon being unable to play VCO from IGG (have had the game for several months, with no issues), I began to follow the Admins instructions on how to uninstall and reinstall the game. They have a option to download from a torrent, and/or p2p, but I use the one directly off the site. During the redownload, I got a error that tiled down my screen, faster then I could click or read, and it just continued to tile/pile up. Shortly, my computer just shut off. No warning, no tab closing. It was as though the plug had been disconnected from the socket.
After restarting I was informed that my Norton AV was expired. I removed it, not positive I got it all, but did a search and followed up with CCleaner. Then I downloaded AVG, and ran it. What a nightmare. Seven hours later, it showed many win32.heur stated as viruses and many volume restore and other restores listed as well as some cookies. Two at the top, which were win32.heur required a reboot. I took the recommended steps, but unfortunately I did not make a copy of all the issues to show you here. For all I know, they may not have been viruses at all. Did a search on the win32.heur, and came up empty.
After this, there didn't seem to be any problems, but once I began to do some navigation, and clicked on favorites, I was unable to go to most of the pages, got the notice "error loading page," "can't find address." Two bookmarks were okay...B of A, and PayPal. I manually tried to navigate to some of the sites, but got the same results. Shortly after I discovered this, I was bombarded with threat detections. These, like the errors, came up so fast it was insane.
I gave up, shut both FF and IE down, and opened a file with my movies on it. Probably not the best move, but was afraid to turn the computer off. No serious problems but did experience a few glitches and some AVG pop ups, that just disappeared. The computer had done a restart during the night, and the sign on page had changed to the old fashioned box, rather then the skater icon that states owner, with the password box to the right.
After getting signed in, everything seemed back to normal. I was able to click on my bookmarks and was taken directly to the pages. Wanted to get some anti spyware downloaded, so searched for the free version of AVG. I was able to navigate to any spyware page I came to, but didn't find the AVG. I did some research, and found you guys. Was in the middle of checking out the programs you recommend, and had to leave. Please keep the bold "was able" in mind.
While I was gone, my son decided to try and finish the download of the VCO, what can I say, he's addicted. It's a large program, and was in the process of installation when I came home. Everything went smooth, and he said that it started right off from where it stopped the day before. I noticed that the icon for the game had change to the icon that shows a exe file (hope I have that right...white box with blue on top?). The icon for the install was correct. When I clicked on the exe, I got a pop up that stated "Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item." Tried to go in and run as Admin. but wasn't given the option. When I go to the accounts page, it shows me as owner/administrator.
I've searched around my computer, and many of my applications or programs, have changed to that type of file, and will not allow me access.
I have tried to click on all of your links to spyware programs, and attempted to follow the self help for malware/spyware removal, as well as clicked on links from web searches...I get the page load error, or it wont take me anywhere. Was able to get one program to download, SUPERAntiSpyware, but can't run it due to the same issue as above. Oh, I was able to get to the HJ page through search at Trend, but haven't downloaded it since two of the dl options seem to be exe files, and one is a zip. I don't have winzip and can't get it...perhaps there is another way I can unzip it (free?), but even then, my computer seems to be able to change any program into a exe.
At a loss here, and working at home on this computer is our only source of income.
Sorry so long winded, but wanted to get you as much info as possible.
Thank you so much for your time; I do know it is valuable, and appreciate it very much,