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First a virus but cleaning caused another problem n another problem n

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Im not sure if this should go here but it was numerous virus and malware issues with cleaning and virus removal issues and many other virus/malware issues. Now I just dont know if its a missing file or something caused by cleaning the infections. Anyway, here is the history...
Ok this is an ongoing progressive issue. Ive found answers for every issue but a new one arrises caused by the fix of the previous issue. So please bare with me if I am a little short, I will do my best with details. Im so fed up.
My friend had a virus/malware infected dell inspirion (older maybe 1600?)with xp on it. He was getting the popup on the taskbar saying the spyware is infected you need to update now. He kept getting the popup and popups saying to download the software to fix it. I believe it was causing another issue but this is going on 5 problems ago so I cant really remember. Anyway, I loaded my copy of mailwarebytes and ran a scan. It removed that issue however after this I was getting the welcome screen, loads your profile, then saves your settings and logs you off. I spent 2 days researching this issue and between the userinit.exe file and the registry needing to point to the same filename (if wanna know fix in details just ask), I was finally able to log back on as previously.
Guys... thinking it was fixed and never wanting to see his laptop again I brought it back to him. He booted it up and while having a network connection, and being able to ping sites, we could not load any webpages. I did some more research and learned 2 things.
1) It seems if you login through safemode with networking, you automatically get the option at the welcome screen to login as administrator. If you login as administrator you can view any webpages you want. (ive only tried in safemode with networking).
2. Forums have stated that Norton, Mcafee, and any other antivirus software loaded on a machine needs to be fully removed. Some company's sites actually have a removal tool for there anti-virus software because this is a known issue.
Needless to say I went to mcafee and downloaded the removal tool from my personal laptop. I had him login as administrator both with AND without network connectivity and run the removal tool. Not only can he not access any webpages still from his other 2 accounts (2 having administrator rights), but when I had him using his administrator login, go to Windows update he got to the screen that asks if you want to download express or custom. I had him choose custom and INSTANTLY (as in didnt even load) the page comes back cannot view this page. I figured it was one of the services that need to be turned on but didnt want to toy around there yet so I did it the old fashioned way... By the way, I was doing this so he could just download a new version of IE. Maybe not corrupt or missing files. Using his admin login where he can connect anywhere, as soon as he went past the microsoft home page and selected the downloads page, or windows xp page, etc.. it comes up with the same cannot be displayed error.
Im lost. Is there perhaps a generic antivirus removal tool for all different brands? There could have been another kind of antivirus software on there previously that I dont know about which could be holding me back. But the not letting me connect to only the microsoft dwnload page is strange. I also noticed while again he can connect to sites hes tried, the clock has not synchronized. And I just had a similar issue with connecting to secure sites on my laptop. Is microsfts site secure only beyond the home page? Im lost. Any ideas?

Thanks all,
Sorry for the rant but wanted to explain the history as it might be important.
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