Well first and foremost my problem is that I'm an idiot and I love to download pirated software, been doing it for years and never caught anything. I always check what I'm downloading very carefully and read comments about the specific torrent to make sure that it has good reviews and plenty of seeds.
However, the other night I went on sort of a downloading frenzy and failed to give the torrents I download the typical scrutiny. I am almost certain one of the torrents contained a virus.
I HAD one account on my windows XP Pro system, the Administrator. It seems that all of the privileges hve been set to that of a guest or "user" account. For example, I cannot run things like Dos (cmd.exe), devmgmt.msc, services.msc, msconfig, regedt, task manager, etc...
It tells me that all of these have been disabled by the administrator. Also, the run option on my start menu has been removed and I can't seem to get it back.
I created a second administrator account which I simply called "admin2" on the PC to see if the same things would happen. Everything seems to work fine with the second administrator account and in the primary admin account I can run the items listed above if I select "run as" and select Admin2
Now for my futile efforts in repairing the problem.....
I uninstalled every program that I downloaded (winamp pro, nero, adobe audition) others. I ran AVG 9.0 (updated with latest defs) both in the primary admin account, admin2, and safe mode. It detected most of the original exe files for the apps I downloaded as various trojans and quite a few registry keys associated with said trojans.
Everything seems to have been removed but the privilege problem still exists.
I would like to see if I can fix this problem without a reinstall, if at all possible. I just did a full OS reinstall a few weeks ago, and it would be such a pain to have to do it again, but I am prepared for the worst.