I have a Dell Studio XPS with Windows Vista. These past few weeks when I would start my computer it would seem to take a little longer than usual, but nothing drastic. Today, though, I turn on my computer and it is extremely slow or even unresponsive. I restarted my computer a few times and got the same result. When I clicked "start, computer" that would even freeze up and be unresponsive. I tried control-alt-delete to review the task manager, but this would fail as well. I kept getting an error that would pop up every few minutes saying my FAtrayalert something or another was not working (I think this is the Fast Access facial recognition thing that came with my computer, but I thought I disabled because I never use it) as well as some MagicDisk thing was not working (I think I used that before for watching a DVD a while back and haven't used that in a long time).
I asked my brother to look at it. He removed that battery and restarted the computer, but nothing appeared to change. He downloaded Malwarebytes and on safe mode he ran it and it discovered and deleted four viruses. I thought maybe that would fix it, but the computer was still extremely slow/unresponsive...maybe a little better.
I then (all in safe mode) looked at my virus protection and opened Symantec Endpoint Protection and saw that "there are multiple problems (3)" and for some reason my Antivirus antispyware protection as well as Proactive Threat Protection were off. I do not know why they were off and I don't ever recall turning them off. I tried to "fix problems" but it froze, then restarted and tried to scan my computer too, both freezing up and not doing anything.
My brother said my computer was pretty messed up and scanning/fixing probably wouldn't work or wouldn't help much, so he recommended we do system recovery. I searched for and clicked on system recovery, but it said there were no save points or something...so I couldn't go back to another point. My brother didn't believe this and opened my computer, then RECOVERY (D:) but all it was (though only 5.37 GB were free out of 14.6) was a message from Dell saying not to change anything in that file or something like that. My brother was stumped for a little bit but then asked for the disks that came with the laptop in hopes that one of them may somehow show how to use or open the RECOVERY. I honestly have no idea where these disks are or even that I got them since when I purchased my laptop I asked my brother to set it up for me, so I didn't touch any disks much less put them in a memorable place.
Thus, I am writing to you and asking for your help, again, as my brother recommended (again). These are all the efforts we have tried, and they have taken literally all day because my computer takes so long to respond to the smallest commands.
Looking back, I did do some things on my computer that I usually did not do. I have been playing Sims 3, so I was browsing random sites about Sims 3 to get more cheats or secrets, and may have fallen upon some bad sites. I have also been looking for summer internships and searching for them as well, which maybe could have lead me to a bad site. I do recall looking up The Count of Monte Cristo on pimkmonkey.com, and that always opens up another window of an advertisement, which I usually exit out by right clicking and closing, but I accidentally clicked on it while hurriedly closing windows. I also downloaded Iron Man II the movie, but it was not legit and in downloading it I may have gotten something bad.
Normally though, I only check my e-mail, go on facebook, youtube, and collegehumor. When I did virus scans the most that came up was a tracking cookie (which I suspect farmville but who knows). The past few days I haven't even been connected to the internet until today when I was trying to find a solution to my computer (I've been playing a lot of Sims 3)
I hope this was informative enough and I am ever grateful for your help!