Thank you to ALL who have posted here and in the other thread about this situation. This happened to my system last night after downloading several different audio editing tools from download.com that required rebooting of my system... once I did it the DAMAGE was done. Read the thread that precedes this post and you have some idea what happened, but I want to clarify a few things.
XP boots up with Marlet fonts ONLY. These are symbols that are not legible, but boldness and length of words are consistent with standard fonts. The menus stay intact.
The way to navigate is to find another computer (luckily I had a laptop handy) and play follow-the-leader. Of course, this ALSO helps you address the way around the problem. First thing I did was copy the MS San Serif font (micross.ttf) onto a floppy from the laptop, then navigate on the infected machine to the Control Panel, Fonts feature. Choose the Add Fonts menu and install off of your A: drive. DO NOT LEAVE this directory while this window is open (otherwise start this whole thing over) as it will delete this font. Leave the window open (!!).
Then, go to display properties (right mouse-click on background, last menu option) and choose the 4th tab (appearance). Choose the "Advanced" button (if you can NOT "see" the button, TAB four (4) times and hit your Enter key). Since you've installed the MS San Serif font, you'll be able to read the options. For EVERY "item" that allows you to pick a font, choose any from the other pulldown. This will allow you to use (most of) the features in Windows.
Now, I do not know how to kill this virus (nor real sure where it came from), the way I rid myself (well, it's been 17 hours and a few reboots without it) was to use the System Restore and pick a restore point from 2 days ago (well before the offending activity, if you consider downloading shareware from a reputable service bad in some way). Needless to say, perhaps I'm crazy but I made a _new_ restore point WITH the virus just for posterity before restoring to the other restore point.
The last thing to do is to copy all of the font files from another computer (or download as described earlier in this thread).
It was 3 hours in the middle of the night of my life wasted because of some joker, but with help of this thread and a few others (not a word about this in Microsoft's knowledge base - go figure) it's behind me now. I hope my narrative above helps someone else!
Curtis V. Palmer
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