I put the drive back in their PC, used the reg fixes from Kelly's Corner to fix file associations. I thought it was back up and running properly.
Five days later, they call and it is messed up again. I did the same procedure, cleaned lots of baddies off, and it is up and running again.
However... There is still a hijacker in there somewhere, as it will not go to any security sites. I tried to run HijackThis!, it will not run. I tried to go to Microsoft Windows OneCare, but it goes to ad sites instead. I tried to load MalwareBytes on that drive to run locally, it will not run. I tried to "trick" it like the folks from mbam suggest, by changing the install's name, then changing the exe name. Still will not run.
AVG will start, but as soon as the scan is requested, it blanks out.
I loaded Spybot, but as soon as I tried to start a scan, it closed.
When I try to run MalwareBytes, SpyBot S&D, or AVG, I get a message that says
"Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item."
This is a Dell Dimension E510. My friend said that it never came with a Windows XP restore CD, and they never made one (tsk! tsk!).
At this point, I am ready to trash it all.
Any ideas? A huge thanks in advance!