Competent using computers to the most basic of levels, but rapidly spiralling down a road to doom, so would be ever so grateful for some expert help.
Lack of specific information is for a reason - please read to end before raising questions!
Noticed AVG wasn't running yesterday, so went to click on icon and got a message along the lines of "invalid.exe file". Uninstalled AVG and tried to reinstall, but kepy getting the same message. copied and pasted the message into google, and it linked the message with a trojan horse, and mentioned the name "downloader.generic7".
I followed the AVG guidance and downloaded Cwshredder, spybot s&d, ad-aware, rogue remover, avg anti spyware and anti virus. I was going to install them in safe mode in case the presence of a virus affected their installation.
When I tried to start in safe mode (via F8 ), the computer kept resetting and going to the "We apologise for the inconvenience, but windows did not start successfully…" screen. I started in normal mode, went to msconfig, and selected safe mode. Now, the computer will not start in any of "Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking, Safe Mode with Command Prompt, Last known good Configuration, or Start Normally". Keeps resetting, and going to the "We apologise for the inconvenience, but windows did not start successfully…" screen. F8 brings up a wider range of options, but I wouldn't have a clue where to start.
So, I'm sort of completely stuck, and I can't access the information asked to post, because I can't even boot my PC. What I CAN tell you is that I'm running XP, was running AVG 7.5 (uninstalled, can’t re-install), and Windows Firewall.
Can anyone please tell me where to get started (a) to boot, and (b) to clear whatever the virus is? If I could even boot in safe mode and install the software, I could follow the advice from the AVG pages...