I searched for this(not here), but I'm not even sure what to search for. So, as I type this, the only way I can find to access any programs is task manager. That's how I had to start IE, just to get here. My desktop has retained the background(oh, joy! ), but every icon, along with the toolbar, is gone. Right-click does nothing, the windows key does nothing. I have to Ctrl-Alt-Del and bring up the task manager to do anything. I'm assuming it's a virus or malware, or both.
Hopefully a coincidence, but I didn't really notice a problem until I started using Myspace. I started getting ad popups(only when I'm online using IE) and couldn't find the culprits. Oh, I would find adware/spyware, but it still didn't solve the problem after I cleaned things up. This week, for some reason, when using IE my desktop would get wiped out(excepting the background) when I opened additional IE windows and maximized them(or the damn popups showed up, not sure which). I could reboot and things would be okay, but now even that does nothing for me.
Myspace constantly has problems loading for me. Errors on the page, anyway. Probably something to do with Google's popup blocker, as well as just Myspace, itself. Typically, I get a dialog box saying there's errors and the page might not look right or something like that. Yesterday, I clicked "OK" on one of those boxes and a damn program downloaded and installed itself. "Sysprotector" or something like that. Supposed to be anti-spyware, but it's really spyware itself(from what I've read about it). My AV freaked out and said it found a virus(trojan) so I quarantined it, then uninstalled(supposedly) the program that dl'd. Now, after a couple reboots, here I is.
I know I'm probably in for a long night.*sigh* One of the main things I'd like to know is how to reboot in safe mode. I used WinXP help, which told me how to do it...and didn't actually correspond to how my system boots up, evidently. I thought it was F8, but I'm not sure when to hit it. I hit it when I thought help said to, but no dice, just regular ol' bootup. I can't figure out how to get to system restore, or the control panel for that matter. Hoping that getting started up in safe mode will solve that problem and I can start cleaning this thing out. I was pretty well-versed in DOS and knew a few UNIX commands years ago, but, to my dismay, I let things get away from me....
I have a Gateway:
P IV 3.0 Ghz processor
WinXP Home edition SP2 OS
^I'm not even sure of that limited information. I'd like to just break my keyboard, but I'm trying to be a good boy and work this out without having to wipe everything(tho I will if I have to). I'm super tired, so anything I've forgotten, just ask. Thank you in advance.