My friend's computer has been taken over by a virus (viruses??). It is in every program as far as I can tell. Multiple porn pages open up and other programs are impossible to open. At the time I gave my friend this XP computer in the Spring of '09, it still had protection from an anti-virus program (forgot the name) and Spy-Bot. The anti-virus expired in July and was never renewed or replaced. (Yes, nearly daily forays into the internet were nearly totally without protection.) Much of the online use was by my friend's 12 year-old son who either didn't know how risky it was or simply didn't care. I wonder where he went surfing....
Money is very tight in this family, so taking the computer to a repair store is out of the question. I want to fix it, but I'm unsure of the best options. The option of last resort is reformatting the HD. If I load up certain fix-it programs onto an external HD and attach it to the old 'puter, will that work? Can it be accomplished with freeware or shareware?
What are the (A) best free programs to clean up the mess, (B) best purchasable programs to clean up the mess, and (C) what is the current best antivirus/firewall program to install after the mess is cleaned up?
All answers to this will be greatly appreciated.
The computer in question was purchesed new in 2003 from Gateway.
2 Gigs RAM
320 Gig HD
ATI 1650 GPU
Boot into safe mode with networking (F8 on startup). Download, install, and update malwarebytes. Then do a full system scan. www.malwarebytes.org/
That should remove all the infections. Once that's done, play around on the computer to see if it's acting up, or is back to normal. There is sometimes damage to the system that is still there after the malware is removed.