HOW I SPENT MY AFTERNOON….My mother’s computer is now a paperweight. It has somehow become massively infected by spyware, to the point where it’s virtually unusable. Norton AntiVirus says there’s nothing wrong. AdAware can’t run because the spyware is smart enough to detect it and shut the computer down. Directories can’t be deleted because processes are running. Try to delete the processes, and the computer is forcibly rebooted.
I don’t have a clue what to do next. Reformat the drive and reinstall XP? I guess it’s going to come down to that before long.
There’s a special circle in hell reserved for the people who create this stuff. It’s not quite as far down as the one for Hitler and Torquemada and guys like that, but it’s within spitting distance.
I really hate these bastards.
UPDATE: Many thanks to everyone who has made suggestions in comments or via email. I now have several possible solutions short of nuclear warfare against my mother’s hard drive. Wish me luck.