Do I have a computer virus? Need expert geek help!

Hello guys and gals. I need some expert geek help. I’m confounded by the way a friend’s computer is acting. I have installed a fresh version of WIN XP on his system. I then add a fresh installation of service pack 2 (all this time, the computer is NOT connected to the Net or other computers). I then install a new anti virus program, the free version of AVG, version 9. When I reboot the system after the anti virus program installation, AVG is turned off: the virus database is out of date, the resident shield is turned off and the email virus scanner is also not running. I’ve installed WIN XP on his system 3 times and keep getting the same error right after I add the anti virus program. What’s causing this to happen?

Some background information: I volunteered to help a friend’s computer. He told me he was running on WIN ME and I said I could fix him up with a copy of WIN XP. The day he brought his computer over to my apt. for upgrading, he explained he’d apparently caught a virus that turned off his anti virus program, Avast! I explain this is not a problem, as we’ll format his HD and that would take care of any virus in his system.

We back up his data by removing his HD, setting it to slave mode and installing it on my computer and then moving all the files he wanted to save. We do this 'cause his computer in its present state wasn’t finding the external HD I connected to it. I run my own anti virus program (AVG 9) on his HD and it finds nothing. My anti virus program appears to be in perfect running order and I’ve rebooted my system several times and it hasn’t been disabled.

So, what’s causing the anti virus program to be turned off? I thought it was a boot sector virus, tho this doesn’t act like a typical boot sector or MBR virus. I’ve used the FIXBOOT and FIXMBR commands from the WIN XP install disk to wipe out any virus that might be lurking there, but I still run into the same problem. The last time, I also ran the newly installed anti virus program and also SPYWARE BE GONE to see if I could find anything. Nothing was detected. I’ve searched on the Net for any information about this type of virus or what causes this sort of problem, but haven’t found anything.

Can anyone give me an idea of what’s going or or what’s wrong with his computer system?

Thanks in advance,


Might be an issue with the PC not being connected to the internet and using an older version of the software.

Have you tried installaing a different anti-virus app, like Avast? It’s sort of neck-and-neck with AVG as far as free AV software goes.

Install it and see what happens.

Don’t forget that you can do online free scans with many products to see if they find a problem.

Try a different antivirus. I found AVG turned it’s self off every time it detected changes in my system because it thought it was installed on a new system. I had to reinstall the software over and over.

I’ve also had antivirus programs fail to load depending on what drivers loaded at start up when it was loading. Software conflicts still do happen. Once again try a new antivirus.

Maybe it’s a boot sector virus? Do people still do things like “low-level formatting”?

Doesn’t sound like a virus to me. You’ve done the right thing by clearing out the boot sector and MBR, thoughh.

First things first: use SP3, not SP2. This fixes a hole in XP’s firewall. If you’re up to it, you might try slipstreaming SP3 into your XP install set. Then try a different anti-virus package.

AVG is garbage. Its free yet has some rough anti-pirating tech, which as you noticed turns it off. It will also turn itself off if the database is old. The toolbar makes IE crash and they are known for their false positives.

Do this:

  1. Get the patches for conficker and blaster. Install them.
  2. Put up the firewall, do not allow file sharing on the local network yet.
  3. Uninstall AVG an install Microsoft’s Security Essentials.

Reboot, put it on the internet. Enjoy your new computer.

Have you tried Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware first, then run it? Are you able to boot into safe mode and run “AVG”?

Good luck with all that. Just wanted to point out that “geek” means a person who displays a perverse appetite for show. For example, Ozzy Osbourne performed as a geek.

The politically correct term you wanted was “propellerhead”.

Thanks, ZipperJJ, you win the prize; my undying gratitude and profound mystification as why it worked. I installed a 60 day free copy of Avast! on the machine and also loaded in the WIN XP updates (including SP3) and it’s working. The AV program is humming along fine and no dire warnings from WIN XP about my AV program being shut off.

I’m mystified 'cause I’ve used the same install disc for WIN XP and then loaded AVG and never had a problem 'til now. Why AVG kept getting shut off is a mystery to me. :confused:

longPath, in researching for a solution for this, I discovered that only the manufacturers of disc drives can supposedly do a true low level format. There’s a mid-range one that can be done, and that involves the using the old DOS FDISC command and the undocumented MBR switch. I didn’t try that, tho.

Harmonious Discord, I tried a couple and they didn’t find anything. Good idea, tho as it made me certain that the problem was software conflict and not an actual virus.

Quartz, thanks. Next time 'round, that’s the plan.

HorseloverFat I’ve never had a problem with AVG before and it works well on my own computer and my partner’s. I’ll try your suggestion when I’m in the mood to experiment a bit.

Markxxx As with HLF, I’ll try your idea next time :smiley:

Napier I stand corrected on the proper use of geek. :smiley: