Battle with Spyware

My brother recently acquired a Dell computer. However, his friend came over and installed some cheating device for Runescape and the computer has been acting up ever since. Zone Alarm and AVG kept disabling and failing validation tests and spybot, ad-aware, spyware blaster were all starting to fail. I tried running them, but I had to resort to a format. I tried formatting, and the problem persisted. I have now tried formatting 3 times, both quick and full, upgraded to windows xp professional, installed all the spyware and adware and firewall programs, ran close to 30 scans, and still no improvement. At one point, it did detect Alexa, but this threat seems to have disappeared. I am now suffering from random shutdown, and Zone Alarm is unable to start due to "validation" issues. Avg also shutdown with the message, "The AVG program had a bad file". Doesn't sound very professional yet very suspicious. Whatever the problem is, it knows how to disable its enemies, hence the spyware and firewall, and it's able to withstand a format of the WHOLE computer. Please help.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'm all out of ideas:(. Just a 16 year old kid trying to do his brother a favor.

Thanks in advance

Ps: Forgot to mention, lots of blue screens and random restarts.
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  1. uninstall all those you got.

    install the 30 free trial of nod32, then go here and install spysweeper

    sweep with both nod32 and spysweeper. (they are not the same as the stuff you got)

    if your pc comes up clean then perhaps its not a software problem its a hardware problem, maybe some of your hdd sectors have gone corrupt.

    if its a virus then the only way it would survive a format is if the virus is in your memory.

    that can be clean by cleaning your MBR sectors.

    so if you want to make sure its not a virus, then boot from xp cd, go to recovery councel once there you want to give the "fixmbr" command that will reset your MBR clearing anything that is in it.

    then a fresh install should do the trick but if still you get the problem then you got hardware problems ;)

    good luck
  2. Thanks for the help. I tried installing NOD32 and SpySweeper, but after that, XP couldn't load and kept restarting. So I tried DBAN, another forum member recommended it, but all that was give me errors but it did succesfully wipe my drive,whether or not it actually completely wiped the drive I don't know. So I went to the recovery console, and sure enough, c:\windows was missing, so I typed fixmbr, it worked, and I'm currently re-formating (full, not quick) the drive for re-installation of XP. Should this do the trick? Any other advice?

    Once more, thanks for the help. I never would of thought to fix the Master Boot Record.

  3. no you got it all right, always the full format never the quick format. ;)

    you are very welcome and good luck
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