Thank you to everyone who recently commented on my blog and emailed me with helpful information regarding my recent laptop virus infestation! Although it was a massive headache at the time, and an expensive lack-of-computer know-how on my part, I am now so grateful for the experience.
I am proud to say that I have gained enough knowledge from this ordeal that I was able to fix the same problem with a lady's home desktop computer today. Her computer had done the EXACT same thing that mine had. It was the same virus. Something had popped up on her screen saying it was AVG, alerting her that her computer was infected and being attacked with multiple viruses, malware, and spyware. She clicked around for a bit, making the problem worse, and nothing would work anymore. Ctrl + Alt + Delete wouldn't work, nothing would open, her old anti-virus program wouldn't do a scan (it was being blocked by the virus), and her computer was (for the moment) utterly useless.
I am so happy that I just went thru this, because I was not only able to help, but I was able get her computer all cleaned up and running smoother than it had in a while. Knowledge is power... and not necessarily even that much knowledge. In this case, I only needed a little bit. :-)
Here is what I did.
1.) Turned off her computer
2.) Turned it back on and then hit F8
3.) Selected the option to run her computer in "Safe Mode with Networking"
4.) Put my little Kingston 8 GB flash drive into one of her USB ports
** On my flashdrive were 3 programs that I had recently downloaded (I recommend downloading them and keeping them on a flash-drive in case of emergency!):
and an Anti-Virus program if you don't have one (I have Avast & the Avast license file on my flash drive. Lots of people also recommend Free AVG and Microsoft Security Essentials and ClamWin) **
5.) Clicked on "My Computer," opened the folder for my flash-drive, and clicked on the "MalwareBytes" file to install it on this lady's computer.
6.) Ran "MalwareBytes" so that it could scan the computer (while still booted in Safe Mode)
7.) It found 15 viruses, so I clicked on the option to remove them from the computer.
8.) It then promted me to re-start the computer in normal mode, so I hit ok, and the computer re-started. Everything seemed normal!
9.) I clicked on "My Computer," re-opened the folder for my flash drive, and then clicked on "SUPERAntiSpyware" to install it onto this lady's computer.
10.) Ran "SUPERAntiSpyware" so that it could scan the computer (while now booted back in regular mode)
11.) It found over 400 adware/spyware/bad stuff, so I clicked on the option to Quarantine them.
12.) It then prompted me to re-start the computer, so I did this again.
13.) This time I installed free Avast onto her computer so that she would have a current anti-virus program.
14.) Opened "Avast" and performed a full-system scan, and it found 4 more infected files, which it "Moved to the Chest."
15.) Ran into a dilemma - Internet Explorer wouldn't work (even though the Avast firewall settings seemed fine and the Charter high-speed Internet cable was hooked up correctly), so I....
16.) Opened Internet Explorer and went to Tools, Internet Options, Advanced, and then clicked on "Reset" (to reset Internet Explorer's settings to their default condition). It worked! I re-opened Internet Explorer and it was now connected to the Internet.
17.) Just for kicks, I then removed a few programs that she said she never used, I peformed "Disk Cleanup" (to get unnecessary files off her computer), and then I ran the "Disk Defragmenter."
Just like new. I will never have to pay 199.99 again for this! Thank you again to everybody....