She had a Trojan on her PC. This Trojan is so smart that it actually prevents new anti-virus programs from being installed. The only way to kill it is to boot from a CD on before it has a chance to load. The problem with most emergency disks available is that they are old and cannot kill the latest and greatest viruses or deal with NTFS partitions.
After a lot of research here are the tools that I tried on her PC to kill the virus:
- Avira Rescue CD - This is a free bootable CD that can kill viruses. They update it hourly.
- Kapersky Anti-Virus CD - Another bootable CD that can kill viruses. They update it around once per week.
- Ultimate Boot CD for Windows - This one is a bootable XP CD (you need your XP install disk to create it). It has numerous anti-virus and anti-spyware programs that can update with the latest virus signatures. You must use Windows XP to create the CD. It doesn't run under Vista. However it can run under a Virtual PC with Windows XP.
FYI, here are some dead ends that I ran into:
- McAfee has no such thing as a recent Emergency Disk that can deal with NTFS volumes.
- Norton has no such thing as a recent Emergency Disk that can deal with NTFS volumes.
- The original Ultimate Boot CD is a DOS bootable CD that has ancient McAfee Anti Virus on it. Worthless.
- Trinity Rescue Kit is a Linux bootable CD that contains no Anti-Virus Software.
- Avira Rescue CD could not kill the virus, it simply renamed it.
- I was never able to create the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows. Neither a virtual machine or a regular Windows XP desktop worked. It always gave an obscure error.
- Kapersky Anti-Virus is the clear winner. It was able to delete the virus. The PC is running full speed again and my mother in law is happy.
Some questions that I still need to answer:
- It would be nice to figure out how to get the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows to boot with a USB drive. It would be great I could simply boot up and get the latest anti-virus definitions instead of burning a new CD every time.
- It would be nice to figure out how to get the AVGFree Version 8 as a plug in to the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows. Version 7.5 is included currently.
Here are some links I found to make a USB drive bootable: