It certainly sounds like you have been infected with some kind of malware. Whenever you suspect you have an infection, there are several things you must do. Unfortunately, if you find one infection, it is highly likely you have another one. A virus, trojan or worm are all different types of infections/malware and the good news is there are some great FREE programs that can help you.
First, clean up (delete) your cookies, temp files and temporary internet files. I prefer to use Ccleaner to do this, rather than the built-in DISK CLEANUP, as I feel it does a much more thorough job - for example, it will clean out the index files on your next reboot.
If you want to use Disk Cleanup, you can find it if you:
- Double-Click on My Computer to open it up
- RIGHT-click on your C: drive
- Choose PROPERTIES and then click on the DISK CLEANUP button
- When done, reboot your computer.
Delete these files daily or run Ccleaner every day right before you shut your computer down.
2 - You must have a good anti-virus program.
are three excellent anti-virus programs. You can't go wrong in choosing any one of these.
3 -Since NONE of the anti- spyware or anti- adware programs are 100 percent accurate in finding and removing spyware, you need at least two programs which you will run one after the other, not at the same time.
There are some excellent free ones:
- Spybot, Search and Destroy
- Spyware Blaster
You will need to download, install, update (and IMMUNIZE in Spybot) and run them, one at a time. Be careful with the NAME of these programs - there are "look-alikes" with very similar names, that are in fact spyware themselves! Reboot after you install each one!
After this current infection is cleared up, be sure to run both of the above programs at least once a week if you are on the internet frequently and/or like to download music or files.
NOTE: Some infections prevent your from downloading the above programs. You may have to use a clean computer to download the programs and copy them to a thumb drive or CD. Then transfer the install files to the infected computer and run.
--Occasionally you will not be able to run these programs without being in SAFE MODE. To get there, reboot your computer and tap the F8 key, repeatedly until a menu comes up. You want to choose SAFE MODE WITH NETWORKING.
4 -You should also have a good firewall to help protect your computer. Zone Alarm makes a totally free version (watch you don't download the 30-day free trial of the paid version). You can download this from the manufacturer at zonelabs dot com
5 - If the above programs are unable to completely get rid of your problem, you will need to turn off SYSTEM RESTORE, reboot your computer and scan again with the anti-virus program and the anti-malware programs and reboot again. Once you are sure the infection has been removed, go back and turn on SYSTEM RESTORE.
HTH : )
PS - Most of the above programs can be found at www.download.com