I've read a few topics here that describe checks for various infections, and after running a couple of scans I am certain I have a Virut infection on my Win XP PC. Here are some of the symptoms:
"Protection System" application keeps appearing, with lots of popups warning of infections;
WinPatrol is having a great time trying to keep up with the various .exe files that are being affected, like C:\Windows\explorer.exe amongst many others;
Porn website shortcuts appearing on my desktop;
Very slow generally;
Unable to launch most apps;
Unable to reach many websites;
Unable to install AV or security apps like mbam;
1. I ran a check of C:\Windows\explorer.exe on VirScan.org, and had more than half of the scanners report a variant of Virut. After reading this post: Protection System and more MALWARE [Solved] it seems the only way out is to format the drive and reinstall. Is this the case still? I am unable to follow most of the recommendations in that post as software simply won't install, programs won't run, and many admin tools fail.
2. Happily, I recently performed a backup of most of my system, how can I make sure that I successfully check those backups for the virus? What is the best tool for the job? The backups are on two external HDDs. There are loads of .exe and .zips and .xml files. I don't want to infect my work PC!
3. Additionally I have 2 HDDs in the PC, are they both likely to have been affected? Again, what's the best software to check?
4. How can I avoid this virus in the future? It seems that WinPatrol did a decent job with many of the 'attacks', but not good enough. What are the recommended protections against this and others? Currently I have AVG Free. I admit that I have both of the user accounts as admins, would this have been avoided with Power User or Limited accounts?
Ben (currently working from Ubuntu installed on my laptop)