I have Windows XP Home Edition, Version 2002, which I run on eMachines version T2875. I also seem to have contracted a virus that uses Microsoft Internet Explorer to send pop-ups whenever I'm using Firefox, which is my main web browser. Yesterday, I noticed the virus for the first time, and ran AVG Free and Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. AVG only managed to catch one infection, which was quarantined. MBAM caught 12 infections, and all were removed after rebooting ... or so I thought.
The virus comes up in my task manager processes as iexplore.exe. Every time it comes up, I end the task, though of course it comes back a bit later. I downloaded ATF-Cleaner and VundoFix with the intention of clearing out all my temporary internet files and running a scan while in safe mode, afterward running MBAM once more in safe mode, and then restarting my computer normally. Once the programs had been installed, I shut down my computer, then turned it back on, repeatedly pressing F8 until I was prompted into the safe mode menu. I chose Safe Mode, and received the message:
Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
Please re-install a copy of the file above.
My computer then re-booted and went back into safe mode. I chose to run safe mode once more, and was prompted as to whether or not I wanted to run "Windows XP Home Edition" or "Windows (default)". I tried both options, and both times, safe mode failed to boot and my computer once again restarted. At a loss, I started Windows up normally and ran VundoFix, disappointed to find that no files were detected as infected. Knowing that Internet Explorer may be my only adversary in this battle against a non-operating safe mode, I delved into what version of my Internet Explorer was, which was some 6.0 number. Thinking that perhaps an update was necessary, I updated my Internet Explorer to version 7.0, which did little to help my case. I once again tried safe mode and relentlessly was given the same errors. I thought about changing my boot process to safeboot, but in the instance that I might not be able to start windows up normally, I would be stuck going around in circles between systems errs and restarting.
Finally, I decided that I wanted live help. At first, I had gone to Microsoft's website, and then read that I should contact my manufacturer. After about 20 minutes of arguing with an automated machine, I got through to a consultant, who didn't help me much (which is alright; he was just doing his job). He was unable to help me because my computer was no longer under warranty; it doesn't really surprise me, considering my family has had the computer for eight years. I could have paid $60 for 30 minutes of help, but I didn't feel so inclined to be pulling out of my paycheck quite so early without seeking further help elsewhere, which is why I am posting this. (Also, the disk to re-install software seems to have gone missing somewhere in the past eight years; I'm not sure what to do...)
My main concern should probably be the virus, but I think that I can either subdue it or manage to fix it once I am able to get into safe mode, but herein lies my aforementioned predicament of not being able to access it. Any and all help would be very much appreciated. Thank you!