It's time to format I would say. You may or may not be able to dig yourself out of this particular hole if you kept at it long enough, but the quick and easy solution here is just to format and start over.
Hopefully you have some backups from before you got hit with whatever hit you, because if you back up anything now, there's no real way to tell whether or not you'll just end up reinfecting your system when you go to restore them. Among other lessons, let this be a lesson on the importance of regular backups.
Be sure to go to some other system and burn a CD with any updated drivers, an AV program installer, the offline installer for SP3, and a firewall program if you don't want to use XP's.
Now, disconnect your system from the Internet, and do not reconnect it again until you have formatted, installed SP3, and have an anti-virus and firewall up and running. That's why you put all that stuff onto a CD earlier.
Then you can set about IMMEDIATELY downloading the latest security updates from Windows Update. Do NOTHING else until that is finished.
After you've done all that, you can start loading on your usual assortment of programs. I'm also going to include my list of things to do and not do in order to avoid problems like this in the future.
TIPS FOR A SMOOTH RUNNING SYSTEM
The more of these suggestions you follow, the fewer problems you should have. Follow them all, and you've probably eliminated at least 95% of all potential problem sources.
Things you should NOT do
1: Use Internet Explorer
2: Use any browser based on Internet Explorer
3: Use Outlook or Outlook Express
4: Open email attachments you haven't manually scanned with your virus scanner
5: Open email attachments you were not expecting, no matter who they appear to be from
6: Respond to spam messages, including using unsubscribe links
7: Visit questionable websites (e.g. porn, warez, hacking)
8: Poke unnecessary holes in your firewall by clicking "Allow" every time some program requests access to the Internet
9: Click directly on links in email messages
10: Use file sharing or P2P programs
11: Use pirated programs
Things you SHOULD do
1: Use a non-IE or IE based browser
2: Always have an up to date virus scanner running
3: Always have a firewall running
4: Install all the latest security updates (the exception to the no-IE rule)
5: Delete all unsolicited emails containing attachments without reading
6: Manually scan all email attachments with your virus scanner, regardless of whether it's supposed to be done automatically
7: Copy and paste URLs from email messages into your web browser
8: Inspect links copied and pasted into your web browser to ensure they don't seem to contain a second/different address
Was this reply helpful? (0) (0)