I run XP. About a week ago I started encountering a box with the message, "Google Installer has encountered a problem and needs to close...something, something..." The box gives me the option of debugging, sending an error report and not sending. It goes away for 20 minutes or so no matter what I select.
(And in here I have to beg forgiveness, promise I read the instructions, and hope you read this post and have some advice anyway, as I was not able to launch Hijackthis. I hit the download button...nothing happens. Doing a search finds it in my downloads folder...I ask it to run from there...nothing happens.)
When I try to visit websites like Malwarebytes, Spybot, Panda, etc...the pages are often redirected to ad pages.
I had been running a McAfee, which appears to have been disabled and I can't seem to enable it. I was not able to access it using the task-bar icon, or from the start menu. I had to run a search for the virusscan and it ran when selected from the find menu. It claims to have cleaned up a hundred or so items, but upon restart the Google installer message is right there mocking me. On subsequent scans, it has found nothing. And, I'm not sure how to un-disable it. Also, I am unable to download updates.
After a lot of messing around, I managed to download Spybot, but even after renaming, trying from safemode, trying from other administrator accounts, downloading to a usb drive at work and bringing home, it won't run. The furthest I get is in safe mode where I get a message telling me that a component is missing, the program won't run. Same story with Malwarebytes, Drwebcurit... I tried using the Panda web-based scan and it reported that I had no viruses and that I had McAffee installed, but it is disabled...)))No, duh(((....I also tried another web-based scan earlier in the week...can't remember which one at the moment. It detected a few things and I let it delete them.
So, here I am hoping to hear from you.
I downloaded Chrome a few weeks ago. I've gone through the add/remove program thing...the list will only populate in safe mode. I compared what I see there with several lists of malware, adware and didn't find anything suspect.
This is a family machine shared with a teenage boy...maybe another creepy suspect.
I'm hoping you can tell me some new angle to work from. Maybe we can get as far as running the Hijackthis exe. Is there maybe a smarter way to rename it or spybot or anything...? I tried it from Windows Explorer and from the registry (which was a very nervous operation for me).
Please help. I don't work in tech. I'm a church administrator. I have been successful removing malware on machines at the office by following advice from wonderful generous smart people like you. This is my first time ever posting a question so please forgive any clumsiness.