Right, basically I've tried to avoid my traditional regimental approach to this (Flying-headbutt-o-doom-avec-claw-hammer) and use actual witchcraft to fix it.
The problem lies with my laptop, I've just returned from holiday in France where I was connected to an unsecure public network in the hotel. Towards the end of the trip I noticed a distinct decrease in my computers speed and an increase in the number of crashes it was susceptable to. By the time I had gotten it home I could still connect to the internet, however this ability went within 24 hours. At first I could not connect to ant anti-virus/anti-spyware websites but could to say, facebook. Now there is a very limited packet rate and cannot load any webpages. As it would freeze doing mundane tasks by this point, like booting up or loading the start bar.
I ran Norton System works which has freed up the computer and doesn't appear to be crashing. However it will not load certain programmes nor can it connect to the internet. I've tried downloading a patch or update for my Anti-virus/anti-spyware on another computer and transfering it across but it seems norton + Avg require self-updating from the internet i cannot connect to.
I am aware of the Cornfiker (sp?) virus, and have used Symantecs bug removal tool to scan for it but it says my system is clean.
So, essentially, how can I find out the cause and solutions to the following problems:
A) My computer cannot load webpages although it can connect to my wireless network, but suffers from a low packet rate.
B) It refuses to load some programmes.
C) It's hampering my ability to do any "constructive" work...
If you have anything you want to save like pics/music, put them on a memory stick or dvd. Then spend a couple or 6 frustrating hours trying to find and fix the problems, or alternatively put a fresh install of XP on it.
Same advice, save what you need to a clean drive/disc and format your HHD, reinstal your system and all your programmes. When this is done, check that you have internet services to your satisfaction and then with you virus scanner check the disc that you backed up your important info to.
Do not open any files on the backup disc untill you have cleared it or you may be back to square one if it is infected. Transfer each folder from the backup checking your system each time, this way if there is a virus lurking then you know which folder is bad.
It will be a pain but as far as I am concerned it is the only way to be absoutely sure you have a clean system.