This is my first post here (but I've been on other forums for many a year now), so please feel free to correct any discrepancies I may put up here.
Anyway, I've got a 'problem' - of sorts - that I'm hoping someone here can help me with. My own research into fixing my issue brought me to this website - and my post.
My laptop recently got what I believe to be a rather nasty virus/hijack this past week. I'm sure this was partly because my wife had disabled my virus protection programs (her way of trying to make my computer run faster - but I digress).
While I'm reasonably certain that after running my virus/spyware removal after the fact got rid of the foreign invader, I'm sure that it left a little 'parting gift' somewhere in my system. Here's a rundown of the symptoms:
- Cannot change the background (except by actually bringing up a picture in Windows Picture Viewer, right-clicking the pic, and setting it as the background)
- Cannot get online (either by direct connection to my Clearwire modem or wirelessly through my Linksys router)
- No USB drives are being recognized (I've got two 2gb thumb drives and a couple of Iomega external drives)
In reading what I thought was a related thread from someone with similar symptoms:
...I've attempted the following:
- Tried to d/l the smitfraud.reg file, but got a 404 (page cannot be found) error
- Ran the HijackThis utility (thankfully, I'd previously downloaded this, so it was already in place), had it "scan only", and saved a log in my Documents folder. Since I had no way of getting online to post it, I'm currently in the process of manually typing it out to post it from my desktop (whew!!)
- Also (thankfully) had the following pre-downloaded to my HD: ATF Cleaner, Spybot S&D, Glary Utilities, and Registry Mechanic (of which, only the first two were installed prior to this issue)
- Per another post I read, ran ATF Cleaner
- Tried to run Spybot S&D, but it will not run until I connect to the internet to get any recent updates it may have (and since I have no internet access, that becomes an epic FAIL)
- Also ran MalwareBytes Anti-Malware and AVG Anti-Virus again, but since I've had no internet access, it won't let me get too far until it gets an update, also.
- Removed all previous system restore points (probably not the best move at this point, but still another troubleshooting step I read about in another post)
At this point, I'm kinda at an impasse. I've got full functionality of all of the programs on the computer, but this issue is a great inconvenience, as I use my laptop for music engineering projects.
I've read the "Read me before posting a request for assistance" stickie, and am in the process of trying some of the other suggestions listed therein - although, since I don't have any internet, some of the suggestions (i.e., Kapersky Online Scanner, Panda Active Scan, etc..) won't work.
I initially considered an erase & install of the HD, but 1) I no longer (through moving, mostly) have the original disks that came with the computer, and 2) I also no longer have some of the more 'esoteric' - and expensive - programs I've got on the computer.
In any case, I just thought I'd post this to see if anyone has any suggestions as to what I should (or should NOT) do next. I'll post my HJT log as soon as I finish typing it up. And thanks in advance for your patience with this "NoOb".