major problem - nothing works on PC; malware?

  palinka 19:29 18 Jun 2008

I wrote about part of this in click here
when I thought it was probably a minor problem; but as I’ve discovered more it seems more major.

This is the problem now – my sister’s OS is XP, on a Dell PC that is less than 12 months old. She uses AVG , fully updated at the time the problems began; and it had done a scan the day before. All SEEMED OK until last weekend when she found that she can’t open any programmes, she also can’t access the Internet (using IE), but the drop-down list of typed URLs PERHAPS functions as normal.(I'm not sure about that)
System Restore won’t restore.
I think she can still receive emails, but she can’t send any.
At times it’s as if keys on the keyboard are now functioning as short-cuts.
AVG has now disappeared since she tried a Sys Restore.
It sounds to me like a malware attack, but as she can’t get on to the Internet she can’t download anything to deal with it. She currently has only AVG.

I could download programs , save to disk and post them to her, but I’m working in the dark about the real cause of her problems (and at 200 miles distance!)so uncertain what would be the best approach.
Any advice please? There was no response to my original posting when I had only a part picture of the problem, hence I’ve started this new thread.

  grey george 19:50 18 Jun 2008

If it's less than 12 months old there should be some kind of warranty or even tech support. You could download spybot search and destroy and send it to her, but I think the install process needs a net connection and if the keyboard is playing up installing anything maybe a problem.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:34 18 Jun 2008

Time for a factory reset, Hope she hasn't got anything o the drive she cannot afford to lose.

  palinka 22:16 18 Jun 2008

thank you both; I'll pass that advice on to her.

  vitrocmax 00:15 19 Jun 2008

Just a thought - you say she can receive emails - can you send her any relevant software as an attachment? (although I'm not sure what software that would be!)

  birdface 06:59 19 Jun 2008

Well if she can send or receive e-mails she must be connected to the Internet.Is there any way she can open a new user account.Or can she start in safe mode.Maybe last good configuration or maybe even run her security programs on there.If using IE7 .Tools.Internet Options.Advanced.and press reset.Off course only if Safe mode works.[Just keep tapping F8 as computer starts]Any way of maybe getting Firefox downloaded.That may work if I/E doesn't.

  birdface 07:14 19 Jun 2008

Looks like she has already tried safe mode with no luck.Make sure that she keeps tapping F8 as computer starts or it probably won't work.Like vitromax says if she can still get e-mail try sending her Firefox or Superantispyware.If nothing else works there is always a system repair but you need the XP disc for that.I am sure someone will explain how to do this.

  palinka 13:31 19 Jun 2008

It's solved.
She phoned Dell where someone talked her through the usual checks - and then suggested checking the keyboard keys. Turned out it was all caused by the Alt key being stuck down!!
So all is now OK apart from re-installing AVG.
Thanks very much everyone.

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