Is my computer a gone-er?

SunflowerMomFebruary 19, 2012

Our computer is a Dell desktop with XP (service pack 3)with Office 2003. Things have really gone downhill in the last 10 days. I was on the computer and all of sudden something seemed to take over my computer - it would not allow me to open anything - anything that tried to open came up and immediately closed down. It was doing what appeared to be a scan of my computer. The only thing it would let me do was open a screen to try and sell me some software to fix what was happening. I did not bite on that. However, we seemed to get everything under control by running my SUPERAntivirus Scan, my AVG Scan, clean disk and defrag.

Then on Sunday morning we got email and checked a few sites online. Sunday evening we could not get on the internet or check email and have not since. On Monday I did try a System Restore, in fact I tried several different dates but it just said that it could not do a System Restore and nothing had been changed. The computer was turned off from Tuesday - this morning due to a trip out of state for a family funeral. Turned it back on

this afternoon and still the same thing.(as if it would have fixed itself, huh?) Everthing that we try doing takes forever to load including start up, Word, and Excel but they are soooo slow.

I did use a laptop to attempt to find out why my System Restore would not restore. It might be a registry problem, but we cannot get onto the Internet to give the fixer tool a try.

Anyone have any ideas? Do I take it to the Geek Squad?

Additional Information, if helpful:

Computer is a Dell Dimension 8300 purchased in February 2004. We did install a RoKu device for Internet TV & a wireless router (even though the computer itself is not wireless).

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It was doing what appeared to be a scan of my computer.

That's most likely a:

Rogue security software (or rogueware is a form of Internet fraud using computer malware (malicious software) that deceives or misleads users into paying for fake or simulated removal of malware or claims to get rid of malware, but instead introduces malware to the computer. Rogue security software has become a growing and serious security threat in desktop computing in recent years.

Take it in for repair or visit a malware removal forum such as the one below.

Here is a link that might be useful: malware-removal

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 6:12PM
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It sounds like this computer is well & truly infected. So the question is...should you spend an unknown amount of money to restore it (and the OS which is soon to become unsupported), or is the $ better spent on something new with Win7. Only you can decide. What is your primary use of this machine? If its only email-websurfing-office apps, and you don't want to spend could try something like Linux Mint (one of many free Linux distributions) and not only would it be free (aside from your time & effort), but you would be almost invulnerable to malware-virus infections.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 6:24PM
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I cannot access the Internet with that computer. Why does a computer work in the morning but not later in the day?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 10:17PM
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Follow Zeps link. The great people at that site will help you fix your computer for free. You are infected with a virus and need help getting it cleaned up.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 12:06AM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Yes you have a very serious malware infection, I also highly recommended going to zeps link, if you need help there let me know, you will need to register then post your own thread in the malware removal area, you will be led step by step instructions for full removal.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 3:25AM
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Is this a link that I can go to from another computer for instructions to follow on the infected computer? (Sorry if it is a dumb question)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 12:22PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Yes just tell them that in your post, then they will help get the process stopped on the infected pc so that you can run the requires scans.
So for now just go register and you will get an email back to let you post then please post in the section labeled malware removal.
If you have any problems let me know I am there too.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 2:27PM
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I absolutely second the suggestion to go to the malware removal forum. It will not cost you anything but some time (and patience), and you will still have a good computer that is supported for two more years. XP will be around for a while yet, so don't give up on this machine. I would not spend lots of money on it, but, in all likelihood you can make the repairs with the help of the forum suggested. Yes, go there!!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 2:46PM
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> Why does a computer work in the morning but not later in the day?

It is a machine from a more responsible manufacturer. Therefore it provides, for free, software to determine where the problem lies. Execute this comprehensive hardware diagnostic from the disk drive, from a provided CD, or by downloading that software from the Dell web site. Boot it from the hard drive, CD-Rom, or a flash (USB) drive. It executes without needing Windows or other complications.

It will test all hardware with or without malware infections. It will tell you one important fact. Is the hardware good or bad? Is the problem in hardware or software? All computers have a line between hardware and software.

Diagnostics will quickly identify which side of the line has a problem. In your case, the problem is probably on the software side. However this software, only provided by better manufacturers, makes identifying problems faster and easier. Removes all doubt. Everyone should execute their comprehensive hardware diagnostic once when the machine is still good to know what it does. Most do not even know that software exists.

Important is to first identify hardware integrity before moving on to software problems.

Malware can be first removed by the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal tool. Downloaded from their web site. Latest version is probably 14 Feb 2012. This will remove the simplest problems. Enough to get most machines functional enough to do other solutions. The program even can be loaded on a CD or flash drive to be executed from there. It does not remove all malware. But it is an easiest solution to implement on the worst infected machine.

Your mal-ware software (McAfee, Norton, Trend Micro, etc) then can execute to remove more comprehensive infections.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 9:17AM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

in answer to this question you asked
Do I take it to the Geek Squad?

I would not let them touch anything I own!! If you insist on taking a pc to be repaired find a good reputable computer repair shop or person, do not take it to geek squad all they are trained to do is reformat and charge you a ton for it.

Why did it work in the morning and not later because you got an infection and it was activated and then your pc became basically unusable. That is what these type of nasty rogue infections do. We see them every day on the help forums. Most are not able to be cleaned with regular antivirus and antimalware programs, they require special scans and tools which the forum we linked to will help you run.
Analysis and Malware Removal

Just post your problem right at that location and tell that you are unable to use your pc and are on another pc. That will get you started. Be sure and tell them all pertinent info about your pc, and what happened before you found you were infected. By all means do NOT follow any other directions you may find that sound similar to your problem! Each pc must be handled individually.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 12:39PM
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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

Listen to raven about not taking anything to Geek Squad.

Many years ago, the computer repairmen at Best Buy were very good and highly recommended and respected. However, when they became "The Geek Squad," all of their good repairmen left (I am not sure why) and the result was as raven stated above.

I did not realize this until about 2 years ago and took a PC to Best Buy's Geek Squad for repair. I was stunned at what they charged ($250 + tax) for work that only took them between 15 and 20 minutes - I waited while they "repaired" it. When I got the computer home and hooked back up, I found they had left their "recovery" disk in a CD drive, viewed it, and was put off of Geek Squad forever. Took the disc back to Best Buy and advised I would never bring a computer in to them for repair again.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 1:41PM
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