I think my computer is infected. And my antivirus program isn't picking anything up.
I think it's spyware.
I get popups when I start my computer that say my computer is 18% infected with spyware. if you click on the popup, it takes you to a "coolsearch" for anti-spyware products. But that's not the only reason that makes me think that it's spyware. My computer crashes a lot. It runs much slower than it should. And the start page to Internet Explorer has been changed to about:blank and nothing I do changes that. I can change it back to what it was, and when I restart the program again, it's back to the blank page.
I did a Google search and came up with a bunch of anti-spyware products. I tried a recommended one by a couple of sites. Downloaded it, registered it, paid $50 I don't have for it. Didn't work. It scanned, removed a bunch of stuff, and said it couldn't remove more stuff. My computer still gets the popups, still with the blank explorer page, and now some .dll file is missing. So at the very least it didn't do any good, and probably made it all worse. Luckily, the company refunded my $50.
I WANT TO FIX MY PUTER!!! I don't want people with the ability to change my settings, or worse, spy into my life and get credit card #'s etc. Rob's solution would be to re-format my drive and reboot. But the rpblem with that is I'm an idiot and never backed up all my files, partly because I STILL can't get my CD burner to work. So even if I backed it all up now, I'd be backing up infected files and end up with the same problem.
Does ANYONE know of a way or a good program to get this stuff OFF my computer for good, and to protect my computer from being infected again?!?!?!?!? Because I dislike this whole spyware idea, it makes me nervous, and I want it OFF! And I can't afford another computer right now...