Through years of internet surfing, downloads, and what have you, I have come to find the only way to eliminate problems and restore my computer's performance is to format the hard drive. I know that's drastic, but sometimes it's the only way to be sure malware and things are truly gone, particularly on a shared computer. I run Windows XP SP2.
My latest problem involves a certain popup window which states "Windows Security has detected malware installed on your computer. Please go to www.RegistryCleanerXP.com and download the software to eliminate the problem" or words to that effect. I know all about these bogus warnings and am not fooled. This one even has an icon which loads in the taskbar and resembles the Windows security icon. So, true to form, I performed a clean install, not just a repair, upon format. I still got the popup as soon as the startup menu finished loading. I reformatted several times to ensure I wasn't clicking too fast and missing the clean install option. This bug is not eliminated, leaving me to think that something was changed in the registry and a format doesn't wipe that clean. I am thinking something has happened outside the Windows environment. I searched the net and found many users stated that the RegistryCleanerXP program solves the problem and is harmless. Out of desperation and against my better judgement, I installed the program. I additionally had to go to some Italian website and download a Microsoft.Net framework patch. Now I have a Collegamenti toolbar next to the address bar in Internet Explorer. I don't use IE anyway, so I'm not too worried, but it bothers me that I had to go through all that. The popup is indeed gone, but again, a format should've gotten rid of the adware or whatever and it doesn't.
Sorry for the long-winded explanation, but I wanted readers to know all the details. Any info would be greatly appreciated.