Computer has a nasty virus or several

My sister's computer seems to have some nasty viruses on it. She wants me to fix it.

Thing is I'm not very computer skilled myself, I mainly know basics and what not to do. But she's got one hell of a virus on it and is begging me for help.

The issues are that programs and applications take anywhere from minutes to hours to respond to any action. It is difficult to tell if things are freezing or if response time is completely out of whack. The only thing that seems to actually stay functional is the mouse and keyboard.
Simply opening a program can take any length of time. Also clicking on Chrome/internet explorer will not open a browser. But if I can manage to get the task manager to show up it will say that chrome/IE has a window or two running.

Safemode doesn't seem to work. Everything is frozen when you boot it up and seems to stay that way.
I've tried recovery options but her computer seems to always say that the Recovery wizard is already running, and that she somehow has no prior save points. Baffling.

All I want to do is get online to get her malwarebytes and do a scan.
She's flipping out because a whole mess of summer assignments are on there that she can't possibly make up in the time she has before going back to school.

This is a hewlett-packard desktop with windows vista 64-bit.

I greatly appreciate any help I can get in this matter. I always try to look out for my little sister and this is one scenario where I am not of much help to her.
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  1. Best answer
    I would suggest downloading some anti-virus software and its most recent definition files on a different computer and moving it to hers using an otherwise empty external hard drive or thumbdrive. You might try Microsoft's Security Essentials which is free and does a pretty good job as well. Also, take her computer offline immediately in case the virus/Trojan/whatever it is, is trying to connect out to somewhere and send out personal data to the attacker(s).
  2. Hi, Skeefers.
    Thank you for the reply and advice.

    Her computer already has MES. I was able to do a full scan with it (took 14 hours haha). But it detected nothing.

    I'm not sure how much I trust it since it doesn't update its definitions as often as programs like Malwarebytes.

    But I'll try putting a malwarebytes set-up on a memory stick.
  3. If possible, the first thing you need to do is try to copy anything that you don't want to lose onto a thumb drive.

    I would open task manager and try to shut down anything that looks like it is consuming a lot of cpu or memory or any task that doesn't sound like it belongs. Sometimes this can get your computer to a state that you will have a little more control. I would also try downloading malwarebytes or spybot on another computer and copy it over using a thumb drive.
  4. could be a failing HDD. backup data(however long it take), then run check disk
  5. Yep - my money is also on hard disk or RAM issues. Pop the hard disk out and slave it to another cmoputer. Run Checkdisk by using the command line syntax chkdsk /r to let it find and fix any bad sectors or whole clusters the disk has. If crucial system files land on a bad sector it would explain a lot.

    On the RAM possibility, remove one of the sticks and see if it flies faster on the remaining memory than it did with all of them in. Experiment with both or all the sticks.
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