A few days ago, simply by viewing a webpage, my computer automatically, and discretely downloaded a virus. This virus pretended to be an anti virus program called "Antivirus Vista 2010", and it kept on popping up every few minutes, forcing me to minimize all other programs so I could attend to it. A few hours after getting the virus, I left on a 4 day trip, so I shut down my computer, and decided to fix it later. After I got back, I turned on my computer, and the virus was still there, as was expected. I turned off my computer again, then turned it on (only to have it load a black screen with a movable cursor, which to be honest could have just been due to my impatience to let it load) so, I did ctrl-alt-delete, (which then allowed me to interact with the computer), and logged off. After I logged back in, the virus was seemingly gone, but now, whenever I click on a program to open it, like say firefox, it gives me the prompt "choose the program you want to use to open this file. File: firefox.exe". It basically wants me to open firefox with firefox, which it then tries to do. Luckily, when told to use firefox, it opens it, but for some reason the .exe s for all of my programs have lost the ability to open things.
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I'd suggest you get anti-virus and malware programs. Good free ones include AVG, Avast, SuperAntiSpyware and MalwareBytes.
If possible, remove the hard drive and run the anti-virus with the drive mounted as an extra drive on another computer -- you may need to purchase a USB to SATA or USB to IDE adapter. Take the disk in to the shop when purchasing.
If you can't remove the drive a good alternative is to reinstall Windows -- first letting the installer wipe your drive.