I recently got some pretty annoying malware and spyware infections on my laptop, which is an HP and is running Windows 7. The symptoms of the infection caused redirect from google search links to virus-infected websites, and for fake virus protection programs like Cloud AV 2012 to show up on my desktop and annoy the piss out of me with fake warnings about serious system infection. After checking for solutions online, I took the following actions:
* I deleted Norton and Mcafee
*I manually deleted Cloud AV 2012 with a method that I found on the internet
*I downloaded Malwarebytes, Ad Aware and Spybot Search and Destroy and ran them all, deleting what was found by them
I then restarted and attempted to browse the web. To my chagrin, while the problems were not as severe, I was still experiencing a slightly more-than-occasional redirect problem when attempting to use the google engine. Looking for additional solutions, I found a site that said a virus may have added unnecessary lines to the hosts file in my system32 drivers area and that I should go in and delete them if present. Upon looking for the file in the "etc" folder, I noticed that there was no "hosts" file present, but instead 4 other files which were: "lmhosts". "networks", "protocol", and "services". I took my search again to the web and downloaded HostsXpert from funkytoad.com, Ispfix.zip, and tdsskiller.exe. I ran them all. None of these programs any longer detect and threats when I do a scan, but ever since I downloaded and ran these last few programs, I am no longer able to connect to the internet. When I run the HostsXpert, it replaces my hosts file only for the time that the laptop is running, and the hosts file is again gone when I restart. I have run troubleshooting on my connectivity with the following results: My wireless connection is reporting an excellent signal strength, but when I try to go to any website at all, I get a message saying SERVER NOT FOUND. I looked through my connectivity settings and made sure that everything was set to "find automatically" and that I was using no proxy (I browse with Mozilla, as IE hasn't worked for quite a while). Everything, to my knowledge, seems normal except for the fact that the IPv6 is showing no internet connection, which I can't seem to fix; but even if that were the only problem, my connection should still establish. I ran a command prompt and manually reset my TCP/IP settings using the NetShell utility and it didn't help. I also tried disabling IP helper. It didn't help. So for the life of me I have no idea what's wrong with this laptop. The computer I am posting with uses a wired connection and the gaming consoles I use connect and use the wireless just fine. I'm at the end of my rope. If ANYBODY has ANY suggestions, I would be more than happy to hear them, because I'm literally getting close "booting" the machine for the last time. Thanks.
One of rules of the internet is, TNO (trust no one). The fact you went to all those other sites to supposedly fix your existing problems may have actually exacerbated them. Many sites claiming to fix your PC are themselves malware! Before you know it, you’re down a hole you can’t climb out of.
Unfortunately, once infected, you can never be truly sure your PC is free and clear of malware. You don’t know what you don’t know. It could be lurking there without your knowledge, despite whatever claims of “cleanliness” reported by your anti-malware tools. That’s why (as annoying as it is) it’s best to start over, w/ a clean OS install and immediately add good protection from a trusted source (MS Security Essentials, Norton, McAfee, etc.). And never trust those anti-malware sites reporting to “fix” your PC. Some may be legitimate, but many aren’t, and it’s not always easy to tell which ones are which, even for an expert. So just stay away from all of them.