Some of the viruses and spyware that is going around today can be really tough to get rid of. Lots of the time you will have to run many tools to get rid of it all. There will be other times when you remove the infection and it comes right back or you cant get rid of it at all. Have you tried multiple virus/spyware programs? Check out our antivirus and spyware pages for more information.
You can also check your Programs and Features or startup items (MSconfig to find things that aren't supposed to be there and remove them. There may be something running in the background that is causing your modems extra activity. Its also better to do your virus and spyware scans in Safe Mode for better results. You can also find sites that offer free online virus and spyware scans.
Check out Windows Task Manager to see exactly what's running on your computer. You can look at the processes tab and check for anything out of place.
I have seen it before where having more than one virus/security program on your computer will cause problems. For example some versions of Norton Antivirus and McAfee do not work well together on the same computer and will cause it to lock up constantly. If you can get into Safe Mode I would try to uninstall AVG and see what happens. If your computer never fully started you can select the Last Known Good Configuration from the Safe Mode menu to see if it will start up with your last settings that worked properly.
You can also try to run a System Restore to get your computer back to a prior working restore point.
Try booting into Safe Mode and then selecting Last Known Good Configuration. This will boot the computer with the last settings that worked correctly.
You can also try booting into Safe Mode and doing a System Restore and go back to a point where you were not having any problems.
Another thing to try in Safe Mode is to check your startup items using MSconfig and uncheck anything that's not needed or looks like it doesn't belong.
Removing viruses from your computer is not always a straightforward process. Sometimes it’s as easy as deleting a file and other times you have to do extensive registry edits and other modifications.
I would start by having a reputable antivirus program installed on your computer. Some of the better known programs include Norton, McAfee, Kapersky and AVG antivirus. These programs usually have a real time monitoring system that checks when you open files and e-mails to make sure you are not opening a virus.
You can also do manual scans with these programs as needed or have them schedule them so they run automatically at the time you set. When they find a virus they can usually clean the file but if not they will quarantine the file to keep the virus from spreading. Just make sure you keep the program updated so you are always up to date on your virus definitions.
Most antivirus programs will also allow you to make recovery disks so if your computer is unable to boot because of a virus you can boot with your recovery disks and hopefully get rid of the virus.
Check out our antivirus section for more tips and free virus scanning tools.
Read up on virus terminology in our virus glossary.
You may have a corrupt Control Panel file. The way you can test this is to remove the control panel files from your system and put them back one at a time until you find the one that is causing Control Panel not to open. First make a new folder on your desktop. Then go into My Computer and browse to your Windows\System32 folder. Right click that folder and choose Search. Under the All or part of the file name section type in *.cpl then click on Search. It will find all files in the System32 folder that end with cpl. Now highlight them all and choose cut (not copy). Go to your new folder on your desktop and paste them into it.
See if Control Panel opens. If it does it will be empty but that's Ok. Now copy back each cpl file one at a time from your desktop folder back into the System32 folder. Each time you copy one, see if Control Panel opens. Keep doing this until you find the cpl file that causes Control Panel not to open. Then once you find it you will have to get a replacement copy of that file. You can get it from another computer running Windows XP and copy it over to your System32 folder. Since you said you were having problems with Add/Remove Programs that may be the faulty file right there. The file that controls that is called appwiz.cpl. You may want to check that one first.
Norton Antivirus has an Office plug-in that allows it to scan Office documents when you open them. You can disable this feature if it's causing problems but keep in mind that it won’t scan Office documents when you open them. If you don't have any documents that you may have to worry about then disabling the feature should work fine. Here is how you do it.1. Click on the Start, All Programs and then Norton Antivirus to open the program.
OR1. On the taskbar, right click the Norton icon, and then click Settings.
It sounds like you clicked on something that installed a fake antivirus program on your computer. These trick you into thinking your computer is infected so you pay money to activate the program so it can clean up the viruses it claims to have found.
If you are lucky you can boot into Safe Mode and uninstall the antivirus program from Add/Remove Programs or Programs and Features but many times it wont be an option because it doesn't want to let you remove it.
You can run a free program called ComboFix which does a good job of getting rid of most of these types of infections. Since you cant get into your computer you can try to boot up into Safe Mode to run the program.