Ok, I really have a bad one this time!!!
I merely copied and pasted a link into my browser, and my computer immediately shut down and restarted, which immediately sent up red flags to me. Sure enough, I start getting messages "Your computer is infected!" popups, and another icon has appeared on my taskbar that I don't recognize. Also, whatever webpage I try to go to, I get redirected to another site advertising all manner of products. However, the worst thing is that I can't even open other applications on the computer without it crashing!
Worse still, even booting in safe mode/safe mode with networking, no icons appear! Only the "safe mode" words at each corner. I can't even run Hijackthis to diagnose the issue. But even if I could diagnose it, I wouldn't be able to run the cure. The mouse works fine, but there's nothing to click on. This has moved from the realm of "spyware" to "malware/virus" for sure.
Is there another option to explore before I turn to the Geeksquad or a computer repair shop?